To Karen Brady, a fan [Letter 516]

Item Reference Code: 038_05x_010_001

Date(s) of creation

December 28, 1963


Karen Brady


December 28, 1963

Miss Karen Brady
Rt. 2, Box 2535
Gig Harbor, Washington, 98335

Dear Miss Brady:

Thank you for your letter of November 17. I am pleased that you liked my books and that you found my philosophy helpful.

I hope that you will continue to develop your knowledge and your interest in ideas.

As to your questions, I will answer them briefly. I cannot undertake lengthy philosophical discussions by mail.

1) “The Night of January 16th” and “Red Pawn” have not been published and are not available.

2) I do not know much about the Unitarians, but I gather that they do not have any specific, clearly defined philosophy. Objectivism is incompatible with any form of mysticism or religion. This does not mean that Objectivists would legally forbid people to hold any beliefs they choose. It means only that if one wants to accept the philosophy of Objectivism, one cannot accept a mystical belief at the same time.

3) In regard to the question of how you should deal with people who disagree with you, I can only suggest the following general principle: you do not have to argue with people who do not care to discuss an issue; it is sufficient simply to state that you do not agree with them. If they insist on knowing your viewpoint, they cannot accuse you of being rude—provided, of course, that you present your viewpoint clearly, calmly and politely. The way to do this is to discuss the subject, without personal remarks or personal accusations.

4) No, I do not agree with the John Birch Society. I regard their policy as futile. Our first concern should be to do all we can to establish full, laissez-faire capitalism—and not merely to fight communism.

5) No, there is no music that corresponds to Richard Halley’s Concerto or to “The Song of Broken Glass.”[*] These are my own fictional conceptions.

I am returning one of the two stamps you sent me.



Ayn Rand



*For a discussion of this song and other music in We the Living, see the chapter “Music of We the Living” by Michael Berliner in Mayhew, ed., Essays on Ayn Rand’s “We the Living.”