Category Archives: Celebrity Rand Fans

Free market economist Peter Schiff may run for U.S. Senate

From Atlasphere founding editor Andrew Schwartz:

Peter Schiff, an economist known for predicting the current financial crisis, and a liberty-minded individual who lists Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal on his recommended reading page, has announced that, pending sufficient support from other liberty-minded individuals around the country, he will run for senate.

He says his polling indicates that he has a real shot of winning against incumbent Democrat Chris Dodd – if he can win the Republican primary.

Schiff is a remarkably clear explicator of economic ideas, and an inspiring personality who does well in front of crowds [note, video's a bit dicey and includes some not-so-great stuff interspersed with Schiff talking to the crowd, but I think it's the only video there is showcasing this particular natural talent of his]), and well in popular media outlets [excellent, excellent video btw].

He says his polling indicates that he has a real shot of winning against incumbent Democrat Chris Dodd.

To make donations to his campaign (which will be returned if he decides he hasn’t enough support to run), visit

UPDATE: I just made a donation myself. Schiff has impressed me for a long time with the clarity of his thinking. If you’ve not seen the videos of economists laughing in his face when he predicted the financial crisis, they’re a must-see.

Ayn Rand and Farrah Fawcett

From The Daily Beast: “A recent email exchange with the late Farrah Fawcett reveals the unlikely friendship between the Charlie’s Angels star and the novelist Ayn Rand, who helped the actress understand her place in cultureâ??and longed to cast her in a TV version of Atlas Shrugged.”

Excerpts from Farrah Fawcett:

I remember liking the [Fountainhead] movie because it was unique in that the characters seemed to be the embodiments of ideas as opposed to real flesh and blood people with interests and lives. Now that I think about it, I think thatâ??s why Ayn was drawn to Charlieâ??s Angels. Because the characters that Kate, Jaclyn and I played werenâ??t really characters (the audience never saw us outside of work) as much as personifications of the idea that three sexy women could do all the things that Kojak and Columbo did…..

But I also responded to The Fountainhead because, as an artist (a painter and sculptress) myself, I related to the architectâ??s resistance to make his work like everyone elseâ??sâ??which was, of course, what Aynâ??s own art was all about. And that resistance to conformity is probably one of the reasons that she was so determined to see me play Dagny: At the time I would have been the completely unexpected choice…..

Later, when I read Atlas Shrugged, I was reminded of my first and only conversation with Ayn and how some of the characters in her novel(s) take an immediate liking to each other, almost as if they had always known each otherâ??at least in spirit. And this was the feeling I got from Ayn herself, from the way she spoke to me. Iâ??ll always think of â??Dagny Taggartâ? as the best role I was supposed to play but never didâ?¦

See the full article for much more.

Celebrity Ayn Rand Fan: Marketer Ted Nicholas

Ted Nicholas is perhaps the most famous direct mail and direct sales marketer in the world. During his career, working in 47 different industries, he has sold over 7 billion dollars worth of products and services.

Someone just forwarded me the latest issue of his e-newsletter, The Success Margin. Here is how it begins:

A warm hello from Cyprus, my favorite island in
the world. The sun is setting on my veranda at this
moment as I pen these words.

Ever think about this?

The average small business owner barely makes a
living let alone ever becomes wealthy.

Many entrepreneurs work extremely long hours.
But hard work alone is definitely not the answer to
achieving massive success.

By contrast, nearly every wealthy super achiever
I’ve known and worked with are not workaholics.
(To be fair, I also know a few workaholics that are
rich. But they are unhappy and unhealthy in every

While the super successful are productive, they are
also multifaceted in how they spend their time. And
their lives are a lot more fun too.

I believe it is this “well roundedness” factor alone
that makes all the difference. And multiplies their
margin of success.

I thought I’d share today lots of personal things
about facets of my own life that you may find of

These insights may give you food for thought. And
also encourage you to add some factors to your

Besides my work, here is a brief look at how I
spend the most valuable asset I have – my time.

** Reading **

I read 2-3 hours a day and have for many years.
This includes solid “How To” books, written by
those who really walk the talk.

But I also enjoy fiction. Favorite fiction writers
include Ayn Rand, John McDonald, Rex Stout,
Elmore Leonard. My very favorite author is the late
Miss Rand.

Presidential Candidate Barr Speaks at The Atlas Society

Libertarian presidential candidate and former Republican U.S. Representative, Bob Barr, spoke on Sunday at The Atlas Society’s Summer Seminar 2008 in Portland, Oregon. The Oregonian reported on Barr’s talk:

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, now running for president on the Libertarian ticket, told a Portland crowd today he got into the race to offer an option for those who want less government intrusion in their lives.

“There is absolutely no reason for them to feel bound to the artificial constraints of the two-party system,” Barr said. “Those are their only two choices: big government and really big government.”

