Ayn Rand: a creative vision hated and adored by millions

by Jon Rappoport

February 16, 2022

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Here I’m republishing my 2014 article because, these days, beyond the manipulation of people and agendas, a few questions are still burned on the sky:

What is freedom?

What is freedom for?

What is justice?

These are not questions for people who believe they already know everything worth knowing.

“Why carry the burden of creating something and then having to stand behind it and be proud of it? Why think and imagine and create your own way into the future of your most profound vision? Why bother? And why, therefore, allow others to do so for themselves and cause disordered, disharmonious ripples in the great silent lake of humanity? Pull them down. Make them equal. Make them empty.” (my notes for The Underground)

The one glaring problem in Ayn Rand’s work is the overall effect of her hammering mercilessly on behalf of freedom and the individual—after 400 pages, her prose takes on a programmatic aspect. It grips the reader with iron. The moral imperative to be free replaces the exhilaration of being free.

On the other hand, she obviously wrote her two great novels in the middle of a feverish exaltation. Every page burned. Most characters went down in flames. A few rose into the sky. She knew she was up against the most powerful forces of society, and she was not going to compromise or relent one inch. She fully intended to destroy collectivism at its root. On the basis of that decision, she refused to suspend her attack, even for a moment.

Most people who brush up against her work can’t stop to consider the depth of her admiration for the independent and powerful and creative individual, or the nature of her aversion to the collectivist who can only borrow from such individuals, and then distort and undermine what they have misappropriated.

She means to be extreme. It is no accident. With no apologies, she splits the world down the middle. In her own way, she is an ultimate riverboat gambler. She shoves in all her chips on the self-appointed task of illuminating the great dichotomy of human history and modern life: the I versus the WE.

On a personal level, she possessed enormous ambition, and she wrote her two novels to achieve deserved recognition. Again, no apologies. She knew she and her work would be attacked by numerous critics who didn’t themselves own a tiny fragment of her talent. So be it.

To say she revealed “a thorny personality” in her relationships would constitute a vast understatement. In her later years, she no doubt contributed to bringing the house down on her head. But by then, her work was over. She stood behind it. She had achieved what she set out to create.

And every cultural messenger of her time reviled her.

“…nearly perfect in its immorality.”
Gore Vidal, reviewing Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

“…shot through with hatred.”
The Saturday Review, on Atlas Shrugged

“…can be called a novel only by devaluing the term.”
The National Review, on Atlas Shrugged

But then: “[The] creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men.”
Howard Roark, the protagonist of The Fountainhead

When people perceive their society is being infiltrated and taken over by collectivism, how should they respond? What is their ultimate fuel in the battle for liberty?

What do they resurrect as the ideal that is being scorched by collectivism?

Yes the Constitution, yes the Bill of Rights, yes the Republic. But what were those documents and that form of government there for in the first place? What WAS the great ideal that lay behind them?

And if very few people can recall the ideal or understand it, what then?

The ideal was and is THE INDIVIDUAL.

But not just the individual.


But not just the free individual.


Which is why I’m writing about Ayn Rand.

To grasp her Promethean effort and accomplishment, you have to read her books at least several times, because your own reactions and responses will change. She was attempting to dig a whole civilization out from its smug certainty about the limits of freedom, from its compulsion to borrow and steal worn-out ideas.

I write this because the matrix of modern life has no solution without a frontal exposure of the meaning and reality and sensation and emotion and mind and imagination of INDIVIDUAL POWER.

Ayn Rand, in her unique way, climbed the mountain of power and told about the vista that was then in her sights. She exercised no caution. She knew the consequences would be extraordinary.

The characters she creates who embody power are electric. You experience them beyond mere fiddle-faddle with symbols.

Rand wrote two novels that still reverberate in the minds of millions of people: The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

The books have inspired unalloyed adoration and hatred. They are received as a magnificent tonic or a dose of poison.

Readers who hate Rand’s work hate her for daring to present the power of an individual in full force.

Rand’s major heroes, Howard Roark and John Galt, are artists. Creators. They bow before no one and nothing. They imagine. They invent. They decide. They refuse to compromise. They leave the group and the committee and the bureaucracy and the collective behind them in the dust.

Society is ever more, over time, a mass concept. Society’s leaders, through illegal dictum, deception, and force, define a space in which all life is supposed to occur. That is the “safe zone.” Within it, a person may act with impunity. Outside that space, protection is removed. The protection racket no long applies.

