The Moratorium on Brains
In this 1971 lecture, Ayn Rand examines President Nixon’s imposition of a nationwide wage and price freeze aimed at curbing inflation. Drawing her title from a chapter in Atlas Shrugged, Rand outlines the perils of policies that stifle innovation and examines the futility of trying to revive a nation’s economy by straitjacketing the only people who can save it.
In the Q&A session, Rand discusses a spectrum of topics including university education, free will, federal liability for state property taxes, capital punishment, government actions that are forbidden to individuals, homosexuality, groups that distort her ideas, Objectivist influence on government, the 1972 presidential candidates, the “Libertarian movement,” martyrdom through disobedience of price control laws, the Pentagon Papers, the American “sense of life” contrasted to Europe’s, the U.S. Constitution, American foreign policy, abortion, gun control, the Montessori method of education, good manners in expressing disagreement, favorite sculptors, shaping children’s psycho-epistemology, communist propaganda, male dominance in sex, and the prospects for effective political action for freedom and against statism.
The lecture lasts 51 minutes, followed by a 62-minute Q&A.