About Ayn Rand

By: Tamir Hernandez

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Early Life

Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. At the age of six, she taught herself how to read. By the time she was nine years old she decided that she wanted to make fictional writing her career. She was against the mysticism and the collectivism of Russian culture so she thought of herself as a European writer.

Schooling?

Ayn Rand attended the University of Petrograd. She majored in philosophy and history. After graduating in 1924 she began to attend The State Institute for Cinema and Arts, where she majored in screenwriting, because of her interest in western films and plays.

Why Do People Hate Her?

Ayn Rand's literature causes a lot of controversy and most people hate Ayn Rand because they have very superficial experiences of her views, and from a superficial view they look pretty bad. She wrote books with titles such as "The Virtue of Selfishness" and such. Of course, she had a very particular definition of 'selfishness' which deviates quite markedly from what most people generally understand as 'selfishness', so a lot of people end up being opposed to her views without ever learning them.

Objectivism

Objectivism is the philosophy of rational individualism founded by Ayn Rand. It is the idea that there is no greater moral goal than achieving happiness however, a person cannot achieve happiness by wish or whim. Happiness requires that one live by objective principles, including moral integrity and respect for the rights of others.

What Affected Her?

Ayn Rand was affected a lot by the revolution of the communist Russia. Her family wanted to get away from the war and the fighting so they went to Crimea. Her fathers pharmacy was confiscated after the communist won power which caused them to loose everything and also brought about periods of starvation. Ayn Rand's struggles with the communism in her country changed her way of thinking. When introduced to American history in her last year of high school, she immediately took America as her model of what a nation of free was.
Ayn Rand interviewed by Louis Rukeyser (1981)