Cats and Ayn Rand


Ayn Rand wrote to the editor of Cat Fancy magazine in 1966. This gem of literary philosophy has been preserved for us.

aynandcats

If only she were alive today to pontificate on LOLcats.

Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    I like the comment from Fallacy Gamers in this link:

    “Catlas Shrugged” If you will.

    —- —- —- —-
    BTW, cats are selfish by genetic dictation and are thus blameless. They should not be compared to this lady predator (thinks of the alien lizard lady in the horribly bad “V” as perfect symbol for Rand)

  2. birgerjohansson says

    I just realised, we should make a Randian version of “V” with the human-eating lizard people as heroes, representing Rand’s principles.

  3. says

    “If only she were alive today to pontificate on LOLcats”

    Though I suspect that the downside of her being alive would greatly outweigh and LOLcat upside.

    She’d be a bit long in the tooth by now too!

  4. Matt Penfold says

    Even when writing a short letter her prose style was wooden and turgid.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    How the $£€ could a writer of this prose have influence on human thinking? I might write like this early on a Monday morning.

    I shall call my ideology “felinism”. The central tenet is that we are doing humanity a favor by hunting people, thus forcing them to adapt and reach optimal fitness. Also, shedding hair everywhere without concern is out right.

  6. Gerard O says

    Aren’t cats the worst type of loafers and spongers? Sorry, that’s the folks at the Ayn Rand Institute.

  7. laurentweppe says

    So, she was a thrall of the Perfidious Felines: color me unsurprised: her “I’m inherently superior to the proles who feed and care for me and am therefore entitled to lord over them until the stars grow cold” is most definitely catlike: in fact, I think the most rational conclusion one can draw given the available evidence is that objectivism, tea baggerism, supply-side fairy tales and all the über-libertarian bullshit spew in the media are part of the same Perfidious Feline Conspiracy to brainwash Humankind.

  8. Moggie says

    Matt Penfold:

    Even when writing a short letter her prose style was wooden and turgid.

    That was just an extract. The actual letter was 1000 pages long, including a 70-page speech from her cat.

  9. anne mariehovgaard says

    This appears to have been written by a school kid learning English as a foreign language. “Your homework today is to write a short text demonstrating the use of conjunctions and adverbs!”

  10. doublereed says

    SHE LOVED CATS???? Is loving cats part of Objectivism??!!!

    That does it. I’m now I’m an Objectivist. Yaaaay cats!

  11. birgerjohansson says

    I think Catbert, the evil H.R. director in “Dilbert” looks a little bit like Rand.

  12. Scr... Archivist says

    birgerjohansson @2,

    I just realised, we should make a Randian version of “V” with the human-eating lizard people as heroes, representing Rand’s principles.

    Well, you could go to the ultimate, original inspiration for V and adapt Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here. The Randians would probably be a different group of rebels, rather than either the heroes or the villains of that novel.

  13. David Marjanović says

    This appears to have been written by a school kid learning English as a foreign language.

    Well, English was a foreign language for Rand, who spent her early childhood in Russia.

  14. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    I think Catbert, the evil H.R. director in “Dilbert” looks a little bit like Rand.

    That wouldn’t surprise me.

  15. Nemo says

    If only LOLcats had been alive back then for her to pontificate on. Think of what we might’ve been spared, if she’d had a better way to spend her time!

  16. microraptor says

    Basement Cat would want nothing to do with her. If Rand were alive today, the LOLcats would send her to the doghouse.

  17. Muz says

    I’m most in love with the idea of Rand being so tedious even back then that the editor of Cat Fancier is taking pot shots at her.

  18. loopyj says

    Moggie @8 – You are my internet crush today. :)

    I find it a bit odd that Rand believed that she owned cats. Cats are not owned. Cats deign to live with humans if the food is good, the surroundings comfy, and the proper obeisance and worship is given. Clearly, Rand knew even less about cat nature than she did about human nature.

    I only know Rand from her interviews, and the float-over text here expresses my feelings precisely: http://xkcd.com/1049/

  19. says

    “I can demonstrate objectively that cats are a great value, and the charter issue of ‘Cat Fancy’ magazine may serve as part of the evidence.”
     
    Checkmate, Catheists!

  20. comfychair says

    loopyj @ 19:

    I had a hard time with Ayn Rand because I couldn’t get past the first few pages of Atlas Shrugged where she so clearly demonstrated she had not even the slightest fking clue how old oak trees work. (hint: they’re supposed to be hollow and ‘rotten’ in the middle!)

    Who was it back during some election in the recent past who said, about N. Leroy Gingrich, that he was ‘a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like’?

  21. busterggi says

    Of course she loved cats – they are natural born killers and rugged individualists. Though I’ve seen quite a few go through garbage which also makes them looters – but I’m sure Rand considered those to be dogs despite their biological status.

  22. blf says

    For some strange reason this reminded me of Terry Pratchet’s The Unadulterated Cat, albeit Mr Pratchet’s writing, books, and story-telling skills are so superior I’m drawing a blank as to why I am reminded…

  23. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    @Gerard O#6:

    Aren’t cats the worst type of loafers and spongers?

    It only counts if they’re loafing and sponging off the government, but not if it’s from private citizens. Who knows, maybe she hated dogs because so many have been used as working animals by governments?

  24. says

    So, the founder of Objectivism didn’t even understand objectivity? Cool.

    A quick, usually one paragraph except of any of her philosophical non-fiction makes this obvious.

    FFS, she thought that smoking was an objective good, enjoyed by all rational people.

  25. says

    I can demonstrate objectively that cats are a great value

    Then why didn’t she? Where’s the proof?

    A fun thing is that modern economics is based around the theory of subjective value. Something is worth only what someone else is willing to pay for it. You can insist that your homemade toaster, which took you a thousand hours to create, is worth many times a much better toaster that Target sells for $30, but if no one is willing to pay for it, how exactly is anyone else supposed to accept that value? Things are worth what people pay for them. The subjective theory of value is practically a tautology.

    That said, my cat is worth a lot to me because he’s the coolest fucking cat ever. I hope I never actually have to put a price on that.