Asking for Suggestions: Ayn Rand

I’ve all too often bumped into overt Randroids and trollishly extreme libertarians that remind me of the Randroids. Rand infests wingnut politics as well as quacks and their blind followers who don’t want to be bound by ethical review boards. It’s used to substitute objective measurements of reality with reports of market penetration. Large corporations, banks, and so forth use Rand’s philosophy to justify deregulation and short-term gains at the cost of economic stability. It’s used to demonize the common people who do the actual work at maintaining society’s infrastructure. It’s used to ridicule scientific research as a waste of government money. It’s used to justify huge salaries for useless or even corrupt managers. I see failures in history, the actions that led to those failures, and then I stumble on some Randroid who didn’t learn from that history. Sometimes, it seems like nearly everything I’m for or against has an apparent Rand lover arguing the opposite position.

So I’m thinking of making some long post or possibly even a series about Ayn Rand. The first difficulty is that I’ve heard some horror stories about how bad her writing actually is, so that makes me reluctant to slog through the primary sources. I’d like suggestions for alternatives to pinching my nose and diving into a library copy. Of course, links to other people writing about Rand would be appreciated.

One idea I think might be worth mentioning is that I’ve seen an Atlas Shrugged movie show up on Netflix. It might be tolerable to riff it along with my brother, and write a stream of consciousness post like I did on the “Under the Microscope” posts on the old blog.