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Well, I studied philosophy at Uni for 4 years, got a BA in it, and never heard her name even once. One thing I′ve noticed is that Mike and some others like to treat the concept ′Objectivism′ like it is something new, which it isn′t. It′s been around since the greeks and has popped up in different forms since then, most notably in the theory of epistomology called foundationalism. Moreover, the critique of Objectivism is headed by critiques of Meaning and Language, kind of a post-modernist dialogue, which, unfortuately, Mike equates with being neurotic, confused, etc. In short, his ′critiqe of the critique′ isn′t accurate or fair.
I haven′t, however, read any of Rand′s works. As far as I know, she writes more ′fiction′ than straight up philosophy per se. It is possible that she would be read in a 20th Century Literature class, not a Philosophy class, and this is why I′ve never come accross her stuff. (I actually asked two of my Philosophy profs in undergrad if they′d ever heard of her, and they hadn′t.) Someone more versed in 20th Cent. Lit. might know more about her or might have come accross her works in their studies.
That said, I′m not trying to say that her works aren′t interesting, useful, or don′t have merit. I′ve never read them. It′s possible that she′s put a new spin on Objectivism that hasn′t been emphasized in the past. I seem to remember Mike saying that she emphasized the role of the individual more, which, in light of his fondness for Nietsche (one of my personal favorites, but for different reasons than Mike), would make total sense then.
This is also not to say that there′s someting wrong with Mike′s application of Objectivism to Bodybuilding. Here, I think he′s hit the nail right on the head. His way of looking at Bodybuilding seems to be the only logical way to me, and I try to stay true to the theory (and have only had results in bodybuilding by doing so). As for Ayn Rand, I don′t think she is, or Objectivism is for that matter, as new or groundbreaking as some in the HD community have made her out to be.
That said, I′m a caunck, so don′t know if she′s a joke in the US 😉 And I had though I′d seen all the Simpsons episodes.