Friday, July 13, 2012

Falling Water and Ayn Rand's fanatical 'individualism'

Falling Water, the Kaufman family home in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania, designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935

Falling Water is listed among Smithsonian's Life List of 28 places "to visit before you die."

Falling Water or the Kaufmann Residence is a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. The home was built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains. Hailed by Time shortly after its completion as Wright's "most beautiful job," it is listed among Smithsonian's Life List of 28 places "to visit before you die." It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named the house the "best all-time work of American architecture" and in 2007, it was ranked twenty-ninth on the list of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. - Wikipedia 

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1867-1959

Falling Water and the fanatical 'individualism' of Ayn Rand

An essay by Mike Marcellino

Falling Water is a home designed by perhaps America's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Some critics argue that Wright, from Richland Center, Wisconsin, was the pattern for Howard Roark, the architect and hero of author Ayn Rand's 1949 novel of the individualist - "The Fountainhead."   That same year the film "The Fountainhead" directed by King Vidor, starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, was a critical bomb.

I do recommend a trip to Falling Water in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania.
If you like Rand's first literary success, read "Atlas Shrugged" her last book and last word on "objectivism," her philosophy where complete individual rights is the only social system.
The Russian born writer from a bourgeois family in St. Petersburg is the champion of laissez-faire capitalism.

I must admit that I did enjoy reading both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but then I was quite young and exploring.  Now I look upon Rand's philosophy something akin to the philosophy practiced by cave men, yet her primary point of allow creativity and individualism to flourish in a society that builds things remains vital.

Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982

She makes some valid points with respect to creativity and industry but goes off the deep end with her egotistical survival of the fittest mentality in which creators and industry without restriction get all they desire while the rest of mankind - oh, she didn't bother with the rest of the people.

I did read both novels in junior high school, or was it grade school?

It's important not to confuse her selfish philosophy with the protection of individual rights, I have found.  But then, Atlas Shrugged did predict the fall of industry in America, such as private trains, passenger trains that is.

Still, we should be watchful not to allow government to destroy the individual.

The trouble is that largely unrestricted industry is on its way to destroying the earth, the wildlife upon it, the air we breath, the water we drink and the creeks, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans we love.

While, this essay wasn't intended to be political, it is the season in America; we should think long and hard about the coming presidential election.  We should not elect someone who will promote creativity, industry and capitalism, while destroying our planet and the great majority of its people.

Visit the website of Falling Water, it's wonderful!

Falling Water website

(Falling Water photo courtesy of and other photos thanks to Wikipedia)

(author's note:  Google Blogger editing software is the worst known to man, so please excuse the layout as I have done page layout for newspapers; like Word Press, here I come, as I have wasted countless hours trying to make Blogger work)

copyright by Mike Marcellino 2012