For us to really understand our world, it is important for us to look to historical figures for some insights as to how the puzzle pieces come together. Many have heard of Ayn Rand, the famous author from the Fifties but not a lot of people understand her concepts; hence, she is often misunderstood. Her philosophy called Objectivism was and still is a very controversial portrayal of her unusual criticism of America’s movement towards what we have today in our government and her political activism continued until her death in 1982. Publishing two bestsellers, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1951), she was regarded as both brilliant and a kook, depending on the person you spoke with during the time.
While The Fountainhead was made into a Hollywood movie in her lifetime, Atlas Shrugged was made in a 3-movie series within the last decade. She also penned a volume of other books, one explaining Objectivism in great detail; however, the two fictional stories resonated with readers and were more widely accepted among the general public.
Her brash provocative stance herald a society where men and women – of all races – were equals and in constant upheaval and revolt against the ever-controlling government and social mores surrounding her main characters. While her books were fictionally based, they were a testament to her growing distrust of the government as Franklin D. Roosevelt took control and started introducing legislature that reminded her of her haunting past in Russia. Hence, she was fundamentally against the government establishment and saw taxation as forced altruism – both of which she was proactively spoke out against in many interviews during the Cold War Era.
A Brief History
After defecting from Russia after the Bolshevik’s October Revolution resulting in the assassination of Czar Nicholas and his family at their winter palace, Rand landed in New York City on a visa to visit family in 1927. She began her writing career on Broadway between 1935-1936 and through various twists and turns, meeting Cecile B. DeMille, she went to work for RKO Pictures in Hollywood.
Watch this inspiring interview she did with Mike Wallace in 1959 where she explains her unique life philosophy and how it came to be.
As a beacon she was never quite embraced by mainstream America – at least, not openly. However, she gave a fascinating summation of the future we now live today.