“It is certainly a bumptious one”

We struggle to be just. For we cannot help feel at least a sympathetic pain before the sheer labor, discipline and patient craftsmanship that went to making this mountain of words. But the words keep shouting us down. In the end that tone dominates. But it should be its own antidote, warning us that anything it shouts is best taken with the usual reservations with which we might sip a patent medicine. Some may like the flavor. In any case, the brew is probably without lasting ill effects. But it is not a cure for anything. Nor would we, ordinarily, place much confidence in the diagnosis of a doctor who supposes that the Hippocratic Oath is a kind of curse.

Whittaker Chambers 1957 Review of Ayn Rand

This is good. While of the evaluative phrases are sexist (e.g, “shrill”), this review cuts to the quick of her project. Thanks to Phil Christman for sharing it.

As a teenager I read a lot of Ayn Rand’s work. I agree with The Relentless Picnic’s diagnosis that she appeals, like Strauss’ neoconservatism, to the kind of person: “You feel inferior, told you should be equal, but your emotional response says ‘I’m superior.'” [at 21m 25s]. That was me around that time, dripping in unrecognized privilege. It took a lot of exposure to a lot of different ideas from a lot of different people to bring the recognition.