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Saturday, March 31, 2012

• • • No ‘objectivity’ here 
Robert B. Simpson, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Personal life  |Inaccurate  | Chalk it up to my general out-of-the-loopness. But when I first began to hear that some prominent lawmakers were enamored of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of “objectivism,” I really thought it was a joke. After several months of seeing and hearing brief references to this strange phenomenon, I learned to my horror that it was no laughing matter. And I’m certainly not laughing.

• • “Read Ayn Rand” is world’s biggest message 
Angel Clark, The Examiner Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  | Nick Newcomen has written the words largest message in this way, telling people to “Read Ayn Rand”. As Atlas Shrugged the movie part 2 is about to hit the theaters this is relevant yet again.

• • The Unseen Message of The Hunger Games 
William Ward, American Thinker Capitalism  |Individualism  | When I learned that my teenage sons -- macho young lads, to be sure -- were suddenly captivated by a book series featuring a 16-year-old female protagonist, I was intrigued, to say the least -- intrigued enough to read the books myself. As I progressed through the story, I found myself checking and re-checking the cover several times to make sure the author wasn’t Ayn Rand.

• • The Court’s Mock Examination of Obamacare 
Edward Cline, Family Security Matters Atlas Shrugged  |Individual Rights  |Objectivist author  | In Ayn Rand’s prophetic novel, Atlas Shrugged, Narragansett is a judge who has withdrawn his wisdom from the world in protest of the kind of “wisdom” exhibited by the Supreme Court. What he would actually be writing is an amendment. Doubtless he would have included the private realm of health insurance. It would have been a no-brainer.

• • The Filtered Excellence: March 29, 2012 
The Interrobang Atlas Shrugged  | Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged. We’re planning to check out this independently produced, behind the scenes story of the writing of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Partly biographical in nature, the documentary also examines the life of Rand and what led the novelist, playwright, and founder of the philosophy of “Objectivism,” to write the book. The documentary explores the public’s recurring fascination regarding the epic and controversial 1957 work, and in addition, highlights the predictions for our country foretold by Rand- how accurate are they in today’s world? Regardless of what side of Rand’s political line you fall on, it should be an interesting watch.

• • • Ayn Rand: Sovietologist 
Steven Horwitz, The Freeman Atlas Shrugged  |We The Living  | [We the Living] is a semiautobiographical story set in Russia just after the revolution of 1917. The particulars of the plot are not as interesting in this context as the level of detail Rand provides about life in the Soviet Union in the early years of communist rule. I recently reread it for the first time in 20 or 25 years and was struck by the sophistication of Rand’s analysis of the Soviet economy in practice. Unlike most contemporary western observers, she had first-hand knowledge of the terrible conditions and the reality of Soviet power.

• • Ayn Rand’s Don Watkins on Finding a Way Out of the Entitlement Tarpit 
Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network Ayn Rand Institute  |Capitalism  |Don Watkins  |Audio  | Don Watkins and I discuss the unsustainable state of America’s Entitlement Society. It is clear that the system is going to collapse; we are certainly at the height of corruption when half the population is allowed to live at the expense of the other half. The geometric growth in entitlement programs and expenditures is also mathematically unsustainable. Therefore, people need to be educated about entitlements, which actually make society more poor and ensure a lower standard of living for everyone.

• • Book review: 'Lives of the Novelists' by John Sutherland 
Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times Inaccurate  | Every entry in “Lives of the Novelists” is written by just one person, British critic John Sutherland, so the book has an internal continuity that makes it read like history, not an encyclopedia. And Sutherland’s writing is just plain delightful. [....] Ian Fleming started out as a dismally bad stockbroker until “lucky for him, and unluckily for the world, war broke out and he was promptly recruited into naval intelligence.” And there’s this one-two punch: “If there were an award for the most influential bad novelist in literary history, Ayn Rand would be a contender. A woman of ferocious competitive instinct, she would be furious if she did not also win that award.”

• • Individualism and the Individual Mandate: Two Incompatible Concepts 
Brad Miller, United Liberty Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  | Ayn Rand wrote in her awesome essay, Textbook of Americanisms, that “Individualism holds that man has unalienable rights which can not be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group or collective of men. Therefore each man exists for his own sake and not for the sake of the group.”

• • • The Jewish strike 
Abe Novick, Jerusalem Post - Brand of the Jews Atlas Shrugged  |Leonard Peikoff  | In her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”, Ayn Rand has societies most creative and productive citizens go on strike. In fact, the working title for the novel was “The Strike.” I know it sounds crazy, but just imagine, what if it were to happen? What if not just every Israeli, but every Jew in the world went on strike? What if every doctor decided to not see patients? What if every scientist, stopped experimenting and making new discoveries?

 ‘Hunger Games’ may unite divided country 
Bill Knight, Canton Daily Ledger (IL) Capitalism  | “The Hunger Games” is a mashup movie that could appeal to fans of Noam Chomsky and Ayn Rand alike, and a Baylor University professor sees it as “a perfect tale of apprehension for our time” of financial upheaval and bleak job prospects.

