Objectivist Roundup #91

Welcome to the April 9, 2009 edition of the Objectivist Roundup, your weekly dose of intellectual fuel and ammunition.

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.

The breathtaking scope of attacks on freedom and individual rights by the government of these United States, as well as similar attacks in other nations across the globe, is reflected in the content and tone of the posts listed below. As disastrous current events pile up, it's good to remember that ideas drive history and progress, and that is also reflected below. To quote Ayn Rand:

There is only one power that determines the course of history, just as it determines the course of every individual life: the power of man’s rational faculty—the power of ideas. ... If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society, you can predict its course. But convictions and philosophy are matters open to man’s choice.
--Capitalism: The Unknown Idea (quoted in ARL)

History is made by minorities—or, more precisely, history is made by intellectual movements, which are created by minorities. Who belongs to these minorities? Anyone who is able and willing actively to concern himself with intellectual issues. Here, it is not quantity, but quality that counts (the quality—and consistency—of the ideas one is advocating).
--Philosophy: Who Needs It (quoted in ARL)

With that in mind, we have both quality and quantity, so enjoy Objectivist Roundup #91!

  1. Rituparna Basu presents A Tax on the Pursuit of Happiness posted at The Undercurrent, saying, "President Obama’s first tax increase went into effect yesterday, in the form of the single greatest federal tax increase ever levied on cigarettes. Is it proper for Obama to discourage or encourage certain behavior through legislation?"

  2. Zev Barnett presents Going John Galt and the Need for a Moral Defense for Capitalism by Zev Barnett -- Capitalism Magazine posted at Capitalism Magazine, saying, "For America to rise again she must fight the moral code that led us here. Altruism and its monstrous progeny, socialism, must be explicitly rejected. Rational selfishness and its freedom loving economic system—Capitalism—must be inviolably upheld. Do that and some day, looking in a mirror, we each of us may have an answer to that all important question, who is John Galt?"

  3. Lucy Hugel presents National service bill makes 'volunteerism' compulsory - Midstate Editorials | Our Views and Yours with The Patriot-News posted at The Undercurrent Blog, saying, "The National Service Bill, recently passed by both house of Congress, will produce an explosion in the number of service programs. The goal of this legislation is profoundly un-American–-to instill an ethic of servitude in every citizen."

  4. Ifat Glassman presents Jealousy and Self-Esteem posted at Psychology of Selfishness.

  5. Rajesh Dhawan presents Growth of corruption equals decline in freedom posted at Objective extrospection, saying, "The discretionary powers given to government officials which violate the basic tenets of Capitalism have increasingly resulted in the chaotic economic mess the world finds itself in."

  6. Tom Stelene presents Obama: By Interfering in Your Lives I Fulfill Mine posted at The Audacity of Independence, saying, "So where exactly, Comrade President, does your 'fulfilling' of your life by 'nobly' 'making a difference' in mine end, and my liberty to live my (not-boring) life begin?"

  7. C. August presents Obama's Dream Team, Our Nightmare posted at Titanic Deck Chairs, saying, "An article in Time magazine details how behavioral economists - Sunstein, Thaler, Ariely, et. al - who helped nudge Obama into office, are now whispering in the ear of power. Prepare to be nudged, America."

  8. Noah Stahl presents Broken Windows, Broken Principles posted at The Undercurrent, saying, "Our leaders in Washington have reacted to the economic downturn by enacting a flurry of new government spending initiatives including bailouts, "stimulus packages", and a vast new federal budget. The ultimate success of these policies–and the security of our economic futures–rest on a single premise, a wager made on a massive scale: that government spending can "stimulate" the economy and spark the renewed creation of wealth."

  9. Diana Hsieh presents Good Calories, Bad Calories posted at NoodleFood, saying, "If you're interested in a detailed survey of the history and science of nutrition -- including the serious corruption introduced by government interference -- Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories" is the book for you."

