We should be concerned that most of the GOP, and many of the older, cuckservatives in the United States, think Ayn Rand and her philosophy of ethical egoism are the best way forward for the United States. In a country that represents only 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes more than 25% of all the available energy resources, more selfishness is not what we need right now.
Look at the sad state of America today, and what you see is the result of ethical egoism: people acting in their own self-interest. Martin Shkreli was acting in his own self-interest. So was Bernie Madoff. So are the billionaire owners of Wal-Mart. This is what drives the mentality of short-term profit seekers who don’t give a damn about the long-term consequences of raping the Earth’s natural resources, polluting our air, fresh water reserves and the oceans. They will have had their fun and be gone long before the shit hits the fan.
Ethical egoism is the antithesis of ethical altruism, which states that the moral value of a person’s actions depend entirely on the impact on other people, regardless of the consequences on the person themselves. For the ethical egoist, your pain is their gain.
The great hypocrisy of the ethical egoist lies in the fact that they want to act one way (egotistically) while being treated in another (altruistically). This is how we can explain the irrational ranting of senior citizens who demand both access to Medicare and a government that stays out of his/her life. This is why poor southern Republicans on food stamps are so opposed to government handouts. This is why banks and corporations get bailouts and bonuses (a.k.a. socialism) but American citizens get evicted, fired and imprisoned (a.k.a. austerity).
Ayn Rand is a product of a bygone zeitgeist, a mediocre writer and self-styled philosopher who aspired to become a Hollywood screenwriter—the most amoral of all vocations. That U.S. politicians continue to espouse the philosophy of a bourgeois Russian Jewish immigrant who fled from (rather than fight against) problems in her own country is an irony apparently lost on her most fervent supporters.