Ayn Rand’s birthday and a reflection on her contributions to individual liberty

Rights are not a matter of numbers – and there can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.”
Ayn Rand
(02/02/1905 – 03/06/1982)

ayn-rand

(photo: The Freedom Fighter’s Journal)

Today is the 108th anniversary Ayn Rand’s birth, and EVERYBODY is celebrating. (Not that there’s a Google doodle for her.)

Ayn Rand was a writer and philosopher. Born in the dying days of the Russian tzarist dynasty, Rand was not yet a teenager when the communist Bolsheviks swept into power by murdering Tzar Nicolas II and countless others, ushering in a seven decade campaign of terror over the Russian people.

Life in eastern Europe, especially in Russia/USSR, was not easy for Jewish families during these years. Decades, and in some cases centuries, of persecution of huge numbers of Jews and other scapegoated minorities culminated to drive huge waves of people from eastern europe and played a large part in the establishment of the Jewish communities of North America.

Rand saw her family, like virtually all Russians, stripped of their property following the revolution. Despite attempts to prevent her from receiving an education based on her background, Rand completed her degree in history at Petrograd State University in 1924. In 1925 Rand left Russia for the United States where she would live out the rest of her life and go on to become one of the great philosophers of the 20th century.

Rand was deeply effected by her youth. She witnessed the mob brutality and the crushing weight Soviet communism employed to stifle free-thought and free-markets and she understood that the two concepts were essential to human creativity and fulfillment.

Her school of philosophy, Objectivism, remains popular and many free-thinkers and traders around the world will be honouring her today and, like her or not, so will you. You will make a choice, based on your own desires. It might be to read this article, it might have been to stop reading on the first paragraph.

So, you can love her or you can hate her or you can just turn your head and deny her, go ahead. All those are choices we need to make because of who and what we are as individuals. Ayn Rand’s enormous contribution to liberty was to recognize it, embrace it and tell the world.

Here are a few more pearls Rand left us. Enjoy and reason.

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”

“To say “I love you” one must first be able to say the “I.””

“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”

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