Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Grand Unified Field Theory ...

... of Nietzschian/Randian "supermen".

What if it were really true that a disproportionate fraction of certain types of high human accomplishments were due to a relatively small fraction of brain-damaged individuals whose disconnection from normal human emotional life gave them an ability to focus beyond most of us?

I've already remarked that Rand's heroes look a lot like high functioning Asperger's syndrome types. Their interactions with others seem to consist largely of others complaining about their emotional obtuseness, paired with their resentment and feeling of being abused.

It's a familiar observation that Rand's unheroic characters are hardly even caricatures - they are more like billboards on which she can post caricatures of un-Randian speech. Her heroes, besides being repositories of nearly every virtue, are continually criticized for their emotional obtuseness.

It's been a mystery to me how this objectively very bad writer could be so immensely popular. Maybe part of the secret is that most of her devotees are precisely the Asperger's "patients" among us. Resentment of the ordinary person seems to be the dominant emotional theme of her work.

So why should these "supermen" resent and envy the supposedly less gifted? It really only makes sense if our supermen realize, even if only subconsciously, that they are missing something that most people have.