Alon Tsin

BBC Radio: Ayn Rand's influence

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An interesting radio show hosted by Michael Portillo about Ayn Rand's influence on the political views today.

Here's the link : The Right Stuff

The show will be available until November 18th.

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Generally positive, but there is voice given to some detractors. At least she is getting noticed, and that is a good thing.

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An interesting radio show hosted by Michael Portillo about Ayn Rand's influence on the political views today.

Here's the link : The Right Stuff

The show will be available until November 18th.

I really wish he did not use the word "disciple" and omitted that whinny guy complaining about how she did not like altruists.

The beginning is indifferent and the end is nearly a hatchet job.

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Generally positive, but there is voice given to some detractors. At least she is getting noticed, and that is a good thing.

This is not meant as a personal critcism of Arnold, so please don't read that into it. Also, I haven't listened to this radio show yet, so I may be off base here, at least specifically regarding Arnold's post about it.

That said, I worry about statements like "but there is voice given to some detractors." If the piece is a hatchet job, and the detractors are there just to smear Objectivism and Ayn Rand, then such a criticism is valid. If not, however, then the "detractors" are merely presenting ideas contrary to Objectivism. About that we should never be worried - Objectivism will always hold up. Suggesting that such arguments should not be presented sounds like concern that Objectivism will not survive scrutiny, and that counterarguments should be silenced a al Obama's sledgehammer tactics during the campaign.

To the extent that it is honest, we should welcome criticism as opportunity.

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Even if criticism is dishonest, it should not be censored or suppressed (not that anyone in this thread is suggesting that it should). Objectivism--I believe--can survive even that by letting the dishonest critics be seen for what they really are.

Speaking of hatchet jobs: Has anyone seen the Showtime film The Passion of Ayn Rand, based on the book by Barbara Branden? I've only read some of the book, but I've seen the whole film, and there is a hatchet job (so is the book, from even the little I've read). The film (and book) start off, philosophically, seeming to praise Ayn Rand and her philosophy (or idealism), then attacking it because it only sets people up for extreme dissapointment in life and in themselves, in the view of the filmmakers (and author Branden). It is a subtle (but not completely transparent) attempt to convince people that they have an excuse for giving up a truly rational philosophy and its resultant view that the ideal is possible in practical reality.

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It's a modern aberration that "equal time" needs to be given to "all viewpoints", the sinister root of the currently defunct "fairness doctrine". Certainly through the Pacific Ocean that's been dedicated to mysticism, altruism, and collectivism, there's room for a pond or a lake with nothing but Objectivism presented, and alternative ideas brought up only as a foil to be thoroughly refuted, not as some legitimate alternative among many.

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Why did they have they interview the Brandens? They also said that her philosophy is a "religion with her as the Pope". That is so completely ridiculous.

The problem I always have with people analyzing Ayn Rand is that they cannot refute her ideas, only that she as a person did not live up to them. It's a complete non-sequitor. It's very frustrating.

Also, I think more attention needs to be paid to Ayn Rand as a philosopher, especially her roots in Aristotlean metaphysis and her development of epistemology. Her ethics and politics will be forever misunderstood until her metaphysics and epistemology are discussed as well. Any philosopher must start with metaphysics and epistemology, and yet she is only discussed in terms of morality and politics.

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It's a modern aberration that "equal time" needs to be given to "all viewpoints", the sinister root of the currently defunct "fairness doctrine". Certainly through the Pacific Ocean that's been dedicated to mysticism, altruism, and collectivism, there's room for a pond or a lake with nothing but Objectivism presented, and alternative ideas brought up only as a foil to be thoroughly refuted, not as some legitimate alternative among many.

If this was meant as a reply to my post, I'm not advocating some kind of "fairness doctrine" when presenting Objectivism, I'm only pointing out that Objectivism has nothing to fear from honest comparison with other ideas (nor from dishonest comparison, but that doesn't merit consideration, only scorn), so there's no reason to try to silence counterarguments. There are "ponds" such as you describe, e.g. ARI and ARC. The BBC and other major media cannot be expected to produce a purely fact-based presentation of anything, let alone Objectivism.

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