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Welcome to The Ayn Rand Institute | The Ayn Rand Institute

Ayn Rand (1905 1982) was a novelist and philosopher. She is best known for her novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and for the revolutionary philosophy she originated, Objectivism.

Ayn Rands philosophy for living on earth has changed the lives of millions and continues to influence American culture and politics. The Ayn Rand Institute is dedicated to advancing her principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.

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Ayn Rand’s life & ideas | Ayn Rand, Objectivism | The Atlas …

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Ayn Rand is Americas most controversial individualist. She was a bold woman who produced brilliant worksfusing fiction and philosophy. Her best-selling novels, like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, have sold millions of copies and continue to influence independent thinkers and celebrities the world over, from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales to Angelina Jolie and Hugh Hefner.

Rand cut a striking figure, with her long-stemmed cigarette holder and intense gaze. Known for her fearless denunciations of irrationalism, Rand issued blistering critiques of powerful leaders, from the Pope to President Nixon. She could not be pigeon-holed as Right or Left, although she was known for her scathing attacks on Communism and all forms of collectivism.

She penned philosophical non-fiction works of such originality and power that she was credited by a small group of stunned intellectuals as having single-handedly solved an ancient philosophical puzzle. Yet the elite of her day refused to accept her as a legitimate philosopher. She derided them and their ideas; they returned the favor.

The new philosophy which she founded through her books andessays is called Objectivism. It is a philosophy that celebrates the power and potential of the individual, and reveals the principles necessary for developing a flourishing

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Ayn Rand’s life & ideas | Ayn Rand, Objectivism | The Atlas …

Welcome to AynRand.org | AynRand.org

AynRand.org is the official website of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), the source for information on the life, writings and work of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, ARI offers educational experiences based on Ayn Rands books and ideas for a variety of audiences, including students, educators, policymakers and lifelong learners. ARI also engages in research and advocacy efforts, applying Rands ideas to current issues and seeking to promote her philosophical principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.

ARI is composed of a dedicated Board of Directors and an energetic staff of more than 55 people. We invite you to explore how Ayn Rand viewed the world and to consider the distinctive insights offered by ARIs thought leaders today.

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Ayn Rand (Author of Atlas Shrugged) – Goodreads

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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Ayn Rand (Author of Atlas Shrugged) – Goodreads

About Ayn Rand – Biography | AynRand.org

During her own lifetime, Rand became a famous and controversial figure. A best-selling author, she also carried her message to university classrooms, to Hollywood, to Congress, to the editorial page, to talk shows and radio programs. Her presence has only increased since her death in 1982, as her philosophy has become more well-known. Today, her books have sold in the millions, and she’s the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary, a U.S. postage stamp, university courses, and a philosophical society devoted to the study of her thought.

Fueled by her vision of man as a heroic being and by the original philosophy behind it, more and more people, from all walks of life, from businessmen to students to professors to athletes to artists, are saying the same thing: “Ayn Rand’s writings changed my life.”

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Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand, Paperback …

INTRODUCTIONby Leonard Peikoff

Ayn Rand is one of Americas favorite authors. In a recent Library of Congress/Book of the Month Club survey, American readers ranked Atlas Shruggedher masterworkas second only to the Bible in its influence on their lives. For decades, at scores of college campuses around the country, students have formed clubs to discuss the works of Ayn Rand. In 1998, the Oscar-nominated Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, a documentary film about her life, played to sold-out venues throughout America and Canada. In recognition of her enduring popularity, the United States Postal Service in 1999 issued an Ayn Rand stamp.

Every book by Ayn Rand published in her lifetime is still in print, and hundreds of thousands of copies of them are sold every year, so far totaling more than twenty million. Why?

Ayn Rand understood, all the way down to fundamentals, why man needs the unique form of nourishment that is literature. And she provided a banquet that was at once intellectual and thrilling.

The major novels of Ayn Rand contain superlative values that are unique in our age. Atlas Shrugged (1957) and The Fountainhead (1943) offer profound and original philosophic themes, expressed in logical, dramatic plot structures. They portray an uplifted vision of man, in the form of protagonists characterized by strength, purposefulness, integrityheroes who are not only idealists, but happy idealists, self-confident, serene, at home on earth. (See synopses later in this guide.)

Ayn Rands first novel, We the Living (1936), set in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union, is an indictment not merely of Soviet-style Communism, but of any and every totalitarian state that claims the right to sacrifice the supreme value of an individual human life.

Anthem (1946), a prose poem set in the future, tells of one mans rebellion against an utterly collectivized world, a world in which joyless, selfless men are permitted to exist only for the sake of serving the group. Written in 1937, Anthem was first published in England; it was refused publication in America until 1946, for reasons the reader can discover by reading it for himself.

Ayn Rand wrote in a highly calculated literary style intent on achieving precision and luminous clarity, yet that style is at the same time colorful, sensuously evocative, and passionate. Her exalted vision of man and her philosophy for living on earth, Objectivism, have changed the lives of tens of thousands of readers and launched a major philosophic movement with a growing impact on American culture.

You are invited to sit down to the banquet which is Ayn Rands novels. I hope you personally enjoy them as much as I did.

About the Books

Atlas Shrugged (1957) is a mystery story, Ayn Rand once commented, “not about the murder of mans body, but about the murderand rebirthof mans spirit.” It is the story of a manthe novels herowho says that he will stop the motor of the world, and does. The deterioration of the U.S. accelerates as the story progresses. Factories, farms, shops shut down or go bankrupt in ever larger numbers. Riots break out as food supplies become scarce. Is he, then, a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why does he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies but against those who need him most, including the woman, Dagny Taggart, a top railroad executive, whom he passionately loves? What is the worlds motorand the motive power of every man?

Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, and charged with awesome questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is a novel of tremendous scope. It presents an astounding panorama of human lifefrom the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy (Francisco dAnconia)to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction (Hank Rearden)to the philosopher who becomes a pirate (Ragnar Danneskjold)to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph (Richard Halley). Dramatizing Ayn Rands complete philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is an intellectual revolution told in the form of an action thriller of violent eventsand with a ruthlessly brilliant plot and irresistible suspense.

We do not want to spoil the plot by giving away its secret or its deeper meaning, so as a hint only we will quote here one brief exchange from the novel:

“Idont know. Whatcould he do? What would you tell him?”

“To shrug.”The Fountainhead (1943) introduced the world to architect Howard Roark, an intransigent, egoistic hero of colossal stature. A man whose arrogant pride in his work is fully earned, Roark is an innovator who battles against a tradition-worshipping society. Expelled from a prestigious architectural school, refused work, reduced to laboring in a granite quarry, Roark is never stopped. He has to withstand not merely professional rejection, but also the enmity of Ellsworth Toohey, leading humanitarian; of Gail Wynand, powerful publisher; and of Dominique Francon, the beautiful columnist who loves him fervently yet, for reasons you will discover, is bent on destroying his career.

At the climax of the novel, the untalented but successful architect Peter Keating, a college friend of his, pleads with Roark for help in designing a prestigious project that Roark himself wanted but was too unpopular to win. Roark agrees to design the project secretly on condition that it be built strictly according to his drawings. During construction, however, Roarks building is thoroughly mutilated. Having no recourse in law, Roark takes matters into his own hands in a famous act of dynamiting. In the process and the subsequent courtroom trial, he makes his stand clear, risking his career, his love, and his life.

The Fountainhead portrays individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in mans soul; it presents the motivations and the basic premises that produce the character of an individualist or a collectivist.The novel was made into a motion picture in 1949, starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, for which Ayn Rand wrote the screenplay. The movie, available on video, often plays on cable TV and at art-house cinemas, where it is always received enthusiastically.

We the Living (1936), Ayn Rands first and most autobiographical novel, is a haunting account of mens struggle for survival in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union. In a country where people fear being thought disloyal to the Communist state, three individuals stand forth with the mark of the unconquered in their being: Kira, who wants to become a builder, and the two men who love herLeo, an aristocrat, and Andrei, an idealistic Communist.

When Leo becomes ill with tuberculosis, Kira strives to get him the medical attention needed to save his life. But she is trapped in a society that regards the individual as expendable. No matter where she turns, she faces closed doors and refusals. The State tells her: “One hundred thousand workers died in the civil war. Whyin the face of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republicscant one aristocrat die?”

Kiras love for Leo is such that the price of saving his life is no object. To pay for sending him to a sanitarium, she becomes the mistress of Andrei Taganovwho is not only an idealist, but also an officer of the Soviet secret police. The gripping and poignant resolution of the love triangle is an indictment not merely of Soviet-style Communism, but of the totalitarian state as such.

During World War II, an Italian film of We the Living was produced without Ayn Rands knowledge. Largely faithful to the book, the film was approved by Italys Fascist government on the grounds that it was anti-communist. But the Italian public understood that the movie was just as anti-fascist as it was anti-communist. People grasped Ayn Rands theme that dictatorship as such is evil, and embraced the movie. Five months after its release, Mussolinis government figured out what everyone else knew, and banned the movie. This is eloquent proof of Ayn Rands claim that the book is not merely “about Soviet Russia.”

After the war, the movie was re-edited under Ayn Rands supervision. The movie is still played at art-house cinemas, and is now available on videotape.

Anthem (1946), a novelette in the form of a prose poem, depicts a grim world of the future that is totally collectivized. Technologically primitive, it is a world in which candles are the very latest advance. From birth to death, mens lives are directed for them by the State. At Palaces of Mating, the State enacts its eugenics program; once born and schooled, people are assigned jobs they dare not refuse, toiling in the fields until they are consigned to the Home of the Useless.

This is a world in which men live and die for the sake of the State. The State is all, the individual is nothing. It is a world in which the word “I” has vanished from the language, replaced by “We.” For the sin of speaking the unspeakable “I,” men are put to death.

Equality 7-2521, however, rebels.

Though assigned to the life work of street sweeper by the rulers who resent his brilliant, inquisitive mind, he secretly becomes a scientist. Enduring the threat of torture and imprisonment, he continues in his quest for knowledge and ultimately rediscovers electric light. But when he shares it with the Council of Scholars, he is denounced for the sin of thinking what no other men think. He runs for his life, escaping to the uncharted forest beyond the citys edge. There, with his beloved, he begins a more intense sequence of discoveries, both personal and intellectual, that help him break free from the collectivist States brutal morality of sacrifice. He learns that mans greatest moral duty is the pursuit of his own happiness. He discovers and speaks the sacred word: I.

Anthems theme is the meaning and glory of mans ego.

About Objectivism

Ayn Rand held that philosophy was not a luxury for the few, but a life-and-death necessity of everyones survival. She described Objectivism, the intellectual framework of her novels, as a philosophy for living on earth. Rejecting all forms of supernaturalism and religion, Objectivism holds that Reality, the world of nature, exists as an objective absolutefacts are facts, independent of mans feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears; in short, “wishing wont make it so.” Further, Ayn Rand held that Reasonthe faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by mans sensesis mans only source of knowledge, both of facts and of values. Reason is mans only guide to action, and his basic means of survival. Hence her rejection of all forms of mysticism, such as intuition, instinct, revelation, etc.

