Audio

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

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

Facts and Fallacies About Intellectual Ability by Edwin A. Locke

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 justice will be presented. Recorded live at

OCON on June 26, 2019

Earning Your Own Trust: The Psychology of Honesty by Gena Gorlin

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 talk draws on research and clinical experience, further clarified by Ayn Rand’s insights on the choice to focus.

Recorded live at OCON on June 25, 2019.

The Subtheme of Free Will in Atlas Shrugged by Ben Bayer

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 is volitional. Recorded live at OCON on June 27, 2019

The Romanticism of Atlas Shrugged by Ben Bayer

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 of “Atlas Shrugged” express Rand’s commitment to the premise of volition in man’s existential action, and how the major value-conflicts faced by central characters in the novel express the same commitment in regard to man’s consciousness. We also highlight the importance of each of these features of Rand’s Romanticism and how they contribute to the enjoyment of the novel.

Free Will by Onkar Ghate

Recorded live at Ayn Rand Conference Europe 2020

The Virtue of Selfishness by Elan Journo

Recorded live at Ayn Rand Conference Europe 2020

How Did Freedom Fare in the Supreme Court This Year? (2018) with Amy Peikoff, Larry Salman, Steve Simpson

Gay wedding cakes. Compulsory union dues. Mandatory disclosures for pregnancy centers. Police searches of cell phone records. These are just a few of the subjects the Supreme Court has taken up this term. The Court’s major cases impact freedom in America and involve fascinating political and philosophical questions. Our panel of experts: Amy Peikoff, Larry Salzman and Steve Simpson, analyze some of the Court’s most momentous decisions from this term and explain their implications.

Recorded live at OCON 2018 on July 3, 2018.

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.

“Crypto Currencies” Panacea or Ponzi Scheme–or Neither? by Jim Brown, Lars Christensen, Carter Laren, Lawrence White

Bitcoin. Ethereum. Litecoin. Ripple. These and other digital currencies have fired the imagination of free-market advocates. Can crypto currencies replace fiat currencies? Can they compete with gold? What’s the future of the blockchain technology on which these inventions are built? Our panel of experts: Jim Brown, Lars Christensen, Carter Laren and Lawrence White have different points of view, and they will discuss the future — and the failings — of these fascinating innovations.

Recorded live at OCON 2018 on July 1, 2018.

Creativity Comes from the Subconscious — or Does It? by Edwin A. Locke

This talk argues that the prime mover in creativity is the conscious mind even though the subconscious plays a critical role. The conscious aspect includes: having a purpose or goal, passionate love of the goal, active thinking, vision, independent judgment, tenacity and objectivity, and the willingness to change goals or strategies in the face of failure. The role of intelligence and the subconscious will be explained. Dr. Locke gives specific examples from literature, business and science.

Yaron Brook and David Pakman Debate: “Does Pure Capitalism Work?”

Listen to the final installment 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: “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.

Transforming Burnout with Selfishness – Ellen Kenner, Edwin A. Locke and Jean Moroney

Burnout is a vicious cycle involving loss of motivation for one’s job or career. Internal causes include altruism, the duty premise and secondhand values. External causes include unrealistic expectations of others and injustice. Our panel of experts: Ellen Kenner, Edwin A. Locke and Jean Moroney discuss how making selfish value choices breaks the vicious cycle of burnout, so you can experience a virtuous cycle of productivity for achieving selfish goals.

A View from the Front Lines of a Public Energy Company by Nicholas J. Deluliis

The shale revolution is one of man’s most impressive achievements. Born out of a spirit of entrepreneurism, disruptive thinking and self-interest, this revolution has brought the United States out of an era of energy scarcity and into an era of energy abundance. However, allied forces in government, media and the radical green movement conspire to destroy the shale revolution, despite its virtues, through Trojan Horse tactics linked to collectivist social purposes. Deluliis examines this effort to build a societal paradigm predicated on government control of private enterprise and the enabling of the second-hander.

