Ayn Rand’s “The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution”

17 12 2008

Thoroughly enjoying this book and it’s many insights.  I’d recommend it especially to those who are familiar with some general aspects of objectivism.  Those who like what they’ve discovered about objectivism but are still newbies, like myself. 

Her insights into the anarchistic and anti-intellectual nature of the hippie movement in the late 60s in the US are absolutely brilliant.   Ayn Rand discusses how the common hippie ideology is a cowardly conformity to the cultural ideology at the time – emotionalist, anti reason post modernist influences resulting in nihilist tendancies. 

This rang true to me from my experiences of student politicians at university.  The best word to describe these people is conformists.  Conformists to an outdated and obviously illogical ideology that their parents also conformed to.  It’s pathetic really and it displays an inability to think about issues on a broader scale. 

Rand exposes the student “rebels” continued use of force (in the name of freedom and love) on university property that they of course do not own – and Rand exposes their dishonest methods of propagandising. 

The chapter, the “inexplicable personal alchemy” is particularly touching discussing the plight of actual student rebels (as opposed to the cowardly, ideologically conformed “rebels” in the US at the time of writing) in Soviet Russia who recieved jail time or exile for peaceful protest.  Upon sentencing one of these protestors quietly states “For three minutes on Red Square I felt free. I am glad to take your three years for that”. 

Also, I love the chapter, “The Comprachicos” discussing the failings of progressive education theories.  Here’s a quick quote from that capter that struck me last night while reading:

“The thinking child …….. when he develops his first values and conscious convictions …….. feels an intense desire to share them with a friend …….. if frustrated he feels an acute sense of loneliness……..  The emotion that drives conformists to “belong”, is not loneliness, but fear – the fear of intellectual independence and responsibility.  The thinking child seeks equals; the conformist seeks protectors.”

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2 responses

17 12 2008
Curtis Plumb

Good post. You might want to take a second look at the title for a misspelling.

24 12 2008
Tim R

Cheers.

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