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What Ayn Rand Would Say About Cancel Culture

Are the philosopher and author's ideas about free speech relevant in 2022?

Since its publication in 1957, millions of readers have entered the world of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The philosophical novel have developed a near-cult following over the years, and the author’s ideas continue to influence thinkers, politicians and businesspeople today. Yaron Brook, chair of the Ayn Rand Institute, sat down with Roundtable to discuss the author and philosopher’s continuing legacy.

In this segment, Brook discusses how Ayn Rand’s particular vision of individualism relates to today’s debates on free speech.

“I actually think it's pretty cool to live in a country where private business can say that the president of the United States is not allowed,” Brook said, referring to Twitter banning ex-president Donald Trump. “That's the beauty of freedom. It's also the freedom to say, not in my house, not on my platform, not on my private property. You have a right to your beliefs, but you don't have a right to use my microphone to express those beliefs.”

Just as Rand espoused dedication to one’s principles, Brook argues that key to combating censorship and cancel culture is exercising our right to speech.

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“Stop self censoring,” Brook urged. “Stop choosing your words carefully. Say what you think and stand up to the bastards who are trying to silence you.”

ROUNDTABLE PARTICIPANTS:

Yaron Brook, Chair, Ayn Rand Institute

Watch the full discussion below: