April 7, 2014
Ayn Rand is an author that penned works that have shaped modern philosophy and politics. She calls the field of thought that she created objectivism. Her life shaped her ideas, and her ideas shaped the world. Her contributions continue to shape the continuous flow of new thoughts and ideas that are created and discussed around the world. Her literature is a staple of many political and academic groups’ ideas and studies. Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum was her birth name in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Her family was that of a composition of her Father and Mother and her two younger sisters. The family was well off for they owned a pharmacy, therefore giving her the wealth that allowed her to access her education. During her childhood Russia was very unstable, this gives her and environment where what is happening is incredibly important politically and also personally because of the massive social ramifications. She was twelve when the revolutions began in 1917 causing the deposition of the imperial autocracy. By 1922 the USSR would become installed as the government causing massive changes and the communist regime holds ever so varied beliefs of that of a monarchy. This would prove rather timely for her for with the newly installed USSR came the benefits of left social reform. The universities were opened to women so she could enroll. In 1926 she moved to the USA. In the USA she first worked odd jobs and lived with relatives. This is where her political ideas would start to take form. She gained American citizenship in 1931. Her first critical success was her novel The Fountainhead. Then to follow her opus was Atlas shrugged. These novels both incorporate her right wing political viewpoints along with her own creation of Objectivism. They both utilize antagonists of governments whom oppress the common man and through the hero’s use of glorious capitalism and objectivist thought their everlasting rational prevails triumphantly. Critics of her works find them in distaste as they are personifications of her ideals and so anything that comes from those ideas will be found critiqued if it is in conflict with their own political holdings. Her works emphasize elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. The purpose of her works was to narrate and describe her philosophies on life. They are large descriptions and examples of thought experiments and political rhetoric. The concepts themselves vary in the complexity and intricacy. The largest of them being her creation of objectivism as a theme of philosophical thoughts. Objectivism is at the simplest level a way to describe the how the world is viewed from the person. A thing is and is. The starting point of all things is the observation of these things. From this reality is integrated into the mind. The point of life is this subjectivist thought with the simple fulfillment of whatever rational the individual seeks to embody. Reason is the driving factor of simplistic want and the achievement of individual happiness. A capitalist system is the only moral on because it embodies those values. Individualism vs. the collective is very well defined as that the individual is the one that matters because it is the individual that experiences. It is the I that creates, owns, and experiences the world. Through lassie-fair economic systems this can be accomplished. Personal worth is defined by that person. The worth of that person is relative to what he can accomplish. This view of personal rights is that of the same of the extreme sides of conservative right wing politics. Republicans and Libertarians alike subscribe to some of her viewpoints. The interesting part about her politics is that where she did side with the conservatives on ethical and moral opinions she sided completely with the left where she wanted to deregulate that which has nothing to do with the economic systems. Her influences can be described as Aristotle as the most absolute. She herself stated that other than Aristotle her ideas sprung completely from her own mind. Although it is reasonable that other philosophers such as Plato and Nietzsche shaped her ideas along with the political turmoil that she grew up with and lived through. Although it is interesting that her ideas side on the complete opposite spectrum of that of the ideology of her homelands USSR.