Tag Archives | Objectivism

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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On the Origins of “Individualism”

Objectivists get used to hearing something like this every once in a while, so it didn’t surprise me when I read the following in an article by a conservative colleague: The number of true individualists is still relatively small…. If you buy or sell things, consume popular culture, or have anyone in your life you […]

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Crucial New Ideas That Are Not Hers

I recently published a commentary on how certain basic ideas about how to organize the Objectivist movement that were formulated in the 1980s have begun to fall away, implicitly rejected even by those who used to advocate them. Of those ideas, the only one on which I have seen any real debate is the question […]

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The 1980s Called, and They Want Their Objectivism Back

In recent years, for reasons I have explained at length before, I have separated myself from the formal Objectivist movement and its occasional soap operas—though not, of course, from the philosophy of Objectivism itself, which happily survives independent of the various characters who associate themselves with it. So it is with some reluctance that I […]

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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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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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Are Objectivists Libertarians?

In my RCP newsletter, I’ve been chronicling Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s recent heroics and ascent within the Republican Party. Paul represents, not just the influence of the Tea Party, but also the growing influence of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, which was so famously represented by his father, Ron Paul. But if the […]

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A Philosophy for Teenagers

The nomination of Paul Ryan, a noted Ayn Rand fan, as the Republican Party’s vice-presidential candidate has inspired some increased discussion of Rand’s ideas and writings. But not all of it has been edifying. The latest unedifying contribution is a brief comment by President Obama in a fawning interview with Rolling Stone. Asked, “Have you […]

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How to Keep Atlas from Shrugging

Originally published in TIA Daily. I recently described the real-life parallels to events in Atlas Shrugged. But as Ayn Rand once said, part of the novel’s purpose was to prevent it from becoming prophetic. To understand how we can prevent the novel from becoming a full description of events in the current day, we have […]

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