culture

How Tribalism Distorts Your Thinking by Nikos Sotirakopoulos

From politics to the “culture wars,” it is evident that tribalism has added to the toxicity of the public sphere. But there is one other field where tribalism, i.e., the viewing of the world through the prism of a group, can be even more insidious: in one’s own thinking. Nikos will talk about how tribalism can poison our mind, and discuss what the remedy is.

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 2, 2022.

Free Speech Under Attack Panel with Steve Simpson, Flemming Rose, Dave Rubin

Freedom of speech is a bedrock principle throughout the Western world, but increasingly it is being challenged — on college campuses, among intellectuals and in politics — in the name of preventing offense and “hate.” Why is this happening and what does it mean for the future of free speech.

Panelists are Steve Simpson, director of Legal Studies at the Ayn Rand Institute and editor of “Defending Free Speech”; Flemming Rose, author of “Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate on the Future of Free Speech,” and Dave Rubin, creator and host of the Rubin Report. The event, “Free Speech Under Attack,” took place at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Philosophy and Energy by Alex Epstein

Today, the energy industry—the industry that powers every other industry—is under unprecedented attack, with widespread calls to eliminate fossil fuels and continue the strangulation of nuclear power.In this talk, Alex Epstein, author of The New York Times bestseller The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, will draw on his new book Fossil Future and explain why the root cause of this attack is bad philosophy, and why the root solution is good philosophy. Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on September 01, 2021.

Making Sense of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Elan Journo

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dizzyingly complicated. In this talk, Elan Journo — author of an upcoming book on the conflict and America’s stake in it — looks at how intellectuals conceptualize and debate the issue, and spotlights the distinctive value of an Objectivist perspective on it.

Elan Journo is a fellow and director of Policy Research at the Ayn Rand Institute. This talk was delivered on Monday, June 12, 2017, at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Reclaiming Americanism Panel

A New Textbook of Americanism: The Politics of Ayn Rand (2018) presents Rand’s distinctive philosophical conception of “Americanism” and shows why it is so urgently needed today. This panel features the book’s editor Jonathan Hoenig and several contributors.

Recorded live at OCON on June 24, 2019

Music in Stone: Architecture and Sense of Life by Barry Wood

Architecture is in a class of its own among the arts, combining utilitarian function and expressive power. How, though, can a building, which is nonrepresentational, convey meaning? In this lecture, Dr. Wood draws on Ayn Rand’s writings on architecture, including The Fountainhead and The Romantic Manifesto, to deepen our understanding of how great buildings concretize abstract values. The talk includes analyses of several works of world architecture from an Objectivist perspective.

This lecture was delivered on July 5, 2018 at OCON 2018.

The Philosophical Roots of Chinese Strategic Thought by Scott D. McDonald

Traditional Chinese philosophy continues to influence the thinking and values of Chinese Communist Party leadership, and informs a system of Chinese strategic thought that differs significantly from that of the West. This talk introduces the fundamentals of Chinese philosophy, their relationship to Chinese strategic culture, and their influence on PRC security policy, in order to demonstrate the importance of understanding an adversary’s philosophy and shed light on the nature of the PRC’s campaign against the United States.

This talk was recorded at Objectivist Summer Conference 2018.

Making Sense of Today’s Political Culture with Greg Salmieri and Dave Rubin

This is the twelfth and final episode in a series looking at Objectivism’s approach to Happiness. Philosopher Gregory Salmieri joins Dave Rubin to discuss the state of today’s political culture.

Tribalism vs. Enlightenment Culture with Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate and Dave Rubin

This is the third episode in a series looking at Objectivism’s approach to Happiness. Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate join Dave Rubin to discuss Enlightenment culture and the pursuit of happiness, in contrast with the culture of tribalism and self-sacrifice.

Sport as an Arena for Admiration by Tara Smith

On a Pedestal: Sport as an Arena for Admiration

This talk explores the value of admiration in the realm of sports. At a time when much in the world around us seems distinctly un-admirable, spotlighting athletes’ achievements offers a refreshing antidote. Even those who aren’t sports fans can gain a deeper appreciation of how admiration itself is a value and can contribute to the admirer’s own flourishing. We explore how the sight of an achievement (as Ayn Rand observed) is, indeed, a glorious thing.

This talk was recorded live in Newport Beach, California, at Objectivist Summer Conference 2018.

Free Speech, Free Minds, Free Markets with Yaron Brook, Dave Rubin and Eric Weinstein

A conversation about freedom, between Yaron Brook, Dave Rubin and Eric Weinstein.

Elevating the Dialogue: Overcoming Today’s Intellectual Abyss with Sargon of Akkad and Gregory Salmieri

The political climate in the West, described by some as toxic, is deteriorating rapidly. The worse it gets, the more we hear about the conflation of speech and action, that words lead to violence, and that government should step in.

How serious are the problems around modern political discourse, such as trolling and de-platforming, and what is the best way to bring about constructive discussions on controversial topics?

This event was recorded live in London on October 12, 2018.

“Kill by Laughter”: Humor in The Fountainhead by Robert Mayhew

“Kill by Laughter”: Humor in The Fountainhead and Its 21st-Century Relevance

The Fountainhead is the novel in which Ayn Rand’s conception of humor (good and bad) comes across most clearly. The novel begins: “Howard Roark laughed.” Yet the villain Ellsworth Toohey, presenting his recipe for achieving power, recommends that we “kill by laughter.” This lecture discusses humor in The Fountainhead and the prevalence of the bad kind of humor in today’s culture.