Sunday, March 15, 2009

Interview with Ayn Rand

No, it's not a seance. It's an old interview with Phil Donahue, of all people! Neat lady, neat philosophy. I must confess: I'm a fan, especially of Atlas Shrugged. Her economics were pretty dead-on for not really being an economist at all, but she was dead-wrong on religion. I'm pretty sure that our philosophy expert Ben easily spied the flaw (actually, it's pretty glaring) in her ~90-page diatribe by John Galt that pretty much destroys the whole thesis of objectivism. Too bad. But really, I think Ayn Rand is an objective lesson in the tremendous value of not allowing even large faults to turn us off to otherwise great minds and powerful insight. Milton Friedman is another. They didn't get everything right, and some of their faults are glaring, even to a novice. But they were passionate people, and they thought and dreamed and fought hard. I respect them very much for their literary and philosophical contributions. Nobody is perfect, and even horribly flawed arguments can still be chock full of valuable insight and perfectly valid, powerful conclusions. Don't ever let pettiness or condescending pride close your mind off to a powerful source of truth. It is a tremendous personality fault and, in my opinion, the sign of a small mind. I read a lot of writers with whom I have major disagreements. A quick perusal of the sites I have listed will quickly reveal contradictions. I still learn a lot from them. All of them.

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