Regular readers can safely assume that I am not a fan of Ms. Rand, but even I was surprised to see the conservative National Review take her to task last week. When even William F. Buckley’s publication calls her both “a nut” and “morally indefensible,” then maybe all those Rand-loving Republicans should revisit their thinking. After all, they probably haven’t read Rand’s books since they were college sophomores.
For a deeply intellectual approach to Rand, check out this blog entry, which compares her philosophy to that of the Stoics and Epicureans.
For a completely non-intellectual approach to Rand, here is another link to the funny GQ article I referenced in my prior post.
Rand can serve a good purpose if she is understood to be an example of ideas taken to extremes and turned into something of a religion. In fact, the intolerance of her ideology is an important danger sign we should all look for and be always on our guard against.
Take a look at the works of liberal philosophers (Locke, Mill, Basitat, etc.) and employing critical thinking one can easily see the difference between expositors of economic liberty in very little modified free markets (regardless of one’s own feeling about that), and the glorification of greed that is Rand’s religion. Bastiat warned explicitly of “stupid greed”, but Rand’s Objectivism embraces the triumph of stupid greed with the ecstatic sexualized excitement of a hormone crazed teenager. At least the teenager is a normal kid who grows into something broader and more balanced (theoretically), but Rand was just a carnalist is the worse sense of the word. She had little in common with the Austrian school if one looks beyond the rhetoric she used to dress up her pseudo-philosophy.
We only call her seductive organized thoughts a philosophy as a matter of courtesy which allows us to critically review and reject Objectivism. What is Objectivism but bad moral theology? What is it other than an attempt to justify Rand’s own contempt for those who might call upon her for help? To her, those in need are those who would inconvenience her, and Objectivism was her attempt to justify why she would let — demand in fact that those in need die.