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Interview with Ken West
Episode 6120th November 2022 • The Secular Foxhole • Blair Schofield and Martin Lindeskog
00:00:00 00:34:52

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Author Ken West is our guest today. We discuss his high regard for Ayn Rand and her philosophy, and how it has enhanced his life and writing.

Call-to-Action: After you have listened to this episode, add your $0.02 (two cents) to the conversation, by joining (for free) The Secular Foxhole Town Hall. Feel free to introduce yourself to the other members, discuss the different episodes, give us constructive feedback, or check out the virtual room, Speakers' Corner, and step up on the digital soapbox. Welcome to our new place in cyberspace!

Show notes with links to articles, blog posts, products and services:

Episode 61 (34 minutes) was recorded at 1900 Central European Time, on November 11, 2022, with Ringr app.. Martin did the editing and post-production with the podcast maker, Alitu. The transcript is generated by Alitu.

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Transcripts

Blair:

Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

Blair:

Good evening to Martin.

Blair:

How are you, Martin?

Martin:

Thanks, I'm fine.

Martin:

Yourself there?

Blair:

I'm good.

Blair:

Listen, this is episode 61 of the Foxhole

Blair:

podcast, and today we have a great guest.

Blair:

Ken west focuses on how you can achieve a

Blair:

successful, balanced, and productive life.

Blair:

His writing covers two major themes how to

Blair:

preserve, protect, and defend freedom, and how to flourish in freedom.

Blair:

Ken is a former paratrooper who served in Vietnam and the author of seven books.

Blair:

Ken, how are you?

Ken:

I'm good.

Ken:

I'm good, Blair.

Ken:

Thank you.

Ken:

And it's nice to hear both of you, you and

Ken:

Martin.

Ken:

Thank you for having me in the secular

Ken:

foxhole.

Ken:

I appreciate it.

Ken:

Especially on Veterans Day.

Blair:

Yes, that's right.

Blair:

Today is Veterans Day.

Blair:

And that is wonderful.

Martin:

How do you commemorate that, Ken?

Ken:

Well, in the United States, I don't particularly commemorate it because I was in

Ken:

Vietnam many years ago.

Ken:

And I have a quick story.

Ken:

I was in a foxhole in Vietnam.

Ken:

And there's an old saying about there are no

Ken:

atheists in a foxhole.

Ken:

Well, that's not true.

Ken:

I remember being in a foxhole where I had a little free time and I was reading Iron the

Ken:

Objectivist, which my parents used to send to me in Vietnam.

Ken:

And Iron Rand's writing.

Ken:

I think it kept me sane, kept me alive in many

Ken:

ways because it kept my mind alive.

Martin:

Intellectual ammunition also?

Ken:

Oh, absolutely.

Ken:

And especially I was drafted.

Ken:

I didn't agree with the draft.

Ken:

However, I had a choice to make whether to go

Ken:

to jail, run after Canada, or bite the bullet and just let myself be drafted.

Ken:

So I was drafted, and I learned a lot by that.

Blair:

Okay. Yeah, I was too young and then too old.

Blair:

Too young to be involved in the war.

Blair:

And then I guess when it finally was ended by

Blair:

Nixon, more or less into it, I didn't have to worry about the selective service or anything

Blair:

like that.

Ken:

Well, that's good.

Ken:

You're fortunate because the draft iran had a

Ken:

lot to say about the draft, and she did.

Ken:

And I'll talk about my books later, but one of

Ken:

the books I wrote recently is more of a booklet called Mandatory National Service a

Ken:

Threat to Liberty.

Ken:

And it deals with an extension of the draft

Ken:

that's been proposed where everybody, all men and women, are required to spend a year or two

Ken:

of service to the nation, no exceptions.

Blair:

Right.

Ken:

And even though right now that's not being talked about, as far as I know, I wrote

Ken:

the book just to help people prepare for such a thing and give them some intellectual

Ken:

ammunition to fight it.

Blair:

Right.

Blair:

Let me circle back quickly, Kent, to the rest

Blair:

of your bio.

Blair:

Actually, I forgot to mention that you

Blair:

currently publish a newsletter on LinkedIn called Write for Your Life.

