Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Who is Ayn Rand?

With the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s VP running mate on the Republican ticket for the upcoming presidential election in the U.S., the name of Ayn Rand has resurfaced. 

You may know Ayn Rand, have read the books of this Russian-American author. I did while a college student.  Atlas Shrugged, which she considered to be her magnum opus, espoused Objectivism, which promotes a philosophy of rational self-interest in a fictional story.

In a nutshell Atlas Shrugged details the efforts of a group of industrialists, scientists and artists who withdraw their contributions to a nation’s wealth and achievement by going on strike to protest the government’s policy of taxation and regulations.

In her fiction and nonfiction writing, she upheld the privileges of the wealthy and demonized the “undeserving poor” and even the middle class, calling anyone who receives a government benefit a looter, moocher and parasite.

It's no wonder, then, that Ayn Rand is the hero of the American Tea party, the Libertarian Party (Ron Paul) and Paul Ryan. Ryan has publicly stated he bases his philosophy of the role of government in citizens’ lives on Ayn Rand; has given his staff copies of Atlas Shrugged.

Rand was an avowed atheist and had an open marriage, choices that run counter to hoards that the “political right” wishes to appeal to. I suppose we are going to be hearing much more on this subject in coming days

Because politics and political parties have become so fractious, I mostly sit back and am amazed at the hypocrisy on all fronts.

But the point I want to get to regarding Ayn Rand is this: For all her high-minded philosophy, her life work to promote her objectivism philosophy and being a vehement critic of government helping anyone, in the end she grabbed Social Security and Medicare! Yes, it’s true! Under the name of her husband Frank O’Connor. Talk about hyprocisy!

Ayn Rand 1905-1982
 Born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia
Photo Credit: Wikipedia


  1. So is Paul Ryan related to Ayn Rand. Please forgive me.
    US politics is so difficult to understand.
    Everything from the past will be dug up and men will come and go.
    And you only have 2 parties to elect your president from.
    Are you ready for the election, the pre-elections and all.. Or perhaps they were already.
    I´m so into the EU- crisis, one country asking for monetary help after another.
    But - politics do interest me.
    Is it all secrecy about which party people are voting for over there?
    I think that over here, some people are still reluctant to reveal the party they support.

  2. The two are not related, Mette. Our politics ARE difficult to understand, and I believe that's one reason we have so much indifference and voter appathy. Why any sane person would choose to go into politics is beyond my thinking, because you are so right, everything will be dug up and it's total character assassination! The frustrating thing these days is that neither side is willing to compromise; each party wants it their own way. What they tend to forget is that by and large, the American people want a middle-of-the-road candidate; not too far left or too far right. The presidential election will be in November, Pres. Obama against Mitt Romney. There will be tons of mud slinging between now and then. The polls show them close so the outcome will be a surprise. Some people do like to keep their votes a secret, but by-and-large, people are vocal about which candidate they support. I follow the EU crisis carefully too. This global economy makes what affects one country affect all. Perhaps not a good thing.

  3. Hypocrisy is the worst! And Ayn Rand had it in Spades! Don't you wonder what her life would have been like if she had never left Russia?

    1. That would be interesting to contemplate! I've read that she was such a dis likable figure. And did not have such a happy life after all.

  4. As I have never heard of Ayn Rand I cannot comment on her.

    Over here we are updated frequently on American politics especially on BBC2 News night which I try and watch most nights,also our reporters visit way out parts of America where the public are asked to give their opinions on each candidate...great to hear some of the remarks!!
    Also many of your politicians frequently visit no 10.

    I am so glad we did not adopt the euro,and would prefer we came out of the European union but while we are refused a referendum no chance,yet this government promised us one...but then who trusts politicians? Ida

    1. You are so right; never trust a politician. Broken promises. They say anything to get elected. There must be a better way, but human nature being what it is, if we wiped the slate clean and started all over again, in no time things would be the same. Power corrupts! Agree, it was a wise decision for GB not to adopt the Euro, and what's to become of the EU?

  5. Unfortunately i never read Ayn Rand but I know that she was well read. At some point I decided to read it and then when I found out what the topic was I changed my mind. I did not know about her life and I suppose life teaches us lessons, doesn't it? I cannot stand the politics, so divisive, so honest. In my opinion the fact that someone chooses to run immediately disqualifies them. Thank you for a great informative post.

    1. I saw the results today of a recent poll, which is predicting that only 39 percent of American registered voters are expected to vote in the upcoming presidential election! That is frightening. Reasons were voters' disillusionment with politicians, the way govt works, fact that nothing gets done and people believing that their vote doesn't matter. Whatever can we do to turn things around?


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