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Monday, June 03, 2013

 Watch Matt Welch on Fox News’s Red Eye at 3 AM! 
Atlas Shrugged  |Going Galt  | Beginning at 3 o’clock in the morning on Fox News, I will be on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld and his crew of merry vulgarians. We are scheduled to talk about source-greasing Washington Post puff pieces, over-litigious parents of high school athletes, 3D pizza-printing, attitudes toward workplace sexytime, doctors going Galt, and the ideal actress to play the young Hillary Clinton, among other things.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

• • How Government Killed the Medical Profession 
Atlas Shrugged  |Going Galt  | Ayn Rand’s philosophical novel Atlas Shrugged describes a dystopian near-future America. One of its characters is Dr. Thomas Hendricks, a prominent and innovative neurosurgeon who one day just disappears. He could no longer be a part of a medical system that denied him autonomy and dignity. Dr. Hendricks’ warning deserves repeating: “Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of man who resents it—and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn’t.”

 Notes on Ezra Klein's Van Halen Principle of Government 
Celebrity Admirers  | Reason's disturbingly large Van Halen archive here, including "When Is Quoting Van Halen a Crime?" Also: Sammy Hagar digs Ayn Rand

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

• • Are online sales taxes only fair? 
The Marketplace Fairness Act, which Congress is expected to approve soon, sounds like something out of an Ayn Rand novel. But it reflects understandable complaints from brick-and-mortar retailers who believe their online competitors have been enjoying an unfair advantage for way too long, thanks to Supreme Court rulings that bar a state from requiring a business to collect sales tax unless the company has a physical presence in that state.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

 Sheldon Richman Talks About Bastiat, Left-Libertarianism, and (shudders) Jimmy Buffett 
Longtime libertarian thinker and Reason.com columnist Sheldon Richman was just interviewed by University of Wisconsin music student and WashingtonTimes.com "Business of Living" columnist Joseph S. Diedrich as part of his interesting "Libertarian America" series. It's a fun read, covering everything from Ayn Rand to corporatism to pipe-smoking to Pink Floyd.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

• • Is Bill Maher Right That "Libertarians Have to Stop Ruining Libertarianism"? 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Video  | On a recent episode of his HBO show, Bill Maher created a “new rule” concerning libertarians: “Libertarians have to stop ruining libertarianism! Or at least do a better job of explaining the difference between today’s libertarian and just being a selfish prick. Now, many years ago on a television network far, far away, I expressed support for libertarianism because back then it meant I didn’t want big government in my bedroom, in my medicine chest, and especially not in the second drawer of the nightstand on the left side of my bed. And I still believe that. But somewhere along the way, libertarianism morphed into this creepy obsession with free-market capitalism based on an Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged, a book that’s never been read all the way through by anybody with a girlfriend....”

Saturday, April 06, 2013

 Love in the Future 
Bruce Sterling’s new novel Love Is Strange (40k) is indeed strange. The latest from the founding father of cyberpunk, known in the biz as Chairman Bruce, invokes Brazilian voodoo, Italian fascism, Seattle royalty, time travel, and technology conferences as the backdrop for the confused and confusing courtship of two dashing and astonishingly self-absorbed romantic leads. The main characters spend a great deal of time in transit, looking for themselves and each other, all the while holding forth in quasi-Randian style about their ideologies, which center around the exciting, accelerating technological future. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

 Come See Matt Welch Talk About Wacko Birds vs. Angry Birds April 4 in New ... 
Rand Paul  | On Thursday, April 4, beginning at 8 pm, I will be giving a sure-to-be-contested talk at The New York City Junto, a group dedicated to "libertarianism, Objectivism, investing," about the split within the Republican Party between Rand Paul/Justin Amash-style libertarian conservatives and John McCain/Karl Rove-style GOP establishmentarians.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

• • How Debt Ruins Systems 
[Nassim Nicholas] Taleb: [....] I’m more of a left-wing conservative, if you want. reason: Ayn Rand called libertarians right-wing hippies. Taleb: There you go.

