The Intellectual Activist
An Objectivist Review
Ayn Rand: Political Perspectives and Influence Today
Categories: Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand’s magnum opus Atlas Shrugged while published in 1957, reads eerily similar to the current political and social climate within the United States of America. Many have noted she prophesized the economic downfall of 2008 with her novel set in a parallel dystopian American. The effect of her novels, her philosophy of objectivism, and her political perspectives continue to influence America and its politicians over thirty years after her death.

Rand’s Entry to the Political Arena

During her younger years, Rand was repulsed by communism and was primarily influenced by Nietzsche. His words on the superior individual spoke to her personally and helped to shape her political views. She campaigned for republican candidates like Wendell Wilkie and predicted
with his loss of the presidential election that America would turn eventually into a totalitarian society with slavery, starvation, concentration camps, and firing squads. During her campaign work, she met many conservative intellectuals and organizations that promoted businesses, helping to shape her views into a moral defense of the individual as unrestricted capitalism (Burns, 2009).

Her novels echoed these sentiments and she fully believed that the principle of trade is what governed all human relationships and interactions. The idea that society consists of workers that do all of the work and freeloaders that steal from the producing members, was a central theme in her work. She developed her objectivism philosophy which expanded beyond politics and economics into many other fields like science and psychology. Her novel Atlas Shrugged laid the objectivist principles out and many young fans at the time of its release began calling themselves
libertarians and advocating for a more limited government (Burns, 2009).

Rand’s Lasting Legacy

Rand’s political perspectives and ideology are still very much alive today and her novels still sell over half a million copies each year. Numerous politicians, entrepreneurs, and academics count Atlas Shrugged as one of the most influential novels ever written. Her theories have churned
through the channels of conservative thought for over half a century, especially during the Obama Administration when the Democratic party controlled the government (Heller, 2009).

Many political groups place Rand and her ideologies on a pedestal. Many leaders in groups such as the Tea Party or right wing conservatives continue to plaster her quotes on posters at rallies. These groups celebrate Rand as a champion of individualism and a way to fight back against
those who want to adopt a more socialist economy that dishes out the rewards from the hard work of a few to all those that did not help (Gibson, 2011).

Rand celebrated successful business tycoons rather than view them as greedy or evil. She admired their creativity, their tenacity, their innovations, and their dynamics. Perhaps this adds to the reasons why so many conservative leaders, including President Donald Trump, list her as an
inspiration (Gibson, 2011).

Rand started not only a philosophical movement but political revolution as well with her words vand ideas. These notions were so prolific that Rand continues to be a political inspiration over fifty years after writing her most popular novel. Her novels essentially started libertarianism and helped provide a framework for conservative politicians to embrace and follow.

Burns, J. (2009). Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. New York: Oxford
University Press.
Gibson, M. (2011). The Tea Party and Ayn Rand. Retrieved from
Heller, A. (2009). Ayn Rand and the World She Made. New York: Doubleday.

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