Ayn Rand

There is a new book in the White House and it was written by a Russian born woman. Her book expresses the philosophy of rugged, uncompromising individualism, the fear of an overbearing government and a conformist world in the corporate boardroom. The book now has a follower in the White House and many places of power.

Who was this Russian woman, she is Ayn Rand, born in 1905 in St Petersburg, Russia, who saw her family impoverished and driven to the edge of starvation by the Soviets, an experience that forged her contempt for all flavors of socialism. She left Russia in 1926 and immigrated to America.

Her first successful book was the Fountainhead published in 1943, which tells the story of Howard Roark, a brilliant and dedicated architect who destroyed one of his own buildings rather than allow his designs to be modified for some nebulous collective good. Then, in 1957, came Atlas Shrugged, the story revolves around John Galt, an inventor and capitalist genius, who leads a walk out of the people who actually made the country run, leaving the hangers-on’s to struggle to survive.

In those novels and in the lectures that followed she explained her philosophy called Objectivism. It described a belief that “man exists for his or her own sake, that the pursuit of happiness is the highest moral purpose, that we must not be forced to sacrifice for others. Her books described a country dying from over regulation and too much government control. One that had so many corporate sycophants that they slowed the wheels of innovation and in fact stopped progress. The world began to decay while the government and corporate fat cats continued to dance the night way.

Her work appealed to a reader who was young and searching for an ideology that presented a high ground for dreaming of and then becoming successful. One of her most early follower was Alan Greenspan who was later appointed by President Reagan to serve as chair of the US Federal Reserve. He was one of the architects of the Reagan free-market philosophy a bulwarks of American capitalism.

Now a new group of champions for Rand’s philosophy has arisen starting with Trump himself who named the Fountainhead as one of his favorite books. Along with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and CIA director Mike Pompeo have named her works among the most influential in their lives.

So why does this group claim to be inspired by her? The answer is that Rand shapes her hero as the people of action who get things done. She makes heroes out of entrepreneurs, people who shape the future by relying on their own instincts, intuition, knowledge and surrounding themselves with like-minded people.

However, there is a difference here, a transformation from the idea of all for themselves, to one of service for their country. These very successful people are giving up a life of billionaires to try to reform our country. This is far different from those who become rich and then build a bubble around themselves and their friends. These new heroes, who are working to save our country, have seen the opportunities that helped them become rich and successful; being destroyed the pass administration’s vision of re-distributing wealth created by our workers and giving it to other countries and people living here who contribute nothing.

Therefore, some of our best and most successful have stood up and said no more. Their intent is to roll back government and give the free market a chance to provide jobs and wealth to those who want to work for it. For those that just want to be supported by those who are working, things are about to change. No one will starve, but big screen TVs and cars are something they might just have to work for to enjoy. A new world where farmers don’t have to worry about the EPA declaring a seasonal stream a national waterway,  a world where proposed new rules are carefully examined to make sure they make sense.

In her book Atlas Shrugged Rand described a world where the finest and most creative people pulled out and setup their own enclave and allowed society to collapse , but today we have those same people she described as heroes standing up and working to re-establishing what made America great. They are enduring great personal criticism, yet working long and hard to return to us and our children the opportunities for success, we need to thank them greatly for their sacrifice and hope they can turn the tide so Rand’s prediction of our society being devoured by the demands of socialism never occurs.


  1. Harry Conner says:

    If you think Ayn Rand’s philosophy has ANYTHING to do with Donald Trump you need to educate yourself. Donald Trump is a dedicated statist.

  2. David Petrillo says:

    Do you really believe that Don actually read any of Ayn’s books. Having read them in college, I can confirm that they are “biggly” with small type and many, many pages. I bet Don hired someone to write his term paper in college about one of Ayn’s books. Oh, by the way, we are a socialist country. We have public roads, airports, Social Security, Medicare, public transportation, public parks, and many other examples. And make sure you thank a liberal for civil rights, labor laws, women’s rights, equal rights for the gay and lesbian community, and any other progress in our country. By definition, a conservative wants to keep things the same as in the past and has no desire to promote equal rights. If it were up to conservatives, blacks would still be slaves living in huts down south.

    • Teri Nehrenz says:

      If we are to thank a liberal for civil rights, labor laws, women’s right, equal right and gay rights…. why are the liberals still fighting for them? Or maybe the better question is If we are to thank them for those things why don’t the liberals think we have any of those things?

  3. Mike Young says:

    I had to look up Statist but Trump is defiantly not one of those. He favors getting the government out of the people business. Yes, he has to you the power to rollback all the government stuff. But so what. I guess I’ll have to demand a refund from my graduate school because they didn’t educate me enough. Although I only had a chance to talk with her for a few minutes, Ms Rand, I believe would be incredibly supportive of Trumps efforts. She dreamed of some hero like him to save a Democracy.

