Ayn Rand thought everything is downstream from thought. That is one you have the Enlightenment philosophers things just went on their natural course. I have heard the opposite opinion that everything starts at the bottom. It is hard to know. My impression is that both are right. I do not have such a bad opinion of the Enlightenment philosophers as Brett Stevens. The extent of my own thinking mainly got me up until Allen Bloom that there a basic contradiction that exists in the USA between Enlightenment thought and anti Enlightenment thought that pays itself out in every day practices. I think that Allen Bloom must have been thinking of Hegel as the kind of solution to this dilemma that he saw. Why he did not pursue that path in his book I am not sure of.