Rand is NOT a Fascist! Jeez!

Jim Jaszewski ab975 at main.freenet.hamilton.on.ca
Sat Jun 24 14:50:58 MDT 1995


On Sat, 24 Jun 1995, Chris M. Sciabarra wrote:

> On Sat, 24 Jun 1995, Seamus Malone wrote:
>
> > Rand was an apologist for fascism. I'm not sure I see the difference.
>
> 	I realize that I've had to defend this view before, so I
> apologize to those participants here, who may be a little tired of even
> seeing the name Ayn Rand on a Marxist board.  Nevertheless, Rand was not
> a fascist, nor was she an apologist for fascism.  Considering that
> Mussolini's government banned Alessandrini's film version of her novel,
> "We the Living," and that the Nazis stopped the film from entering
> Germany, it is fairly clear that even the fascists saw her
> "anticommunist" stance as one against all forms of authoritarian
> statism.

	This may be where we differ on 'semantics':

	Simply being an enemy of the Nazis is no proof that one is not
himself a fascist, or will not later slide into it.

	The post WWII world is FULL of people who fought the Nazis, but
who I would characterize as being just as fascistic as them. I tend to
believe that it is simple nationalism -- not democratic sensibilities --
which pitted them against their ideological brethren, their protestations
aside. Hell, even capitalists go to war against each other -- except when
they have a common foe (guess who?)


  Alessandrini's film was originally produced as an anticommunist
> propaganda film.

	You'd have a hard time convincing me that most 'anti-communists',
and ALL anti-communists who engage in propaganda, aren't out-and-out
fascists -- or, to paraphrase a local Toronto fascist journalist (WACL
member), 'crypto-fascists'.


  The rights were stolen and the film was produced
> without Rand's permission.  Nevertheless, it was very faithful to the
> novel, and won several awards in 1943 at the Venice Film Festival.  The
> Mussolini government, however, was made uncomfortable by the fact that
> the film was being cheered by Italian moviegoers.  They eventually
> suppressed the film because of its explicit antiauthoritarianism.

	Anti-authoritarianism, or obtuse libertarianism??


> Rand opposed fascism, and was one of the most radical theorists on the
> libertarian right in her critique of American neofascism.

	She may have 'opposed' the _explicitly_ fascist opponents of the
Western governments (I wouldn't know, but after all, she was obviously
smart enuff to know which side her bread was buttered on), but that
doesn't mean her 'critique' of U.S. neofascism wasn't an INTERNAL one.

	Since I don't KNOW what she said about her buddies, if others here
aren't sick of it by now, I'd kinda like to hear just what it was she DID
say...


  She saw big
> business as the architects of American statism, opposed U. S. entry into
> Korea and Vietnam,

	On moral grounds, I'm sure...


 opposed the draft, was pro-choice on the issue of
> abortion, and was a militant atheist.

	Ya, ya, we all know she was a strange fish...


  I find it difficult to believe
> that anyone can call her fascistic, simply because she was an advocate of
> capitalism, "the unknown ideal."

	I call her a fascist because of the company she kept, and because
of her bizarre philosophy (what I know of 'Objectivism'), which leads
naturaly(?) to this worship of a 'dynamic leader' type who 'keeps the
trains running on time' (Gee... where have we seen THIS before..!!)


  And given the fact that she was
> educated at the University of Leningrad under the Hegelian neo-idealist,
> N. O. Lossky, she absorbed a highly dialectical mode of inquiry which
> affected both her literary and philosophic project.

	So what??  I think Nello could tell you better than I how the
fascists in the P2 Masonic Lodge in Italia used EXPLICITLY marxist
techniques to develop their 'strategy of tension' terrorism.

	To me it's akin to eating the brains of your vanquished foe, or
other ritual cannibalism, or even just taking victory 'souvenirs' from the
cooling corpse. It's like saying that the use of Scots bagpipes in the
rituals of British imperialism shows their great respect for the Scottish
people...


  I cover all of this
> in my forthcoming Penn State volume (to be released this August),
> entitled:  AYN RAND:  THE RUSSIAN RADICAL.

	Wasn't she a Balt?


  I think the volume will
> appeal to many on the left simply because it offers a celebration of
> dialectical method.  It reconstructs a lost world of Russian intellectual
> history, and relates Rand to Marx, Hegel, Fromm, Habermas, and many
> others on the Left.  The book challenges Rand's "cultic" following and
> her critics as well, to reevaluate her place in the history of social
> thought.

	A Sisyphean effort I'm sure...


  Moreover, I think those on the left will be surprised to see
> just how closely Rand's critique of contemporary power relations mirrors
> the Marxian perspective, taking the notion of the master-slave duality to
> heights that would make a Hegelian proud.

	Capitalism tries to absorb All...




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   Jim Jaszewski   <jazz at freenet.hamilton.on.ca>

   WWW homepage:   <http://www.freenet.hamilton.on.ca/~ab975/Profile.html>

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