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Ayn Rand Institute Live features a wide range of fascinating topics recorded at live events—all from the unique perspective of Ayn Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. ARI experts and guest speakers bring new insights to complex topical issues, such as freedom of speech and the Middle East, or delve into important subjects in philosophy, ethics, psychology, culture, the arts, and more.
 
Contrary to common belief, philosophy is not a useless field for academics in an ivory tower, detached from reality. Approached rationally, its principles are the indispensable foundation and practical toolset for navigating the complexities of life on earth. In this series, we explore important philosophical issues, offering answers to life’s big questions, and contemporary controversies, from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.
 
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As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, John Allison talks about his work and career.Mr. Allison is an Executive in Residence at the Wake Forest University School of Business. He is the retired president and CE…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate, Aaron Smith and Agustina Vergara Cid answer questions about Objectivism submitted by Objectivist Academic Center students and the audience. Among the topics covered:Question 1: What is the value of being certain?Question 2: Why should arbitrary hypotheses be rejected?Question 3: How are knowledge and …
 
As a professional intellectual or an “intellectual professional,” there is a wide variety of possible avenues for advancing Objectivism in your professional work. In this session, Tara Smith talks about her work and career.Dr. Smith is a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. She has published books on individual rights, the …
 
In the keynote session preceding this Q&A, Ayn Rand Institute senior fellow and chief philosophy officer, Onkar Ghate, discusses Ayn Rand’s essay “For the New Intellectual,” and Rand’s perspective on the crucial role that intellectuals play in shaping the culture.Dr. Ghate is senior fellow, chief content officer and a board member of the Ayn Rand I…
 
ARI’s CEO, Tal Tsfany, highlights the opportunities that ARI can offer to young people interested in an intellectual career.Mr. Tsfany is the CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute. Prior to this, he was an entrepreneur, investor and executive in the software world in Israel and the United States. He is a co-founder of the Ayn Rand Center Israel and has pub…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and special guest Robert Mayhew discuss Ayn Rand’s views on God and religion.Among the topics covered:What Ayn Rand meant when she said that religion “is a primitive form of philosophy”;What differentiates philosophy from religion;How the rise of philosophy influenced and antagonized religion;Why Objec…
 
Yaron Brook, chair of ARI’s board of directors and host of The Yaron Brook Show, discusses how Rand’s perspective has guided ARI’s strategy over more than three decades. He also discusses his personal career path as an internationally known speaker and YouTube host.Dr. Brook is co-author, with Don Watkins, of "In Pursuit of Wealth" (2017), of "Equa…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Agustina Vergara Cid discuss the resurgence of demands for “national service,” which call for young people to give up a year or two of their lives to serve others, perhaps even to be mandated by law.Among the topics covered:Recent calls for increasing funding for “national service” programs;Why both …
 
In this keynote session, Ayn Rand Institute senior fellow and chief philosophy officer, Onkar Ghate, discusses Ayn Rand’s essay “For the New Intellectual,” and Rand’s perspective on the crucial role that intellectuals play in shaping the culture.Dr. Ghate is senior fellow, chief content officer and a board member of the Ayn Rand Institute. He speci…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate discuss Ayn Rand’s analysis of the fundamental roots of war.Among the topics covered:Why identifying the roots of war is a task for philosophy;Rand’s view that statist ideology is the fundamental root of war;How war stems from a statist regime’s war on its own citizens;Historical exampl…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Agustina Vergara Cid interviews Amesh Adalja, a well-known expert on pandemic preparedness, about the fight against the pandemic in the U.S. and around the world.Among the topics covered:Evidence of the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines available in the U.S.;Whether reaching “herd immunity” is relevant to ending the…
 
In this special episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Aaron Smith analyze the philosophic issues behind the intensifying conflict between Hamas and Israel. Among the topics covered:The facts about the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas;Whether previous incidents in Israel justify the Hamas attack;How to morally judge which side of th…
 
