By L&T Managing Editor Larry Phillips
The wonders of old movies never cease to amaze me. I rediscovered a gem earlier this week in the 1949 film “The Fountainhead,” written by the Russian-American writer Ayn Rand and starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal.
It’s a tale of a remarkably head-strong architect who designs and builds things in his own way, not relying on advice, acceptance or criticism from anyone else. He agrees to design public housing without pay, if they do it only as he designs it. Well, his enemies change the plans, and he ends up burning the unfinished complex to he ground.
His enemies are then determined to destroy him and use the courts to try him for “thinking only of himself and his own ego” – taking away housing from the poor people.
His enemies were the same we see today in the socialist and communist movements – especially here in the U.S.A.
Take from the rich, give to the poor – redistribution of wealth, invention, production, and that mortal danger to all freedom-loving men – collectivism.
While doing research on Rand, her writings – especially “The Fountainhead” – became only more fascinating.
She was born Feb. 2, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia. She learned reading and writing at a very early age. She was thoroughly opposed to the mysticism and collectivism of Russian culture, and she denounced the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. She made her way to America in 1926 – and the rest is history.
Her insight into the Russian collective is genuine – she saw it and lived it. Amazingly, it fits into what is happening right here in our nation today under the Obama Administration – collectivism, redistribution of wealth and “forcing men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots.”
Here we are in 2013 living in a country where the government (Obama and Sebelius) has decided what insurance we need. Those millions of plans that have been cancelled were nothing but “substandard plans,” as Obama called them. He knows better, you don’t, you fool. You should eagerly accept Obama’s all-knowing, all-seeing policies and fall in line, you “brainless, soulless robot.”
And, if you disagree with his policies, you’re a racist.
Here is some of the dialog written by Rand in 1943, prior to her book becoming a movie. The hero is defending his actions for burning his dreams to the ground after others had tried to confine and constrict his designs and turn him into an architectural robot:
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators – the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors – stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible.
“Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon.”
Rand’s hero astounds the courtroom as he pledges his belief in independence of the human spirit and soul.
“The degree of a man's independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man. Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value.
“The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive.”
Try telling that to an Administration that’s forcing you to accept all renewable energies regardless of the costs and regulating oil, gas, coal and nuclear energies out of business.
Rand, again through her hero, brings her lifelong disgust of collectivism to a point – a point that fits all too well, right now, 70 years after she wrote it.
“The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks, the parasite copies. The creator produces, the parasite loots. The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature – the parasite’s concern is the conquest of men.
“The creator requires independence, he neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice. The parasite seeks power, he wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others. That he must think as they think, act as they act, and live in selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own.”
She, and her hero, finished with this:
“Look at history. Everything thing we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind.
“Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots. Without personal rights, without personal ambition, without will, hope or dignity. It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: The individual against the collective.”
How profound her words as we watch collectivism by the parasites overtaking this once great nation.