AYN RAND SYLLABUS
I: Course overview: Introduction to reality in metaphysics, reason in epistemology, rational egoism in ethics.
Assignment: If professor cannot satisfactorily explain this to your liking, punch him/her in the face. If he/she appeals to reason, punch him/her again.
II: "Jail the Tax Man":
Assignment: Describe the triumph of free enterprise and laissez-faire capitalism in America's 19th-century "Golden Age" of child labor, union-busting, monopolies, debtors' prisons. Tell why Upton Sinclair was a quiche head.
-- Pretending you are the attorney general of the United States in 1885, write a 50-page attack on coal miners that blames Black Lung on their sniveling and moral slackness.
-- Show in a separate paper why Howard Roark would never contract Black Lung.
III: "Throw the Bawling Baby Off the Cliff":
Joys of viewing man as a heroic being with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, where reason alone dictates values and actions and rational self-interest and happiness of the individual always comes first. Discuss.
-- Assignment: Dramatize in a one-act play involving a dying mother and her only son's need to sell her apartment for money to finance his vacation in Cancun.
IV: "Forget It -- There's Just Food Enough For Me."
The stupidity of sacrifice.
V: "Jackbooted Gov't Goons Be Gone!"
Specify why postal service, public sanitation and environmental controls weaken the moral fabric of a nation.
-- Assignment: Write an essay depicting a social paradise where the government consists only of cops and an army.
VI: "Shut Down the Orphanage":
Explain in 5,000 words why charity sucks. Give examples.
-- Field assignment: Hand out exploding cigars to the homeless in your neighborhood.
VII: "Why Ayn Rand Would Come Back as a Cat":
Review the virtues of selfishness, willfully ignoring needs of others,
Be sure to belittle craven, dependent, altruistic behavior of dogs.
VIII: "The Fountainhead"
How many pages can you read at one sitting and still stay awake?
-- Write 50 adjectives that describe Howard Roark. Include sexual prowess.
-- Write a l0,000 word novel featuring Howard Roark as not an architect
but a) South American dictator, b) Head of Homeland Security, c) Mafia don.
X: "Atlas Shrugged"
Industrialists are America's heroes. List 100 ways that industrialists
beat Mother Theresa, Madame Curie and Helen Keller in every major economic sector.
-- Compose a Nobel Prize speech for a strip-mining corporation that
caused a giant mudslide fatal to three West Virginia towns. Mention the
Bruce McCall, a humorist, is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He is the author of "All Meat Looks Like South America: The World of Bruce McCall" and "Zany Afternoons."