In a lecture Thursday 5 November 2015, at 16.30 in Oddi House, Room O-101, Professor Hannes H. Gissurarson analyses and criticises the moral defence of capitalism provided by Ayn Rand, the most influential female philosopher ever. Admission is free and all are welcome. Rand’s books have sold in around 30 million copies. Three novels by her, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead and We the Living, have been published in Icelandic translations. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Institute of Public Administration and Politics at the University of Iceland. It also forms a part of the joint project of RNH with AECR, the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, on “Europe, Iceland and the Future of Capitalism”. Sjofn Vilhelmsdottir chairs the meeting.
Professor Gissurarson poses many questions, including these: What is the difference between self-love and avarice? Is Rand’s contrast between creators and parasites well-founded? Which Icelandic entrepreneurs and businessmen correspond most closely to Rand’s description of creators and innovators? Does love always need to be deserved, as Rand asserts? Is there no such thing as social responsibility? What is the difference between the case for capitalism made by Rand on the one hand and by economists Friedrich A. Hayek and Milton Friedman on the other hand? In the lecture, short episodes are shown from a docudrama on Rand (who is played by Helen Mirren) and from the film version of The Fountainhead (with Gary Cooper giving a Randian speech).