Objectivism

Ayn Rand on the Genealogy of Altruism by Ben Bayer

Ayn Rand made abundantly clear that the morality of altruism had no basis in reason. Where then, if not from logical arguments, did it originate? It is not enough to point to irrational philosophies: the ultimate question is, where did philosophers get the idea? This talk will explore Ayn Rand’s own views on the motives that led thinkers to adopt this irrational morality. The talk will also examine how her views on this subject developed and deepened between the writing of The Fountainhead and her later nonfiction essays. It will also compare her views to Nietzsche’s views in The Genealogy of Morals, which are similar in certain respects but profoundly different in others.

Recorded live on July 3, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference.

Ayn Rand Interviewed with Mickey Spillane by Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand and Mickey Spillane on their reasons for becoming authors, their view of what makes a hero, and why, despite being viciously denounced by critics, they both maintain a large popular appeal. Hear Ayn Rand’s straight-to-the-point analysis of her own and Mickey Spillane’s work in this 1961 interview.

Audio licensed courtesy of The Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

Happiness by Jean Moroney

Ayn Rand’s distinctive view of values gives her a distinctive view of happiness. Topics discussed:

– What happiness is
– Why it’s “the normal condition of man”
– The practical steps to move from unhappiness to happiness

Recorded live on July 2, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference.

Reproduction and the Objectivist Ethics by Gregory Salmieri

The Objectivist ethics is grounded in the nature of life. Spanning meta-ethics to politics, this talk surveys the implications for this ethics of an aspect of life about which Rand said little: reproduction. Topics include what it means for an organism’s life to be its ultimate value, whether (and when) having children is egoistic, and the rights of parents and children.

Recorded live on July 5, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference.

Creating a New Generation of Energy Champions: A Panel hosted by Yaron Brook with Bud Brigham, Alex Epstein, and Onkar Ghate.

Recorded as part of the Ayn Rand Institute Gala at OCON 2021.

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. The attack on energy is fundamentally philosophical in nature, rooted in an anti-human philosophy that regards human impact on nature—an essential of human flourishing—as immoral and inevitably self-destructive. Fortunately, there is a growing movement of energy champions, who, armed with pro-human philosophical ideas and a deep command of the facts about energy, environment and climate, are winning hearts and minds. Join us for a panel of distinguished experts who will discuss the intellectual challenges facing the energy industry today and how ARI can help create a new generation of energy champions.

Dismantling Roe by Onkar Ghate

If Samuel Alito’s leaked first draft of a potential majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a reliable indication, the Supreme Court will overturn (and may have already done so by the time of the conference) Roe v. Wade. Onkar Ghate examines the arguments offered in Roe, good and bad, the vulnerabilities of the decision, and the case being made for its overturn.

Recorded live on July 2, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference.

Building the Ayn Rand University by Tal Tsfany

Tal Tsfany, ARI’s president and CEO, will review ARI’s mission to spread Objectivism and the progress made during 2021-22. ARI’s strategy for the future will be presented together with many data points and insights, collected through newly implemented technologies and methodologies.

Recorded on July 3, 2022 as part of the Objectivist Summer Conference

Stoicism vs Objectivism: What Is (and Is Not) Under Our Control? by Aaron Smith

Objectivism holds that it’s vital to understand what things are under our control and what are not. To avoid passive resignation toward what we can change and futile rebellion against the unchangeable, we need to internalize the right perspective on this issue. This talk contrasts the Objectivist perspective on this question with that of Stoicism. Both philosophies regard the issue as of central practical importance to a good life, but they differ in fundamental ways that are instructive to explore.

Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 31, 2021.

