Onkar Ghate, ARI senior fellow and chief philosophy officer, was recently interviewed on a current events podcast, The Right Perspective. He was invited to promote A New Textbook of Americanism: The Politics of Ayn Rand, a newly published book to which he is a contributor — but the interview ranged widely and covered a host of fascinating questions about Ayn Rand and her philosophy, Objectivism.
A New Textbook of Americanism, Ghate explained, is based on a little-known 1946 project of Rand’s called “Textbook of Americanism,” which explored the founding principles of America. Rand’s vision was a series of questions and short answers (think, 1940s-era FAQ), aimed at explaining America’s political and philosophical principles. She formulated a set of forty-one questions, but only completed twelve of the answers herself. A New Textbook of Americanism reprints Rand’s original “textbook” along with answers to the remaining questions written by Objectivist scholars, as well as additional commentary by various contributors.
Additionally, Ghate talked about a wide array of issues, such as:
- Ayn Rand’s early years, her escape from Soviet Russia, and the parallels between her own life and her novel We the Living
- How she came to build her unique philosophy, based on reason and individualism, that defied everything she had been taught under the communist regime of Soviet Russia
- How the moral ideal underlying socialism explains why its principles are still practiced to this day — and how that moral ideal is diametrically opposed to the moral principles that informed the founding of America
Ghate also answered a number of interesting questions posed by the hosts and the show’s callers. For instance:
- Why did Rand call Immanuel Kant “the most evil man in mankind’s history”?
- What does Ayn Rand’s philosophy have in common with Aristotle’s?
- What were her views on the issue of abortion?
Listen to the interview below and hear Ghate’s illuminating perspective on these questions and a variety of other topics.
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