In For the New Intellectual, Rand warns against “death-worshiping mystics” who control and humiliate through the use of guilt and fear, preaching that a man’s pursuit of happiness here on earth is evidence of depravity and selfishness, that his independent mind is a source of arrogance, his body a source of evil, that his liberty, self-esteem and individuality are desecrations of the commandments for obedience, humility, suffering, renunciation and self-sacrifice. “There is no way to make a human being accept the role of a sacrificial animal,” writes Rand, “except by destroying his self-esteem.” That was published in 1963, but, you know, Rand was just a kook who didn’t know what she was talking about. Well, at least Ralph R. Reiland, writing in The American Spectator, doesn’t seem to think so. Or John Venlet. Update: Ah, hell, I can’t resist: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. -Isaiah 64:6 I vividly recall to this day my maternal grandfather, Clarence Goodsell, throwing a fit when he heard this verse quoted at a family gathering. I…
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