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.
Supreme Court’s Half-Hearted Defense of Abortion Rights
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Paul Taske discuss the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence in light of its recent decision in June Medical Services v. Russo.  While June’s outcome was a victory for abortion rights advocates, it highlighted the Court’s failure to address abortion issues from a principled, rights-based perspective. Topics discussed include: * Ayn Rand’s radical defense of abortion rights* The Constitution’s purpose as a limitation on government and its role in safeguarding individual rights, including abortion rights* The Supreme Court’s history of abortion jurisprudence* The Court’s reliance on a pragmatic “balancing test,” rather than the principle of rights For Ayn Rand’s perspective on abortion, check out her commentary and the lecture “Of Living Death.”  ARI’s other commentary on abortion can be found on New Ideal and as part of its Philosophy For Living On Earth podcast series. This podcast was recorded on August 5, 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:
Aug 10
1 hr 4 min
Building and Toppling Public Statues
Statues of historical figures are being toppled or vandalized across the country. Many people claim that the statues being torn down or defaced are monuments to racism that can no longer be tolerated. In this episode of New Ideal Live, philosophers Onkar Ghate, Ben Bayer and Gregory Salmieri discuss the nature of this phenomenon, whether it is a legitimate form of protest and what, if anything, should be done about public monuments of questionable figures. Questions covered in the discussion include: * Should we venerate those who achieved great things, but whose ideas or actions we find offensive?* If a monument no longer represents genuine values, or even celebrates evil movements, what should be done about it?* Is it proper for people today to use force to effect change, like the tea-partiers did in the late eighteenth century?* Even if statues are taken down by proper, legal means, isn’t that a form of rewriting history?* Should public monuments exist at all? This podcast was recorded on July 29, 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 episodes here. Podcast audio:
Aug 3
1 hr 4 min
The Fuel on the Fire of ‘Cancel Culture’
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Elan Journo discuss the recent controversy surrounding a letter published in Harper’s magazine. The letter sparked increased debate around a phenomenon called “cancel culture.” Bayer and Journo unpack the phrase and assess its significance. Topics discussed include: * Why “cancel culture” is poorly defined and functions to package together censorship and voluntary persuasion* How some public shaming campaigns are just and necessary, while other are neither* How, too often, recent public shaming campaigns are launched in defiance of evidence and argumentation* Many of the campaigns decried by critics of “cancel culture” are launched by people who fear disagreement and want to intimidate dissenters into silence Additional resources mentioned during the discussion include Ayn Rand’s “The Argument From Intimidation,” Ben Bayer’s “What’s Wrong with ‘Virtue Signaling’?”, and Elan Journo’s “Should You Judge Other People?” This podcast was recorded on July 22, 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:
Jul 27
1 hr 3 min
The False Promise of Stoicism
In this episode, Aaron Smith reads aloud his article, “The False Promise of Stoicism.” In that essay, he examines the ancient philosophy of Stoicism, which is enjoying a resurgence of interest today. Ryan Holiday, Tim Ferris, Patrick Bet-David and others are promoting Stoicism as a valuable guide for living, and it’s garnering the interest of CEOs, professional athletes and Silicon Valley tech workers. However, Smith argues, there are good reasons to steer clear of Stoicism as a guide to life and to seek a better philosophy. Smith’s article was originally published in New Ideal, the Ayn Rand Institute’s journal, on June 10, 2019.
