“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.” Ayn Rand, who lived from 1905 to 1982, made this statement over 50 years ago; in 1961. One can only help but wonder if there’s a better way to describe the state of our country today; in 2013. There might be a lot of issues on which an intellectual mind may differ with Ayn Rand but on this particular statement, most would agree today. We might not already be there, in that stage; but we are fast approaching it. The stage where all the fundamental rights are reserved for the government, and whoever the government might decide to bestow them upon. The right to the freedom of speech seemed to be one of the first to be sacrificed followed by the right to equality before law.
The others might just follow suit. This assertion is not based in vacuum but on the argument that how many people have suffered arrests and exile for executing their right to freedom of speech and how many people have faced the wrath of biased legal prosecution and persecution to satisfy the collective conscience of the society? Ayn Rand had, time and again, stressed on this very aspect of the course that we have been taking. Although her writings were based on American context, they can easily be seen to reflect the global society and also, specifically our Indian societal and administrative system. And that is why; Ayn Rand is my favourite author.
For the ideas she propagated are universally applicable and are highly rational even though they have been widely criticised as impractical. And throughout her life she defended those ideas by her writings, by her life and by her conduct never compromising on her conviction. Her philosophy and school of thought came to be known as objectivism. It is based on the concept of objective reality that demands that ‘a man’s morality should not be based on faith, emotions or arbitrary whims but on reason and rationality that can be demonstrated when in question’. There are few things that can inspire a person throughout their life; Ayn Rand’s words have that potential. She inspired me.