Ayn Rand, the Tea Party and an iPad?


The Ayn Rand Institute has released a new Atlas Shrugged app, which includes the book, audio and video interviews with Rand, and a photo gallery layered over a timeline of the author’s life. The institute released the app partly because of Rand’s sudden popularity — a spike that Yaron Brook, the institute’s president, partially attributes to the current political climate.

“The fact that we’re blaming the financial crisis on capitalism and on businessmen, the fact that we think that the solution is more regulation, more control and bigger and bigger government is exactly the scenario in Atlas Shrugged,” Brook said on ABC’s ‘Top Line’ today.

Brook said Atlas Shrugged has sold more than a million copies since Obama was elected.

“We’re talking about a 54-year-old book. That’s phenomenal,” he said.

If Rand were here today, said Brook, she’d have an iPad. And she would be continuing her crusade for less government.

“She would argue that the primary problem today is that government is too big and has taken on a role that it was never intended to take on, and she would advocate for dramatically cutting spending and cutting the role of government, shrinking the government to its basic function, which is the protection of individual rights,” said Brook.

On the subject of jobs, again, said Brook, less is more.

“Get the regulators off the back of businessmen,” said Brook. “Ayn Rand believed in a complete separation of economics from state,” he said, adding that the author also believed government should play “no function” in citizens’ economic lives.

Conservative Tea Party members appear aligned with Rand’s beliefs. The top House Republican’s view of economics might also get a nod of approval from the late author. House Speaker John Boehner told the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday that American job creation faces “a triple threat” from government: excessive regulation, a spending binge in Washington and the current tax code.

With the release of the Atlas Shrugged app, the Ayn Rand Institute is following market forces. The release of the digital book is well-timed, as brick and mortar bookstores shutter across the country. Brook said Rand followers won’t be disappointed with it.

“It’s what they’re calling now an enhanced book. It’s a bigger experience than just reading the book,” he said. “You get all these additional sources that, you know, make the experience more fulfilling.”