Mike Wallace interviews Ayn Rand (1959) (full interview)
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In the history of modern rational thought, there's hardly a creed more definitive than Objectivism, the philosophy movement created by Russian-American novelist and thinker Ayn Rand. Among the central tenets of Objectivism is the idea that we can gain objective knowledge through the processes of logic and that the pursuit of our own happiness, framed as rational self-interest, is the sole purpose of existence. While such moral code may seem overly cynical, especially in the age of the Charter for Compassion, it seems to be the silent underwriting of much of today's modus , we look at a three-part interview Rand gave in 1959, as part of Mike Wallace's Gallery of Colorful People series on CBS. More than half a century later, Rand's code of morality and her bold challenge to altruism theory is equally controversial and no less fascinating to study. Judgement of its moral righteousness aside, Objectivism is still one of the most important cultural conversations to engage, if only for the passionate consideration of all sides of the argument that it makes this particular interview noteworthy is that Wallace plays, with complete composure, the perfect devil's advocate, eliciting a series of almost emotional retorts from the living epitome of emotionless rationalism. Watch, waver, and draw your own conclusions.