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Ayn Rand and the Tea Party: A Recipe for Cultural Change

Dr. Yaron Brook, president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, illustrates how

Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" sheds light on the unseen forces that drive cultural and political trends and how the ideas in the novel are vital to any effort to limit government.


Lots of good stuff in here. One of my favourite lines about government-run education:

"Why would we give control of the minds of our children to the government if we won't even give control of our iPhones?"

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Ayn Rand was a heartless and

Ayn Rand was a heartless and miserable person who’s “philosophy” was just an attempt to intellectualize selfishness. Her brand of Libertarianism is interesting to study and discuss, but I believe it comes from a much different place than Ron Paul’s. She arrogantly denies her Creator, and altruism is a sin in her made up religion of Objectivism.

You are wrong. Objectivism is

You are wrong. Objectivism is a hierarchical system of thought and not a religion. Selfishness, in that system, should not be defined in the same terms that we normally define that word. Rand believed that reality is objective. It is as we perceive it to be. A is A. If A is A then Man is Man. His nature is to survive by rational thought based on his perception of an objective reality. Thus, man's survival is enhanced by a rational self interest. Altruism, or dogmatic selflessness, is anti-survival or anti-man. None of this means that Objectivism does not allow for a full range of emotions, subordinate to the rational mind eg. my wife shares the same values as I do and is of value to me. I love her. The system may seem deceptively technical or esoteric, but I assure you, if you come to truly understand it, you will not be sorry.

jrd3820's picture

Ayn Rand

relied solely on science which is why she denied a god or creator. It does not mean she is necessairly right, but I'm pretty sure in America she is entitled to deny something that sience does back up without being called arrogant.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

I would also argue that it's

I would also argue that it's impossible to deny an entity that has never been proven to exist, either through philosophy or science. Something must exist before you can deny its existence. Deny is the wrong word entirely.

jrd3820's picture


I actually agree with that myself and do believe there was a creator, but she wanted scientific proof. There is no scientific proof so she was allowed to make her own statements and form her own thoughts on that and it does not mean she is arrogant.

You say something has to exsist to deny it's exsistance is bizzare. Ghosts do not exsist. So for me to say they do not exsist they have to actually exsist? Aliens do not exsist, again for me to say that they have to actually exsist? I do not agree with that particular statement.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

It depends how you take the

It depends how you define the word "deny". If you read it in the context of the original poster, he says, "She arrogantly denies her Creator" - he's assuming that a creater exists, and he implies, "How dare she deny what the creater did for her!" He's assuming the existence of a creator in this sentence.

This usage of deny is very different than the definition you are using now. That's all I'm saying.

jrd3820's picture

Point Taken

If we are getting into semantics, which is completely fair then your right "deny" was not the best choice of words. My main argument was trying to point out that someone called her ignorant for not believing in the sam notion of a God or Creator that they do and I just do not think that that is arrogance.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

I can tell you don't really

I can tell you don't really understand her philosophy. Selfishness, the way Ayn Rand defined it, is almost exactly what Ron Paul is talking about.

Ron Paul talks a lot about the freedom to live your own life without interference, make your own choices and risks and accept the consequences, and taking care of yourself. Is this not selfish? It is.

It is also selfish to take care of your family, and do nice things for the people you care about. Christians will never admit this, but it is absolutely selfish to do this. It is also selfish to give money to Ron's campaign if you know his message to be true and want him to be our next president.

A lot of Christians see the word "Selfish" as a morally evil thing, but they never take the time to see how Ayn Rand defined it. You'd think if they were going to attack Ayn Rand on this word, they would bother reading the first few pages in her book "The Virtue of Selfishness" beforehand. She chose the word precisely because it stirs some people emotionally, as it obviously did in you.

When she talks about selfishness though, she's talking about rational, long-term self-interest - which is very different someone like Friedrich Nietzsche.

Ironically, it's things like Selflessness that are actually truly evil. To be truly selfless is to receive less of a benefit - or no benefit at all - from your actions. Examples of this are paying for other people's wars, other people's health care, other people's education, and on and on - all of things Ron Paul rails against.

Whether you admit it or not, Ron Paul's philosophy that he talks about is very close to the same philosophy that Ayn Rand talked about. In fact, there is definitely a real-world link to it given Ron's studies and the people he knew.

As for a god, she doesn't deny anything. She just wanted evidence. You can deny something to an entity that doesn't exist. She said that because there was no evidence, she saw no reason for anyone to make choices and define their life based on things that cannot be proved.

Her entire philosophy is based on reason. The acknowledgement of a creator would worked against that, don't you think? She gave many metaphysical and epistemological arguments on why a creator does not make sense, and I agree with her as I often thought of those infinite regressions and other arguments when I was like 11 years old - they aren't exactly complicated to understand.

Rand's selfishness = enlightened self-interest

People who believe selfishness is wrong see it as acting in one's immediate self-interest, while Rand is talking about doing what's in your true long-term self-interest.

To illustrate with a simple example... Considering going to the store and either buying an apple, or stealing that apple. Which is selfish?

People who believe selfishness is wrong would argue that stealing the apple is selfish, but Rand would argue that the selfish thing to do is pay for it.

This is because for Rand selfishness is tightly coupled with values and self-esteem. To have self-esteem, you need to have values and live according to them. Therefore to steal an apple, and thus know that you're a thief, is contrary to one's self-interest... it's not selfish. The selfish act is the one that makes you know you're an honorable person; acting appropriately in a civilized society - pay for it.

"Know what you know, know what you don't know, and understand and appreciate the distinction."


I agree. This is why I said

I agree. This is why I said rational, long-term self-interest.

Was this in response to my post, or the other person?

Not to mention Dr. Paul's foreign policy,

is a policy of U.S. self interest. No forcing Americans to be altruistic toward other countries through spreading democracy.