Newstalgia Reference Room with a short essay delivered by Ayn Rand in 1971. She is introduced by NBC newsman Edwin Newman.
March 31, 2011

Ayn Rand -- Tea Party icon, but not sure why.

Ayn Rand has become something of a resuscitated icon of late, certainly within the ranks of the Tea Party who have embraced her Extreme Capitalist and Anti-Government theories with almost romantic fervor.

In 1971, as part of the Comment series on NBC , Rand was asked to deliver an essay on her views regarding the Ecology movement.

Ayn Rand: “Ecology is the war on abundance, fought by the same people who are fighting the war on Poverty. The Ecologists claim that local pollution affects the whole world and threatens the survival of all living species. There is no scientific proof of this claim and none has ever been offered, on the grounds of nothing but arbitrary projections and panic mongering slogans, the ecologists are urging mankind to commit suicide by paralyzing industrial production. Their immediate but not ultimate goal is the destruction of the last remnants of freedoms of capitalism in our mixed economy and the establishment of a global dictatorship. In order to protect our natural environment, this means to enslave mankind on order to protect weeds, birds and reptiles.”

Her views were, at best, extreme and she has certainly not been without her detractors, nor fans in high places. Alan Greenspan has claimed to be a great follower of her ideals. That she paints everything in the most dire and dystopic of terms probably speaks more to her Russian background than anything else. As was once pointed out, her style was reminiscent of "philosophy as it's written in the Soviet Union" and has been challenged, debunked and left quietly as an antique of history over the years, until recently.

History is forever astonishing and baffling and it's jammed with contradictions, just like Ayn Rand.

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