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How Radicals Advocate for Reform

Ben Bayer, Onkar Ghate

Presented at: New Ideal Live

Date: Nov 10, 2021

Ayn Rand was a radical who challenged the fundamental political, moral, and metaphysical premises of our culture. But she also knew that a culture's philosophic premises are deeply entrenched, which makes cultural change difficult to achieve.

Some of Ayn Rand's own policy proposals can be considered from this perspective. At ARI, we also consider the radical nature of our principles when we make policy proposals and communicate our ideas to the wider public.

Join Onkar Ghate and Ben Bayer to discuss how we learn from Ayn Rand’s approach--and from the approach of other philosophical radicals—to change our culture for the better today.

Among the topics covered:

• Ayn Rand’s radical principles of capitalism, egoism, and reason;
• How Rand advocated for how to begin to eliminate all antitrust laws;
• Rand’s proposed steps in the direction of total repeal of anti-abortion laws;
• Rand’s proposed reforms to blunt the worst effects of the entrenched public education system;
• Rand’s proposal for the least destructive escape from the unsolvable dilemma of the Vietnam;
• Rand’s views on how to change minds to make cultural change possible;
• How the Ayn Rand Institute commented on foreign policy after the 9/11 terrorist attacks;
• ARI’s commentary during the Covid-19 pandemic;
• How ARI chose which aspects of government pandemic policy to analyze.

0:00:00 Introduction
0:00:58 Rand's radical principles
0:05:31 Rand on eliminating antitrust laws
0:11:22 Rand on repealing anti-abortion laws
0:15:48 Rand on reforming public education
0:31:59 Rand on escaping the Vietnam mess
0:42:08 Rand on changing minds
0:54:19 ARI's post-9/11 commentary
1:04:04 ARI's pandemic commentary
1:13:49 How ARI analyzed pandemic

Mentioned in the discussion are Ayn Rand’s essays “Antitrust: The Rule of Unreason”  and “Tax Credits for Education,” from her book The Voice of Reason ( her article “A Suggestion” from The Objectivist ( her lecture “The Wreckage of the Consensus” ( her essay “What Can One Do?” from her book Philosophy: Who Needs It ( and her book The Art of Nonfiction ( Also mentioned are Ghate’s white paper, A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease (, and a podcast episode titled ”How Can We Change People’s Minds About Ayn Rand’s Controversial Ideas?” (

intellectual activism

Parts: 1

Handout: none