Welcome to AynRand.org | AynRand.org

AynRand.org is the official website of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), the source for information on the life, writings and work of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, ARI offers educational experiences based on Ayn Rands books and ideas for a variety of audiences, including students, educators, policymakers and lifelong learners. ARI also engages in research and advocacy efforts, applying Rands ideas to current issues and seeking to promote her philosophical principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.

ARI is composed of a dedicated Board of Directors and an energetic staff of more than 55 people. We invite you to explore how Ayn Rand viewed the world and to consider the distinctive insights offered by ARIs thought leaders today.

Excerpt from:

Welcome to AynRand.org | AynRand.org

Who Is Ayn Rand? – The Objective Standard

This essay is part of a compilation ebook, Objectivism, available at Amazon.com.

Ayn Rand (19051982) was an American novelist and philosopher, and the creator of Objectivism, which she called a philosophy for living on earth.

Rands most widely read novels are The Fountainhead, a story about an independent and uncompromising architect; and Atlas Shrugged, a story about the role of the mind in human life and about what happens to the world when the thinkers and producers mysteriously disappear. Her most popular nonfiction books are The Virtue of Selfishness, a series of essays about the foundations and principles of the morality of self-interest; and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, a series of essays about what capitalism is and why it is the only moral social system.

Rand was born in Russia, where she attended grade school and university; studied history, philosophy, and screenwriting; and witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and the birth of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1925, she left the burgeoning communist state, telling Soviet authorities she was going for a brief visit with relatives in America, and never returned.

She soon made her way to Hollywood, where she worked as a screenwriter, married actor Frank OConnor, and wrote her first novel, We The Living. She then moved to New York City, where she wrote Anthem (a novelette), The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, numerous articles and essays, and several nonfiction books in which she defined and elaborated the principles of Objectivism.

Rands staunch advocacy of reason (as against faith and whim), self-interest (as against self-sacrifice), individualism and individual rights (as against collectivism and group rights), and capitalism (as against all forms of statism) make her both the most controversial and most important philosopher of the 20th century.

Describing Objectivism, Rand wrote: My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

For a good biography of Rand, see Jeffery Brittings Ayn Rand or Scott McConnells 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand. For a brief presentation of the principles of Objectivism, see What is Objectivism? For the application of these principles to cultural and political issues of the day, subscribe to The Objective Standard, the preeminent source for commentary from an Objectivist perspective.

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Who Is Ayn Rand? – The Objective Standard

Movie Review: In Pattinson, ‘Twilight’ sidles up to Ratso Rizzo – The Providence Journal

By Ann HornadayThe Washington Post

In the lowlife picaresque “Good Time,” Robert Pattinson delivers what some will surely call a career-making performance, especially if they’ve missed his impressive turns in such similarly non-“Twilight” indies as “The Rover,” “Maps to the Stars,” “Queen of the Desert” and “The Lost City of Z.”

No matter. Connie Nikas, Pattinson’s stumblebum character in “Good Time,” feels reverse-engineered to allow the former teen screen idol the attention he deserves for serious-acting chops, checking every box from aggressively antisocial tendencies to a startling physical transformation. As “Good Time” opens, Connie bursts into an office where his hearing-impaired and cognitively delayed brother Nick (Ben Safdie) is being questioned by a well-meaning therapist. Connie arrives just at the moment when a seemingly long-buried trauma is surfacing, which alerts the audience to the multivalent irony of the film’s title: No matter how noble the intentions of even the most optimistic protagonist, there’s something to be said for good timing.

And some old-fashioned smarts and self-awareness wouldn’t hurt either.

As Connie leads Nick on what begins as a caper and ends in his own increasingly hallucinatory journey through the neon-lit underworld of Queens, “Good Time” takes the shape of movies we’ve seen before. One scene elicits memories of “Dog Day Afternoon,” while others recall “Midnight Cowboy,” “Mean Streets” and “Panic in Needle Park.” In a manic, dead-eyed rendition of an antihero who’s one part Charlie Manson and one part Kurt Cobain (especially after an ill-advised dye job), Pattinson infuses Connie with both charm and malevolence. He’ll do anything to get what he wants in the course of a fateful night of his own misbegotten making. In the name of fraternal loyalty, he’ll manipulate himself into the pocketbooks and good graces of anyone whose path he crosses, whether it’s the frowzy, magical-thinking woman he’s dating (played with ditsy pathos by Jennifer Jason Leigh) or the wised-up but clearly vulnerable teenage granddaughter of a Haitian immigrant (Taliah Webster).

Co-directed by Safdie with his brother Josh, “Good Time” bears some resemblance to their previous films, “Daddy Longlegs” and “Heaven Knows What,” both of which gave viewers an unsettlingly intimate glimpse of overwhelming love borne of dysfunction and dead ends. “Good Time” traffics in the same sentiments, but it also represents an artistic leap forward, both in its debt to canonical thrillers and its improbably rich look. Sean Price Williams, who shot “Heaven Knows What” as a gritty vrit-like piece of street art, here embraces a far more elegant, composed sense of visual beauty, occasionally leaving behind tight, jangly close-ups to take to the skies and deliver exhilarating views of the Queens streets down below. (“Good Time” was shot on 35 mm film, and it has the texture and translucence to show for it.)

As Connie trips the night fatalistic, a shaggy-dog story turns out to contain yet another shaggy-dog story, with the fablelike weirdness of “Good Time” taking on a harder edge by way of the assaultive, techno score (by Daniel Lopatin, under the recording alias of Oneohtrix Point Never) and Connie’s own increasingly off-putting sense of exceptionalism. At one point, now conspiring with a hangdog miscreant named Ray (Buddy Duress), Connie delivers a screed against dependency that somehow mashes up Freud and Ayn Rand with his own supreme hypocrisy. He has a way of saying “God bless you” just before he tricks yet another mark into helping him down his particular road to hell.

Many of those victims are immigrants, making “Good Time” feel authentically of its time and place, especially when two black characters and not Connie are reflexively apprehended by the police. But the filmmakers choose to keep the film’s politics buried under the surface of Connie’s lunkhead-on-the-lam hop from bail bond office to bodega to pizza joint to hospital. (Josh Safdie wrote the script with his longtime collaborator Ronald Bronstein.) A climax set in a hellish after-hours amusement park pushes “Good Time’s” visuals and the audience’s patience to their limit. What starts out as an invigorating odyssey winds up becoming an enervating series of postures. For all of the Safdies’ prowess, and Pattinson’s willingness to tarnish and rough up his own celebrity persona, there’s little by way of deeper meaning to a pulp thrill ride that turns out to be as petty as Connie’s crimes.

