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On May 12, 2015, at Georgetown University (Washington, DC), at an intellectual symposium on eradicating poverty, President Barack Obama spoke of: Notwithstanding the contemptuous amusement of that brain-dead, empty-souled room of baboons, Ayn Rand is the greatest philosopher that ever lived during the past two thousand years. She knew far more about politics, government, and the law -- let alone about enriching the poor -- than everyone at that conference combined. Thus the hopeless nitwits and pitiful lowlifes at that symposium need to read Ayn Rand and learn from her -- not chuckle at some inaccurate, primitive caricature of her ideas. Lazy, arrogant, malicious, dimbulb Obama needs to study her most of all. To be sure, it isn't entirely easy to read Ayn Rand. She's a tremendous radical and philosophical world revolutionary. She's immensely controversial, by today's standards, and is arguably about five times as intense and ferocious as Friedrich Nietzsche. She's also very challenging personally and psychologically. Like the most extreme of political and religious fanatics, Rand can scare the living hell out of you. Karl Marx and Martin Luther are practically pikers next to her. And Ayn Rand frequently writes like a thundering prophet -- not a disquisitional sage. Whatever her strengths and demerits on this, she doesn't quietly, coolly, ruminatively, patiently, systematically lay out the truth for her readers to slowly and dispassionately peruse. Far more Rand tends to startle and stun. Still, almost everything she says radiates simple rationality, common sense, familiar experience, and aspects of the obvious. So people most assuredly should make the effort to learn what she has to teach. Rand writes in a kind of direct, non-nonsense, fierce, stylized, middlebrow manner, without much jargon or intellectual complexity, which is relatively easy to comprehend. This is especially so if the reader begins at the beginning, and tries to read the easy stuff first. You may need to read some of it twice and think it thru rather carefully. But in considering her enormously powerful and important ideas you need to evaluate her writings on your own, and in your own way, deriving whatever truth or value you can get from them, if any. Do not take anyone's word on the material, including mine. The best way to initially approach the surprising, amazing, thrilling, exacting philosophy of Ayn Rand, probably, is to brace yourself for both raw intellectual newness, and for a subtly hectoring, judgmental, fierce, intellectual style, which will sometimes resemble a fire-and-brimstones sermon. Moreover Rand -- in all her relentless radicalism and revolutionism -- sometimes judges her readers, and presumed intellectual opponents, as evil even before she presents her avant-garde ideas to them. Obviously this isn't fair, professional, or properly philosophical. But Rand is a ruthless fighter seeking to overwhelm and overthrow the world's philosophical, cultural, social, and political status quo. And she seeks this apocalypse now. For all this, however, Ayn Rand's ideas are still quite accessible and comprehensible, generally. They're even rather friendly, hopeful, and inspiring. And, should you prefer it, there are a decent number of philosophical summaries and introductions out there with which to get you started. Ayn Rand is a one-person Second Enlightenment, and probably has as much to impart and educate as Bacon, Locke, Smith, Voltaire, Jefferson, Mises, Hayek, and Friedman combined. So she's imminently worth reading and being informed by. Rand can also significantly alter and enhance your entire life. Ayn Rand and her dynamic, noble philosophy have the ability to massively intellectually educate, morally uplift, and spiritually exalt. Sadly, our world today is a philosophical and cultural Dark Age. But Rand constitutes a superlative antidote. She's a virtual supernova of intellectual, moral, and spiritual enlightenment.
Obama Speaks about Ayn Rand I'll find a video later to embed (non is available yet), but here is what Obama said today at Georgetown University: Go here to see the video for now. The video is from C-SPAN3. Since Obama just now talked openly about Ayn Rand, I predict he will keep doing so for the rest of his term. Ditto for his minions. Boy did he screw up. These folks will give a lot of publicity to Rand, then scratch their heads in wonder about why her ideas are spreading. Other than that, let's see if his presidential muscle can stand up to her. Michael