the trouble with Ayn Rand…

April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

There is a part 2 to that interview on YouTube, if you can stomach it.  That first part does most of the heavy lifting for the rest of this post, though.  And this could just as easily been have been a review of that video:

There, of course, one has the essential oafishness of Rand’s view of reality. For her, the world really was starkly divided between creators and parasites, and the vast majority of humanity belonged to the ranks of the latter. ..She had no concept of grace, even of the ordinary kind: the grace of an existence we do not give ourselves, of natural powers with which we could never have endowed ourselves, and of all those other persons on whom even the strongest among us are dependent. She lacked any ennobling sense that what lies most deeply within us also comes from impossibly far beyond us, as an unmerited gift. She liked to talk about “virtue” a great deal—meaning primarily strength of will and the value that one creates out of one’s own native resources—but for her the only important question regarding the relation between the individual and society was who has a right to what. That is, admittedly, a question that must be asked at various times, but it is never the question that true virtue—true strength—asks of itself.

via David Hart, First Things

Indeed.  It is always good to remember that Rand was a child in Russia during the 1917 revolution.   She is understandably inclined to be bitter, but is clearly  applying those lessons to the wrong type of government.


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