Ayn Rand, pseudonym of Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum (St. Petersburg, Russian Empire, 1905 – February 2 United States, New York, 6 March 1982), American-born Russian, widely known for having written the fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged the bestsellers and have developed a philosophical system which he called Objectivism writer and philosopher.

RAND defended the rational egoism, individualism, and laissez-faire capitalism, arguing that it is the only economic system that allows humans to live as a human being, in other words, making use of its power of reasoning. Therefore absolutely rejected socialism, altruism and religion.

On the other hand, argued that the man must choose their values and their actions through reason, each individual has the right to exist by itself, without sacrificing by others or sacrificing to others for themselves, and nobody has the right to obtain values of others using physical force nor to impose them ideas.

Taking the conviction that the Governments have a role legitimate but limited to Ayn Rand not you be confused with an anarchist, and may instead be regarded as a liberal and minarchist, despite the fact that she never implemented latter term to refer to itself.


Ayn Rand (Алиса Зиновьевна Розенбаум) (Alisa Rosenbaum Zinovievna) was born on 2 February 1905 in St. Petersburg (Russia), the eldest of three daughters of a family being Jewish, whose parents were not practitioners of this religion. From a very young woman felt strong interest in literature and film art, starting to write novels and screenplays at age 7. Read the novels of Alexandre Dumas, Walter Scott and other romantic, writers expressing a passionate enthusiasm for the Romantic movement. Discovered Victor Hugo at age thirteen, leaving wives for his novels. Learned French thanks to his mother, he studied philosophy and history at the St. Petersburg University Universidad de San Petersburgo.

In 1924 she began studies at the State Institute of film, since his personal ambition was writing the screenplays. There he continued to write short stories, scripts, and sporadic entries in his diary, in which intensely anti-Soviet ideas expressed. Also discovered at the University to Nietzsche, who much appreciated his exaltation of the heroic and the heroic, individual though years later strongly criticized the irrational of Nietzsche’s philosophy. The biggest influence was Aristotle, which he considered greatest philosopher in the world, especially appreciating Órganon (‘ logic ‘).

Ayn Rand detested Russia, and even more since the revolution of 1917, which had been expropriated his father pharmacy business and further worsened their living conditions. Knowing New York by American films, Ayn Rand was very clear that he wanted to emigrate to the United States. Years later wrote “those who live”, a first hand account of those years and the atmosphere of the Russia then, on which said ‘is the closest thing to an autobiography that you ever typed’.

At the end of 1925, Ayn Rand got a visa to leave the country and visit her relatives already established United States where he arrived in February 1926, with 21 years.

Tomb of Ayn Rand and her husband.

Ayn spent time as relatives in Chicago. Later he moved to Hollywood where he accepted any job to pay for their basic expenses.

Coincidentally, met there to Cecil B. DeMille, who was interested in this Russian newcomer United States and fascinated by the world of cinema. Cecil B. DeMille showed the basic functioning of a Movie Studio and offered to work as an extra, which Ayn Rand accepted, so visibly among the extras appearing in final footage of King of Kings [1] (visible in the DVD documentary footage Ayn Rand, a sense of life). In the film met, moreover, what would become her husband the rest of his life: the also actor Frank O´Connor, whom he married in 1929.

In 1931 Ayn Rand acquired United States America naturalised citizen status.

In 1936, he writes: ‘ call it fate or irony, but I was born among all countries of the Earth, in the least desirable for a fan of individualism: Russia.» I decided to be a writer at the age of nine years, and I’ve done has been confined to that purpose. I am American by choice and conviction. I came to the world in Europe, but emigré United States of America because it was the country where one could feel completely free to enter.

Ayn Rand was very pleased to be an American citizen, and in 1973 he said in a lecture he gave at West Point: ‘may I say, and not as a mere chauvinism, but with knowledge complete the necessary metaphysical roots, epistemological, ethical, political and aesthetic, the United States is the largest, noble and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world’.

Ayn Rand died in 1982. She is buried beside her husband in the cemetery in Valhalla, New York).

Major works of fiction

The most important novels of Ayn Rand are the best-selling the fountainhead (1943) and the Atlas Shrugged (1957).

His novels are based on the archetypal hero randiano, a rational person worthy of living on Earth, since you can achieve the best of himself, a man whose ability and independence do conflict with the hombres-masa but still perseveres, finally reaching the realization of their values.

Network Pawn

In 1932 he manages to sell his first screenplay Red pawn (‘red pawn’), to Universal Studios.

‘The night of January 16’

In 1934 Ayn writes the play The night of january 16th (the night of January 16, also known as Penthouse legend), which incorporates the absolute novelty in the world of theatre into the public wishing to participate in a ‘jury’ at the end of the work that must decide on the innocence or guilt of the protagonist. In the initial note addressed to the producer of the work, Ayn Rand says:

The play is built so that the evidence of the guilt or innocence of the accused are carefully counterbalanced and the decision will be based on the character and values of the jury. It is really the audience that is judged. In the words of counsel: «who is judged in this case?» To Karen Andre [co-star of the work]? No!, are you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, who are being prosecuted. ‘Are their souls which will be put to light when taken its decision’.

Ayn Rand

Work continues with success as part of the ‘classical’ repertoire of plays for amateur companies.

Those who live

In 1936 he published We the living (‘those who live’), which was the closest thing to an autobiography had never written by Ayn Rand. Those who live tells the dramatic a woman of independent spirit under the regime’s life totalitarian Soviet.

The novel was not initially well-received United States, that were submerged in the great depression and that sometimes there is called «red decade», i.e. the Decade of peak of ideas Socialists and Communists in that country.

Without the permission or knowledge of Ayn Rand (who learned the history of the Second World War), the Mussolini Italy shot in 1942 two films based on the novel: Noi vivi and Addio, Kira, studies Scalara Films. Films were an attempt to anti-Soviet propaganda by the Italian regime, and were a great success in Italy. Proud of its success, prepared copies sent to the Nazi Germans, who angered to see the movie and advised the Italians its immediate withdrawal from circulation. The Nazi Hierarchs (more consistent in his anti-liberal ideology that Italians) immediately perceived that the message of the book was not only anti-Soviet but also antitotalitario and book criticizing not only the Soviet totalitarianism, but any form of totalitarianism.[ 1 ] These films were also projected without permission of Ayn Rand in the Spain of Francisco Franco. Ayn Rand called rights arrears to both countries.[ 2 ] Finally, Ayn Rand still in life authorized a reissue of these films, which were finally sold for home video in 1986.


Article principal: Anthem (novel)

Anthem (Anthem, titled Live! Spanish first editions) is a Novella that presents an individualist fight against a society of the future in which collectivism has triumphed in highly symbolic terms. He is a dystopia in which the concept of individuality has disappeared (e.g. the pronoun “I” has been removed from the language) and that there are many similarities with the novel we (1921), Yevgeny Zamyatin, but also significant differences in tone (seriously at Rand, satirical at Zamyatin) and develop the story. Items constituting the kernel hymn will be developed after extensive works of Rand, the Atlas Shrugged and the fountainhead.

Anthem not found editor in United States, and was published first in the United Kingdom in 1938. For reasons somewhat arcane, is the only work of Rand that is in the public domain in United States (not in other countries) which has allowed to join the Project Gutenberg.


Article principal: The spring

In 1943 came the first important success of Ayn Rand as a novelist with the publication of the spring (The Fountainhead). The book, which had taken seven years to write, was rejected by 12 publishers, until that editorial Bobbs-Merrill, a young editor you criticising his boss: ‘If this is not a book suitable for you, then I nor should I work for you ‘.

In 1949 a film version of the spring was performed and directed by King Vidor. Starring Gary Cooper (Howard Roark), Patricia Neal (Dominique Francon), Raymond Massey (Gail Wynand) and Kent Smith (Peter Keating).

The screenplay was written by Ayn Rand and monitored carefully by herself completely unusually shaped in Hollywood, where studies are made all kinds of liberties with the original scripts. On several occasions during the filming, Ayn threatened to suspend the project if the script was suffering the slightest modification. Gary Cooper as Ayn Rand were not satisfied with the movie. Gary Cooper, perhaps already too old for a role in book of a young man, made the famous final speech without really understanding, something that can be felt in tone and emphasis. Ayn Rand had much fight to maintain the integrity of the screenplay, and yet neither was satisfied with the movie, coming to say good all it had was to get new readers to the novel. However, the film today is very much appreciated in objectivists circles, and given irregular distribution, typically available on P2P networks.

The basis of the spring is individualism and collectivism in the human soul. The work focuses on the lives of the five main characters. The hero, Howard Roark, is the ideal person to Rand: an uncompromising architect who is completely delivered strongly, even when serena, way to their ideals, particularly believing that no person should never copy the style of another, especially in the field of architecture. In the novel all the other players at some point or another, for different reasons and with varying degrees of emphasis are calling to renounce some of its principles. However Howard continues unabated and does not compromise their integrity. An interesting and impressive aspect of the personality of Howard is that, in contrast to usual forms of typical heroes, not launches to explain their points of view and why the world is not just by the middle of long and passionate sermons and monologues; quite the contrary, Howard makes it way scornful, laconic and haughty.

The Atlas Shrugged

Article principal: The Atlas Shrugged

The Atlas Shrugged (Atlas Shrugged) is by many considered the work of fiction more complete and powerful RAND on the Objectivist philosophy. In the 1980s, the Library of Congress of the United States surveyed, wondering what was the book that had greater influence in the life of the respondents. The first in the ranking was The Bible, the second, the Atlas Shrugged.

More individuals become libertarians by having read the Atlas Shrugged than for any other reason.

The book recounts decadence United States resulting from excessive interventionism of the Government. While the book was written between the years 1946-1957, some people see a situation similar to the lived by Cuba in 1960 economic deterioration in the economic process of destroying the book narrates, reading.

The book social United States fiber divided into two classes: ‘looters’ and ‘not looters’.

* “Looters” are represented by the political class (Mystics muscle) and religious cults (Mystics spirit) who think that all economic activity must be regulated and subjected to a strong fiscal imposition.

* «Not looters» are men entrepreneurs, company captains and intellectuals who think that solution is just opposite. Between them, and in particular, employers, arises a reflected in a sabotage and disappearances of entrepreneurs entrepreneurs strike protest movement and entrepreneurs, disappear mysteriously. The leader of this movement is John Galt, both a philosopher and scientist.

Galt from his hideout in the mountains, gives orders, suggests initiatives, and moves all the threads. Major employers took refuge along with him. During the time that lasts the strike and the disappearance of entrepreneurs, the American system are sinking under the weight of the most oppressive State interventionism. The play ends when employers decide to abandon his hideout of the Rocky Mountains and return to Wall Street and the centres of decision; marching headers by the dollar symbol Galt has chosen as its particular revolt banner.

Rand wanted to call his novel the strike; the Atlas Shrugged title was suggested by her husband, because so equates the employer to the mythical Titan worldwide destinations that loads on their backs. When the work appeared, struck by the daring and bold approach at that time. Until that time, even in United States, someone had dared to make an approach in which entrepreneurs were good and the State the evil.

For Ayn Rand, a strike could plunge into chaos United States is confirmation that the country can’t live without class enterprise, that policy should be subordinated to the needs of the business economy and, finally, the need to return to the spirit of the early settlers that they revolted against England in the 18th century: fought against the State interventionism and defend their individual rights. Proposed Rand is back to the origin of the American tradition, only that the hero because it is not a farmer who revolts against the English, but employer fight called interventionism of the State and whose efforts is that verdaramente creates wealth.

Shortly after leaving sold four million copies of the work. After of this book, just wrote essays, which developed explicitly implied philosophical premises of the Atlas Shrugged. One of these tests, the virtue of selfishness is considered one of the obvious major philosophical current Rand.

Philosophical work

Article principal: Objectivism

Ayn Rand argued:

1. Life as the foundation of the rights.

2. The reason for each individual must choose which values wants for his life and the means to achieve them.

3. The individual has the right to exist for itself, without sacrificing by others or sacrificing to others for himself.

4. Nobody has right to initiate the use of force physical against another human being, whatever the purpose that you want to get.

