Newly released Ayn Rand interview?

Posted by sdesapio 3 years, 4 months ago to Video
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I'd never seen this interview. This apparently aired in the early 70s so, she had to be in her late 60s. Sharp as ever.

SOURCE URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhaxvXRdENg


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  • Posted by RogerMalcolm 3 years, 3 months ago
    "I don't believe that lack of knowledge is a license to start inventing fantasies..."

    I learned she majored in history but knew she wanted to be a writer since she was 9, yet had gathered she would learn nothing in school. I always told my little sister who is now 17 - "Don't let school interfere with your education" Thanks to Mark Twain.

    Also I watched The Fountainhead and I had wondered if she did any research on architecture and it turns out she did.

    "Oh no, Atlas is just once in a lifetime."
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  • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
    Markedly different from the earlier person on Mike Wallace, even more intellectually integrated, having completed a lot of philosophical writing in that decade. Thanks for the find. (Oh... and nice suit!)
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  • Posted by jmkmini 3 years, 3 months ago
    As a christian I find it's sad she doesn't have any faith in God. I only believe some of her philosophies. I believe in helping someone truly in need but don't believe anyone should be forced to or made guilty to do it.
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  • Posted by ratonis 3 years, 3 months ago
    I've actually seen that before in a collection of interviews. I disagree that she is "sharp." Her response to his questions about God are at about the level of a college sophomore, and her statement that she finds meaning in the romantic love she shares with her husband is a considerable fudging of the truth, as we now know. She was pursuing romantic love, but it wasn't with Frank. She also has no understanding of non-objective art, and to dismiss it all as the product of artists not knowing what they are doing is ridiculous, as anyone who has practiced that artform and experienced viewer responses knows. Rand was brilliant in a way, yes, but suffered from a narcissistic attachment to her own assumed infallibility and judgments on things of which she seems intentionally uninformed.
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    • Posted by strugatsky 3 years, 3 months ago
      When you state that Ayn Rand's discussion of God is on the level of a college sophomore, I think that you should be more specific in your statement, otherwise it sounds more like a typical socialist response to facts that they cannot rationally respond to, except with a personal attack and not related to the subject matter. Certainly you wouldn't want to do that?

      On the subject of modern art, one can argue 'till hell freezes over, as art, by definition, cannot be "proven" one way or another. However, if as a basis for "art" one accepts that an artist intends to infer or pass on to others his thinking or emotions, then consider just how effective is modern art if the artist often does not know himself what is it that he wants to infer, while every viewer infers something else completely. If this process does in fact has a value, it does not appear to be rational.
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      • Posted by ratonis 3 years, 3 months ago
        As to your first concern: Rand says that she made embraced atheism when she was 13 years old, and that was the end of it. Never reconsidered that decision. Really now, does that indicate a mature approach to a very interesting and intriguing topic concerning the origin of all things? Barbara Branden, in "The Passion of Ayn Rand," recounts how Ayn overheard a conversation that Nathaniel Branden and other members of the "collective" were having about Evolution, and that she just threw up her hands in despair as if to indicate a "why would anybody want to have a conversation about that" sort of response. The issue of origins is a fundamental human question, and she admits that she never got beyond an intuitive response of a 13 year old mind to the question. That is why I said what I said. Even Anthony Flew has reconsidered atheism. My point is simply that her atheism seems to have been uninformed by any context of study. She just "knows." And that is typical of the college sophomore syndrome.

        As to the second point: I do not agree that painters in the non-objective arena of art have no idea of what they are trying to convey or "say." I am a painter (representative landscapes and also abstract/non-objective images) and I think most artists who work in this manner do, in fact, understand at least in a general sense what they are after. Rand SAYS they do not know what they are doing and eve claim their own ignorance, but she shows no evidence of having actually looked into it. Did she ever critique, or enter into dialogue with the known statements of, say, Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, or others of the genre? I have no problem with seeing some non-objective art as fraudulent and an excuse for a lack of skill, but to send up a blanket condemnation based on a very questionable claim (which may itself be an excuse for not taking time to think about what she wants to talk about) is weak. Rand's dismissal of other writers like C.S. Lewis ("evil") is also shallow and uninformed, even embarrassing, as is her ridiculous dismissal of Rembrandt's "Flayed Ox" painting. She understood nothing about certain things, did not want to take the time or put forth the effort even to know enough to offer a rational refutation, so simply condemned what she did not understand. This is the action of an authoritarian consciousness, not a rational thinker.

