Note: If you haven’t read Watchmen or seen the movie, skip this post. There are spoilers, and you won’t know what I’m talking about anyway.
Brian Doherty writes at Reason that Rorschach is “probably the most vivid and well-thought-out Objectivist hero that Rand didn’t create.” It’s true that Steve Ditko created The Question as an Objectivist hero, and that Alan Moore based Rorschach on The Question. But it’s a little silly to think of Rorschach as a Randian given how much Moore, a leftist, deviates in his portrayal from how Randians actually think. In one scene Rorschach menacingly scolds Moloch for having illegal medication; Randians are generally libertarian on drugs, and wouldn’t get indignant about a violation of prescription drug laws. Rorschach’s attitudes toward sex also don’t quite fit for an Objectivist; Rand herself had convoluted and sometimes contradictory ideas about sexual morality that some of her followers may defend, but there’s nothing Randian about Rorschach’s repulsion at fornication per se.
The political landscape of Watchmen really doesn’t allow for philosophical subtlety. The right-wingers are all grotesque caricatures. The New Frontiersman at one point runs an item from the “crank file” addressed to “The Jewnited States of America.” Moore has actually refered to Rorschach in interviews as a “very fascist character” (which indicates that Moore doesn’t really understand fascism, either). This is defensible in a comic book, especially in Watchmen, where the twist at the end is that the good lefty turns out to be the villain and the crazy righty turns out to be the only one who stands up for the truth. In a way, Rorschach is both too simple and too interesting to really be thought of as an Objectivist hero.
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