Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Resurrection of Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
She's been dead for 30 years.  She wrote long novels and arid essays that critics either ignored or panned.  So why is she such a hot ticket today?

Here's one reason:

At a Rand feat, Paul Ryan claimed that “the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” 

Could it be that Alan Greenspan was a Rand disciple, who wrote, "Ayn Rand became a stabilizing force in my life. It hadn't taken long for us to have a meeting of the minds -- mostly my mind meeting hers -- and in the fifties and early sixties I became a regular at the weekly gatherings at her apartment. She was a wholly original thinker, sharply analytical, strong-willed, highly principled, and very insistent on rationality as the highest value. In that regard, our values were congruent -- we agreed on the importance of mathematics and intellectual rigor."

How hot a ticket is she?

Her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged” sold 600,000 copies in 2009, an all-time high for this Rand perennial.  Sales no doubt were stimulated further by the 2011 release of  “Atlas Shrugged – Part 1,” staring “One-Tree Hill” heartthrob Paul Johansson as Galt.  Part 2 was released earlier this fall.

Why is she so popular with the likes of Greenspan and Ryan?

In the antebellum South, slavery had its apologists among the professorate and the Protestant churches.  The Nazis had, and still have, their defenders, including Holocaust-deniers.  And Bernie Madoff, Jamie Dimon, Goldman-Sachs and AIG have Ayn Rand to reassure them that greed is not only okay, it’s the new American virtue.

Want to know more about her?  Check out:

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