5. Reality exists entirely objectively. Facts are the facts independently of feelings, desires, and fears of the man.

By the virtue of selfishness Rand wrote about life:

«There are only a fundamental right (all others are its consequences or corollaries): the right man to his own life.» Life is a process of autosustento and autogenerada; action «the right to life means the right to occupy in the autosustento and autogenerada action which means that freedom is to take all actions required by nature a rational being for livelihood development, satisfaction, enjoyment of his own life.

In the rights of man said:

‘The right to life is the source of all the rights and the right to property is only its realization. Without property rights, any other rights is possible. Since man has to sustain your life through their own efforts, the man has no right to the proceeds of his effort has no means of sustaining life. “Man who produces while others have your product is a slave.”

The Atlas Shrugged wrote on manual work, entrepreneurs and inventors

“The man who does no more than physical work consumes the material value equivalent to its own contribution to the production process and leaves no more value for himself or for others.” But the man that produces an idea in any field of endeavour rational man who discovers new knowledge – is permanent benefactor of mankind…’.

l man who creates a new invention receives a small percentage of its value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune then.

Political ideology

Ayn Rand not considered same as ‘of rights’ (not’ left ‘). On countless occasions Ayn Rand stated ‘ I am not a conservative ‘ (‘no am conservative’), while vehemently stating their opposition to Ronald Reagan. In the political spectrum usually sits it on the political right by its attachment to a type of ‘heroic’ and capitalist individualism.

What seems clear is that Ayn Rand is not a conservative. From some point of view, it can be considered a pursuant the ideal liberal libertarian or simply ‘liberal’. It was agreed to search the maximization of the rights of the individual from an analysis liberal individualist; However, Rand also sought maximize what he considered benefits of private ownership and the capitalist system, which is identified with conservatives, these in turn considered ‘right’. However, Ayn Rand denostó until his death to libertarians, who was called ‘right-wing hippies’.

Some points of Ayn Rand ideology outlined above and show that it was not of what is known as the strict conservative right

* Ayn Rand defended atheism as only rational position before God, who believed rationally, unprovable concept is a sum of metaphysical contradictions, and therefore, an attack on man to accept mental functioning.

* Ayn Rand defended total freedom of produce, distribute (only for adults) and consume any type of drugs, in spite of radically condemning its consumption as an attack on the most valuable has individual: your mind. As repeatedly stated freedom, if we take the concept seriously, also means the freedom to make mistakes, and if someone wants to take drugs, the freedom to commit suicide.

* Ayn Rand absolutely condemned the forced recruitment of soldiers, that equivalent with slavery. Came to affirm that all proclamations about the importance of the right of ownership made by right-wingers in United States was hollow, that supported the forced conscription into the army. What sense is having the right to have an account if one does not have right to his own life?, said.

* Ayn Rand defended the absolute right to women to abort if wished it, that each individual has an absolute right about his life and his body.

* Ayn Rand defended as anti-socialist and anti-Communist as a form of oppression

* Ayn Rand defended a State minimum (was a minarchist), somewhat diametrically opposed the proclamation fascist ‘all within the State, nothing out of the State.

* Ayn Rand defended the absolute right to distribute among adults, any kind of text or audio-visual, including Communist, nazi propaganda and pornography (abhorred, considered as an attack on sexuality and good taste, but whose entitlement to be produced and distributed vehemently defended). He argued that ‘ideas not abuse’, and that only should punish criminal acts. Claimed that any attempt that State limit expression of ideas «wrong», «wrong» or «dangerous» only could end in a censorship total ‘unpopular’ ideas.

Based on the principle that the sphere of freedom of the individual can only be self-realisation of private property, Ayn Rand recognizes in the capitalist political system the affirmation of the free economy and the ideal of personal self-interest through social partnership in the market. On this basis miseana, Rand item is identified by the principle of non-aggression to personal work. This doctrine of Ayn Rand is coincident with the sustained by deemed right liberal, as inequalities would not structurally imposed by society, but a product of productive assets in the free market, uneven utility are these capital or wage labour. Desasociaba any necessary power economic (defensive) and political (aggressive), presenting them as opposite natural, power relations and reinterpreted and legitimized the inequality of opportunity for not being dependent on the amount of money but productive use in the market, developed together with Alan Greenspan idea in Capitalism: the unknown ideal.

