As written in the January 1st Poetic Justice Warrior Year in Review,
Supremely independent, he was able to integrate his sense of the human condition, both heavenly and terrestrially inspired, into magnificent compositions that inspire human flourishing.
Six days later, on January 7th, we lost an exemplar of individualism’s virtues, the inspiring rock and jazz drummer, author, poet, and Poetic Justice Warrior Neil Peart. He is most widely known as the rhythm master and wordsmith for the classic Canadian rock band Rush, and as a principled champion of hard rock as a unique art form,
It’s about being your own hero. I set out to never betray the values that 16-year-old had, to never sell out, to never bow to the man. A compromise is what I can never accept.”
In the micro sense, Peart honored the musical innovators that preceded him. In the macro sense, he understood that we stand on the shoulders of civilization’s giants. He found his own inspiration in the philosophical principles of natural and humanistic beauty,
Art gives a spiritual depth to existence. I can find deeper worlds in music, paintings, and books. I...
Read Article : The Introverted Drummer and Philosopher of Progressive Rock: Neil Peart Was His Own Hero
If Rush’s epic rock songs “2112” or “Anthem” are massaging your brain at high volume right now, then you know how great a loss the death of songwriter and drummer Neil Peart is to rock and roll...and to liberty. Peart, who died today of brain cancer, wrote “2112” in part as an homage to Ayn Rand’s 1938 dystopian novella Anthem.
Ayn Rand was a major influence on Peart’s early career. He told Rolling Stone that her philosophy, for him, was “an affirmation that it’s all right to totally believe in something and live for it and not compromise.” In a Guardian interview he singled out Rand as “a very brilliant woman, an excellent writer, but a brilliant thinker as well. She has a great clarity of thought.”
Both the words and the music of “2112” capture the soaring vision of Rand’s fiction. Here is the hero of the song reflecting on man’s greatness: “I stand atop a spiral stair/An oracle confronts me there/ He leads me on light years away/ Through astral nights, galactic days/ I see the works of gifted hands/ That grace this strange and wondrous land/I see the hand of man arise/ With hungry mind and open eyes.”
And Rush’s “Anthem”: Live for yourself, there's no one else/More worth living...
Read Article : Neil Peart 1952-2020
We note with great sorrow the loss of David Mayer, who died November 23, 2019 at 63, of a lengthy illness.
David was a professor of law and history at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, from 1990 to his retirement as emeritus in 2015, teaching courses across a wide range of topics in his field, especially in the history of the Founding Fathers and their work in creating the U.S Constitution. Previously, he taught at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and worked in private practice. He earned his law degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia.
David’s special interest was Jefferson; his book The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (1995) is the authoritative work on the subject. He also published a seminal work for the Cato Institute, Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right (2011), and was working on a magisterial book on the Constitution until his untimely death.
David was a great friend of The Atlas Society, as he was to many other organizations. He was a generous donor, a member of our Board of Advisors, and—most of all—a regular speaker at our conferences. From his first appearance at our annual Summer Seminar in 1996, and for the next 20 years, he gave many talks at that Seminar and other events. He was one of our “stars,” invariably earning top ratings from participants along with comments that convey his charm, enthusiasm, and breadth of knowledge:
“David's knowledge and...
Read Article : RIP, David Nicholas Mayer, 1955-2019
Recently I had the opportunity to attend in New York City a seminar on Individualism hosted by The Atlas Society and The Great Connections. With a diverse group of intellectuals gathered in one place, I was excited to encounter new ideas.
Stephen Hicks’ lecture especially caught my attention––I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The Canadian-American philosopher engaged the audience in a discussion about why so many 20 year olds are socialists today and how to convince them to not be.
Hicks has definitely done a great deal of research on the topic, which became apparent as he shared with us the top ten reasons he believes young people find socialist ideals attractive.
He challenged us to rank those reasons in our own order, as if we were a stereotypical college student, with number one being the most important, and number ten being the least. The choices ranged from believing capitalism is corrupt, to advocating for the environment, to caring for the poor.
As one of the only 20-somethings in a group of adults analysing the exact person I was two years ago, I quickly concluded that in my case, the reason why I identified with socialist ideals was not on the list. Nor was it difficult to figure out: Like so many of my peers, I was a socialist two years ago because I didn’t know any better.
I am not suggesting that Gen-Zers like myself are unintelligent; actually it is quite the opposite. We have taken everything we have heard throughout childhood from teachers...
Read Article : Educating Gen Z Might Be Simpler Than You Think
Remarks by Jennifer Anju Grossman, CEO of The Atlas Society
Saddle & Cycle Club, Chicago, Illinois
December 12, 2019
Thank you so much, Stuart and Elise, and yes, a special, special thank you to Elise. I empathize with what it’s like to be a part of an ideologically mixed family. Stuart, though libertarian, may be somewhat right of center, Elise, if not left of center, left of Stuart.
But my parents who celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary in exactly two weeks are living proof that there does not need to be political agreement for there to be a happy marriage. My Dad is to the left of center, and mom --mom is to the left of the left….of left of center.
And then there’s Ayn Rand, who had plenty of criticism for conservatives and for liberals, so we’ll all a fun time.
And who wouldn’t have a fun time here at the prestigious Saddle & Cycle Club, founded, I take it, by people who thought the best ways to get around are either on horseback or on a bicycle. Hey, isn’t that pretty much the Green New Deal? I did not come to the club today on a bike or a horse. I was supposed to get a ride with former Police Chief Eddie Johnson but he never showed up….Hope he’s okay.
You think he’s got problems. The President has problems. Tomorrow I’m going to the White House. Looking at the calendar, so on Friday the 13th, I’m going to the Trump White House. Talk about tempting fate. I hear the weather forecast...
Read Article : “Ayn Rand Was ‘Born’ Here: Rand’s Chicago Roots”