Climate, Energy and the Environmentalist Movement by Keith Lockitch

Today, climate change is viewed in our culture as a crisis of unprecedented scale that is uniquely threatening and intractable. Yet if we explore the history of the environmentalist movement, we find a pattern of forecasting similar environmental catastrophes that failed to materialize. What is it about environmentalism that gives rise to this pattern of ailed predictions, and what lessons can we draw from them about today’s concerns related to climate and energy?

Recorded live at OCON on June 25, 2020.

From Metaphysical Facts to Moral Guidance by Aaron Smith

This session—part lecture, part class discussion—explores the fact that, and the ways in which, the guidance offered by the Objectivist ethics flows from the recognition of certain universal facts about human nature and the nature of the world in which man lives. The purpose of the session is to highlight the connection between facts and values from a uniquely Objectivist perspective.

Recorded live at OCON on June 24, 2019

Falling In Love With Poetry (Part 2) by Lisa VanDamme

The goal of this talk is to help you fall in love – or more in love – both with poetry and with love itself. With a symphonic integration of all the resources of language, great love poets take the most elusive nuances, thrills, mysteries, and motifs of love and throw them into sharp relief. During this talk, you will see these facets illumined by such timeless poets as Tennyson, Donne, Millay, and Browning.

You will experience the power of poetry to sharpen our vision, intensify our feelings, deepen our souls, and expand our capacity to love.

Recorded live at OCON 2018.

Falling In Love With Poetry (Part 1) by Lisa VanDamme

The goal of this talk is to help you fall in love – or more in love – both with poetry and with love itself. With a symphonic integration of all the resources of language, great love poets take the most elusive nuances, thrills, mysteries, and motifs of love and throw them into sharp relief. During this talk, you will see these facets illumined by such timeless poets as Tennyson, Donne, Millay, and Browning.

You will experience the power of poetry to sharpen our vision, intensify our feelings, deepen our souls, and expand our capacity to love.

Recorded live at OCON 2018.

The Influence of Ayn Rand on My Life and Business Career by Lars Seier Christensen

Mr. Christensen, co-founder of Denmark’s Saxo Bank and founder of the private equity firm Seier Capital, has had a long, successful career as an innovator in banking and finance. In this talk, he discusses his business career and the role that Objectivism has played in his personal and professional development.

This talk was recorded at Objectivist Summer Conference 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.

Sense of Life in Medieval Persia by Barry Wood

Art is a universal need of man qua man, yet most people’s awareness of art is limited to the Western tradition. This horizon-expanding lecture offers an introduction to the culture of medieval Persia. Dr. Wood analyzes, in Objectivist terms, the ways in which the poets, painters and architects of that era distilled their sense of life into concrete form. The reward is an increased appreciation of Ayn Rand’s insights into art, as well as of a lesser-known legacy of human creativity.

Recorded live at OCON 2019

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.

Nurturing the Reader in Every Child with Lindsay Journo and Cornelia Lockitch

Is one of your goals as a parent or teacher to nurture a passion for reading in your children? Do you wonder about the role of reading instruction or screen time on the decline of reading in our culture? This presentation offers inspiration and practical advice for: – Building intrinsic motivation in children – Developing critical skills through a phonetic base and “total reading” – Choosing books (includes suggested reading lists by age) – Preparing your home or classroom environment – Exploring morality through literature.

The reading list mentioned can be found here: http://bit.ly/reader2019

Recorded live on June 24, 2019 as part of OCON 2019

Victor Hugo and You: The Art of Spiritual Splendor by Shoshana Milgram

Hugo was a giant. He created brilliantly Romantic novels, poetry and plays, and he did so with dedicated purpose: “Everything in a work of art is an act of will.” Learn about the life, works and impact of the man Ayn Rand considered “the greatest novelist in world literature.” His writing, he said, “knocks on the door and says, Open up, I have come for you.” Let’s accept his invitation.

