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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Blog Roundup

    1. At his web site, Objectivist journalist Peter Schwartz has published a lengthy email exchange between himself and Robert Levy of the Cato Institute regarding its tacit anarchism. The following, from Schwartz, cuts to the core of the problem he addresses and comes from a forum post (by himself) that he quotes in full just before the exchange:
    In addition, I thought the following analogy was particularly good:
    I agree that that the Cato Institute should explicitly disavow anarchism.

    2. At the blog of the Texas Institute for Property Rights, Brian Phillips exposes a double standard in wide use among "fair housing" advocates:
    This might be helpful to remember down the road as the upcoming presidential election starts heating up: I know of at least one candidate, Julian Castro, who falls into that category.

    3. At New Ideal, the blog of the Ayn Rand Institute, Elan Journo discusses "Trivializing the Islamist Menace," whether it be by focusing on mass-casualty attacks or dismissing the Islamist threat as overblown:
    Journo correctly notes that the effectiveness of our enemy is due primarily to our allowing it to become effective. The two incorrect ways of thinking about that threat go a long way in explaining why we have.

    4. In the interests of comic relief, and as a potential resource to fellow travelers interested in a constructive discussion of immigration, I offer a lengthy post at Selfish Citizenship:
    Thanks.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Reblogged:Choice and Education

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    John Stossel writes of one Cade Summers, who floundered in public school and -- like one in five school-aged boys -- ended up on medications to help him pay attention. This was ineffective, as was trying several different schools: He hated all of them.

    Then his parents sent him to a private school with an entrepreneurial focus, where the prospect of making money completely changed Summers's attitude. The end of the piece is especially thought-provoking:
    The school, which is primarily for children of high school age, reminds me a little of Van Damme Academy (which serves younger children and has a very different focus). The similarity lies in an active attempt to engage the student's interest while respecting and promoting their independent judgement. The philosopher and energy activist Alex Epstein has called the latter "the school the world needs to know about." I agree, but perhaps this school is another.

    -- CAVLink to Original

    Reblogged:Towards a Green New Lending Crisis?

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Writing in the Washington Examiner, Mike Palicz of Americans for Tax Reform warns of recent threats to the Federal Reserve issued by a gang of Democratic Senators that includes several presidential candidates. The threats come in the form of a letter "suggesting" the Fed manipulate interest rates in favor of "green" industries:
    It is bad enough that we have a central bank at all. It is worse that politicians are quite happy to mis-use it in a way that can so obviously lead to disaster.

    -- CAVLink to Original

    Reblogged:Tragically, John Galton Got His Utopia

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    An "anarcho-capitalist" calling himself John Galton -- in imitation of the hero of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged -- recently met a violent end in Acapulco. Unfortunately, a piece about the incident in the Daily Beast completely misses the significance of the story, starting with the headline: "John Galton Wanted Libertarian Paradise in 'Anarchapulco.' He Got Bullets Instead."

    As is too often the case these days, the person covering the story is about as unclear about the difference between anarchy and capitalism as this murder victim tragically was:
    As Objectivist philosopher Harry Binswanger once succinctly argued, Ayn Rand actually rejected anarchy for good reason, and maintained that government -- properly limited in scope to the protection of individual rights -- is necessary for capitalism. Binswanger starts off by indicating the fundamental error in the "anarcho-capitalist" position:
    Binswanger elaborates on this far better than I can, and deserves to be read in full. But I would be remiss not to mention his later thought experiment regarding what the anarcho-capitalist position means when put into practice:
    So, no, John Galton did not get bullets "instead" of his big-L Libertarian (and, in fact, non-capitalist utopia): He got the bullets that come with it. May his tragic end move others (and not just anarchists) to a more deliberate consideration of the nature and purpose of government.

    It is not capitalism that needs to be kept in check, but the ability of men to initiate force in violation of the rights of each other. In anarchism, it is easier for individuals and small gangs to do this. But in many other social systems, such as we see now in Venezuela, unchecked government acts like an organized crime syndicate. (It does to a lesser degree in our mixed economy, which is inherently prone to becoming more government-controlled over time and so is not truly an alternative.) Anarchy and dictatorship are not opposites in that respect, but two sides of the same coin. Their opposite, capitalism, which includes underappreciated and necessary checks on government power, is not to blame here. Indeed, were actual capitalism truly "unchecked" here or in Acapulco, this man might not have been a fugitive from the law in the first place. And, be it because the United States was freer or Acapulco not a pocket of near-anarchy, he could well have been alive today.

    -- CAV Link to Original

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