Ayn Rand is a great author. No doubt about that. 2 packs of cigarettes a day, she destroyed her lungs. No doubt about that too. She spent the last few years in isolation….well well

I read Ayn Rand while in college. R A Podar college library introduced me to Ayn Rand. Then of course I bought my own copies – not sure if I bought it or my Dad bought it. He was a voracious reader, and our house was full of books – and me, my sister had full access to all the western, James Hadley chase, as well as the full Wallace, Hailey, Harold Robbins, and tons of not very famous authors. He also had Vivekananda, Churchill, Readers’ Digest books, Nehru, Gandhi…but the book that really had an impact was undeniably Ayn Rand.

She introduced us to the Virtue of Selfishness (which contradicted with Indian philosophies), Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead – which looked like a story book, but grew on you. It is very difficult to understand equity markets – in fact the American psyche without understanding AR. You could like her or hate her, but if you are an investor you HAVE TO READ AYN RAND’S BOOKS.

One Dr. Mohammed Khan a regular to this blog is a big fan of AR – and I am not sure if he still reads this blog. He used to comment regularly and is now silent.

Here is a person who is criticising Ayn Rand. That is not new, I have myself not been a big fan of AR. However doing audit of Psu companies and reading AR ensured that I only traded in PSU stocks never took them home!! Yes I still own NTPC and owned SBI for a long time – but these were the only 2 exceptions.

Understanding Managerial Remuneration and Managerial Incentive is easy if you read AR. Here is a person who has criticized AR for changing the attitude of a full generation of Americans..read on it is spine chilling. Assuming of course that you have read AR and hate / love her. If you have read, you cannot be indifferent to her writing.

http://www.rawstory.com/2014/12/clinical-psychologist-explains-how-ayn-rand-helped-turn-the-us-into-a-selfish-and-greedy-nation/

 

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  1. Love her or hate her, you can’t read her books and not be impressed. I read her during my college years and thought her writing was mesmerisingly bold and radical. And yet it somehow seemed incomplete and hollow – perhaps a reflection of her own personality.

  2. I loved Ayn Rand. Yes, she did espouse virtue of selfishness but it was more kind of anti-socialism ….. I’ve read it multiple times and enjoyed both the books whenever I read them.

  3. Hi Subra

    I’m back after a long time.. Thanks for meme in your blog!

    I’m an admirer of Ayn Rand”s works & ideology and like Mayank, I’m more impressed by her anti-Socialism than by the ‘virtues’ of Selfishness, which really should be ‘Rational Self-interest’.

    Just like the Buddha’s teaching of ‘unrealistic expectations lead to misery’ was misunderstood as ‘desire leads to misery’, I think that her teaching of ‘enlightened & rational self-interest’ has been misunderstood as pure selfishness, (which really is nothing spectacular, more decent people have a rational self-interest anyway), but her stridency is because she herself escaped from Stalin’s Russia and as an Jew of European origin, she was very much affected by the enormous turmoil of the Western world in the last century.

    She’s was not totally anti-state either. She was very much against ‘anarchist’ Capitalism as she felt that a strong but well-controlled state is necessary for Capitalism to flourish.

  4. America was / is / will be a greedy selfish nation existing of the $, by the $ and for the $.

    you need only 2 things to become popular in us. denounce rest of the world as poor and horrible (we the living) and hail american laissez fare capitalism as greatest (atlas shrugged)

    Claiming that ayn rand made america selfish is like the cat thinking world is dark because it closed its eyes.

  5. I don’t like her philosophy. I hate pure communism and she is polar opposite of it which I believe is equally bad. Yes she makes some brilliant points. I compare her philosophy to Mohammed Sami or Ishanth Sharma – occasional brilliance but in general mediocre. Human nature is opportunism. By giving power either through pure meritocracy (Ayn Rand) or pure power (communism), those who already reached the top make sure that there is no body who is going to displace them and past history is proof of that. You need a middle ground and even her admirers will agree with me when I say she is on the extreme.

  6. Dear Subra Sir,

    I purchased her books but unable to understand with that old english. Are there any other books in simple english to understand her philosophy written by others? Why her books are not being translated into Indian Languages (South)?

    Thank You

    SIVA PRASAD

  7. I have also read Ayn Rand books and was surely fascinated by her ideas. But I think we do need to have (and generally we do have)our own set of values and behaviours which are based on our experience and rational thinking and which evolve over time.
    May be due to this one need not blindly accept all that is written in a book.
    On the contrary what i have felt myself is an inner happiness when we help others. we become something more by helping someone and it need not be only with money.

    But I would surely say we need Rational Self Ineterst to stay away from those RMs and LIC agents who want to suck away our hard earned money 🙂

  8. Ayn Rand is definitely one of the two authors who had a major impact on me (Other being Leo Tolstoy).
    The article logic is laughable – just because someone in your eyes didn’t lead the life you think is perfect – all is wrong with him/her. It is saying I can’t make a good omelette because I myself don’t eat it.
    I had no idea of Ayn Rand as a person and it doesn’t make a difference to her writing.
    America is definitely more socialist than it wants to acknowledge. Education is free, you have social security and now Obamacare – all you have to do is to be born in US. I don’t remember Ayn Rand recommending that.

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