This talk was recorded live on June 25th as part of OCON 2019.

Practicum on “Motivation by Love” by Jean Moroney

Do you select actions because they help you achieve values (“motivation by love”) or avoid failures (“motivation by fear”)? The same action can lead to happiness or suffereing depending on your reason for taking it. You will learn:

– The full meaning of “motivation by love” and its antithesis “motivation by fear

– The need to act from “motivation by love,” i.e., with the achievement of your values as your primary focus

– How to switch to a values-focus when you spot “motivation by fear”

Recorded live on June 24, 2019 as part of OCON 2019

Achieving Happiness: Living Life with Purpose

Objectivism is a “philosophy for living on earth” as Ayn Rand wrote. In this discussion, Ms. Agarwal and Mr. Tsfany relate how they understand the process of implementing Rand’s philosophy in one’s life and career. The conversation covers aspects of discovering, defining and pursuing a life of purpose and, consequently, happiness and fulfillment. This talk was recorded at Objectivist Summer Conference 2019.

21st Century Breakthroughs and Challenges in Infectious Disease by Amesh Adalja

In this talk, Dr. Adalja provides a guided tour of some of the most game-changing innovations that are on the horizon in the field of infectious disease. Using the field of infectious disease as a backdrop, he discusses such topics as the microbiome, universal flu vaccines, CRISPR-CAS gene editing, bacteriophages, antimicrobial resistance, and immunotherapies. He also discusses the topic of regulation in this field and how it may impact innovation. Recorded live at OCON on June 23, 2019.

Life, Poetry and Keats by Lisa VanDamme

John Keats lived a tragically short and miserably tragic life, and yet in his twenty-five years he wrote poetry that has brought insight, joy and beauty to readers for centuries. This talk weaves together the story of Keats’s life with some of his most beautiful works of poetry. Though what happiness Keats enjoyed was fleeting, he left an enduring legacy of art that can contribute powerfully to ours.

Recorded Wednesday June 26 in Cleveland as part of OCON 2019.

Free Speech, Free Minds, Free Markets by Tara Smith

Many people believe that while freedom of speech is a vital human liberty, economic freedom is entirely separate, merely a distant and inferior relation. This lecture exposes their error by examining the underappreciated implications of free speech on free markets. After isolating the First Amendment’s core concern as intellectual freedom, Smith demonstrates how the mind is the bridge between speech and property—between intellectual activity, on the other hand, and its manifold material rewards, on the other.

Recorded Live in Cleveland on Thursday June 27th, 2019.

The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 8) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; 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 FOUNTAINHEAD: PART IV, CHAPTERS 11–20


This is part 1 of an 8-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, taking place Fridays at 12:00 pm PT from March 27 – May 22. Watch live on YouTube or–to ask questions–register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/fountainhead

The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 7) with Ben Bayer and Paul Taske

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; 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 FOUNTAINHEAD: Part IV, Chapters 1–10


This is part 7 of a 9-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, taking place Fridays at 12:00 pm PT from March 27 – May 22. Watch live on YouTube or–to ask questions–register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/fountainhead

The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 6) with Ben Bayer and Paul Taske

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; 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 FOUNTAINHEAD, Part III, Chapters 1–9


This is part 6 of a 9-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, taking place Fridays at 12:00 pm PT from March 27 – May 22. Watch live on YouTube or–to ask questions–register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/fountainhead

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.

The Fountainhead Discussion Series (Session 5) with Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch

In this series, teachers from the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss Rand’s background and the history of The Fountainhead; 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 FOUNTAINHEAD: PART II, CHAPTERS 19–15

This is part 5 of a 9-part book discussion series on Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, taking place Fridays at 12:00 pm PT from March 27 – May 22. Watch live on YouTube or–to ask questions–register at https://courses.aynrand.org/webinars/fountainhead

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.

Infectious Disease Under the American Form of Government by Onkar Ghate

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 first of four talks recorded live 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!