Libertarian History/Philosophy Goddess of the Market Author Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand


Reason Senior Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward recently sat down with Jennifer Burns, an assistant professor of history at the University of Virginia and author of the new book Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right.

Shot and edited by Meredith Bragg.

This is part of the series Radicals For Capitalism: Celebrating the Ideas of Ayn Rand.

Go here for more information, other videos, and related materials. Go here for downloadable versions of this video.

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  1. Fuck Ayn Reed

          1. monk rand

            1. Rand Funk Monk

  2. Welcome to the Tourette’s Poetry Hour. I’m your shitcock, nnh, nnh, fuck host, SugarFree.

    Like the rest of you, I eagerly await Monk next line. Hopefully he’ll get a whole stanza out before a prolonged bout of coughing and blinking.

    1. Tourette’s is the “disorder of Peace,” and most outbursts associated with the disorder are actually of a benevolent and non-obscene nature.

      Please don’t smear all of those with Tourette’s based on these two posts by Monk.

      1. (hands Draco a humor detector and some laughing gas)

        1. (hands a Potion of Satire Detection to Episiarch)

          Yeah, I got the humor. I suppose you didn’t (immdiately) sense the wittiness of my reply.

          1. I suggest upping the wittiness quotient.

          2. Don’t you two boys go a-fightin’ over little ole me.

            1. We’re not, Nancy.

  3. Burns and Mangu Ward is quite the very cute nerd girl summit.

    1. I don’t know about “summit.”
      Plateau, perhaps?

    2. Umm, sorry, but No. This is the first thing I’ve disagreed with you on John, AFAIK.

      1. You don’t think Mangu is cute? I always thought she was. And she is much less annoying than Howley.

        1. See, she wanted a little one because hers is…big as a house.

        2. Mangu is “Possum purdy”. In other words, she can eat corn-on-the-cob through a white picket fence.

      2. Also “cute nerd girl” is about as back handed of a compliment as you can give. It is like saying “really good fat ballerina”.

        1. Alright, fair enough John. I am rather spoiled actually, as my wife is quite the blond bombshell, so take my criticism with a grain of salt.

        2. Wait a minute! You had me, John, and then you lost me. Who says nerds can’t be attractive? Without irony, I say “Hubba hubba” to these two nerds.

          1. I think they are both cute. I have always liked Mangu and not just for her hip, funny name.

    3. For those of you keeping score at home, it took 14 minutes for a poster to comment on the degree of sexual attractiveness of the woman in the video.

      1. I bet myself it would be within the first five comments, posted chronologically (fuck this threaded shit.)

        1. It was the third comment. So you won your bet.

      2. But how many posts did it take for Tulpa to cluck his tongue at how gauche we are? Go shove your concern up your extremely tight ass, Tulpa.

  4. Someday someone will have to break the news to Professor Burns that almost no one on the Right ever cared about Rand. Not saying that is a good thing, but it will come as crushing news to Burns regardless.

    1. Not true at all, sir. Maybe the NR pretends not to care, but the rank and file do…

  5. Burns undermines her argument in her opening premise. Cafeteria philosophy? Pick and choose only those concepts you’re comfortable with? Come on. That’s libertarianism, not objectivism.

  6. Although I have to respect Rand’s legacy as a promoter of libertarianism, I have a specific reason not to trust her that the video never mentions. In her March 1964 Playboy interview, she said that “man does not possess any instincts.” Steven Pinker has warned us about the political dangers of the doctrine of the Blank Slate. I take this personally, because I believe the oppression I experienced in the American public school system had something to do with that doctrine. I was cruelly expected to muster infinite willpower to stay in my seat, shut up, and do the boring schoolwork. A person regarded as without instincts is a person without dignity.

  7. Yeah to hell with poo poo smelly atheists!

  8. Unless you want to pigeon-holed as a Rand site, you might want to ease off on the daily Ayn Rand postings.

    Just sayin’.

    Also “cute nerd girl” is about as back handed of a compliment as you can give.

    Oh, I disagree most emphatically. Cute ‘n’ nerdy is about as hot as it gets without actually bursting into flame.

    1. Spoken like someone who spent way too much time in Northern Ivy league colleges where half the women don’t shave their pits.

      1. There are Ivy League colleges in Italy?

  9. Cute ‘n’ nerdy is about as hot as it gets without actually bursting into flame.


  10. I don’t think “cute nerd girl” is a backhanded compliment. Nothing about “nerd” when applied to “girl” is a value judgment of looks. If it was “cute nerd girl” would be an oxymoron and “uncute nerd girl” would be redundant.

    Working with librarians, archivists, and library school students, I can assure you that bookish/quiet/SF/F fan girls span the entire spectrum from extremely pretty to cute to wolf ugly.

    What’s really hard to find (maybe non-existent) is a beautiful nerd girl, as beauty usually requires a measure of self-confidence and inner control that nerd-dom is antithetical toward.

    1. Also beauty requires a sense of style. Take any woman and put her in frumpy enough clothes and she won’t look beautiful no matter how hot she is naked.

