File #3477: "ms113.0013_transcript.pdf"


New American Gazette: Transcript of Ayn Rand Forum
Moakley Archive and Institute

Title: New American Gazette: “Apollo (11) and Dionysus (at Woodstock),” at Ford Hall Forum.
Recording Date: 1 March 1990
Speakers: Ayn Rand, Marvin Kalb
Item Information: New American Gazette: “Apollo (11) and Dionysus (at Woodstock),” at
Ford Hall Forum. Ford Hall Forum Collection, 1908-2013 (MS113.3.1, item 0013) Moakley
Archive, Suffolk University, Boston, MA.
Digital Versions: audio recording and transcript available at
Copyright Information: Copyright © 1991 Ford Hall Forum.
Recording Summary:
Transcription of a Ford Hall Forum that featured Ayn Rand, a prominent Russian-American
objectionist philosopher and novelist. Ayn Rand provides a detailed analysis of two major event
of the sixties -- the Woodstock music festival and the Apollo 11 spaceflight in a forum entitled,
“Apollo (11) and Dionysus (at Woodstock).” The forum was originally recorded on November 9,
1969 and rebroadcast as part of the New American Gazette radio program on March 1 1990. The
radio broadcast is introduced by host Marvin Kalb.

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MS113.0013 Transcript
Transcript Begins

ANNOUNCER: From Boston, the Ford Hall Forum presents the New American Gazette with
special guest host Marvin Kalb

MARVIN KALB: The year was 1969. On July sixteenth, nearly one million observers traveled
to Cape Kennedy to witness the launching of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon. A
month later, on August fifteenth, 400,000 young people gathered in a cow pasture near
Woodstock, Vermont [sic], for a three-day music festival.

Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand long argued that human reason and intellect command our
moral code and lift us to the stars. Emotions and physical senses root us to the earth. The two
sides, she believed, reason versus emotion, represented the fundamental conflict of our age.
Now, the sixties had provided her with two stunning examples.

The best-selling author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged offered a fresh, startling, and
controversial opinion on the significance of Woodstock. In August 1969, Time magazine
reported that "Woodstock may well rank as one of the significant political and sociological
events of the age"; adding that Woodstock was "the stuff of which legends are made." Miss Rand
heartily disagreed.

Twenty years later opinions had shifted. Woodstock is now remembered as a great social
experiment, primeval and futuristic, and a brief demonstration of unity and cooperation. Miss
Rand died in 1982. Had Miss Rand lived until Woodstock's twentieth anniversary, it is doubtful
that she would have reformed her caustic view of the Age of Aquarius. Perhaps she would have
been comforted by the ensuing decade of greed and the emergence of yuppies from the former
love children of the sixties. Yet, that was her prediction of more than twenty years ago when she
concluded that these rebellious hippies were in fact no less traditional in their attitudes or beliefs
than their middle class parents.
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In this program, she reveals her piercing wit, intellectual vigor and shrewd observations of an
American society that both attracted and repelled her, that delighted and infuriated her, that
expressed the highest goals of reason and the dark, wild chaos of the irrational emotions. On this
occasion, Miss Rand used her reason and wit to reassure her admirers and vanquish her foes
while demonstrating the philosophical principles of objectivism.

Stay with us for a special look back at two of the most significant events of the sixties as seen
through the eyes of Ayn Rand—Apollo 11 and Dionysus at Woodstock.

AYN RAND: Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, on July 16, 1969, one million
people, from all over the country, converged on Cape Kennedy, Florida, to witness the launching
of Apollo 11 that carried astronauts to the moon.

On August fifteenth, 300,000 people, from all over the country, converged on Bethel, New York,
near the town of Woodstock, to witness a rock music festival.

These two events were news, not philosophical theory. These were facts of our actual existence,
the kinds of facts—according to both modern philosophers and practical businessmen—that
philosophy has nothing to do with. But if one cares to understand the meaning of these two
events, to grasp their roots and their consequences, one will understand the power of philosophy
and learn to recognize the specific forms in which philosophical abstractions appear in our actual

The issue in this case is the alleged dichotomy of reason versus emotion. This dichotomy has
been presented in many variants in the history of philosophy, but its most colorfully eloquent
statement was given by Friedrich Nietzsche. In The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music,
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Nietzsche claims that he observed two opposite elements in Greek tragedies, which he saw as
metaphysical principles inherent in the nature of reality. He named them after two Greek gods:
Apollo, the god of light, and Dionysus, the god of wine.