Most thinkers throughout history have held a negative or, at best, neutral view of productive work. If not scorned outright, production has usually been viewed as having no moral significance. But Ayn Rand had a unique view of the human potential, central to which is the importance she accords to the act of production. Productive achievement, in he…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer interviews special guest Adam Mossoff, intellectual property expert and professor of law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, about President Biden’s recent support for waiving overseas patent protection for the Covid-19 vaccines developed by companies like Pfizer and Moderna.Among th…
 
Tens of millions have read Ayn Rand’s novels, including The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and half a million copies of her works now sell each year, but far fewer people know of the radical system of ideas underlying the stories she created. This lecture by Onkar Ghate introduces some of the main ideas of this controversial thinker — and their v…
 
Sandra Shaw considered herself a socialist when she enrolled at Toronto’s York University in 1981. But then she attended classes taught by John Ridpath, associate professor of economics and intellectual history, who helped her discover Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. “I was struggling to understand the issues,” she recalled. “I was on a learning …
 
“Socialism or Capitalism: Which Is the Moral System?” That was the topic of Debate 1984 in Toronto, Canada — and it’s a topic still hotly debated today, as socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez denounce capitalism and attract large followings of young people to their vision of “democratic socialism.” Listen as Canadian socialis…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer, Mike Mazza and Agustina Vergara Cid discuss answers to questions about Objectivism submitted by Objectivist Academic Center students and the audience. Among the topics covered:Question 1: Should an independent man accept charity?Sub-question: Should one accept charity from someone who is sacrificing?Que…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Elan Journo discuss whether Americans are dropping religion or are simply substituting one set of dogmas for another.Among the topics covered:What recent polls say about the decline in traditional religiosity;The increasing religious fervor of political dogmas (such as “identity politics” and environ…
 
In this episode, ARI senior fellow Onkar Ghate challenges businesses to take a moral stand in defense of their rights. Almost sixty years after Ayn Rand described big business as “America’s persecuted minority,” Ghate observes, businessmen are still routinely subjected to moral denunciation and legal oppression. If that is to change, he adds, busin…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Keith Lockitch discuss the emergent idea of “environmental humanism” advanced by thinkers such as Steven Pinker and Michael Shellenberger.Among the topics covered:How “environmental humanism” differs from “environmental alarmism”;The environmentalist movement’s history of failed predictions;How env…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Onkar Ghate discuss Sam Harris’s argument against the existence of free will.Among the topics covered:Harris’s Humean argument equating causality with causation by prior events;Why free will doesn’t mean self-creation out of nothing;Harris’s argument for why we have no introspective experience of fre…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate discuss Amazon’s pushback against Elizabeth Warren’s threats to break up the company.Among the topics covered:The persecution, under-appreciation and demonization of tech companies;Amazon’s unusually courageous challenges to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s threats of regulation;Wh…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Agustina Vergara Cid analyze the calls to ban doctors and other health care workers from developing countries to come work in the United States.Topics covered include:Why doctors decide to leave their home countries in the face of great obstacles;Why some object to America’s “stealing” doctors from…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Mike Mazza discuss the distinction between mob action and legitimate moral judgment, in the context of today’s “cancel culture.”Among the topics covered:What is “cancel culture,” and how wide-ranging is it?The mob mentality behind certain “cancellations”;How to tell whether “cancellations” are moti…
 
Foundations of a Free Society: Reflections on Ayn Rand's Political Philosophy (2019) is an in-depth philosophic exploration of Rand's advocacy of capitalism. The book relates her ideas to contemporary and historical debates, and particularly the views of other thinkers seen as defending individual liberty and free markets. This panel moderated by E…
 
Some myths never seem to die, especially the ones that draw life support from ceaseless social media invective. You cannot follow Ayn Rand on Facebook or Twitter without repeatedly encountering the accusation that she was a hypocrite for accepting Social Security benefits, since she opposed the welfare state in all its forms. Rarely, however, do he…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Onkar Ghate discuss the lifting of the lockdowns and whether they were justified in the first place.Among the topics covered:The current state of the pandemic and recent policy decisions;The criticisms of decisions to lift the lockdowns;The critics’ mistaken view of the role of government in a pandem…
 
