“I’m well aware of the resurgent appeal of Ayn Rand, after she had become mainly a stage passed through by the young, shallowly encountering her for the first time. Now her stock seems to be rising even as people have happily embraced statism. I don’t discount the lingering uncertainty about the direction we’ve gone, but I am sorry to see the fanatical Ayn Rand resuscitated as an alternative. Approaches may differ, but her hatred of tradition and, as Chambers noted, her materialism — her approving view of ‘naked self-interest’ — really mirrored that of Marx. The conservative movement was right to drum her out fifty years ago. For myself, I feel intuitively that anyone who wrote as badly as she does, can’t have a mind worth attending to. I’m afraid that is my prejudice, and I can’t defend it, but I’ll never depart from it. More signally, the doctrine of ‘aesthetic selfishness’ is dangerous more for its reach than its fancifully ‘logical’ foundations, whose weakness — nonexistence — others have convincingly demonstrated, although I grant you, that her ‘thought,’ once you get beyond the bright shiny part about individual freedom, is so ugly, eugenics and all, that it has not always brought out the best rigor in its opponents. Owing to my own particular concerns, the legacy of hers I dislike most is the idea that Industrial Man has such capacity to alter nature that he stands outside of nature; that we’ve come to the end of nature. Others have written much worse than she, perhaps, but even if one generously considers her only mediocre, it is disquieting that she has become the Bible for so many. . . . ” [luciaphile, commenting on Could Glenn Beck Bring Independence to Texas?]
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