On the question of good and evil, Objectivism advocates a scientific code of morality: the morality of rational self-interest, which holds Mans Life as the standard of moral value. The good is that which sustains Mans Life; the evil is that which destroys it. Rationality, therefore, is mans primary virtue. Each man should live by his own mind and for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor others to himself. Man is an end in himself. His own happiness, achieved by his own work and trade, is each mans highest moral purpose.

In politics, as a consequence, Objectivism upholds not the welfare state, but laissez-faire capitalism (the complete separation of state and economics) as the only social system consistent with the requirements of Mans Life. The proper function of government is the original American system: to protect each individuals inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

Objectivism defines “art” as the re-creation of reality according to an artists metaphysical value-judgments. The greatest school in art history, it holds, is Romanticism, whose art represents things not as they are, but as they might be and ought to be.

The fundamentals of Objectivism are set forth in many nonfiction books including: For the New Intellectual; The Virtue of Selfishness; Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal; Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution; Philosophy: Who Needs It; and The Romantic Manifesto. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, written by Ayn Rands intellectual heir Leonard Peikoff and published in 1991, is the definitive presentation of her entire system of philosophy.

Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. At the age of nine, she decided to make fiction-writing her career. In late 1925 she obtained permission to leave the USSR for a visit to relatives in the United States. Arriving in New York in February 1926, she first spent six months with her relatives in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles.

On her second day in Hollywood, the famous director Cecil B. De Mille noticed her standing at the gate of his studio, offered her a ride to the set of his silent movie The King of Kings, and gave her a job, first as an extra and later as a script reader. During the next week at the studio, she met an actor, Frank OConnor, whom she married in 1929; they were happily married until his death fifty years later.

After struggling for several years at various menial jobs, including one in the wardrobe department at RKO, she sold her first screenplay, “Red Pawn,” to Universal Studios in 1932 and then saw her first play, Night of January 16th, produced in Hollywood and (in 1935) on Broadway. In 1936, her first novel, We the Living, was published.

She began writing The Fountainhead in 1935. In the character of Howard Roark, she presented for the first time the Ayn Rand hero, whose depiction was the chief goal of her writing: the ideal man, man as “he could be and ought to be.” The Fountainhead was rejected by a dozen publishers but finally accepted by Bobbs-Merrill; it came out in 1943. The novel made publishing history by becoming a best-seller within two years purely through word of mouth; it gained lasting recognition for Ayn Rand as a champion of individualism.

Atlas Shrugged (1957) was her greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy of Objectivism in an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Although she considered herself primarily a fiction writer, she realized early that in order to create heroic characters, she had to identify the philosophic principles which make such people possible. She proceeded to develop a “philosophy for living on earth.” Objectivism has now gained a worldwide audience and is an ever growing presence in American culture. Her novels continue to sell in enormous numbers every year, proving themselves enduring classics of literature.

Ayn Rand died on March 6, 1982, at her home in New York City.

Recollections of Ayn RandA Conversation with Leonard Peikoff, Ph.D.,Ayn Rand’s longtime associate and intellectual heir

Dr. Peikoff, you met Miss Rand when you were seventeen and were associated with her until her death, thirty-one years later. What were your first impressions of her? What was she like?

The strongest first impression I had of her was her passion for ideas. Ayn Rand was unlike anyone I had ever imagined. Her mind was utterly first-handed: she said what no one else had ever said or probably ever thought, but she said these things so logicallyso simply, factually, persuasivelythat they seemed to be self-evident. She radiated the kind of intensity that one could imagine changing the course of history. Her brilliantly perceptive eyes looked straight at you and missed nothing: neither did her methodical, painstaking, virtually scientific replies to my questions miss anything. She made me think for the first time that thinking is important. I said to myself after I left her home: “All of life will be different now. If she exists, everything is possible.”

In her fiction, Ayn Rand presented larger-than-life heroesembodiments of her philosophy of rational egoismthat have inspired countless readers over the years. Was Ayn Rands own life like that of her characters? Did she practice her own ideals?

Yes, always. From the age of nine, when she decided on a career as a writer, everything she did was integrated toward her creative purpose. As with Howard Roark, dedication to thought and thus to her work was the root of Ayn Rands person.

In every aspect of life, she once told me, a man should have favorites. He should define what he likes or wants most and why, and then proceed to get it. She always did just thatfleeing the Soviet dictatorship for America, tripping her future husband on a movie set to get him to notice her, ransacking ancient record shops to unearth some lost treasure, even decorating her apartment with an abundance of her favorite color, blue-green.

Given her radical views in morality and politics, did she ever soften or compromise her message?Never. She took on the whole worldliberals, conservatives, communists, religionists, Babbitts and avant-garde alikebut opposition had no power to sway her from her convictions.

I never saw her adapting her personality or viewpoint to please another individual. She was always the same and always herself, whether she was talking with me alone, or attending a cocktail party of celebrities, or being cheered or booed by a hall full of college students, or being interviewed on national television.

Couldnt she have profited by toning things down a little?

She could never be tempted to betray her convictions. A Texas oil man once offered her up to a million dollars to use in spreading her philosophy, if she would only add a religious element to it to make it more popular. She threw his proposal into the wastebasket. “What would I do with his money,” she asked me indignantly, “if I have to give up my mind in order to get it?”

Her integrity was the result of her method of thinking and her conviction that ideas really matter. She knew too clearly how she had reached her ideas, why they were true, and what their opposites were doing to mankind.

Who are some writers that Ayn Rand respected and enjoyed reading?

She did not care for most contemporary writers. Her favorites were the nineteenth century Romantic novelists. Above all, she admired Victor Hugo, though she often disagreed with his explicit views. She liked Dostoevsky for his superb mastery of plot structure and characterization, although she had no patience for his religiosity. In popular literature, she read all of Agatha Christie twice, and also liked the early novels of Mickey Spillane.

In addition to writing best-sellers, Ayn Rand originated a distinctive philosophy of reason. If someone wants to get an insight into her intellectual and creative development, what would you suggest?

A reader ought first to read her novels and main nonfiction in order to understand her views and values. Then, to trace her early literary development, a reader could pick up The Early Ayn Rand, a volume I edited after her death. It features a selection of short stories and plays that she wrote while mastering English and the art of fiction-writing. For a glimpse of her lifelong intellectual development, I would recommend the recent book Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman.

Ayn Rands life was punctuated by disappointments with people, frustration, and early poverty. Was she embittered? Did she achieve happiness in her own life?

She did achieve happiness. Whatever her disappointments or frustrations, they went down, as she said about Roark, only to a certain point. Beneath it was her self-esteem, her values, and her conviction that happiness, not pain, is what matters. I remember a spring day in 1957. She and I were walking up Madison Avenue in New York toward the office of Random House, which was in the process of bringing out Atlas Shrugged. She was looking at the city she had always loved most, and now, after decades of rejection, she had seen the top publishers in that city competing for what she knew, triumphantly, was her masterpiece. She turned to me suddenly and said: “Dont ever give up what you want in life. The struggle is worth it.” I never forgot that. I can still see the look of quiet radiance on her face.

The Fountainhead

We the Living

Anthem

a) “It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think.”

b) “I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning.”

c) “I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them.”

Objectivism

Related Titles

Fiction in PaperbackAnthem (New York: Signet, 1961).Atlas Shrugged (New York: Signet, 1959).The Fountainhead (New York: Signet, 25th anniv. ed., 1968).Night of January 16th (New York: Plume, 1987).We the Living (New York: Signet, 1960).

Nonfiction in PaperbackCapitalism: The Unknown Ideal (New York: Signet, 1967).The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection from Her Unpublished Fiction(New York: Signet, 1986).For the New Intellectual (New York: Signet, 1963).Philosophy: Who Needs It (New York: Signet, 1964).Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (New York:Meridian, 1999).The Romantic Manifesto (New York: Signet, 2nd rev. ed., 1971).The Virtue of Selfishness (New York: Signet, 1984).

On Ayn Rand and ObjectivismThe Ayn Rand Reader, edited by Gary Hull and Leonard Peikoff(New York: Plume, 1999).Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman (New York:Dutton, 1997).Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, by Leonard Peikoff(New York: Meridian, 1993).

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Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand, Paperback …

Inspirational Ayn Rand quotes On Life and Capitalism

Looking for inspirational Ayn Rand quotes? Enjoy!

1.) A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. Ayn Rand

2.) Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values. Ayn Rand

3.) Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. Ayn Rand

4.) Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual). Ayn Rand

5.) The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there arent enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Ayn Rand

6.) The question isnt who is going to let me; its who is going to stop me. Ayn Rand

7.) Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. its yours. Ayn Rand

8.) To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. Thats what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul would you understand why thats much harder?If its worth doing, its worth overdoing. Ayn Rand

9.) Joy is the goal of existence, and joy is not to be stumbled upon, but to be achieved, and the act of treason is to let its vision drown in the swamp of the moments torture. Ayn Rand

10.) I hope you will understand my hesitation in writing to one whom I admire as the greatest representative of a philosophy to which I want to dedicate my whole life. Ayn Rand

11.) Free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms. Ayn Rand

12.) What is greatness? I will answer: it is the capacity to live by the three fundamental values of John Galt: reason, purpose, self-esteem. Ayn Rand

13.) Guilt is a rope that wears thin. Ayn Rand

14.) Learn to value yourself, which means: to fight for your happiness. Ayn Rand

15.) Thanksgiving is a typically American holidayThe lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production. Ayn Rand

16.) The upper classes are a nations past; the middle class is its future. Ayn Rand

17.) I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Ayn Rand

18.) I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. Ayn Rand

19.) Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing. Ayn Rand

20.) The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone. Ayn Rand

21.) You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand

22.) Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness. Ayn Rand

23.) The truth is not for all men but only for those who seek it. Ayn Rand

24.) I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows. Ayn Rand

25.) Why is it immoral for you to desire, but moral for others to do so? Why is it immoral to produce a value and keep it, but moral to give it away? And if it is not moral for you to keep a value, why is it moral for others to accept it? If you are selfless and virtuous when you give it, are they not selfish and vicious when they take it? Ayn Rand

26.) When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit. When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit. Ayn Rand

27.) The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction [that] you give it. Ayn Rand

28.) The most depraved type of human being . . . (is) the man without a purpose. Ayn Rand

29.) Theres nothing of any importance except how well you do your work. Ayn Rand

30.) Man is an end in himself. Romantic lovethe profound, exalted, lifelong passion that unites his mind and body in the sexual actis the living testimony to that principle. Ayn Rand

31.) To love is to value. Only a rationally selfish man, a man of self-esteem, is capable of lovebecause he is the only man capable of holding firm, consistent, uncompromising, unbetrayed values. The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone. Ayn Rand

