[–] TeranNotTerran 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Interesting. I think Rand may have used such a generic term to show that it applies to many people who feel entitled, don't produce, and try to control things without having the faintest clue. Often, "Mystic" is quite appropriate for many feminists, liberals, professors, and some conservatives.


[–] Howie [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

True. Second wave feminism even used a similar term. Mystique.

The Feminine Mystique


Using Ayn Rand's terms, feminism is part of the cabal of "witch doctors." These mystic 'witch doctors' provide the justification for the tyrannies of the Attilas.

For the New Intellectual

When an entire society is approaching bankruptcy, there are two courses that those involved can follow: they can evade the reality of their situation and act on a frantic, blind, range-of-the-moment expediency—not daring to look ahead, wishing no one would name the truth, yet desperately hoping that something will save them somehow—or they can identify the situation, check their premises, discover their hidden assets and start rebuilding.

America’s intellectual leadership has collapsed. America is a country without a voice or defense—a country sold out and abandoned by her intellectual bodyguards.

The professional businessman and the professional intellectual came into existence together, as brothers born of the same industrial revolution. Both are the sons of capitalism—and if they perish, they will perish together.

With very rare and brief exceptions, pre-capitalist societies had no place for the creative power of man’s mind, neither in the creation of power nor in the creation of wealth. Such societies were ruled by faith and its practical expression: force.

The man of faith and the man of force, they are the actual leaders of most of mankind’s societies, who rise to power whenever men abandon reason.

Attila, the man who rules by brute force, respects nothing but man’s muscles, and regards a fist, a club or a gun as the only answer to any problem—and the Witch Doctor, escapes into his emotions, into visions of some mystic realm where his wishes enjoy supernatural power unlimited by the absolute of nature.

Attila feels no need to understand, to explain nor even to ponder, how men manage to produce things he covets—‘somehow’ is a fully satisfactory answer. His view of the universe does not include the power of production. The power of destruction, of brute force, is to him, metaphysically omnipotent. Attila never thinks of creating, only of taking over.

The Witch Doctor’s method, is the conquest of those who conquer those who conquer nature.

With the Witch Doctor, emotions are tools of cognition, and wishes take precedence over facts. Knowledge of the universe will be granted to him by blind, unfocused stare of his eyes turned inward, contemplating the sensations, the feelings, the urgings, the muggy associational twistings projected by the rudderless mechanism of his undirected consciousness.

Whatever his mechanism produces is an absolute not to be questioned; and whenever it clashes with reality, it is reality he ignores. The only validation of his consciousness he can obtain on earth is the belief and the obedience of others, when they accept his ‘truth’ as superior to their own perception of reality.

While Attila extorts their obedience by means of a club, the Witch Doctor obtains it by means of a much more powerful weapon: he preempts the field of morality.

They come to need each other. Attila feels that the Witch Doctor can give him what he lacks: a long-range view, and insurance against the dark unknown of tomorrow or next week or next year, a code of moral values to sanction his actions and disarm his victims.

The Witch Doctor feels that Attila can give him the material means of survival, can protect him from physical reality, can spare him the necessity of practical action, can enforce his mystic edicts on any recalcitrant who may choose to challenge his authority. Both of them are incomplete parts of a human being, who seek completion in each other.

The power of ideas has no reality for either of them, and neither cares to learn that the proof of their power lies in his own chronic sense of guilt and terror.

Thus Attila and the Witch Doctor form an alliance and divide their respective domains. Attila rules the realm of men’s physical existence—the Witch Doctor rules the realm of men’s consciousness. Attila herds men into armies—the Witch Doctor sets the armies’ goals. Attila conquers empires—the Witch Doctor writes the laws. Attila loots and plunders—the Witch Doctor exhorts the victims to surpass their selfish concern with material property. Attila slaughters—the Witch Doctor proclaims to the survivors that scourges are a retribution for their sins. Attila rules by fear, by keeping men under a constant threat of destruction—the Witch Doctor rules by means of guilt, by keeping men convinced of their innate depravity, impotence and insignificance.

Against whom is this alliance formed? Against those men whose existence and character both Attila and the Witch Doctor refuse to admit into their view of the universe; the men who produce. In any age or society, there are men who think and work, who discover how to deal with existence, how to produce the intellectual and material values it requires. These are the men who produce the means of survival for the parasites of all varieties: The Attilas and the Witch Doctors and the human ballast. The ballast consists of those who go through life in a state of unfocused stupor, merely repeating the words and the motions they learned from others. But the men from whom they learn, the men who discover any scrap of knowledge, are the men who deal with reality, with the task of conquering nature, and exercising their rational facility.

A Producer is any man who works and knows what he is doing. He may function on a fully human, conceptual level of awareness only some part of this time, but, to that extent, he is the Atlas who supports the existence of mankind.