The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought

The Voice of Reason cover As you will learn from this collection of essays, most written by Ayn Rand, her philosophy of Objectivism entailed that she was neither a “liberal” (see chs. 10 and 13) nor a “conservative” (chs. 8 and 14) nor a “Libertarian” (ch. 31)—but instead, an uncompromising advocate for reason and self-interest. That commitment to rationality informs Rand’s distinctive intellectual approach, manifest in the essays in this book: she penetrates to the timeless, fundamental ideas underlying a given event, movement, or issue.

In “The Lessons of Vietnam,” for example, Rand argues (ch. 14) that the fundamental failure of that war lay not with America’s military, but with its morally bankrupt intellectual and political leaders. Discussing the persistence of world hunger (ch. 28), she notes that its cause is not a shortage of Western financial support, but a shortage in the Third World of Western ideas. Culpability for the death of Marilyn Monroe (ch. 16), Rand argues, rests with anyone who has ever felt and given voice to a resentment against human achievement. The enduring tragedy of American businessmen, she explains (ch. 15), is that they lend moral (and financial) support to their own destroyers.

The Voice of Reason also features a number of landmark essays on philosophy and its relation to human life. Rand discusses religion’s war on human life (ch. 8); considers the progressive psychological damage incurred by men who embrace the ethics of altruism (ch. 6), and responds to the popular question “Who decides what is right or wrong?” by explaining the profound error contained in this question (ch. 4).

Table of Contents

(Softcover; 353 pages)

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