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33

“Individualists of the World Unite!”

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Duggan, L. (2019). “Individualists of the World Unite!”. In Duggan, L. Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed. University of California Press, pp. 33-53

37

Ayn Rand arrived on the scene in Hollywood without any clear understanding of the mode of business or the politics of representation developing there. Her initial astounding successes, dependent in part on her ability to assimilate as white, felt to her like pure individual achievement. Then she quickly ran into trouble that she could not comprehend. She arrived as Cecil B. DeMille’s adoring fan, but later dismissed him as a “box office chaser”—a dismissal signaling her failure to grasp the nature of the movies as an industry, where the motor powering profits was precisely box office chasing.

lol

—p.37 by Lisa Duggan 2 years, 8 months ago

Ayn Rand arrived on the scene in Hollywood without any clear understanding of the mode of business or the politics of representation developing there. Her initial astounding successes, dependent in part on her ability to assimilate as white, felt to her like pure individual achievement. Then she quickly ran into trouble that she could not comprehend. She arrived as Cecil B. DeMille’s adoring fan, but later dismissed him as a “box office chaser”—a dismissal signaling her failure to grasp the nature of the movies as an industry, where the motor powering profits was precisely box office chasing.

lol

—p.37 by Lisa Duggan 2 years, 8 months ago
44

This belief in the inherent moral as well as technological inferiority of “primitive” societies shaped her response to the concern of a Native American cadet at West Point in 1974. The cadet asked her how she squared her beliefs with the historical record of dispossession and extermination of American Indians. She replied that the Indians had had the land for five thousand years and had done nothing with it, saying further that “it is always going to transpire that when a superior technological culture meets up with an inferior one, the superior will prevail.”

whew

—p.44 by Lisa Duggan 2 years, 8 months ago

This belief in the inherent moral as well as technological inferiority of “primitive” societies shaped her response to the concern of a Native American cadet at West Point in 1974. The cadet asked her how she squared her beliefs with the historical record of dispossession and extermination of American Indians. She replied that the Indians had had the land for five thousand years and had done nothing with it, saying further that “it is always going to transpire that when a superior technological culture meets up with an inferior one, the superior will prevail.”

whew

—p.44 by Lisa Duggan 2 years, 8 months ago