Blair:

And you also write for the online publication Matrix Gazette.

Blair:

Not to be confused with the movies, I hope.

Ken:

No, I didn't come up with the name.

Ken:

The person that I work with on this

Ken:

publication who's a cartoonist, he came up with The Matrix, and I said, okay, we'll go

Ken:

with it.

Blair:

Okay. Now, actually check that out.

Blair:

There hasn't been that many recent articles,

Blair:

if I may, or did I miss something on The Matrix?

Ken:

Oh, there's been quite a few articles.

Blair:

Okay.

Ken:

Although we were in a hiatus for a while when one of our It person couldn't work

Ken:

anymore, so we ended up putting it on hold for a while.

Ken:

But I just recently wrote something called The Wave that wasn't, which is about politics.

Ken:

It's about the midterm election.

Ken:

And one of the things I've always been

Ken:

interested in is politics and political philosophy.

Ken:

And of course, Rand's work helped me develop my themes on that.

Blair:

Yes. Now, in the green room, we did talk about you wanted to mention specifically

Blair:

her influence on you and your writing.

Blair:

Could you go into that?

Ken:

Yeah, I'll be glad to.

Ken:

What's interesting is I've always been a

Ken:

reader.

Ken:

In fact, my heroes I think I would say most of

Ken:

my heroes have been writers, starting with Thomas Payne, the famous pamphleteer who wrote

Ken:

Common Sense.

Ken:

And then I discovered George Orwell, and I

Ken:

read 1984 and Animal Farm and then all his other novels, lesser known novels.

Ken:

And even though he was a socialist, he was an honest socialist.

Ken:

And 1984 was a wonderful expose of what happens under, I can't say it totalitarianism

Ken:

up until I discovered Rand, I thought, well, orwell I really appreciated his writing.

Ken:

And then one day I was in a public library, and I discovered Atlas Shrugged, and I

Ken:

happened to pick up a copy, and I started reading.

Ken:

And then a week or two later, I was finished with Atlas Shrugged, and it literally changed

Ken:

my life.

Ken:

And I know a lot of objectivists will say

Ken:

that, but it's true.

Ken:

What it did for me was it opened my eyes.

Ken:

I saw things differently.

Ken:

Just one quick example.

Ken:

I was going to Northeastern University, and I was under the Coop plan, which means you work

Ken:

half a year and you go to school half a year.

Ken:

One of my jobs was at a factory in downtown

Ken:

Boston, and I would have to take a bus every morning, bright and early, and I think it was

Ken:

during very early.

Ken:

So the sun was rising as I was going past the

Ken:

Boston Edison plant.

Ken:

I don't know if you're familiar with Boston,

Ken:

but they had all these smokestacks in the distance, and the sun was hitting them.

Ken:

And I looked at them a lot differently than other people.

Ken:

In fact, most people in the bus were either sleeping or not paying attention.

Ken:

But I'm looking at this incredible industrial site, and they said, wow.

Ken:

And of course, partly that was from Brands influence.

Ken:

She did a sense taught me to look at those things, pay attention to them.

Ken:

So after Atlas Shrugged, I finally read The Fountainhead.

Ken:

And then I read everything.

Ken:

And I subscribed to all her publications.

Ken:

And back when she did speeches at the Ford Hall Forum, I attended all of those.

Ken:

In fact, I had a two word conversation with Rand once.

Ken:

I have to tell this quick story.

Ken:

I was waiting to get into Northeastern

Ken:

Auditorium on the night that Iron Man was speaking.

Blair:

Okay.

Ken:

And the crowds were incredibly large.

Ken:

People from all over the world actually came

Ken:

to these lectures.

Blair:

Yes.

Ken:

And I was at a side door because I figured I could get in, make sure I get a seat

Ken:

in the auditorium as opposed to one of the outside rooms.

Ken:

So I'm standing there in line, waiting for the doors to open, and suddenly there's an

Ken:

entourage walking beside me, beside the line, and they stopped because the doors weren't

Ken:

open yet.

Ken:

So I turned, and right directly beside me was

Ken:

Iron Rand.

Blair:

Oh, my gosh.

