Monthly Archives: April 2015

Libertarianism vs Liberty

Presidential candidate Rand Paul and the entire libertarian movement are undermining the cause of individual liberty. By embracing a policy of "non-interventionism," libertarians are rejecting the means by which government legitimately acts to protect freedom–and are simultaneously smearing laissez-faire capitalism. They are motivated by hostility to governent rather than respect for individual rights.

I've written an article, "Libertarianism vs Liberty," on this issue, which appears in Huffington Post. Click here.

Free Webinar

If you pre-order my new book, In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive, before May 8, 2015, you will be able to attend an exclusive webinar at which you can ask me questions about the material in the book. The webinar, arranged by the Ayn Rand Institute, will be held sometime in August and is open only to those who order the book before May 8 (including those who have already ordered it).

The book challenges the idea that self-sacrifice is a virtue, that we are our brother’s keeper and that the task of government is to take from the “haves” and give to the “have-nots.” Written for a general audience, it dispels the misconceptions about the meaning of selfishness and of altruism. It shows that the genuinely selfish individual is not some amoral predator, but a person who renounces the unearned and who is committed to living a principled, honest, productive life.

In Defense of Selfishness also demonstrates how altruism demands, not that you respect the rights of your neighbors or that you deal with them through benevolence and goodwill, but that you subordinate yourself to them—i.e., that you accept a duty to serve the needs of others.

Ordering the book before publication, rather than after, influences the initial print run and gives the book a much better chance of success. Sales figures for the first week—which include all pre-orders—can be critical in determining the amount of exposure a book receives. 

To sign up for the webinar, simply send your order-confirmation number and email address to events@aynrand.org, placing “webinar" in the email Subject line.

Pre-order now at http://amzn.to/1sd2EQP (Amazon) or at bit.ly/1DI1izY (Barnes & Noble).

 

 

 

 

Man vs Fish

Environmentalists are typically viewed as seeking to protect human life from such health hazards as dirty air and polluted water. But that's a superficial assessment. The essence of environmentalism is the belief that nature must be protected, not for man, but from man. 

One of the more recent illustrations of this philosophy is provided by the current drought in California, where the government has imposed severe water-rationing measures. Not only have environmentalists opposed the construction of new reservoirs—none have been built in that state in the last 35 years—but they are diverting water from human use to the preservation of fish. Federal regulators have ruled that channeling some 1.2 million acre-feet of water to California farmers would have endangered the three-inch smelt. So the water, enough for more than three million households to live on for a year, went unused. 

The premise of environmentalism is that the reshaping of nature to fulfill human needs is an evil that must be stopped. Think of that as you enjoy your home with its indoor plumbing and electrical appliances, or when you drive your car along paved highways, or when you go to work in a high-rise office building—and ponder the alternative of life in pre-industrial, "unspoiled" nature.

(For more on environmentalism, see my chapter "The Philosophy of Privation" in Ayn Rand's Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution—http://amzn.to/1JQrxtv.)