From William Dwyer:
I just received a hard-to-find copy of the January 1944 Reader’s Digest with an article by Ayn Rand entitled “The Only Path to Tomorrow.” The article is condensed from a project that Rand began in 1943 entitled “The Moral Basis of Individualism,” which she eventually abandoned.
I am taking the liberty here of transcribing the article, which is not very long, since it is virtually impossible to find a copy of it. I was very lucky to locate the January ’44 issue from an obscure book seller. You won’t find it on the internet.
by Ayn Rand
The greatest threat to mankind and civilization is the spread of the totalitarian philosophy. Its best ally is not the devotion of its followers but the confusion of its enemies. To fight it, we must understand it.
Totalitarianism is collectivism. Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group – whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called “the common good.”
Throughout history no tyrant ever rose to power except on the claim of representing “the common good.” Napoleon “served the common good” of France. Hitler is “serving the common good” of Germany. Horrors which no man would dare consider for his own selfish sake are perpetrated with a clear conscience by “altruists” who justify themselves by – the common good.
No tyrant has ever lasted long by force of arms alone. Men have been enslaved primarily by spiritual weapons. And the greatest of these is the collectivist doctrine that the supremacy of the state over the individual constitutes the common good. No dictator could rise if men held as a sacred faith the conviction that they have inalienable rights of which they cannot be deprived for any cause whatsoever, by any man whatsoever, neither by evildoer nor supposed benefactor.
After our announcement yesterday of the summer conferences produced by the Ayn Rand Institute and the Objectivist Center, some members have written to bring our attention to two other conferences we did not mention, including the European Objectivist conference in London from September 9 – 11th, and the Sense of Life Objectivists conference that was recently held in Newport Beach from April 22 – April 27.
We appreciate the heads-up, and will include information about both of these conferences when we send out next year’s conference calendar.
The soundtrack for The Fountainhead movie has been recently released on audio CD, with a lavish 32-page color booklet.
Chris Sciabarra wrote an insightful review of the recording for Navigator, including this excerpt from the liner notes:
Steiner’s score suggests that he felt a strong affinity for The Fountainhead. There is, to be sure, no documentary evidence to prove this (indeed, all that we have on paper are Steiner’s notes to his orchestrator, Murray Cutter). However, the music, especially the heroic Roark theme, so perfectly conveys the feel of a Rand novel, it is hard not to think that Steiner was personally moved by the story, and its message. Steiner uses his music to convey important information to the audience. For example, he establishes subtle “links” between characters through the music…. Steiner demonstrates an insight into the metaphysical nature of the “evil” that opposes Roark…. His use of the “redemption theme” is carefully placed and always conveys what Rand intends. There is even a musical link made between Dominique’s malevolent sense of life, and Wynand’s tragic flaw. All in all, the evidence suggests that Steiner had a strong, intuitive insight into what Rand was up to.
Check out Sciabarra’s full review for additional information.
Did you know that illustrated versions were made of both The Fountainhead and Anthem, with Ayn Rand’s approval and involvement?
Chris Sciabarra has posted links on his blog to a number of his different essays on the Ayn Rand Centenary, including the PDF version of his article “The Illustrated Rand,” from The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.
See the latter for full details about the illustrated versions of Anthem and The Fountainhead.
From the Ayn Rand Institute:
Ayn Rand, one of the most inspiring and controversial writers, was born on February 2, 1905. To celebrate her life and achievements, the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) is inaugurating a special centenary Web site.
The new Web site will be updated with audio and video of the events that will take place throughout 2005. In addition, the site will soon feature materials from the collections of the Ayn Rand Archives, as well as other special content.
We hope you will enjoy visiting aynrand100.org and that you will join us in celebrating the Ayn Rand Centenary.
From Objectivist Conferences:
Registration is open for “Introduction to Ayn Rand’s Philosophy,” a six-part weekly evening course starting on January 20, 2005. The course is taught as an interactive class, in which participants are invited to raise questions. There are three ways to take the course: in person at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, California; live via teleconferencing; and by listening online to recordings of the classes.
The instructors scheduled to lead the class are Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute and a former college professor; and Dr. Onkar Ghate, a senior fellow and an instructor at the Objectivist Academic Center.
The course is open to the general public. High school and college students are encouraged to attend and will receive a substantial discount on the registration fee.
Those who wish to attend class at the Ayn Rand Institute should register early?space is limited.
For all the details, pricing and registration information, visit the Objectivist Conferences Web site.
The PDF version of the full article can be obtained by clicking on “PDF” at the top of the abstract page (which is otherwise blank; there’s no abstract).
(Thanks to Diana Hsieh for the heads-up.)