Once a controller owns a space in which others live, he can alter it. He can make it smaller and smaller. He can flood it with caterwauling about “the greatest good for the greatest number,” the slogan of the mob. He can pretend to elevate the mob to the status of a legitimate “democratic majority” who are running things. He can con whole populations.

On the other hand, we are supposed to believe that individual power is a taboo because men like Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, Attila, and Alexander once lived. That is the proof. We are supposed to believe individual power is always and everywhere the expression of dominance over others and nothing more.

If we only take into consideration “what is best for everybody,” we will see our way out of the morass. That’s what we’re told.

Civilizations are being made more puerile because it is children who are most vulnerable to the “greatest good for all” maxim. It is children who can be suckered into that ideal overnight. And those adults who buy the maxim do, in fact, revert back in the direction of being children.

At this late date, significant numbers of people are waking up to the fact that “greatest good” is being managed and manipulated by new Stalins and Hitlers, who care about humanity in the same way that a bulldozer cares about the side of a building.

Ayn Rand, after growing up in the USSR, knew something about the paradise of the common man. She saw it play out. She could eventually look back and see, with certainty, that writing her two novels in the Soviet Union would have cost her her life.

She was acutely aware of the nature of compromisers. Such characters, brilliantly and mercilessly drawn, are there in her novels, in the full bloom of decay. Peter Keating, the pathetic and agonized architect-hack; Guy Francon, Keating’s boss, a socially connected panderer and promoter of hacks; Jim Taggart, moral coward in extremis; Ellsworth Toohey, prime philosopher of the mob impulse; Robert Sadler, the scientist who sold his soul.

Around us today, we see growing numbers of these very types, peddling their phony idealism over and over. Among them, Barack Obama, promoting class warfare, dependence on government as the source of survival, generalized pretended hatred of the rich, and a phony empty “we are all together” sing-song collective mysticism.

Again, keep in mind that Rand’s two major heroes, Howard Roark and John Galt, were artists. This was no accident. This was the thrust of her main assault. The artist is always, by example, showing the lie of the collective. The artist begins with the assumption that consensus reality is not final. The artist is not satisfied to accommodate himself to What Already Exists.

The dark opposite of that was once told to me by a retired propaganda operative, Ellis Medavoy (pseudonym), who freelanced for several elite non-profit foundations:

“What do you think my colleagues and I were doing all those years? What was our purpose? To repudiate the singular in favor of the general. And what does that boil down to? Eradicating the concept of the individual human being. Replacing it with the mass. The mass doesn’t think. There is no such thing as mass thought. There is only mass impulse. And we could administer that. We could move it around like a piece on a board. You see, you don’t hypnotize a person into some deeper region of himself. You hypnotize him OUT of himself into a fiction called The Group…”

Rand was attacking a mass and a collective that had burrowed its way into every corner of life on the planet. If you were going to go to war against THAT, you needed to be fully armed. And she was.

Rand was also prepared to elucidate the physical, mental, and emotional DEPTH of her heroes’ commitment to their own choices, their own work, their own creations. She wasn’t merely dipping her toe in the water of that ocean.

Howard Roark, her protagonist of The Fountainhead, remarks:

“And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways—by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. The creator originates. The parasite borrows…”

Parasites don’t want anyone to stand out from the group, the swamp. The presence of someone who is so separate from them could trigger alarm bells and confirm their deepest fear:

An individual with power and his own singular creative vision can exist.

Parasites want you to believe you’re just a drop of water in the great ocean, and once you attain “higher consciousness” you’ll give in and float in the sea, and you’ll offload that oh-so primitive concept of yourself as Self. You’ll be One with all the other undifferentiated drops of water.

In their ritual of joining, people are awarded a mantrum: “I’M NOT VERY MUCH.”

Just that little phrase can open the door into the collective.

In The Fountainhead, architect Peter Keating utilized a second assertion as well:


Keating, the social grasper, finds acceptance from people of influence. They welcome him and reward him with architectural commissions because, well, they think they are supposed to; after all, his name has been bandied about by “those who should know Quality.”

It’s a world in which no standards apply except the opinions of people who carry weight.

And Peter is conventionally handsome, he’s the golden boy, he’s quick, he can design buildings that look like other buildings, he can work with others, he can look like he’s enjoying life, he’s good at meetings, he’s congenial.

On what other basis should rewards be handed out? What else exists?

