Ayn Rand Takes a Beating

Discussion in 'Education' started by PoliticalChic, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. PoliticalChic

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Oct 6, 2008
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    Brooklyn, NY
    I’m a big fan of Ayn Rand. Much of the material in her novels resonates today. A great deal of her story-line coincides with my conservative values.
    But, alas, the real Ayn Rand, seems to have ‘feet of clay.’

    “The titles of two new biographies—Anne C. Heller’s Ayn Rand and the World She Made and Jennifer Burns’s Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right—imply a subject more deity than mortal. The books describe a woman driven to greatness yet paralyzed by fear. Where her acolytes see a god and her detractors a devil, Rand’s biographers see a flawed person of massive achievement.”

    Here, in a more than even-handed review, Flynn paints a picture of Rand that provides fodder for her enemies’ cannons.

    “…highlight the friction between Rand’s philosophy and her life. Rand’s family sacrificed enormously to get her out of post-revolutionary Russia; in America, previously unknown Chicago relatives provided her room, board, and transportation to Hollywood. Despite Rolls-Royce and mink-coat promises, Rand never paid her relatives back. Numerous benefactors moved by her sorry state in 1920s Hollywood, including a donor directing $50 to the neediest girl in a boarding house for Tinseltown wannabes, aided her effort to become a studio scriptwriter. Later, after marrying actor Frank O’Connor but not wanting to bear children, Rand got her in-laws to pay for an abortion.”

    “The handouts aiding her climb would seem trivial if not for Rand’s insistence that she made it from obscurity to fame without assistance. “No one helped me,” Rand boasted in Atlas Shrugged’s afterword, “nor did I think it was anyone’s duty to help me.” This contempt for self-sacrifice on behalf of another—a contempt at the heart of Objectivism— makes any biography depicting Rand as recipient or practitioner of altruism (she would play benefactor after playing beneficiary) controversial among her followers.”
    Oh, my poor Alisa!

    If you can take more, here it is:
    Neither God nor Devil by Daniel J. Flynn, City Journal 11 November 2009

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