More Ick

 Posted by on 15 February 2007 at 10:15 am  Uncategorized
Feb 152007

I couldn’t manage to do more than skim this article. The author has no serious criticisms of Ayn Rand’s ideas or novels, just a series of snide comments:

When I first picked up The Fountainhead in the public library, at age fifteen, I was attracted to its length, in an Infinite Jest sort of way. This was during the phase that I now dub my “god-awful pretentious period.” It was the same year I tried, and failed, to read Thackeray’s Vanity Fair because it had been written in another century and it was long. It must also have been a year in which my political ideals were either refreshingly unformed or willfully naive — that same year I argued, quite convincingly I thought, that Social Security should be privatized, an idea that I had dropped by age seventeen.

Oh yes, people who like Ayn Rand’s novels are immature, pretentious, and stupid — just like the author was those many years ago! (Otherwise, why bother discussing her own personal motivations?) And surely it’s just plain obvious to all but the “refreshingly unformed or willfully naive” that privatizing social security is the height of absurdity!

Instead of actual arguments, the false portrayals of Ayn Rand by Nathaniel and Barbara Branden provide all of the “facts” for the author’s trashing dismissal of Ayn Rand as a person, a novelist, and a philosopher. I won’t repeat them here; you can go read them for yourself if you have the stomach.

(I must add: Every time I read yet another one of these articles, my mind boggles at the evasion required (particularly from self-professed Objectivists) to maintain that Barbara Branden’s biography and Nathaniel Branden’s memoir don’t negatively impact the spread of Objectivism, that they aren’t the significant fodder for vicious criticisms of Ayn Rand, that they aren’t any kind of reason to bar the Brandens from the platform of a supposedly Objectivist organization, nor to refuse to involve oneself with that organization.)

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