Raising Ourselves: A Montessori-Inspired Self-Parenting Guide for All Ages by Gena Gorlin

Selfishness, as Rand conceived it, is a demanding discipline: only by tending to one’s character and nurturing one’s psychological development can one become fully a rational, self-esteeming being capable of authentic happiness. This self-nurturance is a continuation, applied to oneself, of the work a good parent does in raising a child. This workshop will synthesize insights from psychology, Objectivism, and Montessori education and parenting to offer a practical approach for lovingly observing, managing and, when needed, changing one’s own psychology.

Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 30, 2021.

“What For?”: How Atlas Shrugged Dramatizes the Struggle for the Value of Purpose by Ben Bayer

Ayn Rand named “purpose” as one of the three cardinal moral values of the Objectivist ethics. Drawing especially on Atlas Shrugged, this talk will illustrate what the value of purpose is, how it relates to the virtue of productiveness, and why it amounts to “that choice of the happiness which [one’s reason] must proceed to achieve.”

Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 29, 2021.

That Radiant Selfishness of Soul: the Virtue of Pride by Ben Bayer

Objectivism regards pride as a crucial moral virtue. But what does it mean to act with pride, as opposed to feeling pride or achieving self-esteem? This talk will identify and elaborate on the central concern of the virtue of pride (the creation of one’s own character) and explore the chief practical requirements of the virtue, drawing on crucial examples from the plot of Atlas Shrugged.

Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 28, 2021.

Ayn Rand Con Second Q&A Panel on Objectivism with Onkar Ghate, Aaron Smith and Nikos Sotirakopoulos

After reflecting on the day’s talks, the audience asks questions they have about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 3, 2022.

Reason Versus Faith and Emotionalism by Aaron Smith

At the root of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is the idea that reason is man’s basic tool of survival and only means of knowledge. What is reason? And why is it incompatible with faith? What are emotions and how do they relate to reason?

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 3, 2022.

Free Will by Onkar Ghate (ARC EU 2022)

One core premise of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is free will—the idea that you are not the deterministic product of your race or genes or tribal collective—but have a basic form of control over your thoughts and actions. What is Ayn Rand’s theory of free will and how does it provide the foundation for her radical new moral philosophy.

Recorded at AynRandCon – Europe in London on April 3, 2022.

Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson | Dec. 1967

A special edition of the ARI Live Podcast: Ayn Rand’s third and final appearance on the Tonight Show.

Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson | Oct. 1967

A special edition of the ARI Live Podcast: Ayn Rand’s second appearance on the Tonight Show.

Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson | Aug. 1967

A special edition of the ARI Live Podcast: Ayn Rand’s first appearance on the Tonight Show.

Behind the Scenes: Ayn Rand on the Tonight Show with Elan Journo and Tom Bowden

In 1967, Ayn Rand made three controversial appearances in the space of four months on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, including one that hasn’t been heard publicly since its broadcast.

In this YouTube livestream event, join Elan Journo and Tom Bowden as they discuss the cultural context of the 1960s, Rand’s ground rules for appearing on Carson’s show, the topics covered in the interviews, Carson’s conversational skills and intellectual courage, and the strong audience response.

Stay tuned for podcasts featuring all three interviews, in which Rand addresses an astonishing range of issues, from basic principles of philosophy to reasoned opinions on current events and cultural trends to lighthearted banter.

Rand stoked controversy and pulled no punches. She declared her reasoned opposition to the Vietnam War, the military draft, and to a papal encyclical attacking the moral foundations of Western civilization — while expressing support for rational self-interest, the pursuit of individual happiness, political freedom, Romantic art, and the novels of Mickey Spillane.

Although Rand would in later years give long-form interviews to Phil Donahue, Tom Snyder and others, these three Johnny Carson interviews remain unsurpassed for sheer breadth. Join us for a trip back to a time when talk-show discussions of highly contentious issues could be calm, focused, intelligent and rational.

Ayn Rand Con First Q&A Panel on Objectivism with Yaron, Onkar, Keith

After reflecting on the day’s talks, participants asked questions about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

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

The Virtue of Selfishness by Keith Lockitch

Everyone knows that selfishness is evil, right? But what if our concept of “selfishness” is completely mistaken? From Ayn Rand’s perspective, “selfishness” does not mean what people typically think it means. And a central tenet of her philosophy is that, properly understood, selfishness is actually the essence of virtue.

