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Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982). Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1987 - 2006. Alan Greenspan .

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Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)

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Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)


Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1987 - 2006


Alan Greenspan

“AynRand became a stabilizing force in my life. It hadn't taken long for us to have a meeting of the minds -- mostly my mind meeting hers -- and in the fifties and early sixties I became a regular at the weekly gatherings at her apartment. She was a wholly original thinker, sharply analytical, strong-willed, highly principled, and very insistent on rationality as the highest value. In that regard, our values were congruent -- we agreed on the importance of mathematics and intellectual rigor.”


Alan Greenspan

“AynRand became a stabilizing force in my life. It hadn't taken long for us to have a meeting of the minds -- mostly my mind meeting hers -- and in the fifties and early sixties I became a regular at the weekly gatherings at her apartment. She was a wholly original thinker, sharply analytical, strong-willed, highly principled, and very insistent on rationality as the highest value. In that regard, our values were congruent -- we agreed on the importance of mathematics and intellectual rigor.”


Ayn Rand and I remained close until she died in 1982, and I'm grateful for the influence she had on my life. I was intellectually limited until I met her. All of my work had been empirical and numbers-based, never values-oriented. I was a talented technician, but that was all. My logical positivism had discounted history and literature -- if you'd asked me whether Chaucer was worth reading, I'd have said, "Don't bother." Rand persuaded me to look at human beings, their values, how they work, what they do and why they do it, and how they think and why they think. This broadened my horizons far beyond the models of economics I'd learned. I began to study how societies form and how cultures behave, and to realize that economics and forecasting depend on such knowledge -- different cultures grow and create material wealth in profoundly different ways.


Ayn Rand and I remained close until she died in 1982, and I'm grateful for the influence she had on my life. I was intellectually limited until I met her. All of my work had been empirical and numbers-based, never values-oriented. I was a talented technician, but that was all. My logical positivism had discounted history and literature -- if you'd asked me whether Chaucer was worth reading, I'd have said, "Don't bother." Rand persuaded me to look at human beings, their values, how they work, what they do and why they do it, and how they think and why they think. This broadened my horizons far beyond the models of economics I'd learned. I began to study how societies form and how cultures behave, and to realize that economics and forecasting depend on such knowledge -- different cultures grow and create material wealth in profoundly different ways.


Paul Ryan, Congressman and former vice presidential candidate


Paul Ryan on Ayn Rand in 2005 to the Atlas Society


“the lifeline feeding any social system is a culture’s dominant philosophy and . . . Capitalism never had a philosophical base” (24).


The Fountainhead

How do her heroes act?


How do her heroes act?

They don’t maximize their economic position


How do her heroes act?

They don’t maximize their economic position

They are loners, exceptional men and women who are misunderstood by most, and who exercise the “right to disagree”


How do her heroes act?

They don’t maximize their economic position

They are loners, exceptional men and women who are misunderstood by most, and who exercise the “right to disagree”

They don’t work well in corporations; they don’t fit in; they only follow their ideals


Rand portrays not the rational, calculating economic actor


Rand portrays not the rational, calculating economic actor

but exemplifies in hercharacters and the world she constructs around them the “philosophical base” of capitalism, a world that is meant to reveal the values of capitalism


Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

“It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of . . . intransigent innovators that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. (See The Fountainhead.)” (9)


Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

“It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of . . . intransigent innovators that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. (See The Fountainhead.)” (9)


Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

“It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of . . . intransigent innovators that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. (See The Fountainhead.)” (9)

“Now observe that a free market does not level men down to come common denominator—that the intellectual criteria of the majority do not rule a free market or a free society—and that the exceptional men, the innovators, the intellectual giants, are not held down by the majority. In fact, it is the members of this exceptional minority who lift the whole of a free society to the level of their own achievements, while rising further and ever further” (18).


Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

“It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of . . . intransigent innovators that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. (See The Fountainhead.)” (9)

“Now observe that a free market does not level men down to come common denominator—that the intellectual criteria of the majority do not rule a free market or a free society—and that the exceptional men, the innovators, the intellectual giants, are not held down by the majority. In fact, it is the members of this exceptional minority who lift the whole of a free society to the level of their own achievements, while rising further and ever further” (18).


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roark’s testimony and summation (pp. 677 – 685)


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roark’s testimony and summation (pp. 677 – 685)

Manifesto on great creators


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roark’s testimony and summation (pp. 677 – 685)

Manifesto on great creators

“The creators were not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power—that it was self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He had lived for himself."


