BOOK REVIEW:  Libertarianism: A Primer . By David Boaz. (New York: Free Press, 1997. 314 pp. $23.00.)
Near the beginning of the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch Cassidy is challenged to a knife fight by another member of his Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. Stalling for time, Butch approaches him to discuss the rules. "Rules? In a knife fight?" the challenger asks incredulously—and while his guard is down Butch disables him with a kick below the belt. This scene always struck me as an accurate assessment of the value of rules.
Description: Pessimism is a self-fulfilling and self-defeating attitude, in one’s own life and in cultural activism. In this excerpt from a 1996 talk, Robert Bidinotto finds many reasons for optimism. 
BOOK REVIEW:  The Letters of Ayn Rand.  Edited by Michael S. Berliner, Introduction by Leonard Peikoff. New York: Dutton, 1995. 681 pp. including index. Hardcover $34.95.
Summary: Public concern about a moral decline in our society is rooted in two issues: irresponsible behavior and a perceived loss of meaning. Though conservatives and communitarians blame individualism, rational individualism is the best response to these problems.

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