Ken:

So I can imagine that we all have thought about what we say to Iron Rand.

Blair:

We could possibly oh, why? Yeah.

Ken:

So I'm looking at her for 1 second.

Ken:

She looked at me, and all I could say was, hi.

Ken:

I'm literally I feel so embarrassed for saying this, but that's all that came out of my

Ken:

mouth.

Ken:

And then Rand looked at me, and she said,

Ken:

hello.

Ken:

And then the next thing you know, the doors

Ken:

opened and Iron Rand and peak off, and the rest of our entourage went into the

Ken:

auditorium.

Ken:

But that was my two word conversation with

Ken:

Iran Rand, and.

Blair:

I'm sure that was enough to last a lifetime.

Blair:

Believe me, it was.

Ken:

But I wish I could have spoken to her longer.

Ken:

I did see her again when the Ford Hall form did a dinner for her, an honorary dinner for

Ken:

her, with her.

Ken:

She and her husband attended.

Ken:

It was a Boston it was at a Boston hotel.

Ken:

And Rand was one of their biggest straws, if

Ken:

not the biggest.

Ken:

So they appreciated the fact that she came

Ken:

there every year, and she really made the photo form into quite an event.

Ken:

So I was sitting, eating dinner, and Rand and her husband, who was a very distinguished

Ken:

looking man, was sitting at a table.

Ken:

And then I realized everybody had hardcover

Ken:

editions of Atlas Shrugs.

Ken:

And I'm thinking, Why are they doing this?

Ken:

And then I realized suddenly that they were going to get rand was going to have a book

Ken:

signing.

Blair:

Oh, my.

Ken:

So what did I do? I left the hotel, ran outside, ran across the

Ken:

street, almost got run over.

Ken:

This is on Boyleson Street in Boston.

Ken:

And at that time, they had still had bookstores, functioning bookstores.

Ken:

And I went in, found a paperback copy of Atlas.

Ken:

They didn't have a hardcover edition.

Ken:

I ran back, and finally, the line had already

Ken:

formed, and I finally got it signed by Iron Rand, and I still have that paper back.

Ken:

I wish I had had a hardcover addition because there'd be acid free paper, but whatever, it's

Ken:

there.

Ken:

And unlike my other copies of Atlas Shrugged,

Ken:

I don't write in that one, obviously.

Blair:

Yes. No.

Ken:

Beyond that, rand, of course, as with all of us, her ideas, her philosophy, her

Ken:

personality, everything about Rand.

Martin:

She.

Ken:

Influenced my life in every way.

Ken:

And I made a mistake.

Ken:

I've always wanted to be a writer.

Ken:

I made a mistake of trying to write like

Ken:

Heinrand, and it's always a big mistake to try to copy somebody else's.

Ken:

She is unique.

Ken:

So anyway, I want to start from it and let you

Ken:

well, I was.

Blair:

Just going to continue on theme of how she influenced you in writing.

Blair:

I mean, after your initial four way where you tried to copy her, what did you learn about

Blair:

that, and how did you self correct, if you will?

Ken:

Well, eventually I realized I couldn't.

Ken:

It was a mistake to write like her.

Ken:

It just sounded it sounded phony.

Ken:

It was me.

Ken:

But what I did realize is that I had enough knowledge, enough interest, that if I was

Ken:

willing to write something here's the real key about writing.

Ken:

A lot of people think that when they start writing, they have to be perfect right off the

Ken:

bat.

Ken:

It doesn't work that way.

Ken:

First draft is, you know, you don't just sit down and write a masterpiece.

Ken:

You start somewhere.

Ken:

And I think what finally got me to really

Ken:

write because here where I was, was a writer, but I wasn't writing enough.

Ken:

I ended up finding a book.

Ken:

This was not by Rand.

Ken:

The book called The Right to Write, and I mentioned it only because it was an important

Ken:

book.

Ken:

It's not by an objectivist.

Ken:

In fact, she probably but her suggestion in the book was to buy a journal, get a fountain

Ken:

pen, and write in it every day, every morning.

Ken:

And there's no wrong way to do it.

Ken:

You just start writing.

Ken:

I started doing that, and that was over 20

Ken:

years ago.

