Ayn Rand was a godawful writer, and in ironic fashion her philosophy failed disastrously in her personal life. Yet decades after her death, her work’s destructive influence has never been stronger. The Awl rips apart the “Objectivist” doctrine championed by Rand and one of her most adoring disciples, former Fed chief Alan Greenspan:
That pill-popping, boy-crazy nincompoop Ayn Rand has got a lot to answer for. Indeed, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that we owe at least part of the recent economic crisis to her and her philosophy of Objectivism, since former Fed chief Alan Greenspan was a lifelong disciple of both.
The two first met in the ’50s. Back then, a gang of acolytes, calling themselves the Collective, used to gather at Rand’s apartment on East 36th Street every Saturday night so they could tell each other how smart they all were. Along came Greenspan one evening, shy and somber.