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Monday, November 05, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand: The Siren of US Conservatism (Part II) 
,
Alan Greenspan  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Personal life  |Image  | In its purest form, Ayn Rand’s philosophy is startlingly radical and of dubious moral value, and in any case makes apparently impossible demands on human nature. Yet Rand has enjoyed a wide following. Who looks up to Rand, and what have they absorbed from her writing? How is Rand’s influence felt in today’s political culture?

• • • Ayn Rand: The Siren of US Conservatism (Part I) 
,
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Personal life  |Image  | The essence of Rand’s teaching is that altruism is bad and selfishness is a virtue. She thinks that people would be better off if they liberated themselves from social demands to put others ahead of themselves. Furthermore, people should root out any internal inhibitions arising from their own socially trained superego. If they managed to do all that, the way would be paved for a libertarian utopia, such as the one Rand introduces toward the end of her novel Atlas Shrugged. These teachings represent a mixture of valuable insight, some elementary misunderstandings — and a considerable amount of naiveté.

Monday, April 25, 2011

• • US political short-termism and national economic strategy 
,
Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  | [Alan] Greenspan personified the ideological tilt toward self-regulation. As an apostle of novelist Ayn Rand, a leading laissez-faire objectivist, he believed that markets always know best.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

• • The Globalist’s top ten features of 2010 

Honorable Mentions: 1. Ayn Rand and I. Did Ayn Rand’s libertarian philosophy stem from improperly transferring her experience in revolutionary Russia to the western world?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

• • • The illogic of Czech president Vaclav Klaus 
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Alan Greenspan  |Capitalism  |Personal life  | President Klaus’s closest soulmate in the firmament of modern political and economic thought is probably none other than Ayn Rand, the Russian-born libertarian and — tragically, as it has turned out for many everyday Americans in the current financial crisis — the guru/muse of Alan Greenspan, the former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

• • • Ayn Rand and I 
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Capitalism  |Egoism  |Personal life  |Image  |Inaccurate  | Review of Ayn Rand and the World She Made, by Anne C. Heller.
It is not easy to connect a writer’s life with her ideology. Most biographers assume that there is an obvious and intimate connection and get on breezily with the job. Too often the connection turns out forced and the reader feels taken for a ride. Anne Heller’s excellent biography of Ayn Rand, “Ayn Rand and the World She Made,” is an exception. Her great achievement is to have connected Rand’s extraordinary legend and individualistic philosophy of unbridled capitalism to her life as a youngster.