Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ayn Rand From an Adult Perspective

While reading Ms. Rand was a transformational experience for some, the onset of adulthood brings a better perspective. This from First Things:

Rand’s Ideal Man could never be a schoolteacher, say, or a physical therapist, or a claims clerk in the Social Security Administration. He must not be short-winded or fat. He must be perfection in action—gifted and brave, uniquely talented, and utterly free of irrationality and fear. He must, like Roark, defend the premise that no man should ever compromise his individual will [significant when related to this post of yesterday] or submit to pathetic notions of “sacrifice”; he must recognize that men of genius like himself will forever fight the lazy, inferior parasites who seek to take what superior minds have made. He must, in short, look like Gary Cooper and think exactly like Ayn Rand.

...And obviously her ringing defense of personal and economic liberty was not, even in the 1940s, alien to the American cultural mainstream. What made Rand’s works controversial, then and now, was their unashamed elitism and atheism—their contempt for the values and attitudes held by most human beings who must make their way through the real world with the usual sets of weaknesses and strengths.

Rand hated religion as much as she hated communism; for her Christianity was, of course, the religion of fools and slaves. Rand’s “marginalia,” culled from the books in her library and published in 1998, are particularly revealing: The woman who despised emotionalism and valued reason above all became, when faced with C.S. Lewis, like one of those “literary guys” faced with Mickey Spillane.
Lewis, Rand averred, was a “driveling non-entity,” a “mediocrity,” and “scum.”

Not one to mince words, that Annie.

1 comment:

Lois said...

The only perfect person died on the cross a little less than 2000 years ago. To view any man or woman as perfect is to have a greatly distorted view of reality. Her reality seems especially distorted.