Free Minds & Free Markets

'America Really Was the First Country Founded on Individualism': Podcast

Jonathan Hoenig, a devotee of Ayn Rand, founder of Capitalist Pig investments, and editor of The New Textbook of Americanism, isn't pulling any punches.

In 1946, the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand started writing Textbook of Americanism, a series of brief and accessible essays that she felt would define the essential ideas and character of her adopted homeland. Publishing them in a small magazine called The Vigil in the form of answers to basic questions, Rand only completed nine sections, which ranged from "What is the basic issue in the world today?" to "What is the basic principle of America?" to "What is the proper function of government?"

Over 70 years later, Rand's dream sees its completion in A New Textbook of Americanism, a collection edited by Jonathan Hoenig, a Rand devotee who founded the investment fund Capitalist Pig and appears regularly on Fox News, where he's one of the few guests to call out Donald Trump for his protectionism, cronyism, and anti-immigrant stances. The new volume reprints Rand's original contributions while adding fresh new material from a host of contemporary writers associated with the Ayn Rand Institute, including Leonard Peikoff, Yaron Brook, Amy Peikoff, Andrew Bernstein, and others. The new essays are wide-ranging and provocative, answering such questions as "How to Recognize a Nazi," "How Are Fortunes Made in a Capitalist System?," and "What Should a Distinctively American Foreign Policy Do?"

For today's podcast, I spoke with Hoenig about what Rand meant by Americanism, why that's important, and whether he's optimistic about a country that he himself says is growing more collectivist on both the right and the left. We also talked about the fault lines between Rand's Objectivism and the modern libertarian movement, Rand's argument for complete abortion rights and her thoroughgoing secularism, and what it will take to revive the sort of individualism that Hoenig, like Rand, says is the essential foundation of America.

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Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hoenig.

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Hoenig

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  • JFree||

    Ayn Rand - The fiction writer for those who don't know the difference between fiction and reality and for those who don't know the difference between good fiction and bad fiction.

  • Ray McKigney||

    Over 70 years later, Rand's dream sees its completion in A New Textbook of Americanism

    It's positively cromulent.

  • ClosetedConservative||

    Sad the Left wants to tear that legacy down...

  • Mongo||

    I think we had better armament back in the old days.

    Individually, we couldn't have done squawt against the Indians.

  • Dillinger||

    shame it went all Fundamentalist Redux

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He really fell apart when asked about Charity. He just rambled for 2 minutes.

  • A Lady of Reason||

    Too bad the Left would like to tear that down..

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    It's not just the left that is anti-individualist.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    I hope you cleared that statement through the Central Committee.

  • Jgalt1975||

    I agree that the right can be anti-individualist as well, but that's rarely the right's biggest problem these days.

  • Let freedom ring||

    Hoenig is a hedge fund manager, which requires a special federal license. He is a "crony captitalist pig". He also is liable for income tax for profiting from a federal privilege. see

  • Nuwanda||

    So every person that needs a license from the state is a crony?


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