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Ayn Rand Reference

Articles, Books, Commentary

The Free Individual does not promote any ideology, philosophy, or authority. It does not, for example, promote, "Objectivism," which was the name Ayn Rand gave to her philosophy, and it does not consider Ayn Rand an authority on anything except her own views and writing.

The Free Individual does consider Ayn Rand an exceptional individual who lived her own life as a free individual and perhaps articulated many principles of individualism better than anyone else in history.

There are many articles on the Free individual both about Rand and her philosophy, "Objectivism," as well as articles by Ayn Rand. Many other articles make reference either to Rand or her philosophy. The following is a guide to those articles.

[See also, the Objectivist links in the Site Reviews]

Articles And Letters By Ayn Rand

Money—Francisco d'Anconia's Money Speech from Atlas Shrugged: "Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns—or dollars. Take your choice—there is no other—and your time is running out."

The Soul of an Individualist—The theme of Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead is: individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man's soul.

The Only Path To Tomorrow—In 1941, Rand wrote a 1,500-word version of an earlier unpublished work ("The Individualist Manifesto") entitled "The Individualist Credo," which was published in the January, 1944 issue of Reader's Digest as "The Only Path to Tomorrow."

Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point—"Most men spend their days struggling to evade three questions, the answers to which underlie man's every thought, feeling and action, whether he is consciously aware of it or not: Where am I? How do I know it? What should I do?" [New York - March 6, 1974]

"The Comprachicos"—How compulsory, "public," education destroys childrens' minds. [Written August-December 1970. The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, 1970]

Letters Published Online:
These letters are not included in the published, Letters of Ayn Rand.

Articles About Rand And Objectivism

Atlas Shrugged: Individualist Revolution It will be brought about by those who demonstrate to the world that what they chose to do is not only possible, but the only way life is worth living, as individuals free to live their own lives in the only way they choose to live.

Ayn Rand—individualist "That one word—individualism—is to be the theme song, the goal, the only aim of all my writing. If I have any real mission in life—this is it."

Ayn Rand and Christianity "I am not suggesting that you should take a stand against religion. I am saying that Capitalism and religion are two separate issues, which should not be united into one "package deal" or one common cause. This does not mean the religious persons cannot crusade for Capitalism; but it does mean the nonreligious persons, like myself, cannot crusade for religion."

Ayn Rand, Not A Physicalist She was not a physicalist, especially regarding human consciousness. Her views directly contradict those physicalist views sometimes expressed as, "the brain is the mind," or, as Steven Pinker put it, "the mind is what the brain does."

Ayn Rand, Doctors, and a Good Book When depicted in Ayn Rand's fiction, government control of medicine, the decline of medical services, and the loss of the best minds of ability from the field were already beginning.What was only fiction and only beginning when she wrote it, today has become a full blown horrible fact.

Ayn Rand's Mistake Sometime in late 1940 or early 1941, Ayn Rand began efforts to form an "individualist" movement that would counter the growing collectivist, socialist, and communist movements active in those years. She expended a huge amount of time and energy on this "project" which she firmly believed would bring a kind of counter-revolution and restoration of individual liberty and free-market culture to America. It did not work.

My Friend, Ayn Rand The ethical views we share, that the purpose of ethics, or morality, is to provide the principles by which one may live successfully and happily in this world. (2019)

Ayn Rand's Ethics Earlier version of "My Friend, Ayn Rand." (2010)

Psychological Flaws, Corruptions Ayn Rand's own characterization of homosexuality.

Ayn Rand, Beauty, Love, and Tenderness Rand frequently employed physical strength in her heroes to symbolize and express the more important strength of their moral character. but there is a mistake in how she portrayed strength. Strong does not mean rough or crude. Nowhere is this mistake more obvious than in her portrayal of romantic love.

Sex, Love, and Marriage This is a defense of marriage, not as it is practiced nor as it is usually understood, but as it ought to be practiced and understood. I regard romantic love as the highest good achievable by man, the ultimate value that provides the fullest expression of what it means to be a human being.

Objectivism: Critical

Beyond Objectivism—Retaliation There is no explanation of a connection between an individual's right to use force in self-defense and some supposed right to use force to "retaliate".

Beyond Objectivism—About Force There is no justification for the initiation of force by any individual or groups of individuals against any other individual or group of individuals, ever.

A Universal Mistake The concept of universals not only adds an unnecessary level of complexity to already difficult concepts, it blurs distinctions that are useful and important.

Capitalism: Not What It Used To Be It is unfortunate that people who ought to know better become so enamored of a word, that they would rather fight for the continued use of that word, rather than the principles it once represented, but no longer does.

Freedom Now What the Independent Individualist means by freedom is real freedom for real people in the real world, right now. Objectivists don't.

Individualism—Not Objectivism With possible exceptions, most so-called Objectivist sites and organizations dishonestly, or in Rand's terms, fraudulently, use the name Objectivist. They state plainly they do not totally agree with Objectivism, or that Rand made mistakes, while promoting ideas which are inimical to Objectivism.

Knowledge of Particulars Ayn Rand was primarily interested in solving the problem of, "universals." "The issue of concepts (known as 'the problem of universals') is philosophy's central issue," she said in the foreword to IOE. The mistake begins here and it is assuming that "universal concepts" are the only kind of concepts there are.

Measurement If the definition were only for concepts of physical existents, the "measurement omitted," idea works perfectly. In fact, however, most of our concepts are not of physical existents, but of events, relationships, and attributes (because there are more of those than there are physical existents); but even those are not the most of our concepts. Most of our concepts are of or about other concepts.

Objectivism and the State—An Open Letter to Ayn Rand [by Roy A. Childs, Jr.] Addresses the internal contradictions of Objectivist political theory.

Saving Science A Criticism of the Thesis in David Harriman's The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics

How We Know A critique of Dr. Harry Binswanger's How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation.

Saving The World The Objectivist method of saving the world is to change people. It might be doubted that Objectivists really mean to "save" the world. But they say they do, though it is sometimes expressed as "creating a new world," or "changing the world," or "creating a new culture"—and of course it will not work.

Objectivists: Critical

America's Descent Into Savagery Perhaps nothing more clearly illustrates American decadence than the fact those who claim to be followers of that philosophy which most clearly enunciates the principles America was founded on, have become advocates of so many things that philosophy rightly condemns. That philosophy is Objectivism, and the philosopher who named it is Ayn Rand.

Objective vs. Subjective Egoism Objectivists promotr a subjective version of egoism inimical to Rand's Objectivism.

Objectivist Frauds, Feuds, and Facebook The reason why these "Objectivists" are absurd is because they have processed Rands works with defective minds turning her philosophy into an ideological movement, which she repudiated and despised—like a religion—another grand scheme to engineer the great Objectivist society. It is just another form of collectivism and statism, different from other forms only because it denies its own nature.

Objectivists' War on Christianity Unlike Rand, who wrote, "I am an intransigent atheist, though not a militant one. This means that I am not fighting against religion, I am fighting for reason," unlike self-styled, "Objectivists," who fight Christianity, not for the truth.

OINO Hate Verses Reality OINO (Objectivists In Name Only) hatred of Christianity is a form of, "racism."

OINO's Paranoid Fear of Christians It is bad enough these, "Objectivists in name only," are ignorant of the religion they criticize and wring their hands over it in abject terror, as well as being ignorant of the history of that religion in this country, but they are even ignorant about the philosophy they claim as their own, and the primary purpose the author had in developing it.

Articles That Reference Rand Or Objectivism

What Is an Individualist In the entire history of the world every advance in civilization, every gain in knowledge, and every improvement in the human condition has come solely through the efforts of independent individualists.

Love and Hate at First Sight The five kinds of instantaneous recognition I will identify are: The evil of the evil, The evil of the good, The good of the evil, The good of the good, and The good of the highest good, which is love.

Freedom and Individualism Notes—What Is Freedom? I was recently criticized for not accepting Ayn Rand's definition of freedom. The criticism is correct. I do not accept Ayn Rand's definition of freedom, and neither does anyone else, because she never provided one.

