Created By: djproject on January 13, 2013

Randian Hero

People who either directly or indirectly resembles Ayn Rand's philosophy

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People who either directly or indirectly resembles Ayn Rand's philosophy. Obviously the protagonists in her novels fit. But there have been characters not created by her that have been described as "Randian" like Tony Stark/Iron Man and Sefton from *Stalag 17*
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • January 13, 2013
    I think an explanation of the Randian philosophy might be appropriate.
  • January 13, 2013
    Could you explain exactly what Ayn Rand's philosphy was? I have only a passing knowledge of her. I haven't seen the movie in a long time and I don't know if it even counts but...

    In Dirty Dancing, the rich Jerkass Robbie says to Baby that some people count and others don't. He then shows her a copy of The Fountainhead.

    ETA: I just realized that the title says hero but the description just says character. Would Robbie count (if he actually is Randian)?
  • January 13, 2013
    • Steve Ditko was an Objecttivist who incorporated Randian philosophies in his characters such as The Question and Mr A. They have a black and white morality and work to end the corruption in authoritiy. That said, Rorshach from Watchmen was based on both of these characters in an obviously much darker tone. This character type is deconstructed and shown to be violent and obtuse.
  • January 16, 2013
    My apologies.

    In a nutshell, Ayn Rand's philosophy is called Objectivism. It asserts that reason is the foundation for everything in life, the individual takes precedent over any collective and man should live according to rational self-interest. In terms of ethics, egoism is the only moral way to life and altruism is inherently immoral.

    Usually when someone is called "Randian", it means one chooses to be rational over emotional, doing things according to a rational self-interest (or for one's benefit), is sceptical of anything and everything that's done "for the greater good" and often is a man-alone who goes against the grain of society.

    Obviously Howard Roark from _The Fountainhead_ and Henry Rearden/Dagny Taggart from _Atlas Shrugged_ can be defined as Randian heroes as they are the central protagonists and reflect Ayn Rand's philosophy. But you can apply to other people who fit those characteristics even when they are not intended to be so (and usually when there's an open spite against her).

    Just a thought. Hope this helps.
  • January 16, 2013
    Notoriously, Richard Rahl of the Sword Of Truth series. More obvious in later volumes when Author Tract takes over.

    Note that like the Byronic Hero, the Randian Hero can often be his own worst enemy (though many Objectivists would claim that such a person failed to fully understand Objectivism.) Someone like Robbie from Dirty Dancing would be more along the lines of a "Rand Wannabe" like the Nietzsche Wannabe who spouts nihilistic philosophy when it's convenient but doesn't really grok it.
  • January 16, 2013
    A link to UsefulNotes.Objectivism would probably be a good idea.
  • January 17, 2013
    Get rid of the word "Hero" in the title. I can think of villains that fit the trope.
  • January 17, 2013
    ^If you use Hero in the classical sense, someone who does whatever the hell they want and has the balls to face the consequences, rather than the modern sense of The Hero, then I don't see why a villain couldn't be Randian; as a matter of fact, Rand was a self-confessed Hero Worshipper, and she meant it in the classical sense.

    ^^That article is misleadingly apologetic and would get in the way of qualifying a character as Randian. Modern Randians have a habit of pulling No True Scotsman on Rand herself; with reason, too, since, by weakness or by design, she was a Hypocrite.

    • In Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality, Harry Potter is dismissive of Rand's philosophy, which he considers a trap. He still relies heavily on the idea of enlightened self-interest to guide his moral compass and to assess others', but he is very keenly aware of a greater picture than his own, and he does not hesitate to sacrifice his own well-being for the sake of others. Slytherin and Ravenclaw, at their best, are very Randian, with the Ravenclaws focusing on the "enlightened" and the Slytherins on the "self-interest" parts respectively. Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, by contrast, are altruistic, putting the needs of the group before the needs of the individual.
  • January 19, 2013
    One of these days, I'll be better at "speaking in tropes" =]

    (Trope response in 3, 2, 1 ... )
  • January 19, 2013
    There was a non-canon Spider-Man story in which Peter Parker reads one of the Rand books for a college class and it suddenly dawns on him that he's a "producer" and most of the people around him aren't. As a result he starts using Objectivist principles to make his decisions.

    This works wonders for his self-esteem and financial status. But as is pointed out in-story, he's really only applying a shallow surface layer of Objectivism, and after a certain point just uses it as a convenient excuse to be a Jerkass.
  • January 19, 2013
    I think Objectivist Hero would be more appropriate.
  • January 20, 2013
    ^ I don't think so. "Real objectivists" are actually pretty nice people. Rand was a bit of an ass, by all accounts.

    Anyway, Peter Parker being an Objectivist? That seems so Out Of Character. The guy displays the textbook kind of altruism that Rand warns people about. Having him stop doing that... it wouldn't be the same hero any more.
  • January 20, 2013
    It's also probably worth noting that the Randian hero generally views the world in terms of absolutes, subscribing to a form of Black And White Morality. Additionally, the Randian hero is typically idealized in the same way that many classical heroes are idealized.
  • January 18, 2015
    Would Tris, the protagonist of Divergent, count as this? The novel seems to idealize individualism and personal ambition.