 There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Liberty 
Jeffrey Tucker, Daily Reckoning Capitalism  | Written by Morris and Linda Tannehill after intensive study of the writings of Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard, [The Market for Liberty] has the pace, energy and rigor you would expect from an evening’s discussion with these two giants.

• • A Judicial War on Democracy 
Robert Parry, Consortium News Capitalism  |Personal life  |Inaccurate  | “We’ve obligated ourselves so that people get health care,” [U.S. Solicitor General Donald B.] Verrilli said, drawing a riposte from [Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia: “Well, don’t obligate yourself to that.” In other words, what the world saw over those three days was the intrusion of five right-wing justices into the democratic process on behalf of an Ayn Rand-style “free-market” capitalism which says that lesser people – or at least those with lesser money – should be allowed to die untreated and that the people through their representatives in Congress shouldn’t be allowed to do anything about it. It might be noted here that when “free-market” champion Ayn Rand contracted lung cancer, she snuck into the Medicare system, using a revised spelling of her first name and her husband’s last name, to get government-paid-for medical care.

• • • Taking Tea with Ayn Rand 
Daniel Luzer, Columbia Journalism Review - Page Views Alan Greenspan  |Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Nathaniel Branden  |Yaron Brook  |Image  | Book review: Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, by Gary Weiss.We’ve certainly seen a lot of signs at rallies, but how much does this movement really matter? Understandably Weiss spends a great number of pages on Alan Greenspan, who makes up a serious portion of Weiss’s proof of Objectivists’ influence. The man’s life makes a good story, but the extent to which he functioned as an agent of Randian ideology is difficult to determine. Greenspan helped advocate for limited government intervention in policies that helped rich people. Rand loved rich people. Ergo, Greenspan’s vast power helped to put Rand’s principles into practice. But this is too simple an explanation. Last year, Ayn Rand Institute president Yaron Brook apparently said that Rand “would have never advocated for the kind of policies Greenspan instituted. By holding interest rates for two-and-a-half years below the rate of inflation, [Greenspan] encouraged the debt and credit boom we’re suffering the consequence of” today. Greenspan, “betrayed” Rand’s teachings, Brook complained, in his efforts to encourage economic growth in the aftermath of 9/11. Beyond this, Greenspan is so obviously an exceptional figure in the movement. He may have been an Objectivist with power, but most Objectivists, it seems, are people who live in dank basements and chain-smoke Merits and work at places like Office Depot.

• • The 2012 TIME 100 Poll: Ken Levine 
Time BioShock  |Capitalism  |Egoism  | In 2007, Levine gave us BioShock, a dystopian game that folded Ayn Rand, psychological egoism and laissez-faire capitalism into a mind-bending first-person shooter.

• • Paul Ryan budget seeks Ayn Rand’s America 
Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jay Bookman Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  | The U.S. House passed Paul Ryan’s proposed budget this week, a budget that slashes almost every conceivable program that protects the vulnerable among us — Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, college loans, education support, etc. — in order to finance large tax cuts for the wealthy. The country that such a budget document would produce would be a cold and callous place, a description that an Ayn Rand acolyte such as Ryan would probably embrace as praise.

• • Marketplace of Ideas: The Purpose of Government 
Craig Biddle, Gulf Coast Business Review (FL) Individual Rights  |Objectivist author  | The proper purpose of government is, as the Founding Fathers recognized, to protect people’s inalienable rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. Government fulfills this vital function, as Ayn Rand put it, by banning the use of physical force from social relationships and by using force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.

• • Libertarianism for Your Teen 
Lee Bailey, Huffington Post Capitalism  | Every morning Justin, Natasha, and I piled into her car [...], and made the hour-long journey from our outlying suburb to a small office building beside one of Houston’s innumerable elevated freeways. There, we worked our way through modules on the gold standard and the fallacy of minimum wage, and read foundational texts of libertarianism like Frederic Bastiat’s The Law, Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action, and Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. (I tried and failed to get through Murray Rothbard’s endless Man, Economy and State, while the salacious writings of Ayn Rand were more for weekend recreational reading.)

• • The poor among you 
Ken Camp, Baptist Standard (Plano, TX) Egoism  |Individualism  | “Some continue to blame the poor for their own harsh realities and point to the rugged individualism of ‘my grandpa, who brought himself up without any help,’” [Jimmy Dorrell] said. That attitude finds its most extreme expression in the libertarian views advanced by mid-20th century writer Ayn Rand, who believed each person should pursue his or her own self-interests, not sacrifice for others, [Ron] Sider noted in an interview. “It’s astonishing to me that any Christian would embrace a philosophy that says we have no responsibility for our neighbors,” he said.

 Feral brings BioShock 2 to Macs 
MacNN BioShock  | Feral Interactive has released a Mac port of BioShock 2, an action-RPG originally developed by 2K Games and Digital Extremes. As in the original Windows and console games, the main story has players assume the role of a Big Daddy in Rapture about 10 years after the conclusion of the first BioShock. Whereas that game dealt with an objectivist threat, the second one has players facing off against a collectivist cult threatening the player’s Little Sister.

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