You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Excerpt of Ayn Rand’s testimony before HUAC, October 20, 1947

 

McDowell: That is a great change from the Russians I have always known, and I have known a lot of them. Don't they do things at all like Americans? Don't they walk across town to visit their mother-in-law or somebody?

Rand: Look, it is very hard to explain. It is almost impossible to convey to a free people what it is like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship. I can tell you a lot of details. I can never completely convince you, because you are free. It is in a way good that you can't even conceive of what it is like. Certainly they have friends and mothers-in-law. They try to live a human life, but you understand it is totally inhuman. Try to imagine what it is like if you are in constant terror from morning till night and at night you are waiting for the doorbell to ring, where you are afraid of anything and everybody, living in a country where human life is nothing, less than nothing, and you know it. You don't know who or when is going to do what to you because you may have friends who spy on you, where there is no law and any rights of any kind.

McDowell: You came here in 1926, I believe you said. Did you escape from Russia?

Rand: No.

McDowell: Did you have a passport?

Rand: No. Strangely enough, they gave me a passport to come out here as a visitor.

McDowell: As a visitor?

Rand: It was at a time when they relaxed their orders a little bit. Quite a few people got out. I had some relatives here and I was permitted to come here for a year. I never went back.

Details
Wikisource. “Ayn Rand’s testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities, October 20, 1947.” Last modified December 1, 2009. Accessed March 5, 2012. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand%27s_testimony_before_the_House_of...
Description
An excerpt from the transcript of Ayn Rand's interview with Mr. Robert E. Stripling, Chief Investigator of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
Date / time
October 20, 1947
Publication
Wikisources
Date published
December 1, 2009

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Excerpt of Ayn Rand’s testimony before HUAC, October 20, 1947." (Viewed on November 26, 2014) <http://jwa.org/media/excerpt-of-ayn-rand-s-testimony-before-huac-october-20-1947>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs