Home > Atlas Summer, Economics, Hooray Capitalism! > Ayn Rand: Pro and Contra

Ayn Rand: Pro and Contra


Objectivism – 1. the tendency to deal with external reality rather than thoughts or emotions.  2. the philosophical doctrine of Ayn Rand O’Connor (1905 – 1982), Russian-born American writer and philosopher who emphasized the objective existence of reality, accepted the validity of evidence manifested by the senses, and restricted the validity of mental processes to those which are demonstrable by logic; also, her steadfast dedication to Individualism and laissez faire Capitalism.

The basic principle which inspired Rand was a revulsion for Russian Mysticism and Bolshevism, which impelled her to research and formulate a rational alternative.  Her philosophy, described as a bridge between Aristotelianism and the modern world, was articulated in several novels (most notably, Atlas Shrugged) and nonfiction essays – which were almost completely ignored by professional philosophers, primarily because her system entailed a wholesale rejection of Kantianism and Altruism.  “Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”  (Rand).

From ISMs: A Compendium of Concepts, Doctrines, Traits, & Beliefs from ABLEISM to ZYGODACTYLISM, by Alan & Theresa von Altendorf (1991)


In the idiotic Ayn Rand’s pugnacious and polemical novel Atlas Shrugged, a book “nearly perfect in its immorality,” according to Gore Vidal, the verb to give is forbidden.  Her work is about self-centeredness, plain and simple, a song to the snatch, the shove, and the grab.  In her earlier novel The Fountainhead, her character Dominique Francon would much prefer passively to sit and watch every last one of Howard Roark’s buildings explode rather than see their balconies hung with diapers.  The “heroic WASP ideal” in Rand’s skewed view excluded virtually everything female, in fact – softness, breasts, fertility, fat, lactation, devotion, self-sacrifice, motherhood-sweat, pillowy feminine features, selflessness – but in point of fact only mocked by her own incapacities, for she herself as she walked around, in spite of her dollar-sign pins and swirling capes, was the perfect anti-anima figure: a short, absurd, dark, homely, hairy, bow-legged, spiteful Jewish gnome, born Alisa Rosenbaum in 1905, the daughter of a pharmacist named Sinovi, who was as angry as a crab!  What in the end these people adopted as artists was what they rejected as women.

From Chapter XII.  “The Controversial Essay” in Laura Warholic or, the Sexual Intellectual, by Alexander Theroux (2007)

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