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Thursday, November 08, 2012

• • • A Liberal Ayn Rand? 
Atlas Shrugged  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | It's no secret that the right is awash in Ayn Rand. Tea Partiers carry signs like "Who is John Galt?" and, astonishing for a novel published 55 years ago, sales of Atlas Shrugged topped 445,000 last year. All of this has prompted researchers like Yale historian Beverly Gage to wonder, “Why is there no liberal Ayn Rand?” Good question. Liberals today, Gage observes, have no long-term goals or vision, no big ideas, no canon. Here’s a radical thought. Instead of liberals dismissing Rand’s appeal to the American spirit of individualism and independence, as President Obama recently did in his Rolling Stone interview, why don’t liberals make Rand part of a new canon? Why let conservatives monopolize her?

Friday, August 24, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand’s appeal 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |We The Living  |Egoism  |Essay Contests  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | Paul Ryan is Romney’s pick for Vice President and now Ayn Rand’s name is on everyone’s lips. Many on the left are pillorying Ryan as an unrealistic “ideologue” because of his Rand connection. Many on the right accede, quickly trying to set aside Ryan’s admiration for “Atlas Shrugged” as youthful indiscretion. “Every young conservative has a fascination with Ayn Rand at some point,” Romney’s strategist Eric Fehrnstrom says dismissively. But hold on. If we actually consider the essence of what Rand advocates, the idea that her philosophy is childish over-simplification stands as condemnation not of her position but of the many adults from whom this accusation stems. The key to Rand’s enduring popularity is that she appeals not to the immaturity but to the idealism of youth.

Monday, October 31, 2011

• • • How Did Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' Predict an America Spinning Out of Control? 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Image  |Objectivist author  | Nearly thirty years after her death, Ayn Rand’s novels continue to be wildly popular—”Atlas Shrugged” alone is selling more today than it did when it was first published in 1957 -- more than one million copies have sold since the 2008 elections. Especially among Tea Partiers, Ayn Rand is being hailed a prophet. How could she have anticipated, more than 50 years ago, a United States spinning out of financial control, plagued by soaring spending and crippling regulations? How could she have painted villains who seem ripped from today’s headlines?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

• • • Does America Need Ayn Rand or Jesus? 
Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Objectivist author  | Rand’s moral teachings are fundamentally different from Jesus’teachings. A rational morality, Rand argued, teaches us the crucial values that make up a successful and happy life. Above all else, it instructs us to uphold reason as an absolute in our lives, as our only source of knowledge and only judge of values, and to achieve self-esteem in our souls. True self-esteem is the knowledge that by your own choices you’ve created a rational mind “competent to think” and a personal character “worthy of happiness.” In terms of virtues, Rand’s is a moral code that upholds rationality not emotionalism or faith; intellectual independence not authority or obedience; earned pride not humility or the belief in man’s inherent sinfulness.

Friday, April 29, 2011

• • • ‘Atlas Shrugged’: With America on the brink, should you ‘go Galt’ and strike? 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Video  |Objectivist author  | If you’ve only seen the movie, the fact that “Atlas Shrugged” is not a political novel might surprise you. But the book’s point is that our plight is caused not by corrupt politicians (who are only a symptom) or some alleged flaw in human nature. It’s caused by the philosophic ideas and moral ideals most of us embrace.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

• • • The radicalness of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | If you’ve seen the new “Atlas Shrugged” movie but haven’t yet read the book, you may be wondering what the novel itself has to offer. For most people, reading “Atlas Shrugged” is an unforgettable experience. The story is gripping, involving numerous mysteries and unexpected but logical plot twists. The characters are unique--what other book features a philosopher turned pirate? And the writing is that rarest of combinations: at once clear and deep. But for many readers, “Atlas” is even more: it’s life-changing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

• • • The Radicalness of Atlas Shrugged 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | Reprint of 2007 article.
For most people, reading Atlas Shrugged is an unforgettable experience. The story is gripping, involving numerous mysteries and unexpected but logical plot twists. The characters are unique—what other book contains a philosopher turned pirate? And the writing is that rarest of combinations: at once clear and deep. But for many readers, Atlas is even more: it’s life-changing. Fifty years after its publication, how can a novel still exert this powerful an effect? Because in its pages Ayn Rand forces you to look at the world anew.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

• • Commercialism only adds to joy of the holidays 
Capitalism  |Onkar Ghate  | "The best aspect of Christmas," Ayn Rand once observed, is "that Christmas has been commercialized." The gift buying "stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by departments stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only 'commercial greed' could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

• • • Why Ayn Rand still resonates 
Altruism  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Anthem  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Essay Contests  |Objectivist Academic Center  |Onkar Ghate  |Objectivist author  | When you actually consider the essence of what Rand teaches, the accusation that her philosophy is childish over-simplification stands as condemnation not of her ideas but of the adult world from which the accusation stems. The key to Rand’s enduring popularity is that she appeals not to the immaturity but to the idealism of youth. She wrote in 1969: “There is a fundamental conviction which some people never acquire, some hold only in their youth, and a few hold to the end of their days--the conviction that ideas matter.” The nature of this conviction? “That ideas matter means that knowledge matters, that truth matters, that one’s mind matters. And the radiance of that certainty, in the process of growing up, is the best aspect of youth.”

Thursday, April 02, 2009

• • • The economy needs Ayn Rand 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Objectivist author  | Debate.
Pro: Self-interest equals prosperity. [....] To restore U.S. prosperity, Rand’s philosophy has vital things to teach: what genuine self-interest and happiness consist of, why their pursuit is moral, and what political condition they demand—the full freedom of the Declaration. What is more relevant than that?

Friday, September 21, 2007

• • • Objectivism’s appeal and its demands 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  | Most people have only one model: religion. To live by a philosophy, they implicitly assume, is to accept a list of out-of-the-blue commandments. “Thou shall have orange hair”—because the hero of Rand’s The Fountainhead has orange hair. “Thou shall make lots of money”—because the heroes of Atlas are industrialists. “Thou shall not work on teams”—because the hero of The Fountainhead works alone. This converts Objectivism to dogma, and so what the philosophy promises does not materialize.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

• • • The roots of Objectivism 
Atheism  | Rand once observed that religion and philosophy address the same issues. Each seeks to offer us a comprehensive view of the world—of its nature and our place in it. They differ not in their questions, but in their method of answering: one by faith, the other by reason. Where am I? How do I know it? What should I do? Rand’s philosophy offers reasoned and unique answers to these.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

• • • Objectivism. A philosophy for living? 
Egoism  | So what does it mean to accept Rand’s new moral code? It means you embrace your own happiness as an end in itself. It means you choose to think rationally about and to seek unwaveringly all the values, of body and of mind, that your own life requires. It means you come to actually deserve the title “selfish”—and that you wear it openly and proudly.

• • • The selfish life 
Egoism  | When I tell people I’m selfish, they usually don’t know what to make of it. You see, I’m a nice guy. I wish others well, I use my indicator when I drive, and at work I function well on teams. If I were selfish, shouldn’t I be trying to exploit and dominate other people? Not according to Ayn Rand.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

• • •‘Atlas’: Still radical 
"Atlas" is the story of the rebellion of men like Rearden, who are, in reality, moral, against a moral code that damns selfishness and demands the sacrifice of those rich in spirit to those poor in spirit.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

• • •Ayn Rand 
(PDF, p. 22.) Letter to the editor in response to a September article entitled "Who Needs Ayn Rand?" by Algis Valiunas. 
Whether or not one agrees with Rand’s ideas, anyone familiar with the history of Western philosophy and with her own philosophy of Objectivism should recognize her as a major figure.