AYN RAND

Conservative Writer and Historical Figure

ESSENTIAL FACTS:

  •  Rand thought that women, ideally, should be “hero worshippers” who submit themselves, body and soul, to great men. She also wrote that accepting any government controls is “delivering oneself into gradual enslavement”. [1][2]

  • Rand justified exterminating Native Americans by calling them "savages". [1]

  • Rand didn't believe in God and explicitly called herself an atheist. [1]

  • Rand was adamantly pro-choice and strongly disliked Ronald Reagan. [1][2]

  • Rand called homosexuality "immoral" and "disgusting". [1]

  • The philosophy of Satanism is largely based on Ayn Rand's philosophy. [1][2][3]

  • After decades of heavy smoking, drug use, and philandering, at age 69, Rand, an immigrant from Russia who called government handouts "immoral", enrolled in social security and medicare after being diagnosed with lung cancer. [1]

  • In 2020, the Ayn Rand Institute received more than $713,000 in PPP loans. [1]

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Ayn Rand
Wikipedia

Name

Born

Died

Education

Category

Spouse

Alice O'Connor (aka Ayn Rand)

Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum

February 2, 1905

St. Petersburg, Russia

March 6, 1982 (age 77)
Leningrad State University

Historical Figure

Frank O'Connor

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  • Perhaps Rand's most popular adage: "Selfishness is a virtue." [1]

  • Rand called Altruism, a philosophy that says we have a moral duty to sometimes help others, a “basic evil”. [1]

  • "If you study reliable history, and not liberal, racist newspapers, racism didn’t exist in this country until the liberals brought it up". [1]

  • Rand justified exterminating Native Americans by calling them "savages", and saying that they deserved to be conquered because, "Any white person who brings the elements of civilization had the right to take over this continent." [1]

  • When discussing the Yom Kippur War of 1973 between Israel and a coalition of Arab nations, Rand described the war as "civilized men fighting savages". [1]

  • Rand did not believe in God and very explicitly said that she was an atheist. "It must be either reason or faith," she said in a 1979 interview, "I am against God for the reason that I don't want to destroy reason." [1][2]

  • "Let me stress this. The first question is not: What particular code of values should man accept? The first question is: Does man need values at all—and why?" [1]

  • Rand was adamantly pro-choice and sharply criticized Reagan, saying, "I urge you, as emphatically as I can, not to support the candidacy of Ronald Reagan. I urge you not to work for or advocate his nomination, and not to vote for him. My reasons are as follows: Mr. Reagan is not a champion of capitalism, but a conservative in the worst sense of that word—i.e., an advocate of a mixed economy with government controls slanted in favor of business rather than labor... This description applies in various degrees to most Republican politicians, but most of them preserve some respect for the rights of the individual. Mr. Reagan does not: he opposes the right to abortion. [1][2][3]

  • The philosophy of contemporary Satanism is largely based on Ayn Rand's philosophy. Anton LaVey, writer of The Satanic Bible, has admitted that his words were "just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added... I give people Ayn Rand with trappings." LaVey was even accused of plagiarism due to the similarities between his "Nine Satanic Statements" and the John Galt speech in Atlas Shrugged. [1][2][3]

  • One of Rand's favorite lines was: “Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive, and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life.” [1]

  • Referring to the USSR, Rand said that she was "educated by the best propagandists of all.” [1]

  • In middle school, Rand resented another girl in class because she seemed to be both smart and popular, which she thought was impossible. So one day Rand asked her, "What is the most important thing in life to you?” And when the girl answered, "my mother," Rand turned away, disgusted. Later, as an adult, she called this exchange “the first most important event in my life socially”, and Rand further analyzed it, saying, “I had thought she was a serious girl and that she was after serious things, but she was just conventional and ordinary, a mediocrity, and she didn’t mean anything as a person.” [1]

  • In 1928, Rand started but never published a novel titled The Little Street, whose protagonist was based on William Hickman, a then-famous murderer known for dismembering and disemboweling a twelve-year-old girl. In Rand's notes, she wrote that the public's fascination with him was due to his refusal to accept conventional morals, and she described him as "a brilliant, unusual, exceptional boy." [1][2]

  • "There is no principle by which genocide—a crime against a group of men—can be regarded as morally different from (or worse than) a crime against an individual: the difference is only quantitative, not moral. It can be easily demonstrated that Communism means and requires the extermination—the genocide, if you wish—of a particular human species: the men of ability." [1]

  • Rand wrote in her book that accepting any government controls is “delivering oneself into gradual enslavement” [1], and she called those who support taxation and redistribution “looters” and “moochers”. [2]

  • "This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the “hidden” confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard." [1]

  • Rand considered her arch nemesis and opposite to be the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who she called, "the most evil man in mankind's history". [1] She also hated famed author C.S. Lewis, who she called an “abysmal bastard,” a “monstrosity,” a “cheap, awful, miserable, touchy, social-meta­physical mediocrity,” a “pickpocket of concepts,” and a “God-damn, beaten mystic.” [2]

  • Rand said, “No one helped me... nor did I think it was anyone’s duty to help me.” In fact, her family and American friends helped her quite a lot. She moved in with, and borrowed money from, relatives in Chicago, one of whom owned a theater where she watched hundreds of movies for free. Not even to mention all the help she received from her various acolytes. [1]

