Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Happy Century Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand, mother of Objectivism and influence of many was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on this date, February 2, 1905. How cool is she? Well, she has an institute bearing her name, which often has a representative on talking head shows like The O'Reilly Factor. Her most famous quote:

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
—Ayn Rand

Curious? Check out The Ayn Rand Institute FAQ.

This anniversary of sorts has caused many a tribute and discussion of her influence, historically and presently.

She if the focus of this month's Reason Magazine, which owes its name to her. The latter link has a nice list with links of Ayn Rand related articles in Reason.

Left wing La-La Land the Atlanta Journal and Communist even has a feature today.

Rand has influenced many people and well known policy makers are included. The Alan Greenspan NY Times letter to the editor to defend Atlas Shrugged is a well known story (mentioned in the AJC link above and elsewhere). But there are many other examples. One example of a modern day heavy hitter influenced by her work includes a possible future Chief Justice, Clarence Thomas.

Of course it isn't all hugs and kisses. Consider this quote from Officer Barbrady, in the Colorado town of South Park:

Yes, at first I was happy to be learning how to read. It seemed exciting and magical, but then I read this: 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage, and because of this piece of s**t, I am never reading again.

Also, some people even cook with Ayn Rand as their guide.

Here, a ferret gets Objectivist when Ayn Rand book pages are used as litter box filler.

Tired of the commie dating scene? There is an Objectivist dating service for you.

And what about Ayn Rand and altruism? Many critics suggest that she is overly critical of the principle. Well, this story would suggest that altruism does have its dangers.

Her works, fiction and non-fiction, have had significant influence and remain pervasive and persuasive today. With an Atlas Shrugged movie in the works, her flame will not fade anytime soon.

Happy Birthday Ayn Rand.