Ayn Rand: A Relationship Dealbreaker?

Go on any Internet dating site, and you're likely to find a profile template that invites users to list their favorite authors. Have you ever wondered which novelist might be most polarizing? I myself have contemplated this — and my best guess is Ayn Rand, the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged — the novel that inspired the new movie, which was released on Friday. Rand has inspired generations of rabid fans with her "objectivist" philosophy, which holds that pursuing your own self-interest and personal happiness throughout life is of the highest moral value.

Her detractors, equally passionate, find her outlook overly simplistic, at best, and, at worst, inhumane to the point of evil.

Here's what renowned writer Gore Vidal had to say about her: "She has a great attraction for … people who … object to paying taxes, who dislike the 'welfare' state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts."

She herself once wrote that selflessness (yes, selflessness) was destroying America.

Libertarians tend to love her. Liberals and progressives? Not so much.

How do you guys feel about Ayn Rand? If you meet a guy who loves her — or hates her — is that a dating dealbreaker for you?

I bring all this up today not only because the movie just came out but because I stumbled across a piece in Time magazine about a dating site called The Atlasphere for so-called Randians. Its mission? "To bring together admirers of Ayn Rand's novels, from around the globe."

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