Ayn Rand Influenced Professor Trounces “Conservative” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Who is Dave Brat? According to the The Washington Post Capitalism and ethics drive Brat’s world view.

Clearly he is not Objectivist. But he is a welcome step in the moral direction.

From Dave Brat Runs A $500,000 Program To Push Ayn Rand’s Ideas At College:

The program was started by the Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T), a North Carolina-based financial services company which currently boasts $184.7 billion in assets. The ideas behind the program were laid out in 2012 in an essay written by former BB&T CEO John Allison.

“About twelve years ago we re-examined our charitable giving and realized that our contributions to universities were not typically being used in our shareholders’ best interest,” Allison wrote in the essay, which was published online by The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. “At the same time, we were studying the question of why the United States had moved from the land of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ to the ‘redistributive state.’ We became convinced that the reason for this transformation was that the Left had taken over the universities and educated future leaders, including teachers, in statist/collectivist ideas.”

 

Why Atlas Shrugged Resonates

Stephen Moore: Governing right out of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – The Orange County Register

This past week I thought about the wisdom of Ayn Rand and the timelessness of her message when I saw Obama’s former treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, boasting on TV that he, and a few other smart people, had saved the U.S. economy from a second Great Depression in 2008-09. Mr. Geithner was saying that we had to violate nearly every principle of the free-enterprise system in order to save free enterprise.

It’s an amazing delusion: Five years later, with the economy contracting in the first quarter of the year, family incomes still lower today than in 2007, unemployment honestly measured at above 10 percent, 47 milllion Americans on food stamps, and the debt $6 trillion higher – that anyone would boast that the economy is on the right path.

In reality, the Bush-Obama policies have directly inhibited a normal recovery and put America in a deeper hole of debt.

The policy prescriptions we hear today are nearly imbecilic. The economy isn’t growing fast enough, so we should raise the minimum wage. Increase taxes on the rich and the producers by up to 80 percent, says the New York Times, and give the money to the nonproducers. Stop oil and gas drilling (the one sector of the economy that is working) and subsidize windmills. In Rand’s book, these very policies are given innocuous titles like the “anti-greed act,” but they only incite poverty and more havoc. Ms. Rand disparages the authors of these laws, and those who want to steal from those who have earned their wealth, as “looters.”

For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises that in most cases they themselves created, by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations, which, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs, and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

The rich in society today are routinely trashed by Nancy Pelosi and other leaders in Washington. Look at the propaganda campaign against the Koch brothers, who are treated like villains for merely defending the free-enterprise system. They have created tens of thousands of jobs and energy that makes our economy function. Harry Reid calls them “un-American.” The Left would like to burn them at the stake.

One pertinent warning resounds throughout “Atlas Shrugged”: When profits, wealth and creativity are denigrated in society, they start to disappear, leaving everyone the poorer. In one unforgettable passage of the book, Rand writes that the creator thinks, “It is, therefore I want it”; while the looters’ mindset is “I want it, therefore it is.”

Let’s make “Atlas Shrugged” required reading in the schools. Or for parents who just want to educate their kids this summer, I would recommend the six-hour audiotape version of the book masterfully recorded.

Americans – especially our politicians – need to learn the lesson of “Atlas Shrugged” or we are going to travel down the same path of economic destruction. That will mean many more quarters of negative growth and a spiral of despair.

OCON 2014: Some Incredible Talks By Some Amazing Speakers

The talks and courses for OCON 2014 include some incredible speakers:

  • AYN RAND: Ayn Rand: A Writer Is Born; Shoshana Milgram
  • AYN RAND: Atlas Shrugged and America; C. Bradley Thompson
  • ACTIVISM: What Everyone Can Do to Promote Freedom; Andrew Bernstein
  • ARTS: Romanticism vs. Naturalism and Classicism; Tore Boeckmann
  • ARTS: Joan of Arc: Schiller and Ayn Rand; Shoshana Milgram
  • ECONOMICS: Free Banking and the Fed; George Selgin
  • EDUCATION: The Self-Made Child: Maria Montessori’s Philosophy of Education; Ray Girn
  • ETHICS: How to Be an Impassioned Valuer; Andrew Bernstein
  • ETHICS: What Are We Cheering? Sport and the Value of Valuing; Tara Smith
  • FOREIGN POLICY: The Virtue of Selfishness in Foreign Policy; Elan Journo
  • HEALTH CARE: Individualism and Collectivism in Health Care; Rituparna Basu
  • HISTORY: World War I; Andrew Lewis (COURSE)
  • HISTORY: From Zeus to the Prime Mover: A Very Short History of Greek Theology; Jason Rheins
  • LAW: Privacy, Security and the Law; Amy Peikoff
  • LAW: Term Limits for Patents and Copyrights: An Explanation and Justification; Adam Mossoff
  • POLITICS: Understanding Government Corruption; Steve Simpson
  • POLITICS: Social Security; Don Watkins
  • POLITICS: Policy Controversies and Moral Individualism; Keith Lockitch
  • PHILOSOPHY: Introduction to Ayn Rand’s Philosophy, Objectivism; Onkar Ghate and Keith Lockitch
  • PHILOSOPHY: Ayn Rand’s Sacred Atheism; Robert Mayhew
  • PHILOSOPHY: Thinking Objectively; Gregory Salmieri
  • PHILOSOPHY: Self-Interest Rightly Understood; C. Bradley Thompson
  • PSYCHOLOGY: Free Will vs. Neuroscience; Edwin A. Locke
  • SCIENCE: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO); Amanda Maxham (COURSE)
  • SCIENCE: Being an Objective Consumer of Science; Gregory Salmieri
  • SCIENCE: Was the Universe Created? The Debate—From Plato and Aristotle to Today; Jason Rheins

Panels and Workshops include:

  • Ayn Rand and the New Atheists; Onkar Ghate, Robert Mayhew
  • Current Legal Issues and Controversies;  Paul Beard, Amy Peikoff, Steve Simpson
  • Entitlement State vs. the Young
  • Microsoft and Antitrust; Yaron Brook
  • Q & A on Objectivism
  • Unions and Business Regulations; Doug Altner
  • Writing from an Objectivist Perspective
  • The Fundamental Challenge of K-12 Education
  • The Rule of Law in America
  • Living Objectivism
  • Objectivism Is Radical
  • Objectivism in Business
  • Today’s Issues in Foreign Policy and International Trade

Learn more about the conference here.

