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Sunday, November 04, 2012

• • • President Obama and Ayn Rand 
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Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |We The Living  |Capitalism  |Egoism  | This week, in a Rolling Stone interview, President Obama gave his thoughts on Ayn Rand. When asked whether he’d read Rand, he responded “Sure.” [....] President Obama, I suspect, told a white lie. Despite his tepid “sure,” he probably hasn’t read anything of Ayn Rand’s. His basic characterization—it’s something misunderstood teenagers read—makes his having read it hard to believe. Few things are less comforting than the raw premise of Randian novels: man is responsible for his actions and his sustenance. Reality doesn’t bend to our whims. If he did read it, he didn’t understand it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

• • • Cato’s New Leader Dispels Rumors 
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Ayn Rand Institute  |Capitalism  |John Allison  | There’s been a bit of a mini-controversy over comments that John Allison, the Cato Institute’s incoming CEO, made at a Q&A session at the Ayn Rand Institute. Allison is an Objectivist, which is not—as some people assume—exactly libertarian. Jeremy Lott reported that these differences emerged at this Q&A session, and some troubling statements were made—namely, that those who disrespected Ayn Rand would find other employment, and about disagreements over foreign policy. The former is troubling; the latter not at all, because Cato is an environment where people are encouraged to have dissident viewpoints.

Monday, July 30, 2012

 Profiles in Liberty: Michelle Fields, Libertarian Journalist 
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Capitalism  | Matt Naugle: How did you become a libertarian? Michelle Fields: My older brother, Michael, is a libertarian and introduced me to Ayn Rand and Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State & Utopia.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

• • D-Day: Heroic Crusade or Pyrrhic Victory 
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Individualism  | As Ayn Rand wrote either a Society is based upon the principles of collectivism or that of Individualism. This country was founded on the principles of Individualism. That is a belief that every person has the inalienable right to their life, liberty and property and that no man or group of men have the right to take it away.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • Rand, Rush and the Religious Right 
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Individual Rights  | “Man has inalienable rights which cannot be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group, or collective of men.” Ayn Rand ”Textbook of Americanism”

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

• • • Of Objectivism and other creatures 
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Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | I have been heavily influenced by Rand. Atlas Shrugged changed my life in ways that I never thought it would. While I leaned libertarian beforehand, it pushed me over the edge and made me more of an activist for libertarian values. Just as easily, it can push someone to embrace free markets and similar ideas while that person also clings to their faith like Paul Ryan. It’s not a “gotcha” moment as Jason believes the press sees it. Instead, it’s a lack of understanding that many people take parts of Atlas Shrugged and throw out other parts of John Galt’s famous speech. After all, I did. So why couldn’t Paul Ryan?

Monday, April 30, 2012

• • • Did Paul Ryan really reject Ayn Rand? 
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Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Individualism  | There is little denying that Rand’s work has been influential, more recently so because of the Tea Party movement picking up on many of the themes in her work. Atlas Shrugged flew off the shelves after the financial crisis. However, I don’t think that Ryan was saying that he doesn’t agree with her economic beliefs and moral defense of capitalism. In fact, you can tell he has done his homework on Rand.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

• • Give your Consent or Pledge your Allegiance: Either way the State Wins 
,
“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors — when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you — when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — you may know that your society is doomed.” - Ayn Rand. I don’t think we are doomed. I am an optimist and everything that man has done was done because of his thoughts.

Friday, April 13, 2012

• • Freedom in Film: “Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within” 
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The Motion Picture industry has been a bastion of collectivist thought for decades. Ayn Rand famously tried to help stem the Red Tide in Hollywood when she wrote her classic Textbook of Americanism. I hope to carry on her crusade but to do so in a different way. Instead of focusing on the negative my goal is to bring to light those films from around the globe that exemplify the struggle between liberty and coercion.

