If your spouse decided to switch careers in midlife, would you support them while they made the transition? What if it was a notoriously unstable and non-lucrative career, like painting?
Okay, what if you had pioneered a popular movement that advocated for egoism, individual rights, and a rejection of altruism?
Of the many domains in which Ayn Rand’s thoughts are frequently invoked—libertarian conventions, college dorm rooms in New Hampshire—discussions about love are not typically one.
That’s why I was delighted to see that PBS’s consistently magical Blank on Blank series recently illustrated a conversation that took place between the mother of Objectivism and the journalist Mike Wallace in 1959.
For whatever reason, Wallace decided to grill Rand on matters of the heart. The whole thing is worth a listen—you’ll learn how, if you correct your flaws, you, too, can be worthy of love.
The segment begins with Rand describing the unique arrangement she apparently had with her husband, the actor and artist Frank O’Connor. At the time, O’Connor was just beginning to study painting, and Rand was already well established. Wallace saw an opportunity to try to paint Rand—who frowned upon welfare or financial reliance on others—into a corner.