Ayn Rand’s Lectures & Interviews

Ayn Rand’s Lectures (Audio)

  • Philosophy: Who Needs It – In March 1974, Ayn Rand faced the improbable task of lecturing on the crucial importance of philosophy—to the graduating class of West Point. She succeeded magnificently: she attracted three times the expected attendance, she elicited an enthusiastic ovation, and her lecture was reprinted in a new philosophy textbook published by the U.S. Military Academy. Discover the irresistible intellectual power of Ayn Rand.
  • Introducing Objectivism – A capsule description of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.
  • The Objectivist Ethics – Are values an objective necessity—or merely a dispensable social convention? Ayn Rand’s presentation of her revolutionary morality.
  • Aristotle – Ayn Rand reads her (published) review of John Herman Randall’s book Aristotle, and offers additional comments on Aristotle’s greatness.
  • Art in Education – The role of Romantic art in the development of a moral “sense of life.”
  • The Brain Drain – Ayn Rand explains why the men of ability flee collectivism.
  • Capitalism vs. Communism (Video) – The conflict between capitalism and communism, Ayn Rand says, is really a war of reason vs. mysticism. She warns businessmen: “You do not hire witch doctors as mechanics or engineers; do not hire them as PR men.”
  • “Conflicts” of Men’s Interests – An explanation of why the interests of rational men do not clash.
  • Conservatism: An Obituary – Ayn Rand discusses the appalling spectacle of conservatives trying to defend capitalism—while scurrying to evade its actual meaning; also, why conservatives are an impediment to laissez-faire capitalism.
  • Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World – In this sweeping talk on the impact of philosophy throughout history, Ayn Rand explains why mysticism is altruism’s precondition, and why dictatorship is its product.
  • The Fascist New Frontier – The Kennedy administration is often hailed as a brief shining moment in American history. Here, Ayn Rand incisively identifies the frightening similarities—in their programs and in their philosophy—between the Kennedy government and the fascist states of Europe.
  • The Foreign Policy of a Mixed Economy – How foreign aid expands a mixed economy’s warfare to an international arena. Ayn Rand reads and extemporaneously comments on her article “The Pull Peddlers.”
  • “Let Us Alone!” – Miss Rand reads three articles from her Los Angeles Times column: “Let Us Alone,” “The Cold Civil War,” and “The Man-Haters.”
  • The Money-Making Personality – Ayn Rand analyzes the qualities required for entrepreneurial success.
  • Our Esthetic Vacuum – Ayn Rand describes art as the barometer of a culture. Here, she looks at the content of modern art and identifies what it reveals about today’s culture.
  • Rebellion at Columbia – The aims of the New Left and the cowardly appeasement of campus thugs by university officials.
  • The Sanction of the Victims (Video) In Ayn Rand’s final public talk, she exhorts a group of businessmen to stop apologizing, and stop supporting anti-capitalist institutions: “It is a moral crime to give money to support ideas with which you disagree. It is a moral crime to give money to support your own destroyers.” See how the force of her ideas captivated an audience and drew a tumultuous response.
  • Today’s Intellectual State – Ayn Rand analyzes Republican appeasement of liberals in the 1940, 1952 and 1968 elections.

Ayn Rand’s Interviews (Audio)

  • 19th-Century Capitalism – Topics include monopolies; the constitutional foundations of capitalism; the history of railroads; the policy of homesteading.
  • Ayn Rand and the “New Intellectual” (Video) – In this interview, which took place upon publication of For the New Intellectual, Ayn Rand discusses: the nature of cultural leadership; the influence of Plato, Aquinas and Kant; the creeping mysticism infecting science; and the lengthy process by which individuals become the “new intellectuals” of tomorrow.
  • Conservatism vs. Objectivism – The philosophically opposite approaches of Objectivism and conservatism. Mises and Hazlitt. Educational vs. political action.
  • The Enemies of “Extremism” – The non-definability of “extremism.” Package-dealing as a means of evading epistemological commitment.
  • Interview with Ayn Rand – Ayn Rand covers a spectrum of issues, including: why the field of psychology is in a state of pre-science; the “one and one-half” philosophers in history who warrant her intellectual respect; the importance of introspection; the meaning of sex; her view of herself as a philosophic radical.
  • Issues in Education – The purpose and value of schooling; “indoctrination” vs. teaching; how to foster independence in children; the futility of coerced racial integration.
  • The Nature of Rights – Metaphysics and rights; the meaning of human survival; capitalism and the handicapped; and whether government has rights.
  • Objective Law – The meaning of objective law. Why non-objective law lies at the base of tyranny. The implications of preventive law. Rules of evidence. Is capital punishment justifiable?
  • Politics of a Free Society – The link between the political and economic systems of a society; does a free society need a constitution? government financing in a free society; limitations on suffrage; should there be popular referendums for laws?
  • The Press in a Free Society – In this lecture, Miss Rand discusses: The function of the press; Coverage of the Vietnam War; How a free press is crucial to a fair trial; How to read between the lines; Government censorship via licensing, and TV as a “vast wasteland.”
  • The Psychology of Altruism – Miss Rand discusses the fallacy of “psychological egoism”; altruism’s false choice between sadism and masochism; self-esteem and altruism; and the desire for the unearned.
  • Q & A on Objectivism – Objectivism’s value to people of “lesser ability.” Why Mill and Bentham could not defend capitalism. Origins of altruism in ancient Oriental culture. Fighting for the future.
  • The “Robber Barons” – Why the so-called robber-barons of the 19th century were the greatest benefactors of mankind ever. How they were punished for the “crime” of exhibiting productive genius. The facts about the growth of the railroads. “Competition” in a mixed economy.
  • Romantic Literature – The role of art in an ideal society; the meaning of Romantic Realism; Dostoyevsky’s depiction of “life as it might be and ought not to be”; art vs. “depravity studies”; the literature of Shakespeare, Huxley, Nabokov and others.
  • Selfishness as a Virtue – Miss Rand discusses the moral injustice of taxation, the dependence of the incompetent on the competent; her personal struggle as a writer.
  • Significance of the Goldwater Campaign – Here are pre- and post-election discussions by Ayn Rand of the ideological implications of the Johnson-Goldwater contest. She endorses Goldwater, evaluates the two parties’ platforms, examines Goldwater’s glaring philosophical deficiencies, explains the smear campaign against him, and discusses the dim prospects for implementing capitalism via political—as against philosophical/educational—means.
  • Speaking Freely – Ayn Rand is interviewed by Edwin Newman on such topics as feminism, environmentalism, drug use and Kant’s cultural influence.
  • The Structure of Government – Miss Rand discusses: The importance of a written constitution; A republic vs. a democracy; The nature of America’s checks and balances; Electoral re-apportionment and “one-man-one-vote”; and Amending the Constitution.

Pin It on Pinterest