Noted Author and Thought-Leader Don Watkins Weighs In
Ayn Rand’s take on socialism misses the boat by a wide mark. Homo sapiens are a social species. Our use of language developed as a tool that furthered our social interdependence and hence survival. Our development of culture in myriad forms, our unparalleled success over the millions of years of evolution to the hundreds of millennia of existence in our modern form, are all due to the success of social interdependence and cooperative collaboration. Since the Agricultural Revolution, and particularly in the current age, the promotion—nay, worship—of individualism in the form Randians now celebrate is at the root of aristocracies, autocracies, and ultimately, totalitarianism.
I'm not sure how many people ever thought Ayn Rand was relevant, but I dove into Objectivism for the same reasons you did. Someone introduced me to Rand and I read as much of her as I could. She had an incredible mind, but she didn't understand some essential things about Christianity, and because of that misunderstanding she fought hard against it.
Of course, it would be fair to state that her misunderstanding was due in part to how the church has positioned itself in the West in the last couple of hundred years, but that's a different argument.
All philosophy is important. Everyone is guided by a philosophy, and for that reason, it's important to study philosophy so that one can understand how to determine what is valuable in life. Even if one rejects Rand, or another philosophy, studying philosophy helps us embrace what we believe more fully. Rand helped me do that in more than one way.