**

“Good Time”

Starring:Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Taliah Webster

Rating: R for crude language throughout, violence, drug use and sexuality

Running time: 1:40

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Movie Review: In Pattinson, ‘Twilight’ sidles up to Ratso Rizzo – The Providence Journal

Welcome to The Ayn Rand Institute | The Ayn Rand Institute

Ayn Rand (1905 1982) was a novelist and philosopher. She is best known for her novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and for the revolutionary philosophy she originated, Objectivism.

Ayn Rands philosophy for living on earth has changed the lives of millions and continues to influence American culture and politics. The Ayn Rand Institute is dedicated to advancing her principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.

Ready to learn more about Ayn Rand and Objectivism?

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Welcome to The Ayn Rand Institute | The Ayn Rand Institute

Ayn Rand – The New York Times

Ayn Rand’s two most famous novels “The Fountainhead” (1943) and “Atlas Shrugged” (1957) are among the greatest word-of-mouth hits in American publishing. Both were scorned by the critics when they came out, went on to become enormous best-sellers, and to this day sell tens of thousands of copies annually. “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s magnum opus, is sometimes said to be the second-most influential book in American thought, next only to the Bible.

The reason for the books’ success probably has less to do with their novelistic merits, or lack of them, than with the way they package in fictional form a philosophy Rand called Objectivism, which in effect turned the Judeo-Christian system on its head. In Rand’s view, selfishness was good and altruism was evil, and the welfare of society was always subordinate to the self-interest of individuals, especially superior ones. In some ways, Objectivism is an extreme form of laissez-faire capitalism, a view that Rand came to naturally.

She was born in Russia in 1905, lived through the Russian Revolution, and by the time she emigrated to America, in 1926, determined to reinvent herself, she wanted no part of anything that resembled a state-run system. She sometimes wore a gold brooch shaped like a dollar sign, and the dollar sign is also the final image in “Atlas Shrugged,” a novel in which liberals and humanitarians are ruinously taking over the world while the intellectual elite, led by the genius industrialist John Galt, hunker down in Colorado.

For a while in the ’60s, Objectivism had almost cult status on some American campuses. Much of the fervor dwindled after Rands death in 1982, but the books continue to be rediscovered and passed from one initiate to another. Among the many people influenced by Rand are Camille Paglia, Hugh Hefner, Alan Greenspan and Angelina Jolie. — Charles McGrath, Sept. 13, 2007.

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Ayn Rand – The New York Times

Why Stephen K. Bannon was such a failure – The Washington Post – Washington Post

Stephen K. Bannon, the recently deposed architect ofPresident Trumps nonexistent populist agenda, wishes it was the 1930s.

That, of course, is what he promised to do: to make things as exciting now as they were back then. Now, he might not have been talking about the war or the depression or the fascists in other countries, but what he did mean was a politics where racial resentment and economic populism could once again exist side-by-side. Where Republicans could targetMuslims for special restrictionsand raise the top marginal tax rate to 44 percent; could cut legal immigration in half and undo free trade deals; could stick up for white supremacistsand spend $1 trillion on infrastructure. In other words, where the ideological heirs of the Dixiecrats were the ones calling the shots.

They havent been for a long time now.

Why not? Well, because our parties have sorted themselves based on race first and economics second. The political history of the past 100 years, you see, has really been the story of the rise and fall of the New Deal coalition. Franklin D. Roosevelts response to the Great Depression brought blacks, liberals, Northern ethnics and Southern whites all together until the civil rights movement drove them apart. Its true that the Dixiecrats the Jim Crow-supporting Southerners who left the Democratic Party to form their own, before eventually migrating over to the Republican one werent all in favor of big government, but a lot of them were. Forced to choose between that and racial backlash, however, they chose racial backlash, whether that wascalls for law and order or denunciations of welfare queens or, in the past few years, chants of build the wall.

Bannon didnt want them to choose anymore. He understood that a lot of Republicans dont care about Ayn Rand-inspired odes to heroic entrepreneurs, or paeans to the Schumpeterian beauty of creative destruction, or how much capital gains are taxed. They want their Social Security and their Medicare. Theyre called Trump voters, and they arent really represented in Washington. Thats because the money men and interest groups that members of Congress rely on ensure complete ideological conformity on the issue nearest and dearest to the hearts or rather the wallets of the donor class: how much theyre taxed. Bannon wanted to change that so people could get Democratic economic policies together with a Republican brand of racial pandering.

The only problem is you cant. Just look at Bannons proposal to increase the top tax rate to 44 percent. Who was ever going to vote for that? Republicans never would when their partys entire raison detre for the past 40 years has been keeping taxes as low as possible on the rich. And neither would Democrats when Bannon had alienated them about as much as possible with his barely disguised attempt to ban Muslims. The same was true of infrastructure. Republicans didnt really want to do it, and Democrats didnt want to with Trump. It reduced Bannon to being able to do little more than alternately insist that he wanted to build a rainbow coalition of populists we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote, and well govern for 50 years, he rather modestly claimed and cheer, for example, when Trump said last Fridays neo-Nazi rally was full of very fine people. Bannon never understood that one made the other impossible.

Bannon thought he was a revolutionary, but he was just whistling Dixie.

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Why Stephen K. Bannon was such a failure – The Washington Post – Washington Post

What’s Wrong With America? – Falls Church News Press

So with Trump, whats wrong with us? How did we get to this point? What can we do about it? These are the great questions historically associated with the outdated existentialism of an angst-dominated post-World War II world when the (highly overrated) danger of Soviet subversion and the threat of a nuclear war disturbed the sleep of millions on almost a nightly basis.

We used to ask such questions about ourselves as individuals, as well as more collectively as a nation. Herbert Marcuse (remember him?) made his career addressing such anxieties from a theoretical-existentialist perspective. The stress associated with it helped give rise to the what me worry? and do it! 100 years from now, no one will know the difference era of the 1960s so-called hippie drugs, sex and rock and roll counterculture, at least among younger people.

