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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

• • Do Libertarians Support Crony Capitalism? 
Capitalism  |Individualism  | [Ken] Connor begins by pointing out the alliance that exists between government and special interests, an alliance that runs completely counter to libertarianism and which could not exist were libertarianism triumphant. He then conflates this non-libertarian situation with “Ms. Rand’s philosophy of self-seeking individualism.” Ayn Rand was very clear in setting out a philosophy of man’s rights, which are of course violated by the very practices Connor is trying to blame her for, and which he pretends she promoted. She promoted the very opposite.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

 You Can Hear the Death Rattle of Conservatism 
Rand Paul  | [Jonah] Goldberg asserts [in a 2001 article] that libertarianism "tells kids everything they want to be told." Indeed, the word "kids" appears five times in the first five paragraphs. He notes: “But, as is usually the case in Washington, the libertoids were the most ideologically aggressive, both during the Q&A and in private conversations. It was these kids – interns from Cato, fresh Borg drones from the Libertarian party, and kids who as teenagers had read Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard the way others had listened to Bruce Springsteen – who seemed the most cross with me.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

• • • Seeking Galt’s Gulch 
Alan Greenspan  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | Atlas Shrugged was written in 1957, and, at that time, Rand’s supporters were not numerous, although future Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was a pal and agreed largely with her philosophy. (How things change.) However, in the last fifty years, the book has proven to be amazingly prophetic, even in some of the details, as to where the US, and by extension, the First World in general, was headed.

Monday, February 18, 2013

• • My ‘Debate’ With George Jonas Continues 
Individual Rights  | I do indeed agree with [George] Jonas that Randianism, Objectivism, is indeed a cult, because these characteristics do fit that movement, and that they are often considered libertarian, with good reason. Why do I believe this? Because there is evidence for this claim.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

• • The Time for Predictions Is Over 
The Fountainhead  |Individualism  | Predictions, in a way, are for people who are watching from the sidelines, taking bets and choosing sides. What I am seeing, just glimpsing really, is a new emergent attitude all over the country, and the world, that is extremely good for liberty, for capitalism, and for the future. It isn’t an attitude that is unified, or particularly collective – rather, it is simple and individualistic and caustic. It is captured, for the readers of Ayn Rand, in Howard Roark’s famous answer to Ellsworth Toohey’s question, “What do you think of me?”

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

• • In Praise of TV's Pawn Stars by Dom Armentano 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | This may be a stretch but what Pawn Stars does in entertainment video is similar to what Atlas Shrugged does in fiction: it takes important philosophical principles and actualizes them with colorful characters in real world settings. It's a most effective teaching tool because viewers (and readers in the case of Atlas) watch someone actually "doing" the principles and they "learn" while caught up in the drama; it's not just some boring lecture.

Friday, November 30, 2012

• • • The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult by Murray N. Rothbard 
Alan Greenspan  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Nathaniel Branden  |Personal life  | We conclude our analysis of the Rand cult with the observation that here was an extreme example of contradiction between the exoteric and the esoteric creed. That in the name of individuality, reason, and liberty, the Rand cult in effect preached something totally different. The Rand cult was concerned not with every man’s individuality, but only with Rand’s individuality, not with everyone’s right reason but only with Rand’s reason. The only individuality that flowered to the extent of blotting out all others, was Ayn Rand’s herself; everyone else was to become a cipher subject to Rand’s mind and will.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

• • • Branden’s Judgment Day 
Nathaniel Branden  |Personal life  | Reprint of 1989 article.
The battle between Rand and [Nathanie] Branden [...] is really no contest. Rand created something, whereas Branden has lived his entire life parasitically off Rand, first as a worshipful disciple and cult organizer, then as a neo-Randian shrink who set up shop in California with the solid initial base of the RandCult’s Nathaniel Branden Institute mailing list. And now, too, he is parasitically living off Rand as a scavenger and kiss-and-tell calumniator. Talk about your “social metaphysician!”

