Ayn Rand, Rights, and the Future of the Republic in America
An understanding and defense of individual rights is of fundamental importance for those wishing to restore the republic in America, and one of the most vigorous defenders of rights was novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand. For this podcast, ROAR President Mike Gemmell interviewed Jennifer Grossman, CEO of the Atlas Society–one of the premier organizations dedicated to the advancement of Ayn Rand’s philosophy–concerning the relevance of Rand’s philosophy to the current political/cultural climate of America, and in particular her view on rights.
Although during her life many in mainstream America viewed Rand’s ideas favorably, she was considered an outsider by many political/cultural leaders. Her philosophy named “Objectivism” was presented in her novels via characters such as Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, and John Galt in Atlas Shrugged.
Ms. Grossman discussed how she came to the realization that new storytelling techniques were needed to bring young people to the ideas of Ayn Rand, and the Atlas Society’s recent significant successes in introducing Rand’s well-known characters such as Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart of Atlas Shrugged to young readers. Also Rand’s views on religion were discussed, as well as the importance of goodwill and benevolence in her philosophy and the work of philosopher David Kelley to extend Rand’s work in those areas. Mike Gemmell reviewed his own work from his years as a geologist performing environmental cleanups and how Rand’s views on property rights could be applied to pollution issues via the use of a comparative standard between natural and manmade contributions to the environment. The issue of Progressive Liberal philosophy and its emphasis on “duty” was also reviewed and contrasted with Rand’s philosophy that emphasizes benevolence and good will as being more consistent with the needs of human life.