?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Who is Ayn Rand?


She was born in Russia and immigrated to the US in 1905 at the age of 21. She wrote a bunch of interesting books in her time. I discovered Ayn Rand when I was in college in the 1980's. I read a pile of her books, and passed them on to my friends. The Fountainhead was the first that I read, followed by Atlas Shrugged and then plodding on through a few more before I burned out. In these novels she began to develop Objectivism, her very own philosophy. She became quite famous later in life and was associated with Alan Greenspan and a host of other intellectuals.

I find it interesting that these days people scoff at Ayn Rand in much the same way that they scoff at Ron Paul. As if they were the lunatic fringe, not the sanest people around. Anyone who has not read at least one of Ayn Rand's books has no right to denigrate her ideas. And I pity the fool who dismisses Ron Paul before they really listen to him speak about what is happening in our country today.

It is true that Objectivism does not address the decimation of Earth's resources that we are now facing. But Rand's philosophy does insightfully assess many assumptions in our culture that continue to cause trouble. For example, Rand observes that "values" in our culture involve not so much specific codes of behavior as the idea that one's actions are right and good if they are done for someone else. Acting for yourself is not seen as being righteous. Acting for others will get you into heaven. Rand reintroduced the idea of rational self interest. In our culture we go to great lengths to appear unselfish, because to be selfish is the greatest sin of all. But to be a self with needs is to be selfish. So to deny our inherent selfishness is to deny our very selves. There are deep problems associated with the religious-unduced selflessness slant of our culture. Objectivism seeks to be objective about what is happening and why. I appreciate that.

It appears that someone is trying to get Rational Self Interest back into college curriculums, by appealing to the self interest of Universities. According to The Week at least 17 universities accepted a million buck donations under the condition that Atlas Shrugged be required reading in a course on capitalism from a moral perspective. That should be an interesting course.

I didn't know it until just now, but Anglina Jolie and Brad Pitt are working on putting together a movie version of Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged. It's on the shelf for now, because they want to do it right and until the pieces come together they won't touch it. I look forward to that one coming through.

Apparently Ayn Rand blocked a number of attempts to make her book into a movie, fearing perhaps that Hollywood would be completely oblivious to Objectivism and misconstrue her lifework. I wouldn't doubt it.

The Youtube video below is by a serious young man who purchased Greenspan's recent autobiography The Age of Turbulence and reads a portion of it so us that considers Ayn Rand.


words

Comments

b_vainamoinen
Apr. 9th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
The thing I find interesting about Ayn Rand is that I agree with only about 80% of what she said -- which she would have found unacceptibly heretical, I think.

I am waiting EAGERLY for the Atlas Shrugged movie. It is going to be a glorious train wreck that will rival Battlefield Earth.
liveonearth
Apr. 9th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
Yes, 80% agreement would have been grounds for a big fight in her reality. But these days, 80% agreement is a pretty high percentage.....you Objectivist you.
gavin6942
Apr. 10th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
Better or worse than The Fountainhead?

Profile

moon
liveonearth
liveonearth

Latest Month

August 2019
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars