In this 1973 talk, Ayn Rand illustrates the role of philosophy in politics and law by analyzing the ideas that led to the Supreme Court’s decisions that year in five “obscenity” cases. Arguing that those decisions “establish[ed] the legal and intellectual base of censorship” in America, Rand warns that the philosophic ideas underlying the decisions are leading to increased government control over every aspect of people’s lives.

An edited version of this talk is available in Philosophy: Who Needs It, a book of essays by Rand. This recording is 87 minutes long, including Q&A.