Jul 25
20 min
Latest Pandemic Developments with Dr. Amesh Adalja
With coronavirus cases rising across the country and some states closing up again, it’s worth asking: Have government officials learned the lessons from the first spike in cases earlier this year? In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo talks with Amesh Adalja, expert on pandemic preparedness and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, to discuss this question and the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic. Among other topics, they cover: * Is it safe for schools reopen in the fall, or should they remain closed and provide online classes?* Can the current testing strategy effectively combat the spread of the virus?* What is the state of contact tracing, and how effectively can we contact-trace in places with a high number of infections?* What is the nature of the conflict between the CDC and the White House?* What scientific developments can we look forward to in connection to combating the virus? Mentioned towards the end of this episode is Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate’s recently published op-ed on the issue of testing strategy, and Onkar Ghate’s paper on a pro-freedom approach to pandemics. This podcast was recorded on July 15, 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:
Jul 20
29 min
The Agenda Behind Shaming ARI for Taking Government Relief
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate discuss the controversy surrounding ARI’s acceptance of a Paycheck Protection Program loan. ARI previously announced it was seeking PPP relief and elaborated the moral justification for its position in an article and previous webinar. Topics discussed include: * Why ARI opposes the welfare state, and why it’s not hypocritical for opponents of welfare state programs to collect payments from these programs* Why the shaming of ARI in particular for receiving PPP loans stems from an anti-intellectual attitude aimed at shutting down critics* Why precise bookkeeping of one’s losses to the welfare state isn’t necessary for seeking restitution from it* Why Ayn Rand’s opposition to the welfare state is not the “standard conservative” position Two articles by Ayn Rand are mentioned in the discussion: “The Question of Scholarships” and “The Establishing of an Establishment.” This podcast was recorded on July 8, 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:
Jul 13
57 min
The Tribal Mentality Behind Hit Pieces on Ayn Rand
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Elan Journo and Keith Lockitch discuss Journo’s recent article “When Tribal Journalists Try to ‘Cancel’ Ayn Rand.” Journo analyzes two articles (one from Salon, one from the New Republic) that not only misrepresent Rand and her philosophy, but display a tribal mentality that seeks merely to affirm and reinforce a set of prejudices for those who share them. Topics discussed include: * Ways in which these journalists display a disregard of facts and rational persuasion* How they take as evidence things that don’t qualify as such* What it takes to sincerely engage with Rand’s ideas, even if it leads to disagreement with her philosophy* What it takes to avoid this kind of tribal mindset Mentioned in the discussion is another of Journo’s articles, “The Virulent Pull of Tribalism.” This podcast was recorded on July 1, 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:
Jul 6
53 min
Discussing the New Laws Needed to Combat a Pandemic
In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer interviews Onkar Ghate, ARI’s chief philosophy officer, and Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease expert, to discuss Ghate’s recent paper “A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease.” Some of the topics covered: * Why government’s role in protecting liberty includes the function of containing infectious disease* Why individuals should be free to choose precautions according to their own risk tolerance* International role models for proper political and cultural response to infectious disease* The specific legal changes needed to both guide and constrain government decisions during a pandemic* Why lockdowns are unjustifiable, even in the face of uncertainty about the spread of infectious disease This podcast was recorded on June 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 web episodes here. Podcast audio:
Jun 29
1 hr 31 min
Philosophers Discuss: Is There a Right to Mass Protest?
In this episode of New Ideal Live, ARI philosophers Onkar Ghate and Aaron Smith discuss Ayn Rand’s views on mass protests in the context of the recent protests and violence following the killing of George Floyd and others. Some of the topics covered: * How are the rights to free speech and peaceable assembly properly exercised?* Is it ever appropriate to block public thoroughfares to make oneself heard?* Can violence and looting be treated as “symbolic speech"?* How can even peaceful acts of assembly initiate force on others?* What are alternatives to mass protests in the streets? Mentioned in the podcast is Ayn Rand’s essay “The Cashing-In: The Student ‘Rebellion’” in Return of the Primitive. This podcast was recorded on June 17, 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:
Jun 22
A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease
"A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease: Planning for the Next Pandemic" is the Ayn Rand Institute's white paper on America's response to the coronavirus pandemic, authored by the Institute's chief philosophy officer, Onkar Ghate. You can read it online below (use the interactive table of contents to navigate) or view a PDF that's suitable for reading online, downloading and printing. View PDF Podcast audio: Listen and subscribe to New Ideal Live from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. I. WE MUST DEMAND BETTER FROM GOVERNMENT. Our response to SARS-CoV-2 was un-American. In the words of one expert, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic presents “the most pressing infectious disease challenge we have faced in over a century.”55 Our federal and state governments have so far failed the challenge. We dare not meet a second wave of infections, let alone the emergence of another novel disease, with the governmental attitudes and policies that have presently been guiding us. When a new, deadly disease appears, we expect both illness and death. But who expected that for months our federal and state governments would be unable to test for and then isolate contagious individuals? Who expected the chaos and delays in purchasing ventilators and other supplies, or simply procuring them from federal stockpiles and the U.S. military? Who expected that emergency responders, nurses, doctors and other brave healthcare workers would be exhausted, infected, sick and even dead, unable to obtain adequate personal protective equipment and desperately trying to supply their own makeshifts, homemade masks and repurposed rain gear not excluded? A March 26 video from an emergency room physician at the center of the outbreak in New York City, featured in a New York Times story and now approaching 8 million views, gave voice to what many of us were feeling. “Everything is not fine,” the doctor said. “I don’t have the support that I need, and even just the materials that I need, physically, to take care of my patients. And it’s America, and we’re supposed to be a first-world country.”56 America is not only supposed to be a first-world country, we’re supposed to be a free country. Who of us expected that the response from our governments to their failure in January, February and March to test for and isolate contagious individuals and to expand healthcare capacity would be to coercively and indefinitely lock us down in our homes, with the consequent destruction to our production, incomes, jobs, and freedom?
Jun 20
1 hr 33 min
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