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Friday, May 31, 2013

• • National Public Radio quotes ARI's Onkar Ghate 
,
Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Onkar Ghate  |Objectivist author  | Contra the setup of the story, “big vs. small government” is not the best way to frame the debate. The real issue is “the proper role of government,” a question on which ARI differs from both conservatives and liberals. We are in favor of proper government functions like the police force, a function which in a laissez-faire society would not be reduced. But we would entirely eliminate improper functions, like wealth redistribution programs and regulations that burden the innocent.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

• • • A Thatcher-Rand connection? 
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In 1976, at the age of 71, Ayn Rand closed down her periodical “The Ayn Rand Letter” with a short essay called “A Last Survey.” Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Margaret Thatcher was leader of the Conservative Party and three years away from becoming prime minister of the United Kingdom. The two women never met, but Rand’s article indicates a possible intellectual connection.

Friday, January 25, 2013

• • A conservative argument for antitrust 
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Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal  |Capitalism  |Objectivist author  | I’ve been reading a book published by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative bastion. The Antitrust Laws: A Primer, now in its fourth edition, was written by John Shenefield, a former head of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Irwin Stelzer, an economist and contributing editor to The Weekly Standard. On the very first page, the authors announce their goal: “This book is intended to replace the businessman’s fear and loathing of the antitrust laws with a basic understanding of what they are about and to acquaint students with these important legal and economic precepts.” [....] Instead of learning to love antitrust under the guidance of Shenefield and Stelzer, businessmen should learn to love freedom under the guidance of Ayn Rand.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

• • The sanctity of a woman's right to decide 
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Objectivist author  | This passage by Ayn Rand helped me understand why anti-abortionists advocate what they do (Ayn Rand wrote this in 1981, when there were some women’s groups protesting against abortion).

Sunday, November 04, 2012

• • • Obama vs. Rand on what made America great 
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Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Objectivist author  | So President Obama has read Ayn Rand. Contrasting his ideas with what he takes to be Rand’s outlook, he tells Rolling Stone: “That view of life—as one in which we’re all connected, as opposed to all isolated and looking out only for ourselves—that’s a view that has made America great.” Though I don’t think President Obama understood Ayn Rand’s ideas (based on his description of them), it’s clear that he and Ayn Rand would have fundamentally disagreed about the source of America’s greatness.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

• • • Obama on Ayn Rand: The annotated version 
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Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Individual Rights  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Objectivist author  | In his recent Rolling Stone interview, President Obama was asked: “Have you ever read Ayn Rand?” His matter-of-fact answer: “Sure.”It’s fascinating to read closely the key passages in Obama’s interview. I’ve reproduced his comments verbatim below, in the block indented sections (with italics for emphasis). Then I’ve interspersed links to Ayn Rand Institute articles that provide useful context for understanding what Obama said—and for identifying the falsehoods underlying his attacks on Ayn Rand.

• • • Actually, Mr. President, Ayn Rand is Quintessentially American 
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Atlas Shrugged  |Don Watkins  |Individual Rights  |Onkar Ghate  |Objectivist author  | In a just-published Rolling Stone interview, President Obama indicated that Ayn Rand’s world view is not one that “describes what’s best in America.” But if America is the land of liberty—the land where every individual, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, has the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” then in fact Ayn Rand is one of the most profoundly American thinkers ever.

• • • Ayn Rand’s Ideas Only for Teens? 
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Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |We The Living  |Essay Contests  |Onkar Ghate  |Objectivist author  | I want to comment on one aspect of what President Obama said in Rolling Stone regarding Ayn Rand–specifically, that Rand is someone to take seriously only when you’re young and naive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

• • • What Ayn Rand was for 
,
Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Individualism  |Onkar Ghate  |Objectivist author  | For anyone who watched CNN’s report on Ayn Rand (during “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” on October 11), there was a puzzling moment that I’d like to clear up.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

• • • In a mixed economy, regulations always grow 
,
Capitalism  |Individual Rights  |Objectivist author  | Ayn Rand viewed the pattern of increasing regulation as inevitable in the kind of political system that we have, which she described as a “mixed economy.” Because we have a combination of freedoms in the form of individual rights and controls in the form of ad-hoc, piecemeal regulations curtailing those rights, Rand viewed our system as inherently unstable.

Monday, February 06, 2012

• • Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand 
,
Don Watkins  |Objectivist author  | Ayn Rand was born on February 2, 1905. To commemorate the 107th anniversary of her birth, ARC analyst Don Watkins has an op-ed on FoxNews.com today, in which he discusses the controversy over Rand’s influence on today’s politics.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

• • Elizabeth Warren's Social Shakedown 
,
Objectivist author  | On Warren’s view, society is some collective entity with its own interests and prerogatives, and if you want to be a part of society, you have to surrender some of your interests and prerogatives–above all, some of your freedom. Warren calls it a “social contract.” I call it a “social shakedown.” The Founding Fathers, in a view they inherited from Locke and which was elaborated by Ayn Rand, had a radically different view of the relationship between the individual and society. They held that society is not some collective entity. It is only a collection of individuals–each with his own aims and interests. The basic problem of politics, they held, was how sovereign individuals could gain the benefits of living in society without surrendering their ability to pursue their own interests.