Its philosophy has been so apologetic pure capitalist social order without Government interevención, and therefore the both utilitarian, and ethical model for many great entrepreneurs in search of success in business that does not depend on political coercion. Individualist rational selfishness randiano influence can be traced back to of Milton Friedman’s work with regard to the internalisation of externalities limiting corporate responsibility to the benefit of shareholders, as well as in the work of Robert Hessen and Stephen Hicks on ethics in business idea.

Aesthetic ideas

RAND’s ideas about aesthetics revolve around the concept of what she called ‘romantic realism’, which usually refers to art that covers the topics of volition and values human, recognizing also the importance of artistic technique and the recognition of reality. Romantic realism plasma often heroic human beings in situations of joy and triumph of life, with an optimistic background and a positive estimation of scientific and technical. There are often more or less subtle references to Ayn Rand in these works.

Even having been previously used, the term was popularized by Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand defined romantic realism as the representation of things and of humans ‘as they could be and should be’, taking these concepts of Aristotle.

* ‘Could be’ implies realism, as opposed to mere fantasy.

* ‘Should be’ implies a moral vision, a standard of beauty and virtue.

This combination is based on the idea that heroic values are rational and realistic looking romantic realism as false dichotomy between realism and romanticism.

Some characters influenced by Ayn Rand

* Nathaniel Branden, psychotherapist and founder of the Institute Nathaniel Branden, which was the organization that expanded the Objectivism since the late 1950s until 1968, date in which Ayn Rand expelled him movement though before she had seen it the personification of his ideals described in the Atlas Shrugged.

* Alan Greenspan, former President of the US Federal Reserve. Greenspan met Ayn Rand in 1952, and both were mutually impressed by her intelligence.[ 6 ] Greenspan spent several years at the core of the so-called collective Objetivista, and there is a famous photograph which appears posing between Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff and Nathaniel Branden. Greenspan attended the funeral in Ayn Rand. Today Alan Greenspan is reluctant to discuss his relationship with the Objectivism last.

* Mike Mentzer (1951-2001), bodybuilder, only the Mr. universe contest participant that has achieved a score of 100 out of 100. The creator of ‘Heavy Duty’ fitness system.

* Johan Norberg, intellectual Swedish supporter of globalization.

* George Reisman, influential scholar and American economic writings of Ayn Rand near circle.

* Neil Peart, drummer and lyrical composer of the musical group Canadian Rush. Several of his songs reflect ideas and concepts expressed by Rand.

* Leonard Peikoff, philosopher, author, heir of Ayn Rand and founder of the Ayn Rand Institute. As heir to Rand, Peikoff is responsible for all his works – with the exception of the Anthem novel Copyright (Spanish title: living!), which has fallen into the public domain. Peikoff also has control over the translations of works by Rand as well as the editing and publication of those still unpublished works. Peikoff wrote the preface to all current editions of Rand novels.

* Jimmy Wales, creator of Wikipedia, It has repeatedly expressed his admiration by Ayn Rand. While studying at University, he was owner and moderator of a mailing list named ‘Discussion moderated Objectivist philosophy’. Currently not manifested mostly on the subject. Wales defines himself as Objectivist on his user page.

* Frank r. Wallace: creator of the Neo-Tech scientific head of E.I. DuPont de Nemours until 1968, founder of I & O Publishing Co. (currently IMA), author of the neo-Tech discovery, libertarian librepensandor and open admirer of capitalism philosophy laissez faire. In his references to the work of Ayn Rand and recommends it to readers of emphasis in the philosophy of Aristotle, whom he considered primary source of the Objectivism.

* Steve Ditko, Spider-man creator. Created the character Mr. To, whose name is based on the principle of identity (A = A) Aristotle. Mr. To also incorporates elements of Objectivist ethics.

* Angelina Jolie, actress. Fond long-standing Rand literature. Accepted the role of Dagny Taggart next cinematic adaptation of Atlas Shrugged.

* Nick Newcomen has led 19.695 km by 30 States United States to ‘write’ text that you see in the program Google Earth: “Lee to Ayn Rand”. / Pais article

Ayn Rand works translated into Spanish


* Those who live (We the living, 1936)

* Anthem, formerly known as Live! (Anthem, 1938)

* The spring (The Fountainhead, 1943)

* The Atlas Shrugged (Atlas Shrugged, 1957)

Four novels have been recently reprinted in Spanish by editorial Grito Sagrado argentina.


