The Ayn Rand Institute Takes a Loan from Paycheck Protection Program: Like Rand Herself, Her Followers Don’t Walk the Talk


Image via YouTube, 1959 inter­view with Mike Wal­lace

Final­ly bow­ing to pub­lic pres­sure, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion has revealed which com­pa­nies received loans from the Pay­check Pro­tec­tion Pro­gram (PPP) cre­at­ed to sup­port small busi­ness­es dur­ing COVID-19. To no one’s sur­prise, the pub­lished list report­ed­ly includes a host of priv­i­leged enti­ties: the ship­ping busi­ness owned by Mitch McConnel­l’s wife Trans­porta­tion Sec­re­tary Elaine Chao; busi­ness­es asso­ci­at­ed with mem­bers of Con­gress (from both par­ties); the law firm of David Boies; elite pri­vate schools like Sid­well Friends and Saint Ann’s; Grover Norquist’s Anti-Tax Group; the law firm run by Trump’s long­time per­son­al lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz; bil­lion­aire Kanye West’s com­pa­ny, Yeezy; the fine art stu­dio for mil­lion­aire sculp­tor Jeff Koons, a ven­ture that rais­es mon­ey for Trump’s cam­paign and the RNC, etc.

Add to the list the Ayn Rand Insti­tute–an orga­ni­za­tion named after Ayn Rand, the Russ­ian writer who exalt­ed the self-reliant indi­vid­ual and crit­i­cized social wel­fare pro­grams that sup­port the vul­ner­a­ble. As she wrote in The Virtue of Self­ish­ness, “The right to life means that a man has the right to sup­port his life by his own work (on any eco­nom­ic lev­el, as high as his abil­i­ty will car­ry him); it does not mean that oth­ers must pro­vide him with the neces­si­ties of life.” In short, if you can’t make it, you’re on your own.

Rand’s polit­i­cal the­o­ry col­laps­es when it con­fronts every­day real­i­ty. At the end of her own life, Rand, suf­fer­ing from lung can­cer, had to grudg­ing­ly rely on social secu­ri­ty and medicare to make ends meet. Now, reports Reuters, the insti­tute bear­ing her name has request­ed (and appar­ent­ly received) “a Pay­check Pro­tec­tion Pro­gram (PPP) loan of up to $1 mil­lion.” All while show­ing no grat­i­tude to the Amer­i­can tax­pay­er. The Ayn Rand Insti­tute deemed the loan “par­tial resti­tu­tion for gov­ern­ment-inflict­ed loss­es.” (Also see their lat­est jus­ti­fi­ca­tion here.) Some will con­sid­er that spin–a way to jus­ti­fy accept­ing gov­ern­ment largesse.

Watch­ing Ayn Rand talk below, it seems like a prin­ci­pled Ran­di­an would have gone, hat in hand, to a pri­vate char­i­ty instead.

via Lithub

Relat­ed Con­tent:

When Ayn Rand Col­lect­ed Social Secu­ri­ty & Medicare, After Years of Oppos­ing Ben­e­fit Pro­grams

Christo­pher Hitchens Dis­miss­es the Cult of Ayn Rand: There’s No “Need to Have Essays Advo­cat­ing Self­ish­ness Among Human Beings; It Requires No Rein­force­ment”

The Simp­sons Take on Ayn Rand: See the Show’s Satire of The Foun­tain­head and Objec­tivist Phi­los­o­phy

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Comments (9)
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  • Bill W. says:

    To be fair, Social Secu­ri­ty and Medicare/cade is from mon­ey-earned paid into the sys­tem, not a gov­ern­ment “hand-out”.

  • Al says:

    Do you seri­ous­ly expect left­ists to under­stand that? They think mon­ey just grows on a tree.

  • wds says:

    Con­sid­er­ing she her­self took Social Secu­ri­ty after rail­ing about “gov­ern­ment” … this isn’t sur­pris­ing in the least … like founder, like orga­ni­za­tion …

  • Jeff says:

    When the Gov­ern­ment forces insti­tu­tions to shut down for Covid-19, the Gov­ern­ment can reim­burse them for their finan­cial trou­bles. There is no con­tra­dic­tion or sto­ry here.

  • Alx says:

    They actu­al­ly do.

  • g4b says:

    well, social secu­ri­ty still works on mon­ey every­body pays into the sys­tem;
    and noth­ing the gov­ern­ment can give you works dif­fer­ent­ly.
    so it is nev­er actu­al­ly a hand-out.
    this is even clear for some­one on the left.

  • Adam says:

    So the gov­ern­ment taxed the Ayn Rand Insti­tute and now the Ayn Rand Insti­tute has man­aged to recov­er some of that mon­ey. I don’t see the prob­lem here. And to give up that mon­ey just to make a state­ment that noone would hear, like this and many oth­er arti­cles sug­gests, is just stu­pid

  • Gerald says:

    The only way to pre­vent gov­ern­ment hand­outs to the people/organizations you don’t like is to get the gov­ern­ment out of the busi­ness of hand­outs entire­ly. If you are will­ing to draft that peti­tion, I’ll sign.

  • Landon says:

    Rand advo­cat­ed tak­ing gov­ern­ment mon­ey as resti­tu­tion on mul­ti­ple occa­sions, “The vic­tims do not have to add self-inflict­ed mar­tyr­dom to the injury done to them by oth­ers; they do not have to let the loot­ers prof­it dou­bly, by let­ting them dis­trib­ute the mon­ey exclu­sive­ly to the par­a­sites who clam­ored for it. When­ev­er the wel­fare-state laws offer them some small resti­tu­tion, the vic­tims should take it.”

    Ayn Rand in 1966:

    “I hope that you will not find your­self in need of pub­lic assis­tance. But per­mit me to say that if you do need it, you should not hes­i­tate to call on it, because you are cer­tain­ly enti­tled to it—in view of the tax­es you have paid and in view of the fact that today’s polit­i­cal sys­tem makes it impos­si­ble for any­one to pro­vide for his own old age. This does not mean that the wel­fare state is right, but that so long as you oppose the wel­fare state, you should not be its first vic­tim and should not be made to suf­fer while your own hard-earned mon­ey is being spent to sup­port bums all over the world.” (Ayn Rand, 1964 let­ter to a read­er)

    ARI also explained their ratio­nale in mul­ti­ple arti­cles that explains this prin­ci­ple quite well.


    “The CARES Act has cre­at­ed a moral dilem­ma for those Amer­i­cans who val­ue free­dom. The pan­dem­ic has cost them their jobs, their sav­ings, their busi­ness­es. And they blame a sig­nif­i­cant part of this loss on the gov­ern­ment. But because they oppose gov­ern­ment hand­outs, they wor­ry that accept­ing CARES mon­ey would be a breach of integri­ty.

    “At the Ayn Rand Insti­tute, we are ded­i­cat­ed to philo­soph­ic prin­ci­ple. And because we are, we will take any relief mon­ey offered us. We will take it unapolo­get­i­cal­ly, because the prin­ci­ple here is: jus­tice.”

    No mat­ter if one agrees with her or not, it’s fool­ish to say they’re not stand­ing by their prin­ci­ples. They clear­ly are.

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