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Opening Arguments

Dissin' Ayn

Yeah, well, how about first you put down your copy of "Das Kapital"?

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Republicans to stop reading Ayn Rand books and help Democrats pass legislation aimed to give struggling Americans a hand.

“I say to my conservative friends, put down those Ayn Rand books for a minute and take a look at the real world,” Durbin said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “If we can’t stand behind those who are struggling in life, who are we; what are we?”

I swear, if Ayn Rand hadn't existed, we would have had to invent her. She was a little extreme for my taste with her selfishness-praising, downtrodden-bashing uber libertarian zeal, but she had a clearer understanding of the evils of bowing to the group than just about anybody.   LBJ's War on Poverty, which Durbin was celebrating the 50th anniversary of with his speech, created exactly the kind of permanent dependent class Rand warned of and discouraged individual effort and creativity just the way she said it would.


Andrew J.
Thu, 01/09/2014 - 11:54am

Wasn't she the same person who railed against the class of moochers who become dependant on government largesse? And wasn't she the same person who took Social Security and Medicare because the two-pack a day smoker believed the scientific consensus on dangers of smoking and cancer was a hoax? Didn't she preach personal responsibility?

We all show signs of weakness and often times, need help.



Fri, 01/10/2014 - 7:51pm

In "Atlas Shrugged" she only had Galt go around and tell the competent business people that it was ok to love their business enough to just walk away from it.  Just simply shrug and walk.  I hope that Hobby Lobby does just that if they lose their court case.  They don't have to provide work for anyone under stupid regulations.  Slavery died in the 19th century in this country.

Attack Rand's words, not her.  She definitely wasn't perfect.  But her children's books are being read in many high schools today.  You do understand that they are just fiction.  

The reason that the left hates her so much is because she chose not to be a victim of Lenin's communism.  Can't control the poor gal.

Rebecca Mallory
Mon, 01/13/2014 - 8:32am

Andrew, your remarks lead me to believe that  like many of the intellectually slothful left, you have read ABOUT Ayn Rand but have never actually read Ayn Rand.

There are clips of Rand interviews posted on youtube. Perhaps if you view them your thinking will be modified and  visit to the Rand Institute site would also be beneficial to your understanding.


andrew jarosh
Mon, 01/13/2014 - 11:30am

Only if you read Das Kapital and Autobiography of Malcolm X.

Rebecca Mallory
Mon, 01/13/2014 - 5:01pm

Andrew, I studied Das Kapital extensively in graduate school .  I found the chapter on the general formula for capital almost plausible .  The Autobiography of Malcom X revealed him to be to be an intensely brilliant man whose views were actually capable of change. He was a victim of the people he wished to save.  A bit of a black Jesus figure. I found the book to be enlightening.


As for you view on Rand perhaps this will help:  free students.blogspot.com/2011/10/lying-about-ayn-rand-s0cial.html. 

andrew jarosh
Mon, 01/13/2014 - 7:54pm

Actually tried reading her in grad school but her love fest with selfishness and disdain for altruism was way to unchristlike for me. Dark world she inhabited.
As to Malcolm. U r right. He showed ability to change and became a softer, more tolerant person after experiencing other cultures on his pilgrimage. We should all b that tolerant and open minded.

Leo Morris
Tue, 01/14/2014 - 9:28am

Let me throw F.A. Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" into the mix here. There's a definitive edition for Kindle at $8.67.

andrew jarosh
Tue, 01/14/2014 - 9:42am

Watch grapes of wrath.

Leo Morris
Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:55am

If we're doing fiction and politics, Brave New World. And Cannery Row is better Steinbeck. Very Taoist.

Tue, 01/14/2014 - 3:33pm

Andrew, being 'selfish' is a concept that seems to have different meanings.  Being selfish is like playing on a football team.  You are the star receiver and being being selfish to some would be that you wanted the ball all the time so you could get all of the attention and records for your self.  In Rand's sense, being selfish is that you look after your team players because they are important to your success.   That is her dark side?