Ayn Rand on the Prairie

The last-made of the “Little House of the Prairie” TV-series/spinoffs/TV-movies aired in 1984 “Little House: The Last Farewell”. (Another TV-movie made prior actually aired several months later.) Basically, an evil land developer is able to claim possession of Walnut Grove & evict the townspeople. They find they have no legal grounds to fight it, so as the developer arrives, bringing the US Cavalry to enforce the eviction, they meet no resistance. Instead, the developer watches in horror as every building in Walnut Grove is blown up by its owner.

I’d probably read ATLAS SHRUGGED two-three years before and knew about THE FOUNTAINHEAD, but I’ve never been able to find out if the writers were knowingly inspired by Ayn Rand. However, it is interesting the Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real life daughter, Rose Wilder Lane wrote one of the seminal libertarian books THE DISCOVERY OF FREEDOM and for a while was a friend of Ayn Rand, but not a disciple.

So did anyone else notice the parallel? And does anyone know if there was a conscious inspiration there?

Why would a land developer be evil in something Objectivist? Or why would people blowing up their houses to show up a land developer (though in truth just sparing him the hassle) be Objectivist?

Did the “evil land developer” get title to the property through manipulation of a corrupt government? If so, blowing up the property would be Randian. If he got it through legitimate capitalistic practices, Rand would probably endorse the take-over.

Yes, he somehow found some government technicality which enabled him to yank the property away. Thus, he was a looter.

To Sage Rat- he was counting on having the intact home & business buildings as a drawing point for future customers.

A very non-Randian ending- the people gather to pray at the ruins of the church/school/town hall (blown up, of course, by Rev. Alden) & sing “Onward Christian Soldiers”.

My guess: The sets were getting kind of old and run-down, so they wanted to demolish them. But if you’re going to be demolishing buildings, you might as well catch it on film, and if you’re going to get it on film, you might as well use it.

The Little House did survive. Well, it did until it was destroyed in 2003 by a wildfire

IMDB says the final episode was written and directed by Micheal Landon. I have a very vague memory of Landon being associated with various liberal causes, but I was like 10 when he died, so I might be misremembering. His wikipedia entry doesn’t really say anything about his political beliefs.

I remember Michael Landon on the Tonight Show just before the final episode. He told Johnny Carson that since the show was over, that they just wanted to get rid of the set and came up with the wild idea of a fire just because it would never be used again. They both laughed and laughed at the clip showing the big explosions and fire.