The Christian Science Monitor just published a full-length article on finding love around a shared interest in Ayn Rand’s writings. The Atlasphere figures prominently in the article, as you might expect, together with many quotes from members of our dating service.
Ayn Rand might seem an unlikely matchmaker. In a 1964 Playboy interview, she famously said that a man who places friends and family above “productive work” is immoral, an “emotional parasite.”
Yet as Atlas Shrugged turns 50 this week, Rand’s iconic intellect presides over The Atlasphere (www.theatlasphere.com) — a dating, networking, and news website that has connected her admirers since 2003.
…For Joshua Zader, The Atlasphere’s founder, the notion of Rand-inspired love makes perfect sense. “At a certain point in my 20s,” he says, “I realized I had met all my closest friends through Rand club meetings, conferences, or book signings.” He later met his wife that way, too.
…Rand saw the essence of femininity as a longing to look up to men — and went so far as to say that to be president would be “psychological torture” for a woman, and any woman who would covet the job must be too irrational to deserve it.
Yet in perusing The Atlasphere profiles, the confidence these women show — and seek — stands out. “We probably have more women than normal who say things like, ‘I need a man who won’t be intimidated,’ ” says Zader.
That gender equality certainly appeals to Annie Gilman, a graduate student at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. She sees relationships, in their simplest form, as “business transactions.” “You have to have something to offer to somebody in a free market,” she says.
Maybe Internet dating is courtship’s free market. Villalobos suspects that Rand would delight in its entrepreneurialism: “In effect, she has spawned a virtual Galt’s Gulch.”
Galt’s Gulch, the valley retreat of the chosen few in Atlas Shrugged, is an Objectivist’s utopia — full of industrious, virtuous people, working happily (and tax free). “She is very good at evoking the feeling that ‘This is an exciting world and if you agree with my vision, you’re a wonderful person and let’s do work together,’ ” says Zader.
Let’s do work together. It might be an epigraph for The Atlasphere, where productivity is integral to love. Rand and her characters “take love, romance, and sex seriously,” says Onkar Ghate, a senior fellow at The Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. “Love is selfish and it is to be pursued selfishly.”
See the full article for more.
Christina McCarroll was a picture of professionalism during her research for the article — and I think it shows in the final product. I am grateful.