Apollo, in Nietzsche's metaphysics, is the symbol of beauty, order, wisdom, efficacy—though
Nietzsche equivocates about this last—that is, the symbol of reason. Dionysus is the symbol of
drunkenness or, rather, Nietzsche cites drunkenness as his identification of what Dionysus stands
for: wild, primeval feelings, orgiastic joy, the dark, the savage, the unintelligible element in man;
that is, the symbol of emotion.

Apollo, according to Nietzsche, is a necessary element, but an unreliable and thus inferior guide
to existence that gives man a superficial view of reality: the illusion of an orderly universe.
Dionysus is the free, unfettered spirit that offers man—by means of a mysterious intuition
induced by wine and drugs—a more profound vision of a different kind of reality, and is thus the
superior. And, indicating that Nietzsche knew clearly what he was talking about, even though he
chose to express it in a safely, drunkenly Dionysian manner, Apollo represents the principle of
individuality, while Dionysus leads man, quote, "into complete self-forgetfulness," unquote, and
into merging with the "oneness” of nature. Those who, at a superficial reading, take Nietzsche to
be an advocate of individualism, please note.

This much is true: reason is the faculty of an individual, to be exercised individually; and it is
only dark, irrational emotions, obliterating his mind, that can enable a man to melt, merge and
dissolve into a mob or a tribe. We may accept Nietzsche's symbols, but not his estimate of their
respective values, nor the metaphysical necessity of a reason/emotion dichotomy.

It is not true that reason and emotion are irreconcilable antagonists or that emotions are a wild,
unknowable, ineffable element in men. But this is what emotions become for those who do not
care to know what they feel, and who attempt to subordinate reason to their emotions. For every
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variant of such attempts—as well as for their consequences—the image of Dionysus is an
appropriate symbol.

Symbolic figures are a valuable adjunct to philosophy. They help men to integrate and bear in
mind the essential meaning of complex issues. Apollo and Dionysus represent the fundamental
conflict of our age. And for those who may regard them as floating abstractions, reality has
offered two perfect, fiction-like dramatizations of these abstract symbols—at Cape Kennedy and
at Woodstock.

They were perfect in every respect demanded of serious fiction—they concretized the essentials
of the two principles, in action, in a pure, extreme, isolated form. The fact that the spacecraft was
called Apollo is merely a coincidence, but a helpful coincidence.

If you want to know fully what the conflict of reason versus irrational emotion means—in fact,
in reality, on earth—keep these two events in mind. It means Apollo 11 versus the Woodstock
festival. Remember also that you are asked to make a choice between these two, and that the
whole weight of today's culture is being used to push you to the side of and into the mud of

In my article "Apollo 11," in The Objectivist, September 1969, I discussed the meaning and the
greatness of the moon landing. And parenthetically, for those interested in the subject, I would
very much recommend that you do read that article because in today's lecture I will not have the
time to discuss in detail both events. And therefore, if you want my discussion and my analysis
of Apollo 11, please read it in the September issue of my magazine The Objectivist. I shall
merely quote the essential point of that article. Quote, "No one could doubt that we had seen an
achievement of man in his capacity as a rational being, an achievement of reason, of logic, of
mathematics, of total dedication to the absolutism of reality. The most confirmed evader in the
worldwide audience could not escape the fact that no feelings, wishes, urges, instincts or lucky
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conditioning could have achieved this incomparable feat—that we were watching the embodied
concretization of a single faculty of man: his rationality," closed quote.

This was the meaning and motive of the overwhelming worldwide response to Apollo 11,
whether the cheering crowds knew it consciously or not—and most of them did not. It was the
response of people starved for the sight of an achievement, for a vision of man the hero. This was
the motive that drew one million people to Cape Kennedy for the launching. Those people were
not a stampeding herd nor a manipulated mob; they did not wreck the Florida communities, they
did not devastate the countryside, they did not throw themselves, like whining thugs, at the
mercy of their victims; they did not create any victims.

They came as responsible individuals able to project the reality of two or three days ahead and to
provide for their own needs.

