The Long Arm of Ayn Rand: Why she still matters, Part 2

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This is a CBC podcast. Discover what millions around the world already have audible has Canada's largest library of audiobooks, including exclusive content curated by and four Canadians. Experienced books in a whole new way were stories are brought to life by powerful performances from renowned actors and narrators with the free audible app. You can listen anytime anywhere. Whether you're at home in the car or out on a jog the first thirty days of the audible membership or free, including a free book. Go to WWW dot audible dot CA slash CBC. To learn more. I am primarily the offing you called of morality, which has so five been believed impossible. I'm Paul Kennedy. And this is idea. My next guest is she is probably one of the most intense, also perhaps intellectual voices in America today. I think provider most unusual and most controversial you'll up and please miss rand. I'm ran the first writer to celebrate capitalism. Novels like the fountainhead and atlas shrugged turn to figure of the entre preneurs into a hero. Her ideas were embraced by millions and still are, but they were also ridiculed and still are this week. I'm ran how she still thing. Fine ran became famous for her philosophy of Objectivism, which is a nice way of saying being a selfish asshole. But I'm Rennes philosophy of Objectivism is still leaving its Mark on politics and culture. And none of it would likely have happened had a young Canadian named Nathaniel. Brandon not begun an unlikely friendship and romance with rand three decades after her death the writer, I kn- rand is still the subject of serious debate. And not just over how to pronounce her name and ran on wrong. Ran not an ran and ran I n rans told us n ran for the record is on rand and in those three decades after her death her books continue to sell more than three hundred thousand copies year. So critics may dismiss her out of hand. But as contributor sandy Bork tells us in part two of rec- res the long. Arm on rand they're missing the point my philosophy. Emphasis is the concept of man as a heroic being with his own happiness as the model of his life with productive Chieveley. He's noble activity, and the reason as he's up to. Rand was twenty one when she fled Saint Petersburg for America. The Russian revolution was a disaster for her family. She saw her father lose everything he'd worked for his whole life. When the great depression hit the US capitalism appeared to be broken and collectivist thinking was on the rise. Uprise in Dade came to private it became related prize. Three at upper. But I'm wanted to show that capitalism wasn't broken. So she created her own kind of individualist made in America hero wish to defy common standards. Is that my own standards you intend to fight against a whole. Well, if necessary her work was largely panned by critics, but the negative reviews. Only intensified is passion to set America straight a passion fueled by her young acolyte and lover Nathaniel, Brandon, as I said those words, I love you. I knew that my life had changed irrevocably. I'm I met Nathaniel in March nineteen fifty at that point she'd been writing the novel that would become atlas shrugged for almost seven years. She wanted her novel to inoculate America against the evils of collectivism. The working title was the strike. And it sort of came from two things Jennifer burns teaches history at Stanford University, and is the author of goddess of the market on rand and the American right? She was given access to all of on rans, private letters and diaries. There was a lot of labor, unrest and strikes immediately after World War Two, and there is rest in California. And in Hollywood, and she was opposed to the strike. And then she said, well, maybe all go on strike, and she that oh, wait a second. Interesting. And that's where that experience of her father kinda came back and she began thinking about well, what if I went on strike what if it wasn't the workers in the factories that went on strike, but what if it was the capitalist who ran the factories? Atlas shrugged is a distortion story set in a not so distant future where American businessmen and entrepreneurs are fed up with increasing government regulations in light of recent events. I'd say your position is untenable would've been transfer of four thousand tons of Reardon metal to Kim dander in clear violated the fair share mandate, we've done you. Hank Reardon is a successful businessman whose developed new kind of steel that will revolutionize the railroad industry. Very simple now. You do liver. Order except our generous compensation new deniger don't spend the next ten years. Pretty happy violated one of your new. Laws four. The right people don't break him. They're of no use whatsoever. Like father who shop with seized, by the communists? Hank Reardon also refuses to conform. But unlike is father, Hank Raritan is given his day in court. How do you plead, sir? I do not recognize courts right to try me know to recognize any of my actions as crime, if you believe you may seize my property, simply because you need it. Well, then so does any burglar. Mr. Reardon, you are misrepresenting the letter and the intent of the fair share law. It is based on the highest principle. The principle of the public good as defined by those would dictate and regulate our behavior in our homes and our businesses stealing their power from our liberty. So I think she was trying to present the real idea that inventors and capitalists like Reardon have a right to own the property that they create or control that that is really the market that has to decide. You wouldn't want it misunderstood that you work for nothing, but your own profit, the I wanted understood clearly I not recognize the