Roy Childs on Ayn Rand


George H. Smith

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George, thanks! That both cheered me up and choked me up. By the way, you have told the story of Roy Childes meeting Ayn Rand and offering her ITOH to be autographed. I heard it long ago from Morris Tannehill, but it was second-hand with him from Childes. Do you know what Rand said to Childes -- before he offered her his treatise on anarcho-capitalism?

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George, thanks! That both cheered me up and choked me up. By the way, you have told the story of Roy Childes meeting Ayn Rand and offering her ITOH to be autographed. I heard it long ago from Morris Tannehill, but it was second-hand with him from Childes. Do you know what Rand said to Childes -- before he offered her his treatise on anarcho-capitalism?

I vaguely recall Roy telling me about talking to Rand briefly and getting an autograph, but I don't know the details. The only Roy/Rand story I know about is this account by Ron Neff, who knew Roy before I did and who worked with him closely.

Roy was sensitive to the fact that the Open Letter had not been particularly deferential to Ayn Rand, whom he admired deeply. The opening sentence of the letter, as published in October 1969 and as reprinted on the Web and in Joan Kennedy Taylor's collection of essays by Roy, Liberty against Power, is: "The purpose of this letter is to convert you to free market anarchism." The original opening sentence of the letter as sent to Rand the previous July, however, read: "I sincerely hope you will consider this letter with every bit of intelligence at your command," and continued with "The purpose of this letter, etc."

On the last occasion on which Roy met Rand, a young anarchist attempted to thrust a copy of the published Open Letter into her hands. Roy actually interfered with this attempt, saying, "Don't bother her with that." It is doubtful that the eager anarchist knew that it was the author himself who had prevented him from fulfilling his mission. Rand, of course, certainly never suspected it.

See: http://www.thornwalk...a_preface_1.htm

Ghs

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The State grows not because of its (American) constitutional structure, but because more and more people find it easier to feed--power and money and favors--on the government tit than work and produce wealth.

Ayn Rand in the late 60s and 70s wanted nothing to do with whippersnappers or libertarians. She had spent decades writing her novels and promulgating Objectivism. She wanted agreements with her great insights and accomplishments from people with economic, political and intellectual gravitas, IMHO.

--Brant

all truth is in AS--if it's not in AS it is false--if it's in agreement with AS it is superfluous

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The State grows not because of its (American) constitutional structure, but because more and more people find it easier to feed on the government tit than work and produce wealth.

Ayn Rand in the late 60s and 70s wanted nothing to do with whippersnappers or libertarians. She had spent decades writing her novels and promulgating Objectivism. She wanted agreements with her great insights and accomplishments from people with economic, political and intellectual gravitas, IMHO.

--Brant

all truth is in AS--if it's not in AS it is false--if it's in agreement with AS it is superfluous

Roy had no illusions about Rand's hostility to "libertarians."

Roy had plenty of gravitas, both physically and intellectually. A single lecture by Roy so impressed Charles Koch that Koch purchased Libertarian Review from Bob Kephart, transformed LR into a slick, high-quality national magazine, and made Roy the editor -- a position that Roy held from 1977 to 1981.

Ghs

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I certainly agree with you, George, but I was trying to see this through Rand's eyes as opposed to your objectification. Nothing was so characteristic of Rand as her defensiveness toward her ideas and work.

--Brant

sure glad Roy got that LR gig

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http://www.unz.org/Pub/Abolitionist-1971may-00002

"How Bad is the U.S. Government?" by R.A. Childs, Jr.

Here is an early article by Roy ("The Abolitionist," 1971) that I had never seen before. Roy's article begins on page 2 and ends on page 4.

Ghs

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I didn't appreciate how good the US government could be at screwing over people until 9/11 and its aftermath. It's become visceral. The first Gulf War was bad enough, but there was a certain intelligence and military competence at work. But the 2003 assault on Iraq? Homeland security? 10 years of Afghanistan stupidity? The balance of power between Iraq and Iran destroyed? Pakistan destabilized? Enough!

--Brant

too late "enough"

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http://mises.org/journals/rampart/rampart_spring1968.pdf

The Contradiction in Objectivism

R.A. Childs, Jr.

Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought

Vol. IV, No. 1 (Spring, 1968), pp. 84-98

This was Roy's first published article. In a sense, it was a precursor to his Open Letter to Ayn Rand,(1969), though Roy later called its argument "ineffective and weak."

Roy was 19 when his Rampart article was published.

Ghs

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