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Sunday, May 26, 2013

• • By Eliminating Failure, The Government Robs Us Of Success 
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Capitalism  |Objectivist author  | So far, most public defenders of capitalism have lacked the courage to say, in the words of John Galt in Atlas Shrugged, “your life belongs to you and the good is to live it.”

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

• • • Happy Randsday! Give Yourself A Present This Randsday! 
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Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | February 2nd is the birthday of Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand developed and defended Objectivism, a philosophy that advocates “rational selfishness.” To celebrate Randsday, you do something not done on any other holiday: you give yourself a present. Randsday is for getting that longed-for luxury you ordinarily would not buy for yourself. Or for doing that long-postponed, self-pampering activity you cannot seem to fit into your chore-packed schedule.

Monday, February 04, 2013

 Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Frighteningly Reveals Education's Failure 
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Personal life  |Objectivist author  | Here is a short list of some great immigrants: Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, most of the top scientists of the Manhattan Project, Igor Sikorsky (the inventor of the helicopter), Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Ayn Rand.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

• • With Gun Control, Cost Benefit Analysis Is Amoral 
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Capitalism  |Objectivist author  | Before the Newtown horror, I, like many people, was in conflict regarding gun control. On the one hand, guns are dangerous. Their wide availability means people can kill on impulse, and surely that means more domestic quarrels turn into killings. And only anarchists would deny Ayn Rand’s point that “the government is the means of placing the use of retaliatory force under objective control.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

• • • Defending Capitalism: Ayn Rand vs. Hayek 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Objectivist author  | Ayn Rand publicly recommended the works of Mises but not of Hayek. Today, when Hayek is much better known than Mises, it’s worth seeing why. I came to the full realization of what’s wrong with Hayek’s approach while re-reading Atlas Shrugged. No, not in Galt’s speech, but surprisingly in the section describing the Minnesota harvest disaster, when trains were diverted to harvest the (spoiled) soybean crop of Kip’s Ma.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

• • Obama Hears Your Whining, And He's Here to Help You Out 
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Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | The Democratic Party is counting on what Ayn Rand called “the worship of weakness.” It has a corollary, which is the real motivator for them: the envy-ridden resentment of others’ success.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

• • • Ryan’s Economic Plans Aren’t as Ayn Rand-Based as You Think 
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Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | If reading Atlas Shrugged moved Paul Ryan a teensy bit towards the “unknown ideal” of laissez-faire, more power to him. But given Ryan’s religious worldview and his record of accepting and supporting the welfare state, Ayn Rand would have leapt to agree with his recent statements distancing himself from her philosophy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

• • • Revenge Of The Zeros: The Battle Between Ayn Rand And Collectivism Reaches A Climax 
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Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Image  |Objectivist author  | The answer to Obama’s collectivism is given by Howard Roark in The Fountainhead: ”. . . the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary act–the process of reason–must be performed by each man alone. . . .”

Monday, July 30, 2012

• • To Discredit The Anti-Capitalists, Pro-Capitalists Need To Learn How To Use Words 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Objectivist author  | It’s the dollar or the gun. As a hero in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged puts it: “When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other.” There is no other choice regarding the concepts we use, either. Our concepts either recognize or obliterate the distinction between freedom and force.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

• • • The ‘Ayn Rand vs. Jesus Christ’ Campaign 
,
Atheism  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Objectivist author  | The American Values Network, a left-wing group, with considerable funding by George Soros, has launched a media blitz under the banner “Ayn Rand vs. Jesus Christ.” As an Institute founded by Ayn Rand’s heir and devoted to advancing her philosophy, Objectivism, we would like to respond. Since this is an issue Rand faced repeatedly in her lifetime, our response is basically to let her speak for herself.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

• • • Books: I Am John Galt 
,
Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |The Fountainhead  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Objectivist author  | Book review: I Am John Galt, by Donald Luskin and Andrew Greta.
Judging this book is rather like judging the movie version of Atlas: both could have been better but both also could have been so much worse. By the standard of what an Objectivist intellectual would write, the book is thin and, at times, offensive in its comparison of people to Ayn Rand’s unique, grand-scale, life-loving heroes. (E.g., as creative as Steve Jobs surely is, there’s no way on God’s green earth that he is remotely comparable to Howard Roark). On the other hand, by the standard of what you would expect to see in such a book, I Am John Galt is surprisingly good.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

