A recent parenting trend follows the philosophy of novelist and essayist Ayn Rand. Rand’s “Objectivism” proposes that a person’s happiness is the moral purpose of their own life.
Many adherents of “objectivist parenting” end up giving their children to orphanages.
“I was breastfeeding little Galt,” said one mother. “But caring for an infant was interfering with the life I wanted for myself. He was waking up late at night, impairing my purpose, my own happiness. He also infringed on the Randian principle of self-reliance. It was time for him to get off the teat. I ripped my breast out of his mouth. It wasn’t Atlas Shrugging, but it was a mother’s equivalent.”
Another devotee used Rand’s essay “The Virtue of Selfishness” to guide her parenting.
“My twins Ragnar and Roark were always fighting over toys. I could be like other parents and buy two of each. But why should I?”
Did she teach them to share?
“Of course not. I taught them the virtue of selfishness. If everyone grabs what they want that creates a better world for everyone. My boys are now learning to hide toys from each other and steal them from one another. They’ll be ready to join society soon.”
Not everyone agrees that child-rearing with an extreme view of the individual is a good idea.
Anne Perzel, Director of Living With Grace, a well-known network of orphanages, complained.
“We’re already lacking funds and resources. Now we have these Rand-inspired parents who dump their kids. All because the kid infringes on their freedom.”
“I don’t want to sound like I’m anti-choice,” Perzel continued. “But please, wear a condom. Get an abortion. Whatever you have to do. Instead they selfishly enjoy the joys of pregnancy and infancy, then toss the child aside.”
When confronted with this, the objectivist parents had the same response.
“I’m all for choice, too. My child chose to be born and I chose to give it up for adoption. If that lady who runs the orphanges doesn’t like it, she should abandon the kids. If everyone does what they want, then everyone’s happy.”