Ken:

And now I'm on journal number 89.

Blair:

Oh, my.

Ken:

Currently.

Ken:

And because every single day I have written

Ken:

something, and sometimes it's just whatever's on the top of my head, sometimes whatever it

Ken:

is, you strengthen your ability to write.

Ken:

Now, the way Rand influences me is her ideas,

Ken:

her philosophy.

Ken:

When I wrote Get What You Want, up until I

Ken:

read Rand, I didn't understand the idea of the primacy of consciousness and the primacy of

Ken:

existence.

Blair:

Okay.

Ken:

And the primacy I've noticed that well, let me backtrack it just a minute.

Ken:

I wrote At What You Want after I had been I had been summarily fired from a job many, many

Ken:

years ago, and that was in 2009, and I didn't know what to do at the time.

Ken:

The job market wasn't a good one.

Ken:

So I started putting together what my thoughts

Ken:

on basically, I started analyzing myself.

Ken:

So I created a process where you self analyze,

Ken:

and then you come up with a plan, find out what's really truly important to you, and then

Ken:

come up with a plan to achieve it and take action.

Ken:

Now, I mention this because at the time I don't know if you've read a lot of selfhelp

Ken:

books, but I have, and most of them come from a primacy of consciousness viewpoint.

Ken:

Whereas just positive thinking or just imagine there's nothing wrong with imagining things,

Ken:

but the real key is to find out what the reality is and base your decisions on reality.

Ken:

Reality of your own values, and the reality of what's available.

Ken:

So I think when I wrote Get What You Want, it's one of the few self help books that's

Ken:

written from a primacy of existence viewpoint, where nothing in this is wishful thinking.

Ken:

It's more, what do I want, why do I want it, and how am I going to get it, and what steps

Ken:

am I going to take to do it.

Ken:

And I've used this particular book, that

Ken:

process.

Ken:

I used it to actually publish the book, and

Ken:

that's how it came out.

Ken:

I used my own process that I was developing,

Ken:

said, I want to start writing books.

Ken:

And so that's how that came about.

Blair:

Well, that's great.

Ken:

And again, RAN's writing.

Ken:

Again, her writing always is.

Ken:

Her thoughts and her philosophy always are in the back of my mind.

Ken:

They're always behind.

Ken:

They're just in everything I do.

Blair:

Yes, I think most of us try to live like that, actually, but we obviously use our

Blair:

own interpretation of that, or as much as we can.

Blair:

Correct, because we are individuals.

Blair:

I don't denigrate myself because I don't have

Blair:

orange hair, which has happened.

Ken:

Let's hope not.

Blair:

I know that happened yesterday, those kinds of strange things.

Ken:

What helped my writing process also is after that, I had attended an objectivist

Ken:

conference, and during that conference, Richard Salzman to say he's one of the

Ken:

speakers.

Ken:

So I ended up he was running an association,

Ken:

the association of Objectivists Businessmen, and he was also the writer for their AOB News.

Ken:

And I saw him, and I thought to myself, I'm not the most outgoing person in the world, but

Ken:

I thought, Let me just go talk to him and say I enjoyed his lecture, which is what I did.

Ken:

So he started talking to me, and I found out that he lived in the next town over for me.

Ken:

I lived in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Ken:

He lived in another adjoining town.

Ken:

And I told him at that time I was the president of the New England speakers

Ken:

association.

Ken:

I may be an introvert, but I learned that

Ken:

introverts can be great speakers if they want to be nice.

Ken:

So after speaking with him for a while, he called me a few days later and asked me if I'd

Ken:

be interested in taking over AOB and the publication.

Ken:

So that's what happened.

Ken:

So once I took it over, I discovered that I

Ken:

could not write like Richard Salzman.

Ken:

And there's the beginning trying to copy

Ken:

somebody else's method, or doesn't work that way.

Blair:

Right.

Ken:

But Richard had back then, they didn't have email, and well, there was email, but it

Ken:

was mostly people would actually send letters by stalemail.

Ken:

He had a whole file of letters people had sent him that he didn't really have time to respond

Ken:

to.