good of others as a justification for my existence. If their fair share demands that I get nothing for my labors public. Good be damned on have no part of it. And how does that benefit your fellow man? I could tell you ways. Hundred weighs thousands of jobs. Billions in revenue fueling our economy, despite your efforts to destroy the very foundation of art systems and believe most of my fellow men would say the same. Many things she wants to say, but among the most important was that capitalism a question of hard labor, but it was also a question of imagination of thought of creativity that the person who visualized the way all these things fit together. The person who designed the factory the person who thought of the product the person who kept everyone moving together to a common goal that was a sort of intellectual work that and that was a gift, and that was rare and that was unique, and it was appropriate for those people to be rewarded with outsize monetary returns and with control of their businesses. But when the captains of industry realized that America isn't listening they go on strike. The strike is led by the brilliant, and mysterious billionaire John goal. Is John Galt? John goal is this shadowy mystery figure this was supposed to be her ideal. Man, he was a creator. He was visionary. You know, he's a said to be a brilliant physicist who can invent a new source of energy. He's also very principled. And he believes that those people who make the inventions and the discoveries ought to be rewarded, and he's not willing to work in a system where you know, his genius and his inventions are not appreciated so on the one hand, he's a skilled intellectual thinker inventor scientists, and then he turns out the course of the book to be a skilled organizer and persuader who's able to get all the other industrialists in creators who are also being misused underappreciated. He's able to convince them that they need to withdraw. They needed to step away. Let the system crash down and then rebuild it behind the scenes. John goal. Creates his own secret utopia in a valley. In the Colorado mountains, which he calls Goltz gold. It's really sort of an idealized society. And so this was where they went to hide and to recreate their world, they all head for gold Gulch, except one character Dag, Nick taggered. She's the heroine, and may narrator of the story that is correct. The first train on the jungle line will run July twenty second. Pleasure. Thank you. Dag me. Taggered is a beautiful independent sexually liberated woman who happens to run a transcontinental railroad. You can do whatever you want with your men Mr. Brady, but that train will run if I have to drive the damn thing myself because Mr. Brady if that bridge collapses there, the movie really opens with a shot of dagger in a power suit walking ordering people around left and right. I'm not interested in their opinions. The knows you go by my own responsibility for any of this. You don't have to take responsibility to I will it's hard to stress. How unusual that was in the fiction of the nineteen fifties. It just was really really unusual. I think it presented women with a model in ideal that they weren't seeing in many other places I might have to blast tunnel here. Few hundred feet or less, and I need to steal trestle to bring the track across this gorge track late in three months, she made clear that there wasn't a trade off in her mind between traditional feminity and having this very powerful business role Dag material dates her way through atlas shrugged winning the hearts of many, rich and brilliant men until she finally lands her new ideal man tag crush lands her plane and goals goals. And she gets rescued by none other than John gold himself. My guest prisoner choice is yours. You're the first person to come into the valley by accident Dagmar. Finally sees the world she'd been fighting for what she and I n- herself hoped America could be food for one month at the end. You can choose stare go. The idealized world of iron rant at works. Of course, you know, the way she stacks the deck. Gary Weiss's, author of on ran nation, the hidden struggle for America's soul. The Randy in hero is the sort of person that you would want to have running a business. You know, person of of great integrity who isn't just out for the quick buck. The cast of characters in shrugged, surely don't need to have any kind of regulators because these are are trustworthy individuals who don't need to be regulated. Because that's the way she wrote the book rand argued that while the world, she was creating didn't exist, it could exist. If people worked with integrity, and if they fully embraced her philosophy. And if they fully implemented it in their daily lives, that's a lot of Fs Gary Weiss and atlas shrugged. There are no children. There are no elderly. Nobody who really needs help. Nobody who can't work. Don't have anybody with you know, preps some kind of dementia. The has to be confined to a nursing home with those people don't exist, and there's no children. So there's no detach K children. So she she stacks backed by showing eliminating entire portions of society instructing her narrative and stack at she does in the perfect world of Goltz Gulch. Everyone is happy productive in living. According to their means, it's a utopia. One more altruism does not exist, and selfishness is the first shoe carryanne Biondi teaches philosophy at the Marymount Manhattan college in New York. Most people think it's a selfish person is somebody who only cares about satisfying any and all of their desires to maximize heavy material stuff, even if it means trampling on and hurting other people ran explicitly rejects that understanding of it what she means by it is that you're to be the ultimate beneficiary of your action. Ultimate does not mean. Only