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Linz's Mario Book—Updated!
It is morally defensible to establish a nation-state built around maintaining a specific and exclusive ethnic population
Total votes: 11
We Still Have a Long, Long Way to Go!
Submitted by James S. Valliant on Thu, 2007-10-04 18:39
I hate to rain on everybody's "Atlas Month," but for all the new-found "respect" for Ayn Rand from certain writers and publications being noted around here, we still have a very LONG way to go -- and I mean, just to find substance and accuracy.
From the Left, CNN.com/Living's "Full-of-Themselves Famous People":
"The egotist's egotist, author Ayn Rand (born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum) is the patron saint of Thinking You're Better Than Everybody Else.
"Her most famous novels, 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged,' are massive dramatizations of Objectivism, her self-spun Oscar-the-Grouch philosophy for success. Objectivism champions ego and accomplishment, shuns all religion as folly, and condemns any form of charity or altruism as counterproductive to society.
"Rand's novels often focus on protagonists (invariably men) who are shunned by others because of their genius, but then persevere over the foolishness of morons to prove said genius and emerge triumphant.
"Not surprisingly, she saw humility as a weakness and regarded laughing at yourself as 'spitting in your own face.' [Something CNN must be used to these days.]
"So, just how much did Rand believe in her own philosophy? Let's just say a lot. With signature modesty, she ranked herself as the philosophical equal of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas."
Of course, Ayn Rand never said that charity (much less "any form" of it!) was "counterproductive." Whatever this author thinks is "invariable," the central figure of her magnum opus is, of course, the heroic ~ woman ~ who runs a transcontinental railroad! This "Oscar the Grouch" believed in a "benevolent universe" and advocated a "benevolent sense of life."
An "egotist," Rand was not -- she lacked the slightest traces of conventional vanity. Of herself, for example, she wrote that there was nothing special except "honesty." A philosophical "egoist," Rand was -- and a justifiably proud one, too, as those aware of her own professional struggle know.
You can keep listing the errors if you have the stomach for it...
CNN's calumnies, however, don't hold a candle to the defamation spread by our conservative friends, who, as usual, are far more despicable, dishonest, and empty of substance and accuracy.
From the Right, a recent article in The Weekly Standard:
"This was in the late 1950s. By then, Rand had published her two thick, preposterous novels, 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged,' and stood poised on the brink of international stardom. Her creepy philosophy of Objectivism, placing the self at the center of the moral universe, was being enthusiastically embraced, as it still is, by tens of thousands of pimply teenage boys in the dreamy moments between fits of social insecurity and furious bouts of masturbation. As her cultish fame spread, Rand wanted to keep tabs on her most intimate acolytes. Of these Greenspan was the most promising and, by all appearances, the most normal. Which worried her.
"He had, for example, a life; most of the members of the Collective--the name her dozen closest followers attached to themselves--did not, devoting themselves to her welfare exclusively. Greenspan was making good money, soon to be great money, as a savvy economics consultant. He lunched with bond traders, corporate leaders, even titans of industry, real-life versions of the planet-girding capitalists Rand fantasized about and invented for her books. On Saturday nights Greenspan, then in his early thirties, would gather with his fellow Collective members in Rand's dim, shuttered apartment in midtown Manhattan (she kept the windows closed and the blinds drawn for many years, after one of her beloved cats tumbled tragically to its death). There in the grim presence of their idol they would sit on folding chairs and release expletives of thrilled admiration as her writings were read aloud."
The author's source? 'My Years with Ayn Rand' by Nathaniel Branden. Well, if you were guessing, your odds were about 50/50, right?
It is the sheer invention of this piece that is simply breathtaking! For example, Rand's friends had included many leading businessmen, including William Mullendore, Herbert Cornuelle, Leonard Read. Her research for "Atlas" involved inspecting large steel mills and industrial plants -- and even learning to drive the engine of a locomotive! But, here, in her stifling isolation, we see Rand "fantasizing" about businessmen. (The author is just sure that those shutters were never opened!)
Indeed, our author has climbed into Rand's head to tell us how the "appearance" of "normality" among her students was something that "worried" her -- you know, a PhD candidate with Sidney Hook at NYU, attorneys, physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, journalists, Merrill Lynch stockbrokers, etc., and only Greenspan is "normal." We are even told that Rand was somehow "keeping tabs" on them all because of it. My goodness!
But this kind of stuff DOES make super fiction.
The lack of any substance, and heavy load of ad hominem is also noteworthy. Seemingly, young Rand readers are more prone to pimples and masturbate more "furiously" than other adolescents.
[Thanks to Noodlefood for the heads up.]
More SOLO Store
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand