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Ayn Rand as Intellectual Activist

Dina Schein Federman

Presented at: OCON 2008

Date: Jun 28, 2008

Ayn Rand argued that in order to change the culture one must disseminate true ideas, not merely engage in political activism. This biographical talk focuses on Miss Rand's unique approach to changing the world and extracts lessons for our own fight to promote Objectivism.

Dr. Federman first surveys Ayn Rand's political activism in the 1930s and '40s, for example, her work for the Wendell Willkie presidential campaign, and shows how Miss Rand came to realize that political conservatives were not her allies. 

Next, Dr. Federman examines Ayn Rand's intellectual activism. She rejected both blind political action and ivory-tower philosophizing, and exposed the philosophical fundamentals driving current events. The lecture discusses why this kind of intellectual activism is the necessary precondition of political action and how her integration of theory and practice accounts for our inspiration to fight our battle that followers of less-integrated movements cannot have.

intellectual activism

Parts: 1

Handout: none