T Nation

NY Times: Ayn Rand's Influence Growing


Will her philosophy win in the end?

"But as cringe-inducing as the governmentâ??s actions may be for objectivists like him, there is a silver lining: sales of â??Atlas Shrugged,â?? which Ms. Rand considered her definitive work, are better than ever.

In the first six months of 2009, Penguin Books shipped more than 300,000 copies of the book, which opens with the famous question, â??Who is John Galt?â?? Thatâ??s 25 percent more than in all of 2008.

â??Itâ??s just gone through the roof,â?? said Kara Welsh, publisher for the New American Library, a division of Penguin. Thereâ??s even a renewed effort to make a miniseries out of the book. The studio Lionsgate, along with the producers Howard and Karen Baldwin, hope to begin shooting as early as next spring.

â??It is incredibly timely,â?? said Michael Burns, vice chairman of Lionsgate.

"You will win when you are ready to pronounce the oath I have taken at the start of my battle... I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." -- Atlas Shrugged


I just bought it 2 days ago oddly enough.


"The BIS (Bank for International Settlements, the central bank for all the central banks in the world)has said, in softened language, that the stimulus packages are ultimately going to cause more damage than they prevented, simply delaying the inevitable and making the inevitable that much worse. Given the previous BIS warnings of a Great Depression, the stimulus packages around the world have simply delayed the coming depression, and by adding significant numbers to the massive debt bubbles of the worldâ??s nations, will ultimately make the depression worse than had governments not injected massive amounts of money into the economy.

After the last Great Depression, Keynesian economists emerged victorious in proposing that a nation must spend its way out of crisis. This time around, they will be proven wrong. The world is a very different place now. Loose credit, easy spending and massive debt is what has led the world to the current economic crisis, spending is not the way out. The world has been functioning on a debt based global economy. This debt based monetary system, controlled and operated by the global central banking system, of which the apex is the Bank for International Settlements, is unsustainable. This is the real bubble, the debt bubble. When it bursts, and it will burst, the world will enter into the Greatest Depression in world history."


Ms. Rand predicts all of this, almost spot on. The fault is not in the system but in the philosophy that forms the foundation OF the system -- unselfishness.


Unselfishness is at the heart of every major religious and ethical system. It makes life richer and more meaningful, try it some time.


i just read this a couple months ago. It amazed me how timeless this book appears to be. It could have been written last year. Ayn definitely makes a compelling arguement.

ForLife - before you judge, you should atleast learn about what Ayn is talking about when she spoke about being selfish vs unselfish.


Oh yeah and we should all hope to be more like the religious.


Koffea, how would you define selfishness and unselfishness per Ayn Rand? Atlas Shrugged is on my reading shelf, just haven't gotten to it yet.


I think the beginnings of a major ideological shift are taking place.


Take it off your shelf and read it. :slight_smile:

I am a "student of Objectivism". It really does advocate true freedom and get you thinking with respect to individual rights (freedoms to action).

You can read a quick "official" summary of her philosophy here (given by her in 1962):


Per the FAQ:


What does Objectivism say about the idea that pursuing the happiness of others ultimately enriches your own happiness?


It's an individual thing. If that's what fufills YOU then go for it. If you aren't doing it for your own sake (which you are, if it's making you the happiest you can be) then do it. Just don't force it on others (goes against the nature of a democratic welfare state...).


I also recommend the audio classic nature of philosophy which is availiable for free from the Ayn Rand institute "Philosophy..who needs it" i believe is the title.


I think someone else already said it, but if you are helping others to ultimately enrich your own life, then it's a selfish act, regardless if other people benefit on the way or not. I think thats the moral of the story so to speak though. You shouldn't suffer for other peoples gain.



Does Objectivism allow for any act to be truly selfless, then? Couldn't you dismiss all acts as ultimately following what the person values most, and thus failing to qualify as a true sacrifice?


Why do you place a high value on sacrifice and selfless acts?



Hard to say, it could be due to the religion in which I was raised, cultural influences, or hard wiring. All I know is that love is one of my core values.


Should you not love yourself above all else?



I believe loving others is ultimately loving yourself. Selfishness leads to shrinkage. My happiest moments have come from people in my life that I've loved, and in return have loved me.

Which is why I asked my question earlier. In a sense, love (and everything else) is self-serving. I'm not sure there is such a thing as sacrifice, at least not if you define it as Rand does (i.e., the surrender of a greater value for a lesser value).


I don't like that logic, it reeks of making something complicated out of something simple. If the ultimate goal is loving yourself, why not just love yourself, you might be surprised how people react to that, instead of you trying to go around helping them so that they love you. I mean shouldn't they love you for who you are and not what you do for them? Do you give them all fish or do you teach them to fish. Sometimes not helping people will help them in the long run. I mean there are so many variables and things OUTSIDE of your control, focus on what is and let the universe, god, whatever, take care of the rest. Thats how I look at it. I love if I want to and I hate if I want to. Sometimes hate has it's usefulness.



It's not complicated. My happiness comes from being with the people I love, and if I didn't love I would not have that happiness.