The Rewrite Squad


Robert Campbell

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Ford Hall Forum 1971

Q&A, 9:21 through 11:57

Q: Miss Rand, is it ever moral for a group of men, or a government, to do what it is not moral for an individual to do?

A: Ahh, that’s too general, uh, too general a statement, because, for instance, you can make the following case: Is it moral for a, one group of men to do something which is permitted to another group? And you’d find it’s moral for a certain group to practice medicine, but it’s not moral for quacks to do so.

Well, the same applies here. Ehh, before you ask question in these terms, you have to define in what respect, and what kind of function. If you mean in general terms, is there a double standard governing the performance of an individual or of a government, then of course I would say no, because every government is based, explicitly or implicitly, on some theory of morality, rightly or wrongly.

Uh, therefore, the morality as such would be equally applicable to the government, to individuals, and to groups, but as to their functions and the specific kind of actions they perform, that depends. That depends on their profession. There are certain things which only the government has the right to do, and that is to use force—not in, ehh, not to initiate the use of force, but to use it in retaliation and in the protection of the individual rights of citizens, who delegate that power to the government for one purpose only: to avoid the nonobjective, blind rule of force. Because a gov, a proper government’s use of force is delimited, defined, prescribed, and circumscribed. A proper government does not use force arbitrarily, which is why it’s the one necessary group to use police force in protection of rights. [Applause]

Ayn Rand Answers: not included.

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Brant,

Consistent with your point about self-defense is Ayn Rand's surprisingly soft position on gun control.

There are two Ford Hall Forum comments that I know of about gun control. I'll try to get to these later.

Robert Campbell

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Ford Hall Forum 1976

Q&A, 14:51 through 18:22

Q: Miss Rand, how would the Objectivist ethics resolve the dilemma in the following hypothetical situation? If the United States were to defend itself in a war against the Soviet Union—the Soviet Union was the aggressor—certain individuals in the Soviet Union who were innocent of aggression and had perhaps fought to oppose that aggression, in the best way they could in that country, might be murdered in that war. What is the ethical situation regarding their rights? I'm having trouble with that.

A: I will try to pretend that I'm taking the question seriously. It's one of those questions which is so blatantly wrong that I cannot help not understanding how anyone can entertain that sort of question seriously. My guess is that the trick here is context-dropping.

The idea that an individual inside a country can be made secure from the social system under which he lives and which he accepts—willingly or unwillingly, even if he is fighting it—he still accepts, he hasn't left the country … The idea that others should respect that man's right and collapse [sic] to aggression themselves—in other words, not [sic] be Goddamn pacifists, who would not fight even when attacked, because they might kill innocent people… Look, if this were so, nobody would have to be concerned about his country's political system. If you could have a life independent of the system, which other countries and other nations respected so that you wouldn't be drawn into an unjust war, if you are an innocent victim … If that were so, we would not need to be concerned about politics.

Why is it important to be concerned about politics? Why should we care about having the right social system? Because our lives are dependent on it. Because those systems, good or bad, are established in our name, and we bear the responsibility. So that the Soviet citizens who are innocent I hope someday will be destroyed in a proper war along with the guilty. There aren't very many innocent ones, and they're not in the big cities—they're mainly in concentration camps.

But, right or wrong, nobody must put up with aggression and surrender his right of self-defense for fear of hurting somebody else, guilty or innocent. When someone comes at you with a gun, if you have one ounce of self-esteem, you will answer him by force—never mind who he is, or who is behind him, if he is attacking you, because he's out to destroy you, and this is what you owe to the sanctity of your own life, if you have self-esteem.

Ayn Rand Answers (pp. 94-95):

I'll pretend to take the question seriously, because it's blatantly wrong. The question assumes that an individual inside a country should be made secure from the social system under which he lives and that he accepts—willingly or unwillingly, because he hasn't left the country—and that others should respect his rights and succumb to aggression themselves. This is the position of the goddamned pacifists, who won't fight, even if attacked, because they might kill innocent people. If this were correct, nobody would have to be concerned about his country's political system. But we must care about the right social system, because our lives depend on it—because a political system, good or bad, is established in our name, and we bear the responsibility for it.

