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dream_weaver

Newsweek: Trump Administration Embaces Ayn Rand's Disdain for the Masses

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Newsweek co-published with The Conversation, Firmin DeBrabander's article

Trump Administration Embraces Ayn Rand's Disdain for the Masses

On a positive note, Ayn Rand is likely to get more ink in the course of the next four years. Anyone in the Trump administration that makes a statement connecting them to any of her works is being hoisted up as examples to watch.

Setting a tone for Firmin's thoughts on Rand:

As a philosopher, I have often wondered at the remarkable endurance and popularity of Ayn Rand’s influence on American politics. Even by earlier standards, however, Rand’s dominance over the current administration looks especially strong.

The Newsweek version omits a header The Conversation included: What’s in common with Ayn Rand?

Recently, historian and Rand expert Jennifer Burns wrote how Rand’s sway over the Republican Party is diminishing. Burns says the promises of government largesse and economic nationalism under Trump would repel Rand.

Not letting us know if Jennifer Burns has changed her position here, the article goes on to suggest an area of Trump's agenda Rand would be likely to support. Slashing the federal budget instead of providing health care coverage for the poor.

The next section is: What is Ayn Rand's Philosophy? From here forward, the big to-do on fake news is not likely to send everyone that reads this out to pick up their own copies of Atlas Shrugged (or any of her other works,) in order to ascertain Rand's philosophy for themselves. Perhaps, if the intensity rises, some news organizations may turn to ARI in order to provide more comprehensive coverage, but this remains to be seen and has not always been done with a positive portrayal in the past.

 

 

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"They will let people be. Rand believes, quite simply, most people are hapless on their own, and we simply cannot expect much of them. There are only a few on whom we should pin our hopes; the rest are simply irrelevant. "

Somehow, it looks like the writer assumes that "producer" means "rich person", so all non-rich people are parasites. It seems more like it's the writer who can't imagine artists or laborers as producers.

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The overall article is problematic. To try restating the general question more explicitly:

How influential are miss-characterizations of Rand out there?
Do the miss-characterizations result in more interest in what Miss Rand's ideas actually are, or do they merely perpetuate the miss-characterizations?
(Or more bluntly, how many people are really interested in knowing and understanding the truth?)

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People generally are interested in the truth, but going past a cursory look at Rand's wikipedia page takes at least a little incentive. There is no incentive to look deeper when there is incessant confusion about Rand, and when the people who mention Rand in the media are people who are confused AND aren't respectable people, and when some Rand-fans are people who equally mis-characterize those who disagree. So, things like this make it worse.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

. . . and when some Rand-fans are people who equally mis-characterize those who disagree.

Can you expound on this with a concrete example?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

Can you expound on this with a concrete example?

Often when it comes to arguing against left leaning views - I said "fans" to include a broader set of people like libertarians. But it's not as pervasive as mis-characterizing Rand. But when all the issues are taken into account, there isn't a great deal of incentive to explore Rand initially. It's a fixable issue.

EDIT: Dr. Hurd is my first thought for an example.

Edited by Eiuol

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