Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me! Ayn Rand movie ranks as one of Top 10 Humanist Classics?

At a wonderful dinner with some wonderful parishioners, I saw a copy of The Humanist magazine with articles about Humanist-themed movies.  (I guess I let my membership lapse, as I didn’t see that issue.  I like reading about movies.)  A sidebar to the main article was entitled  Ten Best Humanist Classics in Cinema.

Most of the choices were very interesting and provocative, including “Harold and Maude,” “Chocolat” and “Planet of the Apes.”   One was shocking:  “The Fountainhead,” based on the novel by Ayn Rand, the late Objectivist and anti-altruistic philosopher beloved of libertarians and many other kinds of people.

I couldn’t believe it.  I thought Humanism was about human dignity and human solidarity!  The magazine’s tag line is “a magazine of critical inquiry and social concern.”

All the Humanists I know value the ethic of compassion and the spirit of altruism.  They are generous, not selfish.   They are unique individuals who work for individual freedom, but they don’t turn individualism into an idol.

It was timely for me to run across this three days after that dinner:

In his July  17 2011 column for the Wall Street Journal, Al Lewis gives great short summary of the polemical dilemmas inherent in the wide and wide-ranging Randian fan base.  His article is Call it “Atlas Snubbed.”

After you read his article, let us know what you think.  Post a comment.