I'm not much of an Ayn Rand fan. Although I confess to a certain guilty pleasure reading Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead (despite prose that can charitably be called leaden), her thinking I found to be naive in its positivism.
But I have several friends who admire her work greatly. They like her emphasis on the individual rather than the collective, her refusal to apologize for genius, her belief that selfishness is the ultimate virtue.
In The Fountainhead, she gives Howard Roark these lines:
The great creators -- the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors -- stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.
"Men of unborrowed vision" -- that is a good line; I know my Randian friends would approve. And yet, some of these very friends hold real animosity towards someone who, by all accounts, fits very neatly into the Ayn Rand hero role.
That man is Steve Jobs and some of my friends despise him so thoroughly, they will actually use inferior products just to disassociate themselves with Jobs' greatest creation, Apple.
Now, hypocrisy and religion are no strangers -- and Rand's Objectivism might well be called religion for atheists. But still, is it not exceedingly strange that the very embodiment of Rand's principles inspires such loathing from those most supportive of these same principles?
Perhaps Rand was more right than I've given her credit for...