Saturday, March 16, 2013
• • • Are Objectivists Libertarians?
Ayn Rand Institute |Capitalism |John Allison |Rand Paul |
when it comes to the relationship between Objectivism and libertarianism, I have to admit that it’s not cut and dried, because there is no “Objectivist foreign policy.” That is, there is no one specific foreign policy that can be obviously projected from Objectivist principles. There is a gap between a philosophy and a political program; to go from one to the other requires not just philosophical principles, but specific judgments about the state of the world, about the nature of our allies and enemies, and about diplomatic and military strategy. Ayn Rand herself held a variety of views over the years on the subject of foreign policy and war, and while she was in favor of strongly opposing the Soviet Union during the Cold War, she was also influenced by the anti-interventionists of the 1930s, the very people who were denounced as “isolationists.” So people who accept the same philosophical principles can disagree on their application, and I cannot say that someone who is an Objectivist cannot be an anti-interventionist—only that I strongly disagree with their application of the philosophy in today’s context.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Friday, October 01, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
• Letter to a sincere leftist: Let’s smash the state power of the corporations
Objectivist author |
Dear Friend on the Left, As a tea party-goer and an advocate of the laissez-faire philosophy of Ayn Rand, I never thought I'd say this: let us join together in a common cause. Let us work together to defeat the health-care bill that is about to be passed by the Senate.
Friday, December 18, 2009
• • • Capping our carbon and crushing our spirits
Atlas Shrugged |The Fountainhead |Objectivist author |
[George Monbiot] talks about a "new movement, most visible in North America and Australia, but now apparent everywhere" that "will not be constrained by taxes, gun laws, regulations, health and safety, especially by environmental restraints." And he's right about our choice of literary and philosophical inspiration: he describes us as "clutching their copies of Atlas Shrugged." I am clutching my copy of Atlas Shrugged, because it has never seemed more relevant than it is now. But in reading Monbiot's column, another Ayn Rand novel comes to mind: The Fountainhead, Rand's classic portrayal of the struggle of the independent creator against the grey conformity of collectivism. With a few updates in his ideology-environmentalism in place of socialism-Monbiot gives us a creditable audition for the role of Ellsworth Toohey, the manipulative intellectual who seeks to crush the human spirit in order to make men submit to his influence and control.
Friday, October 16, 2009
• • Morality ends where a gun begins
Objectivist author |
The basic outlook [of some] is: when it comes to our really important, life-or-death needs, to hell with thinking and logic. Which means: to hell with principles. This is amorality disguised under moral posturing. The most profound answer to this view of the role of morality was offered by the pro-capitalist philosopher Ayn Rand when she wrote that "Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins."
Sunday, September 20, 2009
• • It’s the liberty, stupid
For a dose of reality, check out this set of photos taken by one of my readers at Saturday's rally. [....] If you scroll down about halfway, you will also see a picture of yours truly. I'm the fellow in the blue shirt carrying a big sign with a quote from Ayn Rand expressing this "racist" sentiment: "Your life belongs to you and the good is to live it." Clearly code words for the Ku Klux Klan.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
• The anti-industrial coup
Objectivist author |
Yesterday, the EPA issued a "finding" that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that threatens human health and can thus be regulated under the 1990 Clean Air Act. [....] Ayn Rand warned that the environmentalist movement constitutes an "Anti-Industrial Revolution," but the term "revolution" implies a broad base of popular support. Instead, this is an anti-industrial coup, a seizure of power by a small elite who seek to bypass the institutions and procedures of legitimate government.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
• • The end of Republican ‘fusionism’?
Atlas Shrugged |
On the death of William F. Buckley Jr.
In the 1950s and 60s, Buckley's National Review made a special (and scurrilously dishonest) effort to purge the right of Ayn Rand and her intellectual movement, because her atheism threatened the fusionist agenda--even though she was the most powerful advocate for the morality of capitalism.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
• GOP ‘fusionism’ comes un-fused
Fusionism was the idea that [religious traditionalists, pro-free-marketers, and foreign policy hawks] could not only find common cause but could cobble themselves together into a semi-integrated ideology. [....] Many on the right are implicitly sympathetic to capitalism, sensing its virtues--but, thanks to "fusionism," unable to articulate them. And this means that they have never been able to turn the defense of free markets into a moral crusade. [...] T]he "fusionists" turned away the one intellectual who could have helped them do so. National Review made a special effort to expel Ayn Rand and her followers from the right because her atheism threatened their fusionist agenda--even though she was the most powerful advocate for the morality of free markets.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
• • • The historic significance of Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged |
The most radical aspect of Atlas Shrugged is that it is a sweeping, serious novel of ideas that is based in the business world, the last place mainstream intellectuals would have thought to regard as the inspiration for epic drama or profound new ideas. What makes Ayn Rand distinctive is that she found drama, heroism, and profound philosophical meaning in the achievements of the entrepreneurs and industrialists who were reshaping the world.
Friday, May 18, 2007
•What are the Right’s priorities?
On this week's Republican presidential debate.
Demonstrating why Ayn Rand was right to dismiss Libertarians as "hippies of the right," Representative [Ron] Paul picked up the basic anti-war argument of the far left. The terrorists, he said, "attack us because we've been over there; we've been bombing Iraq for 10 years.... We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us."
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
• •The secular right
My own defense of the secular right is based on the ideas of Ayn Rand, the novelist, philosopher, and famous defender of capitalism who originated a secular philosophy she called Objectivism. Ayn Rand's ideas are hardly a secret--her novels still sell briskly, fifty years on--and the strangest part of the current debate about secularism and the right is that no one has yet seen fit to mention her.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
• •The suicide bomb morality
Ayn Rand remains a controversial figure, scoffed at by both left and right. But this phrase, "perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing"--could there be a better description of the Palestinians' suicide bomb society?