Impact 201312


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Here is your monthly Impact newsletter for December, 2013.
Included in this month’s issue:

Coming in 2014: An Enhanced Digital Presence: Exciting changes and improvements are coming to ARI. Get a sneak preview of what to expect in 2014.

Another Record Breaking Year in 2013: Look back on what ARI accomplished, thanks to donors like you, in 2013 and how we plan to continue the momentum.

Atlas Shrugged Is a Book About Pride in One’s Work, and the Success That Results: The first op-ed by ARI’s new director of legal studies, Steve Simpson, was recently published at Read it in its entirety in this month’s Impact.

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Impact 201312

  1. 1. E: ated E: oated Volume 19, Number 12, December 2013 Coming in 2014: An Enhanced Digital Presence Launch of ARI’s New Digital Initiative One of the largest changes in 2014 will be the launch of our Digital Initiative, which includes a brand new website and social media platforms. With this project, ARI aims to bridge the gap between reading Ayn Rand’s fiction to the application of her philosophy. ARI will introduce a tool for website visitors that tailors recommended content (articles, books, videos, etc.)—based on what books visitors have read, and whether they are a student or a teacher or are just interested in Ayn Rand—to their current understanding of Objectivism. In the future, we will expand this tool to include other audience groups and more features in order to further customize the experience. The end result will be an integrated online presence that increases awareness and understanding of Ayn Rand and her ideas. To learn more about the Digital Initiative, see the September issue of Impact. PANTONE: 306C Coated PANTONE: 123C Coated PANTONE: 123C Coated PANTONE: 311U Uncoated PANTONE: 115U Uncoated PANTONE: 115U Uncoated ARI Campus Offerings A RI Campus, the free online educational program launched last year, will play a key role in ARI’s new digital presence. Here is a preview of two of the many offerings coming to ARI Campus in 2014: • “Objective Communication”: This offering is adapted from a series of lectures by Leonard Peikoff. In it, Dr. Peikoff identifies certain principles of intellectual communication and applies them to the areas of writing, speaking and arguing. • “History of Philosophy, Volume 1—Founders of Western Philosophy”: In this offering, also adapted from a series of lectures, Dr. Peikoff traces the development of Western thought from ancient Greece to the present. Volume 1 covers Thales to Hume. You can enroll in the currently available ARI Campus offerings at Objectivist Summer Conference 2014, June 28–July 4, Las Vegas, Nevada ARI is in the process of revamping OCON to provide a conference that is more engaging and easier to attend. Detailed information will be available soon at Another Record Breaking Year in 2013 T he Ayn Rand Institute is spearheading a growing awareness, understanding and acceptance of Ayn Rand’s ideas. We aim to reverse today’s anti-reason, anti-self-interest and anti-capitalist trends by concentrating our efforts on impacting areas in the culture that will most directly and deeply change it as a whole. In 2013, our education and policy teams did just that. With another record shattered by our Free Books program and our presence known on Capitol Hill, ARI will continue the momentum in 2014. Current ARI Campus Offerings Beginner • “Ayn Rand: A Writer’s Life” • “Ayn Rand, the Radical Thinker” • “The Fountainhead” • “Introducing Objectivism” • “Anthem” Education: Fostering Awareness and Understanding of Ayn Rand • “We the Living” Students • “Philosophy: Who Needs It” ARI Campus, which provides free classes on Ayn Rand’s life, novels and ideas, launched two new offerings this year. The first, “Introducing Objectivism,” is a brief lecture by Ayn Rand, in which she gives an overview of her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism. The second, “What Is Capitalism?” features an in-depth discussion by her on the epistemological, moral and political foundations of capitalism. Both offerings have been rated 4.6 out of continued on page 2 • “The Ayn Rand Bookshelf” Intermediate • “Philosophy of Education” • “What Is Capitalism?” Advanced • “Moral Virtue”
  2. 2. Another Record Breaking Year in 2013, continued from page 1 five by current campus students. While eleven offerings are now offered at ARI Campus, several more are currently at various stages of development. Students learn about Ayn Rand’s view of happiness with instructor Keith Lockitch The gains of the Free Books program since its inception One of ARI’s longest-standing education programs, the Free Books to Teachers program, completed its most successful year to date. The purpose of the Free Books to Teachers program is to introduce young people to Ayn Rand’s ideas by supplying free classroom sets of Rand’s novels to high school teachers. Teachers are also provided a wealth of materials to aid them in incorporating Rand’s ideas into their curriculum. During the 2012–13 school year, ARI mailed over 418,000 books, a program record. This marks the second year that distribution has topped 400,000 copies—signifying continued growth in demand from teachers. ARI estimates that as a result of the Free Books to Teachers program, six million