and it's not one that's conflictual with other people. It doesn't reduce us to base desires and just the having stuff and having things at any cost to ourselves and other people in Gulf Gulch trade is the only currency. It's a capitalist dreamland where men and women who love industry technology, science and art feel enormous admiration and attraction for each other. But you can choose the stair go as long as I am alive. I will not desert about all that is mine to fight. The easiest. Now rand believes in character. She is a wrist Attilio in that way, she believes in kind of synergy between the system and individual character Paul koetter teaches philosophy at the university of Seattle. So it it's all going to work out. And here is where I just can't see how there's any guarantee and all of that the question of character is much more complicated than the Paul ran was on the road side of history because she was fighting the tide, and the tide is of regulation, the tide has government that, you know, this is something that the people want they want Medicare. They want an old age pension. They they they want to be protected from bad businessmen. So she's going against the tide of history, which is toward consumer protection. And try to turn back the clock on may have been swimming against the tide of history by the late nineteen fifties. But she didn't have to do much to fight communism. Then with the Cold War heating up. So was the red scare. Already an iron curtain at dropped around. Poland hungary. Gary. But this is Europe you. Let's see what else where in the small town of. Peaceful. Isn't it? The red ball people police. Public utilities. Watch carefully. What happened editor? He goes to jail. To delight. Conservatives were now beginning to embrace capitalism along with the image of the entrepreneur as a hero Lenny's tool that allows us trade with one of the keystone of civilization, having money's not the measure of a man manages how he got it. If he produced by creating value as money as a token of honor years later, many of these conservatives with disappoint her. But in the nineteen fifties, they seem finally to be listening to our message. A message captured urgently an atlas shrugged when society starts collapsing. For the duration of the national emergency. The statutes directive ten to eighty nine show remain in effect. Copyrights. Shelby transferred to the federal government. Wages and other forms of income are hereby frozen. This narrative arc of atlas shrugged showing the ultimate collapse of society has meant profoundly compelling for so many readers because what I found again. And again, my research is people saying this is a prophecy. This is saying how it will be. If we continue to follow these policies if we continue to support you pick. What it is that you're opposed to we continue to support the new deal. We continue to support the great society. We continue to spend this much of we continue to regulate this much. And I think she really wanted to take it to the point of true collapse. Again, going back to her Russian experience to show that society's can fall apart. But I do think having gone through someone living in Russia to the point where people were starving that was a really important lesson for her, and she felt that Americans needed to know that and needed to see that an imagine that happening in their own country. And not just think of it is something that happened in far off European lands. But something that could happen to them while atlas shrugged showed society fall. Apart? Hainan Faneuil were coming together as lovers they let their respective spouses know that it'd be just for a year. It would last almost twenty it became a secret from all of their friends all of the people who would come over every Saturday night. You know, she just made clear that he was number one. So that the collective was clearly stratified society, Nathan was studying psychology. And she told people that he was working on this sort of psychological wing of Jek visible. She really made him into a leader within this group. And you know, it was what kept ran going to the final push to finish. Her book was exciting for both of them at first it was rewarding. But it was a it was a very tough act to manage in nineteen fifty seven nine walked out of her office and announced that she'd finished atlas shrugged the impact on our life. And the Faneuil 's was monumental a recall little of that evening, except an overwhelming sense of solemnity and joy. Oy and avait distant hint of sadness coming from the knowledge that precious part of my life had now come to a close we'd been part of that book. I mean, we been days and hours and weeks and months discussing the ideas discussing the characters this is Barbara Brandon and wife at an atlas society conference in two thousand seven fifty years after the book was published vade become reality Jewess, hag Murden to me was real is the people sat which in class probably more realize fire new student infinitely better than just people. The novel had been thirteen years in the making Frank designed the cover jacket and inside 'instead occasion page read to Frank O'Connor, and Nathaniel Brandon I and Frank and the Faneuil, and I just few days before the official publication went to the Random House window, which fringe on on Madison Avenue to see if the book was there if they displayed it and there it was and the four stood looking at it. It was the first time we had seen the book out side of our own private world because I am department. And here's what's out in the world this book that had been our life for years. We just stood staring and either she said suss. And I realized later I could've taken terribly presumptuous Ryan written the book. Head that. She understood I mentioned, she laughed and she said, yes, that's us and