There has been much discussion in this thread about what Rand's meaning
Well - I have my own version of that, based on my own reading of her two
enormous novels, mediated by some little knowledge of the way in which she
conducted her own life.
Well - I may be right, and I may be wrong. As with all authors, once you
place your work out there, it ceases to be your own. I have published
poetry and remain astonished at the meanings given to it by others.
It is what others do with Rand which terrifies me. Rightly or wrongly her
work has become close to scripture for amoral, libertarian, individualism.
One might argue that these views would be held anyway, but here in New
Zealand Rand's work has become the organisational focus for a small but
vocal political movement. Similarly it has been inspirational for any
number of survivalist and militia groups in North America.
I consider all such movements as a threat to civil society, and the basic
humanist values which I hold personally. If Rand's work is the banner
under which many of these people gather, then it is also through Rand that
I must sometimes articulate my critique.
For me the concepts associated with organisational learning are
intelligently grounded in a set of values and assumptions about
reconciling the human experience of work and the purposes of organisations
which are also my values and assumptions. It seems to me that Rand's work
seeks to legitimise an approach to the question of power in organisations
which makes the possession of personal power self-referential
justification for using that power in any way whatsoever, mediated only by
the need to accomodate other loci of power and their objects. I cannot
accept that such an approach represents the highest expression of human
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