Ayn Rand (1905- 1982) was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright and screenwriter. She is highly known for her best-selling fiction novels: The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as well as for defining and developing a revolutionary philosophical system called Objectivism. Rand was born and educated in Russia, then emigrated to the United States in 1926. She first achieved fame with the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943 and her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957.
Rand's political views are clearly pronounced in her fiction novels, especially in Atlas Shrugged where she emphasized the necessity of respecting individual rights such as life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. Rand advocated both political and social freedom; and, therefore, advocated total separation of economics and state in the form of laissez-faire capitalism enforced via a constitutionally limited government.
Ayn Rand was a fierce opponent of all forms of political slavery: collectivism, fascism, communism and socialism, or even a mixed-economy. Her ethical theory promoted rational self-interest as opposed to the sacrifice of others or of oneself. Rand was committed to reason as an absolute means of acquiring knowledge and as the most important aspect of her philosophy stating: "I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows."