Ayn Rand

 

Things you didn't know about Ayn Rand (Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum)
Ethnicity Russian Jewish (Bolshevik)

She supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 against a coalition of Arab nations as "civilized men fighting savages"

When Rand died in 1982, she left nearly $800,000 in her estate,

Alan Greenspan link

Six things you probably didn't know

 

Chernyshevsky

Atlas Shrugged was based on Nikolai Chernyshevsky's novel "What is to be done" became a user manual for revolutionaries, starting with the author’s radical contemporaries and ending with Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Which means that, although he is all but forgotten now, Chernyshevsky was one of the great destructive influences of the past century: first in his home country, where his writing helped spawn the Soviet Union, and now, of all places, in the United States, where his rational egotism continues to reverberate in American political and economic thought. For decades Rand has been a muse to American politicians ranging from Ronald Reagan to Ron Paul to Paul Ryan to Clarence Thomas—not to mention businessmen like Ted Turner and Mark Cuban, to say nothing of Greenspan at the Fed. The libertarian movement claims her as one of its original inspirations. And Rand’s Atlas Shrugged has become a cult classic, continuing to sell hundreds of thousands of copies every year.

Born in the city of Saratov in 1828, Chernyshevsky was a loyal follower of Karl Marx’s technocratic predecessors, Henri de St. Simon and August Comte, who inspired him with the idea of a scientific utopia run by technical experts. From reading the French socialist Charles Fourier, Chernyshevsky took to the notion of the “phalanstery,” a communal housing project for the brave new world. And in the writings of the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, Chernyshevsky found the idea of the “man-god,” the replacement of god by man in a materialist universe. Into this roiling cauldron of ideas Chernyshevsky dropped one last secret ingredient: Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” the notion that an individual’s selfish gain is a gain for all society. The rational pursuit of self-interest should form the basis for all human interactions, and once this “rational egoism” becomes universal, it will result in happiness, harmonious economic and political conditions, and an ideal reconfiguration of the world.