Category Archives: Ayn Rand

April 11, 2017

The new age of Ayn Rand: how she won over Trump and Silicon Valley

Her novel The Fountainhead is one of the few works of fiction that Donald Trump likes and she has long been the darling of the US right. But only now do her devotees hold sway around the world.

As they plough through their GCSE revision, UK students planning to take politics A-level in the autumn can comfort themselves with this thought: come September, they will be studying one thinker who does not belong in the dusty archives of ancient political theory but is achingly on trend. For the curriculum includes a new addition: the work of Ayn Rand.

It is a timely decision because Rand, who died in 1982 and was alternately ridiculed and revered throughout her lifetime, is having a moment. Long the poster girl of a particularly hardcore brand of free-market fundamentalism – the advocate of a philosophy she called “the virtue of selfishness” – Rand has always had acolytes in the conservative political classes. The Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, is so committed a Randian, he was famous for giving every new member of his staff a copy of Rand’s gargantuan novel, Atlas Shrugged (along with Freidrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom). The story, oft-repeated, that his colleague in the US Senate, Rand Paul, owes his first name to his father Ron’s adulation of Ayn (it rhymes with “mine”) turns out to be apocryphal, but Paul describes himself as a fan all the same.

Not to be left out, Britain’s small-staters have devised their own ways of worshipping at the shrine of Ayn. Communities secretary Sajid Javid reads the courtroom scene in Rand’s The Fountainhead twice a year and has done so throughout his adult life. As a student, he read that bit aloud to the woman who is now his wife, though the exercise proved to be a one-off. As Javid recently confessed to the Spectator, she told him that if he tried that again, he would get dumped. Meanwhile, Daniel Hannan, the Tory MEP many see as the intellectual architect of Brexit, keeps a photograph of Rand on his Brussels desk.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

November 23, 2015

Who is John Galt?

Lord Monckton asks if freedom-loving tycoons will begin to vanish.

Last year, the Ayn Rand Institute was kind enough to send me a copy of “Atlas Shrugged,” the masterwork of that great prophetess of liberty and of free markets. I read all 1,100 pages in two days. For, although the novel has a powerful political message, and one that America is ignoring at her peril, it is also a gripping thriller, with a love story built in, set amid the inexorable decline of a nation made feeble-minded by socialism.

If you have not read “Atlas Shrugged,”you should. Just Google “Ayn Rand Institute” and order your copy now. Never has its message been more apposite. And, after you have read the book, watch the splendid three-movie series that brings it to life. All three movies can be seen on YouTube.

I shall not spoil the story for you by giving too much of it away. However, it is centered around the character of Dagny Taggart, who, with her inept brother James, has inherited from their father the largest transcontinental railroad in the country.

Dagny, the highly efficient chief operating officer of the railroad, has to try to keep it running as the country’s economic infrastructure crumbles under the heel of incompetent socialism. The decline accelerates as, one by one, the leading industrialists who had struggled to build up their empires and keep America on the move mysteriously disappear. Some of them destroy their mines or oilfields as they go.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

August 2, 2015

Graphic Quotes: Ayn Rand on Communism and Socialism

“There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism — by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.” Ayn Rand

April 11, 2015

Reagan, Thatcher busts defaced at Chapman University

Students at Chapman University in Orange, California awoke Wednesday morning to find statues of various political figures defaced and accused of crimes including “racism,” “homophobia,” and “neo-liberalist ideology.” The defaced busts included Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and Albert Schweitzer.

The statues, depicting historical figures such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Ayn Rand, were also ornamented with posters reading off a list of “charges” for “student review.”

“Ronald Reagan is under student review due to Racism, Classism, and Homophobia,” read the poster underneath the bust of the 40th president.

The vandals also defaced a statue of Margaret Thatcher, filing the same charges against her.

The vandals also accused Christian theologian and medical missionary Albert Schweitzer of “Racism and White Savior Complex.”

Charges of “Global Violence and Imperialism” were brought against free-market economist Milton Friedman while objectivist thinker Ayn Rand was accused of “Gender Roles and Homophobia.”

Campus Reform spoke to the Reddit user who originally uploaded the images of the defaced statues to the TumblrInAction subreddit.

Reaction online was mostly negative.

[…]

Complete text linked here.

March 24, 2015

Graphic Quotes: Ayn Rand on the Degrees of Evil

“If there are degrees of evil. it is hard to say who is more contemptible: The Brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who granted to others the right to force others mind.” Ayn Rand

Original source.

January 15, 2015

Movie of the Week: Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged (2011)

Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged is a feature length documentary film that examines the resurging interest in Ayn Rand’s epic and controversial 1957 novel and the validity of its dire prediction for America.


October 5, 2014

Ayn Rand, the Movies, and the Idea of America

An Introduction to Ayn Rand’s Textbook of Americanism.

Ayn Rand’s monograph “Textbook of Americanism,” newly published on FEE.org, is virtually unknown. Written during a decisive turning point in history, it was delivered by Rand personally to FEE’s founder Leonard Read in 1946. The monograph represents Rand’s desire to draw stark lines between an emerging postwar collectivism and the individualism she believed built America. She joined others in pointing out that collectivism had wrought the horrors the world had just endured.

“Textbook of Americanism” also represents her worldview as it came to be shaped by her childhood experiences with communism, her early love of film as a means of artistic expression, and her perceptions about the future of freedom.

As a young student in Russia at the dawn of the Bolshevik takeover, at a small theater for silent films, Rand caught her first glimpse of the New York skyline. The silhouette burned in her mind, a symbol of creative passion and unbounded achievement, outlining the edges of her growing philosophy of individualism.

[…]

Complete text linked here.


July 3, 2014

Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? – Teaser Trailer

“The magic is as wide as a smile and as narrow as a wink, loud as laughter and quiet as a tear, tall as a tale and deep as emotion. So strong, it can lift the spirit. So gentle, it can touch the heart. It is the magic that begins the happily ever after.” – Unknown


February 21, 2014

Graphic Quotes: Ayn Rand on Universities Destroying America

“I feel that this country is being destroyed by its philosophy. Specifically, by its universities. The most dangerous thing in this country today are the universities, because of teaching the kind of ideas that would necessarily have to lead to the destruction of this country.” Ayn Rand


February 16, 2014

Ayn Rand – In Defense of Capitalism (Video)

Ayn Rand explains the necessity of capitalism to a free society.