Friday, March 29, 2013

 Stimulus, Obamacare, & The New Republic 
Atlas Shrugged  |Going Galt  |Video  | In "How Government Killed the Medical Profession," Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer explains how increasing government intervention is harming patient care and pushing doctors to go Galt.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

• • Soaking the Rich 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  | High-income earners’ response to changes in taxes is an issue that academics have studied extensively. In 2000 University of Michigan economist Joel Slemrod published Does Atlas Shrug?: The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich (Harvard University Press), a book in which he challenged the free market belief that raising taxes on the rich would lead them to secede from the work force, as famously described in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

• • Rational Man 
Atheism  |Rand Paul  | [In The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought, Susan] Jacoby [...] makes snippy remarks about the atheistic origins of the first name of former Texas representative Ron Paul’s son, Kentucky senator Rand Paul (who denies, by the way, that he is named for Ayn Rand).

Friday, February 01, 2013

 How Big Government Undermines Freedom and Prosperity 
Recently, the California Air Resources Board sent out a press release celebrating a $300,000 fine it imposed on a business. The quotation from CARB’s chief enforcement officer included this warning: “All business owners should pay attention to this case.” That’s like something uttered by a villain in an Ayn Rand novel.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

• • 6 Video Games Every Libertarian Should Play 
BioShock  |Individualism  | The villain [in Bioshock] is clearly intended as a riff on Ayn Rand’s super-individualists, but in a mid-game twist, he shows he’s not simply a bad guy. The revelation elevates Bioshock from satirical, action-driven homage to Rand into a clever riff on the perception of individual freedom and the nature of choice.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

• • NFL Player Chris Kluwe on Being a Libertarian 
Atlas Shrugged  | [Q:] You tweeted recently that you had just read Atlas Shrugged. What did you think?[A:] Not a huge fan. I like some of Rand’s ideas. I think the core aspect she’s missing is empathy. Without empathy you don’t have stable society. What do you do when the real world intrudes? What do you do when there are earthquakes or disasters? If you don’t have concern for the people around you, eventually society is going to collapse. I think that’s one of Rand’s flaws. She doesn’t consider empathy to be a worthwhile trait.

Friday, November 30, 2012

 The Libertarian Case for Gary Johnson 
If you don't vote for the (liberal) Democrat, this line goes, then mere anarchy will be loosed. All that is decent and civilized about America will forever be destroyed and we will be bombing indiscriminate countries into the Stone Age, women will go barefoot and be forcibly impregnated and shoved back into the kitchen and Paul Lynde will once again be closeted in the center square. The skies will once again be filled with the choking fumes of plutocrats lighting cigars with $1,000 bills featuring the image of Ayn Rand and power plants will once again exclusively be powered by grinding the bones of the poor, the tired, and non-unionized illegal immigrants. It will be the Hunger Games, but without the laughs.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

• • • Atlas Shrugged Part II: Election Edition 
Altruism  |Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  |Video  | The film cannot do everything the novel can, and it must aggravate the filmmakers that Ayn Rand fans like me can’t help but judge the movie’s aesthetic impact against the novel’s. The movie largely reduces Rand’s message to the Tea Party friendly one of being against government economic management and stealing from the productive to be “fair” to others. Fortunately, there is one hat tip to Rand's deeper defense of reason and rationality (more important to her than being against altruism or statism) when Rearden snaps back to a smarty-pants young liberal that rigid principles are necessary to pour steel. It’s a fun moment.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

• • • Atlas Shrugged Part II: What We Saw at the World Premiere in DC! 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Video  | Atlas Shrugged Part II, the second of three films based on Ayn Rand's controversial 1957 novel, hits movie screens across the country on Friday, October 12, 2012. [....] Reason's Matt Welch was on hand for the movie's world premiere in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, October 3 to ask viewers why they thought Rand's ideas about individualism and free-market capitalism remain so popular - and yet so embattled - in contemporary America.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

• • • Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged Part II: Behind the Scenes 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Nathaniel Branden  |Yaron Brook  |Image  |Video  | ReasonTV visited the set of Atlas Shrugged Part II, the second installment in the new film adaptation of Ayn Rand's epic 1957 novel. The movie is set to hit theaters on October 11, 2012.

• • Obama’s Controversial Remark 
The Fountainhead  | “Don’t bother to examine a folly,” Ayn Rand has a character say in The Fountainhead. “Ask yourself only what it accomplishes.”