The Other Rand

 
Ayn Rand (born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum — the other Rand and no relation to Paul, born Peretz Rosenbaum) was the original Tea Bagger. The author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, the founder of Objectivism and the spiritual leader of the anti-altruism, anti-welfare state, anti-government “morality” movements, Rand (1905-1982) was not your average libertarian zealot (nor is she Rand Paul either, the retrofitted Jim Crow senatorial candidate, who is also not related to Paul Rand). Ayn actually had a noodle, albeit al dente.
 
When I was a teenager I was taken to the Nathaniel Branden Institute to listen to a few lectures by Branden, Rand’s younger disciple (and lover), about the evils of socialism and historical determinism. Although I rejected his philosophy, I found that listening to Branden, and later Rand herself, was perversely fascinating. Watch these YouTube videos of a 1959 interview with a very young Mike Wallace where Rand goes head to toe with her tenacious Liberal inquisitor. Although I still find Ayn Rand’s ideas intolerably selfish (under the guise of self-esteem), she has a diabolically entertaining intellect. These are indeed essential viewing for anyone who has ever loved or hated Rand’s writing. See Part One here. Part Two here. Part Three here.

 

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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