Objectivist Frauds, Feuds, and Facebook Isn't it strange that all these self-styled Objectivists have some kind of pressing need for the approval and agreement of others, when Rand put into the mouth of her fictional hero, these words: "I think the only cardinal evil on earth is that of placing your prime concern within other men.

Untrue Things People Believe Penal Law Penal law is always retaliatory. It only pertains to crimes that have already been committed and therefore assumes they will be committed because the government will fail in its only morally justified purpose, to protect individuals from criminals.

Instinct Instinct is the automatic pattern of behavior with which all animals are endowed except human beings.

Dr. Edith Packer's, Lectures on Psychology—The "Subconscious" Fallacy In all of experimental, clinical, and therapeutic psychology, all that can be known about anyone's actual consciousness (psyche) depends on the testimony of the one to whom the consciousness pertains. There is no way to examine the actual conscious experience of anyone.

Introduction to Metaphysics (Old) I begin my discussion of metaphysics with Ayn Rand, not because she made much ground in that field, because she did not, but because she swept away all of the of the "metaphysical lumber" that plagued philosophy since Hume.

Freedom and Individualism Notes—Individualists Freedom is only possible for independent individualists. Whatever others mean by freedom, true freedom pertains only to individuals, there is no such thing as "collective freedom," and only the independent are truly free—dependence is the opposite of freedom.

Freedom Ethics The totally independent free individual is the only truly moral individual and only a moral individual is ever truly free.

Art, Censorship, and Morality—The Rantings of a Feminist Hedonist Feelings cannot determine what is right and wrong. Only reason based on one's understanding of one's nature and the nature of the world they live in can determine what is right and wrong. It is always one's values and beliefs that determine what feelings they will have about anything, and it is one's values one uses to decide what they will see, hear, watch, think, and read that will be of true moral value to them.

Individualism Is The Only Path to Freedom and Civilization If there is to be a restoration of "Western civilization," or civilization at all, it will be only as independent individuals choose to live their lives freely and in defiance of every collectivist and "social" movement.

"Never Take Any Of It Seriously"—Mencken and Rand So to worry about the terrible "injustices" one sees every day in today's society, or the world, is a distraction from what is really important in life. It is one of those things one should never worry about. Not only is it something one can do nothing about, which one should never worry about*, it is, in fact, an affirmation of the principles of truth, of the ruthless implacable justice of reality.

Racism and Anti-Semitism—Part I In any discussion of racism, only half of it's nature is usually recognized, the half that has to do with the identification of others. The undiscussed half is equally irrational and equally harmful. Ayn Rand is one of the few philosophers who identified both aspects of this terrible mistake.

Racism and Anti-Semitism—Part III Rand describes in detail the difference between the power of wealth as embodied in the successful businesses, and political power as embodied in bureaucracies.

Racism and Anti-Semitism—Part VI The growth of anti-Semitism world-wide is not just a threat to the Jews, it is a symptom of a disease, a malignant hatred that is a threat to all of Western civilization, what's left of it. It is a warning sign that was neglected before the Second World War, it is the same kind of warning sign today.

Morality and Freedom Only a moral society is a free society. But a society is not an object or thing. A society is a collective term like team, or band, or club. It is the members of a society (or team, or band, or club) that determine the kind of society (or team, or band, or club) it is. A moral society is a society in which every member is a moral individual. An immoral society is one in which some or all members of that society are immoral.

American's Lust for War American's love war. They revel in it, celebrate it, and promote it. There are thousands of organizations with no other purpose than to glorify and glamorize war.

Three Books—An Atheist's Defence of Christianity "Now, if men give up all abstract speculation and turn to the immediate conditions of their existence—to the realm of politics—what values or moral inspiration will they find?"

Freedom vs. Government If it is truly freedom an individual seeks, they will not find it in any government, system, or organization. Freedom, like every other value, must be achieved by the individual who enjoys it. In the world today, that means in spite of government.

Why Do You Want To Be Free? True freedom belongs only to those who want to do, and what they want to do is to achieve the highest possible ideal of life, satisfied with nothing less than their own independent moral perfection.

