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Name: The General
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Wednesday, December 29, 2004
  George Will Slights Ayn Rand
I just came across an editorial George Will wrote last week on Michael Crichton's new book State of Fear. The overall article isn't too bad, as it applauds Crichton's book as an appropriate rejoinder to the scaremongering of the environmentalists. However, two lines in the essay caught my attention:
"State of Fear," with a first printing of 1.5 million copies, resembles Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" -- about 6 million copies sold since 1957 -- as a political broadside woven into an entertaining story. But whereas Rand had only an idea -- a good one (capitalism is splendid), but only one -- Crichton has information.
Rather than go into any lengthly response, I'll let another (who wrote a letter to the editor) speak:
George F. Will mischaracterizes Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged," saying Ms. Rand "had only an idea -- a good one (capitalism is splendid) -- but only one." He must not have finished the book (which is more than 1,000 pages).

In "Atlas Shrugged" Ayn Rand presents a philosophic system in which all associated branches are interrelated and consistent. These branches include metaphysics (the nature of the universe), epistemology (how we know what we know), ethics (the differences between right and wrong), politics (how we organize ourselves in society) and aesthetics (art). As readers can gauge from these diverse areas of intellectual inquiry, her feat is quite an accomplishment.

In my efforts to explain to others the essence of Ms. Rand's philosophy, objectivism, I often relate a story I heard her associate Nathaniel Branden tell when asked why he thought her books appealed so much to adolescents. Mr. Branden explained that people at that age often begin to question the meaning of life and the reason for their existence. They naturally look to their parents' lives for answers, and some come to the conclusion that there must be something better. Ayn Rand supplies the something better.

Feb. 2 is the 100th anniversary of Ayn Rand's birth. What a perfect excuse to pick up a copy of "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged."

MARK S. LERNER

Reston
Thank you Mark. That was excellent!
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 12:43 AM


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