      1. The Wife likes to call it “polish.” It’s not fashion, it’s not make-up, it’s about taking a good base of attractiveness and then emphasizing it to it’s maximum advantage.

        1. Not only that, but a cute girl that can express herself well, without being a pedant, it quite the firestarter as well.

          Bombshells are handy for a an evening of fun, but nothing kills “polish” like a lack of erudition.

          1. see, I like to ramble and talk and have some nod their head in agreement constantly so lack of whatever the heck you said is way awesome in my book!!!

        2. I don’t know. I never have found Polish girls all that beautiful. They tend to have those round faces which have a lot of cuteness potential, but not so much striking beauty.

      2. John, my man, you need to learn how to shift gears.

        Personally, I like being surprised in that good way.

        Also, nerdy/plain girls give the best head.

    2. FUCK YOU!

  11. For anyone looking for more please note this CSpan2 programming note:
    Anne Heller, “Ayn Rand and the World She Made” and Jennifer Burns,
    “Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right”

    > Saturday, November 7th from 9:00 pm – 10:15 pm (PST)
    > Sunday, November 8th from 6:00 am – 7:15 am (PST)
    > Sunday, November 8th from 3:45 pm – 5:00 pm (PST)
    > Anne Heller and Jennifer Burns present their biographies of author and
    > noted libertarian, Ayn Rand. Professor Burns focuses on Rand’s
    > intellectual allies and foes, and Ms. Heller researches the author’s
    > childhood and upbringing. Anne Heller and Jennifer Burns discuss their
    > books at the CATO Institute in Washington, DC.
    > Anne Heller is the former executive editor of the magazine development
    > group at Conde Nast Publications. She was also the managing editor of
    > the Antioch Review, news editor at Self, and fiction editor at Redbook
    > and Esquire.
    > Jennifer Burns is an assistant history professor at the University of
    > Virginia.

  12. A beautiful nerd girl is an impossibility, as her looks would never allow her to be considered a nerd. She could do nerdish things but no guy would consider her as such.

    1. A very valid point.

        1. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my bunk.

          1. Knock first, would ya? I’ll be out in a couple minutes.

      1. I do find her very, very hot, but I cannot consider her much of a nerd considering her self-possession and exhibitionism. Nerdy girls don’t strip down for Maxim. She’s really more on the geeky side, which is an attitude more than a behavior.

        Of course, this is just my opinion.

        1. You may have a point there. How are we defining nerd and geeky here?

          Nerdy is book smart and socially inept while geeky is technological aptitude, regardless of social skills?

          1. That’s how I define it. And geeky is selective. I’m a giant literary science fiction geek without being introverted or socially stunted. I don’t talk about SF all day, I don’t dress in Starfleet uniforms, I won’t get with a hundred miles of a bi-mon-sci-fi-con.

            I don’t register as nerdy despite my traditionally nerdy background.

            1. so, true…when I get into something I say, “I’m totally geekin’ out on this pr0n collection”

              I would never say I’m nerding out…

              1. why can’t I put a friggin’ zero in the middle of the werd. What the fuck is up with this piece shit blog software?!?!?

                I was trying to type the cool hip “pr 0 n” version of porn…oh well.

                Isn’t this correcting a little statist, no?

                1. jeebus, it did it again…fuckers. I hate you blog software! You are now my arch enemy…I need a superpower.

    2. Geena Davis anyone?

  13. A beautiful nerd girl is an impossibility, as her looks would never allow her to be considered a nerd.

    I worked with a girl who came close. Very, very pretty, and a huge anime fan.

  14. Beautiful nerd girls abound in high school. They just need a dramatic episode at the prom to teach them valuable lessons about beauty, as Hollywood has shown us time and time again.

    Excuse me, I have something in my eye.

    1. A ponytail holder and glasses were all that was holding her back.

  15. Oh yeah, and this chick claims to be a nerd. I have my doubts.

    1. Raven Alexis is the newest nerd/porn star darling. Kotaku had a story on her a bit ago.

    2. Asia Carrera was claiming that title about a decade ago, even though her site never was all that good.

  16. Asia Carrera was claiming that title about a decade ago…

    I’m not really up on my porn stars, (NPI) but doesn’t she have a near-genius IQ?

  17. Playboy did a feature on the women of Mensa way back (lat 80’s, early 90’s probably).

    There are a least a few seriously smart, seriously good-looking women out there.

    1. That pictorial was in the November 1985 issue. I’ve blogged about it.

  18. Would a discussion of a new biography of FDR or Gramsci at a leftist website devolve into gossip about porn?

    1. Maybe not, but that’s because so many leftists are dead below the waist.

    2. No it wouldn’t. Proof, as if more were needed, that libertarians are superior to leftoids.

    3. It might just devolve into a feminist fight – sexual liberation vs sex-as-a-tool-of-the-patriarchy. YAWNNNN

  19. Only at H & R would I encounter someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of, and blog about, Playboy magazine.

    Mr. Sorgatz, I salute you, sir!

      1. How much I owe ya?

      1. This has been discussed before John — Hear Hear not Here Here.

        1. If you can tow the lion, you can here here.

  20. What I wouldn’t give to sodomize this babe!…..dkf3dd.jpg

    1. only if you promise to give her a Dirty Sanchez in the process

    2. i’d give you ten bucks.

