objectivism and enlightened self-interest seem, on face, valid proposals, save they hinge on a proposed human facility, admittedly needful of disciplined development, for reasoned interpretation and focused (ie. delimited) action... the notion that we could possibly escape relativism to see things plain and unfettered by either personal context, mysticism or, worse, primitive imaginal mind. yet here lies the root of twenty-first-century insanity, to grow a human crop at the whip of dry, commercial logic, irrigated not by the chaotic (yet highly organized) infrastructure of bios, spiritus, and the drawl of infinity's backdrop.
rand and her muscular insistence on logic and reductio-materialism emerge as a reactive flowering in the wake of the industrial era, the first to harness the herd to commonly-held aspirations, comforting political demagoguery and line production ambitions. an era that was on the one hand, prudish and god-fearing, on the other, in awe of the coming technological age and its gloss poetry of convenience, fancy, and quasi-eugenic-perfection schemes.
but it was principally the need to collectively organize an uneducated workforce that proved most stifling to what would become the post-war western cult of individuality that latterly led to the me-generation of the sixties, the pursuit of happiness and all its virtues and excesses.
ironically, rand paid the price for her command of mind and certainty of philosophy with an unconscious enslavement to the collective archetypes, fascinated as she was with the inner ideal man of her intense capito-erotic fantasies.
'atlas shrugged' premised group action even while it dared not regard it as 'collective' behaviour given it was effected by a leading elite, the rogue mid-century new intellectual above the common and its ties-that-bind. yet, the acerbic wit and rapier cerebrality was fed and took nourished root in gatsby-esque new-age architecture and design, infantilizing "tiddlywink" (her term for the chaplinesque music of the thirties so adored) not to mention the hubris of the last century's skyscrapers and rhinestone skylines that now lie vulnerable to the very disowned mysticism she feared, that now thrives in modern-age religious intolerance and fundamentalist madness.
rand derided the irrational function because her only model for it was the brute ruskie peasant who took to god or committee like the freaks took to LSD and knock-n-roll. had she been more fortunate, she might have been able to synthesize the nuance and sukha of the immortal human chain of ancestors with her valid protectionism of the right to happiness and free expression... so well (and logically one would add) developed by the zen, the buddhist, the shaman. but in the end she spoke exclusively and deridingly to those inner rivers of numen, idealizing the trite, dry and predictable exercise of practical reason and the autocracy of cash interest.
when she exhorted immortality, quoting a now forgotten greek who said, we don't die, its the world that comes to an end, she was evoking a next-stage thinking that eluded her in life but surely baked her to core first with the loss of her husband and then in her own death.
rand was a necessary atheist, a philosophic wunderkind of her age and i like her very much, but her limit and her sorrow came in not being able to next-stage it and synthesize the two functions that must be married for true laterality and depth to be achieved. such is the task of our era and our players.