Ayn Rand

Happy 105th Birthday, Ayn Rand!


Ayn Rand: She's hot. She's sexy. She's dead. But if she wasn't, she'd be 105 years old today! Over a century after Alisa Rosenbaum was born in St. Petersburg, she's bigger than ever.

A Twitter meme today suggests celebrating her birthday by "kicking a homeless person in her honor." But that's totally unfair to Rand, since even the people who only read the dirty bits in The Fountainhead know, Rand would prefer that we celebrate by kicking the person who most perfectly embodies Objectivist values:


For a more G-rated option (well, PG-13 anyway) why not enjoy a sampling from Reason's Rand archive in her honor?:

"She's Back! Ayn Rand is bigger than ever. But are her new fans radical enough for capitalism?" by Brian Doherty

"The Ayn and Only: Cult-empress or great thinker?" by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Will Everyone Please Stop Freaking Out Over Ayn Rand?!?" by Peter Bagge

"Ready for Her Close-Up: Re-examining Ayn Rand's place in American intellectual and cultural life" by Nick Gillespie

"What's Wrong With Ayn Rand: The goddess of reason wasn't so reasonable" by Shikha Dalmia

"Why Ayn Rand is Hot Again: The unconservative Ayn Rand and her relationship to the American right" by Brian Doherty

"Ayn Rand at 100: Loved, hated, and always controversial, the best-selling author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is more relevant than ever" by Cathy Young

Watch "Rand-O-Rama: The Long Shelf Life of Ayn Rand's Legacy" below:

Go here to Reason.tv's entire series "Radicals for Capitalism: Celebrating the Legacy of Ayn Rand."

NEXT: Timmy von Trimble, Call Your Office

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  1. A Twitter meme today suggests celebrating her birthday by “kicking a homeless person in her honor.” But that’s totally unfair to Rand

    And your stupid, tedious, recycled snark isn’t?

    1. Can someone find the most offensive thing KMW has posted about Obama?

      Or is she one of the stupid reason staffers that voted for the fucker?

    2. It’s funny that KMG did anything snarky. Usually the whole demean a woman of achievement thing, especially sexually (the dominatrix picture) is done by men (Letterman/Palin etc). But making cracks about the foibles of those with superior accomplishments or drives is a universal vice.

      Rand remains almost unique (except for Palin and Thatcher) in being a woman who is worshiped as a diva by heterosexual men. Usually super-women only get that from us poofs.

  2. Why, for the love of all that is good and holy, would you post that abonimation of a picture? I’m trying to eat lunch.

  3. Love that pic at the top!

    Brace for the boys crying for Lobster Girl.

  4. I know that lots of immigrants changed “ethnic” sounding last names, but does anyone know how or why she went from the perfectly fine “Alisa” to the how-do-you-pronounce-it “Ayn”?

    1. It rhymes with mine.

      1. So I’ve heard, but I’m still curious why and where she got it.

        1. The Rand comes from the Rand typewriter, Not sure about the first name.

          1. The typewriter story has been debunked.

            Nobody knows where she came up with the names.

            1. My memory might be failing me on this, so beware but In the documentary on her life, I think they say she got the name ayn from a comic book she use to read. I think the name is finnish. Forgot why she choose Rand.

              I do remember that one of the reasons she changed her name was to protect her family in the Soviet Union.

              1. Protect them from bad writing?

    2. It’s been discussed in the biographies. I believe it is some European actress she was taken with in her youth. I know I have seen an “Ayn” among the minor actresses in old Dietrich films.

      Rand is from her first typewriter, a Remington-Rand typewriter.

      1. Lots of people are named “Ayn” now perhaps because of her. From IMDB.com:

        1. Ayn Robbins (Soundtrack, Rocky (1976))
        2. Shola Lynch (Producer, Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004))
        birth name “Shola Ayn Lynch”
        3. Ayn Rand (Writer, The Fountainhead (1949))
        4. Ayn Cavellini (Stunts, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979))
        5. Ayn Ruymen (Actress, Private Parts (1972))
        6. Ayn Altman (Art Department, Clockwatchers (1997))
        7. Holly Ayn (Art Department, Meet Wally Sparks (1997))
        8. Cheli Ann Chew (Actress, Nobody’s Fool (1986))
        aka “Cheli Ayn Chew”
        9. Laurel Ayn Selko (Miscellaneous Crew, Double Jeopardy (1999))
        10. Ayn Nguyen (Actress, 1 Phone, 2 Phone, 3 Phone, 4 (2006))
        11. Ida Ayn Trisnawati (Actress, Le?k (1981))

