When The Collectivism Of Our Culture Ignores The Individual

Ayn Rand Philosophy

Imagine a world, wherein, you have no one to please but yourself; a place where your talents roar loudly, silencing your peers who are deemed to be more successful because of their ‘second-handedness’; a place where it is not wrong to put your interests first; a place where you are not judged or ridiculed or scared to say ‘I’; a place where selfishness is not a crime, neither altruism is; a place where a person serves itself and no one else; yes, a place of individual being than a societal one.

This is what Ayn Rand taught me, and this is what the society makes it so hard to attain or achieve.

Not many would be aware or would abide by the many enlightened works of the Russian author, Ayn Rand. Her questionable theory of objectivism invites as much of criticism as minor yet enthusiastic cult following. As per the theory of Ayn Rand- the name ‘objectivism’ derives from the idea that human knowledge and values are objective, which are determined by the nature of reality, discoverable by one’s own mind than to be created by others. Her philosophy, in essence, is the concept of the human being as a heroic kind, aiming for their own happiness and moral purpose of their own lives, with productive achievement as the noblest of activity, and with reason as the only absolute.

The theory and principles of objectivism are hard to adhere to in the current scenario, because we humans are flocking like sheep from one point to another. The flocking starts from our inception. We have certain rules and guidelines to adhere to, and with constant subjugation to these rules, they have fast manifested into norms. Norms we live by, and the norms we swear by.


Have we forgotten to live for ourselves in the quest to fulfil the norms? Have we forgotten ourselves in the bid to achieve what is supposed to be achieved? Are we too scared to stand for ourselves?

Our achievements are always measured in relation to our constant competitors. We are supposed to score more not because we want to educate ourselves, but because we want to top. We want that promotion in office, not because it would be great for our growth, but because no one should hog it before us. We are in a constant fight, a constant fight to win, a constant fight to be part of the masses, a constant fight to progress from one mass to another. We are not fighting to better ourselves; we are fighting to make others lose. We exist not for ourselves and our happiness, we exist for others.

Such flocking is also evident in our political scenario. We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. In either democracy or dictatorship, in the end the ruling enslaves the ruled either by ‘popular’ notion or an ‘authoritative’ one; it’s either a suicide or murder.

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.

We live in a world wherein the collective action is what that matters and the action that wins, while the individual is easily hushed into non-existence. We live in a world where the words of many are valued more than the words of one.

Ayn Rand has taught me many things; she has taught me to value me before anyone else; to adhere to my consciousness than to just hush it for the fear of the masses; to have the utmost passion and fearlessness to pursue what I love and whom I love, and moreover to learn the importance of “I” than “WE”. She has taught me to live my life the objective way, and undeniably the challenging one too.

“I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. “– Ayn Rand.

Yugansha Malhotra

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