There were people of every age, creed, color, educational level and economic status. They lived
and slept in tents or in their cars, some of them for several days, in great discomfort and
unbearable heat. They did it gamely, cheerfully, gaily. They projected a general feeling of
confident goodwill, the bond of a common enthusiasm. They created a public spectable—
spectacle of responsible privacy. And they departed as they had come, without benefit of press

The best account of the nature of the general feeling was given to me by an intelligent young
woman of my acquaintance. She went to see the parade of the astronauts when they came to New
York. For a few brief moments, she stood on a street corner and waved to them as they went by.
Quote, "It was so wonderful," she told me, "People didn't want to leave after the parade had
passed. They just stood there, talking about it, talking to strangers, smiling. It was so wonderful
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to feel, for once, that people aren't vicious, that one doesn't have to suspect them, that we have
something good in common," unquote.

This is the essence of a genuine feeling of human brotherhood – the brotherhood of values. This
is the only authentic form of unity among men, and only values can achieve it.

There was virtually no comment in the press on the meaning of the popular response to Apollo
11. The comments, for the most part, were superficial, perfunctory, mainly statistical. There was
a brief flurry of nonsense about unity, as if it were some mysteriously causeless emotional
primary, with suggestions about directing that—this unity to such inspiring goals as the crusades
against poverty, air pollution, wilderness desecration, even urban transportation. Then the subject
was dropped, and the Apollo 11 story was dropped as of no further significance.

One of the paradoxes of our age is the fact that the intellectuals, the politicians and all the sundry
voices that choke, like asthma, the throat of our communications media have never gasped and
stuttered so loudly about their devotion to the public good and about the people's will as the
supreme criterion of value. And never have they been so grossly indifferent to the people. The
reason, obviously, is that collectivist slogans serve as a rationalization for those who intend, not
to follow the people, but to rule it. There is, however, a deeper reason. The most profound breach
in this country is not between the rich and the poor, but between the people and the intellectuals.
In their view of life, the American people are predominantly Apollonian; the mainstream
intellectuals are Dionysian.

This means that people are reality-oriented, commonsense-oriented, and technology-oriented.
The intellectual calls this materialistic and middle-class.

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The intellectuals are emotion-oriented and seek, in panic, to—an escape from a reality they are
unable to deal with, and from a technological civilization that ignores their feelings.
The flight of Apollo 11 brought this out into the open. With rare exceptions, the intellectuals
resented its triumph. A two-page survey of their reactions, published by the New York Times on
July twenty-first, was an almost unanimous spread of denigrations and denunciations—see my
article "Apollo 11." What they denounced was technology what they resented was achievement
and its source, reason.

The same attitude, with rare exceptions, was displayed by the popular commentators, who are
not the makers, but the products and the weather vanes of the prevailing intellectual trends.
Walter Cronkite of CBS was a notable exception. But Eric Sevareid of CBS was typical of the
trend. On July fifteenth, the eve of the launching, he broadcast from Cape Kennedy a
commentary that was reprinted in Variety, July twenty-third, quote: "In Washington and
elsewhere, the doubts concern future flights, their number, their cost and their benefits, as if the
success of Apollo 11 were already assured. We are a people who hate failure. It's un-American.
It is a fair guess that failure of Apollo 11 would not curtail future space programs but re-energize
them," unquote.

Please consider these two sentences: "We are a people who hate failure. It's un-American." In the
context of the rest, this was not intended as a compliment, though it should have been; it was
intended as sarcasm. But, who doesn't hate failure? Should one love it? Is there a nation on earth
that doesn't hate it? Surely, one would have to say that failure is un-British or un-French or unChinese.

I can think of only one nation to whom this would not apply—failure is not un-Russian. It—
(laughter and applause)

I mean this in a sense which is deeper than politics, philosophically.

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But what Mr. Sevareid had in mind was not failure. It was the American dedication to success
that he was deriding. It is true that no other nation as a whole is as successful as America, which
is America's greatest virtue. But success is never automatically immediate. Passive resignation is
not a typical American trait; Americans seldom give up. It is this precondition of success, the
"try, try again" precept, that Mr. Sevareid was undercutting.

He went on to say that if Apollo 11 succeeded, quote, "the pressure to divert these great sums of
money to inner space, terra firma and inner man will steadily grow," unquote. He went on to
discuss the views of men who believe, quote, "that this adventure, however majestic its drama, is
only one more act of escape, that it is man once again running away from himself and his real
needs, that we are approaching the bright side of the moon with the dark side of ourselves."

Do you agree with that? I don't. Continuing the quote, "We know that the human brain will soon
know more about the composition of the moon than it knows about the human brain, and why
human beings do what they do," unquote.

