The Atlas Society (TAS) announces that David Kelley, PhD, its founder and Chief Intellectual Officer, will retire at the end of 2017. Two years ago, Kelley informed his colleagues on the Board of Trustees that he wanted to leave full-time work for TAS at the end of 2017, to pursue his own research and writing in philosophy, pending a successful execution of a transition plan. The early 2016 appointment of Jennifer Anju Grossman as CEO, says Kelley, “was a huge step forward for the organization. I’m leaving TAS in good hands.” Kelley will continue to participate occasionally in TAS programs as writer, speaker, and advisor.
Dr. Kelley founded TAS in 1990 to help launch an independent branch of the Objectivist movement and to advance the philosophy. Prior to 2016, Kelley was actively involved in managing the organization as CEO or co-CEO. His intellectual contributions include:
The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism, which established the organization’s commitment to open discussion, debate, and expansion of Objectivism;
Read Article : Dr. David Kelley to Retire
In 1970 I presented a lengthy lecture for the University of Arizona Students of Objectivism. Titled “Objectivism as a Religion”; this lecture was in part a reply to a book published two years earlier by the famous psychologist Dr. Albert Ellis, Is Objectivism a Religion? Ellis had no doubt about the answer to his rhetorical question. Objectivism, he claimed, is indeed a religion; it is a "dogmatic, fanatical, absolutist, anti-empirical, people-condemning creed" which is based on the assumption that "some higher power or order of the universe demands that their views are right and that all serious dissenters to their views are for all time wrong."
Needless to say, I didn’t like Ellis’s treatment of Objectivism. Rand’s ideas, as Ellis portrayed them, bore no resemblance to those I had gotten from reading Rand’s works over the previous four years. Nevertheless, the identification of Objectivism with religion struck an emotional chord with me. During my time with the UA Students of Objectivism I associated mainly with admirers of Ayn Rand, and some of those people treated Objectivism as if it were a religion.
My interest in freethought, which preceded my interest in Rand by nearly three years, had made me extremely sensitive to the influence of Christian morality on my own development, especially in the realm of sexual beliefs and desires. Guilt was a dominant feature of my youth—guilt provoked by nothing more than “sinful” desires—and I consciously attempted to rid myself of...
Read Article : Ayn Rand and I, Part 3
Rosario is Argentina's second oldest city. Located by the Paraná river, it is the home of hard-working people, a busy port, the national flag memorial, and the country's bitterest football rivalry between Rosario Central and Newell's Old Boys.
It is also the birthplace of Ernesto “Ché” Guevara.
In the last fifteen years or so, coincidentally with the rise of leftist populism in Argentina and the rest of South America, there have been plenty of tributes to the figure of “Ché.” All of these tributes are state-financed, one way or another. The most prominent is a 13-foot high statue placed in a public square.
Fundación Bases has its main headquarters in Rosario. Teaming up with the Naumann Foundation, we decided to launch a campaign to remove all the state tributes to “Ché” Guevara. We knew this would generate controversy but, honestly, we didn't expect the level of reaction that has occurred.
About the Man
So, who was this “Ché” Guevara? Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, globally known as “Ché”, came from an aristocratic, though impoverished, family. He studied medicine and when he was about to finish university he took an initiatory trip across Latin America. In some of the places he visited he saw harsh realities and even...
Read Article : Removing Statues of Violent Bigots? Start with Che
In a letter written on March 19, 1944, Ayn Rand remarked: “Fascism, Nazism, Communism and Socialism are only superficial variations of the same monstrous theme—collectivism.” Rand would later expand on this insight in various articles, most notably in two of her lectures at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston: “The Fascist New Frontier” (Dec. 16, 1962, published as a booklet by the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1963); and “The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus” (April 18, 1965, published as Chapter 20 in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal[CUI] by New American Library in 1967).
The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state.
Rand knew better than to accept the traditional left-right dichotomy between socialism (or communism) and fascism, according to which socialism is the extreme version of left-ideology and fascism is the extreme version of right-ideology (i.e., capitalism). Indeed, in The Ayn Rand Letter(Nov. 8, 1971) she characterized fascism as “socialism for big business.” Both are variants of statism, in contrast to a free country based on individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism. As Rand put it in “Conservativism: An Obituary” (CUI,Chapter 19):
The world conflict of today is the conflict of the individual against the state, the same conflict that has been fought throughout mankind’s history. The...
Read Article : Ayn Rand on Fascism
The vast majority of people in the United States have no interest whatsoever in street battles between the alt-right (better described today in more poignant terms) and the counter-protesters. Most people have normal problems like paying bills, dealing with kids, getting health care, keeping life together under all the usual strains, and mostly want these weird people to go away. So, of course, people are shocked at scenes of young people in the streets of this picturesque town with a university founded by Thomas Jefferson screaming, “Jews will not replace us.”
What this is about is bad ideas. They crawl into the brain and cause people to imagine things that do not exist.
It’s hard to see, hard to hear. But they are not going away. For some people with heads full of violent ideology, what's happened so far is not enough. They imagine that with their marches, flags, uniforms, slogans, chants, screams, and guns, they will cause history to erupt and dramatically turn to favor them over the people they hate. Indeed, what is unfolding right now, with real loss of property and life, has gone beyond politics as usual and presages something truly terrible from the past, something most of us had previously believed was unrepeatable.
What in the world causes such a thing? It’s not about bad people as such. Many of the young men and women involved in this movement were raised in good homes and, under normal conditions, would never hurt anyone. What this is about is bad ideas....
Read Article : The Violence in Charlottesville