Unfortunately and fatally, Keating knows the real answer to that question, since he’s the boyhood friend of Howard Roark, the architect who does have a singular and astonishing vision, who stands beyond the crowd without trying.

Keating returns to Roark time after time; to insult Roark, to beg him for help, to be in the presence of a Force and breathe clean air.

Not determined enough to be himself, but still possessed of a shred of conscience, Keating is caught in the middle, between the man of vision and power (Roark) and new friends who offer him “the glittering world”—and the grips of this vise are unrelenting.

Adulation, money, success, fame, acceptance…Keating is given all these things, and still he destroys himself.

Here is why The Fountainhead provoked such rage from the self-styled elite: they’re committed to live on an insider’s rotting feast of mutual admiration and support, and in Keating they see themselves reflected with a clarity they’d assumed was impossible to construct. But there it is.

The very people who launched attack after attack at Rand, for “pawning off such preposterous characters as real,” were boiling inside, as they viewed themselves on the screen of her imagination: characters riddled with compromise, bloated with pretension, bereft of integrity.

The Keatings of this world carry water for their masters, who in turn find bigger and better manipulators to serve. It’s a cacophony of madness, envy, and immolation posing as success.

The world does not want to watch itself through the eyes of Ayn Rand. It does not want to see the juggernaut of the drama playing out, because, as with Keating, it is too revealing. And yet Rand has been accused, over and over, of being an author of cartoon personae!

She elevates characters and destroys other characters. She picks and chooses according to her own standards and ideals. She never wavers. She passes judgment. She differentiates vividly between the forces and decisions that advance life and those that squash it.

Again and again, she comes back to the fulcrum: the featureless consensus versus unique individual creative power.

Creative power isn’t a shared or borrowed quality. One person doesn’t live in the shadow of another. The creator finds his own way, and if that weren’t the case, there would be no exultant basis for life.

We are supposed to think existence by committee is a viable concept. This is a surpassing fairy tale that assumes the proportions of a cosmic joke.

For those whose minds are already weak, in disarray, unformed, the substitution of the collective for the individual is acceptable. It’s, in fact, rather interesting. It has the kick of novelty. And the strength of hypnotic trance.

The strategy is obliquely described in The Fountainhead by Ellsworth Toohey, a newspaper columnist and philosopher of the collective, a little man who is covertly and diabolically assembling a massive following:

“…if I sold them the idea that you [an ordinary playwright] are just as great as Ibsen—pretty soon they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference…then it wouldn’t matter what they went to see at all. Then nothing would matter—neither the writers nor those for whom they write.”

Reduction to absurdity. An overall grayness called equality.

If the public is told the owner of a business didn’t create that business, but instead the public sector, the collective did, and if this theme is pushed and emphasized by others, eventually the absurd notion will take hold. Then it won’t matter what is done to the independent individual, because he was never really there at all in the first place. He was just an invisible nonentity.

Contrast this treatment of the individual with the stand that Howard Roark takes during his climactic courtroom trial, at the end of The Fountainhead:

“But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought.”

“We inherit the products of the thoughts of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make the cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane…The moving force is the creative faculty which takes product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator.”

“Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible.”

We are now in an age where EVERYTHING BELONGS TO EVERYBODY.

Obama is the latest in a line of demagogues who fully intend to reverse the course of history. That timeline shows us the heroic struggle to replace WE with I.

From the earliest days of our planet, since its habitation by humans, the tribe and the clan and the priest class and the monarchy, all claiming divine right, have enforced the WE. Finally, the I, which was always there, emerged fully enough to overthrow criminals and murderers who were restraining the individual.

But now we are being pulled back into the primitive swamp of the past, through the systematic application of a pseudo-philosophy. The I is turning back into the WE.

To people who carry advanced technological devices around with them wherever they go, which give them the capability to communicate instantaneously with anyone on the planet, this prospect seems harmless or ridiculous or irrelevant or comfortable.

The “I turning back into WE” is happening because IDEAS are slipping away as useful and necessary instruments of survival.

New generations are being raised and schooled in a sulfurous atmosphere of slogans designed to dead-end in a foggy “share and care” terminal, where “everything for everybody” and other so-called humanitarian banners wave in the rafters above secular leaders, who speak like priests and assure us that, very soon, the world will be a better place because we, as individuals, are absolving ourselves of the need to think of ourselves as individuals.