There was the bomb. Some of us remember the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the planet came perilously close to an unloading of mutual and assured destruction. This writer as a lad had routine nightmares of mushroom clouds appearing on the horizon in those days and an associated horrid sensation of raw fear.

Movies like Dr.Stangelove and On the Beach didnt help to relieve the stress. Then there were the assassinations, of JFK, of Malcolm X, of Martin Luther King and of Bobby Kennedy. Then came the inner city riots. Then came the Vietnam War and with it, the universal draft. It was the last American war involving a draft, because the powers that be recognized that it was the singularly-greatest cause of the national domestic revolt against that war. My brother amazingly survived two tours of duty up the Mekong Delta on swift boats and I had two close friends, old high school baseball buddies, who died there, one by stepping on a mine the first day he was there.

Then there was the pervasive atmosphere of angry discrimination that saturated the culture, snarling at radical social disruptions like interracial marriage and, God forbid, pride in being LGBT. In the 1970s, cults exploded as remnants of the rudderless young people were lured by authoritative charlatans with answers. They were of the flower child variety on one end of the spectrum, and then of the human potential movement variety on the other, the nastier form of sensory deprivation and ego-stripping behavior modification techniques that became all the rage. Corporate America bought into it big time, ordering their employees to drink that Kool-Aid, so to speak, with the aim of improving productivity and justifying low wages by brainwashing their minions into repudiating any moral responsibility for anything beyond their own selfish self-interests.

This dovetailed with the selfish philosophies of the followers of Ayn Rand and the rise of so-called postmodern realism that set about ridiculing and discrediting any notions of love and romance. Postmodernism respects only pleasure and power and its philosophical constructs pervaded American university campuses and the arts, alike. Michel Foucault, theories of the selfish genes being like invisible hands governing all behavior, human sapien humorless advances toward immortality and the proliferation of remarkably dystopian scenarios of the future dominated.

On the flip side, religion became fundamentalist to a degree never so pervasive before, and blindly political.

Our great national sin has become selfish self-entitlement. Without excuse, people now demand to do it their way, with commitments to social bonds, reasonable compromises and covenants of mutual interests seen as the enemy.

I Want It, And I Want It Now! This is now the national mantra, more relevant and valid than E Pluribus Unum.

This drove the national economy into the ditch in the Great Recession, and there are signs that another one is on the way. It has led to the opioid epidemic, a nation hooked on drugs far more potent than heroin.

It has given rise to the Roman Empire-like bread and circuses, the common national religion being the rituals associated with wildly popular socially-sanctioned manslaughter in the form of football. Destroying brains is now our national pastime, in the face of the overwhelming scientific and medical evidence of how serious it is.

So, whats wrong with America? Try its people.

Nicholas Benton may be emailed at nfbenton@fcnp.com.

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What’s Wrong With America? – Falls Church News Press

Who Is Ayn Rand? – The Objective Standard

This essay is part of a compilation ebook, Objectivism, available at Amazon.com.

Ayn Rand (19051982) was an American novelist and philosopher, and the creator of Objectivism, which she called a philosophy for living on earth.

Rands most widely read novels are The Fountainhead, a story about an independent and uncompromising architect; and Atlas Shrugged, a story about the role of the mind in human life and about what happens to the world when the thinkers and producers mysteriously disappear. Her most popular nonfiction books are The Virtue of Selfishness, a series of essays about the foundations and principles of the morality of self-interest; and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, a series of essays about what capitalism is and why it is the only moral social system.

Rand was born in Russia, where she attended grade school and university; studied history, philosophy, and screenwriting; and witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and the birth of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1925, she left the burgeoning communist state, telling Soviet authorities she was going for a brief visit with relatives in America, and never returned.

She soon made her way to Hollywood, where she worked as a screenwriter, married actor Frank OConnor, and wrote her first novel, We The Living. She then moved to New York City, where she wrote Anthem (a novelette), The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, numerous articles and essays, and several nonfiction books in which she defined and elaborated the principles of Objectivism.

Rands staunch advocacy of reason (as against faith and whim), self-interest (as against self-sacrifice), individualism and individual rights (as against collectivism and group rights), and capitalism (as against all forms of statism) make her both the most controversial and most important philosopher of the 20th century.

Describing Objectivism, Rand wrote: My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

For a good biography of Rand, see Jeffery Brittings Ayn Rand or Scott McConnells 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand. For a brief presentation of the principles of Objectivism, see What is Objectivism? For the application of these principles to cultural and political issues of the day, subscribe to The Objective Standard, the preeminent source for commentary from an Objectivist perspective.

Continued here:

Who Is Ayn Rand? – The Objective Standard

Ayn Rand – The New York Times

Ayn Rand’s two most famous novels “The Fountainhead” (1943) and “Atlas Shrugged” (1957) are among the greatest word-of-mouth hits in American publishing. Both were scorned by the critics when they came out, went on to become enormous best-sellers, and to this day sell tens of thousands of copies annually. “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s magnum opus, is sometimes said to be the second-most influential book in American thought, next only to the Bible.

The reason for the books’ success probably has less to do with their novelistic merits, or lack of them, than with the way they package in fictional form a philosophy Rand called Objectivism, which in effect turned the Judeo-Christian system on its head. In Rand’s view, selfishness was good and altruism was evil, and the welfare of society was always subordinate to the self-interest of individuals, especially superior ones. In some ways, Objectivism is an extreme form of laissez-faire capitalism, a view that Rand came to naturally.

She was born in Russia in 1905, lived through the Russian Revolution, and by the time she emigrated to America, in 1926, determined to reinvent herself, she wanted no part of anything that resembled a state-run system. She sometimes wore a gold brooch shaped like a dollar sign, and the dollar sign is also the final image in “Atlas Shrugged,” a novel in which liberals and humanitarians are ruinously taking over the world while the intellectual elite, led by the genius industrialist John Galt, hunker down in Colorado.

For a while in the ’60s, Objectivism had almost cult status on some American campuses. Much of the fervor dwindled after Rands death in 1982, but the books continue to be rediscovered and passed from one initiate to another. Among the many people influenced by Rand are Camille Paglia, Hugh Hefner, Alan Greenspan and Angelina Jolie. — Charles McGrath, Sept. 13, 2007.

Go to Home Page

See original here:

Ayn Rand – The New York Times

Welcome to AynRand.org | AynRand.org

AynRand.org is the official website of the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), the source for information on the life, writings and work of novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, ARI offers educational experiences based on Ayn Rands books and ideas for a variety of audiences, including students, educators, policymakers and lifelong learners. ARI also engages in research and advocacy efforts, applying Rands ideas to current issues and seeking to promote her philosophical principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.

