Liars and their Lies
Posted by Jerry on November 28, 2007
Capitalism Magazine has an excerpt from a collection of essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Written by Michael Berliner, the article is a strong piece of philosophic detection that unravels the contradictions, lies, distortions, and malicious intent behind Whittaker Chamber’s 1957 review of Rand’s last novel, which was published repeatedly by the National Review.
Read the entire article—not too long—because it is an excellent work.
Rand’s approach to ethics is not to Chambers’s liking, because “everybody [in Atlas Shrugged] is either all good or all bad.” Of course, perhaps employing some dialectical logic from his past, he also claimed that her heroes were presented as being “beyond [my italics] good and evil.” Nevertheless, he is obviously opposed to Rand’s moral absolutism. He is also unsympathetic to her individualism, because it leaves “no other nexus between man and man other than naked self-interest,” a view he claims allies her with Marxism, although his criticism is almost identical to that leveled by Marx against individualism: “The concern of the French Constitution of 1793,” wrote Marx, “is with the freedom of man as an isolated monad withdrawing into itself. . . . The human right of freedom is not based on the connection of man with man but rather on the separation of man from man. It is this right of separation, the right of the limited individual, limited unto himself. . . .”