32.) To say I love you one must know first how to say the I. Ayn Rand

33.) Dont help me or serve me, but let me see it once, because I need it. Dont work for my happiness, my brothers show me yours show me that it is possible show me your achievement and the knowledge will give me the courage for mine. Ayn Rand

34.) Love is the expression of ones values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another. Ayn Rand

35.) There is no conflict of interests among men, neither in business nor in trade nor in their most personal desiresif they omit the irrational from their view of the possible and destruction from the view of the practical. There is no conflict, and no call for sacrifice, and no man is a threat to the aims of anotherif men understand that reality is an absolute not to be faked, that lies do not work, that the unearned can not be had, that the undeserved cannot be given, that the destruction of a value which is, will not bring value to that which isnt. Ayn Rand

36.) The concept of free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms. Ayn Rand

37.) The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. Ayn Rand

38.) Life is the reward of virtue. And happiness is the goal and reward of life Ayn Rand

39.) You must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the secondary consequences. Ayn Rand

40.) Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven, but not those who lack the courage of their own greatness. Ayn Rand

41.) You were not born to be a second-hander. Ayn Rand

42.) I would step in the way of a bullet if it were aimed at my husband. It is not self-sacrifice to die protecting that which you value: If the value is great enough, you do not care to exist without it. Ayn Rand

43.) I dont make comparisons. I never think of myself in relation to anyone else. I just refuse to measure myself as part of anything. Im an utter egotist. Ayn Rand

44.) No ones happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy Ayn Rand

45.) Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. Ayn Rand

46.) The ladder of success is the best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity Ayn Rand

47.) A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving. Ayn Rand

48.) Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to mens stupidity, but your talent to their reason. Ayn Rand

49.) Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by producing. Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand Institute – Wikipedia

The Ayn Rand Institute: The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism, commonly known as the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit think tank in Irvine, California that promotes Objectivism, the philosophy developed by Ayn Rand. Its stated goal is to “spearhead a cultural renaissance that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today’s culture”.[2] The organization was established in 1985, three years after Rand’s death, by Ed Snider and Leonard Peikoff, Rand’s legal heir.

ARI has several educational and outreach programs, which include providing intellectuals for public appearances, supporting Objectivist campus clubs, supplying Rand’s writings to schools and professors, assisting overseas Objectivist institutions, organizing annual conferences, and running the Objectivist Academic Center.[2]

During her lifetime, Rand helped establish The Foundation for the New Intellectual to promote Objectivist ideas. The Foundation was dissolved some 15 years after her death, having been made redundant by the Ayn Rand Institute. Although Rand objected to Objectivism becoming an organized movement, she supported like-minded individuals working toward a common goal.[3] Peikoff, her legal heir, was convinced to start the organization after businessman Ed Snider organized a meeting of possible financial supporters in New York in the fall of 1983.[4] Peikoff also agreed to be the first chairman of the organization’s board of directors.[5]

In 1983, a group of Objectivists, including George Reisman, organized the Jefferson School of Philosophy, Economics, and Politics. The Jefferson School held a two-week-long conference at the University of California, San Diego later that year, a conference which continued to occur every two years and is the predecessor of ARI’s current annual Objectivist Conference.[6]

ARI began operations on February 1, 1985, three years after Rand’s death, in Marina del Rey, California. The first board of directors included Snider and psychologist Edith Packer. Snider was also one of the founding donors for the organization, along with educational entrepreneur Carl Barney.[6][5] Its first executive director was Michael Berliner, who was previously the chairman of the Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education at California State University, Northridge. ARI also established a board of governors, which initially included Harry Binswanger, Robert Hessen, Edwin Locke, Arthur Mode, George Reisman, Jay Snider, and Mary Ann Sures, with Peter Schwartz as its chairman.[7] M. Northrup Buechner and George Walsh joined the board of advisors shortly thereafter.[8]

ARI’s first two projects were aimed at students. One was developing a network of college clubs to study Objectivism. The other was a college scholarship contest for high-school students based on writing an essay about Rand’s novel The Fountainhead.[8] Later, additional essay contests were added based on Anthem, We the Living, and Atlas Shrugged.[9] In 1988, ARI began publishing Impact, a newsletter for contributors.[10]

In 1989, a philosophical dispute resulted in ARI ending its association with philosopher David Kelley.[11] Some members of the board of advisors agreed with Kelley and also left, including George Walsh.[12] Kelley subsequently founded his own competing institute now known as The Atlas Society, which remains critical of ARI’s stance on loyalty.[13]

In 1994, ARI launched the Objectivist Graduate Center, which offered both distance-learning and in-person courses.[6]

In January 2000, Berliner retired as executive director, replaced by Yaron Brook, then an assistant professor of finance at Santa Clara University. Onkar Ghate began working for ARI later that year, and ARI launched the Objectivist Academic Center.[6]

In 2002, ARI moved from Marina del Rey to larger offices in Irvine, California.[14]

In 2003, ARI launched the Anthem Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism, a fellowship that financially supports universities who have Objectivist professors.[6]

Charity Navigator, which rates charitable and educational organizations to inform potential donors, gives ARI three out of four stars. According to the latest data from Charity Navigator, ARI spends 85.1% of its expenses on programs, 9.5% on fundraising, and 5.3% on administration.[15] As of September 2016[update], ARI’s board of directors consists of Brook; Berliner (co-chair); Arline Mann (co-chair), retired attorney, formerly of Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Carl Barney, CEO of several private colleges; Harry Binswanger, long-time associate of Ayn Rand; Peter LePort, a surgeon in private practice; Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin;[16] and John Allison, CEO of the Cato Institute and former CEO of BB&T.[17]

Peikoff retains a cooperative and influential relationship with ARI.[18] In 2006, he remarked that he approved of the work ARI has done[19] and in November 2010 that the executive director “has done a splendid job.”[20] Peikoff was a featured speaker at the 2007 and 2010 Objectivist Conferences.[21] In August 2010, he demanded a change to ARI’s board of directors, resulting in the resignation of John McCaskey.[22]

A central goal for ARI throughout the 2010s has been to spread Objectivism globally. ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Israel in 2012, the Ayn Rand Institute Europe in 2015, and the Ayn Rand Center Japan in 2017. Each of these organizations are separate legal entities from the U.S.-based ARI but are affiliated with ARI.

In January 2017, ARI announced Jim Brown as its CEO, succeeding Yaron Brook as its operational executive.[23]

In June 2018, Tal Tsfany, co-founder of the Ayn Rand Center Israel, took over as the president and CEO of ARI.[24]

ARI runs a variety of programs, many of which are aimed at students. It sends free books to schools, sponsors student essay contests and campus clubs, and offers financial assistance to students applying to graduate school.[2][9] It also has an online bookstore, offers internships for current and recently graduated college students, and provides speakers for public lectures and media appearances.[25]

ARI organizes a week-long Objectivist Conference (OCON) each summer in a different city throughout the United States. OCON primarily consists of lectures, social events, and professional mentoring. Speakers have included ARI-affiliated Objectivists as well as like-minded intellectuals, such as Flemming Rose and Dave Rubin.

ARI also hosts a three-day Ayn Rand Student Conference (AynRandCon) each fall, aimed at college and graduate school students.

The Objectivist Academic Center (OAC) is an educational program that conducts online classes on Objectivism and related fields. Entry to the program requires admission after application, which requires college transcripts and admission essays. OAC does not offer college credits and is rather intended as a supplement to a college education.[26]

In recent years, the Ayn Rand Institute has made a concerted effort to promote Objectivism globally. Institutions affiliated with ARI in countries outside the United States are separate legal entities.

In October 2012, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Israel (ARCI) to promote Objectivism in Israel and the Middle East.[27] Its current director is Boaz Arad. In 2016, ARCI launched the Atlas Award for the Best Israeli Start-up, presented annually at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[28] Judges for the award include Yaron Brook and Shlomo Kalish.[29] Moovit was the first recipient of the award in 2016, and Zebra Medical Vision won the award in 2017.[28]

In April 2015, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Institute Europe to promote Objectivism in Europe.[30] The current chairman of ARI Europe is Lars Seir Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Saxo Bank.[30] In February 2017, ARI helped establish the Ayn Rand Center Japan.[31] ARI has also helped establish Objectivist clubs at schools throughout the world, including in Mexico, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, India, and China.[citation needed]

ARI has also helped guide the independent Spain-based Objetivismo Internacional, which seeks to spread Objectivism in the Spanish-speaking world.[32]

ARI promotes Objectivism, the philosophy developed by Ayn Rand. ARI sponsors writers and speakers who apply Objectivism to contemporary issues, including religion, politics, and art.[33]

Since Objectivism advocates atheism, ARI promotes the separation of church and state, and its writers argue that the religious right poses a threat to individual rights.[citation needed] They have argued against displaying religious symbols, such as the Ten Commandments, in government facilities[34] and against faith-based initiatives.[35] ARI intellectuals argue that religion is incompatible with American ideals[36] and opposes the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools.[37]

ARI is strongly supportive of free speech and opposes all forms of censorship, including laws that ban obscenity and hate speech.[38][39] In response to the Muhammad cartoons controversy, ARI started a Free Speech Campaign in 2006.[40] Steve Simpson, director of legal studies at ARI, has argued that campaign finance is a free speech issue and that laws that limit it are thus a violation of the First Amendment. Accordingly, Simpson and ARI strongly supports Citizens United.[41][42]

ARI has taken many controversial positions with respect to the Muslim world. They hold that the motivation for Islamic terrorism comes from their religiosity, not poverty or a reaction to Western policies.[43] They have urged that the U.S. use overwhelming, retaliatory force to “end states who sponsor terrorism”, using whatever means are necessary to end the threat.[44] In his article “End States Who Sponsor Terrorism”, which was published as a full page ad in The New York Times, Peikoff wrote, “The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. Our Commander-In-Chief must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who conspire to kill them.” Although some at ARI initially supported the invasion of Iraq, it has criticized how the Iraq War was handled.[45] Since October 2, 2001, ARI has held that Iran should be the primary target in the war against “Islamic totalitarianism”.[44]

ARI is generally supportive of Israel.[46] Of Zionism, Yaron Brook writes, “Zionism fused a valid concern self-preservation amid a storm of hostility with a toxic premise ethnically based collectivism and religion.”[47]

ARI is highly critical of environmentalism and animal rights, arguing that they are destructive to human well-being.[48][49] ARI is also highly critical of diversity and affirmative action programs, as well as multiculturalism, arguing that they are based on racist premises that ignore the commonality of a shared humanity.[50][51]

ARI supports women’s right to choose abortion,[52] voluntary euthanasia, and assisted suicide.[53]

ARI denounces neoconservatism in general. For example, C. Bradley Thompson wrote an article entitled “The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism”,[54] which was later turned into the book, with Yaron Brook, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea.[55]