        Ayn Olivia Vaughan (Miscellaneous Crew, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008))
        13. Sena Ayn Black (Actress, Hollywood Shuffle (1987))
        14. Ayn Wood (Actress, True Nature (2009))
        15. Ayn Marie Dimaya (Composer, Tumbang preso (2008))
        16. Ayn Imperato (Actress, Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Anymore (1997))

        Windy Duncan (Actress, Island Bruthas (2009))
        birth name “Windy Ayn Duncan”
        18. Melissa Ayn Eccles (Editor, “The Blues” (2003))
        19. Stacy Ayn Price (Actress, Yoko/Schmono (2009))
        20. Candace Ayn Lund (Thanks, “Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Rabbot (#1.1)” (2000))

    3. “A is A” and Ayn is Alisa. 😉

  5. Everyone knows homeless people are actually scientific geniuses and captains of industry in hiding.

    Used to be a guy who hung out at her and Frank’s Valhalla gravesite on her death anniversary waiting for people to visit so he could chat them up. I wonder if anyone does that on her birthday.

  6. Wow, thats pretty funny dude, you have to admit.


  7. Anthony Daniels thoughts on Ayn Rand and the World She Made are worth checking out:

    From the correct psychological insight that the allegedly compassionate sometimes use the existence of the weak and needy as a tool for their own social ascent and attainment of power?whole political parties, in almost every country, are founded upon this principle?it does not in the least follow that there are no people in need of assistance or that compassion for them is ipso facto bogus and a cover for the will to power. From the insight that government assistance to the unfortunate increases the number of the unfortunate, often imprisoning them in their misfortune, it does not follow in the least that it is right for human beings to be utterly callous and indifferent to the fate of the unfortunate. Human sympathy is, as Adam Smith himself pointed out, implanted by nature in the human breast, but Ayn Rand, to a greater extent even than Pharaoh, hardened her heart and expunged sympathy from it utterly.

    1. I was always curious what C-3PO thought about objectivism.

      1. Beep beep boop beep whistle.

    2. Yeah, right. So this must be why Dagny Taggart tosses the bum off her moving private railway car when the conductor catches him hitching a ride?
      Oh wait, she doesn’t?

      1. Indeed, anyone who says that Ayn Rand was opposed to personal acts of charity has not really been paying attention.

    3. “the allegedly compassionate sometimes use the existence of the weak and needy as a tool for their own social ascent and attainment of power?whole political parties, in almost every country, are founded upon this principle?” I would fix some for most.
      How voters keep falling for that is a mystery to me…

  8. zzzzzzzzzznnrphhh

    1. have you any gorse bushes?

  9. The only thing scarier than that picture of Ayn Rand is the Michelle Obama porcelain doll banner ad.

    1. The only thing scarier than that picture of Ayn Rand is the Michelle Obama porcelain doll banner ad Warty’s supernumerary pseudopenis.

  10. So she was 91 when the Reason Schwag girl was born.

    1. She didn’t live to be 91. Born in 1905, she died in 1982.

  11. So is Rand supposed to be some sort of libertarian? What is her connection to Reason, anyway? Tell me more.

    1. See those red thingies in the article? If you click them they will teleport you to all the answers.

  12. So, what’s a good drink to celebrate? I’m thinking something with vodka.

    1. I’m going to have a Manhattan, in honor of AR’s love of NYC.

  13. MOONSHINE is the drink of all true libertarians!

    Taxation is theft, dude. How many times do we have to tell you?

    1. Just because you can’t make vodka in a backyard still doesn’t mean the rest of us are similarly handicapped.

  14. Here’s why snark like “kick a homeless person” works as snark, for our species:

    We are selfish creatures who have had to learn a way to work together to achieve our ends. One way to enable that working together is to appear to be altruistic — show that we are not “defectors” in a game theoretic sense. For some people, the need to be seen as altruistic — the need, at any cost, to cover up their utter selfishness — is served by loudly and publicly condemning any expression of selfishness.

    It’s sort of like the secret pr0n hound going out on a crusade against pr0n. “They’ll never suspect I love this stuff if I condemn it loudly and publicly! I’m so clever…”

    I strongly suspect that those who go out of their way to condemn Ayn Rand’s morality of self interest are the most narrowly selfish and self-interested beings on the planet, and some of them no doubt suffer incessantly in a psychological sense, wishing they could purge this natural tendency.

    Unfortunately, in their attempts to purge this selfishness, they often inflict their altruistic schemes, backed by government force, on the rest of us.

