Friday, April 15, 2011

Ayn Rand philosophy based in fiction

I've been known to let off steam about the idiocy that is Ayn Rand and her "philosophy" that she called "objectivisim."

The forthcoming film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged has seen an excellent column in today's SMH by Paddy Manning titled Ayn Rand's hatred of humanity drove ideology based on fiction.

Apart from the need to put what Manning calls a "clunky, drawn-out book, running to 1100-plus pages" into three films, I'd really like to know how the screenwriters dealt with "unreadable, 60-page speech on objectivism by the godlike protagonist, John Galt".

Manning does a neat job of vilifying Rand for her careless view that the deaths in one scene are effectively pay-back for the characters inadequacies, writing;

She then walks the reader through the train, listing the ideological flaws of the passengers, mostly women and intellectuals - a professor who would abolish private property, a schoolteacher who held the majority was always right, a ''snivelling'' playwright who insinuated ''all businessmen were scoundrels'', a housewife who believed she had a right to ''elect politicians of whom she knew nothing'', a worker who believed he had a "'right' to a job''

This is strangely reminiscent of the list of jobs of people on the "advance party" in the HHGTTG series - but that was merely the likes of hairdressers, advertising execs and phone sanitisers. And it was in jest, and they weren't slaughtered - not even fictionally.

I first read Fountainhead and then Atlas Shrugged twenty years ago on the recommendation of someone in business. The books themselves are a sorry reflection on how many in business see themselves. I hate to confess that they are also incredibly seductive - I spent a number of years being even more uncaring than I normally am on the justification of the characters even though I rejected the philosophy.

Unfortunately the tea-party set in the US will love the film. Enough said!

Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est

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