This last sentence is true, and one would think that the inescapable conclusion is that man should
use his brain to study human nature by the same rational methods he has used so successfully to
study inanimate matter. But not according to Mr. Sevareid; he reaches a different conclusion,
quote, "It is possible that the divine spark in man will consume him in flames that the big brain
will prove our ultimate flaw, like the dinosaur's big body, that the metal plaque Armstrong and
Aldrin expect to place on the moon will become man's epitaph," unquote. This means that the
solution is for man to give up his big brain.

On July twentieth, while Apollo 11 was approaching the moon, and the world was waiting
breathlessly, Mr. Sevareid found it appropriate to broadcast the following remark: "No matter
how great this event," he said, "nothing much has changed,” quote, “Man still puts his pants on,
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one leg at a time, he still argues with his wife," unquote, et cetera. Well, each to his own
hierarchy of values and of importance.
(laughter and applause)

On the same day, David Brinkley of NBC observed that since men can now see and hear
everything directly on television, by sensory-perceptual means, as he stressed, commentators are
no longer needed at all. This implies that perceived events will somehow provide men
automatically with the appropriate conceptual conclusions. The truth is that the more men
perceive, the more they need the help of commentators, but of commentators who are able to
provide a conceptual analysis.

According to a fan letter I received from Canada, the United States TV commentaries during
Apollo 11's flight were mild compared to those on Canadian television. Quote, "We listened to
an appalling panel of experts disparage the project as a mere technological cleverness by a
stupid, pretentious speck of dust in the cosmos. They were also very concerned about the inflated
American ego if the voyage succeeded. One almost got the impression that they would be greatly
relieved if the mission failed," unquote. Such are today's intellectuals. Or the majority of them.

What is the actual motive behind this attitude, the unadmitted, subconscious motive? An
intelligent American newsman, Harry Reasoner of CBS, named it inadvertently. I had the
impression that he did not realize the importance of his own statement. Many voices, at the time,
were declaring that the success of Apollo 11 would destroy the poetic-romantic glamour of the
moon, its fascinating mystery, its appeal to lovers and to human imagination. Harry Reasoner
summed it up by saying simply, quietly, a little sadly, that if the moon is found to be made of
green cheese, it will be a blow to science. But if it isn't, it will be a blow to, quote, "those of us
whose life is not so well organized," unquote.


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And this is the whole shabby secret: to some men, the sight of an achievement is a reproach, a
reminder that their own lives are irrational and that there is no loophole, no escape from reason
and reality. Their resentment is the cornered Dionysian element baring its teeth.

What Harry Reasoner's statement implied was the fact that only the vanguard of the Dionysian
cohorts is made up of wild, rampaging irrationalists, openly proclaiming their hatred of reason,
dripping wine and blood. The bulk of Dionysus's strength, his grassroots following, consists of
sedate little souls who never commit any major crime against reason, who merely indulge their
petty irrational whims once in a while, covertly, and, overtly, seek a balance of power, a
compromise between whims and reality. But reason is an absolute. In order to betray it, one does
not have to dance naked in the streets with wine leaves in one's hair; one betrays it merely by
sneaking down the back stairs. Then, some day, one finds oneself unable to grasp why one feels
no joy at the scientific discoveries that prolong human life or why the naked dancers are prancing
all over one's own body.

Such are the Dionysian followers.

For a reunion with wildness, for intergalactic travel. The goal, the ideal, the salvation and the
ecstasy have been achieved by 300,000 people wallowing in the mud on an excrement-strewn
hillside near Woodstock.

Their name for the experience of travel unaccompanied by life, to peripheries untouched by time
and space, is LSD trips.

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair did not take place in Woodstock. Like everything else about
that event, its title was a phony—(laughter)—an attempt to cash in on the artistic reputation of
the Woodstock community. The fair took place on an empty thousand-acre pasture leased by the
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promoters from a local farmer. In response to $200,000 worth of publicity and advertising,
300,000 hippies showed up for the occasion. These figures are from the New York Times; some
sources place the attendance estimate higher.

According to Newsweek, the three-day Woodstock fair was different from the usual pop festival
from the outset. Quote, “It was not just a concert but a tribal gathering, expressing all the ideas of
the new generation—communal living away from the cities, getting high, digging arts, clothes
and craft exhibits, and listening to the songs of revolution," unquote. The article quotes one of
the promoters as declaring, quote, "People will all be doing—going into their own thing. This is
not just music, but a conglomeration of everything involved in the new culture," unquote.

