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Why Are Objectivists So Negative?

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Onkar Ghate discuss the reasons why Objectivist commentary usually appears to emphasis the negative.

Among the topics covered:

  • Whether it’s true that Objectivist commentary is unqualifiedly “negative”;
  • Why Ayn Rand thought reporting on achievements would not be symptomatic of the intellectual atmosphere of her time;
  • Why philosophical negatives show the essential trend of our culture;
  • Why a philosophy for living on earth doesn’t separate guidance for living from political and cultural commentary;
  • Whether emphasizing positives inspires more people to follow better ideas;
  • Whether things are bad enough to justify a strike as in Atlas Shrugged;
  • Whether anyone is tracking the influence of Objectivism in the culture;
  • How clarity on negative issues helps one understand them and prevent their recurrence;
  • Whether it is healthy to say “things could always be worse.”

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essay “How Does One Lead a Rational Life in an Irrational Society?” and her talk “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World.” Also mentioned is New Ideal Live’s episode “How Can We Change People’s Minds About Ayn Rand’s Controversial Ideas?”

This podcast was recorded on August 18, 2021. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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Agustina Vergara Cid

Agustina Vergara Cid, LLB and LLM, is an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute and an opinion columnist at the Orange County Register.

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