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

An Overview of Ayn Rand’s Ideas by Onkar Ghate

This talk was part of Ayn Rand Con Europe on April 3, 2022.

OCON 2021: Spreading Objectivism: A Vision for ARI’s Future with Tal Tsfany

Tal Tsfany, ARI’s president and CEO, will review ARI’s mission to spread Objectivism and the progress made during 2020-21. ARI’s strategy for the future will be presented together with many data points and insights, collected through newly implemented technologies and methodologies. Mr. Tsfany will answer questions about the direction ARI is taking.

Celebrating Thirty Years of “OPAR” Panel with John Allison, Yaron Brook, Tara Smith

John Allison, Yaron Brook and Tara Smith each have a unique perspective on the role that Objectivism has played in their lives and work. Join these panelists as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of Leonard Peikoff’s masterwork and reflect on the impact that OPAR has had on their understanding of Objectivism and their ability to apply it successfully in their careers—in business, in public intellectual activism and in academic philosophy.

Keynote: Celebrating Thirty Years of “OPAR” by Yaron Brook

The publication of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand in 1991 was a landmark event. As a longtime student and friend of Leonard Peikoff, Yaron Brook will give some thoughts on the impact that OPAR has had on his own intellectual development and on the Objectivist movement.

Free Trade, Immigraton and Robots, Oh My! by Yaron Brook

One of the biggest threats America faces—we are told—is the assault on our workforce: the loss of American jobs to immigrants, to foreign competition fueled by free trade, and even to technology that will make all kinds of jobs obsolete. In this talk the Ayn Rand Institute’s executive chairman, Yaron Brook, argues that this fear is entirely misplaced—that a proper grasp of the virtue of productiveness shows that far from fearing and opposing free trade, immigration and robots, we should be eagerly embracing all three.

This talk was delivered on Thursday, June 15, 2017, at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brook is joined onstage for the Q&A period by Onkar Ghate, ARI senior fellow and chief content officer.

Productive Achievement: Man’s “Noblest Activity” by Onkar Ghate

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 her philosophy, is man’s “noblest activity.” This talk explores what Objectivism means by the virtue of productiveness and discusses aspects of our culture’s positive and negative attitudes toward producers and productive activity.

Onkar Ghate is senior fellow and chief content officer at the Ayn Rand Institute. Tara Smith, who participates in the question period, is professor of philosophy and BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism at the University of Texas at Austin. This talk was delivered at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Foundations of a Free Society Panel

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 Elan Journo features contributors to the book.

Recorded live at OCON on June 25, 2019

Yaron Brook and David Pakman Debate: “Should We Have Welfare Programs?”

Listen to the third in a series of four discussions between Ayn Rand Institute chairman Yaron Brook and David Pakman about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Pakman is the host of the internationally syndicated television and radio program The David Pakman Show.

Yaron Brook and David Pakman Debate: “Is Capitalism Moral?”

The second of four debates between Yaron Brook and David Pakman. This debate covers the question: “Is Capitalism Moral?”

Yaron Brook Debates David Pakman on Ayn Rand

Listen to the first in a series of four discussions between Ayn Rand Institute chairman Yaron Brook and David Pakman about Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Pakman is the host of the internationally syndicated television and radio program The David Pakman Show.

Ayn Rand, Progress and Silicon Valley with Erik Torenberg, Jason Crawford and Yaron Brook

Erik Torenberg interviews Jason Crawford and Yaron Brook. They discuss:

– What can destroy — or save — Silicon Valley.

– What Rand would say about Silicon Valley if she could see it today.

– How to reconcile egalitarianism and meritocracy.

– How to make her ideas more mainstream.

