Objectivism is the term that Ayn Rand coined to describe her system of ideas. The central themes of Objectivism are that individuals should regard their own happiness as an end in itself; that reason is their only source of knowledge and moral guidance; that people should deal with each other on the basis of mutually beneficial trade, rather than sacrifice; and that the ideal political and legal system is laissez-faire capitalism, in which a strictly limited government protects individuals' rights to life, liberty, and property. Thus, Objectivism includes aspects of libertarianism as a political doctrine, but it grounds that doctrine in the broader context of an entire philosophical system.

Rand articulated those ideas in her best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and in nonfiction works ...

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