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Thursday, March 21, 2013

 Is Atlas Shrugging? 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Objectivist author  | From the Jawa Report: “Middle School Principal Cancels ‘Honors Night’ Because It Might Upset Students Who Didn’t Make The Grades”

Friday, February 15, 2013

• • • Ayn Rand Was Pro-Government 
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Capitalism  |Objectivist author  | One of the ways critics try to dismiss Ayn Rand and the entire free market position more broadly, is by labeling it “anti-government.” Since government is obviously necessary, the charge is meant to paint the free market position as crazy and out of touch.

It’s a bizarre characterization.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

• • • Is Entrepreneurship Altruistic? 
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Altruism  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Yaron Brook  |Objectivist author  | George Gilder thinks so. He is one of the leading conservative theorists on the subject of the morality of capitalism, and in a recent interview distinguished his views from Ayn Rand’s.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

• • Visiting Taliesin West 
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Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Personal life  |Objectivist author  | While I was [at Taliesin West], I [...] got to see some Ayn Rand artifacts that reside in the Wright Archives, which are on site. They included the signed copy of Atlas Shrugged she gave to [Frank Lloyd Wright], and what was even cooler, the original manuscript of the first 100 or so pages of The Fountainhead (then called Second Hand Lives), which she sent Wright along with a request that they meet. (Wright famously brushed her off, only to later on praise The Fountainhead in very moving terms.) The early draft was significantly different from the final version. Oddest difference? At that point Guy Francon was written as “Ffrancon.”

Saturday, January 26, 2013

• • Abortion Rights Are Pro-Life 
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Leonard Peikoff  |Objectivist author  | Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Today, the Huffington Post published an article by Ayn Rand’s heir, Leonard Peikoff, in which he argues that, to quote the title, “Abortion Rights Are Pro-Life.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

• • Buffett vs. Carnegie and Rand: The Role Of Luck In Success 
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Objectivist author  | [H]ere is Ayn Rand, from her essay “An Untitled Letter” in Philosophy: Who Needs It: “I submit that any man who ascribes success to ‘luck’ has never achieved anything and has no inkling of the relentless effort which achievement requires. I submit that a successful man who ascribes his own (legitimate) success in part to luck is either a modest, concrete-bound represser who does not understand the issue—or an appeaser who tries to mollify the resentment of envious mediocrities.”

Friday, December 21, 2012

• • There Really Is No Collective Brain 
,
Individualism  |Objectivist author  | One of the key principles of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is that reason is an attribute of the individual: there is no collective brain. When I first heard this, oh those many years ago, my first thought was: What about group brainstorming sessions? Don’t the best ideas typically come from getting smart people in a room to toss around ideas?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

• • Fifteen Minutes With Robert Ringer 
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Yaron Brook  |Objectivist author  | One of the most common questions I get is how I discovered Ayn Rand. Long story short: When I was fifteen, a friend  handed me a book called Million Dollar Habits by an author I had never heard of, Robert Ringer. I was skeptical–at fifteen I had no particular interest in money–but my friend assured me that the point of the book was not how to make money but how to live a successful life.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand & Silicon Valley 
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The Fountainhead  |Objectivist author  | My friend Jason Crawford, a tech entrepreneur longtime Objectivist, has a delightful and insightful post on the parallels between Ayn Rand and the Silicon Valley ethos. Here’s my favorite section, which contains a fascinating observation about entrepreneurship and investing I had never thought of before.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

• • • What Does Obama Think About Ayn Rand? 
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Capitalism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Obama tells us what he thinks of Ayn Rand’s ideas. Surprise, surprise, he’s against them.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

• • Atlas Shrugged Turns 55 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Onkar Ghate  |Objectivist author  | Today is the 55th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece Atlas Shrugged. If you haven’t read this book, there is no better time to read it. If you have read it, maybe it’s time to re-read it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

• • The Ayn Rand Debate? — Laissez FaireLaissez Faire 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  |Yaron Brook  |Objectivist author  | Tonight is the Vice Presidential debate. In one corner will be Paul Ryan, whose appreciation of Atlas Shrugged has led some to label him the “Ayn Rand candidate.” In the other corner is Joe Biden, who as far as I know has never been accused of being overly influenced by a philosopher. In any case, Yaron and I will no doubt have a lot to say about the ideas raised in tonight’s debate. In the meantime, here is some of our existing commentary on Ryan and Rand.

Friday, October 05, 2012

• • Gifts, Games, And The Unearned 
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Capitalism  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | Money received in the form of gifts or inheritances is also earned through an exchange of values—but here, it’s essential to understand that Ayn Rand’s “trader principle” encompasses spiritual values as well as material goods and services.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

• • • Los Angeles Review Of Books On Free Market Revolution 
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Capitalism  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | [A]lthough Free Market Revolution is about Rand’s political philosophy, Rand was not primarily a political philosopher. She was a philosopher, concerned primarily with the question of what kind of life the individual should live. Politics and economics were, for her, important but derivative issues. In short, her ethics of rational self-interest was not a rationalization for capitalism–she embraced capitalism because she believed in rational self-interest.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

• • • Rachel Maddow Fails “Ayn Rand 101” 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Objectivist author  | Either Maddow has not read Ayn Rand—in which case she should not be reporting on the content of Rand’s works as if she had—or she has read Rand but utterly failed to understand her. Either way, she owes her viewers a correction and an apology.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

• • • Why Paul Ryan is no Ayn Rand on Social Security 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  |Syndicated  | Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan deserves credit for trying to tackle the coming entitlement crisis. But whatever you can say about his plan for Social Security, you cannot ascribe it to Ayn Rand. Rand did not want to save Social Security; she wanted to end it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

• • • Ryan, Rand and rights 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | Whether he likes it or not, Paul Ryan’s worldview is going to be defined in large part by its distance from philosopher Ayn Rand’s. Ryan is on record as praising Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” and her moral defense of capitalism. He’s also on record as rejecting Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism. So, where does Ryan sit in relation to Rand?

• • • Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: a paean to American liberty 
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Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |The Fountainhead movie  |Image  |Objectivist author  | It's not often that an American election sparks debate about a philosopher. But ever since Mitt Romney announced his selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate, talk has turned to the ideas of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand.

Friday, August 17, 2012

• • • Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand 
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Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | [Paul Ryan] clearly has been influenced by Ayn Rand, but he is not a devotee of her philosophy, nor does his nomination represent “Ayn Rand joining the ticket,” to paraphrase the title of a recent article. Any fair account should take stock both of the areas where Rand has influenced him and those areas where they part ways.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

• • President Obama vs. My Grandfather 
,
Capitalism  |Don Watkins  |Harry Binswanger  |Individualism  |Objectivist author  | One of the greatest things about freedom is the extent to which we can profit from collaborating with other people. As Ayn Rand points out, “Men can derive enormous benefits from dealing with one another. . . . The two great values to be gained from social existence are: knowledge and trade.” But knowledge and trade are not gifts from the collective—let alone gifts that come with undefined strings attached. They come from the past and present achievements of other individuals.