“Public Libraries … [Are] Houses Of Death”

I warn you up front. This post I cite below does not seem to be a joke.

It’s on a website devoted to the warped philosophy of that self-alienated sociopathic drug-addict, Ayn Rand. And it’s no spoof site, either. For it if was, I think Tibor R. Machan, who is listed as a writer, would easily have grounds for a whopping lawsuit.

The Scourge of Public Libraries

To really get down to principles, argue against the best aspects of statism. My favorite is public libraries.


Public libraries, as institutions that destroy value, destroy in some small way our ability to live our lives to the fullest. They represent houses of death and should be spat upon and cursed in the most creative language possible.


Public libraries are a scourge because they masquerade as a benevolent government program, a program that seemingly only the most extreme radical could oppose.

Or an Objectivist imbecile, maybe.

Did this ideologically-blind eejit ever wonder how public libraries came about? Does he understand why they are community (“taxpayer”) supported and not private “institutions” such as the Blockbuster he so lovingly cites as a counter-example in his insane post?

No, of course not. As the saying goes, “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

And to someone in the psychotic grip of the received “wisdom” of Ayn Rand, every aspect of the public good begins to look like a collectivist plot cleverly designed to undermine self-reliance and freedom.

Here is uber-capitalist Andrew Carnegiewho advocated the rich should donate libraries to communities! — on why public libraries should be community-funded:

The result of my own study of the question, What is the best gift which can be given to a community? is that a free library occupies the first place, provided the community will accept and maintain it as a public institution, as much a part of the city property as its public schools, and, indeed, an adjunct to these. It is, no doubt, possible that my own personal experience may have led me to value a free library beyond all other forms of beneficence. When I was a working-boy in Pittsburg, Colonel Anderson of Allegheny – a name I can never speak without feelings of devotional gratitude – opened his little library of four hundred books to boys. Every Saturday afternoon he was in attendance at his house to exchange books. No one but he who has felt it can ever know the intense longing with which the arrival of Saturday was awaited, that a new book might be had. My brother and Mr. Phipps, who bave been my principal business partners through life, shared with me Colonel Anderson’s precious generosity, and it was when reveling in the treasures which he opened to us that I resolved, if ever wealth came to me, that it should be used to establish free libraries, that other poor boys might receive opportunities similar to those for which we were indebted to that noble man.

Great Britain has been foremost in appreciating the value of free libraries for its people. Parliament passed an act permitting towns and cities to establish and maintain these as municipal institutions; whenever the people of any town or city voted to accept the provisions of the act, the authorities were authorized to tax the community to the extent of one penny in the pound valuation. Most of the towns already have free libraries under this act. Many of these are the gifts of rich men, whose funds have been used for the building, and in some cases for the books also, the communities being required to maintain and to develop the libraries. And to this feature I attribute most of their usefulness. An endowed institution is liable to become the prey of a clique. The public ceases to take interest in it, or, rather, never acquires interest in it. The rule has been violated which requires the recipients to help themselves. Everything has been done for the community instead of its being only helped to help itself, and good results rarely ensue.

Boldface emphasis added by me.

Those are Andrew Carnegie’s own words, from his own book, The Gospel of Wealth.

Which any Objectivist moron can read for free at the non-profit Internet Archive. If they ever want to look outside of the masturbatory echo chamber of Objectivism — a twisted philosophy that none of them could ever conceive on their own, as they repeatedly submit evidence of their lack of ability to actually think — and, most importantly, think for themselves. Seeing themselves all as John Galts, they fail to realize others see them for what they actually are: cheap sub-Peter Keatings.

And one other thing, you Dollar Uber Alles Objectivist idiot: Ayn Rand met her future husband Frank O’Connor in a public library!

12 Responses to “Public Libraries … [Are] Houses Of Death”

  1. Shayera says:

    Carnegie died with tons of money to his name. Rand, well, didn’t did she?
    Between this article and the one by that fool in Omaha advocating that public libraries and school libraries should be merged, I wonder what sort of bizarro world these people live in.
    Blockbuster, which this guy loves so much, is closing almost 1000 stores. Great business model there!

