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There are a lot of reasons to be optimisitic about affecting a cultural change ...

These are good reasons to be optimistic. Let me add one more ...

It would appear that ARI has the largest student essay contest in America. Thousands of high school and college students are reading Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged every year and writing essays on these great books.

On top of that, ARI has shipped, free of charge, tens of thousands of Ayn Rand's books to teachers across the country, teachers who have pledged to teach the books in their classrooms. I think this is very encouraging, because hundreds of young minds are being exposed to Ayn Rand's novels every day.

That is the one fact that gives me the most hope for the future.

Despite all that, I still think that religion/altruism needs to be attacked. It is a real and imminent threat to civilization. Dr. Peikoff has attacked it in "Religion versus America." And he recently said in a lecture (on his new DIM theory) that he considers Bush to be worse than Kerry, because of Bush's attempts to combine religion and government. I think Dr. Peikoff is right to attack religion. I, for one, will follow his lead.

The skeptics in academia are being discredited, but the religious zealots are filling the vaccuum faster than we can. I recently read that 15 million Southern Baptists are voting on whether to remove their children from public education. I think it is time to turn much of our attention to religion, before it converts academia into religious education.

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Dr. Peikoff wrote about the danger of religion in "Religion versus America." He also said recently during a class on his new theory that he considers Bush to be a bigger evil than Kerry, because of Bush's strong religious beliefs and efforts to inject religion into the government. I think he was right to name religion as our enemy. It needs to be attacked, before it becomes powerful enough to censor and kill us.

I disagree about the Bush-Kerry issue, but, more importantly, I think the concern in regard to religion to be over-emphasized and somewhat misplaced. As I mentioned in my previous post, religion is what you get when people are not offered a rational means to control and guide their lives. The real battle is one of ideas, and when the battle is won in academia then the right ideas will filter down to kindergarten, and children will be started on a proper path.

That is not to say that the actions of religious zealots are not something of concern. Indeed, they must be dealt with. In the sheer physical realm of force, we should simply wipe out those who seek to destroy us. Properly done, this would be a relatively easy task. As to political actions, these are no different from the political actions of the leftists, and must be dealt with in the same way. We oppose as strongly and as vehemently as we can any and all legislation which violates our individual rights, and we educate people as best as we can as to the principles involved. In short, we deal with physical problems with force, and we deal with intellectual problems with ideas. Destroy the terrorists on their own turf, and defeat the intellectuals in academia.

I should note, and I think many of those who have been around Objectivism for some time will agree, that Peikoff is not exactly one who usually falls in the "optimistic" category about the state of the world.

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An old teacher of mine had ordered a classroom set of Anthem and The Fountainhead. When I saw the pile of books, I just couldn't believe it. From then on, whenever I visited my teachers, I would nag them about how they haven't gotten to either book yet if they hadn't.

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Erandor...

The draft is one of the main reasons I want to leave Israel.

Imagine me coming to the US and being drafted THERE.

For you, this might be more real than you think. If you are under a certain age (I think 26 years), you will not be granted immigration unless you sign up to say you can be called upon to serve in the US army.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Erandor...

For you, this might be more real than you think. If you are under a certain age (I think 26 years), you will not be granted immigration unless you sign up to say you can be called upon to serve in the US army.

Well, that would shoot down was I was about to write, i.e. that non-citizens can't be drafted. I've never heard of such a provision anywhere in my various dealings with U.S. immigration, but I was 29 when I first came here.

Moreover, I thought that the U.S. military was treated like any other employer from the standpoint of immigration law, i.e. that foreigners would need a visa to enlist.

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