Atlas Shrugged will be released in theaters nationwide today, so after you file your taxes, take a moment to learn more about Ayn Rand, straight from her own mouth. Because Atlas Shrugged (the novel) is the product of a philosopher communicating her philosophy through narrative and plot, I found the following Mike Wallace interviews to be illuminating, both in light of the movie release, and the current events and headlines of the day.
You don’t have to agree with Ayn Rand’s politics to appreciate a great mind on display. I am not sending this to tout her views, but to show a very interesting piece of American history in the context of today, with the ultimate goal of better understanding ourselves.
The backdrop for these interviews is 1959 (the year I was born). Most of us haven’t seen a Philosopher interviewed in prime time – instead we are treated to Snookie being interviewed on Jersey Shore. I think you will find this 1959 interview more compelling than modern day television. Rand is a true intellectual and philosopher. Mike Wallace might appear more showman than intellectual, but is good at his craft.
Ayn Rand poses ideas about the necessity to separate not only church and state, but economy and state; she also contends that government involvement causes depressions and more government involvement—as what politicians prescribe as the solution—is prescient of our current time. Back in 1959, she saw a US trajectory toward economic ruin. Her point isn’t Republican or Tea Party. It is far more Greek (note her reference to Aristotle). Rand’s personal story and upbringing greatly forms her philosophy. Her ideal form of government is also an idealistic approach to shaping a culture that rewards exceptionalism over need.
There are three parts and each one is important to see to get a good understanding of the woman, her philosophy, the time it was filmed and where we are today. You will also be able to see a great mind at work in discourse. Something we can’t do with Kant et al.