Ayn Rand rides again - although maybe give the movie a miss

by Toby Manhire / 29 October, 2012
And the high-priestess of individualism is a bestseller in some unlikely places.
Paul Ryan’s place on the outside weathers of the rightwing has come in for a good bit of scrutiny since his appointment to the Republican ticket.

Observers have been particularly intrigued by the would be vice-president’s attraction to the works of novelist Ayn Rand, author of the free-market, anti-state individualist’s bible, Atlas Shrugged, first published in 1957.


Barack Obama was asked about the Ryan-Rand thing as part of his interview with Rolling Stone in the new edition.

Says the president:

Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realise that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that's a pretty narrow vision. It's not one that, I think, describes what's best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a "you're on your own" society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.


Well, a good number within that chunk you’re talking about, Obama, have shown they're in it together.

While Atlas Shrugged might be famous for “praising profit-makers and decrying altruism”, the group of disciples that has bonded together to finance Atlas Shrugged Part II “expect to lose money on it”, says the Economist.

The first film, released last year, was panned, and lost about US $3 million. The new movie, which cost twice the $10 million of the first in the planned trilogy, has fared even more poorly. With “one of the worst domestic openings ever”, says Alt Film Guide, it is “a mind-boggling flop”.

So far it’s rating a miserable 5% on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.

For all that, the high-priestess of individualism still has a strong following. “Devotees are mostly American,” says the Economist, but Rand remains popular, too, in Britain, Scandinavia and Canada.

And India, where the Rand “craze” has attracted include well-known businesspeople, footballers, and Bollywood stars. “And – perhaps most gratifyingly of all for those who loathe collectivism and prize the verdict of the market,” says the Economist. “Rand’s books outsell Karl Marx’s 16-fold.”
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Greens, Labour and NZ First need to talk coalition - James Shaw
80506 2017-09-25 07:07:30Z Politics

Greens, Labour and NZ First need to talk coalition…

by Mei Heron

Green Party leader James Shaw will push hard to be involved with any negotiations between Labour and New Zealand First.

Read more
After the election campaign highs, Winston Peters brings the buzz-kill
80500 2017-09-25 06:31:24Z Politics

After the election campaign highs, Winston Peters …

by Bevan Rapson

Could the kingmaker climb down from his high horse, please?

Read more
Young Kiwi filmmakers seek a chance for silent fame
79698 2017-09-25 00:00:00Z Movies

Young Kiwi filmmakers seek a chance for silent fam…

by Luke Jackson

The countdown is on for young Kiwi filmmakers to score their three minutes of fame.

Read more
How the media oversold standing desks as a fix for inactivity at work
80380 2017-09-25 00:00:00Z Health

How the media oversold standing desks as a fix for…

by The Conversation

When the world's first guidelines about sitting and moving at work were published, they created a media storm. But here's what was missed in the hype.

Read more
Does processed meat cause cancer?
80255 2017-09-25 00:00:00Z Nutrition

Does processed meat cause cancer?

by Jennifer Bowden

The finger is pointing at processed meats as a cause of cancer, but small-goods makers aren’t convinced.

Read more
This post-election business is anything but usual
80491 2017-09-24 09:10:53Z Politics

This post-election business is anything but usual

by Jane Clifton

For the first time in our 21 year MMP history, the prospect of the party with the biggest vote not forming the Government doesn't seem unconscionable.

Read more
Election 2017: How the battleground seats fell
80489 2017-09-24 08:21:45Z Politics

Election 2017: How the battleground seats fell

by RNZ

As predicted there were some tough battles in key electorate seats. Here's how the the votes fell yesterday.

Read more
Labour's Greg O'Connor on Ōhāriu: 'Every little thing got you over the line'
80486 2017-09-24 07:55:24Z Politics

Labour's Greg O'Connor on Ōhāriu: 'Every little th…

by Jacob McSweeny

Barring a huge turnaround in the special votes, Labour's Greg O'Connor is the new Ōhāriu MP - with a 679-vote majority at this point.

Read more