Understanding the Ruling Elite


Intense speculation on the ‘ruling elite’ many believe is running the world from behind the scenes can lead to the presumption that it is all-powerful and infallible. But is it? Identifying the human foibles and underlying desires of those who may be planning centralised domination could lead to a greater chance to offset their agendas.

In my book The Truth Agenda, I explore a widely-held hypothesis in certain quarters: that the world might be controlled by a powerful ruling elite, which puts its own narrow interests and convictions above ours through manipulation and engineered global crises to help bring about an Orwellian-style ‘One World Government’.

The book also considers the possibility that our planet is about to undergo a huge change, social, spiritual or cosmological, something seemingly anticipated by several ancient cultures around the world in the now renowned 2012 prophecies. The exploration of these ideas throws up disturbing possibilities and more pieces of evidence to support them than is entirely comfortable.

However, if all that the most extreme speculation achieves is to help prevent such a grim picture from reaching full fruition, then it will have served a useful purpose. It is also crucial that a note of optimism is struck.

An often valid criticism of conspiracy theorists, or ‘truthseekers’, is that their fevered investigations into humankind’s worst nightmares can leave some listeners feeling more fearful, and risks driving them into a state of disempowered paralysis, putting up the shutters when what is needed is engagement. Yet the unavoidable truth is that looking a potentially tough situation in the eye does mean facing up to disturbing realities that may have been swept under the carpet, for they might require urgent action.

Lifting the blindfold even just a little means that we might not run into the approaching wall at such a great velocity. If the idea of a secretive but all-pervading cabal running the world leaves some feeling shocked, the act of simply contemplating such an idea may in itself spark a new awakening of consciousness.

What psychologically motivates this elite, however? What kind of minds are we really dealing with? How can we attempt to understand them, so that solutions and strategies for dealing with their actions may become clearer?

The Elite and its Motivations

Something too often missed in all the conspiracy speculation is the realisation that if we are being governed by a powerful cabal trying to twist the world to its own ends, then we are still essentially dealing with fellow human beings (putting ET/reptilian bloodline theories aside for a moment).

Like every other person on the planet, they must have physical, social and emotional needs, even if the latter faculty may be too easily set aside in the kind of mind that would plan 9/11-type scenarios (an event widely suspected to have been deliberately staged by Western sources as part of a march towards the ‘New World Order’). The personalities involved must have loved ones of their own, and experience thoughts, feelings and cares in at least some directions. They also, like most of us in our lives, probably think they are doing the right thing, however much we may see their schemes as misguided.

This is an important point. We all have reasons for doing what we do, and can often justify actions to ourselves in the face of serious challenges from the outside. Hard though it may be to comprehend, the motivation of those who might think that wiping out their own people would be a positive move, or who believe that planning wars and economic breakdowns to effect the creation of a unifying world government is an acceptable strategy, the fact is that many seemingly well-intentioned visionaries throughout history have voiced the need for such approaches. This does not make them right, of course, but there is plainly a significant, if small, seam of humanity that believes a bigger picture should be put before the needs of the masses. Those who have expressed support for eugenics and depopulation strategies, for instance, often have deep-seated environmental concerns or feel strongly that we have lost our balance with nature and must put the planet’s future ahead of the requirements of the common people.

One of the most prominent promoters of the term ‘New World Order’ was the famous and much revered writer H G Wells, who believed passionately that the only answer to global strife would be the creation of the eponymous hierarchy, actively proposing it in his 1940 book The New World Order. This is clearly not a modern concept, and has roots going back even further than Wells’ idealistic vision of it. Some believe both World Wars were deliberately coordinated, or at least used, to help bring about a mandate for world government. As early as 1913, writing in his book The New Freedom, President Woodrow Wilson made clear that some formidable force already underpinned the commercial, and probably political, infrastructure of the USA:

Some of the biggest men in the US, in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.

What is striking in H G Wells’ writings, however, is his sense of excitement and enthusiasm for the idea of a dominating collective that would put all to rights and avert “the disastrous extinction of Mankind.” There is no sense of negative intention nor a Malthusian dislike for humanity. Yet at the same time Wells was an advocate of eugenics. Many find this concept entirely repugnant, but here is the paradox – the very kinds of people truth-seekers tend to single out as the enemies of humanity very likely see themselves as its saviours. It is all a matter of perspective and of where one chooses to draw the moral line.

The philosopher Bertrand Russell openly accepted the inevitability of a controlling One World Government, founded on the basis of hard scientific values, and was disturbingly frank about the culture that would result. Writing in his 1953 book The Impact of Science on Society, he states:

Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible…

…Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organised insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton.

