BY KYLE SAMMIN
NARRATOR: Today on Objectivist House Hunters, we join Jack and Rachel as they search for a new house with their realtor, Ayn Rand. They are looking for a home with a modern kitchen for Rachel, a foodie; a home office for Jack, a graphic designer; a room for Rachel to display her antique doll collection; and enough space for their two Great Danes, Chipper and Duke.
NARRATOR: They begin at House 1, a restored plantation house.
AYN: This house was built in 1835 but, as you can see, the antiquated design elements suggest the work of a second-rate architect in love with the past who never had an original thought in his wasted life.
JACK: There’s plenty of room for the dogs to run around. I like that.
RACHEL: Nice hardwood floors. And these high ceilings are great. I love the plasterwork! Is it original?
AYN: The age of the plaster has no bearing on its value. The only measure of its worth is the price freely negotiated with the craftsman who created it.
RACHEL: The old-world charm of it is wonderful.
AYN: I would rip it out.
JACK: The appliances are modern, and I love the granite countertops, but it’s kind of cramped.
RACHEL. When we entertain, our friends often end up gathered in the kitchen.
AYN: The kitchen is cramped because the builder was an antebellum slaveowner. Everything here is based on a system of coercion and racism, the crudest form of collectivism. Conformity to a racist tradition does not constitute a human identity. This building is the emblem of a depraved society, and no home for free men.
JACK: That spare bedroom would make a good home office.
AYN: This house is a moral crime.
NARRATOR: House 2 is more modern, built in 1957.
AYN: This house is above your price range, but I brought you here anyway, because your values are misplaced.
JACK: The kitchen is big and modern.
RACHEL: The living room is a good size, too, but it doesn’t have the warmth and charm of the last house.
JACK: Yeah, it’s kind of cold.
AYN: If the heating is insufficient, warm yourselves with the flame of your ideas and the heat of your cigarettes.
JACK: We don’t smoke.
NARRATOR: The second floor is also not quite what Jack and Rachel are looking for.
AYN: Look at the layout of this bedroom: Simple. Clean. Perfect for rational, passionate lovemaking.
RACHEL: It’s so plain! My doll collection would look out of place here.
AYN: What you call plain is properly called rational. This house is a reflection of the reason of man. Reason integrates man’s perception by forming abstractions, raising man’s knowledge from the perceptual level of animals to the conceptual level that he alone can reach. This house has a reason and beauty that no palace can match. Your dolls are trash.
JACK: I’m not sure the yard is big enough for Chipper and Duke. They need a lot of room to run.
AYN: Your dogs are useless parasites. Sell them to someone who can put them to productive use.
NARRATOR: House 3 is a tiny house, recently built. At 425 square feet, it’s a tight squeeze, but the low asking price would let Jack and Rachel have more money for travel.
AYN: This house is absurdly small, and its aesthetic is an offense to decency. You asked me to bring you here: as your agent, I complied.
RACHEL: Sometimes I just want to simplify my life, you know? This house might be perfect for that.
JACK: I’m not sure we need a bigger space to store more stuff.
AYN: Run for your life from any man who tells you that possessions are evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of the approaching looter.
JACK: I love the woodwork, though.
RACHEL: Yeah, I like the rustic charm of this place.
[AYN lights a cigarette.]
NARRATOR: Inside, they confront the realities of a tiny house.
JACK: The kitchen is modern.
RACHEL: I’m not sure I’d have enough room to cook in here. Does it even have a dishwasher?
AYN: It does not. This kitchen is a den of toil and backwardness.
RACHEL: It’s clever how they fit this closet underneath the stairs for storage.
JACK: But the ceiling here in the loft is really low. And it’s small for a master bedroom.
AYN: No man who sleeps in this room deserves to call himself master.
JACK: I’m still afraid there’s not enough room for the dogs.
AYN: I tell you again: sell those dogs. Or kill them.
RACHEL: It’s small, sure, but I feel like we could make it work.
AYN: This house is for poor people.
RACHEL: So, let’s look at our options. The first house was charming and historic.
JACK: It was also within our budget, and had enough room for my home office.
AYN: A looter’s palace, built on the corrupt philosophy of a dead culture.
JACK: True, but I loved the hardwood floors.
RACHEL: What about the tiny house? There’s something to be said for having fewer possessions cluttering up our lives.
AYN: To discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality is to sanction it.
JACK: How about the second house? I liked the layout.
RACHEL: But it’s over our budget.
AYN: You are undertaking the highest transaction: the acquisition of property. If you love this house, if you love your lives, you must value them appropriately. Anything else is a compromise with death.
RACHEL: But how can we afford it?
AYN: You have but one choice.
THREE MONTHS LATER
NARRATOR: Jack and Rachel chose the modern house.
RACHEL: I wasn’t sure at first about the design, but I’ve come to appreciate its moral rightness.
JOHN: I’ve taken up smoking.
NARRATOR: They made some changes to meet the asking price.
RACHEL: Jack quit the design business and opened a steel mill.
JACK: Men were happy to work for me at low wages, because we agreed that the value of their labor was small.
NARRATOR: After selling the dogs and doll collection, they could afford the downpayment.
JACK: I miss Chipper and Duke sometimes, but I’m sure they’re happier now that the have jobs, guarding that junkyard.
RACHEL: Once we rid ourselves of possessions that had no rational value and maximized our earning potential in the marketplace, getting the downpayment together was easy!
NARRATOR: They paid in gold.
SUGGESTED READSA Review of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead
by Bill Wasik (3/1/1999)
Our Daughter Isn’t a Selfish Brat; Your Son Just Hasn’t Read Atlas Shrugged
by Eric Hague (8/12/2010)
List: Recipes That Would Be Officially Approved by the Ayn Rand Institute
by John Warner (11/1/2000)
RECENTLYDo You Have a Child or Have You Just Been Followed Home By a Hyena?
by Kira Jane Buxton (8/23/2016)
List: Facebook Posts by People You Went to High School With Scavenger Hunt—Election Edition
by Derrick Fenner (8/23/2016)
Rebunking Conspiracy Theories: Technology Suppression
by Keaton Patti (8/23/2016)
POPULARClassic College Movies Updated for the Adjunct Era
by Shannon Reed (8/19/2016)
No One is Sadder Than I Am About the Most Recent Celebrity Death
by Pete Reynolds (8/18/2016)
A Poem About Your University’s Brand New Institute
by Susan Harlan (8/10/2016)