“National unity” is a bromide often trumpeted by politicians. In this lecture, Ayn Rand analyzes the preconditions of national unity. Can men peacefully coexist under any terms — or are certain principles of human association necessary? Rand’s answers are given through an extended analysis of George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign. Calling upon voters to defeat McGovern’s statist agenda, she explains why a nation can remain peacefully unified only if each individual’s right to pursue his own happiness is protected against infringement.
In the Q&A period, the audience at Boston’s Ford Hall Forum elicit answers from Rand on a variety of topics including the nature of altruism, the value of political involvement, the Libertarian Party, free will, sports and games, amnesty for draft dodgers, social order in Galt’s Gulch, editing the Declaration of Independence, common law, William F. Buckley Jr., nuclear weapons, and Rand’s proudest achievement.