On the surface, Russell’s thoughts appear to encourage such a world, rather than condemn it, and such thinking seems outrageous, even if it does come close to identifying the very philosophy that may now be actively shaping our society. However, although it seems difficult, almost distasteful, for some to contemplate, there is a thought to be considered here: What if such thinking were definitively shown to be right? What if humankind’s very survival did rest on the notion of more control, not less? What if the choice were demonstrated to be between total destruction through over-population, pollution and over-stretched resources, or a selectively-bred, closely-monitored world that regulated itself and continued on? What if an anarchy-ridden post-2012 apocalypse society could be shown to stand no real chance of survival, whereas a tightly-controlled disciplinarian civilisation would?

Uncomfortably, in the light of the world’s current challenging issues, it can be seen, at least to a small extent, how arguments could be made in these directions when looked at from a certain viewpoint. The problem comes, as ever, with the massive issue of who gets to decide. Those in comfortable circumstances looking down from on high must inevitably see things rather differently to those scraping an existence lower down the rungs, at their mercy.

We already hold the power of genetic manipulation in our hands, and it will not be too long before required characteristics of children will be able to be routinely selected and engineered. Also, with life spans ever increasing, and our understanding of tissue and brain cell regeneration growing by the year, how long will it be before life can be sustained indefinitely? When that occurs, the population problem will clearly explode if unlimited access to such power is allowed (that is, if the majority of humankind is permitted to survive in the first place – depopulation conspiracy theories are rife). A world of immortals would risk stagnation, but also domination from those who attained the status of immortality first. They would effectively decide who would be offered the gift from thereon. In the end, the gene pool would almost certainly be controlled by such authorities, the new eugenics having arrived through the back door.

These issues are already reality, not dystopian fiction. The power of genetic engineering, which is currently changing our food, both animal and vegetable – and thus our entire ecosystem, as spliced and altered genes make their way into nature through pollination and cross-breeding – means that humankind has already taken the entire planet’s evolutionary destiny into its own hands, and there is no going back. Do those calling the shots have the moral compass to carry such a huge responsibility? Can they serve as the gods they are setting themselves up to be?

In a society of angels, perhaps a charter of rigid regulation, surveillance and genetic population control could be applied with compassion and the wide agreement of a common consensus – but we are nowhere near such a state of being. With the motivation of those governing our world today clearly in question, it seems impossible that the kinds of agendas many feel the ruling elite is implementing could work in any way other than being a simple attack on the larger percentage of humankind. Without common consensus, whatever the supposedly good intentions that might exist somewhere behind the plans, any attempt to regulate the world by coercion and draconian measures remains an immoral one.

Inherent Deception

The problem with global cover-ups is that they arrive and build up – as deception does so often for all of us – through a lack of honesty largely sparked by the fear of what people might think or do if they were to perceive the true vulnerability within. The elite appears to fear us and our reactions as much as we may fear it – otherwise it would not need to manipulate and control. Many disingenuous actions are borne of inner psychosis; a lack of trust that other people will understand. Our leaders appear to have got so used to playing deceptive games that they cannot now operate any other strategy. Everything from the banking system to Parliamentary administration appears to be based on subterfuge. Right now we are clearly not trusted by those affecting our lives so strongly and as a result we do not trust them.

Not that some of the elite would be remotely bothered about what any of us thinks of their actions. For those who may feel that caveats to explain such motivation is too generous to people who maim, kill and deceive to get their way, for whatever reason, it should be noted that there do also appear to be those pulling the strings who simply seek power for power’s sake. The lessons of history tell us that selfishness, greed and excited bloodlust cannot be ruled out as prime movers in some cases, at least. And, to acknowledge the not-insubstantial suspicion of a ‘reptilian agenda’, if it were to turn out that this highly exclusive club was indeed the result of a dominating extra-terrestrial gene seeded aeons ago (as some believe, based on ancient myths) and being exploited and/or activated by celestial visitors today, then it admittedly might explain why concern for the needs of humanity appears to be as low down the list of its priorities as our general concern for the welfare of livestock is today.

As for what kind of people may comprise the global elite, the well-intentioned and the not-so well-intentioned, most likely we are largely dealing with high-ranking politicians, academics, intellectuals (as with Wells and Russell), monarchies, and very rich and influential families – with a mixture of political, religious and occult undercurrents. In other words, all the obvious candidates. Numerous books and websites go into the detail, so there is little need to explore it here. How much of the grand plan all of them know, however, and whether there are pyramids-within-pyramids amongst even the power structures near the top, is another matter.

