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The Broad Relevance Of Ayn Rand In Today's Society

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hernan
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I still remember clearly how my Chief Economist, the outspoken and very politically incorrect, Steen Jakobsen, threw a paperback on my desk after the summer holidays, soaked in sun oil, and told me: "This book, you HAVE to read."

I did and it was a terrific experience, as it is for many when they are first exposed to Rand's thinking. Now, when I say I was an insecure 38 year old, it was in a slightly different sense to the insecurity of a high school kid. I had my own business, was married with four kids and had formed strong views about society and politics. Incidentally, it was not much different from the views I hold today. But I always had an underlying worrying concern about what was the real foundation and justification of the views I held. Whether it was only my particular circumstances, ambitions and career path that had led me to be a life-long fan of individualism, freedom and capitalism. I would never have admitted it, of course, but I did think about it from time to time.

This is a question that most political and philosophical writings at best don’t answer or, at worst, answer with a confirmation that, yes, indeed, it is random and only a result of your situation and environment which world view you choose.

Ayn Rand's answer to that question is fundamentally different. Her answer is that as a rational being, as a man and not an unthinking animal, you have to choose the path of freedom and individualism. Not just because it works better, not just as a utilitarian observation, but because it is fundamentally in your nature and because it is right. It is a necessity for you to fulfill all you can be as a man and it is a necessity for your survival. The use of your mind and the observance of reality and influence thereon by your mental capacity — it cannot lead to any other logically correct conclusion or result.

 

http://www.tradingfloor.com/posts/full-blown-capitalism-shrugged-socialist-hybrids-1687446122

http://www.tradingfloor.com/posts/seven-pillars-saxo-banks-strength-714136861

http://www.tradingfloor.com/posts/broader-relevance-ayn-rand-society-710110757

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Always fun to read articles like that: sightings of Ayn Rand fans; in particular successful ones.

I've read commentary by Steen Jakobsen before, on a blog I follow, but I did not realize he was a Rand fan. Nice to know.

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A fellow musician (who is a credible source, to me), told me that Neil Peart (the drummer from Rush), is an Objectivist.

 

If I could point to more, for lack of a better word, "famous" people, who are Objectivists, I could increase the amount of interested thinkers.   

 

Know of any?

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I'll run the risk of seeming elitist, but I have reservations about popularizing Objectivism via celebs.

The numbers will increase of their own accord, one by one - whereas a (heh) "Rush" of new Objectivists following this "new trend" runs counter to the mind-independence necessary to stay the course. Then again I agree that it's fun to see publicly known figures seeing the value here.

Naturally, some who come will stay, for the right reasons.

Edited by whYNOT
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A fellow musician (who is a credible source, to me), told me that Neil Peart (the drummer from Rush), is an Objectivist.

 

If I could point to more, for lack of a better word, "famous" people, who are Objectivists, I could increase the amount of interested thinkers.   

 

Know of any?

 

http://www.mediaite.com/online/rush-drummer-neil-peart-denounces-ayn-rand-im-a-bleeding-heart-libertarian/

 

Although the title of the article is misleading, Neil Peart isn't an Objectivist, only influenced by Ayn Rand's literature.

 

 

Jimmy Whales, the founder of wikipedia is an Objectivist though.

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Neil Peart and Penn Jillette are well-known celebrities, but not as well-know for their appreciation of Ayn Rand. Rand remains largely unknown in most circles, unless you hang with an exclusive and intellectual society. This is the challenge of our time. In the article presented in the preceding Dormin111 post, the writer disparaged Rand, and referred to those advocating her ideas as, Rand-worshippers. I recall casually mentioning Objectivism to an attending member of the audience at a recent Rush concert, and she was oblivious to any such philosophical continuity in the lyrics of their music, and seemed a bit put-off by it. As for media perceptions, terms like, Rand-worship or any such reference denoting her cult-like approach to her personal and social life often obscure any serious inquiry into the principles of her writings. These references often accompany articles using her name, whereas little other reference explains the logic of her ideas. Enlightening others to the logic of her ideas may be one of my favorite hobbies. I hope it becomes one of yours.

As Peart and Jillette are the only two well-known celebrities who speak well, albeit cautiously, of Rand, (and Paul Ryan doesn't count), I can only hope that more are on their way. Ayn Rand remains a great unknown quantity in the future of our world in transition.

I wanted to add that the recent Atlas Shrugged films are helpful for stimulating conversation, even if they are poor entertainment.

Edited by Repairman
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