Wonkette Games: Mark Sanford In Newsweek, Or High School Ayn Rand Essay Winner?

  not quite plagiarism but still

Mark Sanford reviewed Ayn Rand (like as a human?) for Newsweek. This is a thing that happened! Anyway, Mark Sanford really did not think this whole thing out, publishing his close reading masterwork in Newsweek, as this essay has all the makings of a winner of The Ayn Rand Institute’s annual 8th to 10th grade Anthem essay contest! Grand prize = $85,000, and plus your name and high school gets posted on the Ayn Rand fansite, which will become hilarious for your friends by 11th grade at the very latest. Anyway, see if you can tell which conjectures came from Mark Sanford’s Newsweek essay and which came from the 2009 Anthem contest winner from “Mariemont High School, Cincinnati, OH, USA.” As always, grand prize is an “iPhone,” except the “i” is capitalized and shit because RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL SDLFJSLDK.

  • A. [The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged] portray the power of the free individual in ways I had never thought about before. Since then, I’ve grown more critical of Rand’s outlook because it doesn’t include the human needs we have for grace, love, faith, or any form of social compact.
  • B. All of us want to make the world a better place for future generations. Unfortunately, despite one’s best efforts, decisions are sometimes made that will ultimately be detrimental to the world and its inhabitants.
  • C. The Fountainhead is a stunning evocation of the individual and what he can achieve when unhindered by government or society.
  • D. Perhaps the most reassuring fact is that there are still people who have not been conquered by the repressive government; people willing to fight for their individuality.
  • E. Rand provides several characters that have not yet been broken by the oppressive regime of the future.
  • F. What strikes me as still relevant is its central insight—that it isn’t “collective action” that makes this nation prosperous and secure; it’s the initiative and creativity of the individual.
  • G. These provisions for the future provide one with hope for a society that will eventually be liberated from collectivism.
  • H. Cold though they sound, these words contain two basic truths. First, an individual can achieve great things without governmental benevolence, and second, one man has no right to another’s achievement. These are lessons we should all remember today, when each week is seemingly marked by another government program designed to fix society.
  • I. Finally, the future for [character] looks brighter once he is able to break free from the oppressive city and establish a place of learning and technology. Each of these examples shows that, if one is willing to work hard, one can, like [character], leave the world a little better than it was when one entered it, and provide lasting hope for the betterment of generations to come.
  • J. I think at a fundamental level many people recognize Rand’s essential truth—government doesn’t know best. Those in power in Washington—or indeed in Columbia, S.C.—often lead themselves to believe that our prosperity depends on their wisdom.

Sanford: A, C, F, H, J

High School Essay Contest Winner: B, D, E, G, I
[Newsweek]
[The Ayn Rand Institute: 2009 Anthem Essay Contest Winners]

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Juli Weiner was Wonkette's beloved intern and books columnist and then morning editor until she was hired away by Vanity Fair in 2010.

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98 comments

  1. ManchuCandidate

    Correction:

    C. Being a Half starved Pirate in Somalia is a stunning evocation of the individual and what he can achieve when unhindered by government or society.

  2. jagorev

    Well, Juli, someone seems a little unhappy that they only got the $50 “semifinalist” prize for their essay.

  3. Mahousu

    Mark Sanford is never going to be able to fuck Ayn Rand (which was apparently a prime motivation for most of the original Rand-ies), so what does he care?

  4. ChernobylSoup v2

    This fucker couldn’t even get laid by a South American tramp without government assistance.

    And I’d bet an iPhone the 10th grader went on to a land grant university, where he still hasn’t gotten laid.

  5. shadowMark

    I know a straight-A student in her senior year of college and she said her goal over Christmas break is to read “The Canterbury Tales” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

  6. AbstinenceOnly Ed

    Uh oh, is known woman-lover Sanford slowly coming out as a DUMBocrat?

    “Since then, I’ve grown more critical of Rand’s outlook because it doesn’t include the human needs we have for grace, love, faith, or any form of social compact.”

    WHUT IN THE HECK IS THIS LIBERAL TOUCHY FEELY BOOOLSHIT, MARK? REMEMBER THE 3 R’S: RAND, REAGAN, & RELIGION, RIGHT? NO CONFLICT THERE, NOPE.

    Someone got all wussified down Argentina way…

  7. SayItWithWookies

    At least the high school essay writers seem to be aware that Rand wrote fiction — Mark Sanford seems to think she wrote Gospel. Apparently with the Lord and a lobotomy, all things are possible.

  8. queeraselvis v 2.0

    I wouldn’t have thought Ayn Rand was Sanford’s speed. I’m thinking he’s more of an Anais Nin kinda guy.

  9. Atheist Nun

    High School Essay Contest Winner: These provisions for the future provide one with hope for a society that will eventually be liberated from collectivism.