So it was. No living, eating or sanitary facilities were provided. The promoters claimed that they
had not expected so large a crowd. Newsweek describes the conditions as follows: "Festival food
supplies were almost immediately exhausted and water coming from wells dug into the area
stopped flowing or came up impure. A heavy rain Friday night turned the amphitheater into a
quagmire and the concession area into a mud-hole. Throngs of wet, sick and wounded hippies
trekked to impromptu hospital tents suffering from colds, sore throats, broken bones, barbedwire cuts and nail-puncture wounds. Festival doctors called it a health emergency, and fifty
additional doctors were flown in from New York City to meet the crisis," unquote.

According to the New York Times, August eighteenth, when the rainstorm came, quote, "at least
80,000 young people sat or stood in front of the stage and shouted obscenities at the darkened
skies—(laughter and applause)—as trash rolled down the muddy hillside with the runoff of the
rain. Others took shelter in dripping tents, lean-tos, cars and trucks. Many boys and girls
wandered through the storm nude, red mud clinging to their bodies," unquote. Drugs were used,
sold, shared or given away during the entire festival. Eyewitnesses claim that ninety-nine percent
of the crowd smoked marijuana, but heroin, hashish, LSD and other stronger drugs were peddled
openly. The nightmare convulsions of so-called “bad trips” were a common occurrence. One
young man died, apparently from an overdose of heroin.
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The Newsweek report concludes with, quote: "The promoters had hired members of the Hog
Farm, a New Mexico hippie commune, to peacefully police the fair. At week's end near the Hog
Farm campsite, a hard core of crazies barked like dogs and freaked out in a bizarre circle dance
lit by flashing strobe lights. The songs seemed to sum up what the young Agrarians believed,
despite all misadventures, the festival was all about—'Now, now, now is all there is. Love is all
there is. Love is. Love,'" unquote.

Who paid for this love feast? Apparently, the unloved ones—(laughter and applause)—those
who know that there is more than the now for a human being, and that without it, even the now is
not possible. The citizens of Bethel, the nearest community, were the victims, abandoned by their
law-enforcing agencies. These victims were neither bums nor millionaires; they were farmers
and small businessmen, who worked hard to earn their living. Their stories, reported in the New
York Times, August twentieth, sound like those of the survivors of a foreign invasion.

Richard C. Joyner, who operate—the operator of the local post office and general store on Route
17B, quote, "said that the youngsters at the festival had virtually taken over his property,
camping on his lawn, making fires on his patio and using the backyard as a latrine. Clarence W.
Townsend, who runs a 150-acre dairy farm was shaken by the ordeal. 'We had thousands of cars
all over our fields,' he said. 'There were kids all over the place. They made a human cesspool of
our property and drove through the cornfields. There's not a fence left on the place. They just
tore them up and used them for firewood.' 'My pond is a swamp,' said Royden Gabriele, another
farmer. 'I've got no fences and they used my field as a latrine. They picked corn and camped all
over the place. They just landed wherever they could. We pulled 30 of them out of the hay mow
smoking pot. If they come back next year I don't know what I'll do. If I can't sell, I'll just burn the
place down,'" unquote.

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No love or thought was given to these victims by the unsanitary apostles of love. And some day
the world will discover that without thought there can be no love. Furthermore—

ANNOUNCER: You're listening to Ayn Rand on a special edition of the Ford Hall Forum's
New American Gazette

AYN RAND: Furthermore, the universal loving was not extended by the promoters of the
festival even to one another. Quote, "In the aftermath of Woodstock," writes the New York
Times, September ninth, "as the euphoria of the three days of peace and music dies out, the tales
of the problems, the bickering, the power struggles and the diverse philosophies of the four
young businessmen are coming out," unquote. The promoters were four young men, all of them
in their twenties. One of them, the heir to a drugstore products fortune, pledged his fortune to
cover the festival's losses. Inasmuch as the Woodstock hordes broke down the ticket-selling
procedure, and half the people got in without paying the seven dollar admission, the fair was a
financial disaster, according to the young heir who said, in an earlier story, that his debts might
reach two million dollars.

Now the four promoters are splitting up and fighting over control of the Woodstock Ventures
Corporation. One of them was described as, quote, "a hippie who keeps one foot in the financial
world at all times and as a boy who eschews shoes, shirts and barbers, but who likes chauffeured
Cadillacs and overseas jet travel and plunges in the stock market," unquote. All of them,
apparently, have connections with several large establishment-oriented corporations and Wall
Street investment firms who are interested in cashing in on the youth market. One of these four
stated openly, quote: "Maybe the best way to define the Underground Industrial Complex is
materialistic people of the underground trying to make money off of a generation of underground
kids who feel they aren't materialistic," unquote.

