Tag Archives: Ayn Rand

What Happens When You Believe in Ayn Rand and Modern Economic Theory

The reality of unfettered self-interest
By Denise Cummins – “Ayn Rand is my hero,” yet another student tells me during office hours. “Her writings freed me. They taught me to rely on no one but myself.”

As I look at the freshly scrubbed and very young face across my desk, I find myself wondering why Rand’s popularity among the young continues to grow.

The core of Rand’s philosophy — which also constitutes the overarching theme of her novels — is that unfettered self-interest is good and altruism is destructive. This, she believed, is the ultimate expression of human nature, the guiding principle by which one ought to live one’s life. In “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,” Rand put it this way:

Collectivism is the tribal premise of primordial savages who, unable to conceive of individual rights, believed that the tribe is a supreme, omnipotent ruler, that it owns the lives of its members and may sacrifice them whenever it pleases.

By this logic, religious and political controls that hinder individuals from pursuing self-interest should be removed.

The fly in the ointment of Rand’s philosophical “objectivism” is the plain fact that humans have a tendency to cooperate and to look out for each other, as noted by many anthropologists who study hunter-gatherers. These “prosocial tendencies” were problematic for Rand, because such behavior obviously mitigates against “natural” self-interest and therefore should not exist. more>

What Happens When You Believe in Ayn Rand and Modern Economic Theory

BOOK REVIEW

Good Thinking: Seven Powerful Ideas That Influence the Way We Think, Author: Denise Cummins.
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Author: Ayn Rand.
The Fountainhead, Author: Ayn Rand.
Atlas Shrugged, Author: Ayn Rand.

By Denise Cummins – The core of Rand’s philosophy — which also constitutes the overarching theme of her novels — is that unfettered self-interest is good and altruism is destructive.

This, she believed, is the ultimate expression of human nature, the guiding principle by which one ought to live one’s life.

To many of Rand’s readers, a philosophy of supreme self-reliance devoted to the pursuit of supreme self-interest appears to be an idealized version of core American ideals: freedom from tyranny, hard work and individualism. It promises a better world if people are simply allowed to pursue their own self-interest without regard to the impact of their actions on others. After all, others are simply pursuing their own self-interest as well.

So what if people behaved according to Rand’s philosophy of “objectivism?” What if we indeed allowed ourselves to be blinded to all but our own self-interest?

Modern economic theory is based on exactly these principles. A rational agent is defined as an individual who is self-interested. A market is a collection of such rational agents, each of whom is also self-interested. Fairness does not enter into it. more> http://goo.gl/iL35Mt

Ayn Rand’s Fight Was For The Rational Man And Woman

By John Aglialoro – Ayn Rand – the author of, according to a 1991 survey done by the Library of Congress, one of the most influential books ever written, Atlas Shrugged.

Criticism of Rand are rarely anchored in reality, or on what critics have read themselves, or on any type of empirical evidence or data. Their arguments are founded primarily on assumption and their emotional response to those assumptions.

So, how do we combat an emotional response to a false premise egged on by the refusal to think for oneself critically? Ayn Rand once said,

“Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Leave them alone.”

more> http://tinyurl.com/8rufz2h

The Battle Between Ayn Rand And Collectivism Reaches A Climax

By Harry Binswanger – With President Obama‘s line “You didn’t build that,” the battle between individualism and collectivism has reached a climax.

There is no individual achievement. What appears to be your achievement is somehow the achievement of that mystical entity,the collective-especially its earthly embodiment: the government.

This gigantic fraud is aimed at a single goal: re-assuring life’s losers that their failures are not their fault. “You can stop feeling guilty,” he’s telling them, “Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, Steve Jobs, and the rest are really no better than you. more> http://tinyurl.com/bloapuo