Ayn Rand

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Rand, Ayn

(īn), 1905–82, American writer, b. St. Petersburg, Russia, as Alissa Rosenbaum. She came to the United States in 1926, became a citizen five years later, and worked for many years as a Hollywood screenwriter. Her novels are romantic, dramatic, and often didactic, espousing a philosophy built on a muscular capitalism, aggressive individualism, and a rational self-interest that opposes the collective nature of the modern welfare state and totalitarian societies. These principles are rather woodenly embodied in the plots, heroes, and villains of her major novels, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). In For the New Intellectual (1961) she summarized her philosophy, which she called "objectivism"; it posits a concrete external reality, idea-driven emotions, and self-interest as ethical ideal. Her works have had a notable influence on many of America's political and economic conservatives.


See the memoir by N. Branden (1989); biographies by B. Branden (1987), J. Burns (2009), and A. C. Heller (2009); study by J. T. Baker (1987); her letters, ed. by M. S. Berliner (1995), and her journals, ed. by D. Harriman (1997).

Rand, Ayn

(1905–82) writer, philosopher; born in St. Petersburg, Russia. As an adolescent during the Bolshevik Revolution, she saw people stripped of property and massacred. After graduating from the University of Leningrad (1926), she fled to the U.S.A., which she considered the "country of the individual," becoming a citizen in 1931. Starting as a screenwriter and dramatist, she eventually won fame for her novels, such as The Fountainhead (1943)—also made into a film she scripted—and Atlas Shrugged (1957), the bible of her "objectivism." This philosophy, promoted in books such as The Virtue of Selfishness (1957) and through an institute set up by her disciple Nathaniel Brandon, glorified self-assertion and competition.
References in periodicals archive ?
She named Branden her "intellectual heir," and he energetically played the part, producing Randian publications and making speeches.
Fears about egoism wouldn't be so bad if there were good reasons for them, but to qualify as fears of Randian egoism (as opposed to Thrasymachean, Hobbesian, or Nietzschean egoisms), such fears would somehow have to be rooted in Rand's writings.
NYSE:AIG) is a Randian who believes the solution to the financial crisis in Europe involves making people work until they're 80, is still bitter Congress had the gall to question why employees in his bailed-out firm should have received multimillion-dollar bonuses in the midst of the financial crisis, and feels indignant that no one from the government said "thank you" to his firm when it was able to repay most of the emergency loan provided by Uncle Sam in 2008.
In that Randian world view, only certain Americans are worthy of respect and dignity.
And the Ryan fiscal program clearly reflects Randian notions.
bishops in their 1986 economics pastoral, that tax policy should be a means of "reducing the severe inequalities of income and wealth in the nation" seems laughably naive in the Ayn Randian world embraced by the Tea Party.
See Matthew Lewans, "Roncarelli's Green Card: The Role of Citizenship in Randian Constitutionalism" (2010) 55 McGill L.
Hence, whenever I come across Randian minarchists ignoring solid evidence and sound arguments while passionately denouncing anarchism, an old saw comes to mind: "There's none so blind as them that will not see.
4) See Robert Nozick, "On the Randian Argument," in Robert Nozick, Socratic Puzzles (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999); Michael Huemer, "Critique of the Objectivist Ethics," accessed online at: http://home.
Romney didn't use the Randian term "looters and moochers" for that now-famous 47 percent, but he might as well have.
The rational person understands that we all chip in to make things better; the greedy, self-centered Randian types believe their happiness is paramount and they diligently avoid paying their fair share.
Hannan writes, "Ask a committed Randian about the book, and he will quote one of the set-piece speeches just as a Shakespearean will quote a soliloquy.