Literary Grudge Match: Ayn Rand vs. JK Rowling

I rarely judge people for their literary tastes. Spending time reading words on a page accesses parts of your brain that are woefully underdeveloped in today’s society. I won’t pull a Jonathan Franzen and decry smartphones and social media, but I do believe too much of that shit rots your brain. There’s a stillness of mind that you achieve by reading, especially books. Just sitting there, without distraction, focusing on text for at least an hour a day. It does something special for your mind. So any love is good love, as far as reading is concerned.

Except when it comes to Ayn Rand.

I’m like officer Barbrady when it comes to Ayn Rand. Why anyone would put themselves through those bricks of total nonsense leaves me speechless. No one has committed so much ink and paper to such a fundamentally flawed philosophy as Rand. You’d think at some point in her yammering she’d chance across a bit of sense, but nope. She writes at the level of someone perpetually stuck in a first year philosophy course. It’s actually painfully stupid.

If you aren’t familiar with Rand, lemme do a quick run down: It’s OK to be a total douche bag because poor people suck and they should’ve thought about that when they were born. There’s some a juvenile Aristotle thrown in there somewhere. Whatever. Who cares.

And then there’s the school of thought she’s fostered. This brood of radical free market capitalists who seem to be on a mission to fuck over the economy again and again and again. So, so many shitty politicians. Oh, and Vince Vaughan. “Tax is theft!” blah blah blah. snore.

What’s truly hilarious is that after a lifetime of putting down people who received social assistance,  Ayn Rand died broke on welfare.

womp womp


Contrast Ayn Rand with JK Rowling.

Rowling’s story is well-known. She was a single mother on welfare. She wrote the bulk of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in cafes trying to keep her baby girl asleep. I’m pretty sure she made enough money to fill Gringotts.

But she gave much of it away. Moreover, unlike other rich Britons who flee the country to avoid taxation, she hung around because she believes in the system. She’s not trying to masquerade her greed and pettiness behind some shitty “philosophy” trying to justify her avarice. She experienced the benefit of social assistance and now wants pay it back.

Can you think of a better investment? Rowling probably cost the British government thousands of quid and now she’s contributed millions in taxes, donations, and whatever contributions from her books and films.


The culture war over taxation exhausts me. On the one side you have these butthurt millionaires and their militia of useful idiots who whine and moan like they’re under the boot heel of British mercantilism. And then on the other you have a group seething with ressentiment and want to punish rich people by taking away their money through taxation. My issue with the latter is at point is someone “rich”? It usually means someone who makes more money than you (although shout to rich guys like David Simon and Warren Buffet who feel they themselves aren’t paying enough taxes).

The discussion should be less focused on who should pay X amount of taxes, but what should we be doing with out taxes. Maybe if the public were more informed about where tax dollars were going, we’d get a better sense of how taxes should be levied. Vis a vis understanding the value of investing in social programs.






~ by braddunne on January 10, 2016.

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