John Chiles was one of the Westinghouse executives convicted in 1961 of price fixing. His activities were defended by AR in “America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business” (reprinted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal).
36 East 36th Street
New York, New York
March 31, 1962
Mrs. John H. Chiles, Jr.
267 Forker Blvd.
Dear Mrs. Chiles:
Thank you for your wonderful letter. Please accept my deepest admiration for the spirit and courage that it projected.
If my lecture on “America’s Persecuted Minority” made Mr. Chiles feel better about today’s situation, if only for a moment—I consider myself well rewarded. He and his six fellow-martyrs are the symbol of the battle I am fighting—and to the extent to which I have a public voice, I will continue calling this country’s attention to the worst injustice in its history.
I am sorry that I quoted the kind of contemptible distortion which Time magazine permits itself, namely the sentence about “bowed his head.” Thank you for correcting me. Strangely enough, I was suspicious about that sentence and I omitted it on both occasions when I gave the lecture verbally (and thus it was omitted from the radio broadcasts of my lecture). I included it in the printed version only in order to avoid the use of dots which could suggest that I had cut something relevant. However, I do not want to give further circulation to such a bit of yellow journalism, so I will omit it from the next printing of the lecture.
I am sorry that I cannot send you a transcript of “The Great Challenge”—but I want you to know that the biggest burst of applause in the entire show
came from the studio audience when I said that sending businessmen to jail was an example of rule by brute force.[*]
I was happy to learn that you liked “Atlas Shrugged.” You are the kind of reader I hoped it would reach. Thank you for giving copies of it to others. I must tell you (not as a boast, but as a cultural symptom) that it is selling extremely well and is approaching the million copies mark, in the combined hardcover and paperback editions. It will do its part to help counteract the kind of disgusting ideas expressed in the clipping you sent me. It took decades of collectivist philosophy to bring this country to its present state. And it is only the right philosophy that can save us. Ideas take time to spread, but we will not have to wait for decades—because reason and reality are on our side.
Please thank Mr. Chiles for me for the very nice letter he wrote me—and please convey to him my deepest admiration.
*“The Great Challenge” was a one-hour television panel discussion aired nationally on CBS in prime time on March 1, 1962, in which Ayn Rand and four other well-known guests discussed aspects of the topic “America’s Continuing Revolution.”