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I just love to read Ayn Rand's books. She is the author of The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and many more. Sure her books are a bit long but they are worth it. I finished Fountainhead and currently reading Atlas Shrugged and The Early Years of Ayn Rand. She is an author of philosophy and objectivism, so if you don't like those, I don't suggest you read her. Anyways, I was wondering if anyone in netalive has read some of her books/novels. If so please respond with your opinion of her. Negative, Positive, or so so.
It is better to be pissed off than pissed on.
I love Ayn Rand. Fountainhead is just one of the rare books that I have managed to go past the preface, and have read back-to-back. Howard Roark is a character who seems so real. I sometimes wonder whether it is possible to have an architect like him in real life.
I did not get a chance to read Atlas Shrugged or other books by Ayn Rand. Do let me know when you finish them about how you liked them and whether I should go ahead and read those or not.
Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.
Since I just started Atlas Shrugged and The Early Years of Ayn Rand, it is going to take me awhile to finish because I'm juggling about 10 other books in the process. I have to drop all current books b/c I need to finish my book club book, which reminds me, I have to check next month's book...toodles.
It is better to be pissed off than pissed on.
She is an author of philosophy and objectivism, so if you don't like those, I don't suggest you read her.
Change that "and" to an "of..." Objectivism is a philosophy, and for the reasons outlined below, a bad one.
Why I don't like Ayn Rand
There's a fantasy writer named Terry Goodkind who blatantly ripped off Ayn Rand's philosophy in the sixth book of his Sword of Truthseries, and again in the recent eigth release. The books aren't particularly well-written or edited, but the author's imagination got me hooked, so I read the books. Goodkind has so far given absolutely no credit to Rand, even though he almost re-wrote Atlas Shrugged as a fantasy epic in book six, titled Faith of the Fallen. How you can have objectivism and its rejection of mysticism alongside sorcery and forays into the underworld, I have no idea. But the author sloppily kludged the two conflicting principles together, offering no resolution to the discrepancy.
Now, on to Ayn herself:
I don't particularly care for the hubris that we are equipped to know a single reality, or that such a reality even exists. (Quantum theory seems to tear holes in the idea of a singular, concrete reality). In fact, that kind of thinking leads to a dogmatic, and potentially fascist, mindset, rejecting the possibility of "maybe." All indications are that reality is different for different people, and that by consensus we accept certain things to be true. If there is one concrete reality, then how come no one can agree upon it, and who determines what that reality is, and why should others accept this arbitrary determination, when it is counter to what they know?
I also don't care for the rejection of outside factors in determining one's fate. Sure, it may be possible for someone in a war-torn ghetto to rise out of his situation, but the obstacles are incredible, and to assume that all people have even close to the same opportunity is patently ridiculous. Yes, even someone in such a disadvantaged state is accountable for what they do and become, but Rand's philosophy coldly and inacurately rejects the crucial role of environment in determining who one is and becomes and can be. It gives people an excuse not to better our worlds and to continue class stratification and discrimination, and the worst kind of social Darwinism. Reason is NOT the only guide to ethics. Reason alone can be used to justify any kind of horror. Adopting an inaccurate reality, like the Nazis, and using reason to live it out, can lead to tremendous disaster. And don't tell me the Nazis didn't exercise reason: they were the strongest induistrial power in the world, with the most advanced technology, until the Japanese "awoke the sleeping giant" while the Nazis fought a 2 front war.
Ayn Rand also rejects altruism, saying you should live selfishly and never help others. Ridiculous. Selfish pursuit is what is destroying the world. A little altruism goes a long way, and it betters the spirit of both the giving and receiving parties. The last thing we need is MORE selfishness, look what the blind pursuit of wealth has wrought over the past few years!
Last, Ayn Rand says that the use of force is wrong unless done in self-defense, and then says free market Capitalism is the only system in which the use of force becomes obsolete. Huh? In what parallel universe did she live? Capitalism is inextricable linked with the use of force. How do people acquire and maintain the property required in such a system? They TAKE it, and the only reason they KEEP it is the threat of violence. Choctaws used to roam the land I am on right now. Through superior numbers and technology, and the earliest instance of chemical warfare (deliberately spreading smallpox and other diseases), this land was taken from people who considered it their territory, but not their possesion. This was driven purely by econmic imperialism, which is part and parcel of Capitalism. Capitalism gives the incentive to not only conquer through violence, but to dominate through economic bullyism. Capitalism rewards the wrong insticts, those that are damaging and that atomize society instead of bringing harmony. Man in his natural element, ask any anthropologist, is communitarian in nature. The Capitalist system is therefore extremely violent and counter to instincts, and centuries of experimentation bear this out.
Ayn Rand is fascist. She has the ability to put her ideas forth very persuasively, but she shares some very odd, very dangerous, irresponsible and hypocritical beliefs with those who are running, and ruining, the world. I hope that you think about these things and don't blindly accept her teachings, which resonante well with those few who benefit from our inequitable system: but those who benefit become an ever shrinking number.