ARI is composed of a dedicated Board of Directors and an energetic staff of more than 55 people. We invite you to explore how Ayn Rand viewed the world and to consider the distinctive insights offered by ARIs thought leaders today.

Read more here:

Welcome to AynRand.org | AynRand.org

Anthem Essay Contest Ayn Rand Education

All fields are required except where indicated. Your Information Address City Country State/Prov Zip/Postal code United States Canada Afghanistan land Islands Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua And Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia And Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The Cook Islands Costa Rica Cte D’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island And Mcdonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic Of Iraq Ireland Isle Of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, Republic Of Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic Of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia, Federated States Of Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Runion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthlemy Saint Helena Saint Kitts And Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre And Miquelon Saint Vincent And The Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome And Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard And Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic Of Thailand Timor-leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad And Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks And Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City State Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Wallis And Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Your Grade Level Major College Preference Graduate Degree (i.e. Graduate, Law, Med, etc.) Your Teacher and School Information Name of school Address City Country State/Prov Zip/Postal code United States Canada Afghanistan land Islands Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua And Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia And Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, The Democratic Republic Of The Cook Islands Costa Rica Cte D’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island And Mcdonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic Of Iraq Ireland Isle Of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea, Republic Of Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic Of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia, Federated States Of Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Runion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthlemy Saint Helena Saint Kitts And Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin Saint Pierre And Miquelon Saint Vincent And The Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome And Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard And Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic Of Thailand Timor-leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad And Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks And Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City State Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Wallis And Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Name of the teacher who assigned the essay (if applicable) Your Essay Please select the topic question your essay addresses Topic 1: Anthem depicts a world of the future, a collectivist dictatorship in which Topic 2: In Anthem, the City has numerous rules and controls. Why do these exist? Topic 3: Contrast Equalitys view of morality at the end of the novel to the morality exemplified

Anthem depicts a world of the future, a collectivist dictatorship in which even the word I has vanished. Discuss the heros struggle to free himself from collectivism. What makes his victory possible? In your essay, consider what Ayn Rand has to say in The Soul Of An Individualist excerpt from her novel The Fountainhead.

In Anthem, the City has numerous rules and controls. Why do these exist? What is their purpose? Do you think the society that Equality envisions creating at the end of the story would include any of these rules and controls? Explain why or why not.

Contrast Equalitys view of morality at the end of the novel to the morality exemplified by his societys institutions, practices and officials. In your essay, consider what Ayn Rand has to say in these excerpts from her writings.

Have you checked to ensure that all personally identifiable information has been removed from your essay?

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Anthem Essay Contest Ayn Rand Education

30 important life lessons Dirty Dancing taught us – EW.com

That was the summer of 1963, begins the voiceover that opens Dirty Dancing.When everybody called me Baby, and it didnt occur to me to mind.

But boy, does it occur to her by the end of the summer! After just a few weeks at Kellermans resort, Baby grows up, falls in love, and, most importantly, learns to dance and learns to dance dirty. Babys coming-of-age in 1987s seminal romanceDirty Dancinghas had audiences swooning and trying to nail that lift for 30 years now, teaching three decades worth of impressionable teenagers some hard truths about life that sheltered Baby never discovered for herself until that fateful summer in the Catskills.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Dirty Dancing, here are 30 important lessons that we learned from watching Baby have the time of her life, starting at the very beginning, with

1. If people call you Baby, you should mind (unless that is how you introduced yourself to them, in which case, its kind of on you).

2. Your dad is not as great as you think he is.

3. Your sister is just as dumb as you think she is.

4. The following things qualify as tragic: Three men trapped in a mine, a police dog used in Birmingham, monks burning themselves in protest. The following things do not: Insufficient footwear.

5. God wouldnt have given you maracas if he didnt want you to shaaake theeeem!

6. The 60s were basically the same thing as the 80s, except abortion was illegal, and occasionally people played Motown.

7. Never volunteer to take part in a magic show.

8. Always volunteer to carry a watermelon (but, like, try to be cool about it after the fact).

9. Neil Kellerman is the catch of the county, did you know that?

10. Neil Kellerman once stole the lifeguards girlfriend, pass it on.

11. Neil Kellerman has two hotels.

12. People who love Ayn Rand are sleazy and bad, and not to be trusted.

13. Men are in charge on the dance floor (if nowhere else, am I right, ladies?).

14. There is no worse look than beige iridescent lipstick.

15. No spaghetti arms!!!!!!!

16. Want to learn a skill that takes great physical coordination? Do it standing on a log over a body of water.

17. If possible, lose your virginity to someone that you sort of love, or whatever, but more importantly, to someone who can dance really, really well.

18. If you call your lover boy and he doesnt answer, and then you call him again and he still doesnt answer, then simply say, Baby, oh baby, my sweet baby, youre the one.

19. If you cant take your honeymoon at Niagara Falls, the only other option is Acapulco.

20. The one thing Lisa learned all summer: Do NOT open a door with a towel hanging on the doorknob.

21. All rich people are thieves; all poor people can dance.

22. If you ever get fired, just march right back in there and publicly declare that you always do the last dance of the season, and those sorry fools will be helpless to stop you.

23. Dont sit in the corner?

24. If you want people to stop calling you Baby, wear baby pink.

25. If you want people to stop calling you Baby, tell them that your name is actually Frances.

26. The most impressive kind of performance is one set to music that wont come out for another two decades.

27. Always have a group flash mob dirty-dance routine ready to whip out, in case the time comes to stage an end-of-summer mutiny.

28. Just do the lift already.

29. The best way to win back someones trust after you lied to their face is to dazzle them with the power of dance.

30. If your boyfriend has been kicked out of summer camp and your sister is maybe sleeping with an Ayn Rand disciple and your dad doesnt like you anymore, dont lose hope, all is not lost but you should still wear a really swishy skirt just in case.

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30 important life lessons Dirty Dancing taught us – EW.com

Welcome to The Ayn Rand Institute | The Ayn Rand Institute

Ayn Rand (1905 1982) was a novelist and philosopher. She is best known for her novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and for the revolutionary philosophy she originated, Objectivism.

