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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Ayn Rand vs. ‘Liberals’

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Elan Journo discuss Ayn Rand’s philosophic analysis and critique of “liberals.” They explain what makes Rand’s evaluation of “liberalism” different from that of “conservatives,” why she thought “liberals” began concealing their collectivist goals, and how today’s “liberals” are different from (and worse than) those of Rand’s time.

Among the topics covered:

  • Ayn Rand’s analysis of “liberalism” as distinctive;
  • Problems with the term “liberal” and how “liberalism” changed in the twentieth century;
  • Rand’s critique as stemming from individualism, not anti-communism;
  • Why Rand saw active-minded “liberals” as an audience worth reaching;
  • How Rand saw the contrast between Objectivism, “liberalism,” and “conservatism”;
  • Why Rand viewed President Kennedy as steering the country toward fascism;
  • Ways Kennedy’s policies fostered government control and the erosion of freedom;
  • Why Rand thought “liberals” kept their ideological motives hidden;
  • How the New Left openly embraced the collectivism the Old Left whitewashed;
  • Whether “liberals” today are different from those of Rand’s time;
  • Why concern for truth should be what motivates political thought and action.

Recommended in this podcast are Journo’s “Ayn Rand’s Devastating Critique of ‘Liberals’” and Rand’s “The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age,” “The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus,” “The Wreckage of Consensus,” “Conservatism: An Obituary,” and “The Left: Old and New.”

The podcast was recorded on April 19, 2023. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Ricardo Pinto

Ricardo Pinto, BA in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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