As of 2017 the Ayn Rand Institute had assets of $5,566,000.[1]

Revenue and support as of 2017: $8,774,000

Contributions (95.0%)

Program revenues (4.0%)

Investment returns and other revenues (1.0%)

Expenses as of 2017: $9,356,000

Educational programs (37.9%)

Outreach (32.0%)

Other (10.0%)

Fundraising (13.2%)

Management and general (6.9%)

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Ayn Rand Institute – Wikipedia

Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand: 9780451191144: Amazon.com: Books

INTRODUCTION: Ayn Rand held that art is a re-creation of reality according to an artist s metaphysical value judgments. By its nature, therefore, a novel (like a statue or a symphony) does not require or tolerate an explanatory preface; it is a self-contained universe, aloof from commentary, beckoning the reader to enter, perceive, respond. Ayn Rand would never have approved of a didactic (or laudatory) introduction to her book, and I have no intention of flouting her wishes. Instead, I am going to give her the floor. I am going to let you in on some of the thinking she did as she was preparing to write Atlas Shrugged. Before starting a novel, Ayn Rand wrote voluminously in her journals about its theme, plot, and characters. She wrote not for any audience, but strictly for herself that is, for the clarity of her own understanding. The journals dealing with Atlas Shrugged are powerful examples of her mind in action, confident even when groping, purposeful even when stymied, luminously eloquent even though wholly unedited. These journals are also a fascinating record of the step-by-step birth of an immortal work of art. In due course, all of Ayn Rand s writings will be published. For this 35th anniversary edition of Atlas Shrugged, however, I have selected, as a kind of advance bonus for her fans, four typical journal entries. Let me warn new readers that the passages reveal the plot and will spoil the book for anyone who reads them before knowing the story. As I recall, Atlas Shrugged did not become the novel s title until Miss Rand s husband made the suggestion in 1956. The working title throughout the writing was The Strike. The earliest of Miss Rand s notes for The Strike are dated January 1, 1945, about a year after the publication of The Fountainhead. Naturally enough, the subject on her mind was how to differentiate the present novel from its predecessor. Theme. What happens to the world when the Prime Movers go on strike. This means a picture of the world with its motor cut off. Show: what, how, why. The specific steps and incidents in terms of persons, their spirits, motives, psychology and actions and, secondarily, proceeding from persons, in terms of history, society and the world. The theme requires: to show who are the prime movers and why, how they function. Who are their enemies and why, what are the motives behind the hatred for and the enslavement of the prime movers; the nature of the obstacles placed in their way, and the reasons for it. This last paragraph is contained entirely in The Fountainhead. Roark and Toohey are the complete statement of it. Therefore, this is not the direct theme of The Strike but it is part of the theme and must be kept in mind, stated again (though briefly) to have the theme clear and complete. First question to decide is on whom the emphasis must be placed on the prime movers, the parasites or the world. The answer is: The world. The story must be primarily a picture of the whole. In this sense, The Strike is to be much more a social novel than The Fountainhead. The Fountainhead was about individualism and collectivism within man s soul ; it showed the nature and function of the creator and the second-hander. The primary concern there was with Roark and Toohey showing what they are. The rest of the characters were variations of the theme of the relation of the ego to others mixtures of the two extremes, the two poles: Roark and Toohey. The primary concern of the story was the characters, the people as such their natures. Their relations to each other which is society, men in relation to men were secondary, an unavoidable, direct consequence of Roark set against Toohey. But it was not the theme. Now, it is this relation that must be the theme. Therefore, the personal becomes secondary. That is, the personal is necessary only to the extent needed to make the relationships clear. In The Fountainhead I showed that Roark moves the world that the Keatings feed upon him and hate him for it, while the Tooheys are out consciously to destroy him. But the theme was Roark not Roark s relation to the world. Now it will be the relation. In other words, I must show in what concrete, specific way the world is moved by the creators. Exactly how do the second-handers live on the creators. Both in spiritual matters and (most particularly) in concrete, physical events. (Concentrate on the concrete, physical events but don t forget to keep in mind at all times how the physical proceeds from the spiritual.). However, for the purpose of this story, I do not start by showing how the second-handers live on the prime movers in actual, everyday reality nor do I start by showing a normal world. (That comes in only in necessary retrospect, or flashback, or by implication in the events themselves.) I start with the fantastic premise of the prime movers going on strike. This is the actual heart and center of the novel. A distinction carefully to be observed here: I do not set out to glorify the prime mover ( that was The Fountainhead ). I set out to show how desperately the world needs prime movers, and how viciously it treats them. And I show it on a hypothetical case what happens to the world without them. In The Fountainhead I did not show how desperately the world needed Roark except by implication. I did show how viciously the world treated him, and why. I showed mainly what he is. It was Roark s story. This must be the world s story in relation to its prime movers. (Almost the story of a body in relation to its heart a body dying of anemia.) I don t show directly what the prime movers do that s shown only by implication. I show what happens when they don t do it. (Through that, you see the picture of what they do, their place and their role.) (This is an important guide for the construction of the story.) In order to work out the story, Ayn Rand had to understand fully why the prime movers allowed the second-handers to live on them why the creators had not gone on strike throughout history what errors even the best of them made that kept them in thrall to the worst. Part of the answer is dramatized in the character of Dagny Taggart, the railroad heiress who declares war on the strikers. Here is a note on her psychology, dated April 18, 1946: Her error and the cause of her refusal to join the strike is over-optimism and over-confidence (particularly this last). Over-optimism in that she thinks men are better than they are, she doesn t really understand them and is generous about it. Over-confidence in that she thinks she can do more than an individual actually can. She thinks she can run a railroad (or the world) single-handed, she can make people do what she wants or needs, what is right, by the sheer force of her own talent; not by forcing them, of course, not by enslaving them and giving orders but by the sheer over-abundance of her own energy; she will show them how, she can teach them and persuade them, she is so able that they ll catch it from her. (This is still faith in their rationality, in the omnipotence of reason. The mistake? Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.) On these two points, Dagny is committing an important (but excusable and understandable) error in thinking, the kind of error individualists and creators often make. It is an error proceeding from the best in their nature and from a proper principle, but this principle is misapplied. The error is this: it is proper for a creator to be optimistic, in the deepest, most basic sense, since the creator believes in a benevolent universe and functions on that premise. But it is an error to extend that optimism to other specific men. First, it s not necessary, the creator s life and the nature of the universe do not require it, his life does not depend on others. Second, man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it s up to him and only to him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be. The decision will affect only him; it is not (and cannot and should not be) the primary concern of any other human being. Therefore, while a creator does and must worship Man (which means his own highest potentiality; which is his natural self-reverence), he must not make the mistake of thinking that this means the necessity to worship Mankind (as a collective). These are two entirely different conceptions, with entirely (immensely and diametrically opposed) different consequences. Man, at his highest potentiality, is realized and fulfilled within each creator himself. Whether the creator is alone, or finds only a handful of others like him, or is among the majority of mankind, is of no importance or consequence whatever; numbers have nothing to do with it. He alone or he and a few others like him are mankind, in the proper sense of being the proof of what man actually is, man at his best, the essential man, man at his highest possibility. (The rational being, who acts according to his nature.) It should not matter to a creator whether anyone or a million or all the men around him fall short of the ideal of Man; let him live up to that ideal himself; this is all the optimism about Man that he needs. But this is a hard and subtle thing to realize and it would be natural for Dagny always to make the mistake of believing others are better than they really are (or will become better, or she will teach them to become better or, actually, she so desperately wants them to be better) and to be tied to the world by that hope. It is proper for a creator to have an unlimited confidence in himself and his ability, to feel certain that he can get anything he wishes out of life, that he can accomplish anything he decides to accomplish, and that it s up to him to do it. (He feels it because he is a man of reason. But here is what he must keep clearly in mind: it is true that a creator can accomplish anything he wishes if he functions according to the nature of man, the universe and his own proper morality, that is, if he does not place his wish primarily within others and does not attempt or desire anything that is of a collective nature, anything that concerns others primarily or requires primarily the exercise of the will of others. (This would be an immoral desire or attempt, contrary to his nature as a creator.) If he attempts that, he is out of a creator s province and in that of the collectivist and the second-hander. Therefore, he must never feel confident that he can do anything whatever to, by or through others. (He can t and he shouldn t even wish to try it and the mere attempt is improper.) He must not think that he can. somehow transfer his energy and his intelligence to them and make them fit for his purposes in that way. He must face other men as they are, recognizing them as essentially independent entities, by nature, and beyond his primary influence; [he must] deal with them only on his own, independent terms, deal with such as he judges can fit his purpose or live up to his standards (by themselves and of their own will, independently of him) and expect nothing from the others. Now, in Dagny s case, her desperate desire is to run Taggart Transcontinental. She sees that there are no men suited to her purpose around her, no men of ability, independence and competence. She thinks she can run it with others, with the incompetent and the parasites, either by training them or merely by treating them as robots who will take her orders and function without personal initiative or responsibility; with herself, in effect, being the spark of initiative, the bearer of responsibility for a whole collective. This can t be done. This is her crucial error. This is where she fails. Ayn Rand s basic purpose as a novelist was to present not villains or even heroes with errors, but the ideal man the consistent, the fully integrated, the perfect. In Atlas Shrugged, this is John Galt, the towering figure who moves the world and the novel, yet does not appear onstage until Part III. By his nature (and that of the story) Galt is necessarily central to the lives of all the characters. In one note, Galt s relation to the others, dated June 27, 1946, Miss Rand defines succinctly what Galt represents to each of them: For Dagny the ideal. The answer to her two quests: the man of genius and the man she loves. The first quest is expressed in her search for the inventor of the engine. The second her growing conviction that she will never be in love For Rearden the friend. The kind of understanding and appreciation he has always wanted and did not know he wanted (or he thought he had it he tried to find it in those around him, to get it from his wife, his mother, brother and sister). For Francisco d Anconia the aristocrat. The only man who represents a challenge and a stimulant almost the proper kind of audience, worthy of stunning for the sheer joy and color of life. For Danneskjld the anchor. The only man who represents land and roots to a restless, reckless wanderer, like the goal of a struggle, the port at the end of a fierce sea-voyage the only man he can respect. For the Composer the inspiration and the perfect audience. For the Philosopher the embodiment of his abstractions. For Father Amadeus the source of his conflict. The uneasy realization that Galt is the end of his endeavors, the man of virtue, the perfect man and that his means do not fit this end (and that he is destroying this, his ideal, for the sake of those who are evil). To James Taggart the eternal threat. The secret dread. The reproach. The guilt (his own guilt). He has no specific tie-in with Galt but he has that constant, causeless, unnamed, hysterical fear. And he recognizes it when he hears Galt s broadcast and when he sees Galt in person for the first time. To the Professor his conscience. The reproach and reminder. The ghost that haunts him through everything he does, without a moment s peace. The thing that says: No to his whole life. Some notes on the above: Rearden s sister, Stacy, was a minor character later cut from the novel. Francisco was spelled Francesco in these early years, while Danneskld s first name at this point was Ivar, presumably after Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish match king, who was the real-life model of Bjorn Faulkner in Night of January 16th. Father Amadeus was Taggart s priest, to whom he confessed his sins. The priest was supposed to be a positive character, honestly devoted to the good but practicing consistently the morality of mercy. Miss Rand dropped him, she told me, when she found that it was impossible to make such a character convincing. The Professor is Robert Stadler. This