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Eight of Our Best Podcasts of 2023

The year’s best commentary demonstrating the unique power of Objectivism to understand complex current events.

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2023 was fraught with complex and controversial events that have shaken up the cultural landscape. New Ideal Live, the podcast of the Ayn Rand Institute, is dedicated to demonstrating the power of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, to penetrate to the core of such controversies: to explain their causes, reveal their significance, offer guidance for how to resolve them, and to predict the consequences of not doing so.

As we prepare to head into the new year I’d like to highlight eight of the best podcasts in 2023 that show the broad application and illuminating power of Objectivism.

From Russia with Evil: The Philosophy of Alexander Dugin (January 5, 2023)

Nikos Sotirakopoulos and Ziemowit Gowin discuss the ideas of the Russian political philosopher Alexander Dugin, explain their appeal to America’s political right, and reveal the deadly consequences of their opposition to Western liberalism.

How to Deal with Arbitrary Claims: Lessons from the Pandemic (January 24, 2023)

Nikos Sotirakopoulos and Mike Mazza interview Dr. Amesh Adalja to discuss and evaluate skepticism about Covid-19 vaccines. They explain why anti-vaccine attitudes persist in the culture and how one should assess claims on the internet (particularly in high-risk situations).

Threats to Regulate Artificial Intelligence (May 8, 2023)

Ben Bayer and Mike Mazza are joined by software engineer Chad Mills to discuss ethical concerns about developments in AI technology. They discuss a proper understanding of the nature of AI, the biggest values that AI will bring to human life, the regressive consequences of restricting AI development, and the arbitrary claims made by AI doomsday scenarios.

The Dishonest Debate on Immigration and National Security (June 27, 2023)

Agustina Vergara Cid and Onkar Ghate discuss the dishonest nature of the ongoing debate about immigration in America. They highlight the unacknowledged benefits to national security that immigrants bring, the actual damage done by immigration restrictions, and the need for a rational response to actual national security threats.

Civilization vs. Barbarism: Ongoing Analysis of the Hamas War on Israel (October 16, 2023)

Elan Journo, Onkar Ghate, Nikos Sotirakopoulos, and Tal Tsfany discuss in essential terms the most important event of the year, the Hamas war on Israel. This show was part of an ongoing series covering the conflict after the horrific October 7 attacks. In it they assess the cultural significance of the war itself, the nature of the response to the conflict, and explain the relationship between the irrational ideas held by Hamas and their Western apologists.

Did Israel Steal Palestinian Land? (October 26, 2023)

In ARI’s most viewed video to date with 2.6 million views, Elan Journo and Nikos Sotirakopoulos challenge the widespread claim that Israel has a history of stealing Palestinian land. They debunk the widely shared maps that show “shrinking” Palestinian territory and defend Israel’s moral status. They clarify the broader moral standards needed to evaluate claims to statehood, showing why Israel meets those standards while the Palestinians do not. They also identify the Western moral premises that make possible continued dishonest discourse about Israel.

Jordan Peterson’s Sophomoric Attack on Ayn Rand (November 17, 2023)

Onkar Ghate and Ben Bayer respond to Jordan Peterson’s most recent attack on Ayn Rand’s ideas. They highlight Peterson’s anti-Enlightenment ideals, his shallow and unserious approach to ideas and to Rand’s work, and his resulting failure to appreciate what makes Rand so radical.

Milei’s Election in Argentina: Is There an Ayn Rand Connection? (November 22, 2023)

Ben Bayer, Nikos Sotirakopoulos, and Agustina Vergara Cid discuss the election of Javier Milei as president of Argentina. Milei explicitly cites Ayn Rand as one of his major influences. In this episode they cover some of the historical background that led to the election, Milei’s incomplete understanding of Ayn Rand’s ideas, and the cautious optimism that his presidency warrants.

Image credit: Yury Zap/Shutterstock.com.


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Ibis Slade

Ibis Slade is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and a content creator. He focuses on American intellectual and moral history.

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