  10. Rajesh Dhawan presents Carbon footprint -bigger the better posted at Objective extrospection, saying, "America should be happy about its carbon footprint and say this with pride -mine is bigger than yours."

  11. Roberto Sarrionandia presents The Prometheus Initiative posted at Tito's Blog, saying, "Announcing my new free books project in the UK"

  12. Flibbert presents Sociopaths Against "Intuitionism" posted at Flibbertigibbet, saying, "The NY Objectivists started listening to the Ghate/Huemer ethics debate on Monday and part of our discussion was around the use of "intuition" as evidence or support for particular ethical claims. In this post, I discuss some of the ways we can attack this position when it is presented -- and sociopaths can help. No, really."

  13. Gus Van Horn presents Gettin' Write with Jesus? posted at Gus Van Horn, saying, "What has happened to the 'science' in 'science fiction', anyway?"

  14. Ari Armstrong presents Woods '05: 'Nothing to Apologize For' posted at FreeColorado.com, saying, "Thomas E. Woods, author of Meltdown and an associate of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, also used to belong to and write for the racist and theocratic League of the South. To what extent has he distanced himself from his older views?"

  15. Brian presents Atlas Shrugged, Paine, Shlaes at Record Sales posted at Reality Talk, saying, "Some might say that people are simply impulse buying based on media recommendations, and won't seriously consider the book. Well, there is some evidence that that is not the case."

  16. Grant Jones presents Ayn Rand: Objectively Speaking posted at The Dougout, saying, "This post is a short review of a recently release collection of interviews of Ayn Rand."

  17. Ryan Krause presents You Want I Should Exchange Our Convertible Bonds for Equity, Boss? posted at The Money Speech, saying, "See who's been put in charge of manhandling your pseudo-capitalist companies."

  18. Paul Hsieh presents FROG Media Output: Winter 2008-2009 posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Front Range Objectivist Group (FROG) members had a good past few months with respect to spreading our ideas in the mainstream media - including 18 published OpEds, 27 LTEs and 7 radio/TV appearances."

  19. Miranda Barzey presents Expanding the ARC's Reach posted at Ramen & Rand, saying, "A quick run-through of how I think multimedia visuals can be effectively used by the Ayn Rand Center to expand the reach of Objectivism."

  20. Daniel presents Objectivist Blog Directory posted at The Nearby Pen, saying, "This post briefly reviews the sites of 20 (active) Objectivist bloggers--hopefully increasing click-throughs to their sites and sending the curious to the most frequently updated blogs..."

  21. Grant Jones presents Obama Hits New Low posted at The Dougout, saying, "One more, Obambi hits new low, refuses to visit Normandy Beach."

  22. Stella presents Poison pen letters from the FDA posted at ReasonPharm, saying, "Google ads from pharma companies are now, effectively, banned. Thanks, FDA."

  23. Monica presents Unfortunately, NOT an April Fool's Joke posted at FA-RM, saying, "The Brits have reached a new level of nanny state insanity: a door to door program to advise citizens on how to reduce food waste for mitigation of "climate change." Let's not let this happen in America."

  24. Edward Cline presents Of Obama and Obeisance posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "More disgusting than former President George W. Bush holding the hand of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (when the latter was but a “crown prince”) on Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch years ago, was the signature demonstration of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy when he bowed before the king at the G20 meeting in London and presumably kissed that same hand. This was an uncalled-for gesture on the part of a man who poses as a friend of the “unwashed masses” but who apparently experiences a “high” when hobnobbing with the rich and powerful."

  25. Adam Reed presents Collaboration: Getting Ayn Rand 180-Degrees Wrong posted at Born to Identify, saying, "Ayn Rand wrote: "In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins." What is one to make of wannabe-"Objectivists" who would collaborate with the likes of Michelle Malkin?"

That concludes this edition of the Objectivist Roundup. Next week's host is Tito at Tito's Blog. 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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