Time for some shock treatment: americans live in a bubble of patriotic self-esteem but the deeper reality is the sheer mediocrity of the whole culture and its manner of enforcing a low level of real intelligence. In this environment a truly peculiar anomaly like Ayn Rand has/had a clear field of a new kind of philosophic sucker.
Let’s be frank, americans are stupid and a third rate philosopher like Rand had easy pickings in this ‘milieu’. In a way Rand, however, echoes the core of Adam Smith, and such, with a faux nietzscheanism, and the movement toward post-christian culture, and this subjects ethical reasoning to a reversal of logic. But in reality a secular culture has the opportunity to replace the weak ethical foundation of judeo-christian tradition with a new form of ethical reasoning in the context of the enlightenment. None other than Kant makes short work of a degenerate like Rand with his ethics of the categorical imperative. On the bright side a figure like Rand generates a dialectic and the pendulum must swing to negation. The time is ripe, the sooner the better, to be rid of this cancerated mutant of pseudo-philosophy.