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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Three Myths about Ayn Rand

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Mike Mazza and Nikos Sotirakopoulos discuss and debunk as baseless three commonly heard myths about Ayn Rand: that she demonized the poor, that she uncritically praised the rich, and that she died penniless and hypocritically accepted Social Security at the end of her life.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why the claim that Rand hated the poor has no plausibility;
  • Rand’s focus on ambition and productive ability;
  • Why Rand didn’t praise being rich as such;
  • Rand’s praise for true wealth creation, including the creation of knowledge;
  • Why the claim that Ayn Rand died penniless defies all evidence;
  • Whether it was hypocritical for Rand to accept Social Security payments;
  • Why accepting government benefits can count as restitution;
  • Why the false charge of hypocrisy reveals an underlying rejection of idealism.

Mentioned in this episode and relevant to the discussion is Onkar Ghate’s article “What Gave Ayn Rand the Moral Right to Collect Social Security?

The podcast was recorded on January 24, 2024. 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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Tristan de Liege

Tristan de Liège, PhD in philosophy, is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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