she often commented on that remark in the years after that she'd really liked. They hope that maybe. Now, there be serious public debate about is ideas. But that didn't happen. It seems an expression of the author's determination to crush, the enemies of truth. Her truth, of course, as a battering ram demolishes the walls of a hostile city. The reviews of prior books and plays were mostly negative. But atlas shrugged got shredded loudly Misron proclaims her love of life. It seems clear that the book is written out of hate miss rand can only create gargoyles not characters. And. It was awful. He could not have been worse when you should be negative reviews. We were prepared for that we weren't prepared for what seems like outpouring of hatred and distortion of lies about the book. You couldn't get it into our heads. Just was possible. She was really really crushed by the negative reviews of atlas shrugged. Jennifer burns heart of it was that she for years now she'd had his group of admiring young people, and she expected that she'd get the same adulation and admirations from the world at large when the book came out. And instead people were so negative about the book, the reviews were terrible terrible review after terrible or after terrible review, and what really begin to hurt her the most she dwelled on the most was that nobody came out to defend her. It was one thing to get bad reviews. But it was another to get bad reviews and have nobody meeting those reviews and saying wait, stop you've missed it. This is really important. This woman has something to say, we should listen she had fans everywhere letters of appreciation up to the ceiling. But no one known figure who to cheat something important who. Stood obliquely. She felt in that sense. She got nothing back from the world that began a lot of bitterness which just escalated over the years part of it was that she had already burned her bridges with the conservative organizers and intellectuals she knew not to mention it's very strong, anti-christian orientation, just repel them. So there really were very few figures who might have been politically sympathetic to her who were willing to stand up and say, this is an important contribution. I'm fell into a deep depression that would last for two years, and she would never write fiction. Again, Barbara Nathaniel were stunned. They immediately contacted their thousands of followers and ask them to cancel their subscriptions to magazines, which had published negative reviews and to denounce the negative reviews. Wherever they found them Nathaniel spent his days trying to console line from his biography my years with an rand I thought that for. All these years on had been obliged to Mercer self kind of alternate reality the world of outlet, shrugged. And that now with their task accomplish. She was bringing her creation back to the world in which we lived. But I was wrong the truth, which I would need some time to discover that unhedged disappeared into that alternate reality and was not coming back. She was like the strikers in her own novel who having seen John God's vision, give up everything and disappear because the life. They have lived is no longer acceptable to them. She all of this. Whoa. To Nathaniel Brandon. And he would come to visit her for what had once been there meant time together. And instead, she would cry and wonder out loud to him why this happened. And now she was struggling with this very very strong depression, which she carefully hid from everyone except for Frank and th-annual, Barbara those are the only three who knew how truly devastated she was. She kept her head up in public by this point Nathaniel announced to on that this had to end and that he personally make America listen. So he sat down with atlas shrugged systemized her philosophy. And turned her thoughts into lectures that he would deliver in public, ladies and gentlemen. If I were asked to summarize the essentials of the objectives philosophy in a single. I would say that Objectivism hold the reality. The extra world is what it is independent of consciousness, independent of anyone's knowledge judgment, Billy hopes wishes or appears that facts are back that a as a things are what they are witness had done in his lectures was to present I and series as a single consistent philosophy which I had not done todate. So he gathered her ideas together and presented them in his Twitty, basic lectures of Objectivism, including ideas of hers that she had not yet published and you have to have that before you can have a movement, and what he did was he placed an ad in the New York Times said I'm going to give some lectures on the ideas of an rand and at the end of the lecture miss rand herself will appear and take questions, and he rented lecture hall and soul tickets and. They filled up the lecture hall, and then he did another one and another one and another one Nathanielsz workshops and lectures were so successful that he started up in the Faneuil Brandon institute and like any good capitalist. He charged admission, and I agreed that all proceeds would go to Nathaniel. But they needed a brand. That's when Nathaniel thought they should come up with a name to describe her philosophy. I was bothered no way to name who am I we didn't have objectives. You know? We have something goes to call ourselves. So I says were advocacy Lazy-faire capitalism. I and that doesn't do it grows. Number one. It puts the emphasis on business, but we need something more broad something. Like what it basically is philosophically globally. Not words stands politically Objectivism held that enlightened self interest is good. That is reached for the best in yourself. Find the hero within you pursue your dreams and creative goals as Nathaniel Brandon makes clear in this nineteen Eighty-nine appearance on reason TV