Mark Pellegrino: from environmentalist to capitalist

In the podcast, Mark talks about:

  • Being registered as a Democrat until he started his own political party.
  • The curriculum in state schools in the 70s — environmentalism, gun control, nuclear power — led Mark to become an environmentalist.
  • Writing to the Secretary of the Interior when he was fifteen or sixteen because of his concerns about the environment but ignoring the impact study he was sent in response.
  • His mom was a liberal.
  • He was guided by sympathy and concern, so if someone wasn’t concerned about the environment, it would have indicated an evil mindset.
  • Being shocked during conversations about resources with his objectivist friend in theatre school.
  • Mark was exposed to conservative ideas by his mentor at theatre school and found the ideas to be more grounded in reason.
  • Thomas Sowell’s profound observations influenced him.
  • The left focusses on one particular aspect of a problem.
  • Mark didn’t ‘admit’ he had conservative sympathies until recently.
  • After reading Rand, the way he looked at the world changed. He felt a sense of joy, seeing a road through a mountain range.
  • Mark only knew one objectivist, so he became the influencer, offering his students alternative world views.
  • It bothers Mark that he’s bothered by having different ideas from his peers. It’s hard to go against the grain, particularly when people are abusive and cruel — cancel culture is stressful, but he can’t give in. The more he’s attacked, the more he digs in and punches back.
  • We’re at a crossroads right now with mass sentiment towards statism. It’s lonely being a lone voice in Hollywood.
  • Mark finds people in Hollywood are receptive one on one, even those with preconceived notions about objectivism.
  • It surprises people when they’re introduced to the objectivist way of thinking and articulating a problem, but some people are less inclined to ignore social pressure.
  • Mark’s strongest memory of encountering Ayn Rand is crying after finishing The Fountainhead. He found it disturbing because he saw bits of himself in both Keating and Roarke and didn’t know how to bridge the gap.
  • He found Roarke cold and isolated on a first read, but the second time he saw him as the only one capable of love.
  • Mark felt a change in the way he looked at the world, even if he didn’t articulate it in terms of rational egoism at the time.
  • Mark’s theatre company encouraged reading. He read a lot of different things.
  • Inward searching, journaling, imagination work, and therapy.
  • Mark tries to test his own ideas as much as challenge the other person when he disagrees with someone on social media. He doesn’t get upset because he is looking for the truth.
  • However, he is intense with some people — if they’re rude or crass, he has no mercy. He likes beating up bullies but knows he doesn’t always come out well in the eyes of observers, and it becomes part of the narrative against him.
  • Mark’s follower count on Twitter has been going down for two months.
  • The media portrays the pro-freedom movement as redneck Neanderthals, making people look anti-intellectual.