Open Ethical Challenge: Atheist Ayn Rand vs. the Atheist Communists
Ayn Rand vs. the Communists* -- 3 Cases
Russ Roberts: But, I want to come back to your point about the Kindergarten of Communism, because I think it's a really interesting tie-in to Hayek, even though she didn't like Hayek. Or thought he was flawed. Which is: So, Rand was an atheist. She hated religion, viewed it as a form of anti-reason, I assume--was one reason she hated it, not more than reasons, but she also didn't like this moral imperative of some religions to help other people. And, it's interesting that she saw Christian morality as the Kindergarten of Communism. It says in the Old Testament: Love your neighbor as yourself. That's not a very Randian thought. And what Hayek argues in is that we have this natural tendency to take the ethics of our and extend them out into the larger extended order of society at large. And I think that's what he saw--I think correctly--as the root attraction of socialism, and of Communism. That, the family is a pretty great thing. And certainly, in our family, we care for each other and we take care of each other. And therefore we need to do that more widely. And he said, 'That's the road to tyranny. And if you try to take the extended order of the marketplace of bringing it to the family, you are going to destroy the family.' And so, we need to live in two worlds at once: A world of small group ethics, which is the family or close friends; and the larger order of strangers who we trade with and exchange with and interact with through the marketplace. And I think that's an incredibly deep insight into why modern life is challenging. Politics--political economy--is challenging. And it's interesting to me that he would have been very sympathetic to that remark that the morality of--she called it Christian morality, but it's also the morality of the family--that, to love one's neighbor as oneself, to love one's family members as one's self, to care about others--is the natural impulse toward collectivism.
Collectivism – Anthem by Ayn Rand
What sort of values does it promote?
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3 things you learned today
2 ways in which Ayn Rand's life may have affected her writing
1 question you still have about either Rand or "Anthem"