O yes, thank God, we are melting down. We are becoming One with All. Why carry the burden of creating something and then having to stand for it and be proud of it? Why think and imagine and create your own way into the future of your best and most profound vision? Why bother? And why, therefore, allow others to do so and cause disordered, disharmonious ripples in the great silent lake of humanity? Pull them down. Make them equal. Make them empty.

Let us, as ancient Greek vandals once did, chop away our most sacred statues, the ones that represent the I, and then let us watch as WE is reinstalled at the entrance to every public building.

Within the WE, individuals can hide and escape and postpone and delay, and imbibe the drug of forgetfulness, and listen to the chimes of paradise.

Roark continues to mount his courtroom speech: “An architect uses steel, glass, and concrete, produced by others. But the materials remain just so much steel, glass, and concrete until he touches them. What he does with them is his individual product and his individual property.”

Obama: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Roark: “Rulers of men…create nothing. They exist entirely through the persons of others. Their goal is in their subjects, in the activity of enslaving.”

Obama: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Roark: “When the first creator invented the wheel, the first second-hander invented altruism.”

Obama: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Roark: “The love of a man for the integrity of his work and his right to preserve it are now considered a vague intangible and an inessential.”

Obama: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Ayn Rand could be viewed as a tragic figure, but she would deny it, even in her darkest hour, just as her character, Howard Roark, would deny it.

She not only knew where she stood, she fleshed out, to an extraordinary degree, that position, in two astonishing and unique novels. Bolts from the blue.

She and her books were hated and adored, as no other author and no other works of the 20th century.

Exit From the Matrix

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

40 comments on “Ayn Rand: a creative vision hated and adored by millions

  1. RSBP says:

    In The Fountainhead, architect Peter Keating utilized a second assertion as well:


    Keating, the social grasper, finds acceptance from people of influence. They welcome him and reward him with architectural commissions because, well, they think they are supposed to; after all, his name has been bandied about by “those who should know Quality.”

    It’s a world in which no standards apply except the opinions of people who carry weight.

    Those few lines describes what “peer review” is and the total sham of the vast majority of “scientific / medical” research. As one who was involved in the “game of research” it was amazing to see pretty much everyone cater to the funding body who was paying the bills and wanted a certain result. Money talks, and the prestige of doing what the masters want and getting elevated in your field outweights what the “I” knows is right and honorable.

    I ended up not doing the PhD and ended up getting a real job in the end.

    Thanks again Jon for your research and insights!

    • Carol Crumlish says:

      Thanks for your comments here. I, too, shunned getting a PhD because I love learning too much and chose, instead, to go out into the real world. Yes, I understand where you are coming from!

  2. Opie Poik says:

    She was a dictator of freedom, a cult leader:

    “Under Randian theory, emotions are always the consequence of ideas, and incorrect emotions the consequence of wrong ideas, so that therefore, personal dislike of other (and especially of leading) Randians must be due to a grave canker of irrationality which either had to be kept concealed or else confessed to the leaders. Any such confession meant a harrowing process of ideological and psychological purification, supposedly ending in one’s success at achieving rationality, independence, and self-esteem and therefore an unquestioning and blind devotion to Ayn Rand.”

    This article contains many examples of pure cultism tactics. She PRETENDED to be for freedom. Granted, she killed no one (but herself – with tobacco).

    • Bob says:

      Aren’t you, by merely repeating someone elses opinion, an example of the We over I?

    • Eluard says:

      That’s some SICK stuff in tbat article and I’m only halfway through it. It’s like any other cult, you can see all the rituals, the shame, the accusations, the need to be cleansed, the “struggle” sessions and the ex-communications. The loss, oh how very IRONICALLY, of Jon’s beloved Individuality. It reads like what the Weathermen became.

      I’m obviously a fan of Jon’s work and I have all 3 of his un-matrix programs, though I still have a ways to go in reading and listening. I adhere to his stance as an artist and individual creator but ANYTHING too much focused on can lead to Imbalance. And the extreme of that is cultism and surrender of one’s own sovereign decision making. We don’t live on a planet of our own, though we do create our own realities. Blazing our own trail shouldn’t mean disconnecting from others or listening to divergent points of view. And yes, sometimes being influenced by them.

      Balance is not easy to achieve. One thing I’ve learned is that extremes tend to fatigue and deplete one’s energies.

      • john-oranje says:

        Maybe the whole point of the article and Ayn
        Rand’s novels is to provide balance by providing
        a counter weight to the relentless WE over I
        brainwashing of the people in order to control

        Collectivism as an ideology seeks to prevent
        anyone acting or expressing themselves outside
        of the ‘normal’ or the generally accepted

        The rebellion against authority, back in the
        sixties created its own orthodoxy.

