A disclaimer: I don’t hate Ayn Rand. Or, at least, I don’t hate her in the performative way that someone who falls on the left of social/political lines is supposed to hate her. Rand’s prose is mediocre, her characters hollow, her futurism half-baked, and the way that Objectivism has been twisted and weaponized in modern politics is horrific. However, at the core of everything Rand wrote was a brutal honesty that I just can’t bring myself to hate. Rand offers a window into the selfish, greedy part of humanity that is usually hidden, rejected, or couched in relentless apology. And very rarely she makes a good point, like a squirrel with a bad haircut finding single acorn after gathering a dozen rusty nails. Her unflinching acceptance of the human id causes her to stumble into some useful insights into the futility and self-absorption of guilt.
That said, engaging with most of Ayn Rand’s ideas is like smacking around an empty pinata. Sure, it’s fun to swing a bat, but ultimately by hitting the pinata you’re admitting that you think there’s something of worth inside it. So this post isn’t going to be about Objectivism, it’s going to be about a bad movie.
A really bad movie.