Saturday, August 04, 2012

• • • Doug Casey on ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  | [Doug Casey:] As in all good science fiction, Rand successfully anticipated a lot of things. Even though she wrote the book back in the 1950s, she posited the existence of biometric security devices, the economic extraction of shale oil, new high-strength metal alloys, and a sonic weapon developed by the government to subdue the population.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

 21 Days To Save Your Life 
Even with my fortunate education described above, it took twenty years of insidious weight gain for me to come to my senses, and only because I am pre-disposed towards distrusting government propaganda because of my belief in Austrian economics. Even with that interest, it took me fifteen years to reach Austrian economics through a long road of Adam Smith, P.J.O’Rourke, and Ayn Rand, to eventually discover Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

 A Letter From Vienna 
Among those around the table that evening where a Randian objectivist, a Mormon, a Roman Catholic and a Jewish convert to Catholicism from Iceland, Croatia, Belgium, and US via France. With these various backgrounds and profound cultural disagreements I think we all would strongly agree that libertarianism is the economic/political philosophy founded on the principles of nonviolence and property rights that best facilitates cultural development and coexistence. In a particular place or time an individual libertarian might feel more or less strongly against his government.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

• • Advice for Ron Paul 
Ron Paul is doing just fine in his campaign. He is promoting liberty at a magnificent clip. He is converting people to libertarianism en masse, perhaps more so than any other person in the entire history of the planet (with the possible exception of Ayn Rand; however, she abjured the libertarian philosophy, while Dr. Paul embraces it enthusiastically).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

• • • Two Kinds of Selfishness 
Altruism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Virtue of Selfishness  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Image  | One philosopher who tried to clarify the ignorance and myths about capitalism, and whose ideas contributed to the discussions of the differences between free market capitalism and socialism, was Ayn Rand. Her controversial book The Virtue of Selfishness sought to clarify the ethics and morality of selfishness, in contrast to the destruction of altruism. To this day, it seems that many people – including very highly educated and supposedly informed and sophisticated people – believe that the “enlightened self-interest” aspect of free market capitalism amounts to the businessman selfishly taking away money and opportunities from others.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

• • Neoconservatism Taken Down 
Leonard Peikoff  |Yaron Brook  | Book review: Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, by C. Bradley Thompson with Yaron Brook.
Thompson is an Objectivist, and accordingly believes as a general thesis that ideas determine history. Readers will not fail to recall Leonard Peikoff's endeavor in Ominous Parallels to trace the roots of Nazism to Kant's philosophy. I do not think this effort was entirely successful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

 Libertarian Vampires and the Importance of Fiction 
We can include Douglas Adams, given his brilliant take on bureaucracy in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Ayn Rand, George Orwell, and nearly every other dystopian author as having relevance to the libertarian mind.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

• • 5 Reasons Why American Riots Will Be the Worst in the World 

“You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of reality.” ~ Ayn Rand

Monday, July 25, 2011

 The Jack Ass Show 
Atlas Shrugged  | They hated John Galt because of his confidence in his own beliefs. Where they had doubts, he had none. Hosts like the Jack Ass are never sure their opinion is right - yet they demand everyone agree with them.

• • Escape From America 
Atlas Shrugged  | Just like in Ayn Rand’s great book, Atlas Shrugged, many of the US and western world’s brightest and most industrious are leaving at a rapidly increasing rate. And, just like in the book, at least some of them are gravitating to the same enclave, in northern Argentina.

Friday, July 08, 2011

 My Anti-Capitalist Twitter Critic 
Capitalism  | A couple weeks ago a critic of the free market, quite appalled that I would exonerate the free market of blame for child labor, poor working conditions, and the like, unleashed a barrage of comments on Twitter directed my way. She was responding to a blog post in which I promoted [a] presentation to a group of high school students at the Mises Institute. Her tweet read, "How right-wing Ayn Rand disciples INDOCTRINATE high school students." Subtle, she isn’t.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

 I’ll Take the Reactionary Over the Murderer, Thanks 
Atlas Shrugged  | Let’s just assume the worst about [Ron] Paul: that he’s a corporate libertarian in the Reason magazine/Cato Institute mold that would grant Big Business and the financial industry license to do whatever the hell it wants with little in the way of accountability (I call this scenario the “status quo”). Let’s say he dines on Labradoodle puppies while using their blood to scribble notes in the margins of his dog-eared, gold-encrusted copy of Atlas Shrugged. So. F***ing. What.