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Ayn Rand's Life

Ayn Rand's Life

Member Spotlight: Vanessa Porras

It was terrible. I was ten years old when Hugo Chavez became president in 1999, and life got very depressing. We were no longer free. There was no more respect for us as individuals. There was no more private property.

Apr 17, 2020
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Marilyn Moore
6 MIns
Member Spotlight: Legacy Donor Dr. Greg Bulkley

A high school English teacher recognized my individualism. He introduced me to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance,” George Orwells’ novels 1984 and Animal Farm, Ibsen’s play “The Enemy of the People,” and David Karp’s novel One.

Apr 9, 2020
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Marilyn Moore
7 Mins
“Ayn Rand Was ‘Born’ Here: Rand’s Chicago Roots”

Thank you so much, Stuart and Elise, and yes, a special, special thank you to Elise. I empathize with what it’s like to be a part of an

Dec 17, 2019
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Jennifer A. Grossman
5 Mins
Member Spotlight: Niko Gjaja – Collectivism is a Pipe Dream

I was born in Belgrade, in August 1935, to a Ph.D mechanical engineer father and a conservatory-trained pianist mother. IN LIBRARY WITH R

Nov 5, 2019
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Marilyn Moore
9 Mins
The Legacy of Nathaniel Branden

The idea for a symposium on the life and thought of Nathaniel Branden came in 2012, two years before Branden’s death. Branden himself knew..

Apr 6, 2017
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Allen Mildenhall
5 Mins
Five Dumbest Comments About Ayn Rand the "Draw My Life" Video

Our new Atlas Society “Draw My Life” video, this one on Ayn Rand, has gone viral with half a million views on Facebook and climbing. Written

Aug 22, 2016
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3 Mins
Eight Facts About Ayn Rand’s Father

The term “father figure” expresses the influence and example that a pater familias has on most of us. Ayn Rand’s father was born Zelman...

Jun 15, 2016
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Edward Hudgins
2 Mins
Eight Facts About Ayn Rand’s Mother

For better or worse—and usually for the better—mothers are the individuals who have the greatest influence over our early lives. Anna Rosenb

May 6, 2016
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2 Mins
On Nabokov’s Birthday, Lessons in Liberty

April 22 marks the birthday of Vladimir Nabokov. Born in 1899, this writer had similarities to as well as differences from fellow Russian

Apr 22, 2016
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Talia G. Hudgins
5 Mins
Property Rights

When the “Equalization of Opportunity” bill forces Hank Rearden to sell off most of his companies, we see why property rights are essential human rights. Together with rights of contract, they allow everyone, including successful producers like Hank, to make rational, long-range plans.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Dagny confronts James

This scene, in which Dagny Taggart confronts her brother James about the need to upgrade a rail line, illustrates the difference between her rationality and his second-hand thinking. Dagny is focused on facts as she deals with the reality of a train wreck; James is focused on the opinions of other people.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Rearden And His Dependents

Early in Atlas Shrugged Part 1 , Hank Rearden has two conversations that illustrate the conflict between makers and takers. Hank made his wealth by creating value in his business. His dependent brother Phillip is a taker, self-righteously asking for charity; as are the politicians and crony capitalists who seize wealth by force.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Trade as Mutual Respect

Two scenes from Atlas Shrugged Part 1 illustrate Ayn Rand’s principle that when people engage in voluntary trade, exchanging value for value, they are treating each other not “as masters or slaves, but as independent equals”—the highest form of human respect.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Body and Soul

A series of scenes from Part 1 illustrate Ayn Rand’s view of the unity of mind and body, the spiritual and the material, both in work and in love. That theme is illustrated by the contrast between the two women in Hank Rearden’s life: Dagny Taggart, his business partner who becomes his lover, and his wife Lillian.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Rigid Principles

In a dramatic scene from Atlas Shrugged Part 2 , Hank Rearden tells a pragmatic young bureaucrat, “Try pouring a ton of steel without rigid principles.” His remark expresses Ayn Rand’s profound insight about the role of principles in human life, from science and technology to ethics and politics.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
The Root of Money

In the famous “money speech,” Francisco d’Anconia responds to of the Biblical statement "money is the root of all evil" by explaining the real essence of money. Money is a medium of exchange, the means by which people trade value for value. And it represents the fact that wealth must be created by production.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Force and Mind are Opposites

Premier coal producer Ken Danagger explains to Dagny Taggart why he is quitting his business. The government has imposed onerous regulations on him, and is now threatening to imprison him for an honest business deal with Hank Rearden.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
The Trial of Hank Rearden

When Hank Rearden is put on trial for violating a government regulation imposed on his business, he invokes the principle that individuals are ends in themselves, with the moral right to pursue their own lives and well-being—including the right to run his by business by the judgment of his own mind and to keep the fruits of his labor.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Atlas Should Shrug

When Hank Rearden is put on trial for violating a government regulation imposed on his business, he invokes the principle that individuals are ends in themselves, with the moral right to pursue their own lives and well-being—including the right to run his by business by the judgment of his own mind and to keep the fruits of his labor.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
Who is John Galt?

Karl Marx’s principle "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" is not a moral ideal, as many people have believed. It is flagrantly unjust, a prescription for chaining the individual to the collective and forcing the sacrifice of all to all.

Apr 15, 2014
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David Kelley
7 mins
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