The above poster, now circulating widely through a variety of media, was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, founded by a woman named Pamela Geller, who also writes a blog titled Atlas Shrugs, after the novel by Ms. Geller’s intellectual heroine Ayn Rand. On her blog, Ms. Geller lists a one line bio:
A longer vita follows, though the one line zinger was well enough for us. The text for the poster derives from an answer given by Ayn Rand to a question following a lecture in 1974, in which she apparently said, as quoted on the website of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights:
We find Rand’s criterium for distinguishing between savages and civilized men baffling, above all with reference to Israel. Surely, the history that led to the founding of Israel did not lack for “powers of the mind”. As we have explored elsewhere in some detail, benefitting from highly powered minds such as Gitta Sereny, the holocaust would have been impossible without the sophisticated intellectual firepower of men like Albert Speer, who was certainly a “civilized” man.
That said, we doubt that the charge of intellectual vacuity would trouble Ms. Geller very deeply, for her objective appears to be the further inflammation of wounds that are already savage in their depth of infection. As reported by the NYT, one poster, splayed across a San Francisco bus, received a prompt contrapuntal remix:
And even a municipal disclaimer:
Returning to Ms. Geller’s one liner bio, it also would appear to derive from a Rand quote, this time in lines delivered by Rand fictive altera-persona, John Galt:
The lengthy speech of John Galt, which one can also listen to here, expresses the core of Ayn Rand’s philosophy. After a careful re-reading, we would suggest that the posters created and distributed by Ms. Geller reveal her to be what Rand would call a “mystic parasite”, no matter whose welfare she professes to serve, for she appears to dread reason and distrust facts. In her inflammatory dissemination of slogans and vitriol, she allies herself with the forces of death, everywhere ascendent.
As happens so often, the disciple does a grave disservice to her master. We are hardly Randians here at DP; nonetheless, we find ideas worthy of consideration in passages such as the one below. In our researches during this Day of Atonement, we discover no such ideas recorded within the vain and mindless blog named Atlas Shrugged.