    Sanford: FAP! FAP! FAP!

  10. WadISay

    The contest rules and “morality” are for the weak and suckers. Just give me the fucking iPhone already.

  11. V572625694

    [re=444866]chascates[/re]: Also Greenspan. Rand fucked Greenspan, and then Greenspan married Andrea Mitchell. This must mean something, maybe having to do with “irrational exuberance.”

  12. ChernobylSoup v2

    [re=444868]ChernobylSoup v2[/re]: get your ENIAC powered up dumbass. Kid couldn’t possibly be in college yet.

  13. Bassweasel

    Men Who Stare At Galts.

    Hey Mark, no mention of all the atheism and abortion Rand loved so much?

    It the Teabaggers ever figured out what Rand really believed, their heads would explode.

  14. Lascauxcaveman

    [re=444862]Fox News Light[/re]: Yeah, that Ayn Rand was a stone, cold FOX. No wonder Alan Greenspan couldn’t keep “The Little Chairman” in his pants.

    (Yes, I’m kidding.)

  15. V572625694

    And Mark: the thing the untrammeled individual in The Fountainhead did was blow up a building. What exactly is good about that, except in the fuck-all-of-you Bin Laden sense? Plus it’s a work of fiction, that is to say: untrue.

  16. shadowMark

    [re=444873]AbstinenceOnly Ed[/re]: No, it was like the end of “Grendel” — Mark dictated that essay while Jenny had him in a headlock and was pounding his skull against a brick wall. Then she ripped off his arm and hit the return key herself to send the text to Newsweek.

  17. DoctorCulturae

    Ayn Rand: But what about me!?
    Silly Sanford: But what about me!?
    [sound of culture being flushed down the toilet]

  18. mumblyjoe

    So, there’s one pretty obvious thing that makes Sanford an idiot and a hypocrite, and Ayn Rand a smart person, if also evil and a jerk and a crappy writer.

    See, Ayn Rand was an atheist. Objectivism, as dickish as it may be (and is!) is reasonably consistent with itself.

    On the other hand, claiming to be a Christian, and going on and on about the evils of Collectivism? Moron and hypocrite.

  19. charlesdegoal

    Is a social compact a small Volvo? Ayn Rand couldn’t see the need for one because gas was cheap then..

  20. Redhead

    H. Cold though they sound, these words contain two basic truths. First, an individual can achieve great things without governmental benevolence if he has the family money to afford college, graduate school and health insurance, as well as paying off loans and living expenses that aren’t covered by student loans while in school and then the family connections to get and keep a job in this economy, and second, one man has no right to another’s achievement, unless of course he is related to that man, in which case he may mooch of that man’s connections, money and achievement all he pleases. These are lessons we should all remember today, when each week is seemingly marked by another Republican sticking his foot in his mouth out of pure fear of the assorted minorities in office threatening the Republican way of life by their very existence.

    Fixed!

  21. AbstinenceOnly Ed

    [re=444888]shadowMark[/re]: Ayn Rand might have been Grendel’s dam disguised as a slutty cutthroat soviet expat hack. Because really, what’s more preposterous, monsters or libertarians?

  22. Great Old Ones Party

    [re=444894]mumblyjoe[/re]: Oddly enough, Objectivism’s extreme conclusion is in fact Altruism.
    In other words; sacrificing oneself out of respect for other’s freedom despite the fact that certain government programs, etc. would work in one’s favor.
    It all boils down to:
    “I’m freezing on the street, starving and screaming at the voices in my head because I don’t want to infringe on anothers success. I’ll just keel over and die to defend the rights of others to exploit, disenfranchise and ultimately kill me. RON PAUL 2012!”

  23. Zorg

    While Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum done pretty good for an immigrant gal, she is primarily known as the author of one successful popular novel with a philophastering message and a second message novel that was not so successful but did get made into a movie. That she could, as an atheist and a civil libertarian, be celebrated by today’s Republicans is one more sign that the Republican Party is headed for the ash heap of history (The main sign, however, is Newt Gingrich’s declaring that the barely-high school educated Rush Limbaugh as the intellectual leader of the party.)

  24. bend

    Any 9th grade english teacher worth a damn would stop reading Stanford’s tripe after his second line confession to either not having read Rand’s work or being an alien.
    FACT 1: “In my experience, people who’ve read Ayn Rand’s books either love them or hate them. ”
    FACT 2: “I’m one of the few who fall somewhere in between”

    CONCLUSION: Mark Sanford is either not a person or he has not read Ayn Rand’s Books, as we know that any “person who has read Ayn Rand’s books either loves them or hates them.”

    Conservative luminary!

  25. Heywood Jablome

    Because it never gets old:

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

  26. Lionel Hutz Esq.

    Does Sanford ever mention that the best thing about Rand is that you can have dirty sex whenever you want, because there is no God?

  27. AnnieGetYourFun

    [re=444921]Heywood Jablome[/re]: It’s funny because it’s true. The real danger are the people who read both and believe that they can live in both.

  28. Snarkalicious

    [re=444859]ManchuCandidate[/re]: More or less. Presidents, Senators and members of SCOTUS alike were all whores to Carnegie, Rockefeller, et. al. But without the collective power and legitimacy that those whores provided through the ausipices of constitutional power and electoral mandate, such men would have amounted to petty warlords at best. Ayn Rand can go ahead and report to the 1974 Pork Futures Warehouse to await the rancid bacon wrapped poisoned rat-dick log, now with 2xMSG I had put on order for her. Bring a fork, bitch.

  29. S.Luggo

    “The Fountainhead makes that parasitic existence look contemptible.”
    Mark:
    Jenny says, okay, and invites you to put your head in the fucking oven.

  30. Heywood Jablome

    [re=444931]AnnieGetYourFun[/re]: Hey, I can live in LotR just as long as I pay my LARP dues!

  31. give us a bob

    [re=444921]Heywood Jablome[/re]: There has to be a public library out there somewhere with some blank marble facade in need of a noteworthy quote for decoration.

  32. One Yield Regular

    How come all these people trumpeting the virtues of individuality are all so completely alike?

    Anyway, it should be a requirement that anyone who reads an Ayn Rand novel must also read Mary Gaitskill’s “Two Girls, Fat and Thin.”

  33. hobospacejunkie

    No man has a right to another man’s achievement. Unless that man is your slave, or poorly paod employee.

  34. Seanyboy

    I searched all over the reference section of my library for these “Atlas Shrugged” and “Fountainhead” socioeconomic studies that were apparently conducted in a peer-reviewed, academic setting, but couldn’t find them anywhere. I’m just kidding, of course. I live in Orange County, CA. My library does not have a reference section.

  35. bopumofu

    Reality is all about good presentation. If it is evocative it’s probably true.
    Never mind the equations, they’re all part of some plot against the Common Man.

  36. shadowMark

    [re=444964]Seanyboy[/re]: Reading Rand is like listening to “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” by Rush, but with more women feeling put-upon and getting put-upon.

  37. Seanyboy

    [re=444969]shadowMark[/re]: Ha, your prog-rock reference reminded me of the Onion article about Yes lyrics being added to the New Testament of the Bible.

  38. Aurelio

    Besides, Ayn Rand wasn’t much of a philosopher or literary light, but according to her protege, Nathaniel Branden, she was hot as hell in bed. That is, if you like that sort of thing.

  39. Great Old Ones Party

    [re=444979]Aurelio[/re]: better double-bag it.
    and by double-bag, I mean one goes over her head.

  40. kipperthegod

    Ah, one would have assumed the complete meltdown of the capitalist system not once but twice in a century, along with two world wars primarily fought for capitalist investments, plus an entire wing of the US military created to quickly mobilize to protect overseas investment of the capital class (otherwise known as the US Marine Corps) plus the TARP funds being balanced on the books as profits this fiscal year in order to pay out bongo bonuses, would have killed Ayn Rand’s horseshit dead. But no! We are the land of Sarah Palin, where up is down, black is white, truth is lie, ugliness is beauty, individualism actually exists!

  41. you cannot be serious

    Adding Zombies or Sea Creatures to any Rand novel would be an improvement. Hey, it worked for Jane Austen.

  42. fishskicanoe

    [re=444921]Heywood Jablome[/re]: I was a LotR whackjob in high school. A friend gave me Atlas Shrugged and told me it was even better. Her Dad was a big time Republican in a small town. I read it and told her it was sick and told her why I thought it was sick. She agreed with my observations but still liked the book. But like I said, she was a Republican.

    Every time I see that picture of Aynny I at first think I’m looking at the ugly older sister of Bette Davis. And Davis, by the time she reached her 40′s, used to chase cars and howl at the full moon.

    http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n134/DeppZone_2006/954-041Bette-Davis-Posters.jpg

  43. hunter.blatherer

    [re=444866]chascates[/re]: How do you commit adultery on your spouse? I thought you had to do it on someone else.

  44. shadowMark

    [re=445015]hunter.blatherer[/re]: Fornication epistemology! How appropriate to the thread. You get bonus points.

  45. shadowMark

    If teh Wonkett wants to play with Ayn Rand tonight, here is a link to her complete 1964 Playboy interview. * I believe Alvin Toffler asked the questions for Playboy.

