In his book, SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE, Claude Steiner, says that many humans if not most, decide in childhood or early adolescence, how the world works. Since neither child nor adolescent can write a worthwhile script for a play or movie worth watching, it is important that the young author revise or even reverse his or her early beliefs about life. Mr. Steiner believes that many of life’s problems arise from failure to change the early script that people write for themselves as children and they continue to try to make it work as adults.
Ayn Rand is such a person. She is clearly extremely intelligent but claims her intelligence as a birthright due to no one but herself. She is said to have reverenced her father, but had little regard for her mother. She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, a city made of stone that looked to Europe and the West; built by czar Peter the Great in the early eighteenth century. St. Petersburg was seen by Ayn as exclusively a work of man. It was only the works of man that Rand respected. She showed no respect or reverence for nature.
Her fictional heroes and heroines were always blond and blue-eyed and their bodies were as beautiful as their faces. They anticipated the superficial beauty of Hollywood. A biographer says that Ayn was disappointed with her own rather unattractive face and body.
Psychologists tell us that it is important that infants have their narcissistic needs met lest they remain narcissistic throughout life. Although I have not read a biographer who comments about a negative relationship of Ayn with her mother from birth, biographer Anne Heller does report a negative relationship with her mother in childhood. She also says that while Ayn related well with her father when she came to see that he reflected her ideal of a successful businessman, he seems to have been unavailable to meet her narcissistic needs as an infant.
Not having her narcissistic needs met as an infant, Ayn Rand used her considerable intelligence to spread her narcissism through fiction, WE THE LIVING, FOUNTAINHEAD, and ATLAS SHRUGGED. She told her readers that their infantile beliefs that they alone mattered, and they should not be influenced by those who tell them they are wrong. They should not move from their two year old conviction that whatever they want is MINE by rights and that they should claim what is rightfully theirs against all odds,
Any concern or consideration of the needs of others should be looked upon as remnants of a false sense of guilt, left over from the superstitious and harmful religions of the past, and that if anyone faults you for being uncaring, you should tell them that you care about the only thing that really matters, yourself.
Recent American political admirers and followers of Ms. Rand have been Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Securities and Exchange Chairman, Christopher Cox, Congresspersons Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford. It is frightening to think that so many American leaders are following someone who was indeed brilliant but whose emotional development was halted at the age of two.