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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why Rand's movie is boring

Jack Kemp

Although I agree with a number of Ayn Rand's views on statists, there is something missing from this athiest, amoral "superwoman" and the movie "Altas Shrugs." I saw it and almost fell asleep. And the theater on Thirteenth Street in Manhattan was mostly empty seats on an opening weekend Saturday.

Rand understood the half developed ideas of the left because she was also half developed and elitist in her own way, with a contempt for ordinary people.

Michael Gerson, writing at, sizes up Rand perfectly. Here are some quotes from a great article:

"If Objectivism seems familiar, it is because most people know it under another name: adolescence. Many of us experienced a few unfortunate years of invincible self-involvement, testing moral boundaries and prone to stormy egotism and hero worship. Usually one grows out of it, eventually discovering that the quality of our lives is tied to the benefit of others. Rand's achievement was to turn a phase into a philosophy, as attractive as an outbreak of acne.

The appeal of Ayn Rand to conservatives is both considerable and inexplicable. Modern conservatism was largely defined by Ronald Reagan's faith in the people instead of elites. Rand regarded the people as 'looters' and 'parasites.' She was a strenuous advocate for class warfare, except that she took the side of a mythical class of capitalist supermen. Rand, in fact, pronounced herself "profoundly opposed" to Reagan's presidential candidacy, since he did not meet her exacting ideological standards.

Rand cherished a particular disdain for Christianity. The cross, she said, is 'the symbol of the sacrifice of the ideal to the nonideal. ... It is in the name of that symbol that men are asked to sacrifice themselves for their inferiors. That is precisely how the symbolism is used. That is torture.' Yet some conservatives marked Holy Week by attending and embracing "Atlas Shrugged."


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