Ayn Rand birthday is a time to reflect on the havoc she caused

It's the 109th anniversary since the birth of a crackpot cult leader named Ayn Rand.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, she wrote novels in America that influenced generations of neoconservatives.

"If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject," she claimed.

In books such as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, she promulgated a philosophy that she called "objectivism", but which looked to others like selfishness.

Among her acolytes are former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who's carried some of the blame for the 2008 global financial meltdown.

Another is Paul Ryan, a powerful Wisconsin Republican who chairs the congressional budget committee.

“To say ‘I love you’ one must first know how to say the ‘I.’," Rand once declared. "The meaning of the ‘I’ is an independent, self-sufficient entity that does not exist for the sake of any other person. A person who exists only for the sake of his loved one is not an independent entity, but a spiritual parasite. The love of a parasite is worth nothing.”

Comments (16) Add New Comment
Titters McFreely
Yeeeeah, I know we all hate Ayn Rand (and for good reason) but could you have at least given half a shit and maybe provided an article with that headline?
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Fishsticks
Why do we hate Ayn Rand?
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bela the bug
Do you french your mother with mouth, TM? Are you a Broncos fan? The author of the article clearly stated it was a "time to reflect". Are you in the habit of having others do your reflecting for you?
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Jimmy James
Agreed. A more comprehensive article was expected. The author was in mid argument then suddenly vanished.

In her May 22, 1948 letter to fan Joanne Rondeau, Rand goes on to say, "Any person who wants to live for others- for one sweetheart or for the whole of mankind- is a selfless nonentity."

Emulating the petty, childish resentments of a spurned lover is hardly a reliable basis for a life ethic. What should be simply pathetic becomes dangerous when powerful politicians and economists devise policy based on this drivel.
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Bruce
The last quote sounds very new-agey. A lot of clever sociopaths have made careers in the "new thought" arena selling re-packaged narcissism to people who would otherwise be progressive, but aren't much into critical thinking.

And then there's the best quote in existence about Rand:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

— John Rogers
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Donald Stanwood
It's very hard to have any kind of measured response to Ayn Rand. Her ostensible beliefs are trumped by her dark, melodramatic psyche. Ideology aside, I do think she had some unruly talent as a writer of fiction. "The Fountainhead" on some level works as a novel. "Atlas Shrugged", not so much.
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Adam Gee
Why do people always put such thought into famous persons quotes? Either you like her works, or you dont. No need to hate.
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Jesse White
These typical criticisms all are either without evidence, or easily refuted by an objectivist. None of the above comments are coming from an OBJECTIVE examination of Rand and/or her philosophy. In short, you haven't read her. If you all are trying to deny objectivity, take it up with Aristotle.
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bumin
Well I love Ayn Rand. Her works are so unapologeticly masculine. They shock their detractors just as well they embolden their supporters.

Rand holds men to the same level of social Darwinism on an economic level as women secretly judge men on an interpersonal level.
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liz whonnock
I can't stand Rand! Simply because I dislike the people who lauded her beliefs such as, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher,Rand Paul, Greenspan, Milton Friedman, etc... and all the other Banana Republicans. Tho maybe not outrightly endorsing her, they all had or have the same ideology.
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liz whonnock
Oh, and BTW didn't she collect social security from the government? Doesn't that fly in the face of all that ideological blathering? Especially as it was created intentionally to help the poor and elderly?
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Alejandro Duran
It is obvious thet the writer of this article has no idea of Rand's philosophy. It is on this kind of people (who claim that Paul Ryan and Greenspan follow the objectivism ideas) the fault that the world will crack in a (not so long) while.
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Ziong
Pure misrepresentation of her work. If you want to know more about her ideas, you should instead read her works.
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Jim Bones
Ayn Rand was a genius.

An honest, courageous and disciplined thinker far ahead of her time. She challenged existing false philosophic, moral and political premises and was hated for it. She discovered man's true code of morality, a code based on man's life as the standard of value, a code consistent with the principle of inalienable Individual Rights as proclaimed in the "Declaration of Independence".

Her philosophy is true and will eventually lead to the greatest levels of wealth, peace, standard of living, self-esteem, freedom and happiness possible for mankind.
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Zumanth
Please write articles with some explanations. It's pitiable to read huge headings and almost empty content. If the aim is for the reader to click and open the page, then as you can see, you have succeed...
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Scott C.
I hope the author of this article put no effort otherwise we know who the crackpot is.
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