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Ayn Rand Nation by Gary Weiss|
|I have just finished this hot-off-the-press book. I can summarize it in one word, "sneering." He sneers at Objectivism, Rand, libertarianism and the Tea Party from the first page to the last. Weiss's goal is to show how the "cult" of Rand has influenced the Tea Party movement and the resurgence of "extreme" right wing politics. He acknowledges the huge influence that Objectivism has had recently and presents interviews with prominent Objectivists and some not so prominent but when he attempts to refute Objectivist principles he reveals his lack of knowledge of them, or perhaps just ignores them to try to make his point. For instance, according to Weiss, Ayn Rand, when suffering from cancer, availed herself of Medicare and, as if this were a violation of her principles against government involvement in health care, omitting the obvious conclusion that it would be similar to being forced to take out an insurance policy and then, when needed, not cashing it in. Similarly, he wonders why Tea Partiers vote against government health care plans are voting against their "selfish" interests. |
Weiss gets on the "selfishness" tack at every opportunity, never acknowledging that benevolence is an Objectivists virtue but that "benevolence" can never be projected by a government because any funds that it might distribute have been extracted by force. He never allows that "non-coercion" is one of the bedrocks of Objectivism and libertarianism. I could go on in this vein forever, but you get the drift. It's turtles all the way down.
Unlike the other recent books on Rand by Anne Heller and Jennifer Burns there is no quarter given ... it is condescending from cover to cover.
Do not buy this book. You will gain nothing from it and will merely boost Weiss's sales.