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Saturday, February 19, 2011

An antidote for Ayn Rand?

The slacktivist blog publishes a rant about his daughter being assigned to read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead (which I haven't read -- I haven't read any of her fiction.)

Down in the comments, Nick Mathewson remarks that in high school, "I found that the antidote for Ayn Rand for me was Robert Anton Wilson. No idea why."

Geds replies, "Because he's awesome? And, weirdly, when you consider the bit where all of the good guys in Illuminatus! were anarchists, you get a sense of the importance of working together from that book, rather than just saying, 'Screw it, I'ma get mine and you all can rot'."

Atlas Shrugged is satirized in ILLUMINATUS! as Telemachus Sneezed.


Anonymous said...

RAW is an antidote to Rand because he explained individualism without the grandiosity and without her associated stupidities (altruism is the root of all evil). I also feel that I didn't need an antidote as much because I had been vaccinated against Rand by first reading Catch-22, which presented the case against collectivism and authoritarianism as satire, rather than bombast. I am much more responsive to satire.

Anonymous said...

I find Nancy's Kress' Beggars in Spain series an effective antidote to Rand. The first one arguably makes Rand's case better than Rand does, but at least the writing's good -- and she goes on to refute it admirably and then go someplace weirder altogether.