If we go to war with Russia, I hope the "innocent" are destroyed along with the guilty. There aren't many innocent people there; those who do exist are not in the big cities, but mainly in concentration camps. Nobody has to put up with aggression, and surrender his right to self-defense, for fear of hurting somebody else, guilty or innocent. When someone comes at you with a gun, if you have an ounce of self-esteem, you answer with force, never mind who he is or who's standing behind him. If he's out to destroy you, you owe it to your own life to defend yourself.

[This answer has become pretty notorious. Mayhew tones down her antagonism toward the questioner, and the sheer bloody-mindedness of her attitude toward Soviet citizens.]

Rand characteristically ignores the fate of young children, who if anyone is innocent, they are. Being barren (either by choice or physical condition) affected her judgment.

Children are always and forever the collateral damage of war. But one need not dance on their graves. This misfortune is the inevitable consequence of modern warfare. I will be charitable and assume Ayn Rand did not think child victims were at fault for not escaping the tyranny they lived under.

Ayn Rand simply did not understand or sympathize with children (despite having two such, ages 4 and 6, in -Atlas Shrugged-. My God! Two whole children! Wow!). They simply did not enter her reckoning as far as I can see.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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"Rand characteristically ignores the fate of young children, who if anyone is innocent, they are. Being barren (either by choice or physical condition) affected her judgment.

Children are always and forever the collateral damage of war. But one need not dance on their graves. This misfortune is the inevitable consequence of modern warfare. I will be charitable and assume Ayn Rand did not think child victims were at fault for not escaping the tyranny they lived under.

Ayn Rand simply did not understand or sympathize with children (despite having two such, ages 4 and 6, in -Atlas Shrugged-. My God! Two whole children! Wow!). They simply did not enter her reckoning as far as I can see.

Ba'al Chatzaf"

Most assuredly one of her most glaring "ignorances" is a complete abdication of what it means to have a child.

I am never dissuaded from the ideas of a person because they are ignorant or wrong about something or other that is not core related to the philosophy.

However, the "lack of insight" into what having children and the effects that the event means in terms of a person's psychological development could cut to some of Ayn's core ideas.

Excellent points.

Adam

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Bob K,

It was definitely by choice that Ayn Rand had no children. Anne Heller's book says that she had an abortion in the early 1930s.

Robert C

Robert:

That is quite interesting. I wonder how easy or difficult it was then? Folks from that era seem to have called it a D and C.

I sure would like a second source on that if anyone has one. I would assume, that as an athiest, the decision was rather simplified.

Adam

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Adam,

Anne Heller mentions the abortion on p. 128 of her book, again on p. 181.

A. M. Papurt, Frank O'Connor's brother-in-law and the father of Mimi Sutton and Marna Wolf, loaned Ayn and Frank the money to pay for it.

I'm assuming it was illegal, wherever she got it done.

Ms. Heller learned about it in two interviews with Marna Wolf.

Robert Campbell

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Adam,

Anne Heller mentions the abortion on p. 128 of her book, again on p. 181.

A. M. Papurt, Frank O'Connor's brother-in-law and the father of Mimi Sutton and Marna Wolf, loaned Ayn and Frank the money to pay for it.

I'm assuming it was illegal, wherever she got it done.

Ms. Heller learned about it in two interviews with Marna Wolf.

Robert Campbell

Ok. Thanks Robert.

I wonder if she went out of country for it or just had a D and C at a local sanitarium or clinic. This would have been in California or NY at that time?

Adam

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I wonder if she went out of country for it or just had a D and C at a local sanitarium or clinic. This would have been in California or NY at that time?

Adam

Adam,

The Heller book doesn't say where she got it. If we knew the exact year, we could almost certainly say whether it was in California or in New York, depending on where she was living then. The problem is that Agnes Papurt (Mimi and Marna's mother) told Marna Wolf, years later, about something that happened when Marna was a toddler or small child, and so all Heller can say is "early 1930s." All of this was obviously kept hush-hush, because Barbara Branden apparently did not learn of it when she interviewed Mimi Sutton.

Going out of the USA seems unlikely. After arriving in the United States in 1926, Ayn Rand seems to have crossed over into Mexico once (for a day or two in 1929, right after her marriage to Frank), and to have been to Canada once (in 1954, on a fateful drive to visit Nathaniel Branden's family). A world traveler she wasn't.

