More than any other writer, it was Ayn Rand who brought me closer to Greece. Her masterpieces The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged made me want to study Greek Philosophy, especially Aristotle, and every thinker throughout the history of ideas. Like Kazantzakis, she was a brilliant artist who continues to be misunderstood, and defamed by people who refuse to even read her. She has been an inspiration to millions and there are many women who still love her work. But none of them would call themselves feminists. It makes me wonder what kind of a woman rushes to embrace feminism and what kind of a woman is reluctant to embrace it. With women shattering glass ceilings throughout the public, corporate, and nonprofit world, one has to speculate whether feminism should be given the credit, or should Ayn Rand’s ghost take a bow? I bet she’s taking it with Kazantzakis. Did I dare and put these two in the same paragraph?
And what about women who study hard in school and are taught in institutions where feminism is more present in the curriculum? Is today’s schooling just an indoctrination experiment that a father should be afraid of? Does this mean that the future of families are doomed due to the study of feminist epistemology? Or what about Greek women who only read Ayn Rand, but then read Hayek, Von Mises. Do they become corporate libertarian capitalists or do they become just like the Greek women who only worship Nietzsche, Marx, Hegel and their feminist descendants? What will our minds, families, and institutions be with only these Ivory Tower dogmatic mindsets to choose from? Left, right, or whatever, how many of us compromise our morals, values, and dignity for money, status, power and then preach to the young about the importance of integrity? Whether it’s from the political right or left, I’ve seen a surge of psychopathy in the 21st Century from all ideological sides. Ayn Rand’s spirit is very strong in Silicon Valley today and there will always be a place for her in my Greek heart, but it’s only one place in a massive tent. Feminism has a place right next to her too.
From Metaphysics , Epistemology, Psychology, Ethics, Politics, Economics and Aesthetics, it is imperative to seek new ways to connect with multiple interior worlds and engage more successfully with a greater, more complex outer world. Technology has made that happen in some way,s but it will always have its limitations. I find good feminist writers are able to show me different ways to use and feel my eyes. They are great at sharpening our skepticism and deconstruct any clever PR packaged ideal that might come from civic institutions and the financial marketplace. It is a great check and balance to fascism and capitalism. From Mary Wollstonecraft till now, feminists have done a great service by extending the active participation of democracy and civil liberties from what was once a universe only interpreted by the initiated few and enslaving far too many. These feminist trailblazers deserve a place in my Greek heart.
Do I think a man can be a better person by studying feminism without prejudice? Yes.
Do I think a woman can be a better person by studying Ayn Rand without prejudice? Yes.
Do I think everyone should study Kazantzakis more than ever? Absolutely. I mention him because I think he would understand where I’m coming from and the new frontier Greek I’m striving to be. He was a metaphysical warrior whom I want consulting me in my tent.
I wish more men and women who call themselves Greek could embrace the power, the beauty, and the genius of the masculine and the feminine; that they might absorb all points of view, especially the ideas that they find disruptive.
Don’t be afraid. Being offended is a requirement to human growth. It doesn’t hurt to try to make a point, to sample some new food and wine, to discover something that you’ve never tasted and to perhaps engage in a new conversation that you’ll never forget.