Factions Within Factions

The presumption is often made that the very existence of a ruling elite means that those involved must be all-powerful and of one mind, accurately manipulating domino events that hit the required spot every time, all to a predetermined agenda. But this may apportion them an unwarranted infallibility.

There is evidence to show that there are factions and disputes within the echelons of those with great influence over our lives. After all, the world is a big and complex place. Even with a general agreement on how it should move forward, the pressures of regional needs and personal biases are almost certain to blur the clarity of purpose from time to time. Going on the word that does sneak out from Bilderberg meetings and the suchlike, it seems that as many disagreements, compromises and negotiations arise there as within any supposedly democratic Parliament. If this weren’t the case, the meetings would not presumably need to take place, so pre-orchestrated would the scheming be.

As with Masonic and other secret society structures, there is also a pecking order to consider. It is doubtful that all those ‘in’ on a global conspiracy seeking centralised control would be party to every machination, and certain players may themselves be manipulated from within without realising it. From the outside, for example, it appears that British ex-prime minister Gordon Brown, for all his many references to creating a ‘New World Order,’ seemed destined to be a fall-guy from the start, set up to come to power just as the world economy took a tumble. The question is, did Brown know the full plan? Was he someone faithfully playing a game with a known outcome of outward failure, while secretly ensuring success in an agenda of weakening the UK on the world stage to quicken a move towards One World Government? Or did he cling on in the genuine belief that all would come right and that he would one day be hailed as a political hero?

Likewise, when Bill Clinton found himself under threat of impeachment following the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, was this all part of a contrived drama, or a sign of factions within factions very genuinely trying to remove him after an unplanned gaffe? And did Richard Nixon go rogue or was he just playing a pre-auditioned role? On a smaller level, when a man in the crowd died after being pushed to the ground by a policeman during the 2009 G20 protests in London, it took all the seemingly contrived focus away from images of a few people smashing a bank window, and suddenly all the headlines became howls about police brutality. Was this an ongoing twist to deliberately stir civil unrest or was it (as many suspect) something going unexpectedly wrong and changing the script? Does every war and false-flag terror attack really go to plan, or is there as much ‘cock-up’ involved as conspiracy?

How organised, then, is this global elite, and is it really as united as some truth seekers give credit for? The evidence suggests that there are chinks in the armour and disagreements within, and weaknesses and unpredictable elements always arise in any grand plan. This offers hope. The foibles of human nature and the sheer universality of chaos theory may ensure that unexpected events and peculiar side tracks undermine the apparent solidity of the control agenda just when they are least expected. We could therefore be dealing with something far less coordinated than feared – indeed, the wide truth seeker presumption of the elite’s potency may make it seem more of a problem than it really is. But can we take the chance of becoming complacent?

It is clear that certain events and trends do seem to be part of an unfolding pattern that suggests an attempt to engineer a mandate for centralised power. Whilst we must not become petrified into inaction by this, nor, however, should we take the opposite risk of assuming there is no real threat, even if the conspirators are found to be less competent than some believe. Either way, it is important at the very least to call attention to the appalling deeds committed by those at least trying to be an all-powerful force.

Consent by Apathy

If plans for world domination are being laid on any level, a simple fact needs to be recognised – that it only goes on because we collectively allow it. Even with obvious governmental deceptions such as the weapons of mass destruction debacle in Iraq, such things only continue to occur as widely as they do because too few people stand solidly against them or fully call their leaders to account. We have allowed apathy and the distractions of (apparent) comfort, trivia and entertainment to hold us in our armchairs in the hope that anything dark ‘out there’ will remedy itself in due course, without our input, energetically or even electorally (voter turnouts for Western elections, whatever they are worth, are generally perilously low).

By having become so disconnected with what goes on around us in our names, we have not stood up in our collective power – and are therefore as responsible as any global elite for having created the world we live in today. With the consent granted by our passivity, we have watched obvious lies and manipulations take away our strength, resolve and liberty, and have done little or nothing about it. As such, we have given away our personal responsibility. The energy spent complaining loudly but emptily in the pub or bus queue about the shortcomings of today’s society, if applied in more proactive and positive directions, could be used to offset the very things being complained about. The problem is that we have been trained to think that we cannot make a difference – when, in truth, we can, especially when we match the tangible power of the collective mind with the practical rewards of direct action, as I explore more in The Truth Agenda.

