This isn’t philosophy, it’s petulance

February 8, 2010

Sometimes you come across a well worded criticism, I referenced one from the Archbishop of Canterbury last week. I came across another when there were attempts by the Randinistas to delete it from the Wikipedia. The whole thing is worth reading but the final paragraphs are well written and to the point:

Rand’s readers will invariably admit that they first responded to her writing during adolescence. That makes sense. A simplified world of brilliant and unappreciated beings fighting for the recognition they deserve is understandably appealing to teenagers.

These are romance novels with a patina of pseudo-philosophy which is well-suited to those desperate for adulthood. Indeed, Rand is probably best read by those still young enough to miss the implication of her beliefs: neither charity nor compassion nor common cause have any value when compared with the transcendence of the individual mind.

This isn’t philosophy, it’s petulance. And 50 years on, these novels read like a relics.

A surge in sales of Atlas Shrugged may reflect a depressingly adolescence approach to politics and morality, and not just any adolescent but rather that spoilt brat down the street who has never been subject to any constraint. Of course it could get worse.

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