“National unity” is a bromide often trumpeted by politicians. In this lecture, Ayn Rand inquires into the preconditions of national unity: Can men peacefully coexist under any arbitrary terms — or are certain principles of human association necessary? Rand’s answer is that a nation can remain peacefully unified only if each individual’s life is his own, and the individual’s right to pursue his own happiness is protected against infringement.

An edited version of this talk is available in The Ayn Rand Letter, a biweekly newsletter published by Rand between 1971 and 1976. This lecture is 58 minutes long.