Wednesday, February 23, 2011


In the chapter titled "Racism" in Ayn Rand's book The Virtue of Selfishness, she expresses her feelings that racism is an infringement on individual rights and morally wrong no matter who you are or where you come from.  She emphasizes that people should not be placed into groups solely because they have the same race. Rand states, "A genius is a genius, regardless of the number of morons who belong to the same race- and a moron is a moron, regardless of the number of geniuses who share his racial origin."  She is trying to emphasize the fact that people cannot be grouped together based on race because each person in it is different from eachother, including a person's own ancestors.  Due to the fact that she believes racism is on an individual level rather than against a people as a whole, she is against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  She explains that the government should not be allowed to infringe on the rights of any person, including a white man who refuses to allow black people into his restaurant or any other sort of private property.  She agrees that black people should not be discriminated against in government-owned facilities and establishments, but feels that it is racist to impede on the rights of private property.  "Just as we have to protect a communist's freedom of speech, even though his doctrines are evil, so we have to protect a racist's right to the use and disposal of his own property.  She sums up her opinions by stating, "if the 'civil rights' bill is passed, it will be the worst breach of property rights in the sorry record of American history in respect to that subject."

I agree with Rand's opinion that you cannot categorize any person based on the actions or believes of their ancestors or other people in the same racial category.  Even at the initial point just before she goes completely radical, I agreed with her statements that no race should get preferential treatment in terms of jobs. I also feel this way about preferential treatment based on sex.  People have often commented to me that I should go into certain professions because, as a woman, I will be more likely to get a job; the profession "needs more women in the field."  I personally do not believe that race or sex (or anything else along those lines) will affect a persons job performance and I do believe it is selectively racist/sexist against those who lose out on opportunities because of this.  After this point, she goes much more radical than I would ever take it, saying that we should continue poorly treating and excluding people from basic societal rights, because it will infringe on a white person's rights to private property.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 allowed everyone to have the opportunity to be on the same level, yet Rand sees it as racially discriminant against white people.  Overall I found the piece to be intriguing, boring, and then strange.

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