Introductionto objectivism

Ayn Rand has inspired individuals around the world to discard convention and pursue a better life. See for yourself what her philosophy is all about.

Owner: Leonard Peikoff  |  Credit: Ayn Rand's drawing of her husband, Frank O'Connor, n.d.

Advancing your potential

Ayn Rand wrote volumes urging people to be selfish.


What? Aren’t people already too selfish? Just do whatever you feel like, be a thoughtless jerk, and exploit people to get ahead. Easy, right? Except that acting thoughtlessly and victimizing others, Rand claims, is not in your self-interest.


What Rand advocates is an approach to life that’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Selfishness, in her philosophy, means:


  • Follow reason, not whims or faith.
  • Work hard to achieve a life of purpose and productiveness.
  • Earn genuine self-esteem.
  • Pursue your own happiness as your highest moral aim.
  • Prosper by treating others as individuals, trading value for value.

At the dawn of our lives, writes Rand, we “seek a noble vision of man’s nature and of life’s potential.” Rand’s philosophy is that vision. Explore it for yourself.


Objectivism, a philosophy for living on earth.

Common Beliefs that Ayn Rand Challenges

“You are your
brother's keeper”

We’re not born, Rand says, with inexplicable duties to serve God or society. We only have one life, and the good is to live it. Learn to pursue your own happiness by discovering the life-promoting values it requires. Think rationally and don’t bow to authority. Join with other people when you have real values in common and go your separate way when you don’t. Don’t try to be your brother’s keeper or to force him to be yours. Live independently.

“Love is Selfless”

We love what we personally value and admire. A “selfless love” is a contradiction in terms: it would mean you have no personal stake in the object of your love. The truth is, romantic love is profoundly selfish: it’s a union of mind and body that both people pursue for their own happiness. And it’s profoundly demanding. To quote a famous line from The Fountainhead: “To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I.’”

“Money is the root
of all evil”

Life requires production. Today’s standard of living, with our computers, cell phones and life-saving medicines, far outstrips the wildest dreams of the past. All this wealth had to be created by individuals — and money is what enables production. “Money is your means of survival,” a character in Atlas Shrugged warns. “The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life.”

Essentials of Objectivism

  • reality

    Reality

  • reason

    Reason

  • self-interest

    Self-Interest

  • capitalism

    Capitalism

I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.

Ayn Rand, “Brief Summary,” The Objectivist

Ayn Rand's Philosophy

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