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The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution
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The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In the tumultuous late 60s and early 70s, a social movement known as the New Left emerged as a major cultural influence, especially on the youth of America. It was a movement that embraced flower-power and psychedelic consciousness-expansion, that lionized Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro and launched the Black Panthers and the Theater of the Absurd. In Return Of The Primitive ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Plume Books (first published 1971)
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Nathan Titus
This was probably the Ayn Rand book that I agreed with the least. I know many environmentalists, and although a small number do want to send us all back to the stone age, most merely want to prevent the destruction of a planet that they love. As for myself, my prime motive is to save the human race. Ayn Rand even said: the dinosaurs died out long ago, and that did not end life on the planet. So the Earth First ecologists are fighting a pointless battle, but as for me, it is not the Earth that I ...more
Thomas
If you are even thinking about reading this book you will have some preconceived sentiment, either positive or negative, towards the author before opening the cover. I also presume that the majority's sentiment would be positive. I had mixed feelings about Ayn Rand before reading this book, and I have mixed feelings about her after reading this book. But one thing I know is that I am better off for having read the book. It challenges the way we (I at least) were (was) raised to view the world. T ...more
Christopher
This collection of essays is an expanded edition of “The New Left: The Anti-industrial Revolution” by philosopher Ayn Rand (author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead"). The additions include a few timely essays on subjects such as the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of multiculturalism and environmentalism by Peter Schwartz.

All of the essays by Rand feature her application of her unique philosophy of Objectivism, and her trademark precision and ability to reduce complex issues to the es
...more
Skylar Burris
Rand is a polemical writer, but sometimes I enjoy a good polemic.

This collection of essays, an expanded edition of The New Left, was compiled by Ayn Rand's disciple Peter Schwartz, founding editor of The Intellectual Activist magazine. In addition to Rand's 12 essays, Schwartz has added three of his own to tackle modern issues from an Objectivist world-view: "Gender Tribalism," "The Philosophy of Privation," and "Multicultural Nihilism." These works approach the issues much as I suspect Ayn Ran
...more
Matt
While her novels are boring and drummed up soap boxes for her philosophy, her skills as an essayist are actually astonishing and remarkable. Even if you hate her philosophy, it's hard not to appreciate the precision and focus found within this collection of essays and response pieces that were originally published in news papers and magazines. Some of the ideas found within are never explicitly brought up again in any of her works, which makes it a very unique read. And to be frank, some of the ...more
Andrej Drapal
Perfect points on environmentalism. A bit week on issues about "folk cultures". Tribalism should not be equated to the fact that different cultures have different values.
Michael
Aynstein spares few in this book of her collected essays. Caustic, filled with passione, this book harshly critiques the 60's and 70's radical movement: The New Left.

She calls 'em as she sees 'em. Rand on Folk Art: "If you've seen one people jumping up and down and clapping their hands, you've seen them all." Her championing of the individual finds few adherents in modern academe, but her work still seems fresh and relevant. The added essays by Peter Schwartz bring a number of her ideas into a
...more
Roslyn Ross
I have read a lot of Rand so this book did not really have anything to offer me except for the essay "The Comprachicos". The environmentalism one was good too. Every parent should read the comprachicos. Children want to learn about life and they are told to play, children want to understand the world and they are lied to in the form of all the fictional crap we stuff down their throats, and her views on "socialization" of kids in school!!!! A MUST.
Colin
I read Ayn Rand, but I do not agree with most of her philosophy. In this anthology of essays I especially liked "Apollo and Dionysus," though I strongly dispute Rand's conclusion that Dionysus has nothing to teach us, and that only Apollo matters . . . Anyway, as much as I agree with Rand about the horrors of collectivism and the importance of individualism, I find I simply can't agree with much of her philosophy.
Russ
Powerful book describing the New Left, the left that is different from the old progressives; they just are motivated to destroy values. I particularly enjoyed the essays "The Anti-Industrial Revolution" and "The Comprachicos."
Chris Elkjar
Some of Rand's best nonfiction work compiled into a good compilation. Kind of odd structuring but the writing is interesting. Her piece on Apollo 11 is one of the best thing's she wrote.
David
Though I fail to appreciate some of the things she loves... - bah this is true of anyone, its a good book so far :) And it already has some of my favorite passages of any book.
Bruce
I'd read Altas and Foundtainhead first. More discussion of the same ideas. Probably wouldn't bother with it if you've read the others.
Lindsey
The predictions she makes in here are wonderfully accurate. I think this is the best collection of her essays I've read yet.
Eddie Novak
Start: September 26, 2008
Finish: November 3, 2008

True rating: 9.5/10
Craig J.
The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution by Ayn Rand (1999)
Brian Olson
Awesome! Especially the essay on education. Very illuminating.
Howard
This is a more than average tedious read for an Ayn Rand book.
I think that it points out some interesting perspectives on how the Berkley free speech movement has shaped (disfigured may be a better word) the body of politics and popular accepted thought currently accepted today.
Duong
Need to be read
Jon
Jon added it
Nov 12, 2014
Lawrence Hung
Lawrence Hung marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2014
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What? 2 12 Jan 05, 2008 02:43PM  
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Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family. When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea. Alisa returned to the city (renamed Leningrad) to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there. With money from the sa ...more
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“Now observe that in all the propaganda of the ecologists—amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for “harmony with nature”—there is no discussion of man’s needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision—i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears....

In order to survive, man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter his background and adapt it to his needs. Nature has not equipped him for adapting himself to his background in the manner of animals. From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire.”
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