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roark’s testimony and summation (pp. 677 – 685)

Manifesto on great creators

“The creators were not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power—that it was self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He had lived for himself."


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roark’s testimony and summation (pp. 677 – 685)

Manifesto on great creators

“The creators were not selfless. It is the whole secret of their power—that it was self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-generated. A first cause, a fount of energy, a life force, a Prime Mover. The creator served nothing and no one. He had lived for himself.”

Dictators and rulers are falsely considered egoists. They are not. They are second-handers.

“Rulers of men are not egotists”.


Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)

Born Alissa Rosenbaum, in Soviet Russia


Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)

Born Alissa Rosenbaum, in Soviet Russia

Studies at Petrograd State University but is prevented from graduating


Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)

Born Alissa Rosenbaum, in Soviet Russia

Studies at Petrograd State University but is prevented from graduating

moves to United States in 1926

Encounters free-market economics in US


Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)

Born Alissa Rosenbaum, in Soviet Russia

Studies at Petrograd State University but is prevented from graduating

moves to United States in 1926, where she encounters free-market economics in US


Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982)

Born Alissa Rosenbaum, in Soviet Russia

Studies at Petrograd State University but is prevented from graduating

moves to United States in 1926, where she encounters free-market economics in US

Objectivism as inverted Martxism


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roak’s testimony (creators vs. second-handers)


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roak’s testimony (creators vs. second-handers)

Rand’s construction of character


The Romantic Manifesto

The source of art lies in the fact that man’s cognitive faculty is conceptual—i.e., that man acquires knowledge and guides his actions, not by means of single, isolated precepts, but by means of abstractions”


The Romantic Manifesto

Many readers of The Fountainhead had told me that the character of Howard Roark helped them to make a decision when they faced a moral dilemma. They asked themselves: “What would Roark do in this situation?”—and, faster than their mind could identify the proper application of all the complex principles involved, the image of Roark gave them the answer. . . . Such is the psycho-epistemological function of a personified (concretized) human ideal” (10).


The Romantic Manifesto

“Art is concretization of metaphysics” (8)


The Romantic Manifesto

“Art is concretization of metaphysics” (8)

“art is a philosophical composite” (33)


The Romantic Manifesto

“Art is concretization of metaphysics” (8)

“art is a philosophical composite” (33)

Romanticism defined as based on volition. “Man’s new enemy, in art, was Naturalism. Naturalism rejected the concept of volition and went back to a view of man as a helpless creature determined by forces beyond his control” (117).


Rand on manifesto form:

“The dictionary definition of “manifesto” is: “a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.” (The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, College Edition, 1968.)

I must state, therefore, that this manifesto is not issued in the name of an organization or a movement. I speak only for myself. There is no Romantic movement today. If there is to be one in the art of the future, this book will have helped it to come into being.”


Rand’s novel of ideas

Roak’s testimony (creators vs. second-handers)

Rand’s construction of character:character types that exemplify different positions of her theoretical system, especially her distinction between creators and second-handers


Howard Roark

No board has ever hired me—and I don't think one ever will" (311).


Howard Roark

No board has ever hired me—and I don't think one ever will" (311).

Declines being called a "victim of capitalism" by New League of Proletarian Art (347)


Howard Roark

No board has ever hired me—and I don't think one ever will" (311).

Declines being called a "victim of capitalism" by New League of Proletarian Art (347)

Roark like "one of his pet pieces of reinforced concrete" (351)


Howard Roark

No board has ever hired me—and I don't think one ever will" (311).

Declines being called a "victim of capitalism" by New League of Proletarian Art, (347)

Roark like "one of his pet pieces of reinforced concrete" (351)

"We are dealing, gentlemen of the jury, with the most vicious explosive on earth—the egoist!" (674)


Roark about Mallory

"you have a magnificent respect for the human being. Because your figures are the heroic in man. And so I didn't come here to do you a favor or because I felt sorry for you or because you need a job pretty badly. I cam for a simple, selfish reason—the same reason that makes a man choose the cleanest food he can find. It's a law of survival, isn’t it?—to seek the best. I didn't come for your sake. I came for mine." 328


Roark about Mallory

"you have a magnificent respect for the human being. Because your figures are the heroic in man. And so I didn't come here to do you a favor or because I felt sorry for you or because you need a job pretty badly. I cam for a simple, selfish reason—the same reason that makes a man choose the cleanest food he can find. It's a law of survival, isn’t it?—to seek the best. I didn't come for your sake. I came for mine." 328


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