Ayn Rands philosophy for living on earth has changed the lives of millions and continues to influence American culture and politics. The Ayn Rand Institute is dedicated to advancing her principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism.

Ready to learn more about Ayn Rand and Objectivism?

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Welcome to The Ayn Rand Institute | The Ayn Rand Institute

Ayn Rand – Salon.com

Progressives must reclaim the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and King and deny the right the moral high ground

A Democratic candidate has already thrown his hat into the ring to oppose the House Speaker

Despite promises to the rural working class, the Republican Party is still under the influence of Rand’s elitism

No, Donald Trump hasn’t really read “Atlas Shrugged.” Sad! But he’s surrounding himself with Ayn Rand superfans

The value-neutral media “ideal” has left us with a society drained of kindness and mutual responsibility

My father believed in two things, which deeply informed his parenting: making money and doing whatever he pleased

The HBO show’s creator may or may not be a Randian, but a version of her philosophy runs through his body of work

Carl Barney has run a lucrative nonprofit education empire under the principles of the libertarian figurehead

The Uber model just doesn’t work for other industries. The price points always fail — and that’s a good thing

Yesterday, the House Speaker apologized for calling America’s impoverished “takers.” But he hasn’t changed a bit

Snyder working on an adaptation of Rand’s novel makes perfect sensejust look at his body of work VIDEO

John Boehner is laying the groundwork for a “Draft Ryan” campaign at the GOP convention. The whole thing is absurd

Values voters, Tea Party conservatives, faux-populists grifting for book deals and Fox spots — meet today’s GOP

Fans feel “so betrayed” seeing the “Star Wars” heartthrob in an “Atlas Shrugged” shirt

The brilliant critic Evgeny Morozov discusses the myths Silicon Valley tells about itself, and why we believe them

The most effective ways to expose their contradictions and faulty logic

A stern, serious Krugman says anyone who doesn’t believe the GOP’s real gold standard fervor is deluding themselves

Freedom now means winner-take-all capitalism, and it’s slowly morphing our political system into a plutocracy

We’ve been a fed a myth about heroic individuals — and that allows the 1 percent to prosper at everyone’s expense

The Wisconsin congressman may be a radical, but he’s also a product of the insider cronyism the Tea Party abhors

Page 1 of 7 in Ayn Rand

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Ayn Rand – Salon.com

Is There Really an ‘Insidious Libertarian-To-Alt-Right Pipeline’? – Reason (blog)

Daily Beast”Libertarianism has an alt-right problem,” writes Matt Lewis over at The Daily Beast. “It seems observably true that libertarianism is disproportionately a gateway drug to the alt-right.”

He notes that a number of high-profile leaders of the alt-rightMilo Yiannopoulis, Richard Spencer, Christopher Cantwell, among otherseither flirted with or explicitly identified as libertarian at some point in their stumblebum hegiras toward anti-Semitism, white supremacism, reactionary sexism, and/or neo-Nazism.

For instance, Cantwell, who can barely complete a sentence or a crying jag without slagging “the Jews,” was part of the Free State Project before he rightly got bounced after advocating the indiscriminate killing of “government agents.” Milo flirted with the term too before concluding that “libertarians are children…obsessed with weed, Bitcoin, and hacking.” Richard Spencer apparently attended Reason’s 2007 “Very Secular Christmas Party” at which Christopher Hitchens led a sing-along of Tom Lehrer’s “Christmas Song” (I organized that event, which drew a couple of hundred people but had no idea that such a future thug was among the crowd).

Lewis notes that libertarianism and the alt-right tend to non-interventionism when it comes foreign policy and that

libertarianism is somewhat unique in its unflinching support of free speech. In some cases, this free speech is unsavory. If you’re anti-political correctness, libertarianism might seem like a good place to landeven if you don’t buy into the whole libertarian philosophy.

Along the same lines, libertarians mostly believe that private actors have a right of association that would allow businesses to refuse customers even for racist, homophobic, or sexist reasons. That is in no way an endorsement of such behavior, but it clearly creates space for alt-right haters to catch their fetid breath.

Lewis’ article (in which I appear, more on that in a moment) builds on a recent post at Hot Air by Tyler Millard, a libertarian contributor to that conservative site. Millard argues that the loose coalition of libertarians and conservatives needs to “purge White Supremacist Leaders, Ideology,” from our midst.

The problem is these Richard Spencers and Peter Brimelows [the founder of the racist site Vdare.com who wrote anti-immigration articles for National Review in the 1990s] got their start in “the movement,” under the guise of paleoconservatism, while others are part of the Hans-Hermann Hoppe bloc of libertarianism. They are the wolves in sheep clothing looking to draw more and more people into their pack while ripping away at the foundation of freedom and liberty at the same time.

So there is definitely some mingling going on. But does any of this add up to a “pipeline”? I don’t think so, for reasons I explained to Lewis.

“These people [may] start off calling themselves libertarian, but they are the antithesis of everything that the libertarian project stands forwhich is cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, individualism vs. group identity, and libertarianism or autonomy versus authoritarianism,” Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason.com tells me….This affinity for libertarianism “wears off when they realize that we’re principled, that no, we’re not just trolling,” says Gillespie.

The Cato Institute’s David Boaz reminds Lewis that Jason Kessler, the organizer of the fascistic and deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, was originally a member of the Occupy movement while granting that “some libertarians become conservatives, some become welfarist liberals, a few drift into creepy extremes.” And Lewis himself admits “that many of today’s alt-righters are disaffected conservatives.” So it’s an overstatement at the very least to characterize the alt-right as mostly former libertarians.

Yet there is no question that some elements in the broadly defined libertarian movement articulate policy positions almost indistinguishable from those of the alt-right and Donald Trump. This is especially true when it comes to issues such as immigration. From Lewis’ story:

On a post-Charlottesville blog post, Cantwell discussed his conversion from libertarianism to the alt-right. “As immigration became a leading news story in America and Europe,” he writes, “Lew Rockwell gave a talk titled ‘Open Borders Are an Assault on Private Property.’ From here, I decided to read Hans Hermann Hoppe’s ‘Democracy: The God That Failed.’ From these, I realized that the libertine vision of a free society was quite distorted. The society we sought actually would provide far more order and control than [would] modern democratic governments. It would encourage more socially conservative behavior and less compulsory association. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, I was once again reminded of my naivety.”