        By the way, I remain a fan of Atlas Shrugged, but I am among a minority who think Ayn Rand's best novel is "We The Living."
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
          "... Ayn overheard a conversation that Nathaniel Branden and other members of the "collective" were having about Evolution, and that she just threw up her hands in despair as if to indicate..."

          See the topics here under Science, first on "Ayn Rand and Evolution" and then on "Epigenetics." Rand was not interested in the subject. For her, that is all that needs to be said. You can criticize her for not having been interested in that, but what -should- she have been interested in? Consider that even today, we have no answers, just more facts without consistent theories; it is still argued whether and to what extent Neanderthal genes are in Cro-Magnon DNA. In her time (1953), the Piltdown Hoax had been revealed. It is fruitless to argue anything when the facts are not actually facts.


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          • Posted by ratonis 3 years, 3 months ago
            "It is fruitless to argue anything when the facts are not actually facts."

            If that were true we would never have had the heliocentric model of the solar system. It was talked about and argued long before it became established. It was not a "fact" to the Aristotelian astronomers of the 17th century who advocated the Ptolemaic system which seemed to have empirical verification. Speculation born of skepticism toward established "fact" does play a role in the advance of knowledge. For someone to say "I'm not interested in that" is one thing; to imply (by her actions described) that other people are silly or wasting their time talking about it is another thing altogether (and, truth be told, Rand was, and is, an authority figure; she certainly was in the "collective."). I have not read the articles to which you refer. If you could indicate a source for them I'd appreciate it. Although I am critical of Rand, I remain interested in whatever she had to say.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 years, 3 months ago
              We are arguing two totally different subjects under one heading. To take the second first, I pointed you to two articles in the Science category, here on Galt's Gulch Online. They are "Ayn Rand and Evolution" and "Epigenetics." You do not need pointers to the URLs; they are here on The Gulch under Science.

              The other discussion entirely is about paradigms and scientific revolutions. No direct empirical evidence for the heliocentric model was available until Bessel c. 1835. No empirical evidence was available to prove that the Earth rotates on its axis until the Foucault Pendulum, again, about 1835. But the heliocentric model solved other problems, so it was accepted. The same with assuming that the Earth revolves, whether or not the cosmos also revolves. Electricity was an even greater mystery - and may remain so today - even as we built the power grid, and radio and television, and cellular telephones. Arguments about what electricity "is" continue even today.

              As for the "third side of the coin" - that Rand dismissed some topics as a waste of time - has more to do with the personality of Ayn Rand. All I can say is that if it were Sarte, or Heisenberg, or Russell, or Norman Mailer, or John Updike, no one would care. The quirks, foibles, glitches and hitches would only add to our respect for the depth of their character and personality. With Ayn Rand, the critics are not so generous.
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  • Posted by  $  khalling 3 years, 3 months ago
    new thing I learned. she was on contract for another novel.
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    • Posted by  $  Susanne 3 years, 3 months ago
      Any more details about the novel? The interview was cool... she reminds me of somebody's grandmother... no, she reminds me of MY grandmother!
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      • Posted by fuguewriter 3 years, 3 months ago
        A little of it is known. She started notes for a post-"Atlas" novel in the late 1950s - the theme was to be joy lasting out against irrelevant pain. The working title was "To Lorne Dieterling" - look it up on the web. This was evidently abandoned in the 1960s. I've heard anecdota about a later novel, which was going to have a lighthearted hero named "Faustin Donnegal" - search the web for that, too. A Rand scholar I've talked to says there's nothing in her papers about that one.
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