Alice O’Connor, better known as Ayn Rand, was a Russian-born American writer and philosopher with very strong opinions. She is popular for her fiction and philosophical system called Objectivism. But did you know she actually hated libertarians and anarcho-capitalists?
Ayn Rand, a Russian-American Writer, despised the libertarians and anarcho-capitalists of her day.
Ayn Rand’s Philosophy
Ayrn Rand described her philosophy as the concept of man as a heroic being, with his happiness as the moral purpose of his life, productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
She saw Objectivism as a systematic philosophy with positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and esthetics.
Rand supported philosophical realism in metaphysics and opposed anything she saw as mysticism or supernaturalism, including all forms of religion. In epistemology, she believed that all knowledge was based on sense perception, the validity of which she regarded as axiomatic, and reason, which she defined as the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.
She rejected all non-perceptual or a priori knowledge claims, including instinct, intuition, revelation, or any form of just knowing.
Rand presented a theory of concept formation and endorsed the rejection of the analytic-synthetic dichotomy in her Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Her political philosophy emphasized individual rights, including property rights, and she saw laissez-faire capitalism as the only moral, social system based on protecting those rights.
Rand defined art as a selective re-creation of reality based on an artist’s metaphysical value judgments. According to Rand, art allows philosophical concepts to be presented in a concrete, easily grasped form, thus satisfying a need for human consciousness.
Rand stated that her most significant contributions to philosophy were her theory of concepts, ethics, and political discovery that evil, the violation of rights, consists of the use of force. (Source: Libertarianism)
The Life of Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand is best known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for creating the philosophical system known as Objectivism. Rand was born and educated in Russia before moving to the United States in 1926. She worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and had a Broadway play produced in 1935-1936.
After two less successful early novels, she rose to prominence with her 1943 novel The Fountainhead. Atlas Shrugged, her best-known work, was published in 1957. She then turned to nonfiction to promote her philosophy, creating her magazines and publishing several essay collections until she died in 1982.
Rand believed that reason was the only way to learn and rejected all forms of faith and religion. She felt rational and ethical egoism and opposed ethical altruism. In politics, she condemned the use of force as immoral. She opposed all forms of collectivism and statism, advocating laissez-faire capitalism as the only social system that protected individual rights. She advocated for romantic realism in art. Except for Aristotle, she was harshly critical of the philosophers and philosophical traditions she was familiar with.
Many literary critics panned Rand’s fiction, and academia largely ignored or rejected her philosophy. The Objectivist movement works to spread her ideas in the public and academic arenas.
She has had a significant impact on libertarians and American conservatives alike. (Source: Libertarianism)
Image from LitHub