Objectivist Roundup #87

Welcome to the March 12, 2009 edition of the Objectivist Roundup.

This roundup features posts by blog authors who are advocates of Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. She called it a "philosophy for living on earth" -- as opposed to religious mysticism focused on some non-existent other world, or an ivory tower mishmash of conflicting ideas disconnected from reality and the lives of men.

Today's roundup also coincides with a sudden skyrocketing of interest in Ayn Rand. The phrase "going Galt," a reference to John Galt's strike in her novel Atlas Shrugged, has been popping up everywhere lately, mostly focusing on just the political aspects of the strike. Recently, professor Greg Salmieri cleared things up in an enlightening post:

Most of the recent discussion of Atlas has focused on its political themes, creating the impression that the novel is essentially a condemnation of government intervention in the economy. However, its scope, its relevance to the current crisis, and the reasons for its enduring appeal go much wider and much deeper than this. Galt goes on strike not simply against high taxes and unjust regulations, but against the morality of altruism, which Rand identifies as the cause of such measures, and against the world—view of which this moral code is an expression—a philosophy that denies the efficacy of reason and the absolutism of reality.

Atlas Shrugged is a novel about the role of the mind in man’s existence. In it, Rand diagnoses not only political and economic trends, but also much of the frustration, injustice, and pain that we experience in our personal lives, tracing them all back to the mind-stultifying ideology that has come to dominate western culture and has replaced the Enlightenment ideals on which America was founded. As a prescription for the rebirth of America, and as a guide to anyone who seeks to make the most of his life, Atlas offers a revolutionary philosophy of reason and egoism.

With that in mind, quite a range of topics is covered below, from ethics and religion, to the "going Galt" phenomenon, to economics, politics, parenting, and even music. Enjoy Objectivist Roundup #87!

  1. Stephen Bourque presents Ted Kennedy’s Down Payment posted at One Reality, saying, "Why do conservatives give lip service to freedom and limited government, yet fail to actually act accordingly?"

  2. Paul Hsieh presents Get Ready For the Unintended Consequences posted at We Stand FIRM, saying, "One doctor explains what he'll do if Obama's tax and health care plan is passed into law. Whether he realizes it or not, he's "going John Galt"."

  3. Andrew Dalton presents How not to understand Objectivism posted at Witch Doctor Repellent, saying, "Claims by snarky commentators of finding Objectivism in popular culture cannot be taken at face value."

  4. Doug Reich presents Intellectual Role Reversal: Towards "The Good Deal", posted at The Rational Capitalist.

  5. Bill Brown presents Why We Can’t All Just Get Along posted at The New Clarion, saying, "Bipartisanship means the other side wins, which in the current political climate means that we all lose."

  6. Ryan Krause presents Barney Frank, VP of Marketing posted at The Money Speech, saying, "There are no limits to the level of micromanaging Congress will attempt. Come see the latest atrocity."

  7. Jeff Montgomery presents Critique: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 posted at Fun With Gravity, saying, "Although the bulk of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is bad news, there is a tiny silver lining. Here's a quick detailed assessment."

  8. Brian Phillips presents Peter Brown's Lessons posted at Houston Property Rights, saying, "Councilman and Mayoral candidate Peter Brown has posted a series of "Lessons from U.S. cities" on his web site. The lessons he has learned are quite revealing regarding the direction he would like to take Houston."

  9. Edward Cline presents The New Intolerable Acts posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "There are qualified parallels between what American colonists protested and rebelled against in 1774-1775, and what modern Americans ought to be rebelling against today."

  10. Gus Van Horn presents Churlish? Or Unready? posted at Gus Van Horn, saying, "Obama has been particularly rude to our strongest, and most reliable allies, the British, on multiple occasions now."

  11. Jim Woods presents Not An Emergency, but A Suicide Attempt posted at Words by Woods, saying, "What is the nature of our current economic problems?"

  12. Michael Labeit presents On Free Trade posted at Philosophical Mortician, saying, "A refresher on the anatomy of free exchange."

  13. John Drake presents Another sad day for the Internet posted at Try Reason!, saying, "Unfortunately, net neutrality may become a reality due to Obama's choice for FCC chairman. It is a sad day for the Internet."

  14. Amy Zook presents Movie Review: Watchmen posted at Semiconductor Girl, saying, "In this review, I share my disgust at the abysmal view of human nature portrayed in the much-hyped new movie "Watchmen"."

  15. Roberto Sarrionandia presents Activism for the day: Atlas for a candidate posted at Tito's Blog, saying, "Sending Atlas Shrugged to my local Conservative candidate"

  16. Miranda Barzey presents Depression in College: Getting Out of my Own Way posted at Ramen & Rand, saying, "I thought college would be awesome. It wasn't. This is how I tackled disappointment with college my first year, and came out with a better understanding of value pursuit."

  17. Daniel presents Mausi: Ayn Rand's "Laughing Song" posted at The Nearby Pen, saying, "Listen to one of the 'tiddlywink' songs mentioned in Facets of Ayn Rand as the 'laughing' song-because 'the singers start to laugh as they are sing­ing [and] their laughter is so contagious that long before the song is over every­one is laugh­ing along with them.'"

  18. Cogito presents Levy's Program for the Natural Sciences posted at Cogito's Thoughts, saying, "This post introduces a series which will outline my program for revamping the physical sciences based on an objective foundation, similar to David Hilbert's program for mathematics at the turn of the last century (though not similar in method!)"

  19. Diana Hsieh presents Audio of Debate on Ayn Rand's Ethics posted at NoodleFood, saying, "I report on the excellent CU Boulder debate on Ayn Rand ethics between Dr. Onkar Ghate and Dr. Michael Huemer. Don't miss the opportunity to listen to the audio for yourself!"

  20. Rational Jenn presents On Staying Out Of The Way posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "Sometimes, the parenting challenge is not getting between the child and reality. No matter what may come."

  21. Deb Ross presents Ayn Rand books for charity! posted at Mariposario, saying, "I set up this auction for my children's chorus as a means of getting the word out about Rand's books, more than anything else. But, it's $132 worth of books which will probably sell for a lot less, and it would be particularly nice if an Objectivist won the bidding. Everyone needs a few extra new Ayn Rand hardcovers lying around to give as gifts! So I thought I'd submit my blog post that has the link to the MissionFish (eBay) auction. The bidding ends March 15, 2009."

  22. Ari Armstrong presents Personhood: Subjectivism Versus Faith posted at AriArmstrong.com, saying, "To decide whether a fertilized egg is a person, we need to look at the facts, not at our emotions or some religious authority."

  23. Jason presents Death by Immorality posted at Erosophia, saying, "When the consequences of an inverted ethics become all too real."

  24. Tom Stelene presents "Jesus, Interrupted", Reviewed posted at The Imaginary Philosophy, saying, "Jesus, Interrupted is about Jesus, the New Testament, and the development of Christianity. What is in the book, Ehrman states, is actually nothing new - to scholars, or those who have attended a seminary, that is. There is, though, plenty in the book that would be new to the man “on the street and in the pew.” Ehrman’s thesis is that the Bible is a very human book and the Christianity we have inherited is very human-made."

That concludes this edition of the Objectivist Roundup. Next week's host is Amy at The Little Things. Submit your blog article to the Objectivist Roundup using our carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Jenn Casey said...

Great job on the carnival, as always. Thanks!

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

Wow. I will have to come back to this one later. So much good stuff!

Here is my own post, at a different blog, focused on what it means to "Go Galt" and why though some (perhaps many) don't agree with Objectivism in whole they'll choose to go on a partial strike anyway: