This letter was published today in Canada’s National Post. (I did see the letter listed online, but viewing it — and the article that prompted it — required a subscription.)
Re: Aesop For Capitalists, Algis Valiunas, Nov. 29.
Algis Valiunas smears Ayn Rand while pretending to offer an objective account of her life and philosophy.
He derides Ayn Rand’s “unlimited faith” in reason, even though her confidence in reason resulted not from faith, but from the observation of countless instances of reason’s efficacy. He says Ayn Rand’s heroes “sound as tyrants,” while knowing full well that he can’t produce a single example where they (in contrast to her villains) act as tyrants. He ridicules Rand’s belief in the possibility of a human society where men are free to use their minds and pursue their happiness as a “utopian fantasy.” He characterizes as “Castro-like mad zealotry” the speech where Rand gives a moral defense of the rights of the individual, and where she denounces all forms of coercion and collectivism. He also falsely accuses her of “writing half-truths” and of “charlatanry”–without, of course, offering a single example of each.
Ayn Rand lived her life as the fictional heroes she created lived theirs: with a full and unyielding commitment to reality, reason and the achievement of personal happiness.
Valiunas’s smear of Ayn Rand and her philosophy should not discourage people from reading her books and benefiting from her ideas. For those who value their own lives and seek their own happiness, Ayn Rand’s ideas are priceless.
David Holcberg, Ayn Rand Institute, Irvine, Calif.
I recommend that ARI bashers promptly forget this letter, lest the memory thereof prevent them from diligently proclaiming that the organization steadfastly refuses to engage its opponents. Of course, it only bothers to do so in fora that actually matter, like newspapers, television, and college campuses.
Update: Whoops, I think I need to include the copyright notice:
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