In the 1960s and early '70s, the most prominent, vocal cultural movement was the New Left, a movement that condemned America and everything it stood for: individualism, material wealth, science, technology, capitalism.
While the New Left achieved limited political success, it brought about vast cultural changes that remain with us to this day. The reason is that while its representatives faced some political opposition, they faced little-to-no fundamental intellectual opposition.
Ayn Rand was the exception. In her essays from this period, anthologized in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, she opposed the New Left as no one else did. The audience for the book, she wrote, is "all those who are concerned about college students and about the state of modern education" and who are seeking "a voice of reason to turn to".
In her essays, Ayn Rand identified the essential evils of the New Left and their cause. Where most viewed the New Left and its violent college protests, its worship of untouched nature, and its orgiastic mob celebrations as some sort of inexplicable, youthful rebellion against the "establishment", Ayn Rand identified these "rebels" as in fact dutiful, consistent practitioners of the ideas taught to them by their teachers.
Return of the Primitive is an expanded edition of The New Left. It features the entire contents of the original edition authorized by Ayn Rand, plus two of her other essays, "Racism" and "Global Balkanization", which are highly relevant to today's campuses and world. Additionally, it features three essays written after her death by Peter Schwartz, analyzing some of the ideologies that the New Left helped spawn, such as multiculturalism and environmentalism.
For those who seek to understand the state of American culture today, Return of the Primitive is required reading.
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My best read this year. It is about us...
Depending on perception. I have a bad eye sight. So yes I consume better by listening. But after listening this one I have bought the print version. I just had to get other people to see some of it and to be able to quote it.
Other work of Ayn Rand. Especially the virtue of selfishness.
not before. I don't think so.
Yes. I am a school teacher and those first chapters about "progressive" education made me ache...
50 years ago this type of education have created hippies... Why are we starting it again?
I think every person who is responsible for an upbringing of the new generation (officials and parents) should read it. And if they have any ability to reason they should learn from it a great deal.