Ayn Rand is a textbook sociopath. Literally a sociopath: Ayn Rand, in her notebooks, worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” that Rand promoted in her more famous books — ideas which were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe — former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox — along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate “entitlement programs” increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru.
Ames here isn't talking about the pop-culture notion of a sociopath. He's thinking of a more scientifically grounded personality disorder, nestled in the unpleasant cluster B of axis II, medically deemed Antisocial Personality Disorder. One of the remarkable things about providing medical care to those with this disorder is the gleeful, prideful pleasure they take if you read the list of diagnostic criterion to them. Those with antisocial personalities, love the fact that they are monsters. Take it away, DSM-IV:
A. There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
(1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest (2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure (3) impulsivity or failure to plan ahead (4) irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults (5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others (6) consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations (7) lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
Pretty much sums up the political philosophy of the tea people, doesn't it: A remorseless hatred of other human beings, and a deep pleasure in imagining the suffering and downfall of those weaker or less fortunate than you. Selfishness, unconstrained.