– Objectivism, libertarianism, and individualism.

– Progress as a human achievement and how to appreciate it.

This podcast was recorded live in January 2020 at AynRandCon.

Anthem Discussion Series (Session 5) with Aaron Smith and Agustina Vergara Cid

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.  

Discussed in this episode: A Q&A About Ayn Rand’s ANTHEM


This is part 5 of a 5-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s Anthem, taking place on Fridays at 10:00 am PT from March 27 – April 17. Watch live on YouTube or register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/Anthem to ask questions before or during the webinar.

Q&A Panel: Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate, Keith Lockitch and Gregory Salmieri



The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it at all levels of government have disrupted all of our lives. As we begin to contemplate the challenge of reopening and rebuilding the economy in the face on the ongoing spread of the virus, it’s critical to employ the right philosophical framework for thinking about these issues, and to not be misled by false alternatives, wishful thinking, tribalistic finger-pointing and other forms of distorted thinking.

This Q&A is the final talk recorded on April 18, 2020, as part of AynRandCon-LIVE, a free online event offering a framework for thinking about the COVID-19 crisis from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.



Thinking Objectively in Times of Crisis by Gregory Salmieri

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it at all levels of government have disrupted all of our lives. As we begin to contemplate the challenge of reopening and rebuilding the economy in the face on the ongoing spread of the virus, it’s critical to employ the right philosophical framework for thinking about these issues, and to not be misled by false alternatives, wishful thinking, tribalistic finger-pointing and other forms of distorted thinking.

This is the third of four talks recorded on April 18, 2020, as part of AynRandCon-LIVE, a free online event offering a framework for thinking about the COVID-19 crisis from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.



Objectivity in Government in Times of Crisis by Yaron Brook

The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it at all levels of government have disrupted all of our lives. As we begin to contemplate the challenge of reopening and rebuilding the economy in the face on the ongoing spread of the virus, it’s critical to employ the right philosophical framework for thinking about these issues, and to not be misled by false alternatives, wishful thinking, tribalistic finger-pointing and other forms of distorted thinking.

This is the second of four talks recorded on April 18, 2020, as part of AynRandCon-LIVE, a free online event offering a framework for thinking about the COVID-19 crisis from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

Anthem Discussion Series (Session 4) with Aaron Smith and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today. 

Discussed in this episode: The Continuing Relevance of Anthem
This is part 4 of a 4-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s Anthem, taking place on Fridays at 10:00 am PT from March 27 – April 17. Watch live on YouTube or register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/Anthem to ask questions before or during the webinar.

Update: we added a bonus Q&A session on Friday, April 24 at 10 am PT!

Anthem Discussion Series (Session 3) with Aaron Smith and Agustina Vergara Cid

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today. 

Discussed in this episode: Anthem as Ayn Rand’s Hymn to Man’s Ego

This is part 1 of a 4-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s Anthem, taking place on Fridays at 10:00 am PT from March 27 – April 17. Watch live on YouTube or register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/Anthem to ask questions before or during the webinar.

Update: we added a bonus Q&A session on Friday, April 24 at 10 am PT!

Anthem Discussion Series (Session 2) with Aaron Smith and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of Anthem; the novel’s plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compares to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.

Discussed in this episode: Individualism vs. Collectivism in Anthem

This is part 2 of a 4-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s Anthem, taking place on Fridays at 10:00 am PT from March 27 – April 17. Watch live on YouTube or register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/Anthem to ask questions before or during the webinar.

Update: we’ve just added a bonus Q&A session on Friday, April 24 at 10 am PT!

Anthem Discussion Series (Session 1) with Aaron Smith and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of “Anthem;” the novel’ plots, central themes and characters; how the novel compare to other well-known works; and how the novel relates to the era in which it was written and to today.

This is part 1 of a 4-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s Anthem, taking place on Fridays at 10:00 am PT from March 27 – April 17. Watch live on YouTube or register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/Anthem to ask questions before or during the webinar.

