Apr 112017
 

President Trump was outlined by Ayn Rand back in 1943 as a heroic character who took on the Establishment which had him arrested. Gary Cooper played Howard Roark who acted as this own lawyer and won his freedom. Donald Trump, like Howard Roark has a strong and clear sense of reason, rationality, morality and justice. 

Ivanka resembles Heroic Dagny Taggert in Rand’s seminal 1957 novel “Atlas Shrugged” which is a tough read for many people, 1,184 pages, but not Paul Ryan who gave a copy to every new staffer. Likewise Rand Paul owes his name to his fathers adoration of Rand’s Free Market principles. Daniel Hannan, the Tory MEP many see as the intellectual architect of Brexit, keeps a photograph of Rand on his Brussels desk.

Put more baldly, the reason why Republicans and British Conservatives started giving each other copies of Atlas Shrugged in the 80s was that Rand seemed to grant intellectual heft to the prevailing ethos of the time. Rand was a prophet who also influenced Donald Trump when he said he read and admired Rand’s novel “The Fountainhead”.

Rand created Dagny as a female character on a par with any folk hero or medieval knight, …or presidents daughter. Dagny Taggart is the force behind Taggart Transcontinental Railroad. Gladstein (1984) describes Dagny as “that rarity in American fiction – a heroine who not only survives, but prevails.” (p. 685). Ivanka told an interviewer she can tell her father when he’s wrong and he listens. She also gave the impression he’s not often wrong.

Ayn Rand, born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905, was 12 when the communists and Lenin shot their way to power. She witnessed the crushing immorality of Communism first hand. She saw her father impoverished and her family driven to the brink of starvation by the irrational but powerful Soviet revolution, an experience that forged her contempt for all notions of the collective good and, especially, for the state as a mechanism for ensuring equality. The Soviet Union eventually destroyed itself but not before people like Stalin, Molotof and Mao tortured and murdered 120 million. Rand was correct about the evils of Communism and of course Socialism, two principles rejected by the free world.

Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are eminently great reads. A book that explains Ayn Rand’s philosophy which undergrids all of her work was written by Leonard Peikoff and was reviewed by Rand herself before publication; “Objectivism, the Philosophy of Ayn Rand” commonly referred to as “OPAR”. Many readers of these books say: “they changed my life”. Quite a compliment and which explains why so many leading figures pay so much attention to Ayn Rand. So do I.