Robert Campbell

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That's right. Plus, there is a rule in good writing or speaking to always say things in the most simple or concrete or down to earth way possible. Use short Anglo-Saxon words when they are completely accurate. Don't feel it's more intellectual to change them to Latinate ones.

Who says? Do I get a ticket, or something? I hate when that happens. The last time, I woke up in a very nasty Mexican motel, and my butt felt kind of funny.

Edited by Rich Engle
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Who says? Do I get a ticket, or something? I hate when that happens. The last time, I woke up in a very nasty Mexican motel, and my butt felt kind of funny.

Well you should stay away from the Tequila then :)

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Brant,

Consistent with your point about self-defense is Ayn Rand's surprisingly soft position on gun control.

There are two Ford Hall Forum comments that I know of about gun control. I'll try to get to these later.

Robert Campbell

I was at NBI when Branden & Rand got a question about the Sullivan Law in New York. I believe this law requiring a license before you can own a gun. Both Rand & Branden were not against gun control of this sort.

After the assassination Branden changed his position.

I must add that my memory was the audience was not in disagreement.

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Brant,

Consistent with your point about self-defense is Ayn Rand's surprisingly soft position on gun control.

There are two Ford Hall Forum comments that I know of about gun control. I'll try to get to these later.

Robert Campbell

I was at NBI when Branden & Rand got a question about the Sullivan Law in New York. I believe this law requiring a license before you can own a gun. Both Rand & Branden were not against gun control of this sort.

After the assassination Branden changed his position.

I must add that my memory was the audience was not in disagreement.

Chris:

Another position that I was opposed to then and now. I assume you mean first the JFK assassination in 1963, yes.

Adam

Post Script: Wow what a mistake that was as Ba'al next post nails it lol

Edited by Selene
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Another position that I was opposed to then and now. I assume you mean the first JFK assassination in 1963, yes.

Do you mean to say there was another JFK assassination?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Ford Hall Forum 1971

Q&A, 26:08 through 28:46

Q: Miss Rand, what do you think of the current libertarian movement?

A: I don’t know what that is. I have heard of all kinds of groups calling themselves liberals and libertarians and something else, the New Right, the New Left. I, uh, don’t, it’s not a movement. Uhh, if, uhh, you mean that something that calls itself the New Right, ehh, which is … which consists of hippies, but they’re anarchists instead of collectivists—which is the same thing, of course. The idea of free enterprise—the one system that requires absolutely objective law, or as much objective as a man can define—and they want to combine capitalism and anarchism, that, you know, is worse than anything the New Left has proposed, because it’s really a mockery of any philosophical, political, or ideological idea. It’s simply flinging slogans and trying to ride on two bandwagons.

Those are the men who want to be hippies, but they don’t want to preach collectivism—those jobs are already taken [Applause] so they think they can do the same by preaching anarchism, and if you look up in any children’s encyclopedia that includes such words, anarchism is an outgrowth of, and a logical one, of the extreme anti-intellectual side of collectivism. It is the collectivism of the spirit.

I would deal with a Marxist—there would be a much greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding and much greater respect. The anarchist is really the scum of the intellectual world of the Left. The Left has given them up and grown beyond it, so the Right picks up another discard of the Left and me-toos.

Now if those are the movements you mean, that’s what I think of them.

Ayn Rand Answers (p. 72)

All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies who are anarchists instead of leftist collectivists; but anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet libertarians combine capitalism and anarchism. That’s worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. Anarchists are the scum of the intellectual world of the Left, which has given them up. So the Right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the libertarian movement.

Mayhew introduces lots of little inaccuracies in the guise of tightening up her formulation. Rand professed not to know what libertarianism was; in subsequent years, she claimed to know. Political terminology was in flux then. In fact, she used the term “New Right,” whose vogue was short-lived. Mayhew deletes the crack about children’s encyclopedias, and the claim that anarchism is “the collectivism of the spirit.”

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Ford Hall Forum 1971

Q&A, 28:47 through 29:43

Q: Miss Rand, do you know of any work being done to apply your ideas to the foundations of mathematics? Have you done any?

A: No, I can’t do everything. I have quite a few jobs right now. As to anyone else, I have heard two young men of different specialties express an interest in doing something like that in the future, but they still have a long way to go before they can undertake it. Sooner or later there might be, which I’ll be very glad to hear about, provided it, it’s done in their own name.

