Musings on the Young Rand

Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 11 months ago to History
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I often wonder about the young Ayn Rand, or, rather, the young Alisa Rosenbaum. Born and raised in Russia during the revolution, she saw horrific acts that placed her family in peril. She wrote extensively about the evil inherent to the dispropriation of people for whom no recourse was available. She experienced the difficult and inexplicable desire of others to remove from people their identities in favor of a dogma. How did she feel about this? Her novels and her non-fiction constitute clear evidence that she had good reason to feel distrust and disgust. Did her longing for justice mutate into a saturated revenge in the name of a tax thief? If so, do we share that belief?

She fought fascism and she fought communism. She fought state capitalism and she fought state socialism. She fought mixed economies and she fought pragmatist dogma. Was it enough? No, because she developed a complete philosophic framework to support and explicate her positions on the issues. She might have forgotten the faces of the men who stole from her family, but how would she forget their hammers and sickles?

At sixteen years old, she went to university. The school setting of the USSR should have removed the willingness to compete with an antagonistic ideological premise: altruism. Yet the only means of surviving altruism was to oppose it. Not only in her views, but integrated seamlessly into her own value judgments and desires. Her drive astonishes me to this day. She won success without compromise, like the giants of her two most famous works.

“It goes only down to a certain point and then it stops. As long as there is that untouched point, it's not really pain.”

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