My essay, “That Ayn’t Rand: The Sensationalization of Objectivist Theory,” discusses the role of objectivism in contemporary American politics. I discuss the ideological debate between Karl Marx and Ayn Rand in the context of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. By comparing Ayn Rand’s own writing with that of one of her friends and contemporary advocates, Harry Binswanger, I attempt to illuminate the destructive simplification that modern objectivists have adopted in an attempt to gain recognition. Objectivism has struggled since its formation to find an audience among intellectuals and academics, who have largely dismissed the theory. As a result, Rand’s theories have been condensed further and further over the years to maximize impact and audience. In this paper, I attempt to demonstrate how this reduction of Rand’s theories actually hurts the objectivist cause rather than helping it. I hold that this oversimplification is partially to blame for the Occupy Wall Street movement’s distrust of capitalism as a system. I find that it is obvious why Occupy protestors loathe large manipulative corporations and the mega-rich, but less so why that distrust would extend to capitalism, a theoretical system of organization never fully implemented anywhere.

NICHOLAS SUPPLE is a rising junior studying Economics and Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences and is President of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity on campus. Born and raised in southern Louisiana, Nick has gained a fascination with the variety of social edicts and distinct opinions found throughout these United States. In that vein, Nick would like to applaud his professor, David Levy, for an exceptionally well-balanced and objective discussion of free market capitalism.