In this 1962 radio talk, Ayn Rand argues that America’s intellectuals defaulted on their responsibility to understand and defend capitalism. In particular, Rand contends that intellectuals failed to grasp the source of businessmen’s productivity and the destructive effects of collectivist schemes implemented by government coercion. By failing to uphold the value of individual liberty, intellectuals paved the way for authoritarian states and the decline of freedom in the twentieth century.

A version of this talk was originally delivered live at the Ford Hall Forum on December 17, 1961. An edited version of this talk is available in The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought, a collection of essays by Rand and others. This recording is 50 minutes long.