Liberals Should Stop Vilifying Ayn Rand

They're just as bad as those who blindly worship her: Cathy Young
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2012 1:38 PM CDT
Ayn Rand's first big seller: 'The Fountainhead.'   (Flickr)

(Newser) – Paul Ryan's entry into the race has brought yet more debate over one of his favorite authors, Ayn Rand. And while liberals like to poke fun at conservatives for blindly following her pro-capitalist, me-centric vision, they're guilty themselves of reducing her to "grotesque caricature," writes Cathy Young at Reason. For one thing, Rand might have the reputation of worshiping moneymakers, but "most wealthy characters in her novels are pathetic, repulsive, or both."

Yes, Rand's embrace of individualism is "too radical," but her critics forget that "great insights can come from flawed thinkers," writes Young. "When pundits alarmed by Rand-style individualism scoff at the 'myth' of individual autonomy, we should remember that this 'myth' gave us freedom and human rights, and unleashed creative energies that raised humanity’s welfare to once-unthinkable levels." Read her full column here. Or for a decidedly different view, read Paul Krugman's takedown of Atlas Shrugged today in the New York Times. (Read more Ayn Rand stories.)

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