Speaking out

Much of the awakening process that HAS begun has come from the kind of people drawn to be part of the truth seeking community. Unfortunately, their often unseen efforts are generally rewarded by undeserved ridicule and sidelining by a culture that has shut its eyes and ears to anything but the skewed vision it is fed by those who prefer to keep us dumb. People who question the status quo are easily neutered in the mainstream by being branded with false ‘wacko’ stereotypes created by a media that is all too often either itself controlled, fearful or just lazily stupid. Truth seeker enthusiasm does allow things to spill over into fanaticism and lack of discernment sometimes, no doubt, but the fact is that there are also absolutely vital questions and observations being raised by very reasonable, normal people, which could make a real and positive difference to people’s lives – if ever given a chance.

It doesn’t take long for the average person to see through manipulation once obvious anomalies are pointed out. Assuming the masses will always be dumb may be an arrogant and huge mistake on the part of our masters. When discussed in an accessible and objective way, the concept of a ruling global elite, which believes that some kind of catastrophic cosmological or climatic change may be imminent and has thus been implementing a regime of draconian restrictions by nefarious means to ensure it retains control during and after the chaos, is nowhere near as far-fetched as it may at first seem. It can all be made to sound credible when expressed in balanced tones, and when sensible evidence is presented.

Tones are important. Extreme conspiracy dogma, passionately but indiscriminately shouted, can repel potential support and plays into the hands of the mainstream’s characterisation of all alternative thinkers as uneducated fanatics. Those with the power of insight who can rise above this have a responsibility to convey a user-friendly overview of the control agenda. Successful outreach requires initial moderation – and compassion. Newcomers can be confused by all the many complex sources of information out there, and may shrink from the at-first disturbing idea of a manipulative ruling elite if not properly approached. The uncertain era we live in now, with glimpses of the truth shining in through the cracks, provides a unique opportunity for those with the insights to offer another view of the world – while they can.

There may be more than one reason why a world of centralised control would be desired by a ruling elite, and we cannot fully presume to understand from the outside. But no strategy that imposes an undeclared agenda without transparency or choice can be right, and any regime of underhand manipulation must be resisted. To resist successfully, however, those with awareness must hold on to optimism and strike an appropriate tone if they are to be listened to and people awakened so that a self-elected and questionable minority’s vision for the world is not allowed to ride roughshod over the needs of everyday people.

No elite, of any kind, can be infallible, and this offers true hope for the future – if enough people can rise above their fears and speak out, loudly and clearly.

Adapted from The Truth Agenda by Andy Thomas(Vital Signs Publishing 2009, revised 2011)

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ANDY THOMAS is a leading researcher into unexplained mysteries and is the author of the acclaimed The Truth Agenda (Vital Signs Publishing, 2009, revised 2011). His many other books include Vital Signs, described widely as the definitive guide to crop circles. Andy also edited Geoff Stray’s seminal Beyond 2012. Andy extensively writes and lectures, and has made numerous radio and TV appearances around the world. For further information, visit www.truthagenda.org.

The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 127 (July-August 2011).

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

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Ayn Rand School For Tots: Notes on Psychosis In American Capitalism


I could have trashed this up by letting my emotional dislike for Ayn Rand takeover. Instead I put together a small sprinkling of notes to describe Ayn Rand. There’s much more that can and has been said about this woman, just as there’s books on Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and other psychotics.  A little research goes a long way. Ayn Rand fans have a terrible grasp on the real Ayn Rand, or they themselves suffer from the same sickness as Rand. That’s cool, even Charles Manson has fans. Why is Rand’s philosophy bad for mankind?

Conservatives keep claiming liberals want a “cradle-to-grave nanny state.” That rhetoric has distracted us from the real social re-engineering taking place all around us. The right, along with its “centrist” collaborators, is transforming our nation into a bloodless and soulless Randian State.

The Simpsons made a running joke out of Springfield’s ” Ayn Rand School for Tots,” where toddlers fend for themselves in playrooms whose signs say things like “Helping is Futile.” That’s very funny. What is happening to our country isn’t.

The Randian State is built in the morally depraved mold of right-wing über-heroine Rand, who reviled the less fortunate – and even those who tried to help them – as ” parasites,” while at the same time idolizing sociopathic killers.

That last statement isn’t rhetoric. It’s reporting. “He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman,” Rand wrote admiringly of child murderer and dismemberer William Edward Hickman. “He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’”

The Randian State’s first manifesto may have been the startling document produced by Ronald Reagan’s “blue ribbon” education commission in 1983, which proposed to use schools as factories for more effectively turning Millennials – and every generation that follows – into usable raw material for corporate production.

