Peter Wehner starts the, um, conversation:
"According to Politico.com, Ayn Rand — the subject of two new biographies, one of which is titled Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right — is “having a mainstream moment,” including among conservatives. (Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina wrote a piece in Newsweek on Rand, saying, “This is a very good time for a Rand resurgence. She’s more relevant than ever.”).
I hope the moment passes. Ms. Rand may have been a popular novelist, but her philosophy is deeply problematic and morally indefensible.
Ayn Rand was, of course, the founder of Objectivism – whose ethic, she said in a 1964 interview, holds that “man exists for his own sake, that the pursuit of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose, that he must not sacrifice himself to others, nor sacrifice others to himself.” She has argued that “friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man’s life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite; whereas, if he places his work first, there is no conflict between his work and his enjoyment of human relationships.”
My take, in short: Capitalism that is not first built upon a solid foundation of ethical and moral principles - whether Judeo-Christian, or some other significant "golden-rule" moral restraint - will, without doubt, tend to favor and encourage abhorrent excesses that will ultimately doom it to failure. There is nothing "conservative" about Objectivism. And Ayn Rand was no "conservative."