26 April 2023

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand was the pen name of Alice O’Connor (born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum), a Russian-American writer and philosopher. Her most notable works were the novels The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957).

Rand condemned the initiation of force as immoral, and opposed statism and collectivism, but was also against anarchism. She was in favour of laissez-faire capitalism, and was one of the strongest supporters of liberty in her time.

The following quote is from her 1966 book Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.
In a capitalist society, all human relationships are voluntary. Men are free to cooperate or not, to deal with one another or not, as their own individual judgments, convictions, and interests dictate. They can deal with one another only in terms of and by means of reason, i.e., by means of discussion, persuasion, and contractual agreement, by voluntary choice to mutual benefit. The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial. It is the institution of private property that protects and implements the right to disagree and thus keeps the road open to man’s most valuable attribute (valuable personally, socially, and objectively): the creative mind.