What is Objectivism
Objectivism is the name chosen by Ayn Rand for her philosophy. Some essentials of Objectivism are that reality is real (i.e., Existence exists), and that we are conscious of reality (Consciousness is conscious).
From this, Objectivism propounds that knowledge is objective: it is not simply revealed or "obvious", nor is it whimsically subjective. Knowledge is the result of a consciousness gaining understanding of reality.
The better we understand reality, the better we can deal with it. Ayn Rand described Objectivism as a philosophy for living on earth -- by which she meant that it was a philosophy grounded in reality with the purpose of enabling its adherents to better deal with reality. A common thread running through all of Objectivism is the sanctity of the individual, rational human being. In Rand's own words:
"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."
Ayn Rand rejected the idea that men who pursue their own interests must end up in conflict with one another. Objectivism holds individual rights to be the mechanism by which men can pursue their individual interests without being in conflict with one another.
Objectivism is a closed system -- it consists of the philosophical writings of Ayn Rand (which she finished for publication) and those philosophical writings of other people which she specifically approved (for example the articles in the Objectivist Newsletter). The statements in this Wiki are not authoritative nor definitional of Objectivism.
There are philosophical truths which were not incorporated into Objectivism. You should not assume without proof that everything in Objectivism is true.