Myths about Ayn Rand
Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:46 PM
The movie Atlas Shrugged Part 1 has provoked the same unfair criticisms of Ayn Rand that accompanied the publication of her magnum opus over five decades ago. If Objectivism is to spread through the culture and guide lives, these criticisms must be countered.
We now offer on our Atlas Shrugged movie website tab a "Myths About Ayn Rand: Separating Fact from Fiction" section. We hope you'll put this information to good use as you help us create a true Atlas society!
A Challenge to Journalists
Laurie Rice tells us that reliable information on Ayn Rand's ideas is so readily available that journalists who continue to misrepresent those ideas are without excuse.
Myth: Ayn Rand Was a Conservative
William Thomas offers that Ayn Rand's economic vision may resonate on the Right, but she was hardly a conservative.
Myth: Rand Was for Dog-Eat-Dog Selfishness
Thomas explains that Rand's ethic was not "live-and-let-die" but "live-and-let-live."
Myth: Ayn Rand Was Simply Pro-Wealthy and Pro-Business
Thomas observes that wealthy villains abound in Rand novels, and she never thought of getting rich as an end-in-itself.
Myth: Ayn Rand Wasn't a Serious Philosopher
Thomas points out that Rand offered distinctive arguments in ethical and political philosophy. In John Galt's speech alone, she surveys all the fundamental areas of philosophic inquiry.
Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:49 PM
A great section!
I admit, at times I've been disappointed by TAS's foreign policy commentary (I believe the Objectivist theory of history is at times employed in a methodologically collectivist and rationalistic manner), but this commentary about common myths relating to Rand's ideas is greatly welcome and greatly needed.
Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:43 AM
Over on RoR there was an acrimonious debate over "The Roots of War." I did not join in. Reading that essay prima facie, it resonated with the opinions I heard growing up because my mother's parents came from Hungary. Many of my school chums were born in refugee camps. We called them "DP's" displaced persons. The parents of my school chums survived the Nazis and Communists which their families did not. They saw no difference between them. The only differences were among the people who hated Churchill but passed off Roosevelt versus those who hated Roosevelt while ignoring Churchill. When I was in YAF in the late 60s, I read about "Operation Keelhaul" the repatriation of refugees back to Russian-held Europe. About 10 years later, when in an office of older co-workers, someone was surprised that I was not "liberal." For some reason, I mentioned Keelhaul and my manager spoke up: he had been a guard on such a train with orders to shoot to kill anyone trying to escape.
The point is that Ayn Rand said nothing at all about World War II being justified or USA involvement in it being necessary or moral.
Later, she said that the United States could moraly consider a first strike against the USSR without consideration for any "non-communist blobs" who happened to be there.
Thus, we have Objectivists who want to nuke Teheran.
Myself, I look to her earlier writings and see consistency in a foreign policy based on laissez faire and minding your own business.
Michael E. Marotta, BS, MA.
Criminology & Social Science
Blogging at Necessary Facts
Website: CSI: Flint (2011)
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