The “Conflicts” of Men’s Interests

Ayn Rand

In this radio address, Ayn Rand reads aloud her 1962 essay entitled “The ‘Conflicts’ of Men’s Interests” and offers additional commentary. Rand starts by raising a “typical” question that she has received: “Suppose two men apply for the same job. Only one of them can be hired. Isn’t this an instance of a conflict of interests, and isn’t the benefit of one man achieved at the price of the sacrifice of the other?”

Rand then steps back to examine in depth the four interrelated considerations (reality, context, responsibility and effort) that inform a rational person’s view of self-interest. Finally, she explains how each of the four considerations bears on whether two men competing for the same job have an actual conflict of interests.

The original essay first appeared in the August 1962 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter and was later anthologized in The Virtue of Selfishness (1964).

This radio program lasts 24 minutes.

About the Author
Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand
Learn more about Ayn Rand’s life and writings at AynRand.org.