United States President Barack Obama sat down with Rolling Stone magazine and the legendary author and philosopher Ayn Rand was brought up in the interview. The president confirmed he read her work, but dismissed it as for "misunderstood teens."
Is one of the most iconic literary and philosophy figures of the 20th century just for disgruntled teenagers? President Obama thinks so, at least according to an interview he participated in with Rolling Stone magazine.
When he was in his late teens, during a time when he felt “misunderstood,” the president said that he read it and felt inspired, but as he got older he realized that we cannot just think about ourselves and instead have to think about society as a whole.
“Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that's a pretty narrow vision,” explained the president.
He further stated that Rand’s vision for the U.S. is not what describes the nation. Obama noted that the Republican Party seems to be taking on Rand’s philosophy that has been thoroughly discussed in her books, which have grown in popularity over the last few years.
“Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a 'you're on your own' society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party,” added Obama.
Rand has been talked about by various media pundits throughout the presidential campaign. Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan admitted that Rand was a major influence on his decision to run for public office.
The bestselling author has penned such novels as “Atlas Shrugged,” “Fountainhead” and “We the Living” and other non-fiction books, like “The Romantic Manifesto,” “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “For the New Intellectual.”
Digital Journal spoke with the producers of the “Atlas Shrugged” motion picture earlier this year.