In her final public lecture — given in November 1981 to an audience of businessmen in New Orleans — Ayn Rand observes that profit-seeking businessmen are the “most hated, blamed, denounced men” despite conferring huge benefits in the form of higher standards of living. This injustice is further compounded when these same victimized businessmen accept their attackers’ moral standards and end up guiltily apologizing for their own productive virtues, or worse.
As an example of this phenomenon, which Rand calls the “sanction of the victim,” she points to “the fact that some of the worst anti-business, anti-capitalism propaganda has been financed by businessmen” through their financial support for programs in higher education. “It is a moral crime to give money to support your own destroyers,” Rand declares. “Yet that is what businessmen are doing with such reckless irresponsibility.”
In the Q&A period, Rand discusses such topics as America’s relations with Russia, the Solidarity movement in Poland, the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the Moral Majority, educating and raising children, the Equal Rights Amendment, Rand’s method of developing ideas, her hope for the future, the nature of love, whether it’s time for another Tea Party, and her work on an Atlas Shrugged miniseries for television.
The talk lasts 32 minutes, followed by a 21-minute Q&A.