By Ayn Rand
In this 1961 lecture, delivered to the American Management Association, Ayn Rand contrasts the philosophy, history and outcomes of two different political-economic systems: capitalism and communism. Speaking specifically to businessmen, Rand outlines the most commonly heard arguments for capitalism and emphasizes that the only proper defense is a moral one. She seeks to explain why capitalism has been so savagely attacked and why businessmen often bear those attacks in silence.
Recorded at the Astor Hotel in New York City on December 21, 1961, Ayn Rand addresses the Presidents Club of the American Management Association. “I’m here today with a painful feeling of incredulity,” Rand says. “To me, it is incredible that I should be speaking in the heart of New York, the greatest city in the world, to a group of distinguished American businessmen over so magnificent a product of American technology as a television set, on such a topic as capitalism versus communism, as if any comparison, issue or choice between them were conceivable.”
Rand concludes with a call for “a moral revolution to sanction and complete the political achievement of the American Revolution.”
(MP3 download; 28 min., 20 MB)
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This lecture is available for free on the Ayn Rand Institute's YouTube Channel.