students have been introduced to Ayn Rand’s ideas in the classroom. These students may never have encountered Rand if not for reading one of her novels in school. Some of these students may go on to be the leaders, intellectuals and educators of tomorrow; all will have an awareness of Ayn Rand’s ideas that may influence them throughout their lifetime. For the coming year, ARI has produced a new handbook for teachers that will accompany Free Books to Teachers shipments. Besides educating teachers on Ayn Rand’s life, ideas and works, these handbooks are meant to increase the number of teachers who encourage student participation in ARI’s annual essay contests—another program intended to educate young people about Ayn Rand’s ideas. Offered to students around the world, ARI’s annual essay contests on Anthem, We the Living, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged distributed $100,000 this year in scholarships to the various winners. For the first time, ARI offered an Atlas Shrugged summer reading program to promote the accompanying essay contest and help students improve the quality of their essays. More than 750 students received weekly emails providing instruction on the novel’s characters, plot and overall theme. ARI fellow Keith Lockitch hosted an hour-long livestream QA on the novel to conclude the summer program. As a result of increased marketing efforts, including the pilot Atlas Shrugged summer reading program, Atlas Shrugged essay contest submissions increased 16 percent this year over last. to Rand’s philosophy and interested in intellectual careers. During the three-week program, the interns learned about Ayn Rand’s ideas and their application to current affairs. For example, Onkar Ghate, Chief Content Officer at ARI, spoke about morality—what it is and Ayn Rand’s conception of it. Analyst Doug Altner gave talks on capitalism and why it is moral according to Ayn Rand. Keith Lockitch gave lectures on Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Besides the lectures, the curriculum included small breakout sessions for interns to further explore topics such as business leadership, environmentalism and foreign policy. The internship culminated with the interns using their newly gained knowledge of Rand’s ideas to participate in one of three debates on public policy issues. During their time at ARI, interns gained experience working in an office setting. Through the internship, these students gained a solid understanding of and respect for Rand’s philosophy that they will carry with them into their lives and careers. Another of ARI’s education initiatives designed for college students is our Campus Club program. Through this program, ARI provides Objectivist clubs on college campuses with materials for study as well as guidance on engaging in activism. ARI also helps these clubs host live events on their campuses, where students can learn about Ayn Rand’s ideas from Objectivist speakers. For example, Onkar Ghate spoke at Stanford University in October about Ayn Rand’s concept of self-interest. With clubs active at over fifty universities across the country, including Yale, New York University and the University of Arizona, ARI will continue to work with campus Objectivist clubs to develop the next generation of intellectual student leaders. This year, select clubs were offered the opportunity to opt in to the newly created Club Associates program. Two club associates, both former leaders of highly successful clubs, provided semester-long guidance to club leaders on building membership, fostering discussion and undertaking outreach. The program received positive feedback from participants, and ARI is considering expanding it in the coming year. In 2014, ARI will continue to build the campus club network and establish Objectivism as a competing movement on college campuses nationwide. ARI continued the Books to Free Market Students program to help ensure that college students interested in the free market are exposed to Ayn Rand’s ideas. ARI supplies Ayn Rand’s writings to organizations who work with young people interested in free market ideas. This year, the program was expanded to offer Ayn Rand’s nonfiction books as well as her novels. More than 7,000 books were provided to twenty organizations and twelve student clubs, including the Charles Koch Institute and the Foundation for Economic Education. Academics ARI exhibited at various conferences to reach out to middle and high school educators In June, ARI once again welcomed summer interns to its headquarters in Irvine, California. This year’s class consisted of twenty-nine top college students majoring in a variety of fields. Most were new ARI reaches out to college professors to enrich understanding of Rand’s ideas in academia. ARI intellectuals and education staff attend conferences to introduce academics to Ayn Rand’s views and engage in discussion about them. For example, ARI speakers gave presentations at four sessions of the annual Association of Private Enterprise Education conference. This event brings together several hundred scholars and public policy intellectuals with a common interest in studying and supporting the advancement of free markets. Topics discussed by ARI speakers included Ayn Rand’s views on the use of force and how Rand’s ideas differ from those of John Stuart Mill. For the eighth year in a