brings me to a final excerpt. Because of her passion for ideas, Miss Rand was often asked whether she was primarily a philosopher or a novelist. In later years, she was impatient with this question, but she gave her own answer, to and for herself, in a note dated May 4, 1946. The broader context was a discussion of the nature of creativity. I seem to be both a theoretical philosopher and a fiction writer. But it is the last that interests me most; the first is only the means to the last; the absolutely necessary means, but only the means; the fiction story is the end. Without an understanding and statement of the right philosophical principle, I cannot create the right story; but the discovery of the principle interests me only as the discovery of the proper knowledge to be used for my life purpose; and my life purpose is the creation of the kind of world (people and events) that I like that is, that represents human perfection. Philosophical knowledge is necessary in order to define human perfection. But I do not care to stop at the definition. I want to use it, to apply it in my work (in my personal life, too but the core, center and purpose of my personal life, of my whole life, is my work). This is why, I think, the idea of writing a philosophical nonfiction book bored me. In such a book, the purpose would actually be to teach others, to present my idea to them. In a book of fiction the purpose is to create, for myself, the kind of world I want and to live in it while I am creating it; then, as a secondary consequence, to let others enjoy this world, if, and to the extent that they can. It may be said that the first purpose of a philosophical book is the clarification or statement of your new knowledge to and for yourself; and then, as a secondary step, the offering of your knowledge to others. But here is the difference, as far as I am concerned: I have to acquire and state to myself the new philosophical knowledge or principle I used in order to write a fiction story as its embodiment and illustration; I do not care to write a story on a theme or thesis of old knowledge, knowledge stated or discovered by someone else, that is, someone else s philosophy (because those philosophies are wrong). To this extent, I am an abstract philosopher (I want to present the perfect man and his perfect life and I must also discover my own philosophical statement and definition of this perfection). But when and if I have discovered such new knowledge, I am not interested in stating it in its abstract, general form, that is, as knowledge. I am interested in using it, in applying it that is, in stating it in the concrete form of men and events, in the form of a fiction story. This last is my final purpose, my end; the philosophical knowledge or discovery is only the means to it. For my purpose, the non-fiction form of abstract knowledge doesn t interest me; the final, applied form of fiction, of story, does. (I state the knowledge to myself, anyway; but I choose the final form of it, the expression, in the completed cycle that leads back to man.) I wonder to what extent I represent a peculiar phenomenon in this respect. I think I represent the proper integration of a complete human being. Anyway, this should be my lead for the character of John Galt. He, too , is a combination of an abstract philosopher and a practical inventor; the thinker and the man of action together In learning, we draw an abstraction from concrete objects and events. In creating, we make our own concrete objects and events out of the abstraction; we bring the abstraction down and back to its specific meaning, to the concrete; but the abstraction has helped us to make the kind of concrete we want the concrete to be. It has helped us to create to reshape the world as we wish it to be for our purposes. I cannot resist quoting one further paragraph. It comes a few pages later in the same discussion. Incidentally, as a sideline observation: if creative fiction writing is a process of translating an abstraction into the concrete, there are three possible grades of such writing: translating an old (known) abstraction (theme or thesis) through the medium of old fiction means (that is, characters, events or situations used before for that same purpose, that same translation) this is most of the popular trash; translating an old abstraction through new, original fiction means this is most of the good literature; creating a new, original abstraction and translating it through new, original means. This, as far as I know, is only me my kind of fiction writing. May God forgive me (Metaphor!) if this is mistaken conceit! As near as I can now see it, it isn t. (A fourth possibility translating a new abstraction through old means is impossible, by definition: if the abstraction is new, there can be no means used by anybody else before to translate it.) Is her conclusion mistaken conceit ? It is now forty-five years since she wrote this note, and you are holding Ayn Rand s master-work in your hands. You decide. Leonard Peikoff September 1991. Chapter 1: THE THEME Who is John Galt? The light was ebbing, and Eddie Willers could not distinguish the bum s face. The bum had said it simply, without expression. But from the sunset far at the end of the street, yellow glints caught his eyes, and the eyes looked straight at Eddie Willers, mocking and still as if the question had been addressed to the causeless uneasiness within him. Why did you say that? asked Eddie Willers, his voice tense. The bum leaned against the side of the doorway; a wedge of broken glass behind him reflected the metal yellow of the sky. Why does it bother you? he asked. It doesn t, snapped Eddie Willers. He reached hastily into his pocket. The bum had stopped him and asked for a dime, then had gone on talking, as if to kill that moment and postpone the problem of the next. Pleas for dimes were so frequent in the streets these days that it was not necessary to listen to explanations and he had no desire to hear the details of this bum s particular despair. Go get your cup of coffee, he said, handing the dime to the shadow that had no face. Thank you, sir, said the voice, without interest, and the face leaned forward for a moment. The face was wind-browned, cut by lines of weariness and cynical resignation; the eyes were intelligent. Eddie Willers walked on, wondering why he always felt it at this time of day, this sense of dread without reason. No, he thought, not dread, there s nothing to fear: just an immense, diffused apprehension, with no source or object. He had become accustomed to the feeling, but he could find no explanation for it; yet the bum had spoken as if he knew that Eddie felt it, as if he thought that one should feel it, and more: as if he knew the reason. Eddie Willers pulled his shoulders straight, in conscientious self-discipline. He had to stop this, he thought; he was beginning to imagine things. Had he always felt it? He was thirty-two years old. He tried to think back. No, he hadn t; but he could not remember when it had started. The feeling came to him suddenly, at random intervals, and now it was coming more often than ever. It s the twilight, he thought; I hate the twilight. The clouds and the shafts of skyscrapers against them were turning brown, like an old painting in oil, the color of a fading masterpiece. Long streaks of grime ran from under the pinnacles down the slender, soot-eaten walls. High on the side of a tower there was a crack in the shape of a motionless lightning, the length of ten stories. A jagged object cut the sky above the roofs; it was half a spire, still holding the glow of the sunset; the gold leaf had long since peeled off the other half. The glow was red and still, like the reflection of a fire: not an active fire, but a dying one which it is too late to stop. No, thought Eddie Willers, there was nothing disturbing in the sight of the city. It looked as it had always looked. He walked on, reminding himself that he was late in returning to the office. He did not like the task which he had to perform on his return, but it had to be done. So he did not attempt to delay it, but made himself walk faster. He turned a corner. In the narrow space between the dark silhouettes of two buildings, as in the crack of a door, he saw the page of a gigantic calendar suspended in the sky. It was the calendar that the mayor of New York had erected last year on the top of a building, so that citizens might tell the day of the month as they told the hours of the day, by glancing up at a public tower. A white rectangle hung over the city, imparting the date to the men in the streets below. In the rusty light of this evening s sunset, the rectangle said: September 2. Eddie Willers looked away. He had never liked the sight of that calendar. It disturbed him, in a manner he could not explain or define. The feeling seemed to blend with his sense of uneasiness; it had the same quality. He thought suddenly that there was some phrase, a kind of quotation, that expressed what the calendar seemed to suggest. But he could not recall it. He walked, groping for a sentence that hung in his mind as an empty shape. He could neither fill it nor dismiss it. He glanced back. The white rectangle stood above the roofs, saying in immovable finality: September 2. Eddie Willers shifted his glance down to the street, to a vegetable pushcart at the stoop of a brownstone house. He saw a pile of bright gold carrots and the fresh green of onions. He saw a clean white curtain blowing at an open window. He saw a bus turning a corner, expertly steered. He wondered why he felt reassured and then, why he felt the sudden, inexplicable wish that these things were not left in the open, unprotected against the empty space above. When he came to Fifth Avenue, he kept his eyes on the windows of the stores he passed. There was nothing he needed or wished to buy; but he liked to see the display of goods, any goods, objects made by men, to be used by men. He enjoyed the sight of a prosperous street; not more than every fourth one of the stores was out of business, its windows dark and empty. He did not know why he suddenly thought of the oak tree. Nothing had recalled it. But he thought of it and of his childhood summers on the Taggart estate. He had spent most of his childhood with the Taggart children, and now he worked for them, as his father and grandfather had worked for their father and grandfather. The great oak tree had stood on a hill over the Hudson, in a lonely spot on the Taggart estate. Eddie Willers, aged seven, liked to come and look at that tree. It had stood there for hundreds of years, and he thought it would always stand there. Its roots clutched the hill like a fist with fingers sunk into the soil, and he thought that if a giant were to seize it by the top, he would not be able to uproot it, but would swing the hill and the whole of the earth with it, like a ball at the end of a string. He felt safe in the oak tree s presence; it was a thing that nothing could change or threaten; it was his greatest symbol of strength. One night, lightning struck the oak tree. Eddie saw it the next morning. It lay broken in half, and he looked into its trunk as into the mouth of a black tunnel. The trunk was only an empty shell; its heart had rotted away long ago; there was nothing inside just a thin gray dust that was being dispersed by the whim of the faintest wind. The living power had gone, and the shape it left had not been able to stand without it. Years later, he heard it said that children should be protected from shock, from their first knowledge of death, pain or fear. But these had never scarred him; his shock came when he stood very quietly, looking into the black hole of the trunk. It was an immense betrayal the more terrible because he could not grasp what it was that had been betrayed. It was not himself, he knew, nor his trust; it was something else. He stood there for a while, making no sound, then he walked back to the house. He never spoke about it to anyone, then or since. Eddie Willers shook his head, as the screech of a rusty mechanism changing a traffic light stopped him on the edge of a curb. He felt anger at himself. There was no reason that he had to remember the oak tree tonight. It meant nothing to him any longer, only a faint tinge of sadness and somewhere within him, a drop of pain moving briefly and vanishing, like a raindrop on the glass of a window, its course in the shape of a question mark. He wanted no sadness attached to his childhood; he loved its memories: any day of it he remembered now seemed flooded by a still, brilliant sunlight. It seemed to him as if a few rays from it reached into his present: not rays, more like pinpoint spotlights that gave an occasional moment s glitter to his job, to his lonely apartment, to the quiet, scrupulous progression of his existence. He thought of a summer day when he was ten years old. That day, in a clearing of the woods, the one precious companion of his childhood told him what they would do when they grew up. The words were harsh and glowing, like the sunlight. He listened in admiration and in wonder. When he was asked what he would want to do, he answered at once, Whatever is right, and added, You ought to do something great. I mean, the two of us together. What? she asked. He said, I don t know. That s what we ought to find out. Not just what you said. Not just business and earning a living. Things like winning battles, or saving people out of fires, or climbing mountains. What for? she asked. He said, The minister said last Sunday that we must always reach for the best within us. What do you suppose is the best within us? I don t know. We ll have to find out. She did not answer; she was looking away, up the railroad track. Eddie Willers smiled. He had said, Whatever is right, twenty-two years ago. He had kept that statement unchallenged ever since; the other questions had faded in his mind; he had been too busy to ask them. But he still thought it self-evident that one had to do what was right; he had never learned how people could want to do otherwise; he had learned only that they did. It still seemed simple and incomprehensible to him: simple that things should be right, and incomprehensible that they weren t. He knew that they weren t. He thought of that, as he turned a corner and came to the great building of Taggart Transcontinental. The building stood over the street as its tallest and proudest structure. Eddie Willers always smiled at his first sight of it. Its long bands of windows were unbroken, in contrast to those of its neighbors. Its rising lines cut the sky, with no crumbling corners or worn edges. It seemed to stand above the years, untouched. It would always stand there, thought Eddie Willers. Whenever he entered the Taggart Building, he felt relief and a sense of security. This was a place of competence and power. The floors of its hallways were mirrors made of marble. The frosted rectangles of its electric fixtures were chips of solid light. Behind sheets of glass, rows of girls sat at typewriters,