Spreading Objectivism: A Vision for ARI’s Future by Tal Tsfany

Tal Tsfany, ARI’s president and CEO, reviews ARI’s mission to spread Objectivism and the progress made during 2018–19. ARI’s strategy for the future is presented together with many data points and insights collected through newly implemented technologies and methodologies. Tal then answers questions about the direction ARI is taking.

Recorded live on June 25, 2019 in Clevland, OH.

Highlights from the Romantic Manifesto by Onkar Ghate, Yaron Brook

The Romantic Manifesto is a rich and philosophically penetrating book. It is, Rand states in her introduction, a “declaration of my personal objectives or motives” as an artist and “of the theoretical grounds that entitle me to these objectives and motives.” We explore some of the insights into Objectivism we get from her manifesto and some lessons to take—or not to take—from the book to increase one’s enjoyment of art and of life.

Recorded live at OCON 2019 in Cleveland, OH.

How to Fill Your Life With Art by Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate

A central message of The Romantic Manifesto is the value of enriching your life with great art. But how? Dr. Brook has long pursued a passion for bringing Romantic art to Objectivists and other buyers and seeking out great art around the world. Join him for a discussion of the difference between great art and art you like; how to define your personal favorites; and how, over time, to elevate your taste in art.

Recorded live in Cleveland on June 24, 2019

Ayn Rand on Art with Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate and Robert Mayhew

Yaron Brook, Onkar Ghate and Robert Mayhew have a panel discussion and Q&A on various aspects of Ayn Rand’s perspective on art.

Recorded live at OCON 2019 in Clevland, OH on June 23, 2019.

Do People’s Interests Have to Conflict? by Gregory Salmieri

People are at odds with one another all the time (we have wars, personal animosities, etc.) and it is generally assumed that people’s interests conflict. We are often told that the only way to have any kind of peace is to compromise—to give up our interests in deference to other people.

Ayn Rand rejects this idea. Her view is that the interests of rational people don’t conflict, in fact, they harmonize. But what does it mean to form a rational view of what’s in your own interest?

Join Greg Salmieri as he presents Rand’s answer to the question: Do people’s interests have to conflict?

Should You Judge Other People? by Elan Journo

If you want to be considered a caring person, you are expected to offer a “no-judgement-zone.” And you are supposed to believe that it’s an insult to be called “judgmental.” It’s recommended that you live by the biblical advice “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” but can this actually guide us in our daily life and thinking?

There are people who lie, cheat, steal, rape, murder and worse—and, clearly, they deserve to be morally condemned.

On the other hand, there are honest, thoughtful, productive, and truly heroic people. To form a positive evaluation of them, some kind of moral judgement is needed.

Join Elan Journo as he explores another one of life’s big questions: Should you judge other people?

Do I Need a Philosophy? by Aaron Smith

Many people have at least heard of a few of history’s great philosophers. Names like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle—they ring a bell and maybe some of us have even taken a philosophy course in college or perhaps encountered books or podcasts that are espousing or offering some kind of philosophy of life—a philosophy for living.

But what exactly is a philosophy? What does it mean to have a philosophy and, more importantly, do you need a philosophy? 

Join Aaron Smith to explore one of life’s big questions: Do I need a philosophy?

Why Be Honest? by Ben Bayer

We live in an age in which fabricated stories pulse through social media, fashionable startup companies are founded on swindles and, of course, politicians of all stripes routinely lie. Whatever happened to the idea that honesty is the best policy? Most people would recognize honesty as an obvious example of a moral virtue, but the idea of being honest on principle strikes many people as a burdensome duty they owe to other people, which is sometimes too impractical to stick to consistently.

Is honesty really just a duty we owe to others? What does it mean to be honest and why should we bother being honest at all? 

Join Ben Bayer to explore one of life’s big questions: Why be honest?