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Antioch was a hotbed of student radicalism and curricular innovation. You can get schooled at Twitter if you have the right friends.
Was I a frivolous person, impersonating a serious one?
Talking to her favorite editor, I was certain that Ayn Rand did not see herself this way. On April 15, 2011, almost twenty years after my encounter with Patrick O’Connor, and almost 30 years after Ayn Rand’s death in 1982, opened in theaters around the country.
I was an insecure young professor of philosophy at a conservative evangelical college, with a troubled marriage and two kids.
Cedarville College was four miles from Antioch, but so distant ideologically from the famously radical Antioch that it might as well have been four light years.
I asked him directly: What was she like to work with? There is very little publishing “from belief” and that’s the way it has always been. And a guy whom no one had heard of until recently, congressman Paul Ryan, (R-WI) Chairman of the House Budget Committee, has been making the GOP case for massive budget cuts that will hurt the poorest and most vulnerable among us, using principles derived from Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” of Objectivism, and requiring his staff to read her work. Over the next decade that means cuts to education, job training, and social services of 25 percent below levels needed to maintain current services.
How had he managed to be that woman’s editor all those years? Because she writes the best children’s literature in America, O’Connor said. Ayn Rand had a few simple ones which she believed in fiercely and promoted relentlessly. We’ll publish anything that we know will sell, and everyone — no matter what they may think of her personally — everyone, every one, admires her sales. Paul Ryan proposes a budget plan would cap non-security discretionary spending at 0 billion for the fiscal year beginning Oct. These reductions come on top of the .5 billion already cut from this year’s budget. We met at a writer’s conference at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.At sixty-six, Patrick O’Connor had a roving eye and a drinking problem.Paul Ryan and his followers have solidified the connection between Ayn Rand, the Tea Party, and the Grand Old Party, with nary an outcry from the “religious right,” Karl Rove’s “base” that put George W. No one that I am aware of in the religious right has called attention to the words of the Hebrew prophet Isaiah in the Bible: Doom to you who legislate evil, who make laws that make victims — laws that make misery for the poor, that rob my destitute people of dignity, exploiting defenseless widows, taking advantage of homeless children. In lecture tours around America, Ayn Rand defended “the virtue of selfishness.” She had a long term love affair with Nathaniel Brandon, a young psychologist, who later established the Nathaniel Brandon Institute to promote Rand’s philosophy.What will you have to say on Judgment Day, when Doomsday arrives out of the blue? Though it was reported that she did so with her husband’s full knowledge, it is generally acknowledged that Frank O’Connor (no relation to Patrick) found the experience to be “difficult.” I don’t know if Patrick O’Connor got himself laid in Yellow Springs, Ohio. On the day that opened in theatres, someone tweeted, “Republicanism is crumbling of its own avarice, lust for power, excesses, and hypocrisy. O’Connor challenged their hypocrisy: You’ve been living off this woman for years. The philosopher Jurgen Habermas spoke often of the “legitimation crisis” that plagues late capitalism, as core communication functions in society become disabled or “colonized” by money and power.Do you want to know why Ayn Rand’s books sell so well? is practically a rite of passage for alienated youth. Where the sex takes place on the very highest plane and it speaks to the kids’ highest aspirations, their youthful idealism. In that case, I argued, people should grow out of her, like a phase, they should get over her ideas when they become adults. I asked about the “didactic nature” of her prose and he laughed. Two-thirds of the long term budget cuts that Ryan proposes are directed at middle class and low-income people, as well as the poorest of the poor at home and abroad.At the same time, he proposes tax cuts up to 30 percent for the nation’s wealthiest corporations.Ayn Rand took herself seriously and produced dreck—really dangerous stuff. The year before I met Patrick O’Connor, Mary Gaitskill published a novel called , which featured a thinly disguised Rand character, Anna Granite, and her philosophy of “Definitism.” Like the character Justine in her novel, Gaitskill had actually interviewed followers of Ayn Rand.I asked Mary Gaitskill: what I was inspired in part by realizing how important Ayn Rand’s ideas still were, and how deep they got into the American psyche.But the affair with the writer I met at that Antioch conference created deep pain in my family, and in hers, and led to the breakup of both marriages. It could not be otherwise when their entire “philosophy” is based upon the works of a sociopath.” Patrick O’Connor did not think that Ayn Rand was a sociopath—to him she was just a loveable little old Jewish lady from Leningrad– although apparently his bosses at New American Library thought otherwise. I’ve often wondered whether Patrick O’Connor believed that publishers decrying Ayn Rand as a fascist while enjoying the benefits of her labor should undergo a legitimation crisis or shut up.In time, I came to understand the wisdom of that saying, “All love affairs are special cases, and yet at the same time each is the same case” — but in my case, it was too late. Here are Ayn Rand’s own words, in Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. My encounter with Patrick O’Connor went to the heart of my struggles in those days: Was I a serious person?