Tag Archives | Ayn Rand

True Believers

The Democrats have been going through the five stages of grief on ObamaCare. It started with denial, the insistence that the system was working just fine except for a few glitches on its website. Then there was anger, with a few left-leaning commentators venting their frustration with Obama for dropping the ball on the implementation […]

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Original Sin

Fresh out of a White House meeting in which President Obama passed on his preferred talking points to sympathetic journalists, Juan Williams revealed what one of those talking points is. The attacks, I think this is just, again, more attacks coming from Republicans who don’t like the plan…. It’s what the White House now calls […]

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So Who Is This John Galt Fellow, Really?

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 4 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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The Novel That Prevented Itself from Becoming Prophetic

Editor’s Note: My apologies for not sending out The Tracinski Letter for the past few weeks. I had a big project come up that demanded all of my time for a little while. It’s one of those things where I have been working, so far, behind the scenes, and I’m not sure when or how […]

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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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Shrug Trek

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 2 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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Flame Spotting

How to Achieve a Benevolent Sense of Life Part two of a four-part series. In the first installment of this series, I challenged the notion that a malevolent sense of life is a reaction to the uniquely bad circumstances of “today’s world,” both because sense of life is not about your momentary circumstances and because […]

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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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How to Achieve a Benevolent Sense of Life

Part 1: “How to Maintain a Benevolent Sense of Life in Today’s World” Many things have been written about the appeal of Ayn Rand’s novels, but one of the central reasons for her enduring popularity and influence is her concept of a “benevolent sense of life.” Her novels are not just about striving and struggle, […]

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