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The problems that plagued these promoters, quote, "before, during and after the festival reflect
the difficulties in merging the ideas of making money off the kids and trying to let the kids
believe that a rock festival, for example, is, as one of them likes to put it, 'a groovy meeting of
the tribes, a part of the revolution,"' unquote.

If this is disgusting, there is something more disgusting still—the psychology of those hundreds
of thousands of underground kids, who, in justice, deserve no better.

Under the title "Woodstock: Like It Was," the New York Times, August twenty-fifth, published a
lengthy interview with six young people who had attended the festival. The interview gives only
their first name—first names. Five boys: Steve, Lindsey, Bill, Jimmy and Dan, and one girl,
Judy. Most of them were college students; the youngest one was "a sixteen-year-old junior at one
of the city's better private schools. All were from comfortable middle-class backgrounds. I shall
quote some of this interview. It is a remarkable psychological document.

[Rand reads a passage from the New York Times interview.]
Question: Why did you want to go to the festival?

Lindsey: It was the music. I wanted to go because of the music. That was the only

Judy: They had the most fantastic line-up of stars that I've ever heard about,
more than any place I've ever heard of, better than Newport.

Question: Did you have any idea where you'd sleep or what there would be to

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Judy: Well, we drove down in a caravan of two cars. There were four girls and
two guys. But we were supposed to meet 20 or 30 other people who were driving
down from New Hampshire and they were supposed to bring a tent, but we never
met each other. We just scattered.

Question: What about food?

Judy: We brought a bag of carrots. And some soda.

Question: Did you expect to be able to buy more there?

Judy: We never really thought about it.


RAND: When they were asked what they felt at the scene, Judy answered, quote, "I just had a
feeling that, wow, there are so many of us, we really have power. I'd always felt like such a
minority. But I thought, wow, we're a majority; it felt like that. I felt, here's the answer to anyone
who calls us deviates."

[Continues reading from the New York Times interview.]
Question: Was that before you heard any music?

Judy: I never made it to the concert. I never heard any music at all.

Question: The whole weekend?
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Judy: Yeah. The whole weekend.


RAND: Further, all the participants stressed a sense of what they called community.

[Continues reading from the New York Times interview.]
Steve: Everyone came there to be together. Not that everyone would cease to be
an individual, but everyone came there to be able to express their life style.

Question: Was there a lot of sharing?

A voice: Everything was shared.

Bill: I was sitting in a group of people and it was hot and the sun was beating
down. All of a sudden you'd have a box of Cocoa Puffs hit you in the side. They'd
say, 'Take a handful and pass it on.' And like Saturday afternoon we were sitting
there and this watermelon came by—

RAND: You haven't heard anything yet.

[Continues reading from the New York Times interview.]
—and this watermelon came by with three mouthfuls taken out of it.

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You were supposed to take a bite and pass it on—

—because some guy three rows over said, 'Give those people some watermelon.’


RAND: Further, all the panel participants carried some kind of drug to the festival—mostly
marijuana. Quote, "Not infrequently drugs were given away by young people eager to share.
What couldn't be had free could be bought from dealers roaming freely through the crowd. Most
of the participants regarded the drugs as an essential part of the scene."

[Continues reading from the New York Times interview.]
Question: How much of the time were you people up there stoned; that is, deeply

Lindsey: About 102%.

Question: Could you have had the festival without the drugs?

Steve: I'm sure there were people there you would have had trouble with if there
had not been drugs there.

RAND: One of the boys remarked that some of the older ones were using cocaine.

[Continues reading from the New York Times interview.]
Question: The older ones? How old?

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Judy: About twenty-four or twenty-six.


RAND: When they were asked what they wanted to be in the future, they answered as follows:

[Continues reading from the New York Times interview.]
Jimmy: All my life I've had just about everything I want. And I have to have
whatever I want for the rest of my life, except from now on I have to begin to think
of how to provide it for myself. And I don't want to work because I can't have
everything and do everything I want if I have to stay in the same place from nine
to five.

Judy: I'm going to try everything at least once. I lived on a communal farm for a
month on the Cape. And, well, I liked it and I really enjoyed staying there and I've
always wanted to go back and try this thing again, grow tomatoes and things.

Question: Do you want a family?

