It’s not often that I’m honored deeply by a compliment I’ve received but one of my friends on Facebook said the following about me:
Yeah, I mean, she’s [Ayn Rand] practically a socialist compared to you. (-:
That’s right, compared to me Ayn Rand is practically a socialist. I’m doing something right!
6 thoughts on “One of the Greatest Compliments I’ve Ever Received”
Ayn Rand did have some odd views about the use of government force that wouldn’t go over well with a voluntarist like yourself…
I certainly didn’t agree with a great deal of her writings although I will admit here contribution to the cause of liberty (namely how many people have been brought into libertarianism by Atlas Shrugged) was great. With that said I never really liked here philosophy or works (I didn’t think she was a good writer, something many libertarians will vehemently disagree with me on).
Her style of writing was terrible, the philosophy laid out within the writing was very interesting. So I agree she has probably done more for the cause of liberty as far as attracting the common person than anyone in her time. Today we see Ron Paul doing the same thing bringing over thousands of people to the cause of liberty. That being said Objectivism has some serious issues and isn’t purely libertarian, hence the falling out with Rothbard. If someone can get through Atlas Shrugged it is a good thought experience and place to consider things even if flawed. And viewed through my lens when I read the book it is really a reaction to the new deal and what was going on in this country in that time frame. It does seem more relevant now than ever though.
The monologue that pretty much ruins Ayn Rand as a writer. WARNING Excessive verbal overflow: http://galtse.cx/
The monologue is a classic. It lays out her philosophy in a concise 75 pages of the book. 😛 It is horrible from a literary standpoint but pretty good if you are trying to lay out the message of atlas. It takes a special amount of concentration and focus to get through it, but it is worth it I think just to see where she is coming from.
That monologue really demonstrates here ineptitude when it comes to writing fiction. A clever writer would have been able to sneak the philosophy in without having to beat the reader over the head with it. I think should could have gotten more milage out of Atlas Shrugged had she not run so strongly with the one dimensional character bit.
Each character in that book is either wholly good or wholly bad. Had she started with a bad character, one who strongly believed in centrally planned economics, and wrote about his journey to liberty (seeing the destruction being wrought, watching the political cronies get rich at the expense of other competitors, etc.) the book would have been a better read. She could have also avoided a 75 page monologue that nobody really wanted to read in a work of fiction.
Her other option would have been to simply write philosophy books like Rothbard did. If you want to portray a philosophy you will probably have been luck doing it with an actual philosophy book.
With all of that said I’m glad I read the book. The core story was good, it had many interesting parts, and as you said Classical Liberal it is an interesting thought experiment. Rand was able to write the logical conclusion of the New Deal which we’re only starting to see realized today. She was no dummy, but her philosophy had some major holes in it (the one that always gets me is that she celebrates the independent thinking man, the innovator, but if you didn’t completely and obediently agree with her message 100% she would come down on you like a bag of hammers).
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