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Friday, February 01, 2013

• • Public Schools Are Black Holes, Don’t Drop Your Child into One 
,
Egoism  | Our prior learning has the dual nature of both informing and constraining our inquiries. Heisenberg’s "uncertainty principle" reminds us that the observer is the observed; that what we see is filtered through the lenses of what we have seen previously; that our prior experiences provide the categories and other concepts with which we define the present. This is why – contrary to the faith of the Objectivists – we can never be certain that what we know and observe comports with "reality." That our learning may, in fact, be identical with "reality" does not overcome the inherent and inevitable character of the subjective nature of what we know. Such an awareness compels us to refine the Cartesian proposition "I think, therefore I am," into "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am."

Thursday, November 01, 2012

• • • Atlas Shrugged II Review 
,
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Jane and I went to see "Atlas Shrugged II" the other evening. It was terrible! The Dagny and Rearden characters had none of the quality of Rand's people — or even of those in "A.S. I." As Jane said, Dagny looked more like Dagny's mother than did the "A.S.I." Dagny. She reminded me more of Hillary Clinton. In contrast with Rand's Dagny, in this film version she had more of a look of worry than resolve.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

 Why They Ignore Ron 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | Did Pravda ever provide reviews of Atlas Shrugged?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

 Lest we forget 
,
Ayn Rand Institute  | Condemning an entire religion for the actions of a handful of its members – particularly when the 9/11 attacks were driven by political rather than religious considerations – is a form of the collectivist thinking of which Jung warned. How far might such shrieking reaction extend? Would a modern businessman properly be criticized for his plans to build a sushi restaurant near Pearl Harbor? Should the Ayn Rand Institute be charged with “insensitivity” to the religious feelings of Mormons were it to establish a facility in Salt Lake City?

Friday, May 14, 2010

 The myth that justice is blind! 
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"Law," as something created and enforced by the state, is a product of nothing more than the preferences of those who control the machinery of the state. There is no more objectively-discovered validity to such a body of rules than there was in Ayn Rand’s preference for the music of Rachmaninoff over Stockhausen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

 The case for Ebeneezer 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | Like Ayn Rand's sniveling bureaucrat, Wesley Mouch, the name "Ebeneezer Scrooge" is designed to evoke prejudice and animosity in the mind of the reader, so that people will be predisposed to support any case against the man, no matter how ill-founded.

Monday, September 28, 2009

• • The common good = collectivism 
,
Even acts of charity are driven by a desire to satisfy some inner need which, to outsiders with contrary preferences, appear to be acts of self-sacrifice. Such thinking amounts to little more than this: "I wouldn’t have done what he just did, therefore, he is being altruistic." The idea of altruism is grounded in the belief that values have an objective quality to them, a bit of nonsense perpetuated by Ayn Rand.

Friday, August 01, 2008

 The arrogance of Greenspan 
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A long-time friend and devotee of Ayn Rand, [Alan Greenspan] doubtless remains convinced that both the physical and moral dimensions of existence can be known "objectively." To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, my last act upon the gallows will be to insist upon the subjective nature of all human understanding.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

 Sy Leon, R.I.P. 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | Atlas Shrugged was a beginning point for a lot of us [libertarians]. As the title of Jerome Tuccille’s classic work accurately observed, the process “usually starts with Ayn Rand.”

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The global warming jihad 
,
It is a common mistake for people to assume that religious faith and fervor are qualities to be found only within institutionally-structured churches with formal doctrines and rituals. They are to be found, in varying degrees, within all belief systems, be they secular or theistic in nature. The polar opposite philosophies of Marxism and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism – both of which openly condemned traditional religion – are, themselves, grounded in a faith in various central propositions. True-believers of these doctrines who voiced doubt as to any of the underlying premises, have been subjected to purges as enthusiastically conducted as medieval trials for heresy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

• •Myths, fables, fairy-tales, and the real world 
,
If one pushes the thinking of C.S. Lewis up against that of Ayn Rand, one can discover an area within which the seemingly irreconcilable “opposites” of “religion” and “reason” can dissolve into a kind of interrelatedness that is integrative, rather than divisive, of the qualities that are conducive to life.

Monday, July 25, 2005

• •The decline and fall of conservatism 
,
There was a time when conservative thought was actually characterized by . . . thought! Such classic thinkers as John Locke, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer – to name just a few – rekindled discussions, in the years following World War II, about individual liberty and the state. A new group of conservative thinkers – including Leonard Read, Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, and Ayn Rand – arose to drag political and social philosophy out of its Marxist/socialist quagmire.