Q: Ayn, to begin with, I wonder if I can ask you to capsulize… I know this is difficult… Can I ask you to capsulize your philosophy? What is Randism?
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Ayn Rand: First of all, I do not call it Randism, and I don’t like that name. I call it Objectivism, meaning a philosophy based on objective reality. Now let me explain it as briefly as I can.
First, my philosophy is based on the concept that reality exists as an objective absolute. That man’s mind, reason, is his means of perceiving it. And that men need a rational morality. I am primarily the creator of a new code of morality which has so far been believed impossible. Namely, a morality not based on faith, not on arbitrary whim, not on emotion, not on arbitrary edict, mystical or social, but on reason. A morality which can be proved by means of logic. Which can be demonstrated to be true and necessary. Now may I define what my morality is, because this is merely an introduction?
My morality is based on man’s life as a standard of value. And since man’s mind is his basic means of survival, I hold that if man wants to live on earth, and to live as a human being, he has to hold reason as an absolute. By which I mean that he has to hold reason as his only guide to action. And that he must live by the independent judgment of his own mind. That his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness. And that he must not force other people nor accept their right to force him. That each man must live as an end in himself and follow his own, rational, self-interest.