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Ayn Rand and the "New Intellectual"

James McConnell, Ayn Rand

Presented at: "Understanding Our World" with guest Ayn Rand

Date: May 15, 1961

In this interview, which took place upon publication of For the New Intellectual, Ayn Rand discusses the nature of cultural leadership, the influence of Plato, Aquinas and Kant, the creeping mysticism infecting science and the lengthy process by which individuals become the “new intellectuals” of tomorrow. Ayn Rand discusses the collapse of intellectual leadership in the modern world and the need for “new intellectuals” to fill the vacuum. Among the topics Rand discusses are the role of the intellectual in society, the widespread denial of reason’s efficacy, the cultural effects of mysticism, the influence of Plato and Kant, the emergence of businessmen and professional intellectuals during the Industrial Revolution, the achievements of Aristotle and America’s Founding Fathers, and the lengthy process involved in understanding and advocating a new philosophy.

capitalismhistory of philosophyreasonintellectual activism

Parts: 1

Handout: none


  • YouTube, 2015 (En) - 30 mins
  • Online, 2021 (En) - 30 mins - broadcast as part of the CSPAN American Writers series in 2001 - 2002