Hello, I'm glad I found this sight. I spent most of my life thinking that I was a Libertarian. I had never known about Objectivism, but knew that I was a supporter of individual rights and could see the evils of collectivism, and that led me to side mostly with the Libertarians that I knew… Then a couple years ago I picked up Atlas Shrugged. I had heard of the book before, but really had no idea what it was about. I grew up in a very liberal school system just outside Detroit, and was always told that Ayn Rand was a terrible writer. When I heard criticisms about her (mostly from the teachers), they mostly complained about her writing style and never discussed the themes of the novels. So, I had never had much interest in reading her work. Then one day, I was looking for a new book to read and came across a list online called “100 books that everyone should read” or something like that, and Atlas Shrugged was on it. I got the book and dove into it, and WOW… It blew my socks off… It was a very clear and entertaining novel explaining the core of what I always knew to be right but couldn’t quite explain…. Since then I’ve read everything of Ayn Rand’s I could get my hands including The Fountainhead, Anthem, We the Living, The Virtue of Selfishness, Philosophy: Who needs it?, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and a few more.
I’ve noticed that the first thing people want to know on this site is what people do for work. Now, this might come off as odd or give some a stab of resentment, but I work for the government. I’ve worked some odd jobs since I was 15 and after I graduated high school I joined the U.S. Air Force. After my first enlistment, I separated from active duty and joined the Michigan Air National Guard. As a traditional Guardsmen (weekend warrior) I worked some more odd jobs until my first deployment. After working with my senior NCO’s on a more frequent basis, they offered me a full time technician job. Shortly after I started working as a technician, we got work the base would be closing down, so I applied for a federal law enforcement job. I have now been a federal law enforcement officer for about 8 years. I know that Objectivists disapprove of most government employment (and I agree), but from what I’ve read about Objectivism the purpose of a government is to protect people from physical force and that means the proper function of a government is to provide a military, law enforcement and the courts.
Anyway, I hope I’m welcome here even though I work for the government. I look forward to discussing issues with intelligent people.