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View Diary: Book Review: Ayn Rand Nation, by Gary Weiss (81 comments)

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    Cathy Young of the Boston Globe in her largely complementary article on Rand on the occasion of the 100th birthday, had this to say about it.

    Politically, too, Rand's insistence on de-emphasizing, or even denigrating, family, community, and private charity is not a particularly clever tactic for capitalism's defenders. These are the very institutions that can be expected, in the absence of a massive welfare state, to meet those human needs that people prove unable to satisfy through the market. Rand did claim to be in favor of "benevolence," in contrast to altruism; but it would be fruitless to look for providers of private charitable aid among her "good guys," except for those who lend a helping hand to a friend. When charity is mentioned in Rand's fiction, it is nearly always in a negative context. In The Fountainhead, the chorus of "second-handers" eager to condemn her heroic, individualist architect protagonist, Howard Roark, include "the society woman dressing for a charity bazaar" who uses charity as an excuse to flaunt her virtue; in Atlas Shrugged, a club providing shelter to needy young women is mocked for offering help to unworthy sufferers such as drinkers, dope users, and unwed mothers-to-be.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here:

    by Kimball Cross on Wed Mar 07, 2012 at 12:46:55 PM PST

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