Ayn Rand Answers: not included.

Who did she have in mind? Erich Veyhl and Nick Bykovetz? Bykovetz was one of the participants in her epistemology workshops.

In any event, neither of them ever produced an Objectivist account of the foundations of mathematics. And no one else has, though in later years the Ayn Rand Institute has tried to groom Pat Corvini for the role.

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Ford Hall Forum 1971

Q&A, 40:29 through 41:14

Q: What is your opinion on gun control laws?

A: I do not know enough about it to have an opinion. I only do believe that it’s not of primary importance. I do not believe that forbidding or reg, guns or registering them is going to stop criminals from having them, nor do I believe that it will be a great threat to the private citizen if he, uh, I mean, non-criminal citizen if he has to register the fact that he has a gun. I don’t know, it’s really not very important unless you are ready to prepare a private uprising right now—and I don’t think that’s very practical.

Ayn Rand Answers (p. 19)

For once, Mayhew's editing is minimal.

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Robert -

The behavior of the rewriters/paraphrasers is puzzling. We have the spectacle of an eextremely loquent author/speaker (Ayn Rand) who was quite effective and capable of getting the point across when on her feet (or, in at least one notable case, on one foot!) being paraphrased. I look at the paraphrases, and note that:

1) Some are the sort of harmless and well-intentioned paraphrases which often occur when transcribing a recording of a speech into a written document. Sometimes one "fixes" subject/verb agreement, etc...

2) Some of these paraphrases seem to be cases of the paraphraser attempting to make Rand more clear. I find that both preposterous and presumptuous. Rand was able to speak for herself. I would acknowledge that at times Nathaniel Branden, in BPOE, would lay out something more systematically than Rand had. But that wasn't just paraphrasing. It was exposition. If those publishing journals/speeches/Q&A want to do such things, there are well-established scholarly conventions for this, involving footnotes or explanatory bracketed material.

3) Some of them seem to be either taking away a hard edge of a Rand comment, or in other instances hardening a comment when Rand's comments, from the audio record, were a bit softer than the paraphrase.

4) Some are done with the obvious purpose being the removal of the mention (explicit or implied) of someone who is being dropped into the Orwellian memory-hole (NB or BB, etc...). This has been well-documented in some of the essays (see the threads elsewhere on airbrushing).

I find all of 1, 2, 3 and 4 inappropriate. #1 is the one most commonly accepted in speech "transcription," and admittedly should be the most innocuous. But both 2 and 3 amount to the rewriter/paraphraser taking on himself/herself the role of arbiting what Rand SHOULD have said or what Rand MEANT to say. Or perhaps what the rewriter/paraphraser wishes Rand had said. And 4 is just plain barefaced unethical behavior!

Of course, I don't know the motivation of the rewriter/paraphraser. It is pretty clear when the result is to an explicit or implicit reference to NB or BB.

But they should stop! This is resulting in a corrupt body of published "Journals," "Q&A," etc... Ironically, it is extremely disrespectful to Ayn Rand - and these are actions taken by those who would regard themselves as the "faithful," the keepers of the flame, the protectors of Objectivism as a closed system which was frozen on the death of Ayn Rand. I regard a great many such actions (1, 2, 3 and 4) to be profoundly disrespectful to Rand. She deserves better from those who claim to respect her. It would be surprising to see such behavior on the behalf of the self-appointed keepers of the flame, were it not that I have seen similar behaviors in other communities (I'm thinking of religious ones, in particular) when the writings of the founder are evolved or radically reinterpreted because the latter-day followers think they know better.

It is disgusting, simply disgusting! (I remember someone who is often cited on this forum saying that in another context.)

Bill P

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Ford Hall Forum 1971

Q&A, 41:17 through 45:05

Q: As a parent I recognize the truth of what you say, and I'd like to know what suggestions as a parent I could utilize in dealing with the child that would enable me to prevent the destruction of the child's mind.

