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.

Bibliography

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 ?
He is, on one hand, ferociously committed to the Randian ideal of the artist expressed in his "dreamer" soliloquy: he views himself as a man of great artistic vision and greater will, defying an oppressive collectivist pressure toward the mediocrity of the masses in order to impose his "one vision" on nature and society (Johnson 2011, 251).
Clearly there are enormous differences between the Randian and Hayekian perspectives.
His discussion of Law's Mississippi Scheme is particularly engaging and enlightening, marred only by a strange and unnecessary Randian attack on religion.
While the debate between a Nozickian and a Randian is important, it is not as vital as settling the moral foundation versus monetary utility divide.
They also advocated ending corporate welfare and breaking up the biggest banks, immigration reform, pivoting away from Randian hyper-individualism, softening their message on gay marriage, and accepting the conclusions of science.
House budget committee chairman and former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is a Randian as well.
The point is that wealth would no longer be whatever is decided by Tim Geithner or Hank Paulson or by Ben Bernanke or his Randian predecessor.
Independence, USA would be a 'city-theme park hybrid,' which is seemingly part Randian and part Walt Disney's Disneyland.
To read the full feature, see the New York magazine story, "The Randian and the Bailout"
Certainly, there is a cross-section of Americans who buy into Romney's Ayn Randian views.
But it's not just the profiteering: privatization also produces dumbness through a mad Ayn Randian anything-goes mentality.
He immersed himself splendidly in the details of industries and firms, from which he found substantial guidance about the economy as a whole, and joined this with a strong ideological propensity, first as a devotee of the libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand and then, even though he shed some of his Randian fervor, as a "lifelong libertarian Republican" who embraced "unfettered market competition." The mixture included, too, perhaps incongruously, an aptitude for mixing congenially with major figures of varied persuasions and politics: for several years, he dated television personality Barbara Walters, whom he met at a tea dance hosted by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.