The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus (Free MP3 download)
By Ayn Rand
In this 1965 talk at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston, Ayn Rand discusses the “anti-ideology” called “Government by Consensus,” explaining why America, “a country which does abhor fascism is moving by imperceptible degrees—through ignorance, confusion, evasion, moral cowardice, and intellectual default—not toward socialism or any mawkish altruistic ideal, but toward a plain, brutal, predatory, power-grubbing, de facto fascism.”
Behind the emergence of “Government by Consensus,” in Rand’s view, lies Americans’ belief—rooted in the philosophy of pragmatism—“that their desperate need of political principles and concepts will vanish if they succeed in obliterating all principles and concepts.”
Rand makes the case in this lecture that, in the absence of any specific ideology, America’s political state is moving towards fascism—government use and disposal of property that is nominally privately owned. She contrasts this with arguments made that we are moving towards socialism.
In this lecture you will hear Rand discuss:
President Lyndon Johnson’s attitude toward businessmen
When compromise is improper
The true nature of public-private “partnerships”
What she identifies as the dominant ideological trend of the day
The nature of an economy with some freedom and some controls—what Rand called a mixed economy
This lecture was delivered at Boston’s Ford Hall Forum, America’s oldest (founded in 1908) continuously operating free public lecture series. Over the years, such luminaries as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and Henry Kissinger have appeared on its podium.
An edited version of this talk is available in Capitalism: An Unknown Ideal, a collection of essays by Rand.