Barr, who served four terms in Congress as a Republican, switched parties after becoming disenchanted with what he called the high-spending ways and increasingly Big Brother policies of the Bush administration.

He spoke to about 150 at an annual conference of The Atlas Society, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes Ayn Rand’s libertarian principles.

Rand, the author of “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged,” founded a philosophical movement called objectivism, which focuses on individual rights and achievements as the cornerstone of a great society. Barr said he agrees entirely with that outlook.

Read the rest of the article.

So both Penn AND Teller are Ayn Rand fans!

We’ve noted before that Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller fame) is a fan of Ayn Rand’s ideas.

Now Ed Hudgins confirms that the same is true of Teller:

[The Atlas Society] had a display table at the “I, Skeptic” meeting in Las Vegas, put on by the James Randi Educational Foundation, June 19-22. Penn and Teller were on the program. Teller stopped by the Atlas Society table, said he was a Rand fan and took a copy of my new book, An Objectivist Secular Reader. In the Q&A session with P&T, Penn was asked whether, as a critical thinker, there were blind spots he had to watch out for in himself. He said that he is a strong libertarian and mentioned Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand and that tries to keep a critical perspective on his ideas or words to that effect.

And check out the amusing shirt Penn wore when Hudgins met him.

Thanks to Atlasphere member Stuart Hayashi for the tip.

Jolie: Atlas Shrugged a “once-in-a-lifetime” film

In the wake of Vadim Perelman’s departure from the Atlas Shrugged movie project, Angelina Jolie’s enthusiasm for starring in the movie version of Ayn Rand’s novel is still going strong.

From an interview with MTV:

Regarding the long in development project â??Atlas Shrugged,â? which has been in some form of creative flux for over 35 years, Jolie didnâ??t hesitate to call it a â??once in a lifetimeâ? project. And this is coming from a woman who has won one Oscar, and probably should have been nominated for at least one more. To put it more simply, she makes good films.

â??['Atlas Shrugged'] is one of those, I think, once-in-a-lifetime films that you feel, â??If I only do a few more in my lifetime, that has to be one of them,â??â? she insisted.

See the relevant post at MTV’s movies blog for more.

Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales profiled in The Economist

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales — a long-time admirer of Ayn Rand’s writings — was profiled in this month’s issue of The Economist.

Here’s a choice quote from mid-way through the introduction:

The philosophy that appealed to Mr Wales was Objectivism, a strand of thinking associated with the author Ayn Rand. â??It colours everything I do and think,â? he says. In her cult novels â??Fountainheadâ? and â??Atlas Shruggedâ? and other works, Rand described rugged and unbending individualists who embodied a raw brand of capitalism and a metaphysical conviction that reality was fixed and objectively knowable. Through his interest in Objectivism, Mr Wales met, in the early 1990s, a philosopher named Larry Sanger.

Mr Wales was moderating an online discussion about Rand, and Mr Sanger joined in as a sceptic, freely displaying his â??contempt for Objectivists because they pretend to be independent-minded and yet they follow in lockstep behind Ayn Rand,â? as he puts it. Then Mr Sanger started moderating his own philosophy discussion, and Mr Wales joined in. Mr Wales called him up to contest every single point, and when the two met offline to carry on the jousting, they hit it off famously and became friends.

By the late 1990s, Mr Wales was investing in a website called Bomis, a sort of search engine or web directory where â??99% of the searches had to do with naked babes,â? as Mr Foote, who was Bomisâ??s advertising director, puts it. Bomis did barely well enough to support its four employees, he says, but it enabled Mr Wales to fund his bigger fascination: an online encyclopedia. He invited Mr Sanger to be its editor, and in 2000 they started Nupedia. Experts were invited to write articles on various subjects, and the idea was that Nupedia would sell advertising and make profits.

See the full article for much more.

Sometimes it’s the Howard Roark problem

New York Times writer Rachel Donadio explores the “It’s not you, it’s your books” problem in romantic love — a problem very familiar to many admirers of Ayn Rand’s novels.

From her perspective, though, it’s the like (rather than dislike) for Rand’s novels that indicates middlebrow tastes:

Pity the would-be Romeo who earnestly confesses middlebrow tastes: sometimes, itâ??s the Howard Roark problem as much as the Pushkin one. â??I did have to break up with one guy because he was very keen on Ayn Rand,â? said Laura Miller, a book critic for Salon. â??He was sweet and incredibly decent despite all the grandiosely heartless â??philosophyâ?? he espoused, but it wasnâ??t even the ideology that did it. I just thought Rand was a hilariously bad writer, and past a certain point I couldnâ??t hide my amusement.â? (Members of, a dating and fan site for devotees of â??Atlas Shruggedâ? and â??The Fountainhead,â? might disagree.)


Sounds like they both dodged a bullet. Two cheers for being unable to hide your own literary tastes!

And I’ll second Donadio’s suggestion to fall in love with someone who shares your taste in art. It makes a lot of other things go more smoothly.