row, ARI intellectuals spoke at the annual BBT Moral Foundations of Capitalism Conference. Close to eighty academics and staff 2 from free market organizations attended the event, at which almost half of the sessions discussed Rand’s ideas to some extent. ARI also hosted a workshop this year on incorporating Ayn Rand into the business management curriculum. This event brought professors and Objectivist scholars to ARI’s Irvine, California, office. The workshop identified key ideas from Rand’s philosophy that should be taught to business students and formed an action plan for getting Objectivism taught more widely in business schools. As a result of this action plan, Yaron Brook participated in the Academy of Management’s annual conference for business professors where he spoke on the morality, myths and realities of capitalism. In 2014, ARI will continue cultivating our professor network to get Rand incorporated into business management curricula. Advanced Training in Objectivism Limited to serious students of Objectivism who aspire to intellectual careers, the Objectivist Academic Center is ARI’s premier distance learning program for advanced instruction in Ayn Rand’s philosophy. This year, thirteen students graduated from the one-year Core Course, which provides a foundational education in the areas of philosophy and communication. Students explore Rand’s philosophy in relation to other schools of thought and learn effective methods of communicating Objectivism and its application to topical issues. After completing the Core Course, select students are invited to apply for the Advanced Educational Program (AEP), which provides a deeper understanding of Objectivism and a focus on developing the broad range of skills necessary for a successful career in academia or policy. For example, Leonard Peikoff taught a course on writing in which students received feedback from him on assigned papers or oral presentations. ARI held a teaching conference for AEP students, in which they gave mock classes and received feedback from ARI instructors. George Selgin, a professor of economics at the University of Georgia and a leading proponent of free banking, gave a presentation on monetary policy for noneconomists. ARI’s other program for advanced students of Objectivism is the Junior Fellows program, which provides work experience and on-the-job training to recent graduates who aspire to intellectual careers. In the summer of 2013, the Junior Fellows program concluded its pilot year, during which two twelvemonth fellowships were awarded. The fellowship recipients were immersed in the world of research, writing and speaking while taking part in training workshops on applying Ayn Rand’s ideas to current issues. Working alongside senior ARI staff, the junior fellows took on various projects designed to give hands-on experience in key skills. After the conclusion of the fellowship, one participant, Amanda Maxham, joined ARI’s policy team as a research associate. One fellowship has been awarded for 2013–14. Morality of Capitalism Conference for College Students F or the second year in a row, ARI cohosted, with the Foundation for Economic Education, a daylong conference for college students. The conference focused on the moral foundations of capitalism and brought many students to FEE’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The event provided an opportunity for attendees to engage with leading free market intellectuals, participate in discussions and network with like-minded students. At the conference, Jeff Scialabba, ARI academic programs manager, moderated a panel titled “Taking Ideas Seriously,” at which Yaron Brook spoke on what an intellectual career entails. Onkar Ghate gave a lecture on the morality of freedom, and the conference culminated with Dr. Brook discussing some of the ideas in his book Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government (coauthored by Don Watkins, an ARI fellow). continued on page 3
  3. 3. Another Record Breaking Year in 2013, continued from page 2 Public Policy: Engaging in and Reshaping Crucial Debates Written Commentary In addition to educating students and scholars about Objectivism, some ARI intellectuals focus their efforts on writing and speaking on public policy issues to reframe the terms of debate. In November, director of legal studies Steve Simpson wrote at about the lessons Atlas Shrugged offers for a productive and successful life. Mr. Simpson’s op-ed is reprinted on page 6 for your enjoyment. Also in November, Peter Schwartz, a distinguished fellow of ARI, authored an op-ed at titled “Why Is the Tea Party ‘Extremist,’ but Democratic Support for Big Government ‘Moderate’?” For the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case on abortion, Leonard Peikoff’s 1999 op-ed on the topic was reprinted in the Huffington Post with an updated introduction. On Ayn Rand’s birthday (February 2), Yaron Brook and ARI fellow Don Watkins published a piece at explaining three crucial lessons Rand offers those who want to fight for a freer America. During the debate over the government sequester, Yaron Brook and Don Watkins wrote an op-ed at In the article, Dr. Brook and Mr. Watkins argue that the increase in spending is a result of the increase in the size of government, and a true solution would not be budgetary measures like the sequester, but a return of government to fulfilling its proper role. Frequent in the news this year were calls to raise the minimum wage. ARI responded by publishing two articles. In his article at Forbes,com, Don Watkins explained how the minimum wage denies individuals the freedom to decide what their labor is worth. At the Daily Caller, Doug Altner illustrated how these laws can render an entrepreneur’s business goals unprofitable and unachievable. In the wake of numerous antitrust trials, analyst Tom Bowden authored several op-eds about antitrust laws. Mr. Bowden used the Google and Apple antitrust trials to illustrate how these unjust laws punish businesses for their accomplishments, not for any genuine legal injuries. In response to government scrutiny over the proposed merger of U.S. Airways and American Airlines, Mr. Bowden wrote at that “Antitrust laws deny companies the right to organize their business as they see fit. That’s an injustice we need to identify and condemn, undistracted by the mythical dangers of private mergers.” Analyst Rituparna Basu wrote two articles amid the ongoing debate about Obamacare. Her articles, published at and, challenged common conceptions about the health law, arguing that the healthcare law “milks the hard-earned income of young people—those just starting out in life—for the sake of those older, sacrificing in the process a young person’s own goals and dreams.” In response to the government selling its stake in General Motors, Doug Altner authored an op-ed examining one of the factors in the automaker’s decline—its relationship with the United Auto Workers union. At, Dr. Altner explained that GM’s decisions regarding its labor policies must be evaluated in the context of the coercive nature of labor laws. ARI writers continued to blog on the issues of the day. A R I’s t wo blogs, Voices for Reason and Laissez-Faire, featured daily commentary on topics such as govern- Don Watkins chats with attendees ment regulation, the during a book signing for Free growing entitlement Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government. crisis and turmoil in the Middle East. Amanda Maxham, research associate, began a series of posts called “GMO Mondays.” Every Monday, Dr. Maxham blogs on an aspect of the science or politics of genetically modified foods. Talks and Debates ARI intellectuals and other Objectivist scholars spoke at many venues championing individual rights and challenging statist policies. Yaron Brook alone gave ninety talks across the United States and abroad. Dr. Brook regularly speaks on morality, capitalism and how Ayn Rand’s ideas can redefine the role of government. A new venue Dr. Brook spoke at this year was Chicago Ideas Week, a renowned annual event in the city of Chicago that features hundreds of thought leaders speaking on a variety of topics, from the Middle East to music. Dr. Brook gave two talks and participated in a debate on the role of the state in individuals’ lives. As in previous years, Dr. Brook took part in an event hosted by Ford Hall Forum. He debated Hedrick Smith, a former New York Times journalist, on a topic titled “Wealth Inequality and the Role Taking Capitol Hill By Storm Yaron Brook speaks to a gathering of congressional staffers A RI speakers regularly held educational briefings for Capitol Hill staffers. The purpose of these sessions is not to influence legislation, but to introduce congressional aides and assistants—part of the next generation of political thought leaders—to Ayn Rand’s moral principles. The goal of this year’s series was to educate attendees on why the principle of individual rights should guide policy decisions. At each session, participants received a free book relevant to the topic of the briefing, allowing them to build their personal library of reference materials for advocating Ayn Rand’s philosophy. ARI began briefings in 2012 for staffers from the House of Representatives, and this year ARI scheduled sessions for Senate staffers as well. Below is the list of this year’s briefings to date, organized chronologically. • “How to Promote Individual Rights and Win the Sequester Debate” with Yaron Brook • “Is Regulation Moral?” with Eric Daniels • “Post-Arab Spring: What Is the Basis for a Proper Foreign Policy: The Pro-Capitalist Answer” with Elan Journo • “What Does a Pro-Individual Rights Immigration Policy Look Like?” with Yaron Brook • “The Rule of Law: What Is the Role of Congress?” with Tara Smith • There a Proper Way to Compromise?” with Onkar Ghate “Is 3 On the Air Tom Bowden on RT America • “Why Is Antitrust Targeting America’s Best Companies?” with Tom Bowden Promoters outside the Adam Smith Institute at which Lars Christensen, CEO and cofounder of Saxo Bank, gave this year’s Ayn Rand Lecture of Money in Politics.” In front of a sold-out crowd, Dr. Brook explained why laissez-faire capitalism, and not the current mixed economy, is the greatest path to prosperity. In October, Dr. Brook travelled to the United Kingdom to speak on the moral case for laissez-faire capitalism at the London School of Economics. To accompany his talk, Dr. Brook co-authored an article with Don Watkins that was posted on the school’s blog. In the article, they reflected on how Ayn Rand created the greatest case for capitalism. Tom Bowden gave the keynote address at the 2013 Morality of Capitalism Symposium at University of Nebraska at Kearney. His talk, given to two hundred students, focused on the key, yet forgotten, individuals in the health care debate—doctors. Mr. Bowden also participated in two panels: one on health care as a right and one on end-of-life care. Recently, Don Watkins gave a presentation at the Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum in New York City. This conference brought together free market advocates to discuss strategies for advancing liberty. Mr. Watkins spoke on Ayn Rand’s legacy of defending capitalism and what makes her so successful at it. He gave four critical steps every advocate for free markets should follow in order to defend capitalism successfully. In response to the twentieth anniversary of the Oslo Peace Accords, which intended to bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, ARI organized a panel in Washington, DC. The panel focused on what is necessary for achieving peace in the Middle East and what US policy toward the region should look like. Elan Journo participated in the panel and Tom Bowden served as moderator. Mr. Journo appeared as a panelist at various other foreign policy events. At the Oslo@Twenty conference, organized by the American Freedom Alliance, Mr. Journo spoke on how appeasement has empowered America’s enemies in the Middle East. At a panel hosted by Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Mr. Journo discussed what actions the United States should take in regard to Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. In a student event hosted at University of California, Davis, Mr. Journo spoke on what the rise of the Islamist movement means for US foreign policy. Amid the FDA’s increasing control over the medical market, Rituparna Basu participated in a panel on the topic at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Ms. Basu spoke about why the FDA’s regulatory policies treat medical manufacturers as guilty until proven innocent. In response to the most recent report on climate change released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Keith Lockitch moderated a panel on the science behind global warming. The panel featured the authors of a new publication by the Heartland Institute. Held at ARI’s Irvine, California, office, this event showcased the Heartland Institute’s important work on challenging the view that atmospheric carbon dioxide is the dominant driver of climate change. • There Justice in Inequality?” with Yaron Brook “Is ARI speakers have given close to two hundred interviews this year on an assortment of national and international TV and radio programs, in which they spoke about how Ayn Rand’s timeless ideas clarify issues of the day. Yaron Brook appeared twice on Fox Business’s Stossel, which analyzes current affairs from a proliberty viewpoint. In February, Dr. Brook addressed how it is immoral for government spending to redistribute wealth. In October, Dr. Brook spoke on how the minimum wage hurts the individuals it is intended to help. Onkar Ghate was interviewed on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered about the continued on page 4
  4. 4. Another Record Breaking Year in 2013, continued from page 3 role of government in avoiding disasters. Speaking in response to the chemical plant explosions earlier this year in West, Texas, Dr. Ghate illustrated how regulations designed to prevent disaster impose significant burdens on innocent business owners. On Columbus Day, Tom Bowden appeared on RT America to discuss Columbus’s legacy and how America should mark the holiday. RT America also hosted Yaron Brook for the 56th anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged. During the program, Dr. Brook explained how Rand’s magnum opus provides the moral basis for a free society. ARI speakers regularly appeared on radio programs such as 1190AM’s The Dan Cofall Show, WAFS’s Butler on Business and WINA’s The Schilling Show. Continuing the Momentum in 2014 W ith the success of 2013 behind us, it is important for ARI to continue our momentum in 2014. With the launch of a new website, new offerings coming to ARI Campus, and the education and policy teams working to grow their programs, 2014 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for expanding awareness of Ayn Rand. But we can’t do it without your support. As a 501(c)(3), your contributions are 100 percent tax-deductible if completed by December 31, 2013. Renew your support of the Ayn Rand Institute today and help ensure our success in the new year. Fight bad government programs—don’t finance them I f you itemize deductions on your tax return, you can “contribute” less to the government at tax time by donating cash or other assets to ARI now. Contributions of appreciated securities held more than one year offer double tax savings; they are fully deductible at current market value, and capital gains tax is also avoided; for details, visit As always, consult your tax adviser before arranging a transfer of non-cash property to the Institute. Gifts must be completed by December 31 to qualify for a deduction on your 2013 tax return. For assistance with your year-end gifts to ARI, contact Kathy Cross at 732-242-9408 or Notice: Impact Going Digital A s part of the Ayn Rand Institute’s Digital Initiative, Impact will soon be going entirely digital. It will be distributed solely online and weekly beginning with the launch of ARI’s new website. So what does this mean if you currently receive the print edition? To ensure that you continue to receive Impact, you can email and let us know where to start sending your digital edition of Impact. To participate in our survey addressing how we can improve Impact, go to Best Wishes for the New Year from the Staff at the Ayn Rand Institute Sitting, left to right: Richard E. Ralston, Steve Simpson, Jeri Eagan, Yaron Brook, Julie Ferguson, Mark Chapman, Marilee Dahl, Michael Paxton Standing, left to right: Rituparna Basu, Carl Svanberg, Amanda Maxham, Patrick Norton, Jeff Britting, Lucy Hugel, Doug Altner, Keith Lockitch, Morgan Carstensen, Aaron Smith, Steven Dougherty, Angela Dietrich, Jeff Janicke, Stacy Smith, Lew Hendrickson, David Gulbraa, Tierra Murguia, Jon Glatfelter, David Antonacci, Donna Montrezza, Dustin Maenpa, Kathleen Koehl and Simon Federman Absent: Anthony Baumann, Niv Brook, Jason Eriksen, Elan Journo, Rachel Knapp, Stewart Margolis, Matthew Morgen, Anu Seppala,, Don Watkins and Jenniffer Woodson Impact is published monthly by the Ayn Rand® Institute (ARI) and is complimentary to current donors who contribute $35 or more per year. For information on how you can support ARI and to learn about our projects, please visit our website: Atlantis Legacy®, the Institute’s planned giving program, and related indicia are registered trademarks. The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights (ARC) is the public policy and outreach division of the Ayn Rand Institute. Objectivist Conferences (OCON) and the Ayn Rand Institute eStore are owned and operated by the Ayn Rand Institute. The Ayn Rand Institute does not necessarily endorse the content of the lectures and courses offered. All photos of Ayn Rand are used by permission of Leonard Peikoff. Purchases from the ARI eStore and OCON do not qualify as tax-deductible contributions to the Ayn Rand Institute. Editors: Rituparna Basu, Kathleen Koehl Editorial Advisers: Yaron Brook, Mark Chapman, Marilee Dahl, Jeri Eagan, Julie Ferguson, Elan Journo, Duane Knight, Keith Lockitch, Anu Seppala, Lin Zinser Designer: Simon Federman Printing: David Antonacci Copy Editor: Donna Montrezza Headquarters: 2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250 Irvine, CA 92606-4926 Phone: 949-222-6550 Fax: 949-222-6558 Telecommuters Staff at the Virginia office Left to right: Tom Bowden, Kathy Cross and Karl Meisenbach Left to right: Jeff Scialabba, Rebecca Bernbach, Lin Zinser, Onkar Ghate, Mike Spicci and Kurt Kramer Not pictured: Duane Knight and Keith Knutter 4 © The Ayn Rand Institute 2013. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission. ARI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to ARI in the United States are tax-exempt to the extent provided by law.
  5. 5. Anthem the Play: The Reviews Are In Objectivist Summer Conference 2013: Admirers of Ayn Rand Gather in the Windy City A yn Rand called Objectivism “a philosophy for living on earth,” and she taught that the purpose of philosophy is to help you to have a more satisfying and productive life. With this in mind, Onkar Ghate delivered a talk at this year’s summer conference titled “The Moral and the Practical.” A number of optional courses developed that theme further, with topics including free will, understanding emotion and practicing self-esteem. In his talk “Objectivism Is Radical (and Applying It Can Be Hard),” Yaron Brook illustrated why Objectivism is radically different by applying Ayn Rand’s ideas to various policy issues and contrasting the conclusions with conventional solutions. The video from his talk is available at ARI’s YouTube page and the audio can be downloaded at the ARI eStore. Tara Smith, a philosophy professor at UniverYaron Brook speaking at the opening dinner sity of Texas at Austin, described how contemporary Photo courtesy of Godfrey Joseph political culture undermines the pillars of an objective legal system in her talk “The Politics of Pretend—and Its Impact on the Legal System.” Dr. Smith’s talk aimed to give attendees a better understanding of how to engage in political debates most effectively and combat the erosion of individual freedom. We enjoyed creating a unique and memorable conference in Chicago and we hope to see you in Las Vegas for OCON 2014. T he theatrical adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Anthem closed November 3. The show was produced by Austin Shakespeare and written by Jeff Britting, curator of the Ayn Rand Archives. Here is what the critics had to say about the production, which was held at New York City’s Baryshnikov Arts Center.. “Jeff Britting has, in word as well as intent, captured in theatrical writing the indomitable personality and unmistakable voice of one of the most truly distinctive novels from one of the 20th century’s most distinctive voices, Ayn Rand. . . . “Britting, who also composed the haunting score . . . has made few major sacrifices and no detectable concessions in his adaptation. . . .” —TalkinBroadway Onkar Ghate giving his talk on the moral and the practical at Objectivist Summer Conference 2013 What Attendees Said About Objectivist Summer Conference 2013 “. . . this enthralling production of Anthem is one of the most significant and powerful theater pieces I’ve seen in this century.” —Le Bon Travel and Culture “I live overseas and do not often get the chance to spend time with my Objectivist friends and engage in wonderful intellectual discussions. I used the conference to take part in plenty of that and enjoyed it thoroughly.” “The highlight of the conference (by far!) was meeting smart, rational people. Prior to the conference I only knew a handful of Objectivists (none in my city) and longed to meet others with whom I could share good discussion and companionship. I am now happy to say that I have made friends with whom I plan to stay close for a very long time.” New Book Published in 2013 “As a first-timer, the confidence and knowledge of the speakers, particularly [Yaron] Brook and [Onkar] Ghate, and their vision really stood out to me.” The Ayn Rand Institute eStore Books, electronic media and more Holiday Special at the ARI eStore T he ARI eStore offers MP3s of talks and courses by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff and other Objectivist speakers. The eStore also directs visitors to books and DVDs on Objectivist thought, provided via Amazon. To sign up for weekly updates on the newest products, email This holiday season, the eStore is offering a special product. In “Why Christmas Should Be More Commercial,” Leonard Peikoff explains why the “materialistic” side of Christmas is moral. This unique MP3 is taken from the recording studio’s original tapes, meaning it includes never-before-heard interactions between Dr. Peikoff and Leonard Peikoff his producers. We recommend accompanying this holiday eStore special with another MP3, “Triumphs and Tribulations of a Talk-Show Host,” in which Dr. Peikoff discusses the challenging task faced by a talk show host with a radical philosophy to sell. 5 Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism is increasingly influencing the shape of the world from business and politics to achieving personal goals. Here, Leonard Peikoff explains how you can communicate philisophical ideas with conviction, logic, and, most of all, reason. Based on a series of lectures presented by Dr. Peikoff, Objective Communication shows how to apply Objectivist principles to the problem of achieving clarity both in thought and in communication. You can purchase Objective Communication through the ARI eStore (
  6. 6. Atlas Shrugged Is a Book About Pride in One’s Work, and the Success That Results By Steve Simpson D o fishermen enjoy Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea? Do generals like Tolstoy’s War and Peace? I have no idea, but I’m reasonably sure no one looks to these novels for advice on how to catch fish or wage war. The purpose of a novel is not to provide concrete advice on particular tasks, but to present a vision of man and his place in the universe. In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand presents a vision of man that is unlike anything ever written. Rand’s ideal man is the visionary, the genius, the producer. Her foremost representatives of this ideal are businessmen, whom she portrays, at their best, as heroes, not villains; creators, not parasites. Rand’s vision has inspired successful people from all walks of life for generations. They love the book, not because it tells them how to make better yoga clothing or run a better taxi service, but because it offers profound insights about the principles that lead to success (or failure) in any field, and it shows those principles playing out in the lives of the novel’s characters. The book has been criticized often in the five decades since it was published. Most frustrating for those of us who love it are critiques that misunderstand its essential points and end up attacking straw men. Rand, they often say, believed that only the strong should survive or that a man’s worth is measured by the size of his wallet. Writing in the Business Insider, Max Nisen does all this but adds a new twist. In “‘Atlas Shrugged’ Is Full of Terrible Business Advice,” Nisen criticizes the book for not being a better version of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Of course, Atlas Shrugged isn’t a business how-to manual. But it is full of powerful advice if you’re willing to consider what Rand actually says. Here are some of the real lessons in the novel that make it a favorite of so many productive, successful people. ten years developing a new alloy. Dagny leaves a secure position at Taggart Transcontinental and works around the clock to develop a new railroad, the John Galt Line. Is money important to these characters? Yes, of course, but making money is not their primary motive. Money, as Rand recognizes, is not an end in itself, but only a means. The end—the purpose of all that hard work—is achieving happiness. And Rand believes that is possible. As her protagonist, John Galt, says, “The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.” Money is the product of virtue. Speaking of money, critics also often misunderstand Ayn Rand’s view of it. In the novel, she gives that explanation to copper magnate Francisco d’Anconia, who answers the claim that money is the root of all evil. Nisen picks out one paragraph where d’Anconia says gold is an objective form of money because, unlike paper, it cannot be manipulated by government. Nisen cites a couple of articles that supposedly show the gold standard is bad, not good. They even have graphs. And he recommends that readers watch a video of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke saying the same thing. Certainly, if you are interested in all the debates about the gold standard, you can watch the government’s chief money manipulator respond to the view that he shouldn’t manipulate the money supply. After that, you might read the hundreds of books and articles on monetary policy from the last eight decades or so. Ayn Rand doesn’t try to address all of that in Atlas Shrugged. There are no graphs in the novel. Money, as Rand says, “is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men.” Take pride in your success. Like so many critics of Atlas Shrugged, Nisen claims Rand conveyed that successful people are inherently superior to everyone else. But anyone who has read the novel knows it is filled with noble characters who achieve only modest financial success. Eddie Willers, friend and ally to railway magnate Dagny Taggart; Gwen Ives, industrialist Hank Rearden’s superlative secretary; Cherryl Brooks, the store clerk who tragically marries a villain thinking he is a hero; Jeff Allen, the proud tramp who stows away on a Taggart train and is hired by Dagny; even a young bureaucrat who is assigned to monitor Rearden Steel and ends up becoming Rearden’s ally. The heroes in the novel don’t look down on these characters. They treat them as friends and allies. Clearly, Rand recognizes that moral character stems from the choices people make, not their wealth or status. So Rand doesn’t condemn anyone for failing to become rich and successful. But she does condemn those who despise others because they are rich and successful. The “hallmark of the second-rater,” she has one of her characters say, “is resentment of another man’s achievement.” She spends much of the novel showing just how resentment of achievement—which she called hatred of the good for being the good—is destroying society. Instead, Rand focuses on fundamental questions about money, just as she focuses on fundamental questions on every issue. She asks: What is money and what role does it play in our lives? She argues that it isn’t the root of all evil, but the product of all the hard work and thought that sustains us. Money, as Rand says, “is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men.” If you value your mind, your work, and your life, Rand holds, then you will value money. And if government can control and devalue our money, then government can control and devalue our lives. When have you ever heard an economist say that? Trade is a virtue, but sacrifice is not. Nisen says that the businessmen in Atlas Shrugged have contempt for their customers because in one scene, Hank Rearden says he would rather destroy his metal than sell it to anyone who demands that he produce it for them as his duty. But Rand’s point is that there is a big difference between trade, which is a virtue, and sacrifice, which is a vice. In fact, the heroes in the novel treat their real customers—those who want to trade with them, rather than take from them— with great respect. Rearden, for example, spends much of the novel figuring out how to produce enough of his metal to satisfy customers who are becoming more and more desperate for it as the economy collapses. But one of the primary points of the novel is that no one should work for their own destruction. Today, we see calls for businessmen to sacrifice more and more every day. Is that good business advice? Rand’s vision has inspired successful people from all walks of life for generations. They love the book, not because it tells them how to make better yoga clothing or run a better taxi service, but because it offers profound insights . . . Government is a necessary good. Was she right? Well, President Obama thinks that “you didn’t build that.” We hear every day that we should despise and tax the “1%” because they are wealthy. Evidence of the resentment of success is all around us. Ayn Rand saw that in 1957, when Atlas Shrugged was published. And she knew that this attitude could prevail only if the successful allowed it to, by feeling guilty for their achievements. Rand’s response was clear: take pride in any success you’ve earned and never apologize for it. Finally, Rand does not treat government as a “pure antagonist” as Nisen and other critics claim, but as an essential institution that protects the rights on which individuals and businesses depend every day. Of course, Rand does illustrate the evil of a government that becomes a violator rather than a protector of rights. If you think she is wrong, look around. Is our ever-expanding government really the solution to what ails us today, or the problem? The bottom line is that Atlas Shrugged isn’t an economics text or a business how-to manual, it’s a brilliant novel of ideas that challenges conventional thinking on every major issue in life—not just money, but work, family, politics, and even sex. It does contain great advice, just not the sort of advice that critics like Nisen prefer. But if you want to see that, my advice is to go read it yourself. Pursue your own happiness and achieve it. Another common criticism of Atlas Shrugged, which Nisen repeats, is that its characters are motivated by money alone. This is an odd claim about a novel that is filled with characters who love their work and continually strive to achieve more and more, often at great short-term cost. Hank Rearden spends 6