Category Archive '“Ideal”'

15 Jul 2015

Ayn Rand: 30 Years Deceased and Still Freaking Out the Left

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Milo Yiannopoulos celebrates the publication of the novel version of Ayn Rand’s generally forgotten play, Ideal, with a nice essay poking fun at Rand-hating, Rand-villain progressives.

There’s just one problem with all the preening and posturing this author is subjected to: In order to sneer at Rand, you have to read her. That’s why you’ll sometimes see ridiculous social media spectacles of angsty liberal bloggers and overwrought students burning copies of the Fountainhead. And just how many Vox bloggers have made it all the way through Atlas Shrugged ? The next time someone is rude about that novel in your earshot, ask him to name a single character besides John Galt and you’ll see what I mean.

In a sense, Ayn Rand is a victim of her own totemic success. By appealing to such atavistic human drives, she has become shorthand for a whole range of gauche, aspirational working-class anxieties about other people that the liberal left likes to sneer at. Mock Ayn Rand and you are mocking the entire value system of the right-wing media, the Koch brothers, Wall Street, the Tea Party, and whomever else you don’t like—in a manner every bit as mean-spirited as anything Rand ever wrote.

Which is not to say that Ayn Rand was a particularly nice person in print. She is ruthlessly unforgiving in her mocking portraits of spoiled middle-class train wrecks. And if there’s one thing earnest socialists hate, it’s being mocked. Rand skewers the preoccupations and hypocrisies of metropolitan liberals with such ferocity that their only response is slack-jawed horror and social ostracism. …

History can be unkind to progressives, so their impotent fury is understandable. It has a habit of reminding us that, regardless of noble intentions, progressivism tends to make the world a worse place to live and further impoverish the poor. Rand predicted almost everything that ordinary people loathe about state-sponsored late capitalism, in particular the rampant corruption and bailout cronyism of an overweening government. Far from being pleased at the power Wall Street wields, if Rand were alive today she’d pull her hair out over the state of the state. Atlas Shrugged is no longer fanciful; if anything, it was a conservative prediction.

Rand’s critics might argue that she appeals to the worst of human nature—that her writing plays on our jealousies, our insecurities, our most antagonistic impulses. Ayn Rand is right-wing porn: capitalism, self-reliance and self-interest at their most outrageously unapologetic. But that, of course, is what makes her so fabulously readable.

Read the whole thing.


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