The 20th century’s most important philosopher, Ayn Rand, advocated for a revolutionary philosophical system she called Objectivism. It is no understatement to note that even today it is widely misunderstood, often misquoted, and all too frequently, patently, and purposefully mis-stated. In short, it is the incredibly visionary and liberating world-view that a person ought to always operate under the premise of rational self-interest. Meaning that one should use one’s best judgement in the achievement of life-serving, long range, values: those things one works to gain and keep that are necessary for the achievement of happiness.
And make no mistake about it, her philosophical system was what was missing in the brilliant work of the Founding Fathers. It is what gives fundamental power to the political system they envisioned. Had they had her then, we would not have Obama nor would we have had the incredible rise of the interventionist state we all are force to live under today. Her admonition was to always keep the long-range in view, and never commit a sacrifice – never “surrender a greater value for the sake of a lesser one”. To Rand this was the essence of morality, and as such a profound virtue.
Today is the anniversary of Ms Rand’s birthday, she would have been 107 years old today.. So, as Harry Binswanger writes:
“February 2nd is the birthday of Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand developed and defended Objectivism, a philosophy that advocates “rational selfishness.”
To celebrate Randsday, you do something not done on any other holiday: you give yourself a present. Randsday is for getting that longed-for luxury you ordinarily would not buy for yourself. Or for doing that long-postponed, self-pampering activity you cannot seem to fit into your chore-packed schedule.
Randsday is for reminding ourselves that pleasure is an actual need, a psychological requirement for a human consciousness. For man, motivation, energy, enthusiasm are not givens. Pathological depression is not only possible but rampant in our duty-preaching, self-denigrating culture. The alternative is not short-range, superficial “fun,” but real, self-rewarding pleasure. On Randsday, if you do something that you ordinarily would think of as “fun,” you do it on a different premise and with a deeper meaning: that you need pleasure, you are entitled to it, and that the purpose and justification of your existence is: getting what you want—what you really want, with full consciousness and dedication.”
Let’s hope it won’t take another 100 years to fully grasp and embrace her profoundly moral philosophical system!