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Posted: April 10, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Typical baseless criticism

Dear Editor: Mr. Durusau correctly identifies that sales of "Atlas Shrugged" have skyrocketed recently but quickly loses touch with the facts after that ("Irrelevant Rand" 4-3-09). Greenspan associated with Rand years before he rejected her Objectivist philosophy. Someone who understands and is committed to defending individual freedom would not agree to fill the role of Chief Economic Dictator of the United States. Unfortunately, we are now paying for Greenspan's abandonment of those principles: his cheap credit policies at the Fed made him a primary architect of the housing bubble.

Durusau implies that Rand believed all people act in their "rational self-interest" and holds up Madoff as a counterexample. True, Madoff did not practice the virtue of selfishness, but Rand never declared all people are virtuous. What she did say is that if you wish to achieve happiness - which is the purpose of your life - then reason is the tool that will which will allow you to do so. No one who is rational will construct Ponzi schemes. Finally, Durusau evades the fact that in a laissez-faire capitalist "meritocracy," businesses, and particularly failed businesses, would not be supported on the backs of the citizens through state taxation.

Durusau's editorial is typical of Rand's critics; it is light in actually engaging Rand's ideas and heavy on baseless criticism. Sales of "Atlas Shrugged" have spiked for a reason: these ideas are particularly relevant in an era where state control is expanding in our lives.


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