Ayn Rand Interview with Mike Wallace

Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Larry Ellison subscribe to Ayn Rand’s philosophies.

She’s also followed by governors, senators and supreme court judges (see below for a longer list).

You may not agree with her but you should know the basics of her thinking.

The best interview of her I can find is this one by the great Mike Wallace (it’s from 1959 — the first time she appeared on TV).

Wallace is a superb interviewer and brings out Rand’s opinions on a bunch of topics (see the “Quotes” section.)

You gotta admit that she’s got a swagger that says:

“I’m right, you’re wrong, and I’m going to prove it to you with the sheer force of my logic.”

From “The Mike Wallace Interview” TV show 1959

You can watch the Ayn Rand/Mike Wallace interview for free by clicking the video embed above or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHl2PqwRcY0&list=PLP1gy_HtF0SgMZzfIh_Hep6QkgGpHGjVq&index=44

Ayn Rand Quotes from Mike Wallace Interview

Here are some quotes that stand out:

Objectivism (General Philosophy)

“I call it Objectivism. Meaning, a philosophy based on objective reality. Now let me explain it as briefly as I can. First, my philosophy is based on the concept that reality exists as an objective absolute, that man’s mind, reason, is his means of perceiving it, and that man needs a rational morality.”

— Ayn Rand


“What is self-sacrifice? You say that you do not like the altruism by which we live. Well, to say that I don’t ‘like’ is too weak a word. I consider it evil, and self-sacrifice is the precept that man needs to serve others in order to justify his existence, that his moral duty is to serve others.”

— Ayn Rand


“If you separate the government from economics, if you do not regulate production and trade, you will have peaceful cooperation, and harmony, and justice among men.”

— Ayn Rand

“Under a free system, no one could acquire a monopoly on anything. If you look at economics, and economic history, you will discover that all monopolies have been established with government help, with the help of franchises, subsidies, or any kind of government privileges. In free competition, no one could corner the market on a needed product.”

— Ayn Rand


“…to say that I don’t like [altriusm] is too weak a word. I consider it evil.”

— Ayn Rand


” …you love only those who deserve it”.

–Ayn Rand

“I agree with you that it [love] should be treated like a business deal, but every business has to have its own terms and its own kind of currency. And in love the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them, or what they do for you. You love them for their values, their virtues, which they have achieved in their own character.”

— Ayn Rand

“If Man wants love, he should correct his weaknesses and flaws. “

— Ayn Rand


“I believe in private roads, private post offices, private schools.”

— Ayn Rand

“A free economy will not break down. All depressions are caused by government interference, and the cure is always offered, so far, to take more of the poison that caused the disaster. Depressions are not a result of a free economy.”

— Ayn Rand

“I’m in favor of the separation of state and economics just as we had separation of church and state…”

— Ayn Rand

“I am for a free u regulated laissez-faire economy.

— Ayn Rand


“I hold that if man wants to live on earth, and to live as a human being, he has to hold reason as an absolute, by which I mean, that he has to hold reason as his only guide to action, and that he must live by the independent judgment of his own mind, that his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness.”

— Ayn Rand


“My morality is based on man’s life as the standard of value, and since man’s mind is his basic means of survival, I hold that if man wants to live on earth, and to live as a human being, he has to hold reason as an absolute, by which I mean, that he has to hold reason as his only guide to action, and that he must live by the independent judgment of his own mind, that his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness, and that he must not force other people nor accept their right to force him — that each man must live as an end in himself and follow his own rational self-interest.”

— Ayn Rand


“I say that man is entitled to his own happiness, and that he must achieve it.”

–Ayn Rand

List of leaders who have publicly supporteed Rand’s philosophy:

Business leaders:

  • Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has praised Rand, particularly “The Fountainhead.” He sees it as inspiring for individualism.
  • Peter Thiel – Co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund
  • Jimmy Wales – Co-founder of Wikipedia
  • Mark Cuban – Billionaire entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks
  • Chip Wilson of Lululemon – Wilson is known for his Objectivist views, which have influenced the company’s culture
  • John Allison, CEO and chairman of BB&T, openly aligned his company’s philosophy with Objectivist values. He emphasizes purpose, self-esteem, and logical thinking.
  • T.J. Rogers, founder of Cypress Semiconductor, credited Ayn Rand for influencing his business approach. He does not agree with all precepts of Objectivism.
  • Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, acknowledged the impact of Ayn Rand’s philosophy on his business strategies.
  • Anne Omrod, CEO of John Galt Solutions, named her company after “Atlas Shrugged”‘s hero. This indicates Rand’s ideas influence her business philosophy.

Political leaders:

  • Paul Ryan – Former U.S. House Speaker and 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee
  • Mark Sanford: The former South Carolina Governor has written about being “blown away” by Rand’s novels in the 1980s, though he has also grown more critical of her outlook over time
  • Rand Paul – U.S. Senator from Kentucky
  • Ron Paul – Former U.S. Congressman from Texas and presidential candidate
  • Clarence Thomas: The U.S. Supreme Court Justice hosts annual screenings of the 1949 film version of Rand’s novel, “The Fountainhead,” for his new law clerks, indicating his appreciation for her work
  • Gary Johnson: The former New Mexico governor and Libertarian candidate for president has expressed his admiration for Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” suggesting it as a means to understand his perspective

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly

Chief Maniac, Daily Doc