This talk presents what is known about intellectual ability including its proper definition, its measurement, its genetic basis, its association with life achievements and outcomes, and its relationship to volition. It also explains why the issue of intellectual ability has been politicized especially among intellectuals. A proper view of social ju…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Aaron Smith and Onkar Ghate discuss the charge against Classics of perpetuating white supremacy, and the effort to reform or eliminate this academic discipline.Topics discussed include:The charges of racism and sexism that have been leveled against Classics;The inadequacy of the evidence offered for these charges;…
 
This talk discusses the meaning and importance of being honest, especially with oneself—why it matters, why it can be hard and how to make it habit. Dr. Gorlin offers tools for introspecting the difference between reason and rationalizing, for staying selfishly committed to facts even when it hurts, and for correcting habits to the contrary. The ta…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Keith Lockitch and Ben Bayer discuss biologist David Sloan Wilson’s so-called sequel to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.Among the topics covered:What Wilson’s book, Atlas Hugged, is about — and why it’s worth analyzing;Whether the book can be considered a “sequel” to Rand’s novel;How Wilson’s novel rewrites crucial even…
 
According to Ayn Rand, the theme of Atlas Shrugged is "the role of the mind in man's existence." In this session, we explore how Rand conveys her distinctive theory of free will, that the operation of the mind itself is volitional. In particular, we focus on a key conflict in the plot that is resolved only when one character realizes that the mind …
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Keith Lockitch discuss the underlying philosophical issues that permeate today’s debate over energy and the environment.Among the topics covered:Why it’s a mistake to use the current crisis in Texas to boost policy agendas, especially “green” energy policies;Ayn Rand’s view of the environmentalist …
 
In this episode, we feature Elan Journo's article "Meet the Conservative Authoritarians," published January 6, 2021 in New Ideal. The article begins this way:Donald Trump’s rise put on display an identity crisis within the conservative movement. That crisis predated the friction between #NeverTrump and die-hard loyalists. For decades “conservatism”…
 
Ayn Rand described Romanticism as "a category of art based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition." In this session, we discuss how her novel "Atlas Shrugged" fits into this category. Drawing on the framework Rand establishes in her essay "What Is Romanticism?," we explore how the major conflicts in the plot …
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo interviews Dr. Amesh Adalja, a well-known expert on pandemic preparedness, about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and other pandemic updates.Among other topics, they cover:The level of vaccination needed to reduce the spread of the virus;The bottlenecks in vaccine distribution;The role of technology and in…
 
Imagine being torn away from your husband and son, brutally arrested, and tossed into solitary confinement. Imagine being prevented from calling your family or even speaking to your lawyer. Imagine having to go on a hunger strike to get attention.This was the actual experience of one Iranian woman, Shaparak Shajarizadeh. Her “crime”? Protesting the…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Mike Mazza discuss why progress in the realm of human values has stalled in comparison to scientific and technological progress.Among the topics covered:The moral progress that has already happened in the last few centuries;What Ayn Rand thought of the disparity between technological and moral progre…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo are joined by Robert Mayhew, professor of philosophy at Seton Hall University and ARI board member, to discuss the enduring relevance of Ayn Rand’s novel We The Living, especially regarding its theme of what it means to truly live.Among the topics covered:Why we should read We the Livin…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer sits down with Steve Simpson, senior attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, to discuss whether “deplatforming” by tech companies constitutes censorship.Topics covered include:What free speech is, and what constitutes a violation of this right, especially in the context of social media;Why the solution…
 
Every so often, the debate over “hate speech” moves to the foreground, and we hear urgent calls for the United States to enact laws banning it. Many claim that such laws would have beneficial outcomes, curtailing speech that belittles, demeans, offends, or discriminates. Canada, the United Kingdom, France and many other Western countries have enact…
 
In this episode of New Ideal Live, on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate discuss the ideal of “color blindness” and its relation to the struggle against racism.Among the topics covered:The meaning of the ideal of “color blindness”;Whether this ideal promotes blindness to injustice;How emphasizing awareness of co…
 
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