A: Uh, the best, best antidote is the Montessori system of education, which I mentioned in the "Comprachicos" article, and also there was an article in my magazine, in The Objectivist, on the Montessori Method. But, uh, Montessori's system, however, deals primarily with nursery school; that is, it gives a proper foundation to a child, after which he would be safe and impervious. If you send him to, ehh, the worst of today's high schools, he may not be very happy, but they won't affect him if he's had a Montessori training. More than that, there are two books which were reviewed in The Objectivist which, uhh, are called Teaching Montessori in the Home, which is for parents who cannot afford a private nursery school, or who find that there is none in their particular district. Uhh, they are very good books; it's by Elizabeth Hainstock and it's called, uh, Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years and The School Years, uh, it's, in two parts, and she covers precisely this subject and covers the advice, uh, specific practical advice to parents on how to start your child on the Montessori Method and how to help him thereafter when he goes, ehh, into public schools.

Also, I understand that there are Montessori groups which are beginning to develop, possibly, a high school based on the Montessori method, because there are writings on that subject, but not as detailed as on the, uh, kindergarten or nursery school level, and there are already attempts or plans being made to carry the system further, which I think would be the greatest movement in this country so far, the most hopeful, and what's wonderful about it is that it's completely grass-roots: unorganized, unplanned. It was groups of parents who started schools for their children because they were appalled at what was being done to the children in so-called progressive nursery schools. Uhh, there's no vested interest, no particular push behind the movement; it is truly spontaneous, and it is spreading, and with marvelous results. Therefore, any, ehhh, question in regard to child education, start with Montessori's own book and then look into the existing Montessori schools—not all of them are fully reliable, some of them are slightly mixed or trying to combine two different systems, but still you'll learn more … your child will learn more than you will get anywhere else today.

Ayn Rand Answers (pp. 173-174)

Mayhew ruthlessly truncated both paragraphs. What he did to the first is more serious business.

The best antidote is Montessori education, which I mention in "The Comprachicos." The Montessori system deals primarily with nursery school—that is, it gives a proper foundation to a child, after which he will be safe and impervious. So if you send him to the worst of today's high schools, he may not be happy, but it won't affect him if he's had Montessori training. Besides Maria Montessori's own writings, I'd recommend Elizabeth Hainstock's Teaching Montessori in the Home, which provides practical advice for parents on how to start your child on the Montessori method, and how to help him thereafter when he goes into public schools.

All traces of another unmentionable writer, Beatrice Hessen, have disappeared. Her article on the Montessori Method had previously been mentioned in The Ayn Rand Lexicon—where Harry Binswanger made sure her name did not appear.

Who is Mayhew trying to kid with this crap? Where does he think Rand got her book recommendations?

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Ford Hall Forum 1973

Q&A, 20:20 through 22:32

[Most of original question and beginning of Judge Lurie’s rendition are lost in still another tape edit. The 1973 recording is not in the best condition.]

Judge Lurie: attitude towards open immigration, and what is your attitude towards the effect it may have upon the standard of living in this country? And does not this require, if the answer is that you are [in favor; Judge Lurie stumbles, and the questioner cuts in], aren’t you asking a person to act in connection with his own self-interest in connection with his decision as to what to advocate?

A: You apparently don’t know what my position on self-interest is.

I have never advocated that anyone has the right to pursue his self-interest by law or by force. If you close the borders, you for, uh, forbid immigration on grounds that it lowers your standard of living—which definitely is not true, but even assuming it were true—you have no right to bar others. Therefore, eahh, to claim it’s your self-interest is an irrational claim: you are not entitled to any self-interest which injures others—and the rights of others—and which you cannot prove in fact, in reality, to be valid. You cannot claim that anything that others may do—not directly to you, but simply through competition, let’s say—is against your self-interest and therefore you want to stop competition there. That is the kind of self-interest you are not entitled to; it is a contradiction in terms and cannot be defended.

But, above all, aren’t you dropping a more personal context? How could I ever advocate that immigration should be restricted, when I wouldn’t be alive today if it were? [Applause]

Ayn Rand Answers (p. 25)

An emphasis on your standard of living was introduced by Mayhew. It can’t be heard in Rand’s speech.

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Ford Hall Forum 1976

Q&A, 7:05 through 8:47

Q: In a pure capitalistic society, what force would prevent environmental pollution?

