The Danger of Ayn Rand

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I didn’t know the difference between National Review and The New Republic. (By all means, write your own joke…) I was groping for guidance, as I always had, in the written word, but my knowledge of lofty (and, I hoped, helpful) American political journals was restricted to Woody Allen’s line in Annie Hall that “Dissent and Commentary had merged and formed Dysentery.”

After getting properly oriented, I became curious about the evolution of U.S. conservative and libertarian publications, and basically inhaled George H. Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945. Nash’s classic introduced me to what I think of as “the old, weird, other America,” that of The Freeman and Albert Jay Nock, anti-Communist folk music and Isabel Paterson.


  • 2maxpower

    I see you did not mention We The Living. I consider this her finest work as it shows the horror of communism without preaching.

    • Clausewitz

      Going Galt this June. Had enough.

  • Waffle

    OMG!!! Another Forest Gump moment. Thanks for the reminder, Kathy. All of Rand’s books featured prominently on my sparse bookshelf by the mid-60’s. I struggled to understand what John Galt was all about in Atlas Shrugged and I tried, in vain, to emulate Dagny Taggart, my heroine. I even met Nathaniel Branden who had an institute in Montreal and for a while I attended his lectures. I think that this experience helped to immunize me against the lure of collectivism that was seducing my peers.

  • bargogx1

    Reading Ayn Rand alerted me to the evils of collectivism, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I think a lot of the negative reaction to her has to do with people not wanting to face the uncomfortable truth about collectivism’s role in so much that is wrong with the world.