‘Don’t Believe Ayn Rand’ - Novella
“She felt suddenly as if nothing existed beyond that circle, and she wondered at the joyous, proud comfort to be found in a sense of the finite, in the knowledge that the field of one’s concern lay within the realm of one’s sight.”
-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand is best known for developing the philosophy of Objectivism. That as human beings our perception of the world is objective and we exist and are determined by the nature of reality, not by the thoughts we might have. Her novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’ was voted in 1991 the most read, most influential book after the Bible.
The core philosophy purported: “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”. Rand encouraged rational self-interest and the ‘virtue’ of selfishness in her philosophy based on reason and egoism.
The 1950s and 60s saw ‘The Collective’ (an inside ironic joke, acknowledging the groups commitment to individualism) develop and begin to influence big business in America. Adam Curtis explores how far reaching Rand’s influence became in ‘All watched over by machines of loving grace…’ and Novella have a catchy, girl-pop jangle track warning us not to believe everything Rand promoted.