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Why Ayn Rand Rejected ‘Conservatism’

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Keith Lockitch discuss the false viewpoint that Ayn Rand belonged to the “conservative” movement.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why people associate Ayn Rand with the “conservative” movement;
  • Rand’s own experience with the conservative movement;
  • What people saw conservatism as standing for in Rand’s time;
  • Rand’s view that the defense of freedom has to be based in the morality of self-interest, not altruism;
  • Rand’s central charge that conservatism was intellectually bankrupt and unwilling to reject altruism;
  • Rand’s response to the conservative arguments for freedom;
  • How Rand predicted the rise of militant conservative mystics in the 1980s;
  • Rand’s criticism of the conservative attack on abortion rights;
  • Rand’s criticisms of conservatism summarized;
  • Whether conservatives and libertarians are better candidates than liberals and progressives to be persuaded by Objectivism;
  • Tribalism in both conservativism and the left;
  • Rand’s opposition to the military draft.

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essay “Conservatism: an Obituary,” her talk “The Age of Mediocrity,” and Elan Journo’s essay “What Was Ayn Rand’s View of ‘Conservatism’?”.

This podcast was recorded on July 7, 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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