Ayn Rand is experiencing a resurgence in popular culture — South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford published a glowing op-ed about Rand’s books in the October 23 issue of Newsweek and Jon Stewart dedicated a segment on The Daily Show to an interview with Jennifer Burns, author of the newly published Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford University Press). Next week, Burns visits Columbia Business School to speak about her book.
According to Burns, this resurgence is entirely predictable. Rand’s popularity has waxed and waned with political cycles over the years. When a Democrat is in the White House, conservatives tend to more loudly champion her ideas.
What do you think of Ayn Rand’s philosophy? Please leave a comment.
“Students who are interested in understanding the Great Crash of 2007 should know that Ayn Rand influenced a whole generation of influential opinion- and policy-makers with her idea that all things private are good and all things public bad,” says Professor Ray Horton. “One of her most important acolytes was Alan Greenspan, who as Federal Reserve Chairman stuck to the quaint view that the financial industry could regulate itself — until he recanted last year in Congressional testimony that qualifies as one of the classic mea culpas of all time.”
Rand’s legacy continues to provide grist for the debate mill: Did her celebration of free markets contribute to the current financial crisis or does her work provide a compelling case against bank bailouts and the dire consequences sure to follow?
Professor Horton will introduce Jennifer Burns for a book talk followed by a Q&A on November 11 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Columbia Business School. Please register here for the event by November 4.
Photo image from cover of Goddess of the Market.