        Anyone speaking against ‘free love’ or pornography or violence in the movies was condemned.

        Does anyone remember Mary Whitehouse, in the UK, who was speaking out against those things.

        She was right in that it has all got much worse

        I admit I was against her at the time.

        She was a rather unpleasant person in my opinion
        but she was able to speak out as an individual.

      • anexeraunetos says:

        It’s not extremes which lead to fatigue. Fatigue comes from striving for balance. Balance is an illusion.

  3. Anna Poulin says:

    I read you often, I quote you often as well… always giving you credit and posting your site when I do.. Have to say this is one of your best writing performances… I read it with great delight… it SO resonated with my spirit… that’s what this creative piece did.. it connected with my true Spirit My True Self… my creative Free Spirit… thank you …

  4. Dave says:

    The book, ‘Atlas Shrugged’, is a fantastic one. There is also a three-part movie or trilogy, by the same name, that was filmed. The actors change in each movie, but the characters remain the same. I’ve read and re-read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and watched the movies, several times. The movies remain very close to the book, which is rare in movies made off of a book, many times.
    She writes in a very descriptive style that makes you feel everything that is going on and almost makes you feel that you are right there taking part in the story.
    She was lauded by some and reviled by some, but her works speak volumes of truth, which is probably why some people hated her.
    The book is long at approximately 1600 pages, depending on the size of the book and print, but I would recommend it to anyone who is concerned about our freedoms and the effect socialism/communism is having on our country, today. On a note…the book and the movies are very entertaining and thought provoking and after reading the book or watching the movies…I’ll bet you won’t look at things the same way…that is, of course, if you really pay attention to what is happening or going on in either the book or the films.
    On a note…You’ll see the correlation between ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and our lives, today…even though this book was written more that 50 years ago.

  5. CMP says:

    Thank you, thank you thank you Jon, for this article. I remember Ayn Rand all too well. I read all her books as a youngin. Now I am an old youngin and will revisit her books.
    Her books were instrumental in shaping my perception of reality.

    I remember questioning myself and my beliefs when those smarter than me made mince meat out of her. I remember her interviews, especially with Jack Paar.

    If you have no guts, there is no glory. My gut always told me where the right path was. Never easy, I’ll admit. But over the years, and especially today in our created world by psychopaths, I find myself drifting back to Howard Roark.

    I have never been able to go along to get along. Ayn Rand was responsible for that and I have never regretted it. She was an amazing individual and I adored her works.

  6. maria says:

    Thanks Jon. This is to the point and helpful.

    The ‘I’ and the ‘We’.

    ‘Becoming One with All’ is suffocation.

    Merging is blending into the background as innoffensively as possible.

    It’s trying to avoid action. The option would be to celebrate individual existence maybe.

    But mankind does have a very tricky duality to deal with and its easy to be disproportionately self-serving.

    This whole dancing in half worlds is kinda verging on the impossible – but then so is a trapeze act.

  7. Sean says:

    Just picked up the Centennial Edition of The Fountainhead and more importantly am finally reading it!

  8. sk says:

    Atlas Shrugged is an interesting title. Atlas holds the weight of the world upon his shoulder. A shrug is a weight lifting exercise. It carries the weight (or world) to a greater height. We can all be Atlas should we choose. A shrug is also a mannerism that expresses disdain; I don’t care. By shrugging, the individual cares not for another or the situation, seeing himself as all that matters. In the novel, both seem to apply.

  9. Diane DiFlorio says:

    #Canada #EmergencyMeasuresAct #Freedom



  10. Dan says:

    I read Atlas Shrugged 7 times. I read The Fountainhead 5 times. (I only read Lord of the Rings 3 times and the Bible only twice.) But first I read her non-fiction. Ayn Rand made it clear that first and foremost she was an advocate of reason, and that capitalism, freedom, etc. derive from reason.

    Reason, that faculty which, by willful effort, integrates the evidence of the senses into abstract concepts, is mankind’s sole and most fundamental natural tool of survival. Faith is not reason. Faith is accepting something as true with no evidence at all or is even against the evidence of the senses.

    As such, Ayn Rand hated faith. Myself being an Objectivist, I hate faith too. Faith has all but destroyed the American mind. Faith’s only tool against truth is to keep truth from being known.

