New Ideal, from the Ayn Rand Institute
New Ideal, from the Ayn Rand Institute
Ayn Rand Institute
The New Ideal Podcast features a curated selection of content from the pages of New Ideal, the journal of the Ayn Rand Institute. At New Ideal, we explore pressing cultural issues from the perspective of Rand’s philosophy: Objectivism, which upholds the ideals of reason, individualism and Capitalism.
What to Be Thankful for in a Time of Adversity
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Ben Bayer discuss the real meaning of Thanksgiving and the many things we should be thankful for, even during this grim and challenging year. Among the topics covered: * The history of Thanksgiving as a religious holiday, and how a secular meaning can be abstracted from it;* Why we should recognize and thank healthcare professionals, scientists and entrepreneurs who have made our lives radically better, especially during a pandemic;* Why it’s unjust that so many people take these creators for granted;* Why it’s important to recognize the real value producers and express gratitude for their achievements;* The significance of Ayn Rand’s “benevolent universe” premise. Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged and Elan Journo’s articles “Thanksgiving: The Producer’s Holiday” and “Unsung Heroes of the Pandemic” (three-part series). A special thanks to our donors who make this podcast and other ARI products and programs possible. This podcast was recorded on November 24, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here. Podcast audio:
Nov 25, 2020
55 min
How Ethics Can Guide Our Lives, Not Just Resolve Dilemmas
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Gregory Salmieri joins Ben Bayer to discuss the approach that leads many prominent philosophers to analyze far-fetched dilemmas, an approach that offers no serious moral guidance for everyday life. They also discuss how a different approach can actually guide our decisions. Among the topics covered: * How prevalent the study of these dilemmas is among philosophy professors;* Whether ethics has always been about resolving dilemmas;* The philosophy that leads thinkers to see the subject of ethics as conflict resolution;* Ayn Rand’s alternative approach to the ethics of “emergency” situations, and why her approach to ethics does offer positive guidance. Mentioned in the conversation are Rand’s essays “The Ethics of Emergencies,” “The ‘Conflicts’ of Men’s Interests” and “The Objectivist Ethics” from her book The Virtue of Selfishness; Leonard Peikoff’s book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Gregory Salmieri and Allan Gotthelf’s A Companion to Ayn Rand, and Ben Bayer’s article “Why Today’s Ethics Offers No Real Guidance.” This podcast was recorded on November 18, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.
Nov 23, 2020
1 hr 4 min
What We Owe the Real Defenders of America
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo discuss what it means to honor a nation’s soldiers and veterans. They argue that the decision to go to war is a serious moral issue and has to take seriously the lives of its soldiers in battle. Among other topics, they cover: * How the purpose of a proper government (the protection of its citizens’ individual rights) sets the bounds for the proper use of the military;* Ayn Rand’s perspective on what justifies war, and how it differs from libertarian and conservative views;* Why regarding military service as a sacrifice for the “common good” is a mistake and an insult to soldiers and veterans;* What Rand thought of American wars of her time, especially Vietnam, and how America’s foreign policy from World War I on has too often betrayed American soldiers;* Why Ayn Rand opposed the draft on moral grounds. Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essays “The Roots of War,” “Lessons from Vietnam” (available in the book The Voice of Reason), “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” the Ayn Rand Lexicon’s entry on “war,” Rand’s books Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and The Virtue of Selfishness, Elan Journo’s books Winning the Unwinnable War and What Justice Demands, and Journo and Ghate’s book Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism. This podcast was recorded on November 11, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here. Podcast audio:
Nov 16, 2020
1 hr 2 min
The Consent of the Governed
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch take a step back from controversies about the current election season to discuss the most fundamental aspects of America’s political system. Among the topics covered: * The original meaning of “democracy,” and why America is not a democracy in this sense;* What “the consent of the governed” means, and why it does not mean unlimited majority rule;* The basic principle that justifies a legitimate government, according to Ayn Rand;* The proper role of voting and representation in a free society. Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essays “The Nature of Government,” “Representation Without Authorization,” and “The Season of Platitudes”; the book Foundations of a Free Society, edited by Gregory Salmieri and Robert Mayhew, and the book A New Textbook of Americanism, edited by Jonathan Hoenig (particularly the essay “On the Role of Voting in the American System of Government”). This podcast was recorded on November 3, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here. Podcast audio:
Nov 9, 2020
1 hr 2 min
What Questions Would You Ask a Supreme Court Nominee?
