Mises on Rand
I thought the following letter would be of interest to some of my readers; I vaguely knew Ludwig Von Mises respected Ayn Rand for defending capitalism, but I wasn't aware of any written record. With the centennial of Ayn Rand's birth going on, I happened across this letter, written to Ayn Rand by Mises shortly after the publication of Atlas Shrugged. You can find a copy of the original letter in PDF format here
, but I also took the liberty of transcribing it here on the blog:
January 23, 1958
POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 12:33 AM
Mrs. Ayn Rand
36 East 36 Street
New York, N.Y.
Dear Mrs. Rand,
I am not a professional critic and I feel no call to judge the merits of a novel. So I do not want to detain you with the information that I enjoyed very much reading Atlas Shrugged and that I am full of admiration for your masterful construction of the plot.
But "Atlas Shrugged" is not merely a novel. It is also -- or may I say: first of all -- a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society, a substantiated rejection of the ideology of our self-styled "intellectuals" and a pitiless unmasking of the insincerity of the policies adopted by governments and political parties. It is a devasting exposure of the "moral cannibals," the "gigolos of science" and of the "academic prattle" of the makers of the "anti-industrial revolution." You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.
If this be arrogance, as some of your critics observed, is still is the truth that had to be said in this age of the Welfare State.
I warmly congratulate you and I am looking forward with great expectations to your future work.