The American Prospect
That doesn’t mean that popular culture written for a political purpose can’t have an impact; to see how it can, all you have to do is look at the endless legions of 19-year-old frat boys (many of whom later won seats in Congress) who had their own selfishness validated as a profound philosophy by Atlas Shrugged. But culture created to serve ideology is never going to become just the culture, because by serving a political cause it almost inevitably ghettoizes itself.
Ayn Rand, (1905-1982), was an American author and social critic. Her books serve mainly as a means of expressing her philosophies. Literary critics tend to see them as marred by a tendency to instruct the reader.
Rand’s best-known novels are THE FOUNTAINHEAD (1943) and ATLAS SHRUGGED (1957). Both present a moral and economic philosophy, called Objectivism, based on individualism and self-interest. These novels express the belief that original ideas are the main force in the world and that creative individuals deserve to profit from their ideas. The heroes represent disciplined, rational people of action who reject organized religion. In THE FOUNTAINHEAD, an architect destroys a housing project in which his ideas had been altered. In ATLAS SHRUGGED, one of the central characters calls a “mind strike,” during which all creative people withhold their ideas from the rest of the world. The strike reveals that society cannot exist without creative genius.
Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She moved to the United States in 1926 and became a U.S. citizen in 1931. Her novels WE THE LIVING (1936) and ANTHEm (1938) reflect her early life in Russia. Both novels express her revolt against socialist forms of government. Rand also wrote about her philosophies in such works of nonfiction as FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL (1961), THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS (1964), and CAPITALISM, THE UNKNOWN IDEAL (1966).
Brainerd Daily (MN)
…no-accountability indictments of the alleged lazy-poor could be straight out of atheist Ayn Rand’s “rational selfishness” economic philosophy playbook.
Among many Rand promoters we have current U.S. representatives, senators, and at least one Supreme Court justice. During his newsworthy individual filibuster Sen. Ted Cruz read long and loud from Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” In this book the Rand oath is, “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.” It follows from this that such unappreciated self-reliant business-leader “makers” should not help the parasitic-lazy “takers.” An article in “Christianity Today” a few years ago labeled Rand the “Goddess (idolatrous cause) of the great (2008) recession.”