Ayn Rand as Prophet?
The key here is to realize that although she was well versed in both economics and politics, they were not her focus. Rather, Rand was a philosopher who scientifically developed a radically new philosophical system (which she named Objectivism). This is what enabled her to so accurately forecast today's events. As she saw it, the vital purpose of philosophy is to equip us with the principles necessary to live successfully. Stated negatively, failing to identify and heed the objective requirements of life results in unsuccessful living. Indeed, the crumbling society in Atlas was a direct consequence of crucial and widespread philosophical errors. Rand's masterful expose of these errors stemmed from her lifelong dedication to formulating and validating her own groundbreaking views. For ultimately, her concern was with the positive -- with understanding and codifying how man should properly live.
Given her goal, Rand's focus was on the individual and his place in the world. In studying these topics, she provided penetrating insight into the nature of reason and knowledge; of the virtues and principles necessary to live; and of the values -- both spiritual and material -- that men should strive for and achieve.