Judy: One child. Just, you know, to procreate. But I don't want a family because I
don't want to get into that much responsibility. I want to be able to move. I want
to be able to leave at any time. I don't want that much restriction.


RAND: Further in the interview, quote:

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MS113.0013 Transcript
[Continues reading from the New York Times interview.]
Question: Was sex an important part of the scene at Woodstock?

Dan: It was just a part. I don't know if it was an important part or not.

Steve: In any society of 500,000 people over the course of three days you're
going to have sex, let's face it.

Jimmy: They were no more free or less free in Woodstock than they are any other

Dan: There was some society to what people did. I mean, they waited until night.

Question: You mean there were certain standards of decorum?

Dan: I think there were, yes.

People still have some reservations. Some. Not as many.

Close quote.

RAND: Had enough?

Has it ever occurred to you that it is not an accident, but the psychological mechanism of
projection that has made people of this kind choose to call their opponents pigs?

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These are the young people whom the press is hailing as a new culture and as a movement of
great moral significance—the same press and the same intellectuals who dismissed or denounced
Apollo 11 as mere technology.

Of the publications I have read, Newsweek was the most fastidious in regard to Woodstock: it
offered no praise. The New York Times started by denouncing the festival in an editorial entitled
"Nightmare in the Catskills," August eighteenth, but reversed itself the next day and published an
editorial with a softened tone.

Time magazine went whole hog.

It published an essay under the title "The Message of History's Biggest Happening," August
twenty-ninth. This included such statements as, quote: "As the moment when the special culture
of US youth of the sixties openly displayed its strength, appeal and power, it may well rank as
one of the significant political and sociological events of the age," unquote. And, quote: "The
spontaneous community of youth that was created at Bethel was the stuff of which legends are
made," unquote.

Life magazine published a special edition devoted to the Woodstock festival. The best skills that
technology has created in the field of color photography was used to fill that issue with beautiful
pictures of scummy young savages.
(laughter and applause)

The hippies are right in one respect: the culture of today's establishment is done for, it is rotted
through and through, and rebelling against it is like rebelling against a dead horse.
The hippies are wrong, however, when they fancy themselves to be rebels. They are the distilled
essence of the establishment's culture, they are the embodiment of its soul. They are the
personified ideal of generations of crypto-Dionysians now leaping into the open.
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MS113.0013 Transcript
Among the various types of today's younger generation, the hippies are the most docile
conformists. Unable to generate a thought of their own, they have accepted the philosophical
beliefs of their elders as unchallengeable dogma, just as, in earlier generations, the weakest
among the young conformed to the fundamentalist view of the Bible.

The hippies were taught by their parents, their neighbors, their tabloids and their college
professors that faith, instinct and emotion are superior to reason. And they obeyed. They were
taught that material concerns are evil, that the State or the Lord will provide, that the lilies of the
field do not toil. And they obeyed. They were taught that love, indiscriminate love, for one's
fellow man is the highest virtue. And they obeyed. They were taught that the merging of one's
self with a herd, a tribe or a community is the noblest way for man to live. And they obeyed.
There isn't a philosophical idea of today's establishment which they have not accepted and which
they do not share.

When they discovered that this philosophy did not work—because, in fact, it cannot work—the
hippies had neither the wit nor the courage to challenge it. They found, instead, an outlet for their
impotent frustration by accusing their elders of hypocrisy, as if hypocrisy were the only obstacle
to the realization of their ideals. And, left blindly, helplessly lobotomized in the face of an
inexplicable reality that is not amenable to their feelings, they have no recourse but to the
shouting of obscenities at anything that frustrates their whims, at men or at a rainy sky,
indiscriminately, with no concept of the difference. It is typical of today's culture that these
exponents of seething, raging hostility are taken as advocates of love.

Avowed anti-materialists whose only manifestation of rebellion and of individualism takes the
material form of the clothes they choose to wear, are a pretty ridiculous spectacle. Of any type of
nonconformity, this is the easiest to practice, and the safest. But even in this issue, there is a
special psychological component. Observe the hippies' choice of clothing. It is not intended to
make them look attractive, but to make them look grotesque. It is not intended to evoke
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MS113.0013 Transcript
admiration, but to evoke mockery and pity. One does not make oneself look like a caricature
unless one intends one's appearance to plead, Please don't take me seriously.

And there is a kind of malicious wink, a contemptuous sneer in the public voices acclaiming the
hippies as heroes. The hippies are a desperate herd looking for a master, to be taken over by
anyone; anyone who would tell them how to live, without demanding the effort of thinking.
Theirs is the mentality ready for a Fuhrer.