  • In 1949, Rand's 17-year-old niece asked to borrow $25, to which Rand responded with strict and extensive repayment terms, saying, "Now I will tell you why I am so serious and severe about this. I despise irresponsible people. I don’t want to deal with them or help them in any way." [1]

  • "In the late 1940’s, another newly coined term was shot into our cultural arteries: “McCarthyism.” Again, it was a derogatory term, suggesting some insidious evil, and without any clear definition. Its alleged meaning was: “Unjust accusations, persecutions, and character assassinations of innocent victims.” Its real meaning was: “Anti-communism.”" [1]

  • Rand thought that women, ideally, should be “hero worshippers” who submit themselves, body and soul, to great men. [1] She also said that she would not support a female candidate for president because women should not rule men: "It is not [in] a woman's personal interest to rule man. It puts her in a very unhappy position... I don't believe that any good woman would want that position." [2]

  • "It is true that the welfare-statists are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property, that they want to “preserve” private property—with government control of its use and disposal. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism." [1]

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  • After decades of heavy smoking, drug use, and philandering, at age 69, Rand, an immigrant from Russia who called government handouts "immoral", enrolled in social security and medicare because she got lung cancer and was advised that "doctors could cost an awful lot more money than books earn, and she could be totally wiped out by medical bills if she didn’t watch it". [1][2][3]

  • According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "only a few professional philosophers have taken her work seriously". [1]

  • One former associate called her “the Evel Knievel of leaping to conclusions.” [1]

  • Philosopher Sidney Hook likened Rand's certainty to "the way philosophy is written in the Soviet Union" [1], and author Gore Vidal called her viewpoint "nearly perfect in its immorality." [2] Nevertheless, Rand has always maintained that her writing, views, and philosophy had nothing to do with her upbringing in the Soviet Union.

  • Rand's most famous book, Atlas Shrugged, was widely criticized. [1] For example, in National Review, conservative author Whittaker Chambers called the book sophomoric and remarkably silly, saying, "In this fiction everything, everybody, is either all good or all bad... Both sides to it are caricatures... Atlas Shrugged can be called a novel only by devaluing the term... Its story merely serves Miss Rand to get the customers inside the tent, and as a soapbox for delivering her Message". He also says that, "Robin Hood is the author’s image of absolute evil–robbing the strong (and hence good) to give to the weak (and hence no good)," criticizes its "aggressive atheism", and mentions that "the strenuously sterile world of Atlas Shrugged is scarcely a place for children. You speculate that, in life, children probably irk the author and may make her uneasy." [2]

  • For roughly three decades, Rand took amphetamines to control her weight and work longer hours, which likely contributed to her personality disorder, often causing 'volatile mood swings'. [1][2][3]

  • For years, Rand led a group of acolytes, the most important being Alan Greenspan [1], who became Chairman of the FED under Reagan and largely built the foundations for his economic policies. Greenspan was also one of the most important supporters of Trickle Down Economics [2], he wanted to privatize social security [3], and many experts believe that he's at least partially responsible for the 90's dot-com bubble [4] and the 2008 housing bubble slash economic crisis. [5]
  • As a child, Rand was described as a "willful and brilliant loner with literally zero friends." [1]

  • When Rand died in 1982, none of her followers knew her real name [1], and at her funeral, a 6-foot floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar sign was placed near her casket. [2]

  • BB&T Bank donated millions to 60+ colleges on the condition that students be required to read Atlas Shrugged and address the "Moral Foundations of Capitalism." [1][2]

  • Critics from religious traditions oppose Rand's atheism and her rejection of altruism. [1]

  • Critics have called Rand's definitions of egoism and altruism biased and inconsistent with normal usage. [1]

  • With the reluctant permission of both spouses, Rand had an increasingly toxic sexual affair for 3 years with Nathaniel Branden, a married disciple 25 years her junior. However, when Nathaniel had his own affair with a younger woman (actress Patrecia Scott), Nathaniel's wife Barbara divorced him, and Rand slapped him, excommunicated him, and falsely accused him of embezzlement. [1][2]

  • Rand thought that women, ideally, should be “hero worshippers” who submit themselves, body and soul, to great men. [1]

  • While she didn't think it should be outlawed, Rand called homosexuality "immoral" and "disgusting". [1]

  • In 2020, the Ayn Rand Institute received more than $713,000 in PPP loans. In an open letter, senior members explained that they considered this money as "partial restitution for government-inflicted losses." [1][2]

  • Political fans of Ayn Rand include Donald Trump [1], Ron Johnson [2], Paul Ryan [3][4], Ron Paul [5], Rand Paul [6], Clarence Thomas [7], Glenn Beck [8], Ronald Reagan [9], Sean Hannity [10], and more.

  • Celebrity fans of Ayn Rand include Mayim Bialik [1], Brad Pitt [2], Vince Vaughn [3], Angelina Jolie [4], Jim Carrey [5], Rob Lowe [6], Hugh Hefner [7], Sandra Bullock [8], Eva Mendes [9], Steve Ditko [10], and more.

  • Other fans include Steve Jobs [1][2], Jimmy Wales (creator of Wikipedia) [3][4], Peter Thiel [5], Mark Cuban [6], Jack Dorsey [7], Travis Kalanick (Founder of Uber) [8], Brian Armstrong (CEO of Coinbase) [9], Evan Spiegel (CEO of Snap) [10], John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods) [11], Kevin Systrom (co-founder of Instagram) [12], Steve Davis (President of Musk's Boring Company) [13], and many more.

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