Saturday, February 12, 2005

Who's Afraid of Ayn Rand

Ok, I have a new favorite: Front Page Mag. In yesterday's article Who’s Afraid of Ayn Rand?
Alec Mouhibian writes an excellent review of Ayn Rand's critics and gives a proper place to her philosophy.
Her first novel, We The Living, a semi-autobiographical depiction of life under communism, was panned by leftist critics for “failing to understand the Soviet experiment.” The rigorous philosophy she later developed—which she called Objectivism and which can be summarized by the axis of reason-individualism-capitalism—unnerved intellectual nippleweights from both left and right. And mutual hatred with Women’s Lib was established from the get-go, because she liked men.

Mike Wallace reflected that Rand’s most vehement critics tended not to actually read her. So challenged were their basic assumptions by the ideas of this little big-eyed immigrant that they were too afraid to deal with them. Their fear of being challenged was a harbinger of an intellectual culture today in which monocle-dropping offense comes much easier than rational thought.

When I asked the chairs of the Women’s Studies and Political Science departments at my school what they thought of her, they both gave the kind of bashful, blushing smile that I normally give when reminded of my childhood crush on Oscar the Grouch. Read her in high school, grew up, moved on, haven’t thought of her since. Great sex scenes though. May we talk Hegel?

The day that intellectual principles are restored in academe will be the day when Ayn Rand is treated by professors as more than just an adolescent indulgence. It will be the day when she is treated as the brilliant thinker that she was: a woman who made history by espousing unique ideas that brought it a great deal closer to its end.

Read the whole article here.


Blogger M.T. Daffenberg said...

She scares me a little.

2:38 PM  

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