Liberalism versus Reaction in Ayn Rand

Source: Liberal Currents
by Paul Crider

“Ayn Rand was a brilliant, inventive thinker whose contributions go largely unsung outside libertarian circles. Rand developed a secular eudaimonist ethics decades before the 20th century revival of virtue ethics ignited. She pioneered a thick ethical and aesthetic defense of capitalism that celebrated business and innovation as heroic; her frontal assault on altruism represented a fundamental shift away from defending economic freedom under the pall of suspicion of the profit motive. She erected a philosophical permission structure for rational self-interest, achievement, and the pursuit of happiness. … For whatever harsh words follow, I maintain that Rand was an ingenious thinker and a talented novelist who deserves respect and sympathy. Despite the doubt I will cast on Rand qua liberal and indeed qua social thinker, I will conclude by sketching what a liberal and genuinely emancipatory Objectivism might look like.”[hat tip — Chris Matthew Sciabarra] (05/04/22)