Tuesday 20 October 2015
Family Security Matters

…the lesson is to do it on your own time and dime. Ayn Rand wrote a blockbuster novel that dramatizes the consequences of “managing” a country according to altruist principles: Atlas Shrugged

Posted about 4 years ago Publication date: 20 Oct 2015
Friday 11 September 2015
Adam Lee, Patheos

Rand’s jab at “the hand-me-downs of the centuries” suggests that in an Objectivist world, most of history’s great art and literature would be thrown in the trash for being insufficiently pro-capitalist. Only the ideologically correct plays and novels, the ones that precisely matched her own worldview, would continue to exist. The Ayn Rand Lexicon confirms that she condemned Shakespeare as the father of “naturalism” (her term for literature that “denies man’s volition”). While she liked that his characters embodied larger-than-life traits, she hated that many of them were doomed by inescapable destiny or tragic flaws. If only Hamlet had forgotten about that whole revenge thing and gone off to get rich by trading pickled-herring futures, that would really have been a play!

This goes to show how all-encompassing and cultish Rand’s philosophy was. It wasn’t just about belief in free-market capitalism and no-strings sex with whoever else believes in free-market capitalism. Rather, Objectivism was meant to dictate its followers’ tastes in every area of life, no matter how trivial.

Posted about 4 years ago Publication date: 11 Sep 2015
Friday 28 August 2015
Trisha Gupta, LiveMint.com

The idea that there is something ineffably great about a few people, that they are meant to be worshipped by the many, wasn’t exactly original—think of Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideas of the death of God, and the Übermensch. What seems pernicious about Rand’s version of heroic individualism is her implication that everyone outside this minority is weak, valueless and hypocritical. And consequently, can be sacrificed.

Posted about 4 years ago Publication date: 29 Aug 2015
Friday 14 August 2015
Adam Dubove, PanAm Post (Miami)

The history of Argentina is a chronicle of the rise and fall of classical liberalism, beginning with Juan Bautista Alberdi, author of the 1853 Constitution. While recovering this lost legacy may seem like an impossible mission, Eduardo Marty, head of the recently launched Foundation for Intellectual Responsibility (FRI), believes otherwise. … Like Adam Smith’s Theory of the Moral Sentiments and Ayn Rand’s Virtue of Selfishness, liberal authors of the past addressed a wide range of disciplines beyond economics, including ethics and morality. It’s no coincidence that Marty is one of the principal proponents of Randian objectivism in Argentina.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 14 Aug 2015
Monday 20 July 2015

Perhaps Rand’s largest talent lies not in her status as the mother of Objectivism, but her ability to play the Cool Girl, even posthumously, in the minds of men whose view of women is colored by both desire and revulsion. You’re not a misogynist if your hero is Ayn Rand, and Ayn Rand is the ultimate shield and sword for the kind of arguments regularly entered into by the kind of man who worships Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand wouldn’t care that you called her a slut on the internet. Ayn Rand doesn’t think it’s rape if…

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 20 Jul 2015
Sunday 12 July 2015
Michelle Dean, The Guardian (London)

Ideal, the “new” Ayn Rand novella reprinted this week by the New American Library, contains considerably fewer words and thus, one might deduce, fewer “reasons” than Atlas Shrugged. Maybe that’s why Rand never published it as a book, shoehorning the story into a play instead.

No one pretends that this is anything other than juvenilia: Rand wrote it in her early twenties. Yet Leonard Peikoff, Rand’s heir, gives it the gloss of deeper thought by adding a ponderous introduction on the “epistemological difference between the two literary forms”. He then natters on a great deal about “concepts” and “percepts”. All he means is that the thing works better with visuals.

Perhaps, but in this edition, the play script is included along with the novella. And I can’t say it seemed much more like art than its prose twin.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 12 Jul 2015
Saturday 11 July 2015
Robert Collison, Toronto Star

So is Ideal worth all literary hullabaloo? Yes. Both the novel and the play concern the tribulations of the greatest screen goddess of the era, clearly modelled on Greta Garbo, after the death of her one-time lover. Immediately the movie goddess is suspected of being a murderess. And such suspicions are heightened when she goes on the lam with the police in hot pursuit. But be forewarned — Ideal is a philosophic tract not a True Detective whodunit.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 11 Jul 2015
Wednesday 01 July 2015
Jennifer Maloney, Wall Street Journal

Ayn Rand fans, the time is near. “Ideal,” Rand’s first novel to be published in more than 50 years, is coming out next week. Speakeasy premieres an exclusive sneak peek today.

“Ideal” tells the story of a screen actress who is accused of murder and visits six of her most devoted fans to ask for help. Rand wrote it as a 135-page novel in 1934, when she was in her late 20s. She was dissatisfied with it, however, and the same year, she rewrote it as a play. The theatrical version didn’t have its premiere until 1989 – 55 years after she wrote it.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 01 Jul 2015
Wednesday 24 June 2015
Tibor Machan, The Paper (Crawfordsville, IN)

No one should attempt to treat Ayn Rand and Murray N. Rothbard as uncomplicated and rather similar defenders of the free society although they have more in common than many believe. As just one example, neither was a hawk when it comes to deploying military power abroad. There is evidence, too, that both considered it imprudent for the US government to be entangled in international affairs, such as fighting dictators who were no threat to America. Even their lack of enthusiasm for entering WW II could be seen as quite similar.

And so far as their underlying philosophical positions are concerned, they both can be regarded as Aristotelians. In matters of economics they were unwavering supporters of the fully free market capitalist system, although while Rand didn’t find corporations per se objectionable, arguably Rothbard had some problems with corporate commerce, especially as it manifest itself in the 20th century. One sphere in which they took very different positions, at least at first glance, is whether government is a bona fide feature of a genuinely free country. Rand thought it is, Rothbard thought it wasn’t. Yet the reason Rothbard opposed government was that it depended on taxation, something Rand also opposed, so even here where the difference between them appears to be quite stark, they were closer than one might think.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 24 Jun 2015
Tuesday 23 June 2015
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig, The New Republic

For a writer with the kind of cultlike following that Rand maintains, the quality of the prose was never really the issue. Rand’s fan club has always been filled out not by committed literary critics, but by insecure sulkers and powerful people with enough self-awareness to know their prominence is in some sense accidental, but without enough insight to accept that there is some randomness in all life outcomes. Rand’s philosophy splits society into makers and takers, producers and leeches, the fit and the unfit, designating the rich and powerful society’s most virtuous class, and the weak and vulnerable its most wretched—a handy set of dichotomies for anyone looking to abandon the poor and hurting, and it has been used to do that very thing. Whenever there’s a sneer of disgust at the disadvantaged, the ghost of Rand is hovering near.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 24 Jun 2015
Friday 29 May 2015
Tom Landy, High-Def Digest

The acclaimed documentary is planned for Blu-ray in July.

In an early announcement to retailers, Strand Releasing has revealed ‘Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life’ will arrive on Blu-ray on July 28.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 29 May 2015
Tuesday 26 May 2015

Strand Releasing is bringing the documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life to Blu-ray, directed by Michael Paxton and narrated by Sharon Gless. The Blu-ray will be released on July 28th, 2015.

Posted over 4 years ago Publication date: 24 May 2015