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In Case You Missed It: Powerful Interviews, Talks from 2019

New Ideal helps advance the Ayn Rand Institute’s wider aim of injecting the right philosophic ideals — reason, individualism, capitalism — into our civilization’s lifeblood. Earlier, I shared a roundup of a select few in-depth articles from this past year. Now, here are some of the most powerful interviews and talks that we featured in 2019.

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Objectivism on Happiness series thumbnail

Ayn Rand’s Philosophy of Happiness on The Rubin Report

ARI partnered with well-known YouTube host Dave Rubin to produce the video series Objectivism on Happiness, featuring some of today’s most knowledgeable experts on Ayn Rand’s ideas. Provocative and wide-ranging, the interviews all center in one way or another on one crucial topic: What is happiness — and how do you achieve it? Among the twelve episodes in the series, two that stood out for me were “Do We Have Free Will?” with Onkar Ghate and “How to Fill Your Life with Meaning” with Yaron Brook and psychologist Gena Gorlin.

Foundations of a Free Society book cover

Conservatives, Libertarians, Anarchists vs. Rand on Politics

One virtue of the book Foundations of a Free Society is that it offers an in-depth look at Rand’s political thought, and so it helps us understand how her distinctive moral case for a free society relates to (and contrasts with) the views of other thinkers who are seen as advocates for liberty — notably conservatives, libertarians, and anarchists. Watch or listen to my interview with one of the book’s co-editors, Greg Salmieri.

Individualism in an Age of Tribalism

More and more today, our culture pushes us to see ourselves as passive members of one group or another. But Ayn Rand rejected the tribal mindset that uses superficial characteristics like ancestry, skin color and gender to divide us into interest groups. In Rand’s view, we are not interchangeable members of various collectives with conflicting interests — we are sovereign, independent individuals whose rational interests align. Watch these four incisive talks — by Onkar Ghate, Yaron Brook, Greg Salmieri, and Tara Smith — discussing Ayn Rand’s unique perspective on individualism as the antidote to tribalist collectivism. Stream or download now on the Ayn Rand University app (Apple and Android) or watch on ARI Campus.

A Conversation with Graeme Wood: What ISIS Really Wants

Graeme Wood, a staff writer at The Atlantic, set out to answer a few simple, yet crucial questions: What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from? What are its intentions? The resulting article, “What ISIS Really Wants,” went viral. Debunking a common perception, Woods argues that the Islamic State’s ends and means are bound up in sincerely held religious beliefs. In this interview, we talk about his writings on jihadists. A key takeaway is that our intellectual and political leaders vastly underappreciate, if not ignore, the role of ideas in animating the jihadist phenomenon.

The Fountainhead Howard Roark courtroom scene

The Dramatic Story of the Making of The Fountainhead Movie

The movie adaptation of The Fountainhead was first released in theaters in July 1949, and it featured one of the biggest movie stars of the era, Gary Cooper, alongside Patricia Neal. But the making of that film was itself a dramatic story. It’s a story of “how Ayn Rand sold the screen rights to The Fountainhead — without selling out.” That’s how Shoshana Milgram, an expert on Ayn Rand’s life and writing, describes it. Watch or listen to my interview with Dr. Milgram.

Exploring Objectivism with Gloria Alvarez

Exploring Objectivism with Gloria Álvarez

Gloria Álvarez — a Guatemalan author, radio host and political commentator — sat down for interviews with seven Objectivist intellectuals to explore aspects of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and its impact on their lives and work.

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Elan Journo

Elan Journo is a senior fellow and vice president of content at the Ayn Rand Institute. His books include Illuminating Ayn Rand (2022), Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: What Went Wrong After 9/11 (2021) and What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2018). Elan is a senior editor of New Ideal.

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