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Ben Bayer explore the principles that should guide judges dedicated to interpreting a Constitution that enshrines and protects individual rights. From this perspective, they comment on statements given by Judge Amy Coney Barrett in her recent confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. Among the topics covered: * The fundamental value of First Amendment rights;* Why religious liberty isn’t specially privileged compared to other personal freedoms;* Why the establishment clause and protection of religious liberty are not in tension;* Why it’s important to acknowledge rights unenumerated by the Bill of Rights;* Why the “originalist” approach to Constitutional interpretation is attractive to jurists with a religious mindset. Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essay “Man’s Rights” and ARI board member Tara Smith’s book Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System. This podcast was recorded on October 28, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here. Podcast audio:
Nov 2, 2020
1 hr 2 min
Analyzing Paul Krugman’s New York Times Smear of Ayn Rand
In this special episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo discuss Paul Krugman’s recent column in the New York Times smearing Ayn Rand and claiming that she’s responsible for the death of thousands of people during the pandemic. The column, which purports to stand up for facts and science, exhibits serious intellectual dishonesty about Rand’s ideas. Among the topics covered: * Krugman’s attempt to smear Rand by lumping her together with Donald Trump and others who ignore science;* Krugman’s distortion of Rand’s ideas, and his subsequent admission that he caricatured Rand;* Krugman’s history of distorting Rand’s views (in spite of knowing better);* Why Krugman fears engaging with Rand’s actual ideas, the only ones that challenge his moral premises;* Rand’s actual opinion on the role of the government in infectious disease, which is radically different from what Krugman implies;* Krugman’s deeply mistaken conception of freedom as opposed to Rand’s principled perspective;* An open invitation for Krugman to debate ARI intellectuals. Mentioned in the discussion are Rand’s audio on her perspective on quarantines and Onkar Ghate’s paper “A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease.” Additionally, here’s ARI’s letter to the editor of the New York Times. Podcast audio: “It’s not every day that the New York Times accuses the person after whom your institute is named of mass murder,” says CEO Tal Tsfany in this short video based on the arguments made in the podcast. Tsfany not only condemns Krugman’s attack on Rand but challenges him to debate an ARI intellectual on the merits:
Oct 26, 2020
32 min
The Threat of ‘National Conservatism’
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Keith Lockitch discuss what’s wrong with the push from the “national conservatism” movement to restore what it takes to be traditional American values. Among the topics covered: * What conservatism is, and what Ayn Rand thought about it;* What the “national conservatism” movement stands for today;* The movement’s major concerns, especially regarding free trade and immigration;* How their elevation of the value of ethnic heritage negates individualism and freedom;* The anti-reason, anti-Enlightenment mentality of intellectuals in this movement. Mentioned in the discussion are the entries “conservatives” and “collectivism” in the Ayn Rand Lexicon, Ayn Rand’s essay “Conservatism: An Obituary,” and Elan Journo’s essay “The Vice of Nationalism.” This podcast was recorded on October 21, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here. Podcast audio:
Oct 26, 2020
59 min
The Pope’s Deeply Christian Attack on Individual Freedom
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Keith Lockitch discuss the newly released encyclical by Pope Francis, “Fratelli Tutti" ("Brothers All"). They argue that this document is an attack on freedom and capitalism — but is consistent with the Christian worldview. Among the topics covered: * The main concern raised by the Pope: political and social division, and what he thinks is the cause of the problem (individualism);* His proposed solution: charity and “solidarity,” both private and governmental;* A question that the Pope doesn’t ask but should: what is the source of wealth?* How Marxism stole the deeply Christian idea that property rights are dispensable and that we have a duty to share wealth with the poor;* Ayn Rand’s comments on a previous encyclical, “Populorum Progressio”(1967), where she critiqued many of the same ideas in Pope Francis’s document today. Mentioned in the discussion are the pope’s latest encyclical, Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, her essays “Requiem for Man” in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and “Of Living Death” in The Voice of Reason, the Ayn Rand Lexicon entry on “religion,” and Onkar Ghate’s article “Finding Happiness and Morality Without God.” This podcast was recorded on October 14, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here. Podcast audio:
Oct 19, 2020
1 hr 2 min
Talking With Hillel Neuer About China, WHO and UN Corruption
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, China faced credible accusations that it unduly delayed reporting the outbreak to the World Health Organization and manipulated that organization to deflect blame. China, moreover, has long insisted on excluding Taiwan — one of the few countries to respond successfully to the pandemic — from the WHO. The scandal over China’s machinations, however, is an aspect of a larger, even more shameful story about the WHO’s parent organization, the United Nations. I interviewed Hillel Neuer, a lawyer and writer, who is executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental organization that reports on the United Nations. Our conversation began with the story that’s made the WHO notorious during the pandemic, but quickly broadened to look at the United Nations and its Human Rights Council. The UN’s Human Rights Council, supposedly a global watchdog on rights, is used by authoritarians and dictators to deflect attention from their own crimes. At the same time, as Neuer put it, the UN has “pathologically” heaped scorn on Israel, a basically free society. One question I put to Neuer: Why has there been no investigation, let alone an outcry, at the Human Rights Council about the compelling evidence that China has coerced nearly one million Uighurs (a Muslim minority group) into prison-like camps? How have the dozens of Muslim-majority nations at the UN reacted? If you expected them to lambaste China, you’d be stunned. The UN’s Human Rights Council, Neuer observed, is “one of the most cynical places I’ve ever seen.” Looking back at our conversation, which you can hear and watch below, one conclusion was overwhelming. It is not only China that the UN enables and provides moral cover for. The UN does the same for many of the world’s dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. Neuer is an outspoken, eloquent critic of the United Nations (here’s one viral video of him speaking at the UN), and his work helps expose the reality of the organization’s moral corruption. While Neuer’s own organization is dedicated to holding the UN accountable to its founding principles, in my view the UN’s moral failings are fundamental and beyond remedy. Podcast audio:
Oct 14, 2020
42 min
How Goes the Pandemic Battle? Interview with Dr. Amesh Adalja
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer talks with Amesh Adalja,  a well-known expert on pandemic preparedness, about the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the topics covered: * Why there are outbreaks in many parts of the country right now;* How individuals can change their behavior to combat the virus;* The latest antibody treatments, including those recently administered to President Trump;* Prospects for the availability of rapid at-home tests;* Whether or not masks are effective at containing the spread of the virus;* Updates on the development of a vaccine;* What to make of the case of Sweden, where no lockdowns where imposed. Mentioned in the conversation were Dr. Adalja’s article “COVID19: A Path Forward,” Onkar Ghate’s white paper “A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease,” and Ben Bayer’s article “The FDA Mandates Ignorance about Covid-19.” This podcast was recorded on October 7, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived web episodes here. Podcast audio:
Oct 12, 2020
51 min
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