PRODOS FILM STUDY GROUP
by arrangement with the Ayn Rand Bookstore
The video taped 1981 (final) lecture by
“THE SANCTION OF THE VICTIMS”
Date: Monday February 07, 2011
Venue: Hollywood Palace cafe, 179 Bridge Road, Richmond
6.30 PM: Nick the Chef is away for a few weeks. Souvlakis, Hamburgers, Toasted sandwiches, chips, etc. available all night.
7.30 PM: Commencement of Film + Chaired discussion.
Who: Only registered PRODOS Film Study Group members and guests of members allowed. You can apply to join on the night. To join you need to agree with our purpose and pay the $5 annual fee.
Policy: Leaving straight after a film and therefore skipping the discussion goes against one of the conditions upon which our permission to screen these films is based.
9.30 PM: End of meeting.
Cost: No charge. But if you’d like to make a personal donation to Prodos that’s greatly appreciated. (But please NEVER miss out just because you’re short of cash. We want you with us!)
This Monday – one day after Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday and five days after Ayn Rand’s 106th birthday – I invite you to join me at our usual venue for the screening and study of Ayn Rand’s last public talk – given on November 18, 1981, delivered at the National Committee for Monetary Reform, New Orleans, Lousiana.
Ayn Rand died 4 months later on March 06, 1982.
Ayn Rand Institute:
In Ayn Rand’s final public talk, she exhorts a group of businessmen to stop apologizing, and stop supporting anti-capitalist institutions: “It is a moral crime to give money to support ideas with which you disagree. It is a moral crime to give money to support your own destroyers.”
See how the force of her ideas captivated an audience and drew a tumultuous response.
Was Ronald Reagan familiar with Ayn Rand’s work?
Was he a fan?
I found the following reference to Ayn Rand in the book, Reagan: A Life in Letters
From pages 281 & 282 we read …
In a May 23, 1966, letter William Vandersteel, president of the Ampower Corporation, expressed confidence that Reagan could win the presidency in 1968 and enclosed a pamphlet by Ayn Rand titled “Conservatism: An Obituary” written after the 1960 presidential campaign. In the essay Rand argues that many conservatives are opposed to statism but don’t seem to realize the only good alternative is capitalism.
And here is Ronald Reagan’s reply, dated May 23 1966, reproduced in the book …
Dear Mr. Vandersteel:
Thanks very much for pamphlet.
Am an admirer of Ayn Rand but hadn’t seen this study.
Where was Reagan’s career at that time?
Betwixt the following …
1966 January 1: Reagan announces candidacy for governor of California. He promises to reduce the waste in government and to “clean up the mess at Berkeley.”
1966 November 8: Reagan elected by almost 1 million votes more than incumbent Democratic governor Edmund G. (“Pat”) Brown.
Ayn Rand on the Sanction of the Victim:
Every kind of ethnic group is enormously sensitive to any slight. If one made a derogatory remark about the Kurds of Iran, dozens of voices would leap to their defense.
But no one speaks out for businessmen, when they are attacked and insulted by everyone as a matter of routine.
What causes this overwhelming injustice?
The businessmen’s own policies: their betrayal of their own values, their appeasement of enemies, their compromises—all of which add up to an air of moral cowardice. Add to it the fact that businessmen are creating and supporting their own destroyers.
The sources and centers of today’s philosophical corruption are the universities . . . It is the businessmen’s money that supports American universities—not merely in the form of taxes and government handouts, but much worse: in the form of voluntary, private contributions, donations, endowments, etc.
In preparation for this lecture, I tried to do some research on the nature and amounts of such contributions. I had to give it up: it is too complex and too vast a field for the efforts of one person. To untangle it now would require a major research project and, probably, years of work. All I can say is only that millions and millions and millions of dollars are being donated to universities by big business enterprises every year, and that the donors have no idea of what their money is being spent on or whom it is supporting. What is certain is only the fact that some of the worst anti-business, anti-capitalism propaganda has been financed by businessmen in such projects.
Money is a great power — because, in a free or even a semi-free society, it is a frozen form of productive energy. And, therefore, the spending of money is a grave responsibility.
Contrary to the altruists and the advocates of the so-called “academic freedom,” it is a moral crime to give money to support ideas with which you disagree; it means: ideas which you consider wrong, false, evil. It is a moral crime to give money to support your own destroyers. Yet that is what businessmen are doing with such reckless irresponsibility.
Ayn Rand’s idea of “The Sanction of the Victim” is one of the most important and potent weapons in the perpetual fight against Evil in all its variations. By identifying the essential nature of The Good and an essential aspect of Evil, Ayn Rand zeroes in on the source of Evil’s power, why it keeps on keeping on, who can stop it, and how.
Furthermore, Ayn Rand’s approach would lead to the decisive military superiority of free, democratic nations and an enormous boost to their inventiveness and prosperity.
These specific points are not covered in Ayn Rand’s talk. But I hope you’ll be interested in exploring such matters with me – and much else besides!
In light of Ayn Rand’s conception of The Sanction of the Victim, I would be interested in speaking with Christians (and others, of course) about “The Problem of Evil”
According to Christianity, God created all things, but this doesn’t make him the creator of evil.
The Apostle John states: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1,5). When God finished his creation, he appreciated that “all that he had made was very good” (Genesis 1,31).
However, anyone can clearly see that evil exists in our world, in awful measure.
From here arises a major puzzle: If God is all-good, he should want to stop evil; if he is omnipotent, he could stop it; but evil exists in the world, so God lacks either all-goodness (if he can stop evil but does not want to) or omnipotence (if he wants to stop evil, but cannot), or both.
As God is declared to be all-good (1 John 4,8) and all-powerful (Revelation 19,6), how can this puzzle be solved?
It’s going to be another fabulous evening!
Don’t miss it! 🙂
PS: We currently have 86 members. Our aim is to reach 101. Can you help us do that? To join the PRODOS Film Study Group you need to
- Agree with our aims:
To present and discuss films promoting or exploring free market thinking, individual rights, the history of ideas, and the life and work of creative heroes.
- Pay $5 for annual membership. Please write to me if you’re interested. Thanks.