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Mike Wallace asked Ayn Rand – the
enfant terrible, agent provocateur, crack pot in chief of American economic and political life – about love. She had a dispensational view: love is reserved for the few who love themselves.
Rand embodied fundamentalism in extremis. It haunted her entire life: she was born into communism and ended her life in Manhattan preaching a new form of fundamentalist capitalism based on greed. Is it any wonder her views on love were so lonely and alienating and final?
Here is a sad excerpt from Wallace’s interview from 1959:
Wallace: “Christ, and every other important moral leader in man’s history, has taught us that we should love one another. Why then is this kind of love, in your mind, immoral?”
Rand: “It is immoral if it is placed above one’s own self.”
Wallace: “And then if a man is weak or a woman is weak then she or he is beyond love?”
Rand: “He certainly does not deserve — he certainly is beyond.”
Wallace: “There are very few of us that would, by our standards… that are worthy of love — is that your view?”
Rand: “Unfortunately yes — very few.”
Wallace: “You are out to destroy almost every edifice in contemporary American life — our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government-regulated capitalism, rule by the majority will. Other reviewers say that you scorn churches and the concept of God — are they accurate criticisms?”
1959 interview of Rand by CBS’s Mike Wallace