Top Five Ways Ayn Rand’s Influence Continues Today

by on 17/08/12 at 9:01 am

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Ayn Rand has been dead for 30 years, but her influence just continues to grow. Here are five of the most notable ways her ideas continue to influence the modern world.

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5. Objectivists: Rand’s philosophy is called “objectivism,” and can be defined as a belief “that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness or rational self-interest, that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform man’s widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally.” While objectivists have been around since Rand, they have gotten increasing attention with the advent of the internet. Interestingly, after the Enron, World Com, etc. scandals, and again after the economy tanked in 2008, the traffic to the various top Objectivist websites increased dramatically, and sale of Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, rose.

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4. The “Self Esteem” Movement: Seemingly a good idea, this movement has been blamed for an alleged epidemic in narcissism in the US today. Whether this is true or not, it is true that there is much more attention paid to people’s’ self-esteem lately. This is largely due to the work of Nathaniel Branden, Ayn Rand’s adulterous lover and chief disciple for many years. After Rand found that he was cheating on her, she purged him from the Objectivist movement. He went on to found an institute in California to promote self-esteem, and one of his acolytes there was a California politician, and that guy went on to convince California to create a task force to increase self esteem in the ’80s, which in turn influenced other states and organizations to promote self-esteem, and the issue came to be much more discussed in the media.

 

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3. The U.S. Economy: Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan was an Ayn Rand acolyte, and her philosophy influenced his economic theories and practices.

 

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2. Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, came in second (after the Bible) in a poll  as the book that had most influenced readers’ lives. Also, FYI: Ever since Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957, many attempts have been made to film the novel, which at times reads like a philosophy lecture. Finally, the movie has been filmed and was released in 2011.

 

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1. The Libertarian movement: The Libertarian Party has been growing, and they have been greatly influenced by the writings and philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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