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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Quillette’s Anti-Intellectual Treatment of Ayn Rand

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo, Robert Mayhew and Keith Lockitch discuss the philosophic significance of the anti-intellectual treatment of Ayn Rand in a recent article published in Quillette magazine.

Among the topics covered:

  • Quillette’s history of publishing heterodox, intellectually serious articles;
  • The basic incompetence and unoriginality of Quillette’s piece on Ayn Rand;
  • Why Rand appeals to the idealism of youth, and why critics sneer at young people’s interest in her;
  • Why people often claim to have “outgrown” Rand;
  • The meaning of Allan Bloom’s and Steven Pinker’s dismissals of Rand;
  • The value of commenting on articles like this, despite their lack of merit;
  • The widespread acceptance of altruism as a major cause of attacks on Rand.

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essays “Art and Moral Treason” and “Art and Sense of Life” from her book The Romantic Manifesto, “The ‘Inexplicable Personal Alchemy’” from her book Return of the Primitive, and her introduction to the 25th anniversary edition of The Fountainhead. Also mentioned are the books Essays on Ayn Rand’s “We the Living,” Essays on Ayn Rand’s “Anthem,” Essays on Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” (particularly Ben Bayer’s essay “The Fountainhead and the Spirit of Youth”) and Essays on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” all edited by Mayhew.

The podcast was recorded on December 16, 2021. 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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