Monday, April 11, 2011

Counterpoint: Ayn Rand

The below is a brief article written to counter an opinion piece by Asheville city council member Cecil Bothwell smearing and misrepresenting Ayn Rand and her ideas:

1st ‘Atlas Shrugged’ film to debut April 15 in Asheville
Cecil Bothwell | Asheville Daily Planet | Friday, 15 April 2011
There can’t be another bad novelist who has done more damage to our world than the woman who called herself Ayn Rand. Her nearly indigestible polemics seem to appeal to the sophomore in us all, with their grandiosity and declamation of verities, and some few among us never manage to recover.


Despite detractors, Ayn Rand’s ideas called foundational
By TIM PECK | Asheville Daily Planet | Friday, 15 April 2011

Ayn Rand's Objectivism is a comprehensive, organic and consistent philosophical system exemplified in artistic form in her famous 'magnum opus' “Atlas Shrugged” – published in 1957 and a best-seller today with 7 million copies sold.

Now, a new and eagerly-awaited movie based on the book will receive a showing in the Asheville area, and around the country, this month, opening on Tax Day. It is Part One of a proposed three-part movie series and promises to bring renewed interest to the authors controversial views, which are gaining in popularity even without the film's assistance.

The film will approximate the novel somewhat faithfully, as all such earnest projects do (the filmmaker spent 20 years and $20M of his own money). And by all accounts from devotees, this first installment is not altogether bad; which was the main fear. Seeing it, you will learn something about the characters, the story and the philosophical ideas embedded in the “plot-theme.” The screenplay and production quality are quite good and the performers are unknown to the big screen (also good, in my opinion). All in all, I suggest it will be a worthwhile viewing for those interested in an improved understanding of the author's great contribution to literature, philosophy and human understanding.

To be sure, many remain hostile to Ayn Rand and her ideas. Some because of her devotion to the absolute primacy of reason and science over belief and dogma. Others because she unequivocally champions individual rights, rational self-interest and a thoroughly 'laizzez-faire' political-economy. And others still because they are simply unfamiliar with the foundational material and rely on biased vilification to draw undigested conclusions.

I would urge those few genuinely interested in clarifying their impressions of Rand to simply go and see the movie and enjoy. Better yet, go and read the number two best-selling book in the world and discover why it's appeal is quickening, why the fable told there grows less fictional every day and why Rand called hers “a philosophy for living on Earth.”


The View from Asheville: Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged, the Movie
By: Tim Peck | Voices of the Tea Party | April 19, 2011
As a resident of Asheville, NC, it’s fitting that I’ve become embroiled in a controversy surrounding a movie based upon a major literary work.