Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and Self-Interest

Ayn Rand once wrote that a butcher, a brewer, and a baker do not make a dinner a success because of their “benevolence”; they are motivated by their own “self-interest.” She also believed that humans should participate in the world as heroic beings pursuing their own happiness and their own “productive achievement(s),” limited only by what she calls the facts of “reality.”

Rand refers to her reason-based philosophy as objectivism, a hard-edged ism that focuses on objective reality as the only rational plain on which humans can, and ought to live. All other forms—faith, religion, theism—are nothing more than subjective, irrational, even delusional venues that humans have devised for any of a number of subjective motives. Continue reading


“Mademoiselle Chambon” The Isolated Drifter

Male Stereotypes: Fear of Commitment, Wanderlust, Speculator

I grew up in the 50s when the average man was traditionally stereotyped as the guy who was always running away from the gal who wanted to lasso him into the corral of a home, a basement, a lawn, a mortgage, two kids, a picket fence, a garage with an electric garage-door opener.

The “ball-and-chain” metaphor often drove the narrative of male fears that they would be “tied-down” for life, that their “salad days” of wine, women, and song would come to a swift and inevitable end at the marriage altar. (The culture I grew up in just assumed, by the way, that, except for nuns who were the virginal “brides of Christ,”all women wanted to be married; the men, on the other hand, were often seen as the great “procrastinators.”) Continue reading