Thursday, September 5, 2019

792: Lisa Duggan...

I am not sure, but I think it was oola, who brought to my attention this article. It is written by Lisa Duggan.
Its title is "How Ayn Rand Became the
Spirit of Our Time" , subtitle " Lisa Duggan on the Influence of the Original Mean Girl"
 (May 31, 2019)
She writes: "As I write in 2018, every news day delivers a fresh jolt. Since the election of President Donald Trump, the questions arise: Is the news surreal, hyperreal, or unreal? 
How do we grasp the daily spectacle of cultural contempt—for immigrants and minorities, for women, for political dissent, for “losers”? 
How do we comprehend the level of social and political indifference—toward those who cannot buy security and access to power? 
How can the US Congress pass a hugely unpopular tax “reform” bill that vastly expands economic inequality? 
Who are these people in power, making these decisions, and what makes them tick? (...)
The culture of greed is the hallmark of the neoliberal era, the period beginning in the 1970s 
when the protections of the US and European welfare states, and the autonomy of postcolonial states around the world, came under attack. 
Advocates of neoliberalism worked to reshape global capitalism by freeing transnational corporations from restrictive forms of state regulation, 
stripping away government efforts to redistribute wealth and provide public services, and emphasizing individual responsibility over social concern. 
From the 1980s to 2008, neoliberal politics and policies succeeded in expanding inequality around the world." -end quote-
Also May 2019 she published a book: "MEAN GIRL", subtitle "Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed" (Paperback 136 pages).
Here is the summary of the book: Ayn Rand's complicated notoriety as popular writer, leader of a political and philosophical cult, 
reviled intellectual, and ostentatious public figure endured beyond her death in 1982. 
In the twenty-first century, she has been resurrected as a serious reference point for mainstream figures, especially those on the political right from Paul Ryan to Donald Trump. 
Mean Girl follows Rand's trail through the twentieth century from the Russian Revolution to the Cold War 
and traces her posthumous appeal and the influence of her novels via her cruel, surly, sexy heroes. 
Outlining the impact of Rand's philosophy of selfishness, 
Mean Girl illuminates the Randian shape of our neoliberal, contemporary culture of greed and the dilemmas we face in our political present. -end summary-
Today we say farewell to another academic year and will be enjoying a well deserved vacation. We have reached the 1960s in our present project
and we have reached probably the most influential legacy of the 20th century, which we have to fight today day by day: the culture of greed.
If you have some time left coming months, reread at the lectures on Ayn Rand. It is worth while, if I may say so.
We'll resume our work in the first week of September again. I thank you all for your most appreciated participation in my class. 
It was a joy and pleasure to meet with you every Tuesday and Thursday and I hope to see you all again in September.
Thank you.....


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