* The new intellectual (For the new intellectual: the philosophy of Ayn Rand, 1961)

* The virtue of selfishness (The virtue of selfishness: a new concept of egoism, 1964)

* Capitalism. The ideal unknown (Capitalism: the unknown ideal, 1966)

* The romantic manifesto (The romantic manifesto: to philosophy of literature, 1969)

* Philosophy: who needs it? (Philosophy: who needs it, 1982)

Five trials have been recently reprinted in Spanish by editorial Grito Sagrado argentina.



Philosopher Robert Nozick, criticism of RAND’s work in his book Socratic puzzles (ISBN 0-674-81654-4). Nozick is liberal libertarian, so sympathizes with several conclusions of Ayn Rand, but disagreed with fundamental aspects of its work. In Socratic puzzles criticizes the foundational argument of Rand ethics: proclamation that life itself is, for every man, the final value is the value which makes possible to everyone else. Nozick says Rand did not explain why someone not might prefer rationally to die and have no value. According to this argument, the defence of Rand egoism is a petitio principii and RAND’s solution to the problem of ‘duty to be as’ David Hume is not satisfactory.

Greg S. Nyquist wrote Ayn Rand against human nature (Writers Club Press, 2001, ISBN 0-595-19633-0). In Nyquist, all randiana philosophy is the result of preconceived vision that Rand had the “perfect man”.

Scott Ryan wrote Objectivism and the corruption of rationality: to critique of Ayn Rands epistemology (Writers Club Press, 2003, ISBN 0-595-26733-5). Ryan, who is a libertarian, considers that the epistemology of Ayn Rand was not correct.


Rand novels to be published were denostadas critique literary as ‘terrible’ or ‘poor’, although also received some positive reviews. Who did not share that opinion was the public reader, that became early on several of his works best sellers, both within and outside of the United States, mainly due to Word of mouth among readers.

Experts in English literature and progressive cultural elite were generally ignored his novels. As an exception, literary critic Harold Bloom encountered significant enough Rand work for inclusion in its critical anthology American women writers fiction (‘writers American fiction’, Chelsea House, 1998).

Accusations of sectarianism

The Objectivist movement founded by Rand (and dissolved after its separation from Nathaniel Branden in 1968) has been accused of having been a destructive cult.

The first criticism here made her Murray Rothbard, in his text The sociology of the Ayn Rand cult (‘sociology of the sect of Ayn Rand’)

In 1999 Jeff Walker wrote the book The Ayn Rand cult (‘sect of Ayn Rand’). Chicago: Open Court.

Michael Shermer, founder of The Skeptics Society, wrote about this topic article «The unlikeliest cult in History» (‘the most unlikely sect of history’).

Ayn Rand responded to these criticisms by stating that ‘ A follower blindly is precisely what my philosophy condemns and I reject.» «The Objectivism is not a mystical sect

Personal criticism

People lived with Ayn Rand have written books on it which mixed with personal critical praise.

These books are The passion of Ayn Rand (‘the passion of Ayn Rand’;) (ISBN 0-385-24388-X), of Barbara Branden and my years with Ayn Rand (‘my years with Ayn Rand’;) (ISBN 0-7879-4513-7), of Nathaniel Branden.

Both authors have also been criticised in the book of James Valliant The passion of Ayn Rand’s critics (ISBN 1-930754-67-1).


* Ayn Rand a sense of life, 2004, a documentary film produced by Strand Releasing Michael Paxton.

* Branden, Barbara: The passion of Ayn Rand: to biography by Barbara Branden, 1986; ISBN 0-385-24388-X (pbk.)

* Rand, Ayn: Philosophy: who needs it, ISBN 0-451-13893-7

* Rand, Ayn: Virtue of selfishness, ISBN 0-451-16393-1

* Rand, Ayn: the Atlas Shrugged, ISBN 987-20951-5-9

* Rand, Ayn: The Ayn Rand Letters, vol. IV, n. º 2 November 1975. A Last Survey, part I; ISBN 1-56114-147-X