Ks murli
4 min readFeb 18, 2022

An extra-marital affair on MORAL grounds? It’s not funny!

KS Muralidharan

Sorry, this is going to piss off folks who are happily married.

Also, sorry that this is NOT going to piss off, well, married folks…

An extra-marital affair on moral grounds?

Well, guess what, it can be absolutely mandatory! Wait, it gets even better. The spouses on both sides of the affair are bound to give their consent to it!!

It’s all laid out very nicely and elaborately in the Bible of Ayn Rand. And practiced to perfection by the Oracle herself.

Remember Ayn Ran’s iconic characters, John Galt, Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden in the epic, Atlas Shrugged, and Howard Roark and Dominique in The Fountainhead? They show how enjoying extra-marital romps virtually mandates one to be mercilessly moral!

Of course, you could turn around and say but these characters are after all fiction. But what about Ayn Rand herself who, unperturbed, decided to go ahead and just do it: An extra-marital affair that was, as she says, morally binding on her, that was absolutely mandatory, and that was in accordance with her highest ideals.

Yes! This extra-marital morality play is revealed inside out in Ayn Rand’s bio, ‘Ayn Rand and the World She Made’, by Anne C Heller.

One can imagine what happened. Apparently, one day before her fiftieth birthday, she bumped into her fan-boy by name, Nathaniel Branden, 25 years her junior, and suddenly, her moral antenna started working feverishly.

“Oh, my Galt! You are a genius!” Ayn Rand exclaimed.

Branden tried to look appropriately heroic. “Oh, er, hmmm, uh, alright.”

“My place, two times a week. Any questions?”

“What about my wife, and your husband?”

“I’ll win them over. It’s about page numbers 557 to 621 in Atlas Shrugged, you know, where John Galt’s speech….”

“I agree,” Branden cut in hastily.

The next day, Rand called in the spouses and explained to them her moral predicament. “I found all my values match in Branden. It’s now a moral affair. To know why and how, let me read out page numbers 557 to 621 from John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged….”

“We agree!” the spouses said hurriedly.

The Ayn Rand bio also reveals that a great intellectual revolution was brewing in Ayn Rand circles when news of this moral affair she carried on with Branden broke. Everyone was now sort of falling on everyone’s shoulders, for their share of “moral affairs”. Suddenly, everybody wanted to be Howard Roark, Dominique, John Galt, and so on.

Ayn Rand’s moral science lessons ramp up the demand for extra-marital romps, as the new normal, if you go by her beef. Precisely how does one land up with such a moral affair? A sample reading of Rand’s philosophy reveals that all it requires is a moral compass, forever on the alert to attract similar values.

Reading pages 557 to 621 of Atlas Shrugged can definitely throw light, but since it takes more time than you imagine, here’s a brief tutorial to show you how it works:

Example: A and B are happily married. But A finds C very attractive, or finds C likes what she likes (Ayn Rand), believes what she believes in (Ayn Rand), and can quote John Galt’s speech backwards without pausing for breath. It’s not easy — not even for yoga gurus. The speech runs through 90 pages and the smallest word in it is yet to be discovered. To cut the speech forward, they see the Rand quotient in each other.

A goes up to C and reveals their values match. C concurs. A, married that she is, is tormented but also delighted to find her match. Now, she HAS to have an affair with C, otherwise, she stands morally condemned. Quite a delicious dilemma!

So A goes up to her hubby, B, and explains the whole thing. B understands, stung as he is by the same moral compass. Ditto C’s wife, D. So A &C meet two times a week in A’s place.

Here’s the inevitable twist. One fine day, that is several years later when A is too old, C suddenly finds their values no more match. “Listen,” C tells A, “we have to call this affair off. You are now too old to be of any value to me.”

A understands. “It’s fine by me,” she concedes. “So long as you keep your mouth shut and don’t devalue my value in public.”

And thus, the morality play in the world of Ayn Rand goes on. Eventually, everyone goes around with everyone, until no one can tell a marriage from another, or an affair from another.

Moral of the story: Just because Ayn Rand got away with it, don’t think you will.

(The writer is an Ayn Rand fan and this is written absolutely without any malice to the great legend)