  4. Martin Locke says:

    Rand also believed there is no God and religion was for the weak minded. However, the corporate and fat cats are still dancing the night away in the USA and we don’t see Trump or Ryan doing anything, nothing, about it. Rand also said Medicare was worse than murder and no one should have government medical care. So, according to Rand, people like us who live in Mesquite are lazy, useless drains on society and deserve nothing but death.
    You can’t cherry pick a few passages from ANY book without comparing and contrasting the other side of Rand’s morbid and cynical look at life.
    P.S. If you believe Rand’s philosophy, you should tell VVWD to stop worrying about keeping our water so clean. Let the developers have it. Rand would.

    • Teri Nehrenz says:

      Martin, I have not read Rand’s book, nor do I particularly want to, but I do agree with her on a point you mentioned. Having worked in health care with a very strong emphasis on elderly care ( I worked at University Hospitals of Cleveland and we had a special grant to study A.C.E. Acute Care of the Elderly, I worked on that unit) Medicare and it’s elderly recipients are treated by many facilities as the lepers of the nursing homes and most especially those who have no family to look out for the care they receive. I assure you, it’s far, FAR less that the absolute minimum they deserve as human beings. Medicare doesn’t pay, they cap payments to these facilities and the facilities in turn don’t generally expend much energy on those patients. I have had sick elderly people brought to me on that unit who’s bodies were covered with sores, washrags would literally come back black with dirt and loose skin….I could go on but it’s graphic and ugly…then there’s all the medications they want to feed them, have you read some of the side effects? No, I don’t think recipients are lazy, useless drains on society…only that the government provides so little in the way of elderly care that many are completely consumed by worry, illness, fed medications that do awful things to their bodies and just perpetuate the need for “other” medications. Facilities don’t like having to accept the lesser payments and the care reflects that too much of the time. Sorry, it is a sad truth….it’s a very slow and painful death to those who rely strictly on Medicare for their healthcare needs. I’ve a sister in law who lives in Canada, she pays out the butt in taxes for socialized medical care but has to wait nearly as long as our veterans do for anything to be done, you could die first in some cases. To rely on the government for anything like that is a fate worse than death. You may not be in that economic class, but trust me, I’ve seen it and I fully agree with what she’s saying. It’s very sad for anyone in that situation. Perhaps you’re not reading what she’s saying with the same vision or experiences. As I said, I have not read her book, don’t know anything about her and in reading that one sentence, I can see her point completely. I don’t think for one minute she’s saying what you think she’s saying…of course I am not familiar with the rest of the content and cannot be sure of the context, it’s just my guess by the statement alone.

      • Martin Locke says:

        So what is the alternative Teri. Let’s hear your vision for replacing Medicare.

        • Teri Nehrenz says:

          MY vision is for humans to be HUMANE when it comes to taking care of those who have lived, worked and contributed to our world; unfortunately humans are the least HUMANE species I know and my vision will never come to light until after I’ve died.

  5. Andrea Hendricks says:

    Perhaps Mr Young could apply Ayn Rands philosophies to his job as our Mesquite representative to the Board of Directors at Overton Power District to get something done instead of maintaining the status quo on doing nothing new. What have YOU done, Mr Young, as a government official to follow Ayn Rands lead?

    • Mike Young says:

      Unfortunately, I haven’t seen you at any of the meetings or you might know we the Board only provide guidance, support and direction; it’s the staff that accomplishes things. And they have accomplished many, many things: Re-financed an 8% 15 million dollar loan down to about 4%, Almost 10 years without a lost time accident, Installed new equipment throughout the system, initiated a new notification system for emergencies, negotiated a new energy contract what will maintain stable rates for the next 5 years plus which will allow us to pay down our high debt. Personally, I’ve attended classes to allow me to become a better Director (9 so far). Recently I went to Carson City to meet state legislators to talk about upcoming bills that might affect OPD on my own time. I was accompanied by other Board members who are also doing their part for the community. I’m sorry I haven’t lived up to your standards, but I’m trying to make a difference and help guide the District into the future the best I can. The Board and the Staff are all standing tall and doing our part, what about you?

  6. Connie Foust says:

    A very interesting article. I have read Rand and followed her Objectivist philosophy over my entire life. I believe in free market capitalism and it is kinder to expect a man rise to his true human potential than for society to push him to the bottom with handouts. One needs to look to many of our Native American communities throughout the country who were put on reservations, given money and no way to make a living to see what socialism is in today’s form.

    It takes courage Mike, to step out and say what needs to be said and take the hits from those who never read Rand, nor gave it deep thought.

    Ms. Hendricks – Mike has done a lot to make good changes to the board. Have you ever attended a meeting to see what’s going on? I suspect no. People who serve or try to serve deserve more than a cheap shot from the sidelines.

  7. David Petrillo says:

    Mr. Young,

    I appreciate your efforts on behalf of the local power board.

    You obviously are one of the people who bought into Trump’s “make America great again”. At what point in our history was the last time that America was great? I need to know this so I can figure out where we are heading.

    • Mike Young says:

      Great question David, I thought I had a quick answer but thinking a little on the subject brought me back to the same place, Nice Slogan but what do we really want. I’m re-reading an excellent book “the 5000 Year Leap” which is about the formation of our type of government. I hope you don’t mind but I want to do a lot more thinking about your question and I will devote my next column to the answer.

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