Tag Archives | altruism

The Anti-Climax of Kantianism

I just came across such a comically grotesque philosophical expression of everything that’s wrong with our culture that I had to write a piece on it for The Federalist. I’m going to include that piece here, but afterwards I have some additional comments I want to make, just for this newsletter, that take it down […]

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The Humanitarian with the Trolley

I’m trying out a slightly different format that will allow me to send out more frequent exclusive subscriber-only content (as opposed to advance version of articles printed in The Federalist or at RealClearFuture and elsewhere). This is going to take the form of short notes, sometimes with a list of article recommendations at the end. […]

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Who Is James Taggart?

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 8 Spoiler Alert: You do not need a reader’s guide to Atlas Shrugged—at least not for your first reading. Ayn Rand’s novel is clear, compelling, eminently readable, and perfectly comprehensible on its own terms. Yet Atlas is also a rich and complex novel, with an intricate plot in […]

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What the Right Can Learn from Ayn Rand

In The Federalist, Hunter Baker recently argued that conservatives should approach the ideas of Ayn Rand with a little more “Christian charity,” and that they should reverse the attempt by William F. Buckley and Whittaker Chambers, decades ago, to drum Ayn Rand out of the right. I have a few quibbles with this piece, but […]

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To Make Money, Eventually

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 5 Spoiler Alert: You do not need a reader’s guide to Atlas Shrugged—at least not for your first reading. Ayn Rand’s novel is clear, compelling, eminently readable, and perfectly comprehensible on its own terms. Yet Atlas is also a rich and complex novel, with an intricate plot in […]

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20th Century Lite

In my RealClearPolitics newsletter, I linked to a commentator at a left-leaning publication—Slate’s John Dickerson—calling for a “healthcare.gov witch hunt.” It was an unusual recognition, or semi-recognition, that ObamaCare’s explosion on the launch pad may have some wider implications about what happens when the government sets out to manage the economy. [T]here are big national […]

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The Psychology of “Normal Life”

How to Achieve a Benevolent Sense of Life, Part 3 This is part three of what looks like it might be a five-part series. In the previous installment of this series, I urged readers to become flame-spotters who look for the good in the world, so that this orientation toward the good becomes the psychological […]

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Pathological Altruism

The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto recently linked to an academic psychologist’s report on the phenomenon of “pathological altruism”—a tentative recognition that the morality of altruism might not be as benevolent as it claims. For an Objectivist, this is a fat, slow pitch over the middle, so I took a swing at it. This is […]

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Where Is John Galt?

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 You do not need a reader’s guide to Atlas Shrugged—at least not for your first reading. Atlas Shrugged is not like the Bible. The Bible is full of diversions that seem inexplicable or that don’t seem to advance the story, because their meaning has been obscured through […]

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What Are the Others Here For?

Deep down, I knew how this story was going to end. Back in November, the national news picked up a viral video of a New York City police officer buying a pair of boots for a homeless man in Times Square who was shoeless on a cold night. Everyone else thought this was a heartwarming […]

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