Ayn Rand on Technology



A few independent minds raise productivity via technology

Nothing can raise a country's productivity except technology, and technology is the final product of a complex of sciences (including philosophy) each of them kept alive and moving by the achievements of a few independent minds.
Source: The Ayn Rand Lexicon, by Harry Binswanger, p. 494 , Jan 1, 1988

Moon landing represents humankind's highest potential

The fundamental significance of Apollo 11's triumph is not political; it is philosophical; specifically, moral-epistemological.

The meaning of the sight lay in the fact that when those dark red wings of fire flared open, one knew that one was not looking at a normal occurrence. One knew that this spectacle was not the product of inanimate nature, like some aurora borealis, or of chance, or of luck, that it was unmistakably human--with "human," for once, meaning grandeur--that a purpose and a sustained effort had gone to achieve this series of moments, and that man was succeeding, succeeding, succeeding!

Frustration is the leitmotif in the lives of most men, particularly today--the frustration of inarticulate desires, with no knowledge of the means to achieve them. In the sight and hearing of a crumbling world, Apollo 11 enacted the story of an audacious purpose, its execution, its triumph and the means that achieved it--the story and the demonstration of man's highest potential.

Source: The Objectivist, #5, "Apollo 11," by Ayn Rand , Sep 1, 1969

Private actions aren't censorship; only government censors

For years, the collectivists have been propagating the notion that a private individual's refusal to finance an opponent is a violation of the opponent's right of free speech and an act of "censorship."

It is "censorship," they claim, if businessmen refuse to advertise in a magazine that denounces, insults and smears them It is "censorship," they claim, if a newspaper refuses to employ or publish writers whose ideas are diametrically opposed to its policy. It means that a publisher has to publish books he considers worthless, false or evil--that a TV sponsor has to finance commentators who choose to affront his convictions.

"Censorship" is a term pertaining only to governmental action. No private action is censorship. No private individual or agency can silence a man or suppress a publication; only the government can do so. The freedom of speech of private individuals includes the right not to agree, not to listen and not to finance one's own antagonists.

Source: The Virtue of Selfishness,"Man's Rights," p. 98, by Ayn Rand , Nov 1, 1964

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021