Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ayn Rand and her affect on the Libertarian movement

It's often been said that Ayn Rand has brought more people into the libertarian movement than anybody else. That by making the moral case for individualism and liberty through her dramatic novels she encouraged people to support the concept of libertarianism. Ironically I read her some of her novels after I had already become familiar with some of the ideals.

Her first book was We The Living (1936), chronicling love and the struggle for liberty amidst Soviet oppression. Then came her first big success, The Fountainhead (1943), about a determined individualist pursuing his vision in a collectivist world. The Fountainhead became a bestseller and was made into a movie starring Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal and Raymond Massey. Anthem (1946) is a bold affirmation of individualism. A short novel, it affords an easy introduction to Rand's ideas. The book goes far beyond more famous anti-authoritarian novels such as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon (1941) or George Orwell's Animal Farm (1945) or 1984 (1949). Rand's most philosophical novel is Atlas Shrugged (1957) which tells what happened when some of the world's most productive individuals got tired of being exploited and went on strike.

Rand elaborated her philosophy with brilliant essays, gathered in several books: Philosophy Who Needs It? (1962), Capitalism The Unknown Ideal (1962), The Virtue of Selfishness (1964), The Romantic Manifesto (1969), The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971, since reissued as Return of the Primitive) and The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought (1988). Altogether some 20 million copies of Rand's books have been sold

1 comment:

Student of Objectivism said...

FYI, Ayn Rand was totally against libertarianism