Recent legislators, activists, and education reformers have promised to lead us into a new world of equity. No longer will some groups have a different lifestyle from others. No longer will some groups have a different education from others. There will be reform or else, Hawk Newsome warns, “we will burn down this system and replace it.”For a preview of these glories, we have only to open Ayn Rand’s Anthem. In this dystopian novella, collectivists achieve their ideal by burning cities and books, then implementing central planning. Now everyone is equal: equally poor, equally housed, equally limited in what they can say and do and think.If, as Jen Maffessanti observes, dystopian fiction helps us understand the dangers we face, then none is more relevant to this moment than Rand’s...
If the 20th century is known as the Age of Anxiety, the current era may become known as the Age of Depression (with a generous side portion of anxiety). What else would historians call our society’s preoccupation with what is wrong in the world? Focusing primarily on supposed flaws is a sure-fire way to diminish self-esteem in individuals. And it works the same for a country. July 20 was the anniversary of the most awe-inspiring event in our lifetime and among the most historically significant events of all time. When images of conflict, chaos, and coronavirus dominated the news, the world should have celebrated a heroic human accomplishment that unites people of all races, religions, and countries—literally everyone on Earth. Yet the event passed with little mention in the media and no fanfare. It is a measure of our preoccupation with what is wrong in society that some readers may now be scratching their heads trying to recall what happened on July 20. Hint: it was the day human beings first set foot on another world. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The Moon landing. July 20, 1969. Just for a moment, on that one day, we should have shifted our minds from turmoil to tranquility, to Tranquility Base, which retains the footsteps of men with extraordinary courage who rose above the temporary concerns of the human race to remind us all of what the human mind can accomplish.   Back to the reality portrayed on nightly news broadcasts and newspaper headlines. While the...
 “Do you like cruising?” It seemed a logical question. They were both in their 60s, and they just met. But she had never been on a cruise. “Why yes, I do like cruising!” she replied. Who wouldn’t like to go on a cruise, right? However, Tom Blackburn wasn’t thinking about cruises aboard Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Lines. He meant in a car. An old car. With a bunch of other people, men “in white socks and sandals standing around in a parking lot filled with old cars.” It was an interest Tom enjoyed as far back as when he was a little kid, when his uncle Dan owned a Lincoln-Mercury dealership. “I just loved that place,” Tom remembers. “He sold the dealership at the end of the 1956 model year when I was 13, but the bug had bitten me.”  “Do you know how many old cars I’ve seen?” Tom’s wife Dianne adds with a mischievous giggle (they have been married since 2011). It is obvious that she enjoys supporting her husband’s love of old cars. And because he supports her new-found interest in cruises, they have also cruised the open seas. In fact, they’ve lost track of how many actual cruises they have taken. “Twenty-five or thirty,” Dianne estimates. Tom liked her immediately; “You just know when someone has a good mind,” he admits. But that should come as no surprise for someone who was introduced to Ayn Rand forty years prior to that first date. There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our...
From the beginning of this virus, political elites have used the language of war. The invisible enemy would be contained, suppressed, and beaten into submission. Then… it would go away.  The tactics would be travel bans, shutdowns, closures, mandatory human separation, and restrictions on breathing. The computer models proved it would work so surely it would – liberty, human rights, and freedom of association be damned.  We have all been used as non-player characters in a social experiment, untried in the whole history of humanity, and in ways that conflict with all values in which we previously believed as free societies.  No one in charge asks your opinion or mine. We are here merely to play our role in an agent-based model. It’s the gamification of despotism.  The dogma has kept unfolding in ever stranger ways, such as with utterly contemptible restrictions on bars and restaurants, and even the claim that choirs, wind instruments, and the pipe organ itself spreads disease. The American Guild of Organists has been forced to provide a long document justifying the existence of church music. The devastation in the arts community is palpable. The...
In case you doubt whether YouTube videos and social media have an impact on spreading the message of individualism and freedom, all you have to do is ask Franklin Andrés Camargo Armas. It was through YouTube videos that he discovered Ayn Rand and through Instagram that he found The Atlas Society. It has been less than a year since 22-year-old Franklin escaped Venezuela, leaving behind his family to come to the United States. The regime had threatened Franklin’s life for promoting free market ideology. Making the decision to leave wasn’t easy, he recalls, but “to save my integrity and freedom, I had to leave.” Many of us have watched footage of a Venezuela that appears to lay in ruins, with blackouts, food shortages, and 87% of the country in poverty. But it wasn’t always so. The country used to be one of the wealthiest and most prosperous in the world. It was in that country that Franklin’s parents grew up, married, and started a family. Franklin’s father became an economist and businessman, and his mother earned a degree in education. The shift came in 1999, right after Franklin had turned one year old, when Hugo Chavez came to power. Franklin knew that his “parents were always in fierce opposition to his regime.” And from a young age, his parents taught him “the principle of self-sufficiency and the virtue of fighting for our greatest aspirations.” But it took a few years for much of the world to see the changes being implemented and to witness the effects of Chavez’s...

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