    Faith based web sites delete comments like this.

    • David Herin says:

      My definition of faith is simply this: putting confidence in something I can’t see or understand. I do this all the time and I think you probably do too. I’m all for reason but it can only go so far.

      But if you’re really talking about religion, that is, religion equals faith, then I do agree with you. See my quote above from Ellul.

    • Anna Poulin says:

      I absolutely agree with YOU on “faith”… Faith is not based on knowledge. The Bible defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”… I find this statement ambiguous, as I have learned over time; Hope is not a plan. To be certain of what I do not see is perplexing to me. To me it’s like living in limbo. There are very few things one can be certain about. Am I certain of a pain I cannot see but I feel in my body? Am I certain that if I walk in front of a Mac truck it will kill me? Am I certain I will find the love of my life, somewhere waiting to meet me? When I taught high school the message to my students was simple: to get a good grade, you need to study. If you do not put in the necessary work to get a good grade on the test, there is no hope or prayer that will guarantee you a good grade. In fact, not even when you believe you have prepared well. Just way too simplistic or just too unrealistic or misleading to take the belief in “faith” and “hope” as the means by which to guide one’s life with; my opinion is, it is no different than reading your astrological prediction for the day. The Future is never guaranteed. There are very few things in life I can be certain about. Living by some “magical” faith does not increase my certainty about anything I may hope for… Actually, I believe it makes people lazy, unmotivated, easily manipulated and controlled. It interferes with their creative aspect of the Mind and Spirit. Dan thank you for your message it was fun expounding upon it. 🙂

      • David Herin says:

        Trying to define faith in a comment thread is perhaps futile, but I’ll try again. The point I was trying to make was that faith is simply confidence in something we cannot see or understand or control. We do this all the time with, for example, our body’s metabolism, what happens when you sleep, electric power getting to your toaster, or furnace, or your plumber, who has always done a superb job before, at least 20 times, and is now on his way to fix your drain. Maybe he will let you down this time, but your unforced and simple faith in him is not unfounded.

        Yes, there are people who claim to ‘believe’ but it’s really a just vague casting about with no object of their faith. I’ve done it myself.

        Faith is not certainty in the sense of 2+2=4. But faith in Christ can grow into a deep confidence in who he is.

        • Sonia H. says:

          2-1/2 years ago I had faith in the electric company. However, suddenly one day, there was no power coming to our house nor to hundreds of others in our area. Winter. No power for 23 hours. For some, they were without electricity and heating and light for a week. Oh me of little faith…

    • sk says:

      Rand’s books are what lead to her philosophy of Objectivism which few are familiar with. Not many people are credited with a philosophic branch. That alone makes her an important thinker.

  11. Paul says:

    This morn’s Steve Bannon:

    Check out FDA guy, 19 minutes in.


  12. Lauran says:

    Jon…this is the best I have read on Rand, thus far! You have captured the woman’s soul, atheistic soul or not; for which she was criticized by many. She was a powerhouse; and her writings will be read for all time.

  13. Roundball Shaman says:

    “Why carry the burden of creating something and then having to stand behind it and be proud of it?

    The ‘creative’ part is good. The standing behind it with pride – not so much. Yes, one must believe in what they create and exist for. But the act of creating is its own reward without the need for public or even personal acclaim. To use sports terminology, the act of creating is being on Offense. The standing behind it and being proud of it is being on Defense. And the more you are playing Defense, the less you are on Offense.

    “She shoves in all her chips on the self-appointed task of illuminating the great dichotomy of human history and modern life: the I versus the WE.”

    The ‘I’ is empowering. The ‘We’ is disempowering. The ‘I’ goes its own way without hindrance or restriction. The ‘We’ is Hindrance and restriction and the tyranny of the Group. The ‘I’ is creative. The ‘We’ cements one in old, tired, and worn out ways of being and thinking. The ‘I’ is Life. The ‘We’ is death to individual creativity and spirit.

    “When people perceive their society is being infiltrated and taken over by collectivism, how should they respond?”

    This depends on what one wants out of Life. If one wants to live with vitality and maturity, he or she resists and ignores collectivism. However, if one chooses to live Life as a dependent child, he or she embraces collectivism and Big Daddy Government or institutions to ‘take care of’ them and reinforce their living in infant adolescence.

    No one gets out of this world alive. All you carry with you are your thoughts and experiences.

