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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6336/the-rand-interview/

The Rand Interview

March 5, 2007 by

Maybe I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t seen this, but who can’t be completely riveted by this interview with Ayn Rand? What a remarkable woman — so much truth and yet much truth gone mad, one might say — and what a phenomenon. Thanks to youtube you can get a sense of what the whole thing was about.


Sione Vatu March 12, 2007 at 1:29 pm


Yes, that’s my view as well. When I first saw that interview I was frustrated Rand didn’t answer the question directly and simply. Then she could have applied a bit of a sting in the tail for the questioner. (e.g. “this is so simple you’d have understood it if you had the intellect to apply to the matter”- that type of thing). It would have given the audience an important answer to consider while satisfying her desire to chastise the naughtiness of the questioner.

The lesson for me was that one may admire the leading thinkers of libertarian (classic type) thought but one MUST read, analyse, evaluate and understand what they are saying well prior to accepting and integrating them into one’s system of thought. That’s hard work sometimes but the rewards are great. Do your homework early, exactly as the school teachers exhorted (don’t you hate when they turned out to be right all along)! Then keep mouth shut unless it is absolutley essential to say something (like to ask a question of clarification).

On another note. Years ago I had a conversation with the great LJK Setright. He was a specialist motoring journalist, since deceased. On one occasion he commented on a type of engine, which at the time, I was not interested in. I interrupted and steered the subject back towards my then interest. Some time later I discovered what he had been talking about and decided to approach him about it, seeking more detail. This was years on from our original discussion. He’d forgotten all about it. I was frustrated. I’d lost out. Sometimes as people age their intellect alters, they forget things, their interests alter slightly and information is lost. The lesson is to take in what you can get while you can get it. Deal with the rest in your own time- when you have time for further research and consideration.

Get the questions to ask listed out ahead of time. Listen to everything that comes your way, including the stuff you were not necessarily after. That’s the way to deal with important and interesting thinkers. There are not many of them around. If you find some you can talk to you then you are a very lucky man indeed.

The best of luck to you.



Daniel M. Ryan March 12, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Sorry to disclose it, Sione, but I have no further information on what has happened to Solzhenitsyn.

tom April 16, 2007 at 1:17 am

I’ve read a lot of Ayn Rand and I think her views are frequently taken out of context. Rand understood love, however she didn’t understand placing love over oneself. Granted, it is difficult for me to place my well being over my mom, sister, wife, etc…. But also, imagine existing without love for yourself. I feel that she is taken out of context and she doesnt present herself correctly. Her views seem rough because she doesnt speak the greatest english and isn’t what we are accustomed to (ie. she isn’t smiling or excited). I don’t practice her philosophy but her books are definitely worth reading.

Anna April 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I am not sure you understand Rand in the context of “placing love over oneself”. Rand famously said, in The Fountainhead, “Love is exception making”. Meaning, one “accepted” for the sake of the greater fact of being in love with a person, certain traits in them you’d otherwise not like or want in yourself. Also, she said she would throw herself in front of a bus for her husband, but not just any man in the street. That is placing “love” above oneself

Unpretentious_Diva October 15, 2008 at 7:31 am

Fools paradise.

It shows how communist Americans are.
Ayn Rand is the glow of Capitalism and Individual liberty.

Individulaist October 28, 2008 at 9:51 pm

I have NEVER read so many tiny minds supporting their own subjective view of how to survive in the REAL world. You people fight over what you think she did wrong, not putting your hands together for all the things she did right. No-one is 100% correct 100% of the time, but this woman came the closest of anyone to date…. too many question her philosophy from where they are, not from where they should… which is alone with your own mind & physical abilities only ….. Not sucking on the tit of state and/or government handouts…. which gave most the ability to borrow someone elses money to get a 3rd rate education, which has no value unless you sell it back to a police state government, and the most immoral act of all….. to be exactly what she taught you not to be…. an anti-mind, anti-life collectivist ……… Ayn was a human being of the best kind!

Barry Linetsky March 26, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I just came across this post. It’s easy to assert that Rand was wrong. But be more specific please. Do the thinking and show the proof, don’t just make arbitrary assertions because you disagree. Rand was a philosopher, not an economist. She was absolutely brilliant and original in many areas of philosophy. She developed an inductive approach to philosophy and was a great integrator of ideas across a vast span of the philosophic spectrum. The challenge is not to just disagree, but to demonstrate her errors. One’s inability to read past page 30 of Atlas Shrugged hardly counts as a serious refutation or evidence of anything.

It’s too bad that so many here appear to be unable or unwilling to read and understand Rand. It makes me wonder, therefore, how well they really understand Mises.

There’s more to understanding reality and living a successful life than starting and ending with economics and political philosophy. As Rand argued and demonstrated, you can’t justify and sustain a political system if you start with freedom as a fundamental axiom. That’s why 25 years of libertarianism has been an absolute failure in terms of having a cultural impact, as many Austrian scholars are beginning to admit.

Rand and Austrian economics can be compatible, but you need to come at it from philosophy and put economics in its right place. That’s what makes George Reisman so valuable and profound.

People who seriously think Ayn Rand’s philosophy is bizarre can be of no help in the fight for freedom.

If you don’t want to read Rand, then read Peikoff’s Objectivism. There’s a brilliant philosophic insight on every page. Read Andrew Bernstein’s Objectivism in One Lesson or his wonderful book The Capitalist Manifesto. And of course, read George Reisman.

If you’re really serious about fighting for freedom and individual rights, then it’s time for a serious reassessment, folks. If you’re not, then no wonder you show disdain for Rand.

Doug June 4, 2009 at 10:08 pm

This woman was a genius who will be remembered historically for leading the way in turning an upside down world right side up. Leading the way from a manipulative, dishonest Plato philosophy to a rational honest Aristotilian philosophy. Intelligent, bold, courageous and so much more, this was Ayn Rand. But many today cannot see and will not see her greatness because they have given up the hard thought effort of using their own minds as the mind was intended to be used for human survival, creativity and success. Or more accurately stated, they’ve never known the power of their own mind for they are victims of systems that have brainwash them on how, and what to think and believe. The founding fathers of our country left that kind of a system and started the United States of America. Go back and read for yourself the history in its’ full context and prove it to yourself and for yourself if you’re not too lazy and dishonest to do so. But if you want to continue to be lazy and dishonest, then continue like the media; continue to denigrate and trash a great woman who dared to use her mind and challenge the status quo with rationality; the same power that brought you many of the great creations you enjoy today. Look at ALL of your history in your analysis and you will find that which is REAL. Ayn Rand was REAL and the values she created and left for mankind will some day be eternally celebrated and remembered.

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