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Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand: 9780451191144: Amazon.com: Books

The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff: 9780451191151 …

Born February 2, 1905, Ayn Rand published her first novel, We the Living, in 1936. Anthem followed in 1938. It was with the publication of The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) that she achieved her spectacular success. Rands unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are put forth in three nonfiction books, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtues of Selfishness, and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. They are all available in Signet editions, as is the magnificent statement of her artistic credo, The Romantic Manifesto.

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The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff: 9780451191151 …

Ayn Rand, Objectivism – The Atlas Society

Details February 26, 2015

Ayn Rand is Americas most controversial individualist. She was a bold woman who produced brilliant worksfusing fiction and philosophy. Her best-selling novels, like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, have sold millions of copies and continue to influence independent thinkers and celebrities the world over, from Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales to Angelina Jolie and Hugh Hefner.

Rand cut a striking figure, with her long-stemmed cigarette holder and intense gaze. Known for her fearless denunciations of irrationalism, Rand issued blistering critiques of powerful leaders, from the Pope to President Nixon. She could not be pigeon-holed as Right or Left, although she was known for her scathing attacks on Communism and all forms of collectivism.

She penned philosophical non-fiction works of such originality and power that she was credited by a small group of stunned intellectuals as having single-handedly solved an ancient philosophical puzzle. Yet the elite of her day refused to accept her as a legitimate philosopher. She derided them and their ideas; they returned the favor.

The new philosophy which she founded through her books andessays is called Objectivism. It is a philosophy that celebrates the power and potential of the individual, and reveals the principles necessary for developing a flourishing

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Ayn Rand, Objectivism – The Atlas Society

In Defense of Ayn Rand, Monster Under the Progressive Bed

Liberals are constantly begging for more female authors and female lead characters in literature, but one woman author and philosopher remains stubbornly absent from progressive reading lists. Her name is Ayn Rand, and she is responsible for a theory called Objectivism, which holds that reality exists independently of consciousness and that rational self-interest is the proper moral purpose of life.

Of all the tiresomely self-satisfied rituals played out regularly in the liberal blogosphere, competitive Rand-hating is among the most fatuous and infuriating. But why do the chattering classes hate her so much? I sense that the reasons givenher alleged psychopathy, selfishness, lack of literary talent, and hypocrisy, among othersare much less compelling than the real motivations driving their criticisms.

Last week, the previously lost novel version of Rand’s play Ideal was published. It is short, little more than a novella really, sparing readers passages like the infamous 100-page radio-hack exposition at the end of Atlas Shrugged. It’s a thriller, set in Los Angeles about 80 years ago, in which golden-era heroine Kay Gonda, on the run from the police, attempts to find sanctuary with six of her most devoted fans.

To her horror, the men don’t live up to their professed admiration by providing her a berth, which, as the story unfolds, becomes ever more depressing as we realize that most of us would probably behave the same way. The nature of celebrity has changed dramatically since the classic Hollywood period in which the novel’s action takes place, but if Rihanna showed up at my front door, I’m not entirely sure I’d behave any better to her than the fans in Ideal do to Gonda.

This partially epistolary novel provides a secular account of a question more often posed by faith: If God showed up in disguise, would the faithful live up to their professed values, or would the encounter reveal a baser nature? Unlike Rand’s later works, in which reason and faith are irreconcilable, these waters are muddied in Ideal, which describes its heroine in Virgin Marylike terms. Even the final revelation has, as one reviewer for the New Republic noted, a distinctively Christian virtuosic flourish to it.

According to Michael Paxton, who directed the world premiere of the play in 1989, Ideal gives readers an insight into Rand’s state of mind in the early 1930s: Her first novel, We The Living, had been rejected by publishers for being “too intellectual,” and the writer was struggling with odd jobs, having recently moved to the United States.

“It examines the artist’s process,” Paxton told me from his hotel room in North Carolina, where he was set to give a talk at the Ayn Rand Institute’s Objectivist Summer Conference. “How do you be an artist and live in the world at the same time? It’s amazing how, once you’ve lived a little in the world, you can really understand these characters and the issues they’re dealing withnot being understood, thinking the world doesn’t care whether you live or die.”

His assessment is not universal. Perhaps predictably, the New York Times hated the play when it premiered off-Broadway in 2010, concluding that, “the show’s clumsy mix of long bursts of theory and a laborious plot would test the endurance of even Alan Greenspan, a famous Rand admirer and veteran of long, boring meetings.”

As a play, Ideal went unperformed for 60 years after its writing, and was never seen on stage in Rand’s lifetime, though Paxton says that may have something to do with its practical demands: The play has 37 characters and tons of set changes. But he thinks it’s worth the effort: “What’s surprising about the play is that it has a lot of humour, and a lot of satire in how it makes fun of organized religion. It’s subtle, and very funny.”

The good news is the new edition also includes the entire play script. So you can gather 37 of your closest right-wing nutcase alliesor lefty culture jammers, as you preferand stage it yourself to find out.

Related: An Elegant Evening With Ayn Rand’s Free-Market Revolutionaries

Ideal the novel, which Rand herself set aside as unsatisfactory, is less polished than the stage version, and, despite flashes of Randian flair, there is evidence that the author was still struggling to find her voice. Readers familiar with the Fountainhead will recognize the seeds of that work in this early effort. Thankfully, though, Ideal is not one of those works of juvenilia that ought to have remained lost.

Rand’s critics, often humourless literalists, will find plenty in Ideal to gnaw on: There’s the classically Randian was-it-rape-or-wasn’t-it sex scene and a blisteringly heartless remark after a death that will have fans sniggering and detractors drumming up all the manufactured fury they can muster. And, yes, Rand’s writing can be a bit… much.

But profound, existential loneliness, coupled with a Buffy the Vampire Slayeresque sense of ordained personal greatness is why so many cheerleaders for capitalism relate to Rand’s lead characters, from Gonda to the Fountainhead’s Dominique Francon.

Shoshana Milgram Knapp, an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, said that these two characters are “to some extent reflections of Ayn Rand herself… Ayn Rand said that Dominique was herself in a bad mood.” This is perhaps why Rand’s literary agent, Alan Collins, said Ideal was a novel that only she could have written: In 1946, he wrote to Rand, “Had I come on a copy of this play in the midst of the Fiji Islands I would have had no doubt as to the authorship, as the writing, theme, and conception of the characters are uniquely yours.”

Critics never pass up the opportunity to be cruel about Rand fans. “Rand’s fan club has always been filled out not by committed literary critics but by insecure sulkers,” the New Republic wrote. Given how many books Rand has sold, though, that’s an awful lot of sulky people.

Let’s be honest, though, Randroids are idiosyncratic, to put it mildly. In fact, and I say this with love, Objectivists are the most thin-skinned fandom in existence. The vaguest hint of implied criticism of their grande dame is enough to trigger endless tweetstorms, crossly worded blog posts, and YouTube commentary. Seriously: Bitcoin-obsessed cryptoanalysts, Directioners and even the Beyhive have nothing on these guys.

There’s just one problem with all the preening and posturing this author is subjected to: In order to sneer at Rand, you have to read her. That’s why you’ll sometimes see ridiculous social media spectacles of angsty liberal bloggers and overwrought students burning copies of the Fountainhead. And just how many Vox bloggers have made it all the way through Atlas Shrugged ? The next time someone is rude about that novel in your earshot, ask him to name a single character besides John Galt and you’ll see what I mean.

In a sense, Ayn Rand is a victim of her own totemic success. By appealing to such atavistic human drives, she has become shorthand for a whole range of gauche, aspirational working-class anxieties about other people that the liberal left likes to sneer at. Mock Ayn Rand and you are mocking the entire value system of the right-wing media, the Koch brothers, Wall Street, the Tea Party, and whomever else you don’t likein a manner every bit as mean-spirited as anything Rand ever wrote.

Which is not to say that Ayn Rand was a particularly nice person in print. She is ruthlessly unforgiving in her mocking portraits of spoiled middle-class train wrecks. And if there’s one thing earnest socialists hate, it’s being mocked. Rand skewers the preoccupations and hypocrisies of metropolitan liberals with such ferocity that their only response is slack-jawed horror and social ostracism.

Another reason people get upset about Rand and sex is that her ideal intimate encounters always seem to be pseudo-rapes. Naturally, the sex-negative, authoritarian modern feminist movement gasps in shock at the suggestion that consensually ambiguous encounters might be thrilling for both parties. But I’m biased, because, reading between the lines, I think I have the same fantasies Rand does about arrogant, overbearing masculine men. And nothing quite gets me off like a Goldman Sachs quarterly earnings report.

History can be unkind to progressives, so their impotent fury is understandable. It has a habit of reminding us that, regardless of noble intentions, progressivism tends to make the world a worse place to live and further impoverish the poor. Rand predicted almost everything that ordinary people loathe about state-sponsored late capitalism, in particular the rampant corruption and bailout cronyism of an overweening government. Far from being pleased at the power Wall Street wields, if Rand were alive today she’d pull her hair out over the state of the state. Atlas Shrugged is no longer fanciful; if anything, it was a conservative prediction.

Rand’s critics might argue that she appeals to the worst of human naturethat her writing plays on our jealousies, our insecurities, our most antagonistic impulses. Ayn Rand is right-wing porn: capitalism, self-reliance and self-interest at their most outrageously unapologetic. But that, of course, is what makes her so fabulously readable.

