Sep 28, 2009

Ayn Rand and Ralph Nader?

Posted by Josee Corrigan

I was driving back from what was possibly my last camping trip of the year - wah! - and listening to one of my fave radio jockeys on CBC, Jian Ghomeshi. He was in discussion with Ralph Nader about Nader's new book entitled Only The Super Rich Can Save Us! While Ghomeshi teased him about the title, Nader elaborated on topic of his book - that the wealthiest 1% have the power to change the world and are beginning to care. Of course the four-time US presidential candidate's new book has a special focus on our American neighbours to the south, regardless Nader's theory about wealth and responsibility is worthy and timely during an era in which the rich have been demonized for their lack of altruism (see Michael Moore's new film Capitalism: A Love Story) .
Interestingly, Ayn Rand and her famous novel, The Fountainhead, emerged throughout the conversation, at which point I really perked up my ears. Synchronistically, over the past few weeks I've picked up a biography of Ayn Rand by Anne C. Heller called Ayn Rand and The World She Made. Rand was a fascinating writer and theorist who expounded the themes of narcissism, capitalism, and individualism through the characters in her novels. According to both Heller's biography and Ralph Nader, her book The Fountainhead is one of the top five books read in America and has had a profound influence on the cultural development of the United States since its publication. With this in mind, it's interesting to examine Nader's arguement that it is the richest 1% who should and are, in some cases, promoting altruistic cultural action in this tragic age of disintigrating American values. Hmmmmn. So, what do we all think about that?

For more interesting facts and info about Ayn Rand look to the Ayn Rand Institute at
To listen to Jian's interview from this morning go to

On another note entirely, Jennie lent me an excellent book from the coming-of-age genre. The novel is called The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The anti-hero, Charlie, describes his life in the form of letters written to "Dear Friend," from the perspective of a highschool student/teenager. I love him! Although perceived by the 'cool' crowd as a loser/freak/weirdo, he is sensitive (cries a lot), smart, and perceptive. The novel details his life including descriptions of his group of similarly mifit, but also wonderful friends; a boy-crazy sister; a college-attending jock brother; a wacky, embarrassing, exended family; a set of unbelievably chill parents; and one thank-god-for-him english teacher. I really enjoyed the books that this kid reads and reviews as his teacher assigns them for extracurricular - Ayn Rand's Fountainhead being one of them. This book is worth reading, especially for those who are currently experiencing the joys and pitfalls of highschool.

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