No More Philosophy What is a little surprising, or perhaps more exactly, disappointing, is the fact that not one of the remaining one percent of those who are not complete idiots are interested in philosophy either. Some of them claim an interest in philosophy but it is always some academic perversions of philosophy, written and taught by those who use the methods of philosophy, not to discover the truth, but to evade and obfuscate it.

Patent Absurdity and Tyranny of the Mind Why patents and copyrights are nothing more than government enforced coercive monopolies.

Who Is "We"? All political and social activism is by its very nature, "organized." The independent individualist is too busy being a creative productive individual to waste his abilities, time, and effort on the organized efforts of others. Organized efforts are for, "the incompetent and the unscrupulous." The independent individualist wants no part of them.

Politics, A Joke When I say none of it matters, I do not mean none of it is without consequences. Every war, every oppressive law, every violation of individual freedom is a consequence of politics. What I mean by it not mattering is that no moral individual needs to be concerned by politics beyond knowing what is going on politically.

Integrity—The Virtues Of The Moral Individual Virtues are the characteristics of a moral individual and a moral individual is one who lives by moral principles. Such a life will necessarily be characterized by the moral virtues.

Objective Ethics for Freedom and Happiness There is not much point in being free if one has no idea how to live successfully.

The Characteristics of an Uncivilized People—[American Decadence—Part 4] Today's society is dominated by incompetent dependents whose very existence relies on foodstamps and various kinds of government welfare and aid, whose jobs, if they work, depend not on competence but "afirmative action," or whose income is derived without producing anything as employees of make-work government agencies. These are not civilized people, they are parasites living at the expense of the ever decreasing number of productive members of society. Let any of these government wealth transfer schemes fail and they will reveal themselves to be the savage barbarians they are.

Seriously The purpose of life is not to fight evil, but to achieve good.

Ethical Principles Right, wrong, good, and bad are value terms, which means they only have meaning in relation to some purpose, objective, or goal. The purpose or objective of ethics is to identify the principles by which one may live a happy, successful, and fulfilled human life.

A Different Life True creators, producers, and innovators are always different, always individualists.

Be A Ragnar Danneskjold I certainly cannot publicly recommend that anyone, "break any law." Smuggling certainly is risky, but nothing is without risk in this life.

The Allure Of Anarchy All political movements are wrong. Anarchism, is itself, in all its forms, a political movement.

Repress, Repress, Repress One psychologists promotion of irrational subjectivism.

Nothing To Worry About Change whatever you can and accept and prepare for what you cannot change.

Against The Flow The free individual is different because he is, first and foremost, a creator and because all his thoughts and choices are his own—he follows no leader, only the leading of his own reason; he accepts no authority except the authority of his own mind.

Egoists and Anti-egoists It is the second-handers who have no ego of their own, no real "self" that become politicians, government agents, and members of that class in general always interested in imposing their will and ideas on others.

Decadence and Decency There is, however, a profound and important difference between the exceptionalism of the decadent and that of the independent individualist. The exceptionalism of the decadent is the result of psychological flaws, a weakness of character, or a profound mistake in reasoning. The exceptionalism of the independent individualist is the manifestation of a fully integrated psychology, strength of character and ruthlessly sound reasoning. This article is about the inability to distinguish between these two kinds of exceptionalism.

Mind-benders—Critical Thinking about Critical Thinking The expression, "critical thinking" is right out of post-modernist hell. It was invented to corrupt and distort everything the words "reason" and "knowledge" mean.

Religion And Freedom Freedom means freedom to believe anything one chooses, no matter how absurd or mistaken. Freedom itself, however, is not possible to those whose own mind is aleady enslaved by some mystic superstition or otherworldly unreality. They may be politically free, but true freedom is not possible to them.

Freedom, Not Vice As virtues are the means to life and one's success in life is directly commensurate with their virtues, so vice is the waste of life, and one's failure in life is directly commensurate with their vices.

What's Wrong with Humanism Because humanists claim to embrace rationality and science while rejecting irrationality and mysticism, one would expect their views to be objective and rational, but in fact, humanism is actually a kind of religion, dominated by subjectivity and credulity.

