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).
Before 2007, most economists seemed to think that credit didn’t matter, except when it caused inflation; that is clearly wrong.
Acceptance of this point does not imply (to me, at least) a wholesale commitment to small government or the novels of Ayn Rand (I would rather crawl over broken glass than re-read The Fountainhead, with its leaden prose and its “hero” who essentially wants to build the kind of tower blocks that blight urban landscapes. A good example of why policy can’t be left to the “elites” that Rand glorifies.) The trouble is that economics has become a team game like football in which one must cheer for one’s own side, and boo the arguments of the other.