The hippies are the living demonstration of what it means to give up reason and to rely on one's
primeval instincts, urges, intuitions, and whims. With such tools, they are unable to grasp even
what is needed to satisfy their wishes; for example, the wish to have a festival. Where would
they be without the charity of the local squares who fed them? Where would they be without the
50 doctors, rushed from New York to save their lives, without the automobiles that brought them
to the festival, without the soda pop and beer they substituted for water, without the helicopter
that brought the entertainers, without all the achievements of the technological civilizations they
denounce? Left to their own devices, they literally didn't know enough to come in out of the rain.
(laughter and applause)

Their hysterical incantations of worship of the now were sincere. The immediate moment is all
that exists for the perceptual-level, concrete-bound, animal-like mentality because to grasp
tomorrow is an enormous abstraction, an intellectual feat open only to the conceptual—that is,
the rational—level of consciousness. Hence, their state of stagnant, resigned passivity. If no one
comes to help them, they will sit in the mud. If a box of Cocoa Puffs hits them in the side, they'll
eat it. If a communally chewed watermelon comes by, they'll chew it.

If a marijuana cigarette is stuck into their mouth, they'll smoke it. If not, not. How can one act,
when the next day or hour is an impenetrable black hole in one's mind?
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MS113.0013 Transcript

And how can one desire or feel? The obvious truth is that these Dionysian desire-worshipers do
not really desire anything. All of them are seeking desperately for somebody who will provide
them with something they will be able to enjoy or to desire. Desires, too, are a product of the
conceptual faculty.

But there is one emotion which is not, and which the hippies do experience intensely—chronic
fear. If you have seen any of them on television, you have seen it leaping at you from the screen.
Fear is their brand, their hallmark. Fear is the special vibration by which they claim to recognize
one another.

I have mentioned the nature of the bond uniting the admirers of Apollo 11, the brotherhood of
values. The hippies, too, have a brotherhood, but of a different kind; it is the brotherhood of fear.
It is fear that drives them to seek the warmth, the protection, the safety of a herd. When they
speak of merging their selves into a greater whole, it is their fears that they hope to drown in the
undemanding waves of unfastidious human bodies. And what they hope to fish out of that pool is
the momentary illusion of an unearned personal significance.

But all discussions or arguments about the hippies are almost superfluous in the face of one
overwhelming fact—most of the hippies are drug addicts. Is that—

I will assume that your blame is directed at the hippies because this is a fact. I didn't create it. I
object to it, also.

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Is there any doubt that drug addiction is an escape from an unbearable inner state, from a reality
that one cannot deal with, from an atrophying mind one can never fully destroy? If Apollonian
reason were unnatural to man, and Dionysian intuition brought him closer to nature and truth, the
apostles of irrationality would not have to resort to drugs. Happy, self-confident men do not seek
to get stoned.

Drug addiction is the attempt to obliterate one's consciousness, the quest for a deliberately
induced insanity. As such, it is so obscene an evil that any doubt about the moral character of its
practitioners is itself an obscenity.

Such is the nature of the conflict of Apollo versus Dionysus.

You have all heard the old bromide to the effect that man has his eyes on the stars and his feet in
the mud. It is usually taken to mean that man's reason and his physical senses are the element
pulling him down to the mud, while his mystical, supra-rational emotions are the element that
lifts him to the stars.

This is the grimmest inversion of many in the course of mankind's history. But, last summer,
reality offered you a literal dramatization of the truth. It is man's irrational emotions that bring
him down to the mud; it is man's reason that lifts him to the stars.

Thank you.

ANNOUNCER: You've been listening to a special edition of the New American Gazette. Ayn
Rand was recorded at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston on November 9, 1969, by WGBH FM in
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MS113.0013 Transcript

The New American Gazette is produced for the Ford Hall Forum by Deborah Stavro. Postproduction engineer is Brian Sabo. Major funding for the New American Gazette is provided by
Digital Equipment Corporation.

The programs are produced in cooperation with the nation's eight presidential libraries, the
National Archives and Northeastern University. If you'd like a cassette of this program, send a
check for $12 to the Ford Hall Forum, 271 Huntington Avenue, Suite 240, Boston,
Massachusetts, 02115.

That’s the Ford Hall Forum, 271 Huntington Avenue, suite 240, Boston Massachusetts, 02115.

Join us again for the New American Gazette.


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