Could someone briefly explain Ayn Rand's philosophy; objectivism?

I've read "Atlas Shrugged" and would like to attempt "The Fountainhead" soon, but before I do I would like a better understanding of what Objectivism is. Could someone briefly describe the main tenets of that philosophy?

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As far as I can tell, there's no room for love.

What makes you say that? I love my wife dearly, and do many things for her freely, including making sacrifices. But I am not an altruist because I DO love her,and the relationship beings me joy.

That is an objectivist trait: does this make me happy and enhance my life, though I wouldn't call myself a die hard objectivist.

Her archetypes don't know love.  They don't express it.  They don't experience it.  Any semblance of what passes for lovemaking to her, is reached through mutual agreement to engage in prurient pleasure.  It's more like integrated mutual masturbation than fulfillment of emotional need.  Which is fine.  It's the reason we have fuck buddies today.  But, it ain't Romeo and Juliet.

Liam..thank you for this explanation....as a person who devoured and loved Rand when i was 18, you have done a good job. Her fiction books are novels...what she wrote about in her idealized books were idealized characters that expressed ideals of her philosophy, well stated by Liam above. From what I have read and seen of her interviews and writing, she is not quite as dogmatic as her characters in person.

If you dont want to jump into Atlas Shrugged, the short book Anthem is a good start. Or just read the wikipedia on her and some of her non fiction writings.

Just personally, the books have not worn as well with me over the years, and some of her dogmatic fans (see Liam's quote below) do not do her credit because of their self righteousness. However, she really is an important person to understand the dynamics of todays politics... One thing i think fascinating is a discussion of her taking Social Security..she did not want to sign up, but used Social Security as she had paid in... Issues like Social Security are not in the fiction books...

Greed is good.

Put alternatively: I got mine. Fuck everyone else.

Or, put more accurately, don't get in my way and I won't get in yours.  So each of us can pursue what we want, without interference.

Problem is, there’s not much of consequence that you can do that doesn’t impinge on others in one way or another.

Depends on how loosely you define "impinge".


JB

No, depends on how others (those being "impinged") define the term.

That somebody feels "impinged" certainly doesn't necessarily mean they were.  A truer statement might be "there's not much of consequence you can do without bothering somebody's inflated sense of entitlement in one way or another".

 

JB

"there's not much of consequence you can do without bothering somebody's inflated sense of entitlement in one way or another."

But isn’t that a line drawing game?  “What you deem "consequential" is automatically evenhanded while others have an “inflated sense of entitlement.”  Life doesn't work that way Jack. 

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