• • Altruism: Why The Republicans Will Lose The Budget Cut Battle 
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Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Objectivist author  | The Ryan budget proposal reveals a culture still caught in the death-grip of altruism. A culture trapped between “we owe to them” and “we can no longer afford to give it to them.” Either one of two things will happen. Either nothing will change until the financial situation gets much worse, with paper money kaput and riots in the streets—or people will begin to take notice that that Ayn Rand person they’re hearing so much about makes a good case in favor of a non-sacrificial morality. So far, they haven’t even noticed that Atlas Shrugged goes deeper than politics. We aim to change that.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

• • Stupid and stingy: How the left and right see each other 
,
Objectivist author  | What about [...] those who disagree with Kant and can refute him, can defend reason and egoism? That’s a minority of one: Ayn Rand. Except that, thanks to Ayn Rand, there are now a growing legion of New Intellectuals to carry on and extend her anti-Kantian revolution.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

• • Economic fallacies concerning tax cuts and government spending 
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The Virtue of Selfishness  |Capitalism  | Ultimately, all taxation has to be abolished. See "Government Financing in a Free Society," in Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

• • • The Tea Party movement 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Objectivist author  | Objectivists should recognize and value what is a startling, unprecedented phenomenon: the rise, in an eyeblink, of a pro-freedom, pro-American, avowedly *individualistic* political movement--a movement friendly to Ayn Rand, favorable to Atlas Shrugged, and popularizing the phrase “Who is John Galt?” This is more--far more--than we had a right to expect at this stage in history.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

• • Vote Republican rather than Tea Party? 
,
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | Talking about liberty is all to the good, but Tea Partiers don’t have the idea of moral principles mandating absolute freedom. And at a deeper level, they don’t understand two key points: 1) the issue is freedom vs. force, and 2) force is anti-mind. And they are nowhere near to grasping that the mind is the instrument of human survival. They don’t even recognize that point when they read Atlas Shrugged, which not only states it explicitly but dramatizes it throughout. Further: egoism vs. altruism is an issue they don’t want to touch.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

• • The Tea Party Movement 
,
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Yaron Brook  |Objectivist author  | Objectivists should recognize and value what is a startling, unprecedented phenomenon: the rise, in an eyeblink, of a pro-freedom, pro-American, avowedly *individualistic* political movement--a movement friendly to Ayn Rand, favorable to Atlas Shrugged, and popularizing the phrase “Who is John Galt?” This is more--far more--than we had a right to expect at this stage in history.

Monday, August 23, 2010

• • • Robin shrugged 
,
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology  | (Article requires subscription.) Reply to Corey Robin’s “Garbage and Gravitas.”
Corey Robin [...] quotes some important Ayn Rand passages, but his critique raises ad hominem to a new level: Rand favored some classical composers over others and preferred operetta to opera, so her ideas are invalid. More shocking is this argument: Ayn Rand held that whether you live or die is of fundamental importance to you, and Adolf Hitler held that whether the state “lives” or “dies” is of fundamental importance to you, so Rand and Hitler are the same. We are asked to equate Hitler with the modern era’s greatest defender of the individual’s right to his own life. Rand, the creator of a morality based on one’s life as one’s ultimate value and reason as one’s only guide is equated with the anti-individual, obedience-demanding, death-worshiping Nazi ideology. How about responding to Rand’s arguments, for key Objectivist tenets, notably: reason is man’s only means of knowledge, reason is man’s means of survival, the choice to think or not is the locus of man’s free will, rational thought cannot be coerced, man’s life as a rational being is the standard of morality, rationality is man’s primary virtue, individual rights are moral principles of social interaction following from the preceding. [....] Rather than rely on dubious anecdotes about Rand’s personal life, a serious intellectual would investigate her nonfiction and consult the best of the secondary literature by philosophy professionals.

Friday, May 14, 2010

• • Justice for Goldman Sachs 
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Capitalism  | Yet another injustice towards Goldman Sachs is circulating on the web. It's the publication of the fact that Goldman Sachs has financially supported Democrats over Republicans. The implicit or explicit conclusion is that Goldman is buying pull. Some bloggers have said that the firm is known as "Government Sachs." This is total context-dropping. The facts omitted from consideration are: [....] 2. Businesses have to contribute to political parties to buy protection. At least they think they do. Even [Hank] Rearden [a character in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged] thought so: "Rearden disliked the subject. He knew that it was necessary to have a man to protect him from the legislature; all industrialists had to employ such men."

Monday, April 26, 2010

• • Will religious conservatives hijack the Tea Party movement? 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |Objectivist author  | The phrase "limited government" has suddenly become prominent. This is not exactly an Objectivist term, but Ayn Rand did use it in "The Roots of War," (in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal), and its growing use is a good sign.