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Knowing Ayn Rand Better

September 3, 2012

This is Ayn Rand’s interview with James Day in 1974, less than a decade before the novelist-philosopher’s death. If you want to know more about Ms. Rand as an individual, novelist and philosopher, the following video clips are a must-see.

Enjoy and good premises!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 2112 permalink
    October 3, 2012 3:38

    I don’t think Ayn Rand is a good person. To me she’s up there with the likes of Aleister Crowley, or that militant-atheist/borderline-satanist/definitely-communist/Orwellian invisible flying teapot guy.

    I got the idea that Rand is selfish from Henry Mankow, whom John Kaminski says shouldn’t be trusted because Henry’s a Jew. But wait. Kaminski’s a Jewish-sounding name. So why should i trust him too? I get confused.

    There’s this guy named Antony Migchels who advises me to think for myself, then come up with my own school of thought. I’d like to add that as a good idea, as long as it doesn’t become part of some Hegelain Dialectic shit.

    • October 3, 2012 3:38

      I don’t think you know anything about Ayn Rand except things you read from critics and online.

  2. 2112 permalink
    October 4, 2012 3:38

    That’s true I don’t read because her books are too thick and my attention span’s too short.. Wasn’t Alan Greenspan a colleague of Rand?

    The little I know of Rand I read from Lew Rockwell, then the critics of Rand, then her quotes, What’s Rand’s core lesson then if I can bother you to sum it up? Thanks.

    • October 4, 2012 3:38

      Let me tell you that after reading her novel ‘The Fountainhead’ I became Rand’s critic because of her rejection of altruism and embrace of the morality of ‘selfishness’. All my life I thought altruism is moral and that the morality of self-interest evil. I didn’t know she was a also philosopher until I read articles about her online. Most of the ‘introductory’ articles I read were against her. Now I can say they were all biased anti-Rand blogs or articles, and the people who wrote them didn’t actually read or understand her philosophy. Since I found Rand’s philosophy to be very controversial, I decided to know more about her. I read Atlas Shrugged, which introduced me to her political philosophy.

      By the way the man who introduced me to Rand was a former press secretary of Philippine president Diosdado Macapagal. He asked me to read TF, Atlas Shrugged and We the Living.

      After reading AS, I decided to re-read TF. Then I began reading her non-fiction works, along with the works of Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, Bastiat and other capitalist thinkers. The first non-fiction works of Rand that I read were ‘Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal’, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, For the New Intellectual, The Art of Fiction, and a number of her ‘newsletter’ and Letter of Ayn Rand’ articles available online. It took me years to fully understand her politics and philosophy. And yes, I now agree with her that altruism (according to its proponent Compte) is evil and that the morality of self-interest is good and moral. It is consistent with Capitalism and man’s nature.

      It was Rand’s epistemology, ethics and politics that had a great impact on me. She taught me to question things, to always look for facts and evidence, and to not compromise moral principles.

      You asked: “Wasn’t Alan Greenspan a colleague of Rand?”

      He was. But he lost his way. Many people who knew Ayn Rand said it was Greenspan who betrayed her. Just because Greenspan was a former colleague of Rand doesn’t mean the guy embodies the latter’s philosophy. Man has free will, as Rand said. Man has free will to choose his/her destiny. So it would be unfair and irrational to attribute to Rand the compromises, evil deeds and decisions and mistakes made by Greenspan. There will always be Judas in an intellectual or moral circle or movement.

      Some people who explained Greenspan’s relationship to Rand include George Reisman (who remained Rand’s admirer or student), Nathaniel Brander and Murray Rothbard (who both became Rand’s critics). Greenspan was never really a ‘follower’, in the strictest sense of the word. As another Rand’s mild critic Lew Rockwell said: “Greenspan’s relationship to the Rand circle was always opportunistic and never really had any effect on Greenspan’s life.”

      You might also be interested to know Reisman’s opinion of Rand…

      Now, if you want to know more about her, read her actual works. Do not rely on people’s second-hand opinion; not even on my opinion. Read her works and then decide.

  3. 2112 permalink
    October 8, 2012 3:38

    Thanks. Some say there’s a connection somewhere between Alestair Crowley with Rand. The individualist philosophy seems to jibe with the “do as thou wilt and that shall be the whole law” thing.

    While individualism is good to some extent, I think it should go beyond. To think in terms of family, then community.

    But i will read up on Rand as you suggest.

    • October 8, 2012 3:38

      “While individualism is good to some extent, I think it should go beyond. To think in terms of family, then community.”

      — I think you need to understand more the concept of ‘individualism’.

  4. November 26, 2012 3:38

    This reminds me of “The battle of philosophers is a battle for man’s mind. If you do not understand their theories, you are vulnerable to the worst among them.”-by Ayn Rand To TheGraduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point,
    New York – March 6, 1974

    • November 26, 2012 3:38

      I like that quotation, Sidney. She’s absolutely right.

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