    And the more you live your life as an Individual, the better your thoughts and the more enriching and fulfilling are your experiences.

    The Predator Class is somehow convinced They can carry Their power and material riches with them when Their number is up. But all They will carry with Them is a burden of shame for abusing Their own lives and working to ruin the lives of others.

    And They wont’ be able to take one damn cent or one damn degree or title with Them.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for your succinct writing, Jon.
    We’re all in this together? Enough already!

  15. David Herin says:

    Your tribute to Rynd is forceful and convincing.

    Yes, “The mass doesn’t think. There is no such thing as mass thought. There is only mass impulse.” YET, the digital oligarchs are intent on creating the hive mind. But this is not a human thought; it is purely a system that thinks for us and that ensures that all of our thought is directed in the same directions. It is as you say–a never-before-seen massive ‘mass impulse.’

    For Christians, we need to rediscover the true meaning of freedom. I love this quote by Jacques Ellul from his book The Ethics of Freedom:

    “If, however, Christianity and the church are in fact reactionary and static, it is because they have lost the basic meaning of the Christian life, which is freedom. They have transformed revelation into a religion. Religion is indeed a conservative, retarding, and restrictive force. In this transformation fellowship with Christ is lost and with it the purity for which everything is pure and everything is possible. This is why it seems to me that the most urgent and decisive task for Christians today, on the basis of fellowship with Christ, is to recover the full meaning of freedom.”

    See also my articles:
    LIE: Freedom is the right to make my own choices, part 1 and part 2.

  16. Siouxma says:

    And there’s no such thing as Herd Immunity!!!

    • Fenwick says:

      Yes, and that goes for “public health” as well… not to mention “collective guilt” and, Obama’s favorite, “collective salvation!” All of these things are ridiculous and illogical at their core.

  17. Tom M Culhane says:

    I was influenced by Ayn Rand when I was a young man, but after encountering Native American spiritual teachers, I realized Rand had big flaws in her thinking. She viewed Nature as a commodity for human consumption. The idea that a 2000-year-old redwood tree or a bottlenose dolphin with a brain larger than ours has any rights beyond being “property” for a human–never crossed her mind.

    • michael burns says:

      “…[Native American spiritual teachers], I realized Rand had big flaws in her thinking. She viewed Nature as a commodity for human consumption.”

      You mean the native Americans that would run a thousand buffalo or more of a Buffalo jump to get some of that find steak over a fire. Or the ones who had a veritable trade in that buffalo jerker sold to the army and city folks, or the many thousands killed for their precious hides sold to make buffalo coats.

      Heard of a Buffalo soldier?

      The native would with, the wind conditions set a prairie on fire to move the buffalo.

      “… that a 2000-year-old redwood tree or a bottlenose dolphin with a brain larger than ours has any rights…”

      Has rights?

      What have you been smokin Ke-mo sah-bee. Why would a tree have rights or a dolphin… do you have rights? I think not, none of us have rights. except those that propose that they own all this.

      We take what we can and leave the rest. That’s the way that has been for a million years. Understanding equality and all, you give a tree rights, then what about the grass, or what lives on the grass.

      Nature is meant to be used, and I will use it…abuse it never, but use it as a commodity for human consumption definitely. That what humans do on this planet.

      That what humans are suppose to do, cut down trees and make a fire; shoot a buffalo and eat the barbecued meat over that fire. Native did for thousands of years.

      Rand was a realist

      • Tom M Culhane says:

        In the American Midwest where I am, 99.8 percent of the old growth forests are gone. The Illinois prairie, 99.93 percent gone.That’s from those in the field.

        As the real Native teachers teach, when you harm the Earth you harm yourself. You better hope they’re wrong.

    • sk says:

      I’m sure she realized there wasn’t an unlimited supply of anything.

  18. Marco Polo says:

    “her prose takes on a programmatic aspect. It grips the reader with iron. The moral imperative to be free replaces the exhilaration of being free”

    Nailed it!

    “To grasp her Promethean effort and accomplishment, you have to read her books at least several times”. I can attest to that. I was so brainwashed with socialism-lite that the first few readings, I simply couldn’t understand what she was getting at (it took me many readings to understand the attitude of the female protagonists, for example), but my imagination was stoked!

