VFR has it out with the Randians
from April 2009, “How Randian website replied to polite explanation of traditionalism.” They went nuts and smeared the commenter. A long, fun thread which establishes definitively that there is no common ground between (most) Randians and conservatives.
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Dean Ericson writes:
I read it all the way through. It’s a classic VFR thread, a “Greatest Hits,” with some of your best commenters making interesting points. And readers were finding the conversation interesting, as shown by the many comments. All in all a fine way to start the day.
Thomas Bertonneau writes:
Concerning “VFR has it out with the Randians” –
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 03, 2011 10:36 AM | Send
Like many people, I became acquainted with Ayn Rand’s work when I was still in high school. I read Atlas Shrugged, which I enjoyed as a kind of science fiction novel, and The Fountainhead. At the time, Rand’s commentary helped me to form my healthy doubts about collectivism, socialism, and the welfare state. I was powerfully impressed. As my own knowledge increased, however, it became evident to me that Rand’s critique of liberal notions was hardly original and that others had remarked what she remarked before she did and more profoundly than she did. Plato, Burke, and Nietzsche are better theoreticians of politics than she is; almost anyone is a better novelist. Dostoyevsky and T. S. Eliot are keener moralists. The scorn Rand heaped on those men in her essays soon appeared to me under the character of defensive invidiousness. She warned her acolytes away from them, I believe, because the intelligent ones would swiftly recognize her unacknowledged indebtedness to them and that would endanger her status as a guru. A communist demagogue “inside out,” as you call her, is indeed what she was. I need hardly enumerate the ways in which Objectivism is quite as obnoxious as liberalism—of which, as you point out, it is a species.
All of which prompts me to ask, why should educated conservatives—traditionalist conservatives—bother with Rand at all? My intuition is that they should not bother with her at all and that they would be well rid of her.