I told Lewis that Ron Paul’s high-profile presidential runs in 2008 and 2012 played a role too. When I started at Reason in the fall of 1993, I’d say that most people came to libertarianism via exposure to some mix of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, along with some Robert Heinlein, F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and institutions such as Cato, the Foundation for Economic Education, the Institute for Humane Studies, and Reason. But over the past decade or so, there’s no question in my mind that Dr. No is probably more responsible than any individual for raising libertarianism’s visibility and reach.

“In a way, Ron Paul is the guy who lit the fuse,” Nick Gillespie says. “And he embodies some of those contradictions [between libertarianism and the alt-right].” Gillespie tells me that Richard Spencer came up to him at the Republican National Convention in 2016 and said that he was activated into politics because of Paul. Gillespie sees Paul’s legacy as very mixed, as someone who was “simultaneously positing this very libertarian worldview, but then he’s also speaking to people’s fears and anxieties.” If one were looking for the missing link to explain this phenomenon, Ron Paul (and his paleolibertarian allies) would be a good place to start.

Paul really did simultaneously embody an attractive, idealistic version of libertarianism and an appeal to populist paranoia that is very evident in alt-right fears about porous borders, encroaching Sharia law, and foreign control of America’s economic and cultural life. As Brian Doherty reported in 2008, Paul was packing college auditoriums with a basic stump speech that went something like this:

He wraps up the speech with three things he doesn’t want to do that sum up the Ron Paul message. First: “I don’t want to run your life. We all have different values. I wouldn’t know how to do it, I don’t have the authority under the Constitution, and I don’t have the moral right.” Second: “I don’t want to run the economy. People run the economy in a free society.” And third: “I don’t want to run the world….We don’t need to be imposing ourselves around the world.”

Paul does not mention abortion or immigrationareas where his views are more conventionally conservative and not of great appeal to this age group. He’s against abortion and thinks the fetus is a human life deserving of state protection, but he also thinks that like all such crimes against persons, abortion is a matter for states to decide without federal interference. He thinks that border defense is a legitimate function of government, and that government has been doing a bad job of it. He wants tougher border enforcement, including a border wall; he wants to eliminate birthright citizenship; and he wants to end the public subsidies that might attract illegal immigrants. Paul’s style of libertarianism includes a populist streak of distrust for foreign forces overwhelming our sovereignty, whether through the United Nations, international trade pacts, immigration, or a feared “North American Union” between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

If you bleach out the libertarian aspects of Ron Paul’s 2008 stump speech, you’re pretty much left with the agenda pushed by Donald Trump and the alt-right, both of which seem comfortable with a welfare state as long as the welfare is going to the right kind of people. Paul also eschews the sort of “Make America Great Again” rhetoric, which undergirds Trump’s and the alt-right’s fetishizing of masculine virtues and an overbuilt military.

Which is to reiterate that there is no “pipeline” between libertarianism and the alt-right. The alt-rightand Trumpism, too, to the extent that it has any coherenceis an explicit rejection of foundational libertarian beliefs in “free trade and free migration” along with experiments in living that make a mess of rigid categories that appeal to racists, sexists, protectionists, and other reactionaries. In that sense, the call by Hot Air’s Taylor Millard for libertarians to purge white supremacists, anti-Semites, and living, breathing Nazis from our movement is misdirected since such people by definition are not libertarian. But he is surely right that alt-righters need to be called out wherever we find them espousing their anti-modern, tribalistic, anti-individualistic, and anti-freedom agenda.

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Is There Really an ‘Insidious Libertarian-To-Alt-Right Pipeline’? – Reason (blog)

BOB BARR: Violent tribalism on display in Charlottesville – MDJOnline.com

When it comes to political violence such as we witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, there are no partisan sides to the issue. In an enlightened society, you either believe violence is an acceptable means to an end, or you do not. In this parity, there is no room for equivocation, where the perceived nobleness or virtue of ones agenda can excuse it. Initiating force against any group or individual for the sake of achieving a political goal or simply making a political statement, is morally and legally wrong. Full stop.

Last weekend was a national embarrassment in every sense of the word; from the pathetic display of a bunch of wimps carrying Tiki torches trying to look tough, to yet another appearance of masked antifa thugs sucker-punching anyone with whom they disagree. Initially too, President Trump, missing what could have been a defining moment for his young presidency, tip-toed over the violence rather than offering a dose of his trademark blustering and rage to blast the neo-Nazis who reflect the worst side of humanity. Instead, Trump, like so many others on the Left and Right, once again attempted to distill the deplorable conduct into a political blame game, insinuating one side would have been right if not for the provocation of the other.

Attempting to ascribe degrees of blame to the protest groups in Charlottesville misses the point entirely about todays political violence. The alt-rights venomous racism is no more, or less, contemptible than the alt-lefts belief that offensive speech must be banned at any price. Violence is violence, regardless of the politics behind it.

If there is a side to the violence in Charlottesville, both of these groups are on it and deserve our scorn as practitioners of a toxic, post-modern mindset that there is no objective truth other than how they see it, and that protecting their truth is the true public good. In fact, aside from differing political agendas, these neo-Nazis and antifa-ites are cut from the same cloth. Both wallow in delusions of self-righteousness, and embrace violence as an acceptable, if not noble, means of achieving their political goals. Most of all, they suffer from the same paranoia of oppression that drive them into virulent tribalism.

Tribalism is a product of fear, declared philosopher Ayn Rand, and fear is the dominant emotion of any person, culture or society that rejects reason. The reality is that our true enemy today is not a Nazi flag or a black balaclava; those are only physical manifestations of tribalism. Rather, our real enemy is the philosophy of those who use such symbols. It is the rejection of reason in favor of emotional sophistry driven by fear and designed to produce more of it. This is the source of todays violence, and reflects the fact that only violence can exist in the vacuum of reason.

We can point fingers at one side or the other, but neither liberals nor conservatives are blameless in allowing such an un-American, anti-enlightenment philosophy to take root. Liberals traded free thinkers for professors who indoctrinate students to feel (rather than to reason), and government officials who went from filling potholes to piously tearing down statues. Meanwhile, conservatives traded the thoughtful punditry of Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley for a 24-hour news cycle of talking heads regurgitating just enough soundbites to excuse viewers from having to think for themselves. Over the years, both the Right and the Left were enabled by lazy party leaders fostering the idea that to win you simply yell louder, not think harder.

