Andrina Tran Humanities and Social Science
Radicals for Capitalism': Ayn Rand and the Conservative Youth Movement of the 1960s
During the turbulent 1960s, controversial novelist Ayn Rand became a forceful voice for lost and disaffected youth. Through her seemingly impenetrable philosophy of Objectivism, Rand offered a round universe of order, rationality, and certainty for young libertarians who felt that neither liberals nor conservatives fully addressed national issues. My project will center on this undeveloped aspect of Randian scholarship her palliative, almost spiritual, role in the intellectual history of youth. More specifically, I will consider how Rands followers attempted to propagate Objectivism within an overwhelmingly liberal campus atmosphere, while also creating their own subcultures outside the walls of academia. Although this undercurrent of protest seemed to fade over time, Rands continued appeal would demonstrate the longevity of the libertarian sensibility in the American psyche.