In this wide-ranging episode of The Thinkery Podcast, Carl Benjamin (known on YouTube as “Sargon of Akkad”), interviews Yaron Brook. Among the many topics covered are: Why Adam Smith’s conventional morality undermines the case for capitalism; why Ayn Rand is not a “liberal” or a “conservative”; communism as the secularization of Christianity; the need for rational education; the essence of morality.
One of the biggest threats America faces — we are told — is the assault on our workforce: the loss of American jobs to immigrants, to foreign competition fueled by free trade, and even to technology that will make all kinds of jobs obsolete. In this talk the Ayn Rand Institute's executive chairman, Yaron Brook, argues that this fear is entirely misplaced — that a proper grasp of the virtue of productiveness shows that far from fearing and opposing free trade, immigration and robots, we should be eagerly embracing all three.
“I’m often asked why someone with a penchant for philosophy and an academic life joins the Marine Corps. Why, some ask, does a scribe lower the pen to pick up the sword?” So begins this stirring and thought-provoking Independence Day address by Lt. Col. Scott McDonald, USMC, to attendees at Objectivist Summer Conference 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Most thinkers throughout history have held a negative or, at best, neutral view of productive work. If not scorned outright, production has usually been viewed as having no moral significance. But Ayn Rand had a unique view of the human potential, central to which is the importance she accords to the act of production. Productive achievement, in her philosophy, is man’s “noblest activity.” This talk explores what Objectivism means by the virtue of productiveness and discusses aspects of our culture’s positive and negative attitudes toward producers and productive activity.