It is widely noted that for all that [North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Il] thinks of himself as a leader with a divine afflatus to bring to his people and the world the fruits of Juche (the North Korean variant of Leninism, with a little Ayn Rand mixed in), he is himself a man of total self-indulgence, devoted to porn, Scotch, and Daffy Duck cartoons.
Obviously, that doesn’t even make the slightest bit of sense: How could North Korea’s oppressive communist cult of Dear Leader be in any way similar to Ayn Rand, the arch-defender of individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism?
Oh, wait, I see: Ayn Rand had a cult, just like Kim Jong Il does. Yet even if all the stories of Ayn Rand’s supposed cultism were true that wouldn’t justify any kind of comparison to a crazed brutal dictatorship like North Korea. A person who severs ties based upon ideological disagreements is nothing like a mentally deranged communist dictator who forces his starving nation to worship him. Even worse, the various tales of Ayn Rand’s cultism aren’t even true, let alone genuine signs of cultism. That makes Buckley’s comparison all the more revolting. (Ayn Rand did have a quick temper, she took ideas seriously, and she expected her friends and associates to act morally. To some people, those qualities are dangerous moral crimes.)
William F. Buckley is … um … quite a man.