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The Nature of Rights

Ayn Rand

Presented at: Ayn Rand On Campus - Columbia WKCR Interviews

Date: Jan 01, 1962

In this radio interview from the 1960s, Ayn Rand responds to questions about the nature of rights. Subjects addressed include Ayn Rand's definition of rights, whether or not the government has rights, popular misconceptions of rights, the handicapped in a free society, and "public relief" in temporary emergencies. 

Here are Ayn Rand's views on:

  • How rights are a moral principle required by man's nature for his proper survival
  • God- and society-granted accounts of the source of man's rights;
  • Why the "right to basic sustenance" is not a right;
  • What it means to survive as a human being qua human being;
  • What would happen to the handicapped in a laissez-faire society;
  • The danger of temporary exceptions to rights in times of emergency, particularly in the case of FDR's New Deal programs in 1933.


Parts: 1

Handout: none


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