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LAISSEZ FAIRE CITY TIMES 4, no. 6 (7 February 2000)

Ayn Rand:  Philosopher for a New Millennium?

Russell Madden

Madden discusses the growing interest in Ayn Rand, surveying her attitutdes and opinions, her life, and the Objectivist movement and its future.  In the article, he highlights the work of Chris Matthew Sciabarra.  Madden writes:

"Scholar Chris Sciabarra seeks to bring Objectivism into the academic fold, 'kicking and screaming,' if necessary. Some Objectivists hold a healthy skepticism of left-leaning, subjectivist-oriented academia and its tendency to reduce all systems to a kind of diluted, anemic parity. Sciabarra, on the other hand, wants to stage a kind of subversive coup by using the academics' own language and tools to introduce Objectivism into colleges and universities. 'Respectability' in the academic realm is almost a disvalue for some Objectivists, but Sciabarra believes that Objectivism's best chance of gaining a deeper as well as wider influence in our society is by quietly storming the collegiate bastions. The 'trickle-down' of ideas from cultural leaders to the average citizen to which Rand often alluded will only stand a chance of succeeding if Objectivism and Rand are no longer marginalized by the academic world.

"To help achieve his goals, Sciabarra has published the controversial Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (in which he attempts to reclaim 'dialectics' in a manner similar to Rand's redemption of 'selfishness').  He and Mimi Gladstein edited the equally controversial Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, a volume giving voice to those who both love and hate Rand."

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