In her 70s Rand found herself dying of lung cancer, after insisting that her followers smoke because it symbolized “man’s victory over fire” and the studies showing it caused lung cancer were Communist propaganda.
Rand was broken by the Bolsheviks as a girl, and she never left their bootprint behind. She believed her philosophy was Bolshevism’s opposite, when in reality it was its twin. Both she and the Soviets insisted a small revolutionary elite in possession of absolute rationality must seize power and impose its vision on a malleable, imbecilic mass. The only difference was that Lenin thought the parasites to be stomped on were the rich, while Rand thought they were the poor.
Excellent dissection or Rand’s life and work. He life demonstrates the danger of replacing empiricism with ideology.