Ken:

And I started reading them, and I read how

Ken:

people were speaking at various events, speaking out against rent control or zoning

Ken:

ordinances, people who had written a letter to the editor that was published in one of the

Ken:

local newspapers.

Ken:

And I looked at that material and I said, now

Ken:

that if we're going to have a newsletter, why don't I start getting some of this material

Ken:

into the newsletter? So I ended up calling every one of those

Ken:

writers who I wanted to, I thought was worthy of being in there, and asked them if they

Ken:

would let me publish either what they wrote or the news about what they did.

Ken:

Their activism, surprisingly, nobody refused.

Ken:

Everybody was very keen on doing that.

Blair:

So nice.

Ken:

So I think the one thing I did with the newsletter was get it out on time and increase

Ken:

the size of it, because newsletters really should have news in them.

Ken:

So I focused on the news aspect, what was going on, and I discovered that the writers

Ken:

that I published in AOB News were people who were applying objectivism in their life.

Ken:

A lot of times it was politically, but not always.

Ken:

Sometimes it was just somebody who changed their jobs based on realizing what they

Ken:

really, truly wanted to do.

Ken:

And it was all about application of Rand's

Ken:

philosophy.

Ken:

And that's what I focused on in AOB News.

Blair:

Great.

Ken:

The one problem there was, I was also the president of the association of Objective as

Ken:

Businessman, and I'm more of a writer than a businessman, at least at the time.

Ken:

That's what I thought.

Ken:

So eventually, the running of the association

Ken:

was taken over by a guy named Peter Murphy, who I believe now works for Richard Salzman.

Ken:

And I focused entirely on the newsletter.

Ken:

And eventually I got it up to, I was telling

Ken:

Martin earlier, up to 28 pages.

Ken:

This was a print publication.

Ken:

It wasn't online.

Ken:

And I can remember going to the post office

Ken:

with carts full of newsletters having the mail, they see me coming, and they kind of

Ken:

made space for me.

Ken:

Anyway, what ended up happening with AOB News

Ken:

is, as the editor of the publication, I usually had to write an opening piece or a

Ken:

lead article, which I did and I enjoyed doing, and especially regarding politics, this was

Ken:

back when Clinton was president.

Ken:

There was plenty to write about.

Blair:

I was going to say, that's great.

Blair:

That's great, Ken.

Blair:

The purpose of having you on, though, was to have people hear about you and let them learn

Blair:

about you.

Blair:

We want to have you back next year for your

Blair:

latest book called Your ego.

Blair:

It's your salvation, not your original sin,

Blair:

which is very much the crux of the issue, isn't it?

Ken:

It is, in fact, ego has a bad rap.

Ken:

Most of the modern literature on ego is that

Ken:

ego is not your real self.

Ken:

Somehow, ego is just something you have to

Ken:

deny or squash down.

Ken:

Nothing could be further than the truth.

Ken:

Your ego is yourself.

Ken:

This is how you it's your whole conception of

Ken:

yourself and what makes you an individual.

Ken:

In fact, Rand and both Ludicrous and Rand both

Ken:

had great quotes on what an ego is.

Ken:

And it's more about egoism than just ego, but

Ken:

ego.

Ken:

The basic premise of this book is that if you

Ken:

want to achieve anything in life, you have to at least develop as much as possible a strong

Ken:

and healthy ego.

Ken:

A strong, healthy ego, in my own estimation.

Ken:

But I figured, okay, what is the real key to developing an ego?

Ken:

And partly it is understanding what it is and taking action.

Blair:

Yes.

Ken:

In fact, I have a quote here at the beginning of the book saying no matter what a

Ken:

man was and what he may become later in the very act of choosing and acting, he is an ego.

Ken:

That was Ludwig von Mises.

Blair:

Okay?

Ken:

So I think the purpose of that book was to kind of rescue the idea of ego and let

Ken:

people know that you need a strong, healthy ego.

Ken:

As opposed to what I would call an inflated or phony ego.

Blair:

Right.

Blair:

Phony sense itself or something like that.

Blair:

I've always been attracted to Ms. Rams.

Blair:

Your ego is your conscious mind.

Blair:

So it is yourself.

Blair:

It's your consciousness.

Ken:

It is.