And she is readable, for all her well-advertised faults as a prose stylist. I don’t mean to say that her prose shines with glistering metaphorobviously, it doesn’tbut her books do have that unputdownable quality of all great popular fiction. Even her critics admit that there’s something about Rand’s books you just can’t turn away from, however clunky her writing. It’s what she shares with Dan Brown and E. L. James, though, no doubt, both would hate the comparison.

Of course, the fact that Rand is so enduringly and phenomenally popular is what annoys people most about her (apart from her supposedly odious philosophies and thunderous rage, of course). She has sold more than 25 million copies of fiction works alone.

Rand was a woman who went “off script,” so the left punished her with precisely the tactics it reserves the ultimate horror for when victims are political allies. Much hay was made during the GamerGate controversy about the criticism feminist Anita Sarkeesian received, and the undue attention given to game developer Zoe Quinn’s relationships. But you do not need to look hard to find censorious snickering and some surprisingly detailed discussions of Ayn Rand’s sex life.

Not that the woman herself would care. Rand never worried about critics because she simply didn’t need them: Like the heroes in her books, she was anti-fragile, free to believe, say, and do what she pleased because she created something of value that those around her wished to trade for capital. And like Jon Stewart, she dresses up her fact as fiction, and so can get away with saying far more fiendishly wicked stuff than her ideological associates.

To put it another way, Rand recognized that politics is downstream from culture. So she went for the jugular as an author and philosopher, rather than fannying about treating the symptoms as a journalist or political commentator. Ideal is a fascinating early glimpse into how that realization began to take root in her mind.

Ayn Rand’s great achievement, from a conservative point of view, present in embryonic form in Ideal, was to recognize that the battle for man’s soul would be fought in the studios of Hollywood, the newsrooms of New York, and the lecture halls of Massachusetts, not in the stultifying round tables of Washington, DC. It’s a lesson the GOP has yet to learn.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a British journalist and entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter.

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In Defense of Ayn Rand, Monster Under the Progressive Bed

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AynRand.org is the official website of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), the source for information on the life, writings and work of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, ARI offers educational experiences based on Ayn Rands books and ideas for a variety of audiences, including students, educators, policymakers and lifelong learners. ARI also engages in research and advocacy efforts, applying Rands ideas to current issues and seeking to promote her philosophical principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.

ARI is composed of a dedicated Board of Directors and an energetic staff of more than 55 people. We invite you to explore how Ayn Rand viewed the world and to consider the distinctive insights offered by ARIs thought leaders today.

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Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand, Paperback …

INTRODUCTIONby Leonard Peikoff

Ayn Rand is one of Americas favorite authors. In a recent Library of Congress/Book of the Month Club survey, American readers ranked Atlas Shruggedher masterworkas second only to the Bible in its influence on their lives. For decades, at scores of college campuses around the country, students have formed clubs to discuss the works of Ayn Rand. In 1998, the Oscar-nominated Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, a documentary film about her life, played to sold-out venues throughout America and Canada. In recognition of her enduring popularity, the United States Postal Service in 1999 issued an Ayn Rand stamp.

Every book by Ayn Rand published in her lifetime is still in print, and hundreds of thousands of copies of them are sold every year, so far totaling more than twenty million. Why?

Ayn Rand understood, all the way down to fundamentals, why man needs the unique form of nourishment that is literature. And she provided a banquet that was at once intellectual and thrilling.

The major novels of Ayn Rand contain superlative values that are unique in our age. Atlas Shrugged (1957) and The Fountainhead (1943) offer profound and original philosophic themes, expressed in logical, dramatic plot structures. They portray an uplifted vision of man, in the form of protagonists characterized by strength, purposefulness, integrityheroes who are not only idealists, but happy idealists, self-confident, serene, at home on earth. (See synopses later in this guide.)

Ayn Rands first novel, We the Living (1936), set in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union, is an indictment not merely of Soviet-style Communism, but of any and every totalitarian state that claims the right to sacrifice the supreme value of an individual human life.

Anthem (1946), a prose poem set in the future, tells of one mans rebellion against an utterly collectivized world, a world in which joyless, selfless men are permitted to exist only for the sake of serving the group. Written in 1937, Anthem was first published in England; it was refused publication in America until 1946, for reasons the reader can discover by reading it for himself.

Ayn Rand wrote in a highly calculated literary style intent on achieving precision and luminous clarity, yet that style is at the same time colorful, sensuously evocative, and passionate. Her exalted vision of man and her philosophy for living on earth, Objectivism, have changed the lives of tens of thousands of readers and launched a major philosophic movement with a growing impact on American culture.

You are invited to sit down to the banquet which is Ayn Rands novels. I hope you personally enjoy them as much as I did.

About the Books

Atlas Shrugged (1957) is a mystery story, Ayn Rand once commented, “not about the murder of mans body, but about the murderand rebirthof mans spirit.” It is the story of a manthe novels herowho says that he will stop the motor of the world, and does. The deterioration of the U.S. accelerates as the story progresses. Factories, farms, shops shut down or go bankrupt in ever larger numbers. Riots break out as food supplies become scarce. Is he, then, a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why does he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies but against those who need him most, including the woman, Dagny Taggart, a top railroad executive, whom he passionately loves? What is the worlds motorand the motive power of every man?

Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, and charged with awesome questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is a novel of tremendous scope. It presents an astounding panorama of human lifefrom the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy (Francisco dAnconia)to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction (Hank Rearden)to the philosopher who becomes a pirate (Ragnar Danneskjold)to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph (Richard Halley). Dramatizing Ayn Rands complete philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is an intellectual revolution told in the form of an action thriller of violent eventsand with a ruthlessly brilliant plot and irresistible suspense.

We do not want to spoil the plot by giving away its secret or its deeper meaning, so as a hint only we will quote here one brief exchange from the novel:

“Idont know. Whatcould he do? What would you tell him?”

“To shrug.”The Fountainhead (1943) introduced the world to architect Howard Roark, an intransigent, egoistic hero of colossal stature. A man whose arrogant pride in his work is fully earned, Roark is an innovator who battles against a tradition-worshipping society. Expelled from a prestigious architectural school, refused work, reduced to laboring in a granite quarry, Roark is never stopped. He has to withstand not merely professional rejection, but also the enmity of Ellsworth Toohey, leading humanitarian; of Gail Wynand, powerful publisher; and of Dominique Francon, the beautiful columnist who loves him fervently yet, for reasons you will discover, is bent on destroying his career.

At the climax of the novel, the untalented but successful architect Peter Keating, a college friend of his, pleads with Roark for help in designing a prestigious project that Roark himself wanted but was too unpopular to win. Roark agrees to design the project secretly on condition that it be built strictly according to his drawings. During construction, however, Roarks building is thoroughly mutilated. Having no recourse in law, Roark takes matters into his own hands in a famous act of dynamiting. In the process and the subsequent courtroom trial, he makes his stand clear, risking his career, his love, and his life.

The Fountainhead portrays individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in mans soul; it presents the motivations and the basic premises that produce the character of an individualist or a collectivist.The novel was made into a motion picture in 1949, starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, for which Ayn Rand wrote the screenplay. The movie, available on video, often plays on cable TV and at art-house cinemas, where it is always received enthusiastically.

We the Living (1936), Ayn Rands first and most autobiographical novel, is a haunting account of mens struggle for survival in the post-revolutionary Soviet Union. In a country where people fear being thought disloyal to the Communist state, three individuals stand forth with the mark of the unconquered in their being: Kira, who wants to become a builder, and the two men who love herLeo, an aristocrat, and Andrei, an idealistic Communist.

When Leo becomes ill with tuberculosis, Kira strives to get him the medical attention needed to save his life. But she is trapped in a society that regards the individual as expendable. No matter where she turns, she faces closed doors and refusals. The State tells her: “One hundred thousand workers died in the civil war. Whyin the face of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republicscant one aristocrat die?”

Kiras love for Leo is such that the price of saving his life is no object. To pay for sending him to a sanitarium, she becomes the mistress of Andrei Taganovwho is not only an idealist, but also an officer of the Soviet secret police. The gripping and poignant resolution of the love triangle is an indictment not merely of Soviet-style Communism, but of the totalitarian state as such.

During World War II, an Italian film of We the Living was produced without Ayn Rands knowledge. Largely faithful to the book, the film was approved by Italys Fascist government on the grounds that it was anti-communist. But the Italian public understood that the movie was just as anti-fascist as it was anti-communist. People grasped Ayn Rands theme that dictatorship as such is evil, and embraced the movie. Five months after its release, Mussolinis government figured out what everyone else knew, and banned the movie. This is eloquent proof of Ayn Rands claim that the book is not merely “about Soviet Russia.”

After the war, the movie was re-edited under Ayn Rands supervision. The movie is still played at art-house cinemas, and is now available on videotape.

Anthem (1946), a novelette in the form of a prose poem, depicts a grim world of the future that is totally collectivized. Technologically primitive, it is a world in which candles are the very latest advance. From birth to death, mens lives are directed for them by the State. At Palaces of Mating, the State enacts its eugenics program; once born and schooled, people are assigned jobs they dare not refuse, toiling in the fields until they are consigned to the Home of the Useless.

This is a world in which men live and die for the sake of the State. The State is all, the individual is nothing. It is a world in which the word “I” has vanished from the language, replaced by “We.” For the sin of speaking the unspeakable “I,” men are put to death.

Equality 7-2521, however, rebels.

Though assigned to the life work of street sweeper by the rulers who resent his brilliant, inquisitive mind, he secretly becomes a scientist. Enduring the threat of torture and imprisonment, he continues in his quest for knowledge and ultimately rediscovers electric light. But when he shares it with the Council of Scholars, he is denounced for the sin of thinking what no other men think. He runs for his life, escaping to the uncharted forest beyond the citys edge. There, with his beloved, he begins a more intense sequence of discoveries, both personal and intellectual, that help him break free from the collectivist States brutal morality of sacrifice. He learns that mans greatest moral duty is the pursuit of his own happiness. He discovers and speaks the sacred word: I.

Anthems theme is the meaning and glory of mans ego.

About Objectivism

Ayn Rand held that philosophy was not a luxury for the few, but a life-and-death necessity of everyones survival. She described Objectivism, the intellectual framework of her novels, as a philosophy for living on earth. Rejecting all forms of supernaturalism and religion, Objectivism holds that Reality, the world of nature, exists as an objective absolutefacts are facts, independent of mans feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears; in short, “wishing wont make it so.” Further, Ayn Rand held that Reasonthe faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by mans sensesis mans only source of knowledge, both of facts and of values. Reason is mans only guide to action, and his basic means of survival. Hence her rejection of all forms of mysticism, such as intuition, instinct, revelation, etc.

On the question of good and evil, Objectivism advocates a scientific code of morality: the morality of rational self-interest, which holds Mans Life as the standard of moral value. The good is that which sustains Mans Life; the evil is that which destroys it. Rationality, therefore, is mans primary virtue. Each man should live by his own mind and for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor others to himself. Man is an end in himself. His own happiness, achieved by his own work and trade, is each mans highest moral purpose.

