Leonard Peikoff discusses how to keep your writing self-contained by analyzing two articles on the military draft: “The Wreckage of the Consensus” by Ayn Rand and an article that was intentionally written poorly as a point of contrast.

Readings and Homework:

To get the maximum value from this lesson,

    1. Please read (or reread) the following two articles:
      • The Wreckage of the Consensus,” in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Start reading from the paragraph that begins “The institution that enables our leaders to . . .” Continue to the end of the article.
      • “The Draft,” a paper available in the course readings


  1. Consider: In what ways is the first article self-contained? In what ways is the second article not self-contained?
    • Review Excerpts A, B, C, D and G in the course readings. Try to identify the main issues that you see in each, in terms of how a typical non-Objectivist reader would view their objectivity.