Ayn Rand’s controversial views and opinions on ethical egoism have paved the way in liberating and absolving society’s conservative elite from feeling guilt or compassion towards those who are less fortunate in society - including those from the middle-class, the working poor and minorities. Though Rand penned her theory decades ago, her brand of ethical egoism is still touted as gospel by some politicians and those in the upper echelons of society, creating gridlock in the government and a deep division among the classes.
In order to understand Ayn Rand’s theory on ethical egoism, first we need to understand her background and the era she was raised in. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia on February 2, 1905, Rand witnessed the Kerensky Revolution which she supported and the Bolshevik Revolution which she denounced. She changed her name from Alissa Rosenbaum to Ayn Rand in 1926 – around this time she also abandoned her Jewish religion and became an atheist. Her family fled Russia to escape the violence and her father’s business was confiscated. Faced with near starvation during those turbulent years, Rand’s fascination with American history began. She attended the University of Petrograd where she studied philosophy and history; however, her college experience ended badly when the school was taken over by the communist government. She moved to the United States never intending to return to her homeland ("Biography of Ayn Rand (1905-1982))".
Rand’s basic premise of ethical egoism is that everyone should look out for themselves and themselves only. What Rand is really saying is that human beings don’t really matter unless they can be used in some way to further our own self-interest. In other words, we have no obligation ...
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Benfer, Amy. "And the Rand Played On." Mother Jones. Mother Jones, n.d. Web. 10 Mar 2014.
Siegelbaum, Lewis. "Anti-Parasite Law." Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. N.p.. Web. 10 Mar 2014.
Rand, Ayn. "The Objectivist Ethics." Ayn Rand Institute. Ayn Rand Institute . Web. 10 Mar 2014.
Holland, Joshua. "Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them." Tea Party and the Far Right. AlterNet, 28 Jan 2011. Web. 20 Mar 2014.
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