In politics, as a consequence, Objectivism upholds not the welfare state, but laissez-faire capitalism (the complete separation of state and economics) as the only social system consistent with the requirements of Mans Life. The proper function of government is the original American system: to protect each individuals inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

Objectivism defines “art” as the re-creation of reality according to an artists metaphysical value-judgments. The greatest school in art history, it holds, is Romanticism, whose art represents things not as they are, but as they might be and ought to be.

The fundamentals of Objectivism are set forth in many nonfiction books including: For the New Intellectual; The Virtue of Selfishness; Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal; Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution; Philosophy: Who Needs It; and The Romantic Manifesto. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, written by Ayn Rands intellectual heir Leonard Peikoff and published in 1991, is the definitive presentation of her entire system of philosophy.

Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. At the age of nine, she decided to make fiction-writing her career. In late 1925 she obtained permission to leave the USSR for a visit to relatives in the United States. Arriving in New York in February 1926, she first spent six months with her relatives in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles.

On her second day in Hollywood, the famous director Cecil B. De Mille noticed her standing at the gate of his studio, offered her a ride to the set of his silent movie The King of Kings, and gave her a job, first as an extra and later as a script reader. During the next week at the studio, she met an actor, Frank OConnor, whom she married in 1929; they were happily married until his death fifty years later.

After struggling for several years at various menial jobs, including one in the wardrobe department at RKO, she sold her first screenplay, “Red Pawn,” to Universal Studios in 1932 and then saw her first play, Night of January 16th, produced in Hollywood and (in 1935) on Broadway. In 1936, her first novel, We the Living, was published.

She began writing The Fountainhead in 1935. In the character of Howard Roark, she presented for the first time the Ayn Rand hero, whose depiction was the chief goal of her writing: the ideal man, man as “he could be and ought to be.” The Fountainhead was rejected by a dozen publishers but finally accepted by Bobbs-Merrill; it came out in 1943. The novel made publishing history by becoming a best-seller within two years purely through word of mouth; it gained lasting recognition for Ayn Rand as a champion of individualism.

Atlas Shrugged (1957) was her greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy of Objectivism in an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex. Although she considered herself primarily a fiction writer, she realized early that in order to create heroic characters, she had to identify the philosophic principles which make such people possible. She proceeded to develop a “philosophy for living on earth.” Objectivism has now gained a worldwide audience and is an ever growing presence in American culture. Her novels continue to sell in enormous numbers every year, proving themselves enduring classics of literature.

Ayn Rand died on March 6, 1982, at her home in New York City.

Recollections of Ayn RandA Conversation with Leonard Peikoff, Ph.D.,Ayn Rand’s longtime associate and intellectual heir

Dr. Peikoff, you met Miss Rand when you were seventeen and were associated with her until her death, thirty-one years later. What were your first impressions of her? What was she like?

The strongest first impression I had of her was her passion for ideas. Ayn Rand was unlike anyone I had ever imagined. Her mind was utterly first-handed: she said what no one else had ever said or probably ever thought, but she said these things so logicallyso simply, factually, persuasivelythat they seemed to be self-evident. She radiated the kind of intensity that one could imagine changing the course of history. Her brilliantly perceptive eyes looked straight at you and missed nothing: neither did her methodical, painstaking, virtually scientific replies to my questions miss anything. She made me think for the first time that thinking is important. I said to myself after I left her home: “All of life will be different now. If she exists, everything is possible.”

In her fiction, Ayn Rand presented larger-than-life heroesembodiments of her philosophy of rational egoismthat have inspired countless readers over the years. Was Ayn Rands own life like that of her characters? Did she practice her own ideals?

Yes, always. From the age of nine, when she decided on a career as a writer, everything she did was integrated toward her creative purpose. As with Howard Roark, dedication to thought and thus to her work was the root of Ayn Rands person.

In every aspect of life, she once told me, a man should have favorites. He should define what he likes or wants most and why, and then proceed to get it. She always did just thatfleeing the Soviet dictatorship for America, tripping her future husband on a movie set to get him to notice her, ransacking ancient record shops to unearth some lost treasure, even decorating her apartment with an abundance of her favorite color, blue-green.

Given her radical views in morality and politics, did she ever soften or compromise her message?Never. She took on the whole worldliberals, conservatives, communists, religionists, Babbitts and avant-garde alikebut opposition had no power to sway her from her convictions.

I never saw her adapting her personality or viewpoint to please another individual. She was always the same and always herself, whether she was talking with me alone, or attending a cocktail party of celebrities, or being cheered or booed by a hall full of college students, or being interviewed on national television.

Couldnt she have profited by toning things down a little?

She could never be tempted to betray her convictions. A Texas oil man once offered her up to a million dollars to use in spreading her philosophy, if she would only add a religious element to it to make it more popular. She threw his proposal into the wastebasket. “What would I do with his money,” she asked me indignantly, “if I have to give up my mind in order to get it?”

Her integrity was the result of her method of thinking and her conviction that ideas really matter. She knew too clearly how she had reached her ideas, why they were true, and what their opposites were doing to mankind.

Who are some writers that Ayn Rand respected and enjoyed reading?

She did not care for most contemporary writers. Her favorites were the nineteenth century Romantic novelists. Above all, she admired Victor Hugo, though she often disagreed with his explicit views. She liked Dostoevsky for his superb mastery of plot structure and characterization, although she had no patience for his religiosity. In popular literature, she read all of Agatha Christie twice, and also liked the early novels of Mickey Spillane.

In addition to writing best-sellers, Ayn Rand originated a distinctive philosophy of reason. If someone wants to get an insight into her intellectual and creative development, what would you suggest?

A reader ought first to read her novels and main nonfiction in order to understand her views and values. Then, to trace her early literary development, a reader could pick up The Early Ayn Rand, a volume I edited after her death. It features a selection of short stories and plays that she wrote while mastering English and the art of fiction-writing. For a glimpse of her lifelong intellectual development, I would recommend the recent book Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman.

Ayn Rands life was punctuated by disappointments with people, frustration, and early poverty. Was she embittered? Did she achieve happiness in her own life?

She did achieve happiness. Whatever her disappointments or frustrations, they went down, as she said about Roark, only to a certain point. Beneath it was her self-esteem, her values, and her conviction that happiness, not pain, is what matters. I remember a spring day in 1957. She and I were walking up Madison Avenue in New York toward the office of Random House, which was in the process of bringing out Atlas Shrugged. She was looking at the city she had always loved most, and now, after decades of rejection, she had seen the top publishers in that city competing for what she knew, triumphantly, was her masterpiece. She turned to me suddenly and said: “Dont ever give up what you want in life. The struggle is worth it.” I never forgot that. I can still see the look of quiet radiance on her face.

The Fountainhead

We the Living

Anthem

a) “It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think.”

b) “I wished to know the meaning of things. I am the meaning.”

c) “I owe nothing to my brothers, nor do I gather debts from them.”

Objectivism

Related Titles

Fiction in PaperbackAnthem (New York: Signet, 1961).Atlas Shrugged (New York: Signet, 1959).The Fountainhead (New York: Signet, 25th anniv. ed., 1968).Night of January 16th (New York: Plume, 1987).We the Living (New York: Signet, 1960).

Nonfiction in PaperbackCapitalism: The Unknown Ideal (New York: Signet, 1967).The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection from Her Unpublished Fiction(New York: Signet, 1986).For the New Intellectual (New York: Signet, 1963).Philosophy: Who Needs It (New York: Signet, 1964).Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (New York:Meridian, 1999).The Romantic Manifesto (New York: Signet, 2nd rev. ed., 1971).The Virtue of Selfishness (New York: Signet, 1984).

On Ayn Rand and ObjectivismThe Ayn Rand Reader, edited by Gary Hull and Leonard Peikoff(New York: Plume, 1999).Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman (New York:Dutton, 1997).Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, by Leonard Peikoff(New York: Meridian, 1993).

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Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand, Paperback …

About Ayn Rand – Biography | AynRand.org

During her own lifetime, Rand became a famous and controversial figure. A best-selling author, she also carried her message to university classrooms, to Hollywood, to Congress, to the editorial page, to talk shows and radio programs. Her presence has only increased since her death in 1982, as her philosophy has become more well-known. Today, her books have sold in the millions, and she’s the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary, a U.S. postage stamp, university courses, and a philosophical society devoted to the study of her thought.

Fueled by her vision of man as a heroic being and by the original philosophy behind it, more and more people, from all walks of life, from businessmen to students to professors to athletes to artists, are saying the same thing: “Ayn Rand’s writings changed my life.”

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About Ayn Rand – Biography | AynRand.org

Who Is Ayn Rand? – The Objective Standard

Ayn Rand (19051982) was an American novelist and philosopher, and the creator of Objectivism, which she called a philosophy for living on earth.

Rands most widely read novels are The Fountainhead, a story about an independent and uncompromising architect; and Atlas Shrugged, a story about the role of the mind in human life and about what happens to the world when the thinkers and producers mysteriously disappear. Her most popular nonfiction books are The Virtue of Selfishness, a series of essays about the foundations and principles of the morality of self-interest; and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, a series of essays about what capitalism is and why it is the only moral social system.

Rand was born in Russia, where she attended grade school and university; studied history, philosophy, and screenwriting; and witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and the birth of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1925, she left the burgeoning communist state, telling Soviet authorities she was going for a brief visit with relatives in America, and never returned.

She soon made her way to Hollywood, where she worked as a screenwriter, married actor Frank OConnor, and wrote her first novel, We The Living. She then moved to New York City, where she wrote Anthem (a novelette), The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, numerous articles and essays, and several nonfiction books in which she defined and elaborated the principles of Objectivism.

Rands staunch advocacy of reason (as against faith and whim), self-interest (as against self-sacrifice), individualism and individual rights (as against collectivism and group rights), and capitalism (as against all forms of statism) make her both the most controversial and most important philosopher of the 20th century.

Describing Objectivism, Rand wrote: My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

For a good biography of Rand, see Jeffery Brittings Ayn Rand or Scott McConnells 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand. For a brief presentation of the principles of Objectivism, see What is Objectivism? For the application of these principles to cultural and political issues of the day, subscribe to The Objective Standard, the preeminent source for commentary from an Objectivist perspective.

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Who Is Ayn Rand? – The Objective Standard

Ayn Rand – IMDb

Filmography2015/IAnthem(Short) (novella)2004Ideal(Video) (play)Lux Video Theatre(TV Series) (play – 1 episode, 1956) (previous screenplay – 1 episode, 1955)1979-1980Donahue(TV Series)Herself Edit Personal Details Other Works: Book: “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” See more Publicity Listings: 1 Biographical Movie | 17 Print Biographies | 1 Portrayal | 1 Interview | 5 Articles | See more

Height:5’2″(1.57m)

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Ayn Rand – IMDb


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