Ayn Rand


Ayn Rand by Ian, on Flickr
Just watched Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson (1967)

This was not the usual late-night-talk-show guest interview. No jokes. Very serious. And went over into what was supposed to be another guest's time. (total of about 30mins)

If Ayn Rand were alive today and could speak for herself, I think she would vigorously denounce Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and the rest of her "neo-disciples"... and they would denounce her.

For example... In this interview, she very strongly asserts that no one has the right to another person's life. To that end, she clearly expresses her opposition to any draft for any reason. Only individuals have the right to decide to risk their lives.

Seems to me that the Republicans have hijacked some of her philosophies (primarily laissez-faire capitalism) to justify destroying the lives of others in furtherance of their own affluence.

This interview indicates that in her philosophy of Objectivism, she expected everyone to vigorously pursue their own self-interest. To me, the flaw in it was that she seemed to think everyone had roughly the same capacity to do that. We know that they don't. But at the time of the interview (1967), the divergence was far smaller than it is today.

I couldn't disagree more with today's Republican interpretation of Ayn Rand's philosophies. I could say the same about the Christian churches' interpretation of Jesus' philosophies. I think both have been used to further agendas that each would abhor were they alive.

Perhaps that's why these "reinterpretations" have only come about well after the icons were too dead to disagree.

No comments :