Remember Margaret Thatcher’s remark, “There is no such thing as society, only individuals”? That’s the sociopathic mindset in a nutshell. Of course, Thatcher added, “and their families,” an obligatory conservative feel-good trope. But as Hanauer told Chris Hayes, “These are the people who did not go to their kid’s soccer games.” In short, Thatcher was lying when she tacked on “families.” Sociopaths are like that — they lie a lot.

A psychosis is a major mental disorder. A psychopathic personality shows not a disorder of personality but rather a defect of personality, together with a set of defenses evolved around that defect. The defect relates to the most central element of the human personality: its social nature. The psychopath is simply a basically asocial or antisocial individual who has never achieved the developed nature of homo domesticus.

For those who haven’t had the great misfortune of reading “Atlas Shrugged,” the book is premised on the idea that if the world’s “creative leaders,” businessmen, innovators, artists (i.e., the “makers”) went on strike, our entire society would collapse. These strikers hide out in a utopian compound in the mountains of Colorado while the rest of us despondently wail and gnash our teeth and beg for them to once again bestow their creativity upon us.

The appeal of the Randian vision to today’s wealthy is obvious: it puts them back at the center of economic life. They long ago realized that rather than being the beneficent “makers” they had always imagined themselves to be, they were the parasitical “takers” they so despised. Their wealth, which was once a symbol that God praised their work, became an instrument for social change (Carnegie, Rockefeller) and eventually good in itself (Gates, Jobs). Social Darwinism, the idea that the economy is a “survival of the fittest” competition where the superior end up on top, exults the businessman as superior and deserving. But as Henry George noted of Herbert Spencer (the founder of Social Darwinism): “Mr. Spencer is like one who might insist that each should swim for himself in crossing a river, ignoring the fact that some had been artificially provided with corks and other artificially loaded with lead.” F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thorstein Veblen ridiculed the idea that the wealthy were in any way superior. Social Darwinism has resurged in conservative thought, supplementing the Randian vision to fortify a social order in which a minuscule proportion of society reaps its rewards.

Because the wealthy are no longer willing to use their wealth for good, they have decided to glorify the wealth itself as good.

Excerpt from alternet.org Conservatives Used to Mock Ayn Rand — How Did She Become a Hero to Right-Wing Nerds Everywhere? http://www.alternet.org/conservatives-used-mock-ayn-rand-how-did-she-become-hero-right-wing-nerds-everywhere

The growing influence on the American right of Ayn Rand, the libertarian right’s answer to Scientology’s novelist-philosopher L. Ron Hubbard, is a wonder to behold. When she died in 1982, Alissa Rosenbaum — the original name of the Russian-born novelist — was the leader of a marginal cult, the Objectivists, who had long been cast out of the mainstream American right. But the rise of Tea Party conservatism, fueled by white racial panic and zero-sum distributional conflicts in the Great Recession, has turned this minor, once-forgotten figure into an icon for a new generation of nerds who imagine themselves Nietzschean Ubermenschen oppressed by the totalitarian tyranny of the post office and the Social Security administration.

Rand-worshipers can be found in, among other places, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. At a 2005 gathering to honor her memory, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan declared, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”

The late Gore Vidal would not have been surprised by the former Republican vice-presidential candidate’s choice of a patron saint. After all, it was Vidal who observed, in a 1961 article for Esquire:

She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the ‘welfare’ state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts. For them, she has an enticing prescription: altruism is the root of all evil, self-interest is the only good, and if you’re dumb or incompetent that’s your lookout.

Vidal might be dismissed as a biased leftist. But the late William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of post-1945 conservatism who engaged in a famous televised spat with Vidal during the 1968 Democratic convention, shared Vidal’s contempt for Ayn Rand. After her death in 1982, Buckley wrote in the New York Daily News: “She was an eloquent and persuasive anti-statist, and if only she had left it at that, but no. She had to declare that God did not exist, that altruism was despicable, that only self-interest was good and noble.” In 2003 , Buckley described his encounter with Rand’s interminable propaganda novel “Atlas Shrugged”: “I had to flog myself to read it.”

Ayn Rand and her “Objectivist” cult members never forgave Buckley for reading them out of the mainstream American right, along with the equally crackpot John Birch Society. In 1957 Buckley, then the young editor of the flagship magazine of the conservative movement, National Review, published a review of “Atlas Shrugged” by Whittaker Chambers, the ex-communist intellectual who had played a key role in exposing Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy.