Objectivism didn't actually mean getting rich and powerful power and money to register. That may shock a lot of people. But I tell you she lived like aesthetic otherworldly person. She lived very very modestly should know. Interesting material was acquisition, no interest of interior luxury. She lived in many ways, personally, very spiritual existence very much of the mind. What you really admired was people who are interested in creative work. She thought and I would say that what exists? Is this world of this life at one should honor it and do the best with it and not endure suffering passively on the assumption that sometime in some other dimension or some other life than you will be happy. But if you are though, your old life, you happy this place to fight for this here on earth. Do you ought to get yourself? A good press agent to sell you to the public in this scene from outlet shrugged. Hank Reardon gets unwanted collectivist. Advice from a reporter Middleham sailing. Not me, thank you. But you don't want the public against you public opinion. You know? I mean a lot as far as I can tell doesn't mean a damn thing one way or another the press is against do. They have time to waste. I don't say you're intractable you're ruthless. Your only goal is to make money. My only goal is to make money happy. You shouldn't say it. But I'm message was being said in a Faneuil in Barbara were making sure that their audience is understood that a free society, meant individualism and laissez faire capitalism had to be paramount, but to horror the conservatives who'd begun to champion free market capitalism. We're now starting to link it with event Jellicoe Christianity. I'm was having. None of it and criticize them publicly. I won't make something clear. I'm not. Serve it to anyone destroys his it the conservative because they do not know how to preach capitalism to explain it to the people, and because they're all based on religious outweighs and on that the nation of ideas, you cannot save this. She was also very inspired by Friedrich niches depiction of the slave morality and the master morality, and his argument that Christian morality was in some way, a development of those without power in society to sort of subjugate those who are stronger, and she really took to heart. His critique of Christianity. And she came to see that as she saw it celebration of the meek shall inherit the earth as really the problem because it taught people that individually they were not important. What was important was the greater good and critically? What was moral was to suppress your own interests and favor the interests of someone else? Instead of you that was essentially what was moral, and she thought is long as people think the right thing to do is to sacrifice themselves for others or put the interests of others ahead of their own interests programs, like communism, socialism, totalitarian states, they'll always have a way to grow because they'll tell people we are doing something that is good and morally right in the nineteen fifties. Evangelo calls were looking for a political party to reflect their moral values, and the Republicans were looking for more voters that confluence was when the religious right was born and the cherry picking of ideas began. You're listening to ideas on CBC radio one, Sirius XM and CBC dot CA slash ideas. Where you can always get our podcast. This is the second of our two part series, the long arm Abidin round why she still matters. I just want to speak to you a little bit about nine ran in what she meant to me in my life and the fight were engaged here in congress. This is Republican speaker of the house Paul Ryan the fight. We are in here. And make no mistake about is a fight of individualism versus collectivism in almost every fight. We're involved in here on Capitol Hill. It is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict individualism versus collectivism individualism versus collectivism that dichotomy is taken straight out of Ayn rand's moral universe. A university of brace by millions around the world. And in the corridors of geopolitical power here again is contributor sandy Bork. I was still reeling from all the bad reviews. Atlas shrugged received. But you started to take her own thoughts public. Ladies and gentlemen. I'm speaking here today on the assumption them thrashing liberals that is of man tag needs. Therefore, I'm fine had charisma on stage. She'd present her arguments with stunning clarity and precision. It is incredible. That could be speaking in the greatest city in the world on topic at capitalism versus coming businessmen victim Bill of to say if and when you pay. But you have to save it. If you have then noblest onto -bility, your proper moral so interesting and now proudly to the hearing the whole world, including the. And over time it did lift her spirits, and she did look at those crowds in the auditorium in the work that Nathaniel was doing and said, I'm coming back to life. I've made it through some of the collective started offering their own courses barber Brandon offered a course Alan Greenspan the future head of the Federal Reserve Board. Who is now a member of the collective he started giving a course people in Los Angeles wanted to do a course and they began franchising and pretty soon. There was a bona fide objectives movement based out of these Faneuil Brandon institutes on rand club started popping up on college campuses. People started calling them objectives emotional inflation. Two two. Practice. And soon got the media attention. She'd been longing for. Television portrait from our gallery of colorful people. It was nineteen fifty nine and first TV appearance in the US early. United States, perhaps the most challenging and unusual. New philosophy has been forged by novelist. I'm Ryan his Rams point of view is still