Friday, November 13, 2009

Ayn Rand: Good Novelist; Evil Philosopher

Peter Wehner, on National Review On-Line, could not have put it better:


Objectively, Ayn Rand Was a Nut [Peter Wehner]

According to Politico.com, Ayn Rand — the subject of two new biographies, one of which is titled Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right — is “having a mainstream moment,” including among conservatives. (Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina wrote a piece in Newsweek on Rand, saying, “This is a very good time for a Rand resurgence. She’s more relevant than ever.”).

I hope the moment passes. Ms. Rand may have been a popular novelist, but her philosophy is deeply problematic and morally indefensible.

....

Many conservatives aren’t aware that it was Whittaker Chambers who, in 1957, reviewed Atlas Shrugged in National Review and read her out of the conservative movement. The most striking feature of the book, Chambers said, was its “dictatorial tone . . . Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal . . . From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ‘To a gas chamber — go!’”

...

Ayn Rand may have been an interesting figure and a good (if extremely long-winded) novelist; but her views were pernicious, the antithesis of a humane and proper worldview. And conservatives should say so.

So say we all. Read the whole thing.

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Keep it clean for gene.