Ayn Rand’s Interviews

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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.