The Winter 2010 edition of Chapman Now, "a special publication of Chapman Magazine," includes a piece titled "Newest Bust Honors Ayn Rand."
For those unfamiliar with the layout of the private university in Orange, sprinkled around campus are white stands holding bronze busts of famous people who so touched the life of a generous institution donor that the donor paid to place a bust there. Busts can also be found of the generous donors who have buildings named after them on campus, like George Argyros and Arnold Beckman.
The Mother of Objectivism and author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged "is the 28th notable figure to have a bust dedicated on the campus of Chapman University," reports Chapman Now.
Her bust was unveiled at a Nov. 5 ceremony marking the establishment of the Rebecca and William Dunn Distinguished Chair in Honor of Vernon I. Smith, a Nobel laureate and Chapman professor known worldwide as "the father of experimental economics."
Her likeness joins those of Martin Luther King Jr., Cecil B. DeMille, Ella Fitzgerald, Milton Friedman and George Washington. But it's a good bet Rand is the only Chapman bustee whose first love dismembered little girls (though we have our suspicions about Albert Schweitzer).
"Atlas Shreiked: Ayn Rand's First Love and Mentor Was a Sadistic Serial Killer Who Dismembered Little Girls" is the title of a Feb. 26 post by Mark Ames on The Exiled blog (and, earlier that same day under a different title, on Alternet).
Rand was "[l]iterally a sociopath," writes Ames, pointing to her notebooks in which she "worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of 'ideal man' that Rand promoted in her more famous books."
He intimates that Atlas Shrugged's fictional superhero John Galt was based on this real-life American serial killer, William Edward Hickman, "whose gruesome, sadistic dismemberment of 12-year-old girl named Marion Parker in 1927 shocked the nation."
Rand filled her early notebooks with worshipful praise of Hickman. According to biographer Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market, Rand was so smitten by Hickman that she modeled her first literary creation--Danny Renahan, the protagonist of her unfinished first novel, The Little Street--on him.
What did Rand admire so much about Hickman? His sociopathic qualities: "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should," she wrote, gushing that Hickman had "no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel 'other people.'"
As Ames notes, that description nearly echoes word for word Rand's later description of Howard Roark, the hero of her novel The Fountainhead.
The Fountainhead is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' favorite book--he even makes his clerks learn it. Thomas is not alone. As Ames notes, Fountainhead fanatics include Rush Limbaugh, disgraced South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and "the key architects of America's most recent economic catastrophe," former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Christopher Cox.
Cox, of course, is a former Newport Beach congressman, Argyros pal and no-doubt future Chapman U bust model.
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They and others have helped refine the right-wing elite's distaste for the working poor--as reflected in the current campaign to deny them government healthcare reform--thanks to the me-first-and-only philosophy of Rand, according to Ames.
He expertly uses words and photos to show how Rand is being held up as the guru of "[t]he loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate 'entitlement programs.'"
He goes so far as to call Rand "the Charlie to the American right-wing's Manson Family."