Atlas Shrugged The story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. It is Rand's most important and most influential book, the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club survey. An individualist rebellion in a collectivist world.

The Fountainhead A Hymn to the independent individual, the creator that must stand against the world, a true hero. Perhaps her most important and refined work.

We The Living Depicts the struggle of the individual against the state, and the impact of the Russian Revolution on three human beings who demand the right to live their own lives and pursue their own happiness. It tells of a young woman's passionate love, held like a fortress against the corrupting evil of a totalitarian state.

Anthem The story of the rediscovery of the individual in a collectivist world in which every aspect of live is dictated by the state.

The Virtue of Selfishness Objectivist ethics, which holds man's life—the life proper to a rational being—as the standard of moral values and regards altruism as incompatible with man's nature and the creative requirements of his survival.

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal Objectivist political theory which holds that rights pertain to individuals and that only a free society which guarantees those rights is compatible with the requirements of human nature.

The Romantic Manifesto Is usually presented as Objectivist Aesthetics, but was originally called a theory of literature, which is really the only aspect of aesthetics addressed.

Philosophy: Who Needs It A collection of essays on the necessity and importance of philosophy in the life of every individual.

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Objectivist theory of knowledge based on the primacy of existence, the nature of consciousness, and the nature of concepts.

The Voice of Reason Thirty one essays applying the philosophy of Objectivism to real-life issues of philosophy, culture, and politics.

The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution Originally titled, "The New Left ...," this is Rand's piercing analysis of the trends, philosophical and political, that lead to the leftist and environmental take over of today's society and culture.

For the New Intellectual Outline the principles that are the antidote to the ideas that have undermined Western civilization which must be embraced by intellectuals if Western civilization is not to be lost. Unfortunately they have not been embraced at all.

The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. I-IV 1971-1976 The Ayn Rand Letter, the last of Rand's periodicals, was a biweekly newsletter published from October 1971 to February 1976. This 400-page volume reproduces the entire contents of each issue.

The Objectivist: 1966-1971 The second of Rand's periodicals, was a biweekly newsletter published from 1966 to 1971. This volume reproduces the entire contents of each issue.

The Objectivist Newsletter Volume 1-4, 1962-1965 The first of Rand's periodicals, was a biweekly newsletter published from 1962 to 1965. This volume reproduces the entire contents of each issue.

The Journals of Ayn Rand A compilation of Rand's detailed journals mostly pertaining to her writing and the development of her philosophy beginning with here earliest Hollywood Years through 1977.

Letters of Ayn Rand Nothing reveals the person Ayn Rand was like her letters, which also put the lie to almost every criticism of her, revealing the depth of her character, her patience, her concern for children, her graciousness and gratitude, yet they reveal a woman who live by her principles of objective reason without compromise.

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers Edited transcript of a 1958 private series of extemporaneous lectures on the art of fiction. Covers the four essential elements of fiction: theme, plot, characterization, and style, with illustrations.

The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers Edited transcript of a 1969 lectures for potential writers of her Objectivist magazine. Covers theme, audience, philosophy, outlines, writing, and editing.

The Early Ayn Rand An anthology of Rand's writings between her arrival in America in 1926 and 1938, including movie scenarios, plays, and short stories.

Three Plays The courtroom drama, "Night of January 16th," famous for its open-ended verdict, plus two unproduced plays, "Think Twice," a clever philosophical murder mystery, and "Ideal," a bitter indictment of people's willingness to betray their highest values.

Russian Writings on Hollywood In 1926, a teenaged Ayn Rand wrote two booklets in the Russia about the American film industry, "Pola Negri" and "Hollywood: American City of Movies." Now published in English with facisilies of the original Russian. Included Rand's "movie diary," in which she recorded details of movies she viewed in Soviet Russia, Europe and the United States.

Facets of Ayn Rand With Mary Ann and Charles Sures—longtime personal friends of Ayn Rand.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z A useful compilation of Ayn Rand material organized by subject. Edited by Harry Binswanger.
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