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9 Life Lessons from Ayn Rand

What ‘9 Life Lessons from Ayn Rand’ Gets Right (and Wrong)

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate discuss the successes and errors of the video “9 Life Lessons from Ayn Rand,” which is an attempt to draw life guidance from Ayn Rand’s philosophy by the YouTube channel Philosophies for Life.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why Philosophies for Life’s treatment of Rand is worth discussing;
  • The video’s well-intentioned but conventional attempt to present Rand’s view of reason;
  • The video’s misunderstanding of what Rand means by selfishness and sacrifice;
  • The contrast between Rand’s unconventional, principled conception of the virtue of honesty and the video’s conventional account;
  • Philosophies for Life’s failure to capture Rand’s views of independence and citizenship;
  • The distinction between the idea of playing the victim and Rand’s concept of the sanction of the victim;
  • The meaning of the quote “There are no evil thoughts except one: the refusal to think,” from Atlas Shrugged;
  • The view that people are naturally selfish versus Rand’s conception of free will.

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged and her essays “The ‘Conflicts’ of Men’s Interests” and “Doesn’t Life Require Compromise?” from The Virtue of Selfishness and “Who is the Final Authority in Ethics?” from The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought.

The podcast was recorded on December 22, 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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