The pontiff’s message is clear: Economic inequality is the world’s No. 1 problem. And capitalism is the cause of inequality. His message has a moral authority absent in today’s GOP, which is ideologically guided by atheist Ayn Rand, patron saint of the GOP’s agenda, which is no match for Francis’ long-game strategy to raise the world’s poor out of poverty, eliminate inequality and defeat the myopic capitalism driving today’s economy, markets and political system – but maybe too little too late.
Neon Tommy (Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, USC)
I despise “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Good LORD, what a load of schmaltzy junk that film is. It may have been ridiculous that the film got labeled communist propaganda during the McCarthy Era, but it sure made me think for the first time in my life that Ayn Rand might have had a point when she said altruism was a tad overrated. Long story short, this film is about an unfortunate sap named George who has sacrificed all his dreams and aspirations to help out a town full of people who seem to be too dumb to live.
More on Miss Rand, covered earlier in Ayn Rand As Some People Have (Alas) Never Seen Her, this supplied by the leftist site AlterNet: David Akadjian supplies Ayn Rand’s Christmas cards. She apparently actually sent out Christmas cards but no examples survive, so Akadjian supplies a few suggestions.
The Times (London)
Policy Exchange, the think-tank, is launching a new club next month: the Crossbench Film Society, which will show movies chosen and introduced by a politician. Sajid Javid, the culture secretary, is first up on January 12. Sadly, instead of one of his beloved Star Trek films, Javid has gone for the 1949 adaptation of The Fountainhead, by the right-wing moralist Ayn Rand.
By chance, The New Yorker has a piece this month imagining that the humourless Rand wrote reviews of children’s films. They include Snow White (“An industrious young woman neglects to charge for her housekeeping…
Hedda Gabler at Writers Theatre: “Up there with—and maybe beyond—the best I’ve seen… . [Kate] Fry’s Hedda is by turns a proto-Ayn Rand, a sexual obsessive out of an August Strindberg script, a small-time Borgia, a wry Beckettian fool.”
According to the media archival website Aphelis, “Among the group who produced the analytical tools that were used by the FBI in its analysis of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was Ayn Rand.”
“Abbott and Costello Meet Ayn Rand” – what a comedy horror picture that would have made.
San Diego Free Press
Jerry Sanders, former mayor, former police chief, currently CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
His deeds on behalf of greed and avarice also merit an autographed copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
Whether it was housing for the poor, clean air for children in the barrio or decent wages for working people, Jerry Sanders was the man in 2014 leading the effort to squelch those aspirations.
Coming from Mike Judge, the comedy nailed the jargon of the startup scene (the chorus line of pitchers claiming “We’re social, mobile, and local,” “We’re mobile, local, and social”) and the chilly, Randian hubris of tech moguls envisioning a paradise of driverless cars and automated personal islands.
Pagosa Daily Post
A humorous article posted to the website Alternet.com posed the question: Did Ayn Rand send Christmas cards?
Many of our readers may be familiar with author and philosopher Ayn Rand from her best-selling books, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), and for her pro-Capitalist philosophical system which she called ‘Objectivism.’
San Diego Free Press
I was startled into wakefulness by the ghost of Ayn Rand, she the author of the Virtue of Selfishness and sundry other solipsistic tomes.
Unlike Scrooge, she is not the least bit repentent. She told me of her new concept of Country Club America. Not everyone deserves to be a member. It’s sort of a metaphysical walled community in which some people get to join; others are left out. Only the Best, the Brightest and the Most Beautiful can be members.
Evening Standard (London)
The objectivist Mr Javid.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid continues to immerse himself in the arts. Next month he hosts the first evening of the new Westminster Film Club, at Policy Exchange HQ.
Javid’s chosen film is 1949’s The Fountainhead, after Ayn Rand’s book. So is he a big fan of Rand, the Russian-US novelist and thinker who believed in rational selfishness, ie that one “exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself”?
The Londoner asked a representative why Javid had picked the film — he teased that “more would be revealed” that evening. Its story, however, may hold clues. Its main character, architect Howard Roark, rejected an industry of boredom and tradition (Javid was a banker) for a life of creativity and art. Sound familiar?