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I have been told that Ayn Rand said, "get your heros from fiction." Can someone point me to a reference for this statement? The person who gave me the quote claimed Leonard Piekoff quoted Rand on this point, but couldn't remember where it came from.

asked Oct 12 '10 at 08:28

John%20Hoffman's gravatar image

John Hoffman ♦

edited Oct 13 '10 at 13:39

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Yes, Leonard Peikoff does so in his podcast here. Below is my transcription of the relevant section.

By the way, Ayn Rand, I remember her saying that it is much better and healthier to a young person if their hero is taken from art rather than from life because she said that if your hero is someone that intimately connected with your values, your person, what you want in life, what you think of life, if they then do something immoral or disgusting or demeaning, that is like a serious wound to your idea of what you're after. You can overcome it, but she said why put your heroism and your idealism in the service of somebody else's free will? Pick as your hero a man whom you know is what you want and will remain that way throughout.

So she objected, for instance, to young people who wrote and said, "You are my hero," or, "You are my heroine." She thought it was very nice, but they should not make their love of values and their aspirations to the future depend on what she is. Because, then, if in fact she does something wrong or lies are spread about her, then either way their whole concept of a hero and of themselves and of their aspirations is subverted.

I'd also like to note that in the context of the podcast it is clear that he is speaking of heroes in the sense of role models. Certainly, it is fine to recognize a person as a hero, but to regard him as your hero is to make him your role model and place yourself in the situation described above.

answered Oct 17 '10 at 01:57

BMV's gravatar image


edited Oct 17 '10 at 02:05

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Asked: Oct 12 '10 at 08:28

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Last updated: Oct 17 '10 at 02:05