Print this post Print this post

The Pursuit of Happiness 
The Conquest of Nature: Ayn Rand

apollo1167:53 / 223 words

To listen in a player, click here.

To download the mp3, right-click here and choose “save target or link as.”

To subscribe to our podcasts, click here.

Beginning in August of 1999, I gave a series of eight lectures on “The Pursuit of Happiness: Philosophies East and West,” dealing with different conceptions of the good life.

The syllabus was:

  1. Introduction
  2. Harmony, Inner and Outer (Plato, Lao Tzu)
  3. Self-Actualization (Montaigne, Nietzsche)
  4. Detachment (Epictetus, the Buddha)
  5. Duty (Confucius, Kant, Montaigne)
  6. Pleasure (Callicles, Epicurus)
  7. The Conquest of Nature (Ayn Rand)
  8. The Spiritual Life (William James)

I began putting these online in 2014, but I ran into problems. The sound quality of some of the tapes was poor, some students were fond of hearing their own voices and I was not assertive enough to keep the lecture on track, and I just don’t think I did a good job on some topics.

The lecture on “The Conquest of Nature,” however, came out pretty well. The sound quality is clear but harsh, as I had to use a lot of noise reduction. The texts discussed are the opening pages of The Fountainhead, the About the Author note in Atlas Shrugged, and the essays “Apollo 11” and “Epitaph for a Culture” in The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought, ed. Leonard Peikoff. I have posted 40:55 of Q&A and discussion here.


If you enjoyed this piece, and wish to encourage more like it, give a tip through Paypal. You can earmark your tip directly to the author or translator, or you can put it in a general fund. (Be sure to specify which in the "Add special instructions to seller" box at Paypal.)
This entry was posted in Counter-Currents Radio and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Iron Paul
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to thank Greg for putting this up. My initial interest in philosophy came from Rand. Though I realized her limitations fairly quickly, she was a good advocate for the usefulness of philosophy. She was a springboard for me in that she opened up many paths for exploring many other ideas.

    In a roundabout way, my interest in philosophy lead me to find Counter Currents, so to have Greg talk about her ideas and contrast them to his own is very useful. The lack of tragedy in her works is spot on. As much as Rand glorifies American principles, understanding tragedy is essential in understanding western thought and tradition.

  2. Lee Carroll
    Posted February 28, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Thank you Greg for publishing the next instalment from the valuable series ‘Pursuit of happiness’, have I been waiting for this!

  3. Job Trunicht
    Posted February 25, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Awesome! I’ve been waiting for you to finish uploading this course for months.

    Kindle Subscription
  • EXSURGO Apparel

    Our Titles

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater (2nd ed.)

    The Hypocrisies of Heaven

    Waking Up from the American Dream

    Green Nazis in Space!

    Truth, Justice, and a Nice White Country

    Heidegger in Chicago

    The End of an Era

    Sexual Utopia in Power

    What is a Rune? & Other Essays

    Son of Trevor Lynch's White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    The Lightning & the Sun

    The Eldritch Evola

    Western Civilization Bites Back

    New Right vs. Old Right

    Lost Violent Souls

    Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations

    The Non-Hindu Indians & Indian Unity

    Baader Meinhof ceramic pistol, Charles Kraaft 2013

    Jonathan Bowden as Dirty Harry

    The Lost Philosopher, Second Expanded Edition

    Trevor Lynch's A White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    And Time Rolls On

    The Homo & the Negro

    Artists of the Right

    North American New Right, Vol. 1

    Forever and Ever

    Some Thoughts on Hitler

    Tikkun Olam and Other Poems

    Under the Nihil

    Summoning the Gods

    Hold Back This Day

    The Columbine Pilgrim

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater

    Taking Our Own Side

    Toward the White Republic

    Distributed Titles

    Tyr, Vol. 4


    The Node


    Carl Schmitt Today

    A Sky Without Eagles

    The Way of Men

    Generation Identity

    Nietzsche's Coming God

    The Conservative

    The New Austerities

    Convergence of Catastrophes


    Proofs of a Conspiracy

    Fascism viewed from the Right

    Notes on the Third Reich

    Morning Crafts

    New Culture, New Right

    The Fourth Political Theory

    Can Life Prevail?

    The Metaphysics of War

    Fighting for the Essence

    The Arctic Home in the Vedas

    Asatru: A Native European Spirituality

    The Shock of History

    The Prison Notes

    Sex and Deviance


    On the Brink of the Abyss

    Beyond Human Rights

    A Handbook of Traditional Living

    Why We Fight

    The Problem of Democracy


    The Path of Cinnabar


    The Lost Philosopher

    Impeachment of Man

    Gold in the Furnace


    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Revolution from Above