Club news

Fredonia Shakespeare Club

The Fredonia Shakespeare Club held its 12th meeting of the 2012-2013 year on Jan. 24 at the Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County bookstore located at 21 E. Second St. in Dunkirk. Mrs. Brian Woods was the hostess. The topic for this year is “Authors as Social Commentators.”

Members heard a paper presented by Mrs. John VanScoter on Ayn Rand which she summarizes as follows:

Provocative questions about reality, reason, self-interest, and politics are raised in a unique 20th century philosophy called “Objectivism.”

Ayn Rand was a Russian-born American novelist knows for her philosophy of Objectivism. It held that all real achievement comes from individual ability and effort, that laissez-faire capitalism is most compatible to the promotion of talent, that being selfish is an attribute, and that altruism is a vice. She did not believe in Judeo-Christian values. Rand’s cult still exists today.

After graduating from the University of Petrograd in 1924, Rand moved to Hollywood where she worked as a screenwriter. The movie “Fountainhead” was her first project. This best-selling novel centered on a romanticized architect here whose perseverance triumphed over tradition and social norms. “Atlas Shrugged,” her 1957 novel, contains science fiction and political messages. The general theme of the novel is what happens to the world when the prime movers go on strike. The author’s purpose was to present the ideal man, John Galt. He is a towering figure who moves the world and saves it.

Similar economic conditions as outlined in the book appear to exist today in the U.S. and the world, such as a gigantic government debt with no regard for future generations; a huge bureaucracy; an absence of free trade; crony capitalism; punishing individual achievement through restrictions and taxation; decline of morals, values, traditions, and customs; and an uneducated mass of poorly informed dependent citizens incapable of thinking. Partial answers to the questions proposed by these conditions in the country and in the world can be found in a recent book written by Dinesh D’Souza, the President of King’s College, entitled “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” and the documentary movie, “2016.”

Mrs. Woods was assisted at the tea table by Priscilla Bernatz. The next meeting of the club will be today at the home of Mrs. Robert Woodbury when they will hear a paper on Alice Walker presented by Mrs. Woods.