OCON 2014: An Incredible Deal for Young Adults — Attend for Only $10 a Day!

This year’s Objectivist Summer Conference takes place in Las Vegas at the Venetian hotel from June 27 through July 4, 2014.

ARI has made some major improvements for this conference including:

  • Conference Registration includes access to all general lectures and regular courses. You can register for the day or for the week. No more paying extra for the regular courses.
  • Young Adult Weekend for $20! The first two days of the conference feature programming aimed at young adults interested in living Ayn Rand’s philosophy and spreading Ayn Rand’s ideas. From talks and panels on how Objectivism applies to your life to panels on getting involved with intellectual activism, this conference will give you the foundation to study Objectivism in-depth. Register for the weekend and if you’re under 26 years of age, you get access to all the talks and panels offered for just $20! 
  • Regular Day Passes for $10 for young adults under age 26! If you’re interested in staying past the weekend, day passes are only $10. That is a HUGE discount off the adult rate of $160 per day! For adults the best deal is a week pass for $900 ($750 if youregister by 3/31/2014)

Learn more about the conference here.

 

Excerpts from “How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation” by Harry Binswanger Now Online

710CSwgu1yL.jpg“The advocates of reason have been unable to answer the crucial question: what makes a cognitive choice valid or invalid? Since God or nature doesn’t tell us how to proceed in our thinking, what standard can we use to guide our thought processes?” — Harry Binswanger

In How We Know, Harry Binswanger, a philosopher who was an associate of Ayn Rand, presents a theory of knowledge based on Rand’s Objectivist philosophy. Advocating a “bottom-up,” inductive approach to cognition, the book covers the gamut of topics starting with the axioms of existence, identity, and consciousness, then taking up concept-formation, propositions, logic, and principles. A chapter on free will, treated as the choice to exercise reason, presents the author’s interpretation of Rand’s view on volition, supplemented by his own analysis.

You can download and read the preface here. You can also order How We Know on Amazon or on the author’s website.

The Ayn Rand Institute eStore – Lectures from $0.99

The Ayn Rand Institute eStore has lectures by Objectivist thinkers at a price (per lecture) as low as $0.99 (and there are many at that price).

We are super excited about Eric Daniels ground breaking five part, 25 plus hour, History of America series.

Check it out: https://estore.aynrand.org/.

Rachel Maddow’s Willful Ignorance About Ayn Rand

Writes Don Watkins on Rachel Maddow Fails “Ayn Rand 101″:

[Ayn] Rand condemns anyone—regardless of how wealthy they are—who acquires wealth, not through production, but by draining those who do produce. Take Atlas Shrugged villain Orren Boyle. Boyle is a steel executive who grows rich, not by outcompeting men like Hank Rearden, but by getting subsidies and other special favors from the government.

Either Maddow has not read Ayn Rand—in which case she should not be reporting on the content of Rand’s works as if she had—or she has read Rand but utterly failed to understand her.

Ayn Rand: Uncommonly Prescient

Writes Malcolm Kline in Ayn Rand Reconsidered over at the website for Accuracy in Academia:

She’s been derided in academia for decades: Panels disparaging her works are not unusual at the Modern Language Association’s annual confab.

Yet and still, her virulent atheism has made her controversial on the right, where, it would seem, she would find a more sympathetic audience.

Nevertheless, when it came to worldly matters, she was uncommonly prescient. For one thing, the Russian-born novelist had a keener understanding of the U. S. Constitution than many American Constitutional law professors do today. “The Bill of Rights was not directed against private citizens, but against the government—as an explicit declaration that individual rights supersede any public or social good,” she wrote in The Virtue of Selfishness.

Moreover, coming to America in the roaring 20s from the Soviet Union gave her a world view sensitive to early manifestations of totalitarianism. Indeed, a warning she issued in The Virtue of Selfishness sounds eerily topical today, half a century after it was written.

“A collectivist tyranny dare not enslave a country by an outright confiscation of its values, material or moral,” Ayn Rand wrote. “It has to be done by a process of internal corruption.”

“Just as in the material realm the plundering of a country’s wealth is accomplished by inflating the currency—so today one may witness the process of inflation being applied to the realm of rights. The process entails such a growth of newly promulgated ‘rights’ that people do not notice the fact that the meaning of the concept is being reversed. Just as bad money drives out good money, so these ‘printing-press rights’ negate authentic rights.”

“Consider the curious fact that never has there been such a proliferation, all over the world, of two contradictory phenomena: of alleged new ‘rights’ and of slave-labor camps…”

[...]

One final time-capsule moment: Read what she said about the media in 1957 and see how current it looks. “It was their daily duty to serve as audience for some public figure who made utterances about the public good in phrases carefully chosen to convey no meaning,” Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged. “It was their daily job to sling words together in any combination they pleased, so long as the words did not fall into a sequence saying something specific.”