  2. mikecane says:

    Rand died with an estate of about US$500,000. Which I think she willed to her “intellectual heir” (wow, what a sidetrip into psychosis one must take to swallow that twaddle term!), Leonard Peikoff. Who I think used it to establish that Objectivist Center. What a waste of money!

  3. alphabitch says:

    “…the difference between the excellent private libraries that would probably exist if the market weren’t flooded by inferior government libraries is a further loss of value.” (from the source article)

    WAHAHAHAAHHAHAAA!!! This man is completely insane. The “excellent private libraries that would PROBABLY” exist?! If public libraries were shutting private libraries out of the market, shouldn’t they have also put Blockbuster out of business when they started lending movies?

    “The public library is only concerned with making enough of a show that they are providing value…”

    Obviously this fuck has never sat down and talked to a librarian. I’ve rarely met a group of people so dedicated to their careers and their principles, for so little recompense. Hell, I spent about a year volunteering at my local PUBLIC EVIL DEATH HOUSE library … how many people have ever volunteered at Blockbuster? Maybe they wouldn’t have to close a shit-ton of stores if they inspired that kind of PUBLIC goodwill.

    Objectivism quite deliberately drives “dedicated” followers to these extremes of absurdity. Buddha himself explained to his early followers that not everyone could follow his teachings 100%, and that was fine … because even those who only followed them partly would still be doing a good thing and improving themselves. Ayn Megalomaniac Rand pretty much said anyone who DIDN’T kowtow to her gospel with every fiber of their being was evil and corrupt and deluded and inferior as a human being.

    So, much like any cult recruiting formula, you end up with sorry bastards who had no sense of self turning themselves into raving madmen in search of some kind of ideological pat on the head. Free men? Ayn didn’t know jack shit about freedom … if you’re not free to think your own thoughts and hold your own opinions, all the financial freedom in the world is worthless.

    The librarians I worked with understood things like that.

    • mikecane says:

      Yes, Ayn Rand’s assertion that any rejection or modification of any single point of her “philosophy” meant a rejection of *all* of it was her hallmark. But I think even she would appalled by that post. On the other hand, had there never been public libraries, she would not have met Frank O’Connor and at least *his* life would have been improved. He would not have wound up as a despairing, depressed drunk who couldn’t escape Rand. And maybe she, in her despair over never seeing him again, would have overdosed on something.

      • alphabitch says:

        Hey, Frank married the crazy bitch and didn’t leave even when she came up with a philosophically “correct” excuse for fucking around on him. I can only feel so much sympathy for a total doormat like that.

        And as for her and libraries, if SHE wanted to be 100% ideologically true to her OWN supposed principles, she would have to oppose anything paid for with tax dollars “money stolen from good, principled people at gunpoint by the evil evil government overlords”.

        • mikecane says:

          >>>I can only feel so much sympathy for a total doormat like that.


          One other point the Objectivist Randroids don’t know. Rand lived in NYC during tight rent control law. I’m certain she never went to her landlord and said, “I feel so sorry that the market rate for this apartment is being suppressed by the collectivist bastards. Let me pay you extra to make my rent the monthly market rate!”

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Not only that, but the difference between the excellent private libraries that would probably exist if the market weren’t flooded by inferior government libraries is a further loss of value.” (from source article)

    There are an enormous number of excellent private libraries which many people pay membership to. They are very much in existence although less visible than your average public one serving the needs of the community. Most people don’t know about these private libraries unless they need access to books or materials of what are usually specialized collections (or if you’re in the library business). Then there are those institutions known as universities who must make do with their private libraries open only to students and faculty.

  5. Q.E.D says:

    Brian Edwards has removed his post on – why public libraries are just a form of theft – without comment/withdrawl/explanation, seems like the backlash was too hot for him!

    But on the interwebs :) you can run like a coward… but you can’t hide. Here’s the Google Cache of the mysteriously ‘dissapeared’ post


  6. Polprav says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

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