comparatively unknown in America. But it ever did take hold. It would revolutionize our lives. Immediately gets right to the point. Let me start by quoting a review of this novel. Atlas shrugged that appeared in. Newsweek. It said that you are out to destroy almost every edifice in the contemporary American way of life. Our Judeo Christian religion modified government, regulated capitalism room by the majority will other abuse of said that you scorn churches and the concept of God. These accurate criticisms. Yes, I'm had already burned her bridges with the religious, right? And she was about to burn them with academic intellectuals as well. And this. This of yours come out of my own lined with a so knowledgeable of debt to stop is the only philosopher ever influence, I devised the rest of life philosophy myself. She never did submit any of her work to recognize peer review journals or periodical 's academics may have shunned and ridiculed Objectivism because rand wouldn't give credit to the thinkers who preceded her. But after the Mike Wallace interview, thousands of letters arrived on doorstep showering her with praise and questions about our philosophy and sales of atlas shrugged skyrocketed it even got a few favorable reviews. I kn- rand is destined to rank in history as the outstanding novelist in profound philosopher of the twentieth. Century by nineteen sixty five an Faneuil Brandon institute was offering courses in more than thirty cities globally, it no longer attracted just students, but scientists businessmen. Philosophers engineers artists. Celebrities and politicians. Your host on the other mind from Alan Greenspan's, nineteen Eighty-three appearance on the TV program. Open mind, I ion rand whose those fountainhead end shrugged surfaced some decades ago. Most dramatic the most Mandic statements resume fair of an anti-government foster. Alan Greenspan who still private rather than public. Greenspan? So he became a very influential well known person largely through the assistance of random through his participation in the rand movement and giving speeches four and that was one of the things that really helped his career over the years. Link for human species. Personal. From somehow. Since Sofer steam in business. He was pretty big in the early days of the collective he he became powerfully became head of the council of economic advisers nineteen seventy four became head of the Federal Reserve and writing say there is a limit. What is that is so fixed about human nature? There is a limit to our Reverend. There was a limit to the degree to which we will be over others. Vast majority of Americans have indicated ventures. How they live their lives for considering fourth. Otherwise over time, he became a powerful in government in the United States government, and he was always a random Helen Greenspan. Even started his own lecture series called free enterprise economics, and he contributed pieces to on offense newsletter the objective st- became known as a a real major free markets thinker. And if you look at the at the essays that he wrote for rand which republished in capitalism, the unknown ideal which is in print which you can buy pick up at any bookstore nowadays extremist except one of them women's call the assault on integrity. And that's it's an argument for eliminating, and it kind of regulation even building codes, even safety codes and fire codes just just just getting rid of them. You can find a link to Alan Greenspan's essays on our website, CBC dot CA slash ideas. When Greenspan became federal chairman of the US reserve in nineteen eighty seven he immediate. Began repealing laws that he saw as impeding the free market. The most important one was a law enacted in nineteen thirty three under the new deal a law that separated Wall Street from main street called the glass steagle act class Steagall offered protection to people who entrusted their savings to commercial banks Greenspan got rid of it. And it continued down the deregulation path for the next twenty years. Fluential man familiar 's he was not able to impose rand's philosophy on the United States, but enough of for beliefs gut into the system sort of pushed away through the sheets of paper like spilled Bod living. They push their way through society that the in fact certain aspects of her of her philosophy were in fact, an act in nineteen ninety eight Greenspan gave lenders the green light to gamble. And so they did private lenders led the way and later commercial banks jumped in all engaging in high risk ventures two years later Greenspan lowered interest rates to one percent fueling. And even bigger boom for business, but the low rates meant banks could no longer get a good return on the money. They were lending so they turn to high yield mortgage backed securities, and we all know where that led the Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than nine hundred points. President trading at six. The early two thousand win over the counter, derivatives radio regulated. And this was one of the one of the underlying reasons for the two thousand eight financial crisis where we did not have adequate regulation of derivatives, and that can be traced directly back to Greenspan and from Alan Greenspan back to on rand no political economic system had proved eloquently or had benefited mankind greatly capitalism. The moral code, which is implicit in capitalism. Is that men everyman? He's an end in himself. Not demeaned to the end of others. That men must be but he's on fake. And that men might do is run another as traitors by our choice to benefit by the mid nineteen sixties, Alan Greenspan and the rest of Iran's collective had brought prominence and respect ability to the objectives movement. She was now attracting an older more highly educated audience. Than before einste- books had already