Ayn Rand is big with teenagers because her writing resonates with their rebellion, with businesspeople because she’s largely about greed, and with techies because she appeals to their revenge fantasies.
As a teenager, I had a brief Ayn Rand phase for about six months (I’ll admit it, revenge fantasies), but between the empty philosophy, leaden writing, heroes who in other novels would be villains, and a fan base of made up of some of the worst people I’m aware of, my fandom turned out to be rather short-lived. Many high-schoolers go through the same phase, although she’s been enjoying a renaissance of those whose livelihoods rest on making the real world like high school but with more money: namely CEOs and Republicans.
Being a techie and living in America, some of the people I know and love are big fans of Ms. Rand, and I try to keep my fun-poking of them to a minimum. But I do poke fun at them, and by doing so on this blog, have managed to make money from it, and when they complain, I tell them to “go start your own damn wildly popular blog and espouse your own views, you bargain basement Wesley Mouches!”.
All this is prologue to an amusing short featuring on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver who asks: How is Ayn Rand still a thing?