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You Can't Have Freedom for Free: On Rush, Ayn Rand, and Not Compromising

Tue, Apr 22, 2014@9:54AM | comments

Reason Magazine posted an article adapted from FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe's latest book Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto earlier today. The article is titled You Can't Have Freedom for Free: On Rush, Ayn Rand, and Not Compromising and starts out by describing how Rush's 2112 helped turn Kibbe on to Ayn Rand and libertarianism.

In 1977, I bought my first Rush album. I was 13. The title of the disc was 2112, and the foldout jacket had a very cool and ominous red star on the cover. ... The moment I dropped that stylus, and that needle caught the groove, I became obsessed with Rush like only thirteen-year-old boys can get obsessed. I turned up the volume as loud as I thought I could get away with, and I rocked. Mom shut that jam session down real fast. So I turned down the stereo, sat down, and began to read the liner notes inside the album cover jacket instead. The text inside the cover read, "With acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand." What an odd name, I thought. Who is Ayn Rand? ...

He then goes on to use Rush's struggles in developing 2112 after the relatively disappointing sales of their previous album Caress of Steel to exemplify his argument that true innovation comes from not compromising your ideals, despite external pressures.

... Peart penned the dystopian lyrics to 2112 thinking about his individual freedom. "I did not think of politics and I did not think of global oppression," he recalls. No, he was thinking: "These people are messing with me!" He and the rest of the band found their inspiration in Anthem, the same novella that had turned me on. "You can say what you want about Ayn Rand and all the other implications of her work, but her artistic manifesto, for lack of a better term, was the one that struck home with us," says the band's lead singer and bass guitarist Geddy Lee. "It's about creative freedom. It's about believing in yourself." ...

You can read the entire article online at this location and order Kibbe's book here. Kibbe was also a guest on NPR's Weekend Edition a few weeks ago and during the interview a snippet of 2112 was played while Kibbe described how Rush's 2112 inspired him; the transcript of the interview is available here. Thanks to Travis B for the heads up.