What is the result of this nonsense? Gunning down congressmen during a baseball practice, ramming cars into protesters, sucker-punching people with whom you disagree, and mass protests every time one tribe feels slighted by another. You dont see advocates of reason and science clogging a street in the belief that using their bodies to stop traffic, will solve any problem, Rand reminds us. That this most recent display of non-reason occurred just steps from the university founded by one of historys greatest and most reasoned minds, is a sad irony.

The roots of the violence in Charlottesville last week, in Berkeley last April, and in other cities and campuses across America in recent months, go far deeper than a few statues; and removing them will in the end solve nothing. The only solution lies in reigniting a true belief in, and advocacy of reason throughout our culture, to replace the toxic environment of tribalism and violence that has taken hold. And that is far more difficult than tearing down a few statues.

Bob Barr is a former federal prosecutor and a former Congressman. He represented Georgias 7th congressional district as a Republican from 1995 to 2003.

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BOB BARR: Violent tribalism on display in Charlottesville – MDJOnline.com

Takers and Fakers – New York Times (blog)

While we wait to see exactly whats in the latest version of the Senate health bill, a reminder: throughout the whole campaign against Obamacare, Republicans have been lying about their intentions.

Believe it or not, conservatives actually do have a more or less coherent vision of health care. Its basically pure Ayn Rand: if youre sick or poor, youre on your own, and those who are more fortunate have no obligation to help. In fact, its immoral to demand that they help.

Specifically:

1.Health care, even the most essential care, is a privilege, not a right. If you cant get insurance because you have a preexisting condition, because your income isnt high enough, or both, too bad.

2.People who manage to get insurance through government aid, whether Medicaid, subsidies, or regulation and mandates that force healthy people to buy into a common risk pool, are takers exploiting the wealth creators, aka the rich.

3.Even for those who have insurance, it covers too much. Deductibles and copays should be much higher, to give people skin in the game and make them cost-conscious (even if theyre, um, unconscious.)

4.All of this applies to seniors as well as younger people. Medicare as we know it should be abolished, replaced with a voucher system that can be used to help pay for private policies and funding will be steadily cut below currently projected levels, pushing people into high-deductible-and-copay private policies.

This is a coherent doctrine; its what conservative health care experts say when they arent running for public office, or closely connected to anyone who is. I think its a terrible doctrine both cruel and wrong in practice, because buying health care isnt and cant be like buying furniture. Still, if Republicans had run on this platform and won, wed have to admit that the public agrees.

But think of how Republicans have actually run against Obamacare. Theyve lambasted the law for not covering everyone, even though their fundamental philosophy is NOT to cover everyone, or accept any responsibility for the uninsured. Theyve denied that their massive cuts to Medicaid are actually cuts, pretending to care about the people they not-so-privately consider moochers. Theyve denounced Obamacare policies for having excessively high deductibles, when higher deductibles are at the core of their ideas about cost control. And theyve accused Obamacare of raiding Medicare, a program theyve been trying to kill since 1995.

In other words, their whole political strategy has been based on lies not shading the truth, not spinning, but pretending to want exactly the opposite of what they actually want.

And this strategy was wildly successful, right up to the moment when Republicans finally got a chance to put their money or actually your money where their mouths were. The trouble theyre having therefore has nothing to do with tactics, or for that matter with Trump. Its what happens when many years of complete fraudulence come up against reality.

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Takers and Fakers – New York Times (blog)

Republican states raising taxes, not lowering them | The Seattle Times – The Seattle Times

With the federal deficit growing and economic growth sputtering along in the low single digits, the Republican Party is facing questions from within over what many see as a blind faith in the theory that deep tax cuts are the shot of adrenaline a languid economy needs.

WASHINGTON Something strange has been happening to taxes in Republican-dominated states: They are going up.

Conservative lawmakers in Kansas, South Carolina and Tennessee have agreed to significant tax increases in recent weeks to meet demands for more revenue. They are challenging what has become an almost dogmatic belief for their party, and sharply diverging from President Donald Trump as he pushes for what his administration has billed as the largest tax cut in at least a generation.

And now some Republicans say that what has played out in these states should serve as a cautionary tale in Washington D.C., where their partys leaders are confronting a set of circumstances that looks strikingly similar.

Republicans, with control of Congress and the White House and a base that is growing impatient for tax reform, are trying to solve a difficult math problem: paying for critical programs like infrastructure, health care and education while honoring their promise to deliver lower taxes without exploding the deficit.

The debate promises to test the enduring relevance of one of the most fundamental principles of modern conservatism supply-side economics, the idea that if you cut taxes far enough, the economy will expand to the point that it generates new tax revenue.

With the federal deficit growing and economic growth sputtering along in the low single digits, the Republican Party is facing questions from within over what many see as a blind faith in the theory that deep tax cuts are the shot of adrenaline a languid economy needs.

Tax cuts good. And thats about as much thinking that goes into it, said Chris Buskirk, a radio host and publisher of American Greatness, a conservative online journal. Now, he said, Republicans in Washington seem to be in an arms race to the lowest rates possible.

Everybody is trying to overbid each other, Buskirk said. How much more can we cut?

Outside Washington, Republicans are discovering there are limits.

In South Carolina, Republicans overrode their governors veto and blocked a filibuster to increase the gas tax. They also rejected a series of broader tax cuts on the grounds that they were too expensive and voted instead to create a smaller tax incentive for low-income families.

The Republican governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, signed into law the first increase in the states gas tax in almost three decades. He defied conservative groups that said a state with a $1.1 billion budget surplus had no business asking people to hand over more of their money.

And in the most striking rebuke of conservative tax policy in recent memory, Republicans in Kansas have undone much of the tax overhaul that GOP Gov. Sam Brownback held up as a model for other states and the federal government to emulate.

A fantastic way to go, he said this year, urging Trump and Congress to follow suit with deep reductions to corporate and individual rates. But Republican lawmakers in Kansas decided that they could cut only so much without doing irreparable harm to vital services and voted to increase taxes by $1.2 billion last month. Brownback vetoed the plan, but Republicans overrode him.

Much of the devotion to tax cuts as an inviolable Republican principle stems from the success President Ronald Reagan and Congress had in 1981 when they agreed to an economic-recovery package that included a rate cut of about 25 percent for individuals.

