Since its founding in 1968, REASON has interviewed scores of people, ranging from Nobel Prize winners to TV stars, anarchists to statists, friends to foes. What follows is a sampling of the more provocative, memorable, and--on occasion--absurd comments. As a record of the issues and ideas that captivated not just REASON but the times of which it was part, these interviews comprise something like an oral history of the past 30 years. As REASON enters its fourth decade, they also underscore two enduring themes of the magazine: the unpredictability of the future and the need for principles by which such uncharted territory may be navigated. (Many of these interviews are available in full on Reason Online at www.reason. com.)
From "Break Free!," an interview with therapist, author, and Ayn Rand protégé Nathaniel Branden
Reason: What about sex without love?
Nathaniel Branden: What about it?
Reason: Do you approve of that?
Branden: What am I, your mother? Are you asking my permission? Of course there can be sex without love....the question is not: sex with or without love?--but rather: sex with or without personal involvement? Sex without personal involvement, sex between two people who...are not interested in each other as persons, is degrading to both participants. However, it happens between people who are married all the time.
"The old enemies of capitalism used to denounce it on the grounds of its alleged exploitation of the worker. But today, when the American worker is so well off materially, that argument doesn't carry much weight, not that it ever did. Now the emphasis is shifting; now the talk is all about `alienation' and how capitalism and technology `alienate' man from his `true self.' When that argument wears thin or wears out, they'll come up with something else. But why? What is it they really hate? That's the question. And why do they hate it? That's another good question."
"[Ayn Rand and I] cared for each other very much....There was a good deal between us that was very happy, very rewarding, and fulfilling. It will never come again. Sometimes when I am alone, in spite of everything I know I find myself feeling affection and smiling at her in my thoughts. And then I wonder, at whom am I smiling? Does the person exist? Did she ever exist?"
"I wish that the book [Who Is Ayn Rand?] had never been written....I speak for Barbara Branden as well as myself in saying we repudiate that book...Our repudiation applies, primarily, to Barbara Branden's biographical essay on Miss Rand....Too much was left out of that essay....Miss Rand's penchant for extravagant self-compliments. Her fits of temper over trivia. Her obsession with absolute personal loyalty of her friends. Her deadly, eternal moralizing. Her anger and defensiveness when challenged about her ideas. Her bitterness and suspiciousness and resentment. Her idea of encouraging a person to be independent is to tell him, in effect, `Go and think it over--until you see things my way.'...All of her friends, all of the circle of which I was a member, were in terror of her--and no one would admit it, because to admit it would be to open the door to the wider implications of her behavior."
"I believe there will be widespread bank failures eventually. They could occur very suddenly. Even small-scale bank liquidity problems could create a great inconvenience. I think it's valuable to have at least a month's spending money somewhere safe."
From "Non-Zoning: The New Approach to Planning," an interview with law professor Bernard Siegan, author of Land Use Without Zoning