Ayn Rand Institute Lets Us Read Some More Rand!

Ayn Rand ARI has once again taken some baby steps into the 21st century by making available online a few more of the works they’re supposedly trying to promote, including Rand’s essays “The Objectivist Ethics” (probably her most important article), “Introducing Objectivism,” “An Answer for Businessmen,” “Man’s Rights,” “Collectivized ‘Rights’,” and “The Nature of Government” (this last is Rand’s only serious discussion of anarchism) as well as some Rand audio files (lectures and interviews).


I just noticed that, despite the absence of any warning to this effect, the online text of “The Objectivist Ethics” is not complete; it’s just the first few pages of the article. I haven’t checked the others yet, but beware. And if it still needed saying: DON’T TRUST ARI.

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9 Responses to Ayn Rand Institute Lets Us Read Some More Rand!

  1. Neil Parille September 2, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    And there is also some good stuff on their site from, among others, Shoshana Milgram, who is one of the few comparative literature scholars in the land of the orthdox. (You may have to register.)

    Considering that the average newcomer to Objectivism is young and without much money, you would think that they would make a lot of stuff available for free.

    It is at least a start.

  2. Nick Manley September 2, 2008 at 9:04 pm #

    In Randian terms: they would have the value of a chance at potential converts ( :

    Even Rand defended charity in one of her essays…I can’t remember which one. She’s talking about letting the poor ride on trains or something. I suspect Roderick might know the title.

    On ARI: isn’t it their desire to preserve control over Rand’s legacy? She wasn’t exactly anti-intellectual property rights.

  3. Neil Parille September 3, 2008 at 10:02 am #


    I think I’ve discussed this before, but in Rand’ s essay “The Ethics of Emergencies,” she deals with charity. For the most part, she is against it. She only supports it in emergency situtations such as when a stranger is drowning or a person in need of short term financial help. In the case of a drowning stranger, the prohibition against altruism is lifted and help would appear to be mandatory.

    I don’t get the impression that Rand would approve of sending a check to a charitable agency in India that gives money to poor people as such, although the example you site (which I recall but can’t find) might support a broader view.

    So, contrary to what some have said, I think Rand would disapprove of the large majority of charities that exist today.

  4. Administrator September 3, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    One might consider Ragnar Danneskjöld as running a property-recovery service as a longterm charity.

    In any case, ARI is set up to promote Rand’s ideas. That’s their goal, and it’s also what they’re “paid” (by their donors) to do. If they made more of Rand’s works available online, they would presumably promote her ideas more successfully (as the Mises Institute does with the tons of material they put online by Mises, Rothbard, and others). So why doesn’t ARI do so — especially since they’ve never come out against broadcast tv (which also provides information for free). You can believe in the legitimacy of IP and still think you’d promote your goals better by giving people free access — just as Randians believe in private home ownership but still (I assume) give people free access to their home when they invite them to a party.

  5. Joel Schlosberg September 4, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    I just checked the online versions of “Man’s Rights” and “The Nature of Government” against the print versions in “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” and have verified that the online versions of those two are complete.

  6. Neil Parille September 4, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    Not only that, but you can’t download for purchase most of their stuff. You have to buy the CDs, which increases their costs. Their courses are quite expensive. (And you have to pay shipping.) Peikoff’s 1982 Understanding Objectivism, which the Orthodox rave about, is over 300 bucks, plus shipping.

    It’s strange because their natural supporters are college students without much money.

    It’s almost comical when some criticizes Objectivism and you get a response, “but Peikoff adressed that in Understanding Objectivism.” So I’m supposed to spend $300 because maybe Peikoff says something that’s relevant to one of my concerns?

    Personally, I contribute to the LVMI because they make so much stuff available for free.

  7. Administrator December 16, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    See update.


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