That Cass Sunstein has no idea (or chooses to misrepresent) what Ayn Rand wrote, believed, and advocated is obvious from his recent, concerted smear of Rand. Among other absurdities:

  • Sunstein claims that Rand believed that “people’s happiness” has nothing do with “anything spiritual,” when in fact Rand recognized that happiness is precisely a spiritual result of the achievement of one’s values. (Rand distinguished real spiritual values from the ghosts and demons of supernaturalism.)
  • Sunstein claims that Rand shared with Marx a belief in materialism—the notion that only matter exists, that consciousness and free will are a myth, and that man’s actions are driven by external forces—when in fact Rand recognized that the existence of consciousness and free will is axiomatic and that each individual must choose whether to be governed by his reasoning mind or his unchecked emotions.
  • Sunstein claims that Rand created characters in her novels who were “either all good or all bad,” when in fact she populated her novels with people of mixed character (among many, see Catherine Halsey in The Fountainhead and the “wet nurse” in Atlas Shrugged) as well as with pure villains and heroes.

But Sunstein’s most egregious error is ascribing to Rand “a top-down theory . . . wielding a series of abstractions and a priori truths.” . . .

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