I came across this odd TV clip recently. I never imagined that Johnny Carson would be interviewing someone like Ayn Rand. What an odd pairing.
Regular readers of this blog will possibly remember that I am no fan of Rand, nor of 'objectivism' or any other ideology associated with her. But it is interesting to see her interviewed, and I didn't think Carson was that bad at interviewing here, though he was no intellectual.
The fact that he was not an intellectual is no slur against him in my book. It's been said that intellectuals as a class are the real authors of most of the pernicious developments in mankind's history. Intellectuals, in my book, are people who are too much 'in their heads', too fond of creating abstract systems of thought or belief that are utterly detached from reality, and at odds with actual human nature.
Rand condemns altruism per se, and praises self-interest. Sorry, but human beings don't need any encouragement to act in individual self-interest or to be selfish. We are born that way. A system which emphasizes that kind of behavior and which disparages collectivism per se is an enemy to ethnopatriotism or any kind of group consciousness. How anyone believes it can be compatible with WN-ism or ethnopatriotism is beyond me.
Rand opposed racism and any legal application of racism. She considered affirmative action to be an example of legal racism. Rand advocated the right to legal abortion. Rand believed capital punishment is morally justified as retribution against a murderer, but dangerous due to the risk of mistakenly executing innocent people. She therefore said she opposed capital punishment "on epistemological, not moral, grounds."
She opposed any form of censorship, including legal restrictions on pornography. Objectivists have also opposed a number of government activities commonly supported by both liberals and conservatives, including antitrust laws, the minimum wage, public education, and existing child labor laws. Objectivists have argued against faith-based initiatives, displaying religious symbols in government facilities, and the teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools.
I confess I didn't watch all the interview. Rand's impenetrable Russian-Jewish accent was rather hard to follow without subtitles. But it may be worth a watch if you want to try to understand what made her tick, or what caused the ideology associated with her to become so popular.