I admire you. Your intellectual courage, open mind, tenacity in truth seeking are admirable, and it is a joy to read most of your posts.
I objected to the few where I thought you strayed into complex territory without basic preparations. You made the mistake we all do from time to time, of relying on 2nd hand information only.
It may be difficult for recent Liberty people to appreciate the enormous contributions of Rand to the early awakening of so many libertarians. The movement has moved way beyond much of her work, but her novels and some of her insights are so profound, they are as responsible for the popular Liberty movement as those of any one individual IMO, despite her significant errors.
You misunderstand Rand's idea of "selfishness" entirely. Hers was a courageous and gallant stand against the overwhelming tide of propaganda against individual worthiness. Especially her fictional protagonists exemplify the value of human cooperation of honest individuals pursuing their own ends, be it in business, community, or relationships. Her Atlas Shrugged is wonderful in this portrayal.
It is tremendously sad that Rand did not find her way personally to achieve what she did in the abstract. Ron Paul has integrated his work and personal life far more successfully, with the reward that he is a happy warrior. Rand was an anguished hero breaking new ground with a vicious response from the culture, and it broke her spirit and turned her inward and ill at the end.
But her work endures and continues to lift the minds and spirits of so many. While newcomers now often attribute their awakenings to Ron Paul, a half century ago the most frequent awakenings came from Rand. There was a book at that time, "It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand," by Jerome Tuccille.
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