When Ayn Rand immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union in early 1926, she essentially brought with her the collectivists’ playbook. She had a thorough understanding of their worldview, philosophy, and motivations. She had an uncanny ability to cut through the propaganda and concisely depict through her writing the collectivist (read leftist) mindset. Today, we can see the Left is still using the same playbook, as their motivations and political goals remain the same. They retain all of the moral shortcomings that Rand wrote about over fifty years ago, including when in 1964 she wrote a chapter in her nonfiction book, The Virtue of Selfishness, which is a collection of essays written by her and Nathaniel Branden that lay out the principles that make up her Objectivist philosophy. In her chapter/essay entitled “Racism,” she accurately describes the philosophical underpinnings of what we now know as Critical Race Theory and “Anti-Racism”.
In her book, The Virtue of Selfishness, the chapter entitled “Racism” immediately ties racism to collectivism. She defines racism thusly:
“Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
It seems that she believed as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also did, that a person should “…not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Rand firmly believed in individualism and rejected collectivism in all its forms, including racism. The left then, as it does now, sees the world in terms of collectivism and attempts to place every person into some special interest group, so they can then label that group either oppressor or oppressed. She was ever for the rights of the minority, and knew that the smallest minority was the individual.
Racism, as a collectivist pursuit, was anathema to her strictly individualistic Objectivism. To her, all forms of collectivism be they socialism, fascism, or racism were immoral on the basis that collectivism on the national level, ultimately and inevitably leads to authoritarianism and the trampling of individual rights by the government. Racism therefore, would necessitate that same authoritarian brand of government that all other forms of collectivism required in order to sustain itself on a national level.
“Historically, racism has always risen or fallen with the rise or fall of collectivism. Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to “society,” to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force—and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.” – Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness.
In an article: Critical Race Theory Would Not Solve Racial Inequality: It Would Deepen It, Heritage Foundation scholar Christopher F. Rufo describes what this authoritarian, deeply statist use of brute force might look like and entail…
“Ibram Kendi, who directs Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research and has received the National Book Award, has promoted the concept that individuals and societies cannot be neutral in America’s eternal racial conflict; they must be “antiracist.” That is, they must either adopt the political program of the critical race theorists or be considered “racist.” Building on this framework, Kendi advocates an “anti-racist amendment” to the Constitution: The amendment…would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas. The scope and power of this new “Department of Anti-racism” would be nearly unlimited. In effect, it would become a fourth branch of government, unaccountable to voters, that would have the authority to veto, nullify, or suspend any law in any jurisdiction in the United States. It would mean an end both to federalism and to the lawmaking authority of Congress. Furthermore, under the power to “investigate private racist policies” and wield authority over “racist ideas,” the new agency would have unprecedented control over the work of lawmakers as well as the auxiliary policymaking institutions of think tanks, research centers, universities, and political parties.”
Long before Rufo wrote these words describing Kendi’s desire to completely upend the American system based upon classical liberalism in favor of bureaucratic racism, Ayn Rand foretold in The Virtue of Selfishness, what Kendi’s position would be:
“When men began to be indoctrinated once more with the notion that the individual possesses no rights, that supremacy, moral authority and unlimited power belong to the group, and that a man has no significance outside his group—the inevitable consequence was that men began to gravitate toward some group or another, in self-protection, in bewilderment and in subconscious terror. The simplest collective to join, the easiest one to identify—particularly for people of limited intelligence—the least demanding form of “belonging” and of “togetherness” is: race.
It is thus that the theoreticians of collectivism, the “humanitarian” advocates of a “benevolent” absolute state, have led to the rebirth and the new, virulent growth of racism in the twentieth century.”
When one analyzes the vision of “anti-racism” proponents such as Ibram X. Kindi, and extrapolates the logical results of enacting such a vision, one quickly realizes that these statist, virtually fascist, programs would not result in the end of racism, far from it. If equity, rather than equality were to become the driving values behind our government, true systemic racism would become the rule, rather than the exception. “Anti-racism” cannot end racism, but perpetuate and amplify it into revenge racism against white, capitalist “oppressors”. Rand saw this coming too as we also see in her chapter on racism:
“Instead of fighting against racial discrimination, they are demanding that racial discrimination be legalized and enforced. Instead of fighting against racism, they are demanding the establishment of racial quotas. Instead of fighting for “color-blindness” in social and economic issues, they are proclaiming that “color-blindness” is evil and that “color” should be made a primary consideration. Instead of fighting for equal rights, they are demanding special race privileges.”
In retrospect, after reading Ayn Rand’s essay “Racism”, it is obvious that anyone that subscribes to the collectivist world view, be they communists, fascists, or the Marxist leadership of Black Lives Matter (as opposed to those who merely hold the sentiment black lives matter.) would have a proclivity towards racism. Race, as Rand states, is the easiest collective to join. So, as Critical Theory, an essential part of modern Marxism requires the Hegelian dialectic– the effort to pit against another group in hopes of crating a (violent) synthesis; oppressors and oppressed groups must be identified. When Marx’s class struggle didn’t produce world communism as he hoped, some adherents to collectivism decided to replace class with race. Under the Critical Theory rubric they created Critical Race Theory to breath new life into their struggle for political domination. Collectivism and racism are inextricably linked as Rand points out, and so it should come as no surprise when American collectivists, some self-proclaimed Marxists and socialists, engage in racist behavior and espouse racist views.