Objectivism and Life

I’ve been reading some Ayn Rand lately. I’ve already finished The Fountainhead and am just starting *Atlas Shrugged[i/]. I have all of Rand’s nonfiction works, but haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. I don’t consider myself an actual Objectivist, but I’ve been toying with the concepts for quite a while now. In addition, I now have a paper to write on Objectivism and how it affects one’s life.

Are there any SDMB patrons aout there who are Objectivists, or even semi-Objectivists, like myself? How has the philosophy affected you life on a daily basis? Does it make you feel fullfilled?

PS: I realize it sounds like I’m just begging for information for my paper, but I really am personally interested. Thanks!

What exactly is it?

I’m not sure what you mean by ‘Objectivism’, but then I never read ‘The Fountainhead’. I did read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ not long after graduating high school, and it changed my life forever. I then recommended it to my friends and family, many of whom read it and were also greatly affected. For a long time all one of us had to do was call someone a ‘looter’ and we all knew what it meant.

Could you explain ‘Objectivism’ a little?

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. - Henry Van Dyke

Keystream: I own most of Ayn Rand’s works and consider myself to be a semi-objectivist. I find that hard work and the time to think clearly and objectively provides meaning for my life. I think her ideology breaks down in her version of altruism. It is possible to give to another without having out the “self” first. One may reap some good fruit from an action that was meant to benefit another, but if the primary reason was to help the other it isn’t selfish. Good Luck!

Objectivism is the philosophy Ayn Rand developed, reflected in her novels. She also wrote a number of nonfiction books regarding Objectivism.

Some titles are:
We the Living
For the New Intellectual
The Virtue of Selfishness

As for more fiction, there’s also the (relatively) short novel Anthem and a newly-published volume of her early short works, The Early Ayn Rand.

But for a quicker introduction, try


Keystream, thank you very much for the link! I have never ‘labeled’ myself as anything in particular, but I find myself in agreement with most of what I read at the site. My personal philosophy is, at the least, very similar to this.

However, I now have to take a break and do some serious thinking, as I’ve been inspired to explore and renew my inner mental workings a little.


The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. - Henry Van Dyke

The main problem I always had with Objectivism was Ayn Rand’s attempt to justify her own personal tastes under the umbrella of a her grand unified theory of behaviour. She liked Mickey Spillane, so if you don’t you are obviously not a good Objectivist.

From what I have read of Ayn Rand, she was a mean woman who thought nothing of having an affair in front of her husband while watching him collapse into alcoholism because of it. And of course, she justified it by applying some bizarre, twisted ‘objectivist’ principle.

I’m a big fan of almost all of her fiction and most of her non-fiction, and her political philosophy fits in with mine pretty closely. But I don’t have much use for Ayn Rand the person, and Objectivism is shot through with reflections of her.