Commentary

Re-Examining Rand

Rand has a profound effect on people, especially the youth, when they first read her. But over time she loses her appeal. This makes it very hard to build a social movement around her ideas.

Rand’s adherents blame all this on the faulty philosophical principles of society–especially on issues of morality. But replacing false ideas with true ones is precisely what transformative figures do, and certainly what Rand, who firmly believed in the power of reason and truth, was hoping to do. Surely, if she had witnessed the events of last year–the government bailout of banks, the takeover of auto companies, the looming socialization of health care–she’d be wondering where she went wrong. Or, to use her lingo, she’d be “checking her premises.”

So where did she go wrong?

Read my latest Forbes column here to find out.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. The archive of her latest work can be found here at Reason.com.