The New York Times has just published an article acknowledging the role played by Ayn Rand in the thinking of modern capitalists. My Grandfather gave me The Fountainhead when I was an arrogant 13-year-old with a warning that the first half was boring but the second half made it worthwhile. He was right on both counts.
While “the virtue of selfishness” might be very unpopular as a phrase, I was transformed by this book and still have it together with my Grandfather’s copy of Atlas Shrugged in a special place in my bookcase at home.
It’s not a complete philosophy. Assumptions arrogantly taken for “axioms” are adopted by ignorant idealogues undermine the intellectual integrity that Objectivists purport to uphold. However, as James M. Kilts is quoted as noting in the NYT article, Ayn Rand’s works uphold a very important value that has few other sources:
“that excellence should be your goal”
Spiritual masters, NLPers and psychologists are largely and unusually in agreement (though they won’t let you know!): Self-actualisers, prime mover geniuses and happy “ordinary” people everywhere live in accordance with the vision that Rand had for the world… rather than being the victim of what other people want for you or think of you, may we all take personal responsibilty for how you feel, what you think and the life that you live.