But at that time, the highest marginal tax rates approached 70 percent, leaving much more to cut and a much larger chunk of money to be injected back into the economy. At some point, economists said, tax policy that is too aggressive leaves too little money to inject to make a difference.

Bruce Bartlett, who advised Reagan on the 1981 tax cuts, chastised Republicans for what he described as their reflexive desire to drive rates lower.

The essence of what the supply-siders were trying to accomplish was accomplished by the end of the Reagan administration, Bartlett said.

Yet, he added, Republican policy still mimics what was done under Reagan. Theyve got to keep pressing ahead no matter what, he said.

The situation in Kansas was, for at least some conservatives, a jolting realization that tax cuts can be too blunt an economic instrument.

After Brownback took office in 2011, he pursued a plan that included cuts and, in some cases, an outright elimination of taxes for businesses and individuals to help invigorate the states underperforming economy. He described it as an experiment in conservative governance that could demonstrate what Republicans were capable of if they controlled legislative and executive branches across the country. (He is Kansas first Republican governor since 2003.)

The conservative movement got behind him. The plan was approved with the lobbying muscle of billionaire Koch brothers political network, which is overseen from Wichita, where one of the brothers, Charles Koch lives. It had the blessing of prominent conservative economists like Stephen Moore and Arthur Laffer, the Republican Partys foremost supply-side evangelist.

In urging the Kansas Legislature to act, Laffer and Moore said the cuts would have a near immediate positive impact on the economy. Brownback said the plan would pay for itself.

That is where the parallels with Washington start to trouble those who are critical of the plan the Trump administration has laid out. The plan would slash the rate paid by businesses to 15 percent and shrink the number of individual income-tax brackets from seven to three 10, 25 and 35 percent.

Laffer and Moore, a Heritage Foundation economist, have both helped shape the presidents tax policy.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said the Trump tax cuts would pay for themselves with the economic growth they would inevitably create.

In Kansas, the predicted economic bloom did not materialize. Employment and economic growth have lagged far behind the rest of the nation. The state Treasury had so little money to spread around that the Kansas Supreme Court found that the states spending on public education was unconstitutionally low.

If there were three words I could say to Congress right now, said Stephanie Clayton, a Republican state representative from a district in the Kansas City area, they would be, Dont do it.

She criticized what she said was a desire by her party to be more faithful to the principle than to the people Republicans were elected to help. Brownback and many conservatives, she said, overpromised on the tax cuts as a sort-of Ayn Rand utopia, a red-state model, citing the author whose works have influenced the American libertarian movement.

And I loved Ayn Rand when I was 18 before I had children and figured out how the world really works, Clayton added. Thats not how it works, as it turns out.

Trump and Republicans in Washington are undeterred. Kansas, they argue, is not an economic microcosm for the country, with its unique dependence on energy, agriculture and aircraft manufacturing. And lawmakers there never could reduce spending enough to correspond to the much lower level of tax revenue coming into the state treasury.

Many conservatives who support a tax overhaul said they anticipated considerable growth with a reduction in corporate rates, which are among the highest in the world.

If those are lowered to 15 percent, down from the current 35 percent, businesses will not only reinvest in the United States but relocate here, they said.

At 15 percent, Swiss bankers will move here, said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

But restraining federal spending is still going to be a key part of the equation. What you need is not an explosion of spending, Norquist added. And you need the economy to grow faster than the size of the government.

In a world in which Trumps deconstruction of the administrative state reduces the size and cost of the government, the tax cuts make sense. But if lawmakers do not have the nerve to find savings somewhere, like in the social safety net for retirees, the outcome could end up resembling something close to Kansas failed experiment.

The question is whether you can put together some kind of revenue-neutral tax reform, said N. Gregory Mankiw, a Harvard economics professor and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. I dont see the political will to do that right now. Certainly not in this environment.

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Republican states raising taxes, not lowering them | The Seattle Times – The Seattle Times

J. Talbot Manvel: Declaration of Independence joined morality and law – CapitalGazette.com

On the Fourth of July we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which Ayn Rand called the “greatest document in human history.” Why? Because it was the first time that society was subordinated to moral law. In her seminal essay, “Man’s Rights,” Rand wrote:

“The principle of man’s individual rights represented an extension of morality into the social system as a limitation on the power of the state, as man’s protection against the brute force of the collective, as the subordination of might to right. The United States was the first moral society in history.”

Previously, men were ruled either by a king who claimed a divine right to rule, or by an elite few supposedly blessed with some superior insight, or by the many, through the mob rule of democracy. Rights were considered grants of permission that could be withdrawn whenever the one, the few or the many dictated. Man was here to sacrifice his life to king or council or to society for the greater good.

America’s Founding Fathers changed that. For the first time in history society was subordinated to moral law by making the protection of individual rights government’s purpose. Eleven years later they crafted the U.S. Constitution, with the guiding principles that limited government’s powers with a series of checks and balances, and the Bill of Rights, demanded by the people for their consent to the Constitution.

As a work of logic, the declaration is a syllogism that it, is a logical argument containing a major premise, a minor premise and a conclusion. The major premise is Thomas Jefferson’s brilliant summation of John Locke’s theory of government, captured in the first sentence of the declaration’s second paragraph, which is worth reading today:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness.”

Meredith Newman

Annapolis cancels Fourth of July parade, but Severna Park, others march on

Annapolis cancels Fourth of July parade, but Severna Park, others march on (Meredith Newman)

The minor premise is the list of 27 grievances against the king of Great Britain, who was seeking “the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.”

Notice there is not one grievance against the king for not providing for the “needs of the people.” The Founding Fathers understood that for governments to provide for “needs” it must take from the haves to give to the have-nots, which violates the rights of the haves. Indeed, the American colonists, rich and poor, felt the king’s lash violating their rights as he plundered their towns to provide for his needs to impose tyranny on them.

The declaration’s conclusion is: “We therefore, the representatives of the United States of America … solemnly publish and declare that these colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.”

As the result of this revolutionary founding, America blossomed into the wealthiest nation in the world. In her speech at West Point to the Corps of Cadets, Ayn Rand paid tribute to America:

“I can say not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”

Enjoy and celebrate the 241st anniversary of the founding of America.

Long-time Annapolis resident Talbot Manvel is graduate of the Naval Academy, St. John’s College and the Ayn Rand Institute. Contact him at talmanvel@icloud.com.

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J. Talbot Manvel: Declaration of Independence joined morality and law – CapitalGazette.com