become required. Reading among younger people the generation that would later be called baby boomers, but I'm dismay some of these boomers to be were starting to call themselves. Libertarians she'd already given up on conservatives who to Bandon reason for religion. But she thought hippie libertarians were worse because they abandoned reason for drug addled self-indulgence, she had come by that by the end of her career to really prize rationality above all else. So she despised the hippies. She thought they were sort of mindless mystical collectivist. But she didn't like libertarians either. Even though libertarians were saying, we are inspired by Iran, and her vision of a society with strictly limited government on rand is are is where we got started. And it's absolutely true. For the libertarian movement in the nineteen seventies it really grows out of appreciation for Iran's works. And so they would be holding her up is there. No actual leader. And she would say don't make me into your hero. This pattern of cherry pick. Picking and misrepresentation that had begun with conservatives in the fifties would continue to play her even long after her death eines work. Also, inspired a new generation of conservatives to do their own cherry picking as conservatives were working out who they were and what they stood for. They were looking for deals, and they were looking for principals in atlas shrugged seemed to predict that the liberal policies being followed would lead to ruin. And there was another way didn't had to do with unfettered capitalism in the celebration of individual became very attractive for many young people and atlas shrugged really became the sort of gateway drug to the conservative movement. We're republican. As much more than the result of their political differences or miracle mistakes and many people inspired by rand turn to Barry Goldwater. The result of a fundamentally absolutely wrong view of man as nature and his destiny. And also had a friendship of sorts with Goldwater and also supported him very strongly in her newsletter. So if you liked Iran, and then you looked into a newsletter you find her pointing at Barry Goldwater? You're alive for your your liberties return of yours. And if you went and learn about Barry Goldwater, he might remind you a little bit of John Galt. Elevators. Down bridges. No less than in life himself in just Welby. Our guy. Is he took on this sort of independent, westerner persona? He was going to stand up for the individual smothering government not. In the land of collectivism, not. Bullying. So it seemed like her fiction and the actual politics of the early nineteen sixties we're really converging, and there was a political movement, and you could go from Iran's intellectual movement into this larger political movement and back again. So she became a stream in a much larger river tributary feeding into a much larger river. Is she is probably one of the most intense Ospital, perhaps intellectual ICES in America today. I think you will find your most unusual in most controversial but weapon, please. I n random. In nineteen sixty seven. I'm was invited onto the tonight show the Johnny Carson. Tonight. I'm delighted to be here. I know that despite some popular misconceptions on did not think the government should be abolished and leave us with a dog eat dog world, man. That includes the government has the right to initiate fourth and the person meant to act against his own judgement. She saw a world with police the courts and the army to protect people's property rights and to counteract crime. She thought a free country could coexist with any person. But it couldn't co exist with altruism doesn't want to say work. Self interest is served by by not producing working. Now, if you asking me should have been be productive. Yes. And that is not limited ability. Yes. But a may have in the studio thrive too. But as his primary goal and if man. Does not want to be productive. He is immortal while I'm star continued to rise. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you. So relationship with Nathaniel was about to crash lecturing at a new course at a young woman. Ten years my junior, I'm thirty one. She's twenty one comes to New York. Take rather lectures, why because she has rare that admired the fountain in that mistrial. And this is Patricia all the layers moving through the final explosion are now on the board by marriage to Barbara's predictably in succeeding stages of this integration. Even though we become closer. And closer friends is still wanting a resumption of an affair Nathaniel kept his affair secret from nine for four years when he and Barbara, divorced. They agreed not to tell on. Finally, there's this tremendous confrontation in nineteen sixty eight after four dreadful years in which the full truth. A that. I don't want that kind of continuation of relationship. Be that I'm in love with three should've been having an affair with their skulls who champion clinical rush analogy. The reason went ballistic this woman. Really, no wants me. Did I'm kind of dazed slow to grasp the magnitude of the war that is now about to be launched rights article to me and the publication co created called the objectives. Jennifer burns, the objectives movement really blew up after the ending of the affair between the annual in Iran. She ended up excommunicating both of them. And then publishing letter is something to the effect of they had betrayed her. They were no longer objectives. They were no longer affiliated with her. Influences my publisher with whom she has association to cancel the contract for my first big book, the psychology of self esteem, which had previously been proclaiming was work of genius. And she's now convinced that the brand has finished having ended his associated with red, but Nathaniel despite