Ayn Rand vs. the Mandate

The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) has turned against Ayn Rand.  Our medical system is now completely under the thumbs of the government, and ARI, named for an inveterate enemy of socialism, is explicitly supporting it.

Onkar Ghate, ARI’s Chief Philosophy Officer, wrote a paper called ‘A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease’ which he claims is “based on Rand’s conception of liberty.” This paper is a mishmash.  He admits that healthcare is heavily controlled by the government on the one hand, and then says this fact imposes different responsibilities on the government such as spending more money on hospital capacity. Why is he talking about what the government should do in a government-controlled health care system? Why isn’t he talking about why those controls should be eliminated instead? Ghate states: “In sum, government should not have the power to lock us down in our homes even during a widespread, uncontained outbreak of an infectious disease… But there are valid steps our government should take to increase the capacity of our government-controlled healthcare system…” (Italics added.) He also states that during a pandemic, the controls that cripple doctors, hospitals, etc. should be “suspended.”  Why not permanently removed?  Why no support for the doctors who want controls removed, but have been silenced and vilified, and face the looming threat of losing their jobs and removal of their medical licenses for resisting government controls?

The government should never be involved in medical decisions between doctor and patient -- it is always a violation of individual rights. Before any medical procedure can take place, the patient must give informed consent. Is the Rand Institute fighting the threat of forced vaccine mandates?  This year the employees working at ARI’s annual Objectivist Conference (OCON) were required to be vaccinated. Attendees were required to either show proof of vaccination or bring proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test. Since information about alternate treatments is being suppressed, how can anyone who gets the vaccine be said to have been informed before consent?  And if not, then how can anyone morally pressure/require anyone to be vaccinated? ARI actually did the immoral thing by requiring the vaccine for their staff. Does this give aid and comfort to those who would require vaccine passports and mandatory medicine for all citizens? It does. What is needed is a robust rejection of this sort of requirement, not a moral collapse in the face of cultural pressure. Has ARI been in California too long?

ARI promotes as their COVID expert, alleged Objectivist Dr. Amesh Adjala, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. On August 28, he spoke at OCON about the pandemic, the only doctor at the conference who spoke about the pandemic. Adalja sings the praises of Dr. Fauci, thinks he is at a genius level in understanding infectious diseases, and is above any criticism. Adalja supports the CDC, thinks they should be more aggressive in telling people what to do, and thinks the government needs to reassure people about the safety of the vaccines. He advocates for the global health bureaucracy, the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the taxpayer-funded United Nations, the same United Nations that Ayn Rand opposed.

On September 10, 2021, Adalja described Biden’s action of mandating forced vaccinations as “laudable,” and stated his support for them:

On Thursday, President Biden took a critical step in requiring health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs to mandate vaccination as a condition of participation in this taxpayer-funded government health insurance program. It is not ideal that it came to this but, for too long, many hospital administrators have lacked sufficient courage or long-range vision to take this action on their own.

Not ideal?  Adalja is fully in favor of vaccine mandates (and passports) and was in favor of government schools mandating vaccinations before the pandemic. He pushes vaccines and only vaccines and does not believe people can choose to be exempt from them other than for a medical reason. In other words, he is opposed to medical freedom. There are physicians in the Objectivist community who disagree with Adalja, but their voices are not heard.  Instead, ARI supports a central planning statist.

On September 8, 2021, Harry Binswanger, a former associate of Ayn Rand, founder of ARI, and current member of the board of directors, claimed that there is conclusive evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective. One of his reasons is because “Dr. Amesh Adalja, the Objectivist infectious disease specialist, is strongly pro-vaccine.” Binswanger also cites a statement by Paul Goepfert, M.D., the director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic, who claims that no vaccine has ever had any long-term negative side effects. This claim is utterly false. The long-term result of the swine flu shot for a woman named Judy Roberts was Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) which left her partially paralyzed. In addition, there were 300 lawsuits filed against the government with claims of deaths from GBS due to that shot. It turns out that funding for Goepfert’s research of infectious diseases was obtained via the National Institute of Health (NIH), the CDC, and several pharmaceutical companies.  Why is Binswanger echoing the government in pressuring us to accept a vaccination?  Why isn’t he talking about the immorality of vaccine coercion, what it means when information about alternate treatments is suppressed, and what should be done about it?

On September 10, Ben Bayer, an instructor and fellow at ARI, stated on his Facebook page that he doesn’t agree with Biden’s violation of rights by mandating vaccines, but does he condemn that violation as tyrannical? No, he describes it as “foolish.” Does he advocate resistance to Biden’s mandates?  No.  He thinks that more companies should require vaccinations as a condition of employment.

Ayn Rand was unwavering and consistent in her stand against government-controlled medicine, or for government of any kind except that as a protector, not a violator of rights, and she was in support of American sovereignty. Does anyone really think she would be for the WHO calling the shots for American medicine?  What would she say to an institution with her name on it supporting fascism in medicine? This is not the first time ARI has abandoned Ayn Rand’s views in so shocking a manner.  There is no excuse for this. Supporting and promoting tyranny is not an unknowing mistake -- mistakes of this magnitude are not innocent. The Ayn Rand Institute either needs to be dismantled or needs a complete change in leadership. As it stands now, the institute which bears her name has become a traitor to her legacy.

Image: ARI

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.