Blair:

And for me, that just blew all the cobwebs out and just, oh, wait a minute.

Blair:

That's what this that is a great.

Ken:

That'S the value of rent.

Ken:

She could blow away the cobwebs quite

Ken:

effectively.

Ken:

And that's the wonderful thing about I'm Rand.

Blair:

You know, although our podcast is one of many in the Objectivist world, sadly,

Blair:

Objectivism itself still has barely a toehold in the culture.

Blair:

I mean, I guess we're gaining in a certain sense because millions and millions of people

Blair:

have read her.

Blair:

But that's it.

Blair:

They'll read the novels, and those were great, but they don't only like one in a million.

Blair:

Go look at her ideas behind it.

Ken:

Well, that could be true.

Ken:

Blair.

Ken:

I have a slightly different take on that because a lot of people living I'll give you

Ken:

one quick example.

Ken:

The company I work for now, part time, the

Ken:

former chairman and founder of the company she was founded in 1984, and she was in New York

Ken:

City, in Manhattan, and she found a copy of Atlas Shrugged and read it somehow she could

Ken:

not put it down.

Ken:

She didn't sleep.

Ken:

She just read it.

Ken:

And as soon as she finished that book, she

Ken:

started her company.

Blair:

Wow.

Ken:

I think perhaps I mean, Dagney Tagget alone is such a great role model.

Ken:

I remember hearing a Boston broadcaster one time on the table of television, mentioned

Ken:

that the image of Dagny tagged the character of Dagny Tagget, gave her the courage to

Ken:

pursue her career in broadcasting.

Ken:

So I don't know if you remember Trump, when

Ken:

Trump had his Secretary of State who ended up getting ended up leaving probably couldn't

Ken:

stand with Trump.

Ken:

His favorite book, he had said, was Atlas

Ken:

Shrugged.

Ken:

So there's a hidden there's an underground

Ken:

yes, there is.

Ken:

Of individuals who are living their life and

Ken:

they're motivated by Rand's ideas, but it doesn't mean they're all involved in

Ken:

politically or, you know, the politics is the last thing we're going to see.

Blair:

Right, true.

Ken:

And aesthetically, when you look at yes, there's horror shows up there, but look at

Ken:

some of the objective art, the wonderful art that's coming out of a guy named John Wasps.

Ken:

I don't know if you familiar with him.

Ken:

And there's some incredible cut error art.

Martin:

Gallery.

Blair:

That's true.

Ken:

And then also look at all the conferences going on.

Ken:

There's Craig Biddles.

Ken:

There's Craig Biddles.

Ken:

Concerts, the Ironman Institute.

Ken:

Conferences, the Atlas Society.

Ken:

There are so many, and it's too bad they can't it's too bad.

Blair:

Buying forces.

Ken:

I know.

Blair:

Well, you're right, though.

Blair:

There are some currents going the positive

Blair:

way.

Blair:

Yes, that's true.

Ken:

Yeah, I certainly believe so.

Ken:

And it doesn't I think, in fact, if Rand was

Ken:

still alive, she would probably be you know, she was a great reader of the news.

Ken:

She read everything, including The New Yorker, the New York Times, and she got a lot of her

Ken:

material from reading the understanding, the reality of the political climate at the time

Ken:

and the cultural climate.

Blair:

Yes.

Ken:

You may not realize this.

Ken:

One of the popular authors today, I think he's

Ken:

now gone.

Ken:

I mean, he's still writing Dean Kuhnz.

Ken:

Of course, he writes semi horror stories, but he writes hundreds of books.

Ken:

Well, I read something that he wrote many, many years ago, saying that Rand was one of

Ken:

the great thinkers and at some point in the future, her ideas are going to make a

Ken:

tremendous difference.

Ken:

So I thought that was interesting to read from

Ken:

just this popular author.

Blair:

Yeah, that is good.

Blair:

I've not known that.

Martin:

And that could maybe be for next time, also ending here and what you are doing right

Martin:

now in business.

Martin:

And also you see the potential with this

Martin:

association of objective businessman, maybe in a new format, a new version and a development,

Martin:

and you see lots of entrepreneurs, but even at the question but Randy's inspiration, it's

Martin:

reading it's on the bookshelf.