    In my view, the very loud and public altruist is someone to be despised, mistrusted, and avoided.

    1. We hate most in others that which we hate most in ourselves.

    2. Very topical — I am watching the John and Elizabeth Edward’s show. Waaa!! I have cancer. Waaaa! My wife has cancer. Our baby died. I am going to help Haiti — clear me an air strip — get those damn planes delivering food out of the way!

      All the while lying about all the screwing and whose baby it is in order to attempt to become POTUS, no matter what it would have done to the country or the Democrap party.

      We need to bring back guillotines.

  15. I doubt that Rand was offended by the reality that people sometimes need help. I’m certain she was offended by those who adopt helplessness as a lifestyle.

    1. Really? Because you can’t get more libertarian than gutterpunk.

  16. I think reason has done more photoshopping to attack Ayn Rand than to attack the current socialist fuck we have in office: Obama the turd.

    Can we start getting some pictures with Obama’s face inserted various places?

    1. The dominatrix pic is from an article in Gentleman’s Quarterly or Details by some little ‘mo Letterman wannabe named Andrew Cohen or somesuch that ran a few months ago. The Reasonoids didn’t start it, they just reproduced it. If they run it again I am going to stop defending them when the paleo-Hoppeian-libertarian-Mises Instituter etc etc out in the woods start talking about shootin’ ’em some revenuers and Beltway libertarians.

    2. But how are they to top that “Joker” pic?

      1. They could post it more often than the Rand illustration.

        But then again remember how many of the stupid reason retards voted for Dear Leader. Further, how many of the fuckers have actually apologized for it?

  17. I seem to recall a certain webathon conducted by a certain foundation that owns and operates a certain magazine and website, that made certain promises about the posting of a certain image of a certain Lobster Girl and a certain image of a certain libertarian heroine, in the event that certain commenters donated enough to reach a certain monetary goal.

    1. Yes Tulpa, “Mother Jones” did that today in their Ayn Rand fetschrift. They have been scooping Reason all month. Go over there and post.

  18. Ayn Rand fans should GO GALT already. We socialists will surely perish without you, but it’s a risk we are all willing to take so GO GALT!

    1. Uh, not to rub your face in the fact that you are an idiot Nhoj, but you are getting your wish every day, as your socialized education systems produce more unemployable illiterate “graduates” and dropouts and your socialized monetary systems create unemployment and booms and busts.

      I see from what you leave behind as you type that without someone else you can’t even wipe.

      1. I see from what you leave behind as you type that without someone else you can’t even wipe.

        Masterful put-down. You leave me in awe, sir.

  19. But Richard you and Anthony Daniels are simply liars.

    Ayn Rand never said people should not have compassion or be magnanimous.

    She said that these are not the greatest virtues, but middle level or minor ones. She said that the individual human life does not require tragedy and disaster, bandaging wounds and feeding the starving, to justify it.

    You would have to actually understand her ethics to get that she isn’t just the negative image of your received ethics, the detritus of the altruist tradition delivered to you by various religions created centuries ago.

    You assume if she rejects your tradition’s claim that serving others is the highest virtue and the only justification or excuse for allowing people to exist (one thinks of George Bernard Shaw’s belief that everyone should have to go before a government board annually and explain why they should be allowed to continue to live because they still contribute to others) she is hard hearted.

    But she rejects your entire tradition and all its imagery. In your tradition selfishness is bad, but selfishness to you would be epitomized by a gluttonous, substance abusing, serial killer pedophile rapist, who is a bundle of boundary-less urges that are never denied, and that your Church and State get to enslave us all to protect us from. That that is the boogeyman you invoke to show us how bad selfishness is discredits your entire mystical worldview, since no one wants that life for themselves outside of North Korean dictators and some tribal chieftains.

    You don’t know what selfishness is; Rand did and wrote about it. All your “thoughts” about the matter are worthless; you are just a player piano of Judeo-Christian bromides.

  20. She said that the individual human life does not require tragedy and disaster, bandaging wounds and feeding the starving, to justify it.

    Essentially she said that evil, tragedy, and misfortune should never be given any real importance in life – that one should not permit them to overwhelm one’s desire to live and enjoy the values in one’s life, and that evil has that power only if one grants it. Don’t let the bad matter.

  21. Dear Jesus not this again. I love to get this in on any AR thread. My definition of “selfish” is personified by my Rand-Groking “friend” who, in the 3 years I’ve known her has yet to keep a single promise or hold a consistent viewpoint. And when reminded of previous viewpoints or promises gets hugely insulted.

