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Transcript of Ayn Rand
New York City
St Petersburg, Russia
Rand born February, 1905
-Her father was a pharmacist
-She witnessed the Russian
Revolution & the communist take over
-Her family's business was taken over during the revolution
The family moved to Crimea where she finished high school and studied American history
Rand studied philosophy & history at the univerisity (which at the time was suffering from communist influence)
Remember: communism is the economic system in which all ownership is communal (equally distributed among citizens/state)
This often leads to totalitarian control by one tyrannical leader.
Due to this experience in Russia, she developed a strong hatred of any form of centralized control:
i.e. communism, collectivism, socialism- any form that placed the collective OVER the individual (the ego).
She saw ultimate freedom in America & spent her career warning against the dangers of living for the collective
She began developing views favoring a minarchist government (government is best which governs least- for protection)
New York City
Rand moved in 1925
She began writing her novels which expressed her political views through narrative.
She developed her philosophy "objectivism" which proposed ethical egoism as opposed to ethical altruism.
, her early novella, is a dystopian text which presents her version of a nightmarish society. It is one of her "cautionary tales."
Objectivism in her own words:
Please summarize Rand's view of our "moral purpose" (egoism-self interest vs. altruism- self sacrifice).
What do you think about her views?
Liberty vs. socialism
Do you agree with Rand's belief that the United
States is moving towards "complete collecitivism"?
Why / Why not?
Here's the basic scenario:
-old fashioned lightbulbs are bad for the environment
-government creates legislation to regulate certain types of lightbulbs (phasing out the old, and forcing consumers to buy the new)
-The intentions for the regulations are altruistic (sacrifice choice for environment)
Rand's views align with many of today's vocal politicians who believe in:
-economic/fiscal conservatism (unrestricted capitalism, lower taxes, lower government spending, elimination of "entitlement programs," etc.)
-some social liberalism (drug legalization, guns) - individual freedoms
Some liberalism with social issues and extreme conservatism with fiscal issues.
Because of these basic principles, her name is showing up in political discourse today (Paul Ryan, Ron Paul, Rand Paul to name a few)
What does Rand's egoism look like within an actual political debate? Let's look at the lightbulb controversy...
How does North Korea fit into Rand?
The REALITY of North Korean life can be compared to the horrors described in Rand's fictional dystopian text.
While reading Anthem, look for parallels between the fictional state of Rand's imagination and the realities of North Korea.
Rand extends this idea of ethical egoism into her political views. Do you think Rand would say that we (as a society) have a responsibility to look out for the poor, the disabled, or any other disadvantaged group? What is your opinion on this?
What do you think she have to say about The Affordable Care Act, taxes, abortion rights, or even legalization of drugs?
Who cares, right? It's just a lightbulb!
Republican, Rand Paul, US Senate (KY)
disagrees (using Randian logic).
What do you think of Rand Paul's position?
Do you think voters should be in favor of the measure to regulate lightbulbs? (ethical altruism)
Do you think voters should stand against the measure in order to preserve the freedom of choice? Can the free market to solve the problem? (ethical egoism)
What are some pros and cons of each side?
Juche (single party/self-reliant ideology)
Led by Kim Il-sung,
then Kim jong-Il
and currently Kim jong-Un
Described as a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by the Kim family. The use of propaganda and fear keeps "order" within the society.
DMZ- demilitarized zone. The border between north and south Korea along the 38th parallel.
Minder- someone assigned as an escort for a visitor.
Defector- a person who gives up allegiance to one state in
exchange for allegiance to another