Monday, April 09, 2012

• • Everything Wrong With The Libertarian Movement, Part 3: Anarcho-Capitalism 
,
Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  |Inaccurate  | [Objectivist] Robert J. Bidinotto, writing from 1994 [....] as far as I am concerned, utterly destroys anarcho-capitalism in just a few paragraphs. Do I think he somewhat exaggerates it? A bit; I’m sure there would be companies (and customers) who would prefer to do the just thing rather than the one that’s most expedient, but those would surely be in the minority.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

• • Everything Wrong With The Libertarian Movement, Part 2: IP 
,
Capitalism  |Individual Rights  | I’m not really an Objectivist (maybe a post-Objectivist…and even that’s a stretch), and I disagree with Objectivists on some key issues, but Ayn Rand was still a smart lady, and she made some very good points on IP. From the Ayn Rand Lexicon: “Patents and copyrights are the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man’s right to the product of his mind.” And that’s really it. A man has a right to profit from what he has created. Doesn’t that apply in every other instance? Why not in intellectual products as well? That’s a glaring inconsistency libertarianism doesn’t seem to want to address.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

• • Individualism and the Individual Mandate: Two Incompatible Concepts 
,
Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  | Ayn Rand wrote in her awesome essay, Textbook of Americanisms, that “Individualism holds that man has unalienable rights which can not be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group or collective of men. Therefore each man exists for his own sake and not for the sake of the group.”

Sunday, February 12, 2012

• • Anarcho-capitalism Revisited 
,
Capitalism  | While I certainly agree that people are far more intelligent than government planners make them out to be, I think anarcho-capitalist thinkers go too far. Here’s an excerpt from David Friedman’s Machinery of Freedom that illustrates this point, regarding private police trying to resolve a property dispute: “ [....] The stage seems set for a nice little war between Tannahelp and Dawn Defense. It is precisely such a possibility that has led some libertarians who are not anarchists, most notably Ayn Rand, to reject the possibility of competing free-market protection agencies. But wars are very expensive, and Tannahelp and Dawn Defense are both profit-making corporations, more interested in saving money than face. I think the rest of the story would be less violent than Miss Rand supposed.”

Thursday, February 09, 2012

• • • Filming of “Atlas Shrugged Part 2” set to begin in April 
,
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |We The Living  |Video  | On Friday, the producers behind Atlas Shrugged Part 1 announced that production of the second installment of the film series had been given the green light and will begin filming in April.

Monday, January 23, 2012

• • Democrats target oils companies with “Reasonable Profits Board” 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | Call it election year politics, but it sounds like something right out of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged. Democrats are again targeting oil companies by pushing a so-called “Reasonable Profits Board” to regulate their profits

Saturday, December 31, 2011

 Newsletter controversy still hanging around Ron Paul 
,
Do I believe that Paul is a racist or anti-gay? Absolutely not. As he has so frequently said, though he is borrowing from Ayn Rand, to be a racist is to view people as groups, not individuals; and that is anathema to the libertarian viewpoint.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

• • • Ayn Rand and the Occupy Movement 
,
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Capitalism  | While I haven’t gone out to interview the Occupy crowd or anything, I think it’s safe to say that many who are “occupying” various locations throughout the nation are not likely to be Ayn Rand fans. However, what many of them are espousing when it comes to capitalism would only find disagreement from Rand on one factor. She would tell them that what they’re lamenting isn’t capitalism.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

• • • “Atlas Shrugged: Part 2” set for release just before 2012 election 
,
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  | If you haven’t already, please buy the DVD of Part 1. The story told is all too reminiscent of what we are experiencing in today’s political atmosphere, showing Rand was prescient in her view of human nature and politics; more so than many mainstream commentators, including those on the Left, would ever give her credit for.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

• • A shift in ideology 
,
Atlas Shrugged  | My full shift to libertarianism came by way of Atlas Shrugged. I’ve since read it four times. However, Rand’s words from the fifties, her envisioned ideas of people who expected handouts, sounded a great deal like the people I had heard on television arguing that they deserved their welfare money. They had been receiving it for years, they needed it, and it was theirs. It rang incredibly true to me and I realized that socialism destroys the individual desire to achieve.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

• • Ignorance of the law 
,
Between federal, state, and local governments, there are hundreds of thousands of laws governing our behavior at any given moment. [....] Ayn Rand once said “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.” With all of these laws, it certainly seems like there’s some validity to this line of thought.