The credence, even respect, being given today to Ayn Rand's ideas, as exemplified by her novel Atlas Shrugged, was bound to outrage many conservatives, especially those theists at National Review who, following in the steps of its founder, disdained her because she was an atheist.
Beginning with William F. Buckley, Jr. assigning the Atlas review to the god-fearing, one-time traitor, ex-communist, and professional testifier Whittaker Chambers, National Review through its founder had nothing good to say about the author who argued for a moral--not religious or social!--basis for individual rights and capitalism. Indeed, even after her death, Buckley, in an alleged novel, took swipes at the then-deceased author who has done more for individual rights than the revered (by some) mystical supplicant William F. Buckley, Jr.
So it comes as no surprise that with Ayn Rand's name and her novel being front and center in today's discourse about how close America is coming to the altruist/collectivist/statist abyss, National Review would disinter the spirit of Buckley and attack her yet again.
An online "NRO Symposium" of March 20, 2009 entitled "Going Galt: Ayn Rand's books are booming--but what about her ideas?" presents "a distinguished group of contributors to discuss Rand's newfound poplularity."
"Newfound popularity," indeed! Rand's books have sold more than Buckley could ever have imagined for his tomes even were he in a mystical trance.
As to the "distinguished group," six of the nine contributors fell all over themselves to be snide, condescending, pompous, insulting. Not surprisingly, in the comments of one contributor, the stench of anti-Semitism can be detected.
Somewhere, William F. Buckley, Jr. may be smiling.
But Ayn Rand must be laughing--as her NR-denigrated ideas more and more permeate the culture, revealing the grave deficiencies in much conservative thought.