I’m actually in sympathy with a lot of what you write, which is why I find Rand more compelling as a persona than as someone with a workable political-economic program. I also find her essays more valuable than her allegorical fiction for that matter. I would say that Rand’s program does place a real demand on people, if they are willing to abide by it; as an example I cite the career of artist Steve Ditko, who, frustrating as he can be, is a model of integrity and material sacrifice for ideals. I wouldn’t prescribe Rand as a steady diet either. But, as with some of America’s motivational philosophers, I think she can provide a bridge at the right moment; she also presents a case study is personal agency, which I find compelling.