When Ayn Rand Villains Ruled the Earth
By Bryan Caplan
A leading criticism of Ayn Rand’s novels is that her villains are unbelievable. No one runs around proclaiming their devotion to the opposite of what John Galt believes.
People who say this should read more about the ’30’s and ’40’s. In those days, hard as it is to believe, Ayn Rand villains not only had the public’s ear; they ran governments. Here’s a nice example I just ran across from The Japanese-Soviet Neutrality Pact by Boris Slavinsky:
[Japanese Foreign Minister] Matsuoko said that he had spoken to Molotov for about 30 minutes and with Stalin for about an hour. He had explained to Stalin that morally the Japanese were Communists. The idea had been handed down from fathers to sons from time immemorial. But at the same time he stated that he did not believe in political and economic Communism.
To explain what he meant by ‘moral Communism’ Matsuoko cited his own family, but said the Japanese concept of moral Communism had been overwhelmed by liberalism, individualism and egoism from the West. However, there was still a minority of people in Japan strong enough to fight successfully to restore the old Japanese credo… Basically it was the Anglo-Saxons who were responsible for penetration by the above-mentioned Western ideology. To restore the old, traditional Japanese ideal, Japan would therefore have to fight the Anglo-Saxons. In China, too, she was fighting not against the Chinese, but against Great Britain in China and capitalism in China.