By Radhika Mendiratta
Edited by Divyajyot Joshi
“Individualism, Rationality, Reality, Capitalism – all these yarns weave the philosophical fabric called Objectivism. It’s texture is stark, the rhythm flowing to the extremes……”
The 36th meet up of Jaipur Book Lovers (JBL) on “The works of Ayn Rand” was held on September 11th. The cafeteria Bag Your Rag accommodated a gathering of terse conversations on the beauty and uniqueness of Ayn Rand’s Ethics.
The discussion commenced with a delightful description of the biographical details which transported the book lovers family to the Randian times. The beginning was indeed warm and welcoming for the members who had not read Ayn Rand, as they received their initial glimpses and flashes into the interesting world of the rebellious woman philosopher.
Most of the readers were enamoured by her works and expressed with fervour, how well they resonated with certain ideas, she asserts upon, whereas a few, confessed, their reading of Atlas Shrugged, the magnum opus of the author, as being dry and heavy, making it an unsmooth sailing for them.
An unconventional thinker and novelist, her novels are predominantly characterized by drama and intrigue and her unusual stories and characters have created controversies because they are unique. However the polemic substance of her writings, is the source of her popularity. One could behold how beautifully the boutique café was enveloped by the Randian aura. . .
Several members admired the exalted view of man and life, Rand makes real in her novels and said, “the speeches in her books are moving”, further stating that the experience of entering Rand’s universe has been unforgettable for them.
The book-lovers were involved in an insightful transaction of ideas, views, opinions about the core thinking which forms the charismatic philosophy of the writer. Some members whose philosophical premises concurred with the writer’s spoke in favour of it. They enriched their argument by illustrating some historical milestones where the individual has dared to rub against the grain and has greatly altered the course of human civilization. The promising personalities such as Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs and numerous others took ‘the road not taken’ and have lit the lives of myriad individuals who benefit from their sterling achievements.
On the contrary, the ideal prospect of collective enterprises, where people act in unison to accomplish goals, was discussed too with zeal. The disapprovers of Randian philosophy argued that, the world today, is full of successful people, highly individualistic in their approach. Hence, the need for genuine altruism in the contemporary era is indispensable! However, in the light of the recent times, this idea seems like a gorgeous castle in the air.
The battle between pragmatism and idealism witnessed a variety of creatively portrayed concepts, one of them being Intertextuality. It was incredible, how the book lovers compared Ayn Rand and her works with other gigantic literary figures and their masterpieces, how the respective characters created by the authors stand in relation with each other. The technique of intertextuality pointed out the impeccable manner in which certain characters of different books are crafted and the striking similarities and contradictions between them were sketched. The pros and cons of the philosophy of Rand and its relevance and application in real life were also touched upon. The conversation reflected the ardour of the book-lovers which had diametrically encompassed the café.
An outpouring of gripping anecdotes followed the debate, where a few members overwhelmingly revealed about how Ayn Rand’s philosophy has been an inspiration behind transforming and shaping their lives…
The two – hour philosophical crusade came to an end. Our views may or may not coincide with the views of Rand, however the pioneer of the Objectivist Philosophy undeniably continues to inspire us to hitch our wagon to the stars!
It’s a scintillating ray of hope in the lives of people who desire to discard convention and redefine innovation.
About the Author
Radhika is passionate about writing poetry, and holds a masters degree in English. Aesthetics and Nature are a perennial source of joie-de-vivre for her. She is gearing up for beautiful times ahead!