01May2019 – Philosophy Today – Ayn Rand & Objectivisim

Event Posting:  Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She was known for two best selling novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged,” and for developing a philosophical system called Objectivism.
• Mike Wallace interview of Ayn Rand, “Ayn Rand on Love and Happiness”: https://youtu.be/mQVrMzWtqgU
• The Philosophy of Ayn Rand: https://youtu.be/-IzpHprc23U

Led by:

  • Glenn Lippman


  • Carlos Garcia
  • Ann Hirsch
  • Rose James
  • Ivan Liberman
  • Stephanie Nason
  • Howard Rothauser
  • Elinor Steffensen
  • Sharon Townsend
  • Ron Tuch


  1. Ayn Rand was quoted as saying that her ideas will be the norm of the future, but not the norm in her day. Would you consider today, Ayn Rand’s future relative to her ideas as the norm?  Or has today’s  universities and politics defined our current norm? 
  2. In the past 25 years, our progressive institutions have taught kids to feel, not to think or be reasonable rational agents, but rather to be feeling agents. Now our politicians appeal purely to emotion and don’t discuss facts, evidence, how they are going to get things done, no details, more entitlements or how they are going to pay for it.  It’s all emotion.  Today emotions matter more than reason.  Education should be teaching critical thinking, reasoning.  According to Ayn Rand, to know reality is through the mind, not through emotion.  Do you agree our politics today are clouded by a focus on emotions, not reasoning?  Should there always be [an emotional] safety net?  Rational reasoning allows us to make mistakes and learn from them.
  3. Why is it important to make others more happy than yourself? Rand states that you may make others happy if and when you yourself benefit selfishly by their happiness.  Selfishness trumps altruism.  Be first for yourself, then for others.
  4. Age of envy. Hatred of the good for being the good.  Do you ever feel you are attacked by others for your achievements?  One of the highest virtues is to make yourself a success.  Others will want to make you feel guilty for your hard work, ambition and success.  Rand believes envy is the greatest evil.  Do you agree?
  5. For the USA to be successful, the people must triumph over the intellectuals. A welfare emphasis will lead to US destruction.  Religious altruism is bad. 
  6. A person should not serve others unless doing so serves himself first. For example joining a group, hosting an event must not be for the benefit of others unless serving others benefits yourself first.
  7. An entity that does not value itself first would not exist very long. The concept of self-sacrifice is a totally artificial evil idea.  It is an enormous achievement to discover rational selfishness. 
  8. Every person should be productive. A person is immoral if the person does not want to be productive.
  9. Capitalism can not co-exist with the morality of altruism. Capitalism can only succeed with a morality of self interest. Capitalism has been demonstrated historically as the peaceful system without wars.
“Thank you everyone.  It was a wonderful discussion. Ayn Rand would have been proud to see such serious analyses of her work.” … Ron Tuch
 “Thank you to everyone for sharing your insight and ideas. Thank you so much for the experience of last night! Highly rewarding on every level. The work that you put into this effort is extraordinary and, I’m sure, much appreciated!  The conversation was thoughtful and thought provoking. A great introduction for me to this group!” … Stephanie Nason
 “This is one of the best discussions we have ever had. Diverse perspectives on the same topic, everyone actively engaged, time flew. Let’s do it again.” … Carlos Garcia
 “Carlos, I agree completely. Everyone had a strong opinion either pro or con. No one remained on the sidelines during the discussion.  Something changed for me on Wednesday night at the Ayn Rand discussion.  I briefly turned and observed you while you  conducted the group.  There was an air of grace and dignity about you that I don’t think I ever noticed before.  I saw a man who was truly in his element sitting in his power doing what he was meant to do, teach” … Ann Hirsch
“Thanks Glenn for all the great work and thinking you put into all the groups you lead. No other meetup gets up to the level you create with ICG.  I very much appreciated getting the other peoples researched or educated or enlightened viewpoints. What I don’t appreciate IN MYSELF and IN OTHERS is is when we patronize each other or make each other wrong rather than simply saying I disagree w/you and here’s my thinking, while leaving the other person out of my opinion.
Also it is an instinct to criticize when we r being intellectual, and that’s okay as long as we don’t sit there and simply judge each other. I’m going to work on all this in the future. Please forgive me if I slip once in a while. And i will endeavor to forgive any of you if u slip. Thanks.” … Ivan Liberman
 “Carlos’ comment would be what I would have written. Thank you, Glenn, for creating this stimulating evening.” … Elinor Steffensen