Friday, March 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Saturday, November 03, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, December 15, 2011
• • Ayn Rand to High School Student: “Your questions do not make sense”
I am well, well aware that this is the sort of thing that makes her foes consider Rand an absurd crank, but to me it all feeds in to why I love her. See this report from the San Diego Union Tribune’s web site on a high school student in 1963 who wrote various then-huge literary lions to ask them about the use and meaning of symbolism in their work. Rand found his definition to be untrue--and thus “your questions do not make sense.”
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Thursday, October 28, 2010
• The man who could really fire Pelosi
Interview with John Dennis, the Republican opponent for Nancy Pelosi’s congressional seat.
[Q:] What’s your history with politics? How did you end up the GOP candidate up against Nancy Pelosi? [A:] In other words, where did it all go so wrong? How was I thrown into this mess? I guess it goes back to college in 1984, of all years, when I read Ayn Rand.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
• • A tale of two libertarianisms
Ayn Rand’s theories of the “virtue of selfishness” and her tonal elevation of the rights of the great over helping the downtrodden became highly influential in libertarianism from the 1960s on, laying the groundwork for the now-common notion that this uncharitable aspect of Rand is “bad for the brand” of libertarianism. [....] [In 1948 Murray] Rothbard was already arguing that stressing the “ruggedness” of individualism (especially linked to a pop-Darwinianism that sees moral and absolute value in the survival results of blind evolution) would be a bad road for libertarians to take. “I consider it a tribute to the moral qualities of an individualist society,” he wrote, “that private charity and philanthropy helps the unfortunate people in our midst.”
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
• • A tale of two libertarianisms
Review of Rothbard vs. the Philosophers, by Murray Rothbard and Roberta Modugno.
Before Ayn Rand ever began influencing him, we find Rothbard providing a preliminary takedown of some of the common reasons Rand is thought “bad for the brand” of libertarianism. In a 1948 piece attacking an essay in praise of “rugged individualism,” Rothbard writes that “I consider it a tribute to the moral qualities of an individualist society that private charity and philanthropy helps the unfortunate people in our midst.”
Sunday, November 29, 2009
• • • She’s back!
Atheism |Atlas Shrugged movie |Ayn Rand Institute |Atlas Shrugged |The Fountainhead |Capitalism |
Everyone seems to agree: Ayn Rand is back, and more relevant than ever. But will those who are freshly encountering or rediscovering Rand really embrace her radicalism? As important as she remains to the post–World War II American political and intellectual scene, Rand comes with baggage that slows the spread of her ideas, making it difficult for an explicitly Randian political/intellectual movement to gain traction. More than ever, Rand’s uncompromising and unconservative (though hyper-free-market) vision rubs violently against the realities of contemporary American politics of both right and left. That her ideas are spread mostly via novels, and not nonfiction or polemics, renders reader reaction to her hard to replicate. Despite the obvious signs of a Rand resurgence, from Congress to Tea Parties, from biographies to political chatter, from Main Street to Hollywood, it remains highly unlikely that the author’s ideas will become remotely as successful in politics as they are in publishing.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
• The eternal recurrence of financial corruption
Night of January 16th |
Review of the book, The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals, by Frank Partnoy.
[Ivar Kreuger inspired] Ayn Rand’s 1930s antinomian mystery play of a Swedish tycoon’s death, The Night of January 16th.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
• • • Rorschach doesn’t shrug
Atlas Shrugged |
[Watchmen's] Rorschach is no handsome Rand hero as she imagined them; but he’s still probably the most vivid and well-thought-out Objectivist hero that Rand didn’t create.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
• • The amazing Ditko
The Fountainhead |
With great power comes great responsibility” was the message writer Stan Lee saw in Spider-Man. The superhero’s co-creator, artist Steve Ditko, adored Ayn Rand and didn’t believe his artistic power created any obligations. Thus, one of comics’ greatest artists languishes in self-made obscurity, living out a Roark-at-the-quarry scenario, refusing to grasp most of the work opportunities that awed acolytes offer him. In Blake Bell’s gorgeous coffee-table art book and biography, Strange and Stranger (Fantagraphics Books), we see Ditko’s vividly grotesque gift, and we contemplate how being robbed of the recognition and money that being Spider-Man’s co-inventor should warrant, and having his Objectivist superhero “Mr. A” ignored or mocked, led Ditko to self-imposed exile.