Science & Industrialization | Environmental Issues
POV: The Anti-Industrial Revolution
by Ayn Rand
| 1970 |
Return of the Primitive
ARI’s Point of View on the Environmental Movement
The environmental movement is often seen as a campaign to clean up man’s environment so that we can lead healthy and happy lives. But in early 1971, less than a year after the movement kicked off its first Earth Day celebration, Ayn Rand argued that this was a façade to cover the actual ideology animating the movement.
In her analysis, the leaders of the environmental movement are motivated not by a genuine concern for human life, but by hatred — hatred for technology, for man and for man’s basic tool of survival, his mind. Obviously these are strong claims, but in her lengthy essay “The Anti-Industrial Revolution,” Rand explains her viewpoint with compelling evidence and locates the movement within a long line of attacks on capitalism and freedom. (This essay can be found in Return of the Primitive.)
ARI maintains that it is vital to oppose the antihuman ideology of environmentalism and to uphold the indispensible values of reason, science, technology, industrialization and laissez-faire capitalism — cornerstones of the environment in which individual human beings flourish.
Rand's essay "The Anti-Industrial Revolution" originated as a lecture given at the Ford Hall Forum in 1970. Below is the recording of that lecture.