    1. Seriously? You post this vague anecdote on any thread involving Ayn Rand? What a great contribution to the discussion.

      If you knew more than one self-professed Objectivist you’d know that they reserve some of their most stinging character rebukes for others of their own kind.

    2. Why would what some friend of yours does who reads Ayn Rand have to do with Ayn Rand or her ideas?

      Are Jesus, Martin Luther, and Thomas Aquinas personally responsible for Ted Haggerty’s sleeping with men or for Fred Phelps’ calling for the deaths of men who sleep with men?

      Ayn Rand believed in making distinctions (thinking) and taking people as individuals who are responsible for their own actions.

      Or perhaps you are right. I mean, not keeping promises is such an extremely unusual occurrence. What could explain it except for Ayn Rand? (Unless she has been dipping into the Tolkein or Isaac Asimov!)

  22. At 105, it is not that Ayn Rand is bigger, but what she gave us that justifies what our founders described that is bigger. It is because we have all left things to chance and are now paying the price that makes what she said bigger. The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon and claysamerica.com describes the 19th century Democrats who followed Jefferson and Madison, contrasted with modern Democrats who follow Rousseau and Marx, that being what Rand found of no worth as was the Old World. claysamerica.com

  23. Ayn Rand can suck on my hairy ballz.

    Have fun adding actual masturbation over Rand to your everyday intellectual masturbation… Jesus, there are few things more annoying than a libertarian (other than an Objectivist…)

    1. Then why are hanging out at a noted libertarian site, genius?

  24. What is the boundary-less urge to spout gutter language to a relatively unlimited public? Have they no sense of propriety? Yes, I AM a libertarian. I do NOT asault people who hold dissenting views with my own differing views phrased in deliberately inciting gutter language. I believe that use of force (instead of reason) is anathma to one of the tenets of libertarianism. Is it not?

  25. Maybe the socialists engaged in their daily Five Minute Hate could state WHERE in Ayn Rand’s books someone kicks a homeless person? Oh wait, they can’t find anywhere, because their sick and despicable minds tend to make these things up about those they hate!

    You can add intellectual totalitarianism to that – American socialists cannot accept that there is even ONE SINGLE BOOK IN EXISTENCE that presents a sober view of a regular well-meaning contemporary social-democratic state that ends up being evil, as opposed to the approximate ONE MILLION books and films regularly lauded and given literary awards where private companies and profit-seeking individuals represent the antagonist.

    If anything, this blog post makes me happier, because it shows that there is even less of value and sense in you than my at times excessively good nature hopes for. Thanks.

  26. After reading the blog post again I can’t find the same maliciousness in the author’s post as in those she links to, so I sincerely apologise. My feelings about attributing a false hatred of poor people to Ayn Rand still stands.

    To expand briefly on why so many progressives have problems with Ayn Rand:

    Firstly, they want the state to be a womb for people. A unifying, equal womb where there are no distinctions between groups and everyone melts together. Individualism is frequently described as a source of evil and problems in progressive ideology, at best a force to be tamed and channeled. Marx solved this problem by stating that people educated correctly would cease wanting individual goods, and obviously failed – there’s no coincidence that “re-education camps” have been a feature of every communist society in history.

    Secondly, they want to found this on a feeling of obligation and guilt towards society and poor people – as if everyone, especially the wealthy, carry a fundamental debt towards society. Consequently, no rich person should ever deserve a “thanks” for paying tax – because tax is REPAYING THE DEBT. This is a core problem for them – you cannot reach a socialist state if people feel entitled to their own property and that they owe nothing to society – only by manipulating feelings of debt and guilt can they control people effectively, or even make people control themselves.

    Ayn Rand says nothing about kicking poor people. In fact, she would say that someone kicking poor people should be punished. She simply says that rich people do not carry guilt and debt towards poor people, and that they deserve a “thank you” when they help. I always help people with a smile, but if they respond with the progressive ideology that I simply give them what I owe, I wouldn’t.

  27. I love the picture.
    Everyone seems to be here to get their panties in a twist or to have fun reading the criticism.
    For those who do not take it too seriously, congratulations, wisdom is yours.
    For those of you who were enraged and embroiled by this article, you are fools, no matter your standpoint. By presenting a furious response, you empower your opponent, giving them a personal win.

  28. “Stand naked at the edge of a granite cliff. Laugh, letting no one know why.” Then some pretty awful things start happening to a pig. Thus begins “Ayn Rand’s Head Cheese” at http://adjix.com/xpui

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