“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”
— AYN RAND
Ever since reading “The Fountainhead” 32 years ago, I have been a huge fan of Ayn Rand’s ideas.
If you haven’t read any of her works, then you definitely don’t understand her. That’s ironic, because she is the clearest, most articulate writer in the English language I have ever read … and I have read a few. If you read everything she wrote, like I did, you will know exactly where she stands, what her most primary assumptions and premises are, and how she reaches her conclusions. Agree or disagree; you will know. I never, in 10 years of schooling with a major in psychology and a minor in philosophy, ever encountered anyone close to that.
This documentary is really the closest thing I’ve yet seen to a reliable autobiography (or biography) of her.
Nearly everything you read about Ayn Rand is wrong. Before I read her, I mistakenly thought she was a “conservative.” That’s not true. She was certainly no leftist, but she wasn’t primarily political; she was primarily philosophical. Her ideas have guided me more as a student and practitioner of psychology and psychotherapy than as a lover of liberty.
The things you read about Ayn Rand are usually the opinions of people who haven’t read a word of her ideas or novels. When challenged with this fact, the more candid ones will say, “Of course I haven’t read her. Why would I?”
Then why have an opinion about someone you haven’t read or tried to understand?
If you’re going to have an opinion about someone or something, you owe it to yourself, most of all, to make sure that opinion is based on the facts.
I cannot believe this movie was made in 2010. I don’t know how I missed it. It’s beautifully done. It draws on some amazing interviews Rand did in her very final years (late 1970s) with people like Mike Wallace (a real journalist, unlike his son), Phil Donahue and Tom Snyder. These were the leftists of her day. Yet they were Jeffersonian compared to the depraved nihilism we find everywhere around us today, a nihilism Rand foresaw and predicted as the inevitable decline of a culture that totally abandons reason (and freedom along with it).
I believe the title is: “Ayn Rand, in Her Own Words.”
The movie absolutely delivers. It’s the best I’ve seen on her. If you are at all interested in her (or anything I post), please do not miss it.
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