This is an archive site only. It is no longer maintained. You can not post comments. You can not make an account. Your email will not be read. Please read this page if you have questions.
Many people have unfairly maligned Ayn Rand, the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. This has always confounded me, for no other person has developed such a rational approach to living as she. I believe the underlying reason is that most of her works, like The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, are simply too complex and involved for most people. Thankfully, a group of Canadian musicians took the time during the 80's to distill the complexity of Rand's philosophy into music that we can all understand.
Modern rock pioneers Rush not only produce some of the hardest rocking tunes ever recorded, they also are pioneers when it comes to infusing rock music with deep insight into the natures of human behavior. The band consists of guitarist Alex Lifeson, deeply crooning singer/bass & keyboard player Geddy Lee, and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart. Peart is mostly known for his wildly improvisational, jazz-inspired drumming technique, but he plays an even greater role as the person who has single handedly brought the power of Ayn Rand's Objectivism to a level that can be understood by even the most stereotypically ignorant, drug-addled teen.
Ayn Rand's highly influential Objectivism is a deep topic, and her purely philosophical writings on it are quite dense. Realizing this, she took on the task of translating her thoughts into the realm of fiction in order to make it more accessible to the general public. Unfortunately, the task still proved formidable, and two of her resulting books totaled over 1,000 pages each. The complex nature of what she advocates even dictated that she spend the final 50 some-odd pages of Atlas Shrugged reiterating everything she had spent the previous 1,000 pages explaining. Thankfully, Neil Pert was up to the task of reinterpreting her work for her in layman's language.
Live for yourself, there's no one else
With that one verse Peart has reached deep into the very core of what is important in Objectivism. Utilizing the power and reach of rock music, he and his bandmates have taught us much of what being an Objectivist is really all about. But how is it that a humble drummer was capable of such a feat? Quite simply, it was due to his environment. You see, Rush is a Canadian band, and as such they know first hand how the forces of socialism can destroy all that is important in man. Why this skill developed solely in Peart and not Lifeson or Lee is due to Peart's journey to England when he was eighteen. It was there that he first came to truly understand how important Objectivism is, utilizing the excessive governmental involvement in daily life prevalent in England as a catalyst for his enlightenment.
There is unrest in the forest,
Indeed, we are kept down with hatchet, ax and saw. This parable clearly underscores how the small people continue to force those graced with power and influence to bend to the will of those who are not worthy, resorting to violence rather than reason to have their way. The music of Rush asks: Which are you? A noble oak, rising towards the sun, or a weak maple, whining about the unfairness of it all rather than bettering yourself through improved photosynthesis and nutrient gathering? The implied inferiority of the maple, national tree of Canada, is clearly intentional and represents Peart's dissatisfaction his socialist homeland.
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
Lyrics such as these are the basic essence of Objectivism. Free will. The power to change your destiny should you so choose. Total rejection of the idea that some people are born into situations from which they cannot rise out of without help. Another line from the above song goes, "Blame is better to give than receive". No greater sarcastic truism has ever been uttered. The simple truth of the world is that absolutely each and every person who finds themselves in difficult circumstances is there as a result of their own actions. This is what Objectivism teaches us, that those who have problems deserve no help because it is all their fault anyway.
Of course those who are the little people among us are not content taking responsibility for their own failings, choosing instead to blame their problems on "phantom fears" like global economics, abuse of power, and the inherent inequality of capitalism due to its rewarding of greed above all else. This would be fine if there weren't so many of them, but that is not the case. Those who are accepting of their inherent inferiority outnumber us in such great numbers that they actually are able to influence world events. As a result, our politicians are forced to enact destructive socialist programs like retirement benefits, public transportation and health care for the indigent.
However, we now have hope. In addition to Ayn Rand's scholarly and deeply
thoughtful writings, we also have a means of making the truth understood to
the masses. The music of Rush can be a highly effective tool for spreading the
word of Rand. By combining high level philosophy with the power of primitive
rhythm and repetitious melody, we finally have an effective tool for convincing
the less perceptive among us that our cause is right and that getting in our
way is extremely counterproductive. By further simplifying our message we will
finally succeed in teaching the meek that the earth is not theirs to inherit,
but should either be seized with force or surrendered to those who are stronger.