For several years in the 1960s, Columbia University’s radio station WKCR hosted a program called “Ayn Rand on Campus,” featuring Rand and her associates lecturing and answering questions on a wide array of subjects.
In this interview, Rand responds to questions about the nature and purpose of law. She discusses the crucial differences between objective and non-objective law, the principles governing rules of evidence, capital punishment, the scope of judicial discretion, and preventive laws, among other subjects.
Here are Rand’s views on:
Why the purpose of law is to establish principles of social conduct that respect individual rights;
The crucial difference between objective laws, which are clearly defined and graspable, and non-objective laws, which lack specific definition and are open to arbitrary interpretation;
How non-objective laws permit implementation of increasing controls over the economy;
The range of discretion that can properly be allowed to judges;
Ignorance of the law as a defense against criminal charges;
The invalidity of “preventive” laws;
The standards by which rules of evidence are to be established;
The problem of capital punishment
The injustice of contradictory laws;
How the law applies to children and the insane.
(MP3 download; 27 min., 20.41 MB)
The description of this product was written and/or edited by ARI staff.