Chambers titled his review ” Big Sister Is Watching You.” He wrote:

Its story is preposterous. It reports the final stages of a final conflict (locale: chiefly the United States, some indefinite years hence) between the harried ranks of free enterprise and the “looters.” These are proponents of proscriptive taxes, government ownership, Labor, etc. etc. The mischief here is that the author, dodging into fiction, nevertheless counts on your reading it as political reality. “This,” she is saying in effect, “is how things really are. These are the real issues, the real sides. Only your blindness keeps you from seeing it, which, happily, I have come to rescue you from.”

The juvenile plot of “Atlas Shrugged” is a melodramatic war between “Children of Light” and “Children of Darkness”:

The Children of Light are largely operatic caricatures. In so far as any of them suggests anything known to the business community, they resemble the occasional curmudgeon millionaire, tales about whose outrageously crude and shrewd eccentricities sometimes provide the lighter moments in Board rooms. Otherwise, the Children of Light are geniuses. One of them is named (the only smile you see will be your own): Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian d’Anconia.

Today’s libertarian rightist radicals distinguish between “makers” and “takers.” In the flagship conservative magazine of the 1950s, Whittaker Chambers did not tolerate such crude sloganeering:

In Atlas Shrugged, all this debased inhuman riffraff is lumped as “looters.” This is a fairly inspired epithet. It enables the author to skewer on one invective word everything and everybody that she fears and hates. This spares her the plaguey business of performing one service that her fiction might have performed, namely: that of examining in human depth how so feeble a lot came to exist at all, let alone be powerful enough to be worth hating and fearing. Instead, she bundles them into one undifferentiated damnation.

Long before the historian Corey Robin made the case for the Nietzschean roots of much modern libertarianism, Chambers detected Nietzsche’s influence on the author of “Atlas Shrugged”:

Miss Rand acknowledges a grudging debt to one, and only one, earlier philosopher: Aristotle. I submit that she is indebted, and much more heavily, to Nietzsche. Just as her operatic businessmen are, in fact, Nietzschean supermen, so her ulcerous leftists are Nietzsche’s “last men,” both deformed in a way to sicken the fastidious recluse of Sils Maria. And much else comes, consciously or not, from the same source.

Chambers concluded that despite all her talk about individualism and liberty, Rand was driven by a romantic and illiberal vision in which a heroic minority of superhuman geniuses would remake a corrupt society from top to bottom:

One Big Brother is, of course, a socializing elite (as we know, several cut-rate brands are on the shelves). Miss Rand, as the enemy of any socializing force, calls in a Big Brother of her own contriving to do battle with the other. In the name of free enterprise, therefore, she plumps for a technocratic elite (I find no more inclusive word than technocratic to bracket the industrial-financial-engineering caste she seems to have in mind).

Chambers did not live to see one of Ayn Rand’s early disciples, Alan Greenspan, become chairman of the Federal Reserve, the ultimate technocrat of the financial caste, if not of industrialists and engineers.

Rand’s conceited Nietzschean elitism was shared by another libertarian hero, Friedrich von Hayek, who wrote to Rand: “You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you.” ( Hayek later confessed that he was defeated by “Atlas Shrugged”: “Although I tried seriously to read the book, I failed, because there was no romance in it. I tried even more diligently to read that fellow John Galt’s hundred-page declaration of independence, and I knew I’d be questioned on all that, but I just couldn’t get through it.”)

The mentality of Ayn Rand, as described by Chambers back in 1957 in the pages of the leading conservative magazine, is remarkably similar to the mentality of the Tea Party right that seeks to sabotage government (as Rand’s heroes sabotage the economy), no matter the consequences for the nation:

In addition, the mind which finds this tone natural to it shares other characteristics of its type. 1) It consistently mistakes raw force for strength, and the rawer the force, the more reverent the posture of the mind before it. 2) It supposes itself to be the bringer of a final revelation. Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked.

What should we conclude from the fact that Ayn Rand’s works are admired by 21st century American rightists like Paul Ryan who have forgotten, if they ever knew about, sophisticated conservative intellectuals like Chambers and Buckley? Gore Vidal’s comments in 1961 seem chillingly prescient in 2014immorality:

Ayn Rand’s ‘philosophy’ is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society. Moral values are in flux. The muddy depths are being stirred by new monsters and witches from the deep. Trolls walk the American night. Caesars are stirring in the Forum. There are storm warnings ahead.