Martin:

So, for example, like a podcast like

Martin:

Entrepreneurs on Fire, I think they have a top list of books.

Martin:

And when I did a search fair, it was plenty of guest there that recommended brand books.

Ken:

Yes. And you, Martin, are doing a tremendous job with Lyceum, and I think you're

Ken:

on the forefront of this.

Martin:

Yeah, it was by my friend Jerry and others.

Martin:

And I started the magazine, and we had it at a big book fair in Gotenburg.

Martin:

But then the Internet came along also, and that's what I say now.

Martin:

It's easier to find.

Martin:

It could be a jungle out there, but easier.

Martin:

But, yeah, you do it in different ways in division of labor.

Martin:

And here I could find it now with the podcasting.

Martin:

In the podcast.

Ken:

What's wonderful about the Internet is I was speaking to you before the show is that if

Ken:

you want to publish a book, self publishing now is probably extremely easy, relatively

Ken:

speaking.

Ken:

What's difficult is writing a book, having a

Ken:

clear idea of who your audience is, and writing a book that people will want to read

Ken:

and pay for.

Ken:

So, of the seven books I have out, some of

Ken:

them are doing well, others are just sitting there.

Ken:

But the physical act of publishing them as a self publisher is relatively simple.

Ken:

In fact, I've written some articles about that that are available on that newsletter that you

Ken:

mentioned, the LinkedIn Right for Your Life newsletter.

Ken:

I have devoted that to how do you write more, how do you publish what you write, and how do

Ken:

you monetize what you write? And that's my focus on that newsletter.

Ken:

And I encourage anybody.

Ken:

The newsletter is free.

Ken:

Please take a look at it if you're on LinkedIn.

Blair:

All right?

Ken:

And as far as The Matrix Gazette, that's more of a political and social commentary, and

Ken:

it's a mixed bag.

Ken:

But I think I enjoy writing about politics.

Ken:

In fact, again, I bring at the back of my mind and everything I write is the idea of how do

Ken:

we encourage freedom? How do we get people to realize the danger of

Ken:

big government? Of course, we see it all the time now.

Blair:

Not only that, but the unity of big business and big government.

Ken:

Yes, and it's funny.

Ken:

In Atlas Shrugged, of course, rand showed

Ken:

quite clearly the difference between the business people who were government, who

Ken:

basically made the backroom deals.

Blair:

Cronies.

Ken:

The capitalist cronies, as opposed to the hack Reardon and others.

Ken:

Almost all, when you think about business heroes.

Ken:

In fact, I think it was Jobs and Musk and various others.

Ken:

Almost all of them have been motivated by Rand.

Ken:

When they give a summary of what books have motivated or have made the most impact on

Ken:

their life, an incredible number of entrepreneurs have mentioned Atlas Shrugged

Ken:

and The Fountainhead.

Ken:

So her influence is there, and we can feel it

Ken:

even today with the secular Foxhole.

Ken:

You have a wonderful broadcast here.

Ken:

You've had some incredible guests.

Blair:

Thank you.

Ken:

And I'm glad you're doing it.

Blair:

So are we.

Blair:

But speaking of that, I do have some previous

Blair:

engagements that I do have to prepare for.

Blair:

Understood.

Blair:

But it was today's guest.

Blair:

The ladies and gentlemen, has been Ken West,

Blair:

author, businessman, and objectivist.

Blair:

Ken, thanks for landing the Foxhole with us

Blair:

today.

Ken:

You're welcome.

Ken:

It's been a pleasure.

Ken:

Blair.

Ken:

Thank you.

Ken:

And thank you, Martin.

Martin:

Thanks. And I will do a cliffhanger here.

Martin:

So for next time, what would you bring to the foxhole?

Martin:

Very short when Ken objectivist.

Ken:

Okay.

Blair:

All right, gentlemen, thank you very much.

Blair:

And thank you very much.

Blair:

We look forward to having you.

Blair:

Hopefully in January you can.

Martin:

Yeah.

Ken:

Thank you, Blair.

Ken:

I look forward to that.

Blair:

All right, bye bye.

Ken:

Bye bye for now.