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Panel on America’s Culture: Live from OCON 2022

In this episode of New Ideal Live, broadcast live from OCON 2022, Onkar Ghate, Gregory Salmieri, Tara Smith and Yaron Brook discuss the tumultuous events of the last few years and how we should evaluate the state of American political culture in light of them.

Among the topics covered:

  • The irrationality and tribalism of most Americans’ responses to Covid-19;
  • The increasing popularity of conspiratorial thinking;
  • How 9/11 and subsequent wars contributed to Americans’ loss of trust in institutions;
  • The disappearance of discussion about economic policy from American political culture;
  • The transformation of the Tea Party into the modern Republican base;
  • The fact that America still attracts entrepreneurial people from around the world;
  • Why the “woke” pressure to treat many points of view as off-limits is harmful, and why it might be declining;
  • Whether some basic qualifications should be required for holding political office;
  • Education as an avenue for Objectivists to promote positive cultural change;
  • The absence of positive values in American culture today;
  • How to respond to the social pressure of “woke” culture.

Mentioned in this podcast is Ayn Rand’s essay “Selfishness Without a Self” from her book Philosophy: Who Needs It.

The podcast was recorded on July 6, 2022. 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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Sam Weaver

Sam Weaver, BA in English, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and a recipient of the Conceptual Education Fellowship.

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