If you want to annoy your favorite Ayn Rand groupie …

by Henry Farrell on February 3, 2005

Direct him or her to “Scott McLemee’s”:http://www.mclemee.com/id4.html speculations about where Rand got her ideas (Scott doesn’t do permalinks – so if this link decays rapidly, don’t blame me).



edhall 02.03.05 at 5:15 pm

My recollection of things Randian is hazy at best, but didn’t she have an early flirtation with the red end of the spectrum?


Jake 02.03.05 at 5:33 pm

_The Cult of Ayn Rand_, the reading of which I found to be a savage pleasure (having disavowed my teenage love for her quite some time back), suggests that her motifs came primarily from American business fiction of the 1920’s. Apparently this genre, with businessman as hero, was quite popular back then. It appears to have fallen out of favor after 1929.


Ophelia Benson 02.03.05 at 5:38 pm

I’ve just been wondering what is up with all this fuss about Rand. Why are people like Carlin Romano taking her seriously? Urrgghh.


abb1 02.03.05 at 6:09 pm

Jack London stuff, I bet. I heard Lenin and Trotsky were also big admirers.


Lazygal 02.03.05 at 6:10 pm

Even scarier is the fact that Alan Greenspan was once a Randian. And now he’s in charge of the Fed…


Ophelia Benson 02.03.05 at 7:02 pm

Yeah. Robert Reich is quite funny about that (Greenspan) in Locked in the Cabinet. Not that it’s all that funny really.



Robin Green 02.03.05 at 8:26 pm

No, what’s really scary is the fact that she is one the most popular authors among the US youth.

This is one key indicator of the lack of critical thinking faculties taught in today’s schools.


netsqueech 02.03.05 at 8:29 pm

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, having once been a Randroid myself. I think the reason I fell for the egoist kool-aid is that Rand identified what seemed to me to be a particularly pernicious and hard to fight style of civic corruption: the con man with a line of appealing bullshit and friends in high places. She then cooks the books to make the problem seem to be the contents of the bullshit, rather than the favors from the powerful.

I can’t prove the above, but I offer as supporting evidence the notion that there has seldom been a truer real-world example of a Rand bad guy than George W. Bush. And so many “objectivists” revere him.


nolo 02.03.05 at 8:39 pm

Best restroom graffiti I ever saw in college was “Ayn Rand Is L. Ron Hubbard in Drag.”


jet 02.03.05 at 9:09 pm

Give in to the dark side. You put yourselves before others every day, you might as well make it a virtue and live the good life. Else stop being so hypocritical and start donating most of your cash to the poor oppressed you wish someone else would help.

Heh, and when anyone talks about confiscatory tax levels I’m always reminded of what happened when Ben and Jerrys tried to limit the salary of their CEO to $500,000.

Ayn Rand kicks ass :P

And you can’t call me a troll on a post that was in fun in the first place.


Mike Huben 02.03.05 at 10:04 pm


abb1 02.04.05 at 8:05 am

Me too, I also think that radical sways of the Enlightenment principles Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite – Objectivism, Communism and Nazism – I agree that they kick ass and take names. But hopefully we are beyond this now.


v 02.04.05 at 11:22 pm

There is a somewhat obscure novel by Jack London, where he makes a case for communism, by making up a scenario where corporations become huge and eventually completely control society. There is a remarkable similarity in the atmosphere and the scenarios he conjures up, and the ones conjured up by Ms Rand in her “Atlas Shrugged”. I personally found her views noxious. A lot of her intellectual views bordered on the fascist.


abb1 02.05.05 at 3:09 pm

Yes, exactly, “The Iron Heel”. Trotsky wrote an introduction to this novel; said London was a visionary. Very similar.

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