In the latest installment of Last Week Tonight’s “How Is This Still a Thing?” John Oliver investigates the ongoing popularity of pernicious pseudo-philosopher Ayn Rand, whose works have experienced a resurgence among non-high-schoolers—especially CEOs …
…writers he had turned to since high school: Ayn Rand (“one of the most influential critics of government intervention and champions of individual free will”), Hayek (“ ‘The Road to Serfdom’ is a…
For the unitiated, the narrator explains that Ayn Rand is famous for her philosophy of objectivism, “which is another way of saying being a selfish asshole.”
Her two most famous novels, which people with arrested development read over and over again, are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, “stories about rapey heroes complaining about how no one appreciates their true genius.”
HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver presented an informational segment on the enduring influence of libertarian writer Ayn Rand on politicians and captains of industry, asking, ‘Ayn Rand: How is she still a thing?” Noting that Rand is popular with conservatives, despite the inability by many of them to pronounce her name correctly, the narrator explains that Rand became famous for her philosophy of objectivism, “which is a nice way of saying, ‘being a selfish asshole’.”
US Politics Today
The most highly visible test for right wing policies is occurring in Kansas where Gov. Sam Brownback essentially wrote Ayn Rand’s fictional view of economics into the reality of the state budget. The Rand dream is to cut taxes so much business will be attracted like moths to a flame.
Ayn Rand, an egoism philosopher in the early 20th century, came up with the terms “creators” and “second-handers” to describe a basic principle of people. Creators are behind all the original ideas, inventions and concepts, and second-handers are the majority of the population who, over time, have eroded and twisted concepts and ideas that they did not create. They feed off original thought, which they read about, worked through and lived by, but never attempted to gain for themselves.
The actress also adds that reading books related to health have also caught her fancy lately. “I fantasise about making those exotic salads, but the only problem is that no matter how hard I try, I never find half the ingredients,” shrugs the actress, who also loves reading the works of Paulo Coelho and Ayn Rand.
The Spectator (London)
Judging an author on certain characteristics is the old mindset from which we have escaped. The women’s movement that once believed that women should not be defined by their gender is now defining books by the gender of their authors. It points to the flaw of modern feminism, which once sought freedom and now seeks regulation. It opens up a new front in the culture wars, importing identity politics into the English curriculum. A simple proposition will test the political depth of this: will the organisers of the program advocate the works of the extraordinarily right-wing libertarian author Ayn Rand?
Canada Free Press
Some such books establish their greatness by means of prophecy, as does Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. Published in 1957, this bestselling novel depicted America as a nation in which fiercely individualistic businessmen, industrialists…
Last Week Tonight took a long — though not nearly as long as Atlas Shrugged — look at the puzzling half life of objectivist founder and dreadful novelist Ayn Rand Sunday night. “Ayn Rand has always been popular with teenagers,” intoned the narrator…
Though the jokes about Ayn Rand write themselves, the “Atlas Shrugged” novelist and creator of objectivism has a large and unlikely following among libertarians and some conservatives. John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” wonders: How?
If ever you find yourself in a debate with someone who defends Rand, all you have to do is direct them to this funny but comprehensive clip that exposes some of Rand’s more odious views. They can take it up any disputes with Oliver.
The Hindu (India)
…speaking of books and literature, Rani confessed “I grew up reading Shakespeare in school and that was my dose of literature!” But she listed The Alchemist and The Fountainhead as two of her go to books, apart from cookbooks.