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He is an unlikely Objectivist — yet for this Mexican American, Ayn Rand was a lifesaver. Her fiction and philosophy of self-reliance, self-actualization, achievement and reason became a guiding light that he now volunteers his time to share with others.His name is Xavier Chavarin. Or X, as he’s known to those who know.X was born in San Jose, California. When he was three, his mother took him and his one year old brother – left her husband, left the country, and brought the little boys to Mexico.There, she abandoned them. His grandmother raised him for five years. Then his mother changed her mind, came back, took the boys, and returned to the US. Naturally gregarious, he made friends everywhere he went. His people skills helped him rise to become a manager of Radio Shack in Malibu, where he became the go to guy for celebrities needing tech help.Then one day he got a call. It was the police. His little brother, whom he had helped to shelter during the years of uprooting and challenge, had been found dead. Xavier was heartbroken. But he pulled himself together, pulled his family together and tried to be strong.What helped was Atlas Shrugged. Xavier...
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Last weekend I spoke to room packed with 200 high school and college students. Their attention was switched on, phones switched off. They’d given up a glorious southern California Saturday to sit there, taking notes and serving up great questions. Why? The reason has less to do with my riveting topic — philosophy — or speaking style, and everything to do with the kids themselves. The students were hand picked by Turning Point USA (TPUSA)—America’s fastest growing conservative youth group. Founded in 2012 by then 19-year-old Charlie Kirk, their mission is to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.” I was so impressed with Charlie and his group after being introduced to them by my friend Diana Davis Spencer, that I asked if they’d partner with The Atlas Society, the philosophy think tank I lead, to screen the three-part Atlas Shrugged movie series on college campuses around the country. Students are already signing up to...
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If and when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finish sparring over personal health, illicit emails, and Vladimir Putin’s qualities as a leader, we can hope they will address the fundamental choice that faces the American electorate in 2016: How much of our lives will be controlled by government? How much will be left to the choices of Americans individually and through their private businesses, institutions, and organizations? The question goes to the heart of government power versus individual liberty. It is the question that defined America. And today it has application to every single action of government, and, unfortunately, directly or indirectly, every decision in every American life. Any candidate who fails to address that question seriously, credibly, and often may be assumed to be taking for granted that politics, and the office they seek, is exclusively about the exercise of power, how to increase it—and probably how much they crave such power. How urgent is this issue? Consider just one yardstick of...
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The hair was all 1920s Louise Brooks, only side-swept in a choppy bob that she favored all of her life. It framed large, dark Eastern European eyes that gazed out with some steely determination as Ayn Rand forged a life as a writer and intellectual — with ideas all her own.  
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Our new Atlas Society “Draw My Life” video, this one on Ayn Rand, has gone viral with half a million views on Facebook and climbing. Written, illustrated and narrated (in Russian accent no less) by Atlas Society CEO Jennifer Grossman, it has attracted not only admirers but also flushed some Rand-haters out of the woodwork, with some bizarre comments.  Here are five examples below. 1) “Everything that women [Ayn Rand] wrote is gobblygook, she was a soviet” according to Scott Bottorff  from Nashville. The over 7 million copies of Atlas Shrugged sold and 6.5 million of The Fountainhead sold--out of a total of over 30 million books by Ayn Rand sold--would seem to refute that subjective comment. Calling Rand a...


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