Ayn Rand is off; but F. Scott Fitzgerald is on; and Harper Lee moves up.
"Atlas Shrugged" Director To Go Galt
April 27, 2011
There's always a tension involved when libertarians depend on rich people giving away their money to promote an ideology that idolizes self-interest: Twelve days after opening "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," the producer of the Ayn Rand adaptation said Tuesday that he is reconsidering his plans to make Parts 2 and 3 because of scathing reviews and flagging box office returns for the film. "Critics, you won," said John Aglialoro, the businessman who spent 18 years and more than $20 million of his own money to make, distribute and market "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," which covers the first third of Rand's
Paul Ryan, Ross Douthat, And The Dream Of An Egalitarian GOP
April 11, 2011
I have a Newsweek column on the philosophical underpinnings of Paul Ryan's "Road to Prosperity." Basically, Ryan is an Ayn Rand nut who thinks the Obama administration's agenda is an eerie reprise of "Atlas Shrugged" and is precipitating a total collapse, and he proposes to address that by slashing tax burdens on the rich and benefits for the poor and sick. Obviously, this is not the interpretation of Paul Ryan that's being conveyed in most of the mainstream media, but I do think it's the one that best fits the available facts. I notice that Ross Douthat today expresses some frustration with
The Right-Wing Robin Hood
May 17, 2010
I have not seen the latest Robin Hood. But it's interesting that, among the other familiar aspects of the legend that are missing or altered, this version presents the hero as a kind of anti-egalitarian activist. A.O. Scott: You may have heard that Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but that was just liberal media propaganda. This Robin is no socialist bandit practicing freelance wealth redistribution, but rather a manly libertarian rebel striking out against high taxes and a big government scheme to trample the ancient liberties of property owners and provincial nobles.
Paul Ryan's Ideology
February 11, 2010
Last week, I called Republican budget sorta-kinda point man Paul Ryan "crazy but honest." Today, some of the intellectual influences behind the first half of that description are coming out. TPM reports that Ryan is a big fan of Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged." The Daily Beast, interviewing Ryan, reports that he was influenced by Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism." What do those works have in common? They're written by people who don't understand liberalism and the left at all, and are thus unable to present liberal ideas in terms remotely recognizable to liberals themselves.
September 14, 2009
Jonathan Chait: Ayn Rand and the invincible cult of selfishness on the American right
September 14, 2009
Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right By Jennifer Burns (Oxford University Press, 459 pp., $27.95) Ayn Rand and the World She Made By Anne C. Heller (Doubleday, 559 pp., $35) I. The current era of Democratic governance has provoked a florid response on the right, ranging from the prosaic (routine denunciations of big spending and debt) to the overheated (fears of socialism) to the lunatic (the belief that Democrats plan to put the elderly to death).