Rand, Ayn (1905–1982)

Ayn Rand, a controversial novelist and philosopher, was born in Russia, but emigrated to the United States when she was 21. “For the record,” she declared in her monthly periodical, The Objectivist, “I disapprove of, disagree with, and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right.”” These “libertarians,” she emphasized in Philosophy: Who Needs It, “subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.” They undermine individual rights by attacking the government's legitimate monopoly on the retaliatory use of force and by failing to recognize the dependence of politics on broader philosophical foundations. The realization of human freedom requires, in Rand's view, a simultaneous commitment to reason, egoism, and individualism. Absent any of these prerequisites, freedom ...

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