Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2011 Peter Jebsen
Since the late 1950s, Russian-American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand has been “the ultimate gateway drug to life on the right.” Her philosophy – “Objectivism” – combined militant atheism, libertarian natural rights, and a philosophical commitment to what she called “the virtue of selfishness,” and earned her the admiration of such luminaries as Alan Greenspan: a remarkable achievement for an immigrant woman who learned to speak English in her late 20s. What is less-often observed is that Rand’s work, especially her mature novels The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), bear a close stylistic resemblance to the Soviet Socialist Realist novel. This thesis identifies these similarities and attempts to answer the question of why a heavily Soviet-inflected writer was able to reach such cultural and political prominence in, of all places, America.
Jebsen, Peter, "Bolshevik for Capitalism: Ayn Rand & Soviet Socialist Realism" (2011). CMC Senior Theses. Paper 134.