America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business
In this 1963 lecture, Ayn Rand argues that “every ugly, brutal aspect of injustice toward racial or religious minorities is being practiced towards businessmen” under America’s antitrust laws. Rand catalogs the injustices of antitrust, decries the scapegoating of businessmen, analyzes particular cases, rejects antitrust laws as non-objective and calls for their ultimate repeal. A version of this talk appeared in pamphlet form in 1962 and was later anthologized in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966 and 1967).
In a separate radio program, Rand answers questions on the subject matter of her talk and on such topics as the practical process of moving toward a free economy, the application of antitrust law to labor unions, and the proper role of government in such areas as intellectual property, building and construction practices, professional licensing, prescription drugs, inoculation, quarantines and the parental abuse of children.
The audio lecture lasts 59 minutes, and the radio Q&A lasts 35 minutes.
About the Author
Ayn Rand created and defined her philosophy, Objectivism, in the pages of her best-selling novels, particularly The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and in a series of nonfiction books that address a wide range of fundamental issues in philosophy.
Born Alisa Rosenbaum in Tsarist St. Petersburg in 1905, Rand witnessed the Russian Revolution as a teenager and promptly condemned communism as immoral for sacrificing the individual to the collective. In 1926, shortly after graduating from the University of Leningrad, she fled to America, adopting the pen name Ayn Rand to shield her family from possible persecution once her anti-communism became well known.
In Hollywood, she wrote scenarios for famous director Cecil B. DeMille and met her future husband on a movie set, but the couple struggled financially for years. Then came a string of writing successes: a Broadway play, followed by her first novel, We the Living (1936), then a novella called Anthem (1938), and later her first best seller, the story of a fiercely independent architect named Howard Roark in The Fountainhead (1943). All these works of fiction feature gripping stories and exalted, egoistic, this-worldly heroes.
In writing Atlas Shrugged (1957) — the story of a man who said he would stop the motor of the world, and did — Rand had to define fully her new philosophy of reason, rational self-interest, and laissez-faire capitalism.
Thereafter, and until her death in 1982, Rand amplified and explicated her “philosophy for living on earth” in a stream of books whose theoretical essays and cultural commentaries cover important topics across the five major branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics and esthetics.