Jennifer Burns, the author of the best-selling late 2009 book on Ayn Rand’s remarkably contentious history with the American right stopped by the vast Silicon Graffiti production facilities last week to discuss her book and the research that went into it. We’ll explore Rand’s resurgence last year with the members of the Tea Party, who can pick and choose which elements of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy they agree with in a way that Rand would have found anathema while she was still living. We’ll also discuss Rand’s tempestuous relationship with both the right and the left during the 1940s through the early 1970s, including her look at what she described as JFK’s “Fascist New Frontier” in 1962. Plus some thoughts on what the Fountainhead had to say about Rand’s take on modernist aesthetics, and the socialistic milieu in which they originally emerged, along with clips of the 1949 movie starring Garry Cooper.
And finally, Burns will discuss what Rand would have thought of 2010, a year which pits, on the left, arguably the most collectivist president since FDR, and on the right, the growing Tea Party movement, and their calls for a return to free-market capitalism, the unknown ideal (to coin a phrase.)
Approx. 12-minutes long:
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“The Frankfurt School of philosophers emigrated from Nazi Germany and became dyspeptic critics of American culture. Several landed in Southern California where they were disturbed by the consumer culture and the gospel of relentless cheeriness. Depressive by nature, they focused on the disappointments and venality that surrounded them and how unnecessary it all was. It could be paradise, Theodor Adorno complained, but it was only California.”
Megan McArdle responds to her Atlantic stablemate, far left blogger Andrew Sullivan (and/or his ghost bloggers), but ends an otherwise estimable post on a growing conservative tolerance towards homosexuality by violating Godwin’s Law:
Andrew Sullivan has been doing a lot of blogging about Ryan Sorba, the [expletive deleted] who got up on stage at CPAC to condemn them for inviting GOProud. Andrew’s mostly given a lot of space to illustrating what a [censored] [redacted] Ryan Sorba is, and I fully agree. One can only cherish the hope that thirty years from now he will writhe in shame at this performance, and given the vagaries of youth, there is a good chance that eventually, he will.
But [expletive deleted]s getting up at political conferences and saying asinine things are not exactly a surprising happening. To me, the news story was this: Sorba got booed off the stage. At CPAC. This seems like great news. So why focus on the sad truth that yes, there are still homophobes out there? Maybe this is just heterosexual privilege, but this seems like a genuinely great moment in gay rights–and the gay conservatives and libertarians who sent met that clip seemed to take it as such. The culture war may not be over, but the allied forces are advancing on Berlin at an astonishing pace.
Ironically, Sullivan, who in 2007 described George Bush as “The Weimar President” and recently equated Sarah Palin with the Hitler Youth in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret, would certainly approve of that last analogy.