Ayn Rand Fantasyland

Here’s a favorite quote of mine that I’ve seen tossed around,

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

I first fell in love with Ayn Rand’s philosophies in high school when I was 17 after reading Atlas Shrugged. When discussing different Ayn Rand books with my sister during my freshman year in college I remember admitting that I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged over The Fountainhead because it appealed to my science fiction tastes. That probably should have been my first hint that something was wrong. Arguments with my uncle around this same time sowed doubt in my mind, but it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I realized her ideas were all fantasy. Someone just needs to tell Rand Paul, the Tea Party and the current batch of Republican leaders.