the attacks began to thrive his book, the psychology of self esteem, eventually got published and with sell millions of copies, and he became known as the father of the self esteem movement. Einste- books continue to sell by word of mouth. But by the nineteen seventies without Nathaniel and Barbara the objective movement had all but ground to a halt. I'm began turning down. Almost all media requests. Here's a woman who's read by millions around the world. She may be our most debated philosopher. I am pleased to present. I'm ran ran from one of her rare media parents in later life from the Phil Donahue show in nineteen. Seventy nine I was fifteen years ago when I was in heist Janney went to college. I read the news. Biography. Let her make her point letter. Make a point here's earlier, I would have taken the time to educate people about our ideas. I didn't come here to be judged by this point she wanted her quiet life with Frank BAC whose health was suffering from years of heavy drinking in nineteen seventy nine at age eighty two Frank passed away the years of heavy smoking and phetamine news had caught up with on rugged individualism lost its best known champion yesterday with the death of writer AIn rand in New York or nonfiction works included. The virtue of selfishness for her funeral on requested that giant dollar sign be placed by grave, and that several bodyguards be present to prevent Nathaniel Brandon from attending she left strict instructions with our state to never again allow anyone to institutionalize her ideas or profit from her name something she made clear in newsletter in nineteen sixty eight. Objectivism is not an organized movement, and is not to be regarded as such by any fun. I shall not establish or endorse any type of school or organization purporting to represent or be a spokesman for Objectivism all this commandeering and cherry picking of Objectivism left, it ripe for lamp winning. Oh. Oh. Mom. He's in that book the bible of right wing loser. The ridiculing and shunning still happening. This win. I'm ran how she still if they. Three decades after her death the writer on rand is still the subject of serious debate. And not just over how to pronounce her name on wrong on rant. Not an ran in ran. I n rans told us I on around. The charade continuing American politics last week, Donald Trump likened himself to Iran protagonist going onto say the novel fountainhead relates to business beauty life. An interim oceans. It's easy to see why a self-styled dealmaker like Donald Trump would claim to be like I rant rant herself would be horrified at the association he's against laissez faire economics. She's four them. His base includes the religious, right? And I had no time for religion. She took public stands against racism and violence. She was pro abortion, and the list goes on as does the misuse and abuse of her thinking, this is US Senator rand Paul money to spend all everybody wants. There's still a disconnect. This music. We concert. Somewhere. Still. Goals. Phil. Ideas have long been a flashpoint for collectivists who tend to be left leaning liberals, and the individualists who tend to be conservative, can that gap ever be bridged don't think that is really very much to do with rand or philosophy except manage it and understand it and cope with it. Really? And understand what's wrong with it. And understand the aspects of that are right. Just to understand it. You know, the world isn't perfect, and we need do need to look out for sure that's absolutely important, but rand takes everything extremes. And that's the problem. I think it's people tend to get in these positions and just start sort of shooting across the trenches at each other and taking the time to understand where people come from. And in the case of rand many people look at her at her extremist positions, and sort of go no farther, but I think it's helpful to know the context she came from and understand that she did have something important to say about the ways in which date power has been used and abused and the w-. As in which we have to think carefully about its overall, meaning and purpose, and now with her ideas, both widespread and widely misrepresented word left wrestling with the question what it's actually is on ranch legacy. I think her legacy was really stating. So clearly that there was not just a practical case to be made for limiting government and organizing society around market exchange, but there was a moral case to be made for it. And that there was a way in which organizing society around market principles and limiting government intervention could allow people to uncover their talents and their abilities and exercise independence and autonomy. And not doing that could be and should be considered immoral act and should be recognized as something that has worth unto itself. And I think she made that argument, I think that argument still stands I think most people will want to supplement that with. Other understandings of the good life and the good society and not just stop there. But I think she got a lot of people started thinking in that direction. Maybe it's only fitting to give the last word on rent herself through her capitalist hero cult. Don't let the fire go out spark by irreplaceable spark in confusion, and despair. Sure of your path. The world you desire can be one. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours. You were listening to the second and last part of our series, the long arm of rand why she still matters by contributor send e Bork readings by Chris how Jeff goods Lisa God, pre and Roxana Spicer special. Thanks to the atlas society and reason TV Liz, non our associate producer technical production. Daniel. Greg Kelly is the executive producer by dis. Paulk editing. For more CBC podcasts. Goto CBC dot CA slash podcasts.

Coming up next