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the Ayn Rand stuff doesn't work ... it didn't, not even for her.


That is one of the most ridiculous and tenuous pieces of television I've ever seen from the BBC. It's almost like Curtis plays random association games then tries to impose a historical narrative on it.

do you think Ann was happy? are others whom have to live with stuff she was used to justify? btw Curtis is aware of random association games and their abuse (see Century of the Self). He is also aware of history (see blog entry about Eden/China, Libya, Iraq, Kosovo etc. -- he always puts it in context)

If Curtis' latest documentary series was a courtcase, the defense would be going blue in the face shouting 'objection!' after virtually every line and the judge would likely just make a sign saying 'sustained' to hold up. Almost every assertion/connection he makes or insinuates is logically untenable. Consider the whole leap from 'some' Silicon Valley entrepreneurs following Rand, to the NY/London financial industry putting too much faith in computers. Or the supposed direness westernisation has brought about in south-east Asia - focussing on a single crisis and ignoring the broader picture. Or statements he makes about things so long passed that they somehow shouldn't need evidence, eg. the great depression 'was caused by greed.'

Basically he picks a bunch of ideas or voices, arbitrarily decides they had utmost influence on history, giving no evidence for this, then connects them to cherry-picked historical events, omitting any events that would contradict the narrative he wants to present, and also any counterpoints within the ideologies he's 'debunking.' If anyone seriously finishes watching those shows and takes it all at face value, they have some serious epistemological issues.

Was Rand happy? Think how ridiculous this is: all the stuff she accomplished in her life time, and the documentary focuses on one spell of unhappiness stemming from a personal betrayal, to paint her as a 'failed invidividual.' Think of all the difficulties other philosophers/writers ran into - yet we let their ideas stand on their own merit. Of course Rand was not happy every single day, and there's nothing about her philosophy that suggests she ought to have been, but she was (rightly) satisfied with her life.

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