A: There wouldn’t be any force to prevent anything. But if there were any valid fact to environmental pollution—ehh, some small-scale pollutions are true, if you don’t mean ecology now, which is a tremendous political fraud, but let’s say there is pollution of air or water. If there were actual cases of pollution, then the force that would prevent it would be public opinion, which is not force. It would be the power of persuasion; it would be people protesting and suing for damages. If physical damage to a city or its air or to a neighbor’s property can be demonstrated—and if it’s physical, it can be demonstrated—then there is recourse in a court of law, and it would be to the interest of industry to avoid pollution whenever it is humanly possible. But they would not try to avoid, nor to try to save extinct bird species at the price of enormous unemployment, at the price of closing down industry. No, that would not come to pass, but not only in a free society. They won’t get away with it even in a semi-free society, so long as men are not insane. [Applause]

Ayn Rand Answers (p. 10)

Mayhew takes a rather messy answer and makes it disjointed. Consult his book to see whether you agree with my assessment.

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Ford Hall Forum 1978

Q&A, 6:45 through 8:58

Q: Do you recognize the Soviet Union’s reported offensive military preparations as a threat to the people of the United States of America, and what could individual Americans do about this or allow our government to do?

A: To begin with, it certainly is, uh, intended as a threat. How effective that threat is I would not attempt to guess, because Soviet production is so inept, so bad that what will happen to their atom bombs and whether they will explode before they are loaded on planes, I don’t know.

But certainly we cannot rely on their inefficiency. We should be prepared, because almost any thug can arm himself, and it’s quite possible and would be logical that the Soviet Union would be more efficient at instruments of death than at any other kind of production. Uh, the only thing that would stop them and that is stopping them now is, of course, America’s superior strength, and therefore what we should do is we should cut on anything except the defense budget. [Applause]

Thank you. I just want to add that Mr. Carter is doing is disgraceful. It is truly disgraceful. [Applause] Thank you.

Rand's edited version ran in The Objectivist Calendar #17 (December 1978) on p. 2

The Soviet military buildup is certainly intended as a threat. How effective that threat is, I would not attempt to guess, because Soviet production is so incompetent, so bad that I don’t know that will happen to their atom bombs and whether they will explode before they’re loaded on planes. But we certainly cannot rely on their inefficiency. We should be militarily prepared, because, in today’s world, any thug can arm himself against us. It’s quite possible, and would be logical, that the Soviet Union would be more efficient at producing instruments of death than any other kind of production. The only thing that would stop them from starting a nuclear war, and that is stopping them now, is, of course, America’s superior strength. Therefore, we may and should cut any budget except the defense budget. I want to add that Mr. Carter’s policy in canceling the production of certain nuclear weapons is disgraceful. It is truly disgraceful.

*****

Rand elaborated the second-to-last sentence to refer to a particular decision to cancel a particular nuclear weapons program—the MX missile? Why did she change “inept” to “incompetent”?

Ayn Rand Answers (p. 88)

Mayhew reproduced Rand's edit except for a couple of minor details of punctuation: for instance, the 1978 rendition has "build-up" where Mayhew writes "buildup." Rand also puts "build-up" in the question where the questioner actually said "preparations."

Of course, the policy that Ayn Rand is advocating in this answer differs little from Ronald Reagan’s—which you would never deduce from the frequency and intensity of her blasts in his direction.

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Ford Hall Forum 1978

Q&A, 3:36 through 5:04

Q: I took a brief survey of the audience before the talk began tonight, and you can count the number of blacks on the fingers of one hand. Can you comment on why the blacks do not seem to take up Objectivism?

A: I am not a racist—

(Moderator jumps in and repeats question.)

A: Uh, I can only say that I am very proud of one or two blacks, or of any small number, who might be here and whom I know personally, because it is much harder for them to preserve their dignity and to remain individualists than it is for other groups.

But it, uh, your kind of survey is totally inappropriate here, where we are not racists and we are not ethnics. And we do not appeal or try to be interested in any race, color, or creed. We're interested only in human beings and their minds. If you claim that blacks are not sufficiently interested, I would say it's a slur on the blacks, and an insult to them. I hope you're wrong.

Ayn Rand Answers (p. 105)

I'm proud of the blacks who are here, and those who I know personally are interested in Objectivism, because it's much harder today for blacks to preserve their dignity and remain individualists than it is for other groups. But your kind of survey is totally inappropriate. I'm not a racist; I don't try to appeal to certain ethnic groups. I'm interested only in human beings and their minds. Your claim that blacks are not sufficiently interested in Objectivism is an insult to them. I hope you're wrong.

On what grounds did Mayhew think any editing was needed, beyond taking out the hesitation pauses?

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