Ayn Rand, the name reverberates even today, and shall for eons to come. For those that don’t know her, she is the one shaping the modern world and the way we live. She is to capitalistic thought as Che Guevara is to socialistic actions. She abhorred the Indian mystics more than the communists. She must have based her opinion on a few mystics who led her to believe that spiritualism was fatalistic. She stood for human supremity in thought and action. Her hatred is far from the truth, as all of Rand’s notions have place in Indian spiritual texts. A poem and prose, abstractions and concrete, are different. A thousand concretes can be derived from an abstraction yet only the concretes are of the most direct use to society. Ayn Rand’s concrete objectivism is most valid to the modern world with exceptions. Even the remote exceptions are taken care of in divine thought or spiritual abstraction.
Firstly, Ayn Rand’s projection of the ideal man, Howard Roark, in Fountain head, whose passion and commitment to excellence in his work is such that, he isn’t after money or fame, but stands for truth, value and work. With this a fool could try to argue it is about work and excellence that Rand emphasises and not ego and thus equate Rand with the Gita where Krishna clearly exhorates Arjuna to do his duty, without passion. Except for the lack of ego and passion in the Gita, Rand and the scripture are in perfect cohesion. But that would be a lie as Rand clearly exonerated ego and selfishness. The equaliser comes not from Rand but the scripture Gita, which states if one can’t disengage from one’s ego, it is still okay to do one’s duty with great ego and passion.
The next is deduction. In Atlas shrugged people who mattered and moved the world, withdrew from it and the world crumbles. In mythology God Shiva withdraws from the world, this can be construed to be just ascetism, but the world around him loses warmth and freezes when he withdraws.
This isn’t to belittle or equate things, this is to show things to open your mind, to spiritualism, socialism or capitalism, there is always some value in honest ideas and seeming polarities also have things in common.