    Playboy Interview, 1964
    Copyright (c), PLAYBOY

    ———————————————————

    * Meghan McCain was born in 1984. For future generations,
    Ayn Rand came first. Then Meghan. Then Taylor Momsen. Right
    now I think Taylor is winning.

  46. Zadig

    [re=444894]mumblyjoe[/re]: Hey, let’s be completely fair here. Objectivism is only consistent inasmuch as it is uniformly selfish, repugnant, and evil.

  47. bored Socialist/Communist

    [re=444873]AbstinenceOnly Ed[/re]: Agreed. Like: ‘The Fountainhead is a stunning evocation of the individual and what he can achieve when unhindered by government or society.’ Sounds more like a description of anarchism than anything else. Je je je je*

    * I was told this is the Argentinian version of ‘lol’. I suggest using it liberally on all Sanford posts.

  48. bored Socialist/Communist

    [re=444890]DoctorCulturae[/re]: “The fame of Ayn Rand condemns the taste of the age…”

  49. Darkness

    The Ayn Rand Institute, being of a collective nature, should self-righteously choke itself out of existence or face eventual embarrassing extinction. True Randers would simply stand on a street corner and shout instead of pooling their efforts in a futile and eventually pointless attempt at attaining something greater than the individual. Hypocrites.

  50. Scooter

    [re=445002]fishskicanoe[/re]: That was my thought exactly, i.e. that Ayn Rand looks like Bette Davis’s ugly sister, quite a feat when you think about it. I believe I hated Ms. Davis in everything she appeared in with just one exception, the Jiminy Glick Show. Her post-mortem appearances on that show were brilliant.

  51. NYNYNY

    [re=444865]Mahousu[/re]: Pphht. Shows what you know. Why do you think those damn novels are 4 1/2″ thick? Penetrating insight is why.

  52. NYNYNY

    [re=444927]Lionel Hutz Esq.[/re]: True: that’s one reason The Fountainhead is better than Atlas Shrugged- so much hot dirty extramarital sex!

  53. LowerdPeninsula

    It has always been the conservative hard-on for “individualism” has always been the biggest turn-off of the ideology, to me. It’s inherently and unapologetically anti-social in every meaning of the word. It takes us back to a time when we were just barely removed from trees and setting out on the African savannah. I don’t now about you guys, but I don’t ever want to go back in time that far.

    To be fair, I’m black, and whenever folks talked about what time they’d like to go back to if they had a time machine, my threshold was the 1960′s in modern time, and no later than the 15th century in historic time.

  54. FMA

    The one thing that always seems lost in any discussion of Rand is not that her philosophical notions are infantile and serve to justify sociopathic behavior, it’s that she is such an incredibly terrible writer. Her prose sings only if you compare it to, say, the Shaggs.

  55. Terry

    [re=444866]chascates[/re]:
    “Ayn Rand committed adultery on her spouse as well.”

    Obviously, she was just demonstrating that she was unhindered by society.

  56. Carolina

    So we have Little Markie Sanford talking about achievement. What a thrill, from someone who has never achieved anything in his life. Here in South Carolina we are treated to continuing details of his schedule as governor. He wasn’t missed for days after he left for his jaunt to Argentina. If someone hadn’t squealed to a legislator who despises him, even his own staff wouldn’t have thought there was anything unusual in a week long disappearance. Yup, Mark Sanford, a monument to individual achievement.

  57. Larry McAwful

    I didn’t see anything in those ten bullet points about how important it is to smoke. What kind of Ayn Rand contest is this?

  58. Prommie

    The belief that the word “one” is a pronoun is ever the mark of the pretentious 8th grader, this was actually pretty easy.

  59. sham69

    K. Since Rand’s central thesis is that an individual’s duty is only to himself and to what he can acquire for himself, there should be no consequences and repercussions if an individual slinks of to South America to acquire a piece of ass. That man should be lionized! Also, smoke as much as possible. It’s totally cool.

  60. wallythepug

    Being a Cincinnatian, I am not surprised that a Mariemont student is into Ayn Rand. There is nothing but white bread in that ‘hood.

  61. freppish

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

  62. assistant/atlas

    [re=444964]Seanyboy[/re]: Frankly, I’m surprised you guys even have libraries down there. I would’ve though Mischa Barton would’ve like, thrown all the books in a pool by now or something…

  63. mtnrunner2

    >plus your name and high school gets posted on the Ayn Rand fansite, which will become hilarious for your friends by 11th grade at the very latest

    Yeah, reason, purpose and self-esteem are so 8th grade. ?? Some people would call giving up in your ideals “selling out”.

    >Teabaggers

    So nice to refer to people who want freedom by the sex act of sucking on a man’s balls. That utter disdain for other people’s opinions, and abject ignorance of some people’s genuine desire for freedom, is expressed in the average Leftist’s desire to force their ideas upon everyone else.

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