    Sure, her writing and personality had flaws, but I can forgive much to anyone who could write the following about young people:
    ““The noble soul has reverence for itself.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil)

    “This view of man has rarely been expressed in human history. Today, it is virtually non-existent. Yet this is the view with which – in various degrees of longing, wistfulness, passion and agonised confusion – the best of mankind’s youth start out in life. It is not even a view, for most of them, but a foggy, groping, undefined sense made of raw pain and incommunicable happiness. It is a sense of enormous expectation, the sense that one’s life is important, that great achievements are within one’s capacity, and that great things lie ahead.

    It is not in the nature of man – nor of any living entity – to start out by giving up, by spitting in one’s own face and damning existence; that requires a process of corruption whose rapidity differs from man to man. Some give up at the first touch of pressure; some sell out; some run down by imperceptible degrees and lose their fire, never knowing how or why they lost it. Then all of these vanish in the vast swamp of their elders who tell them persistently that maturity consists of abandoning one’s mind; security, of abandoning one’s values; practicality, of losing self-esteem. Yet a few hold on and move on, knowing that that fire is not to be betrayed, learning how to give it shape, purpose and reality. But whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man’s nature and of life’s potential.””

  19. Mac says:

    The article brings to mind that people tend to follow all or nothing, which with so many psyop operators over time, people must, must learn to think for ourselves. Refusing to see what is in people’s faces is how the cons continued their cons, such as the fraud ‘bailouts’ trillions to false mortgage banks, and enabled co-con ‘vulture’ corporations such as blackrock and other ‘hedge’ gangs who then falsely bought hundreds of billions in foreclosed houses, and also handed bogus construction vultures fake money.

    Though con obama was the front during the time the slide was during con Bush years, fake ‘increase’ ‘house value’, now worse, and bogus bailouts begun during Bush, and ‘simulus’ then obama did his act. Also the fraud ‘wars’ and ‘patriot act’ was during Bush by repbuli-cons in the schemes. Now they jabber ‘build back better’ garbage to ram more ‘roads’ and overpopuation as food supply dwindles, and people go along with a diaper on their face because ‘virus’ that doesn’t exist. To remind reality suggest pass around this one of them snickering how they do what they want and people don’t matter.


    Then again should people who sit by for tyranny, matter. Natural law is the only real law. Rand made some points, though also some conflicting in supporting some form of govmt or state, which none are good as we see now by the dictators.

  20. Larry C says:

    Words are very important in the battle of ideas.

    Celente interviews Napolitano.


  21. Epicurious says:

    Jon how do you do it, producing so much quality material almost every day? You are a legend.

  22. Debra Robinson says:

    Were it only so…Let us, as ancient Greek vandals once did, chop away our most sacred statues, the ones that represent the I, and then let us watch as WE is reinstalled at the entrance to every public building.

    Now statues of Baphomet spring up everywhere…

  23. SANITYCLAUS says:

    Ayn Rand was a mouthpiece for the fake money, fake bank, fake capitalist pull yourself up by your bootstraps con job.

    The money is fake. You are a slave. She promoted the fraud.

    Lending credit at interest is fraud. Capitalism is not fraud. Usury is lending real money at interest. Usury is not fraud. Mz. Objectivism never addressed these realties. Neither did she know what luck is or how to cultivate it through acts of honest charity. Fake money cannot be used to practice honest charity. Silver coins can be used to practice honest charity. Only the lucky get to be brave because only the lucky can take chances.

  24. Howard says:

    You can run but you can’t hide…from Plato. When Ayn Rand presents the creator’s Idea as being virtually the same thing as the finished product or enterprise, she is channeling Plato – whom she eschews in favor of Aristotle. She is unavoidably invoking the Platonic concept of The Idea.

    While she realizes the raw materials used to create the product/enterprise are just so much blank matter, she seems to ignore that the Idea used to shape the material is just so much hot air without the raw materials and those whose labor convert the matter to an object existing inside the creator’s mind. Thus making the enterprise a collaborative creation.

    There is one loose thread running throughout Ms Rand’s opus Atlas Shrugged – one that’s never mentioned. And it comes close to unraveling the entire tapestry: Eddie Willers. Pity poor Eddie Williers, the “best of the average man” who could not survive were it not for the largesse of the creators. BUT, who would not need their largesse if not for being trapped in a world he never made and doesn’t know how to function in without the help of those who did make it.

    Ayn Rand hated this line from Stephen Crane: “Alone and afraid in a world I never made.” Her answer was: “Why didn’t you (make it)?” But poor Eddie Willers couldn’t make such a world. And because he couldn’t, he has indeed ended “Alone and afraid in a world I never made.”

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