"WHEN A CULTURE IS DOMINATED BY AN IRRATIONAL PHILOSOPHY, A MAJOR SYMPTOM OF ITS DECADENCE IS THE INVERSION OF ALL VALUES": AYN RAND'S 10-PAGE SIGNED AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT FOR HER JULY 8, 1962 LOS ANGELES TIMES COLUMN, EXTOLLING THE IMPORTANCE OF TELEVISION CRIME SHOWS
RAND, Ayn. Autograph manuscript signed for magazine column. New York: June 26, 1962. Ten sheets of white paper, each measuring 8-1/2 by 11 inches; pp. 10. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
Ten-page autograph manuscript signed, with additions and deletions in Rand's hand, of Rand's column "The New Enemies of 'The Untouchables," which appeared in the July 8, 1962 Los Angeles Times, extolling the virtues of popular television crime shows and condemning F.C.C. censorship.
In this ten-page, handwritten manuscript, Rand praises the contemporary television crime shows and Westerns and criticizes the Federal Communications Commission for interfering in popular art and culture. She writes, "When a culture is dominated by an irrational philosophy, a major symptom of its decadence is the inversion of all values. This can always be seen clearly in the field of art, the best barometer of a culture. In today's flood of criticism and abuse, unleashed against the television industry, it is the best program that has been singled out for the most persistent denunciations. That program is The Untouchables. The moral meaning and psychological motives of those denunciations are of much deeper significance than the superficiality of the attackers might indicate. The attacks are spearheaded by the statists inside and outside the F.C.C., who propose to place television and radio under total government control, to establish censorship-by-license-revoking, and to dictate the content of programs by bureaucratic edict, which means: by force. Simultaneously and as a justification for it, they clamor that the television industry is corrupting the public taste by presenting too many shows that feature force and violence… The Untouchables is one of the most successful programs and fully deserves its success. It is a profoundly moral show. In writing, acting and direction, it is a masterpiece of stylized characterization. It captures the essence of the gangster psychology: the irrationality, the hysteria, the chronic terror, the panic. These gangsters are neither glamorized strong-men nor innocent 'victims of society'; they are scared rats. They are presented as loathsome, but not frightening, because not powerful; they are presented as contemptible. No child or adult could ever feel inspired to emulate a Frank Nitti. But Robert Stack's superlative portrayal of Eliot Ness is the most inspiring image on today's screen, the only image of a real hero." Rand, the celebrated author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, famous for her anti-government, pro-capitalist views, was invited to contribute weekly columns to the Los Angeles Times; this column, written on June 26, 1962, was published on July 8, 1962. With a copy editor's marks in red pencil and a word count tally in ordinary pencil at the bottom of each page. The manuscript is signed by Rand in the heading on the first page of text.
Staple holes and a rust mark from early stapling. Fine condition.