  21. Would a discussion of a new biography of FDR or Gramsci at a leftist website devolve into gossip about porn?

    What the fuck do you mean, “devolve”?

  22. It might devolve into a discussion of empowering, feminist, dykey porn, and how much better it is than normal porn. Long Latinate words would be used.

  23. What I wouldn’t give to sodomize this babe!

    If, by sodomize, you mean run through a wood chipper, you have *my* blessing.

    1. Well given that the result of such an act wouldn’t produce children, than I guess it counts as sodomy.

  24. It’s a corollary to Godwin’s law: as any Internet discussion continues, the chance that pr0n will be discussed approaches 1.

  25. Also, as any internet discussion goes to infinity, the probability that Godwin will be invoked goes to 1.


  26. With a single post 14 minutes into the conversation I completely derailed the thread from the 15th food fight among Objectivists and everyone else this week to discussing cute nerd girls and porn.

    I think a little gratitude is in order.

  27. The author neglected to mention the most important reason Rand had become more popular which is the last ten years of bubbles and recessions and the increase in amount of government and regulation and then blaming the problems on greedy capitalists and the small amount of free market we have left rather than just greedy people or greedy government-business collusion. The portrait Rand paints of a collapsing economy and the increase in regulation and raw government power is what caused me to look at Atlas Shrugged for the first time in about 15-20 years. In just the last few months in addition to things like the stimulus and bailing out banks and taking over GM, socializing medicine further, and possibly passing all kinds of global warming and tax laws, now the govt. is banning flavored cigars, incandescent bulbs (over the next few years), and trying to make all oysters be flavor-less to potentially save 15 lives a year,having mandatory health insurance, and making professors put their syllabii online by two weeks before registration. Since when did most of these things become the federal govt.’s business?

    Oh, sorry to interrupt your porn-athon. Carry on.

  28. One other interruption to the pornothon. What do Randians think of Austrian economics? We have a lot of gold bug Austrians around here. And we have a few Randians. But I have never bothered to notice if they are one and the same.

  29. I have such a huge crush on Professor Burns. I wear my muscle shirt to her office hours.

  30. It is always fun to remember pettite bookish profs like Burns were once drunken coeds.

  31. Since the Austrians (Mises and von Hayek to name a few) are for a gold standard and Rand used to promote Mises books (did not like some of Hayek’s later stuff) they would agree on most economic issues.
    But Austrians might be Christians or not into most of the other Rand stuff.
    Both will have a lot of overlap with libertarians. Basically all three are highly logical, system builders who like to be consistent. Rand wanted to carry that (to her) consistency to all aspects of life including sex, art, etc. All are against govt. coercion especially in the market place. As an aside, calling libertarians right wing or thinking that republicans are highly favorable of libertarianism or Objectivism or that our economy even under Republicans has had much free market or libertarian principles at work and that these are what failed is simply shoddy thinking and delusional. Greenspan was not doing anything remotely Austrian or Randian or free market with what he did at the Fed with interest rates. He may have thought he was letting the market work but with all the other govt. interference already present. Such as Fannie and Freddy which are the worst sort of collusion between the private and public sectors and laws in congress promoting risky lending the bubble was only driven larger by his policies. After any kind of catastrophe, man-made, financial, or natural, anyone can always say that if there had been a committee to handle it or prevent it, that it would not have happened but a statement like this is meaningless.
    There are already dozens if not hundreds of agencies, committees, laws regulations, etc. (actually in the tens of thousands if we count laws and regulations) that are supposed to guard against stuff like what happened. The securities that failed and supposedly could have been regulated better were often insurance policies against risky investments. There would have been little wrong with them if fewer were issued and MORE importantly, if there were not so many risky investments to begin with which were directly due to govt. policies of the last 15-20 years under both democratic and republican presidents and congresses. You have to look at the root of the problem, not just the surface and not just at the impression that Bush was a free market promoter when in fact most politicians over the last 75 years have not promoted it, least of all Bush. He was an idiot and even if he said and believed he is in favor of free markets you have to look and see what he really did. Read Bruce Bartlett for a good description of how anti-free market Bush and Nixon really were. Same with Hoover (a progressive). The FED was put in place in 1913 to stabilize the financial system. 16 years later we had the great depression which was deepened and lengthened by the worst anti-free trade act (Smoot-Hawley) and similar measures by other countries around the world. So back to my original point (I think I had one …..) Rand has had a big impact but most people only like this or that part of her philosophy or like the accurate depiction of some aspects of the collapse of an economy built on anti-free market govt.-business collusion. The other point most criticizing libertarians don’t get is that the liberal democrats would or should agree with the libertarian positions on all issues related to civil liberties and victimless crimes and often abortion and free trade (if they knew much about it since 99% of economists including Krugman and even marxists favor it), and other issues like NOT bailing out businesses or helping them (one of Adam Smith’s main points by the way). This is not for other libertarians on here but for those who may not know much about it.


    Well, this comes close.

    You might also look up some of teh stuff this asshole did.

  33. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

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