Debunking Ayn Rand's Objectivism

July 26, 2007

A few weeks ago, The Chronicle published a package of articles on Ayn Rand's academic legacy. The articles set Steve Gimbel, an associate professor of philosophy at Gettysburg College, thinking.

"You see, when you get on an airplane for a cross-country flight as a philosopher, you would much rather be seated next to the person who suffers from intense airsickness the entire way than the white guy who turns and says, 'Oh, I'm kind of a philosopher, too. I LOVE Ayn Rand.'"

As you can tell, Gimbel is not a fan of Rand's philosophy of free-market economics and egoistic ethics. "If you take the writings of Nietzsche and remove everything insightful, interesting, and funny," Gimbel writes, "what's left are the writings of Ayn Rand."

And Gimbel is just getting started. He goes on to explain -- in great detail -- why Rand's work acts a "narcotic to the upper-middle-class white male of above-average means and intelligence."