Big tech companies are digging their own graves with their ingratitude toward the economic libertythat allowed them to become the richest companies in history. Let’s just take one example. Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. With the world’s now-dominant search engine and other services under the parent company Alphabet, it is valued at over $700 billion. The free market allowed it to offer services to customers without heavy-handed government regulations getting in the way, yet it acts against the liberty that allowed it to flourish. Google top brass as well as grass roots employees have always leaned left. They were major donors to President Obama and the Democratic National Committee. Government control and manipulation of the economy now seems to sit well with the tech giant. A leaked video in 2016 featured Page, Brin and others in shock at Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton. Opposition to The Donald doesn’t necessarily mean three cheers for socialism. But during the current election cycle, engineers and programmers who, at Google, have salaries in the $250,000 range, have been big donors to Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and...
Editor’s Note: This excerpt from The Noah Option, Michael McCarthy’s first novel, is part of The Writers Series, our highly popular feature that showcases the work of contemporary novelists influenced by Ayn Rand. Fans ofAtlas Shrugged will enjoy McCarthy’s recontextualization of Rand’s classic work. Botanist Dr. Grace Washington struggles to get seeds that can end world hunger into the hands of hard-working farmers in the third world. An extremist group and their government cronies try to destroy the new super-seeds, and Grace is arrested on false charges. Facing an impossible choice – go to jail or destroy her life’s work, the seeds that could save millions of lives – Grace and her ally, software genius Isaiah Mercury, begin a countdown to a daring plan: The Noah Option. UnlikeAtlas Shrugged, McCarthy’s protagonists are openly Christian. While The Atlas Society does not endorse religion, we support religious freedom, and we know that many of our readers, members, and friends love both God and Ayn Rand. Time: The Near Future  With AK-47 rifles slung over their shoulders, two young drivers dressed in military camouflage put their farm tractors in gear. They dragged a heavy chain between...
Communism Is a Race to the Bottom Editor’s Note: Friends and members of The Atlas Society are among our greatest resources – providing energy, ideas, and support that actively shape our work. Their individual stories are testaments to Ayn Rand’s ideals of reason, achievement, and ethical self-interest. Sonia Vigen is a wife, mother, homeschooling advocate, and entrepreneur. Senior Editor Marilyn Moore, Ph.D interviewed Sonia about growing up in both West Germany and Romania. Sonia explains the stark reality of life under communism, the importance of freedom, and how reading Ayn Rand helped her both understand her own value and confidently pursue love, family, and career. MM: Sonia, you lived in several different countries growing up, including a communist country, before moving to the United States. Where were you born?  Tell me about the experience of leaving communism. What are some of the differences between a communist and a capitalist society? SV:  I was born in communist Romania.  My parents got permission to leave because my father was Jewish, and he was allowed to return to the Jewish homeland Israel per the UN resolution after WWII.  From there we went to Germany for better opportunities. Unlike other former communist citizens who risk their lives to escape illegally, we were able to return to Romania to visit with grandparents, and we did so every summer.  I saw a stark difference emotionally between the people who lived in Germany and the...
After hearing some buzz about Lisa Duggan’s Mean Girl, I decided to read it for myself to see what it was all about. Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed was published in May of 2019 by University of California Press as a part of the American Studies Now Initiative, an activist-oriented literary press whose main focus is the publication of a new series of “short, accessible books on Black Lives Matter, climate change, neoliberalism, BDS, the continuing urban crisis, indigenous politics, queer and trans issues, the crises in higher education and more. They are designed to provide timely, provocative analysis for teaching, for activism, and for engagement now.”  The author, Lisa Duggan, self-identifies as a “queer feminist and leftist journalist, activist, and Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University.” Although I didn’t research Lisa Duggan until after I finished the book, it didn’t take long for me to grasp where the author is coming from ideologically, attempting to link Rand to “our contemporary culture of greed” (Duggan 12). This is not a particularly novel tactic – nor is this a book based on new scholarship, or an in-depth analysis of Rand’s work. Rather, it’s a retread of all the various hackneyed...
As Democratic presidential candidates debate their competing promises to voters, without the slightest reference to the concept of property rights, the new “Trump” Supreme Court recently handed a stunning victory to defenders of property rights. On June 21, the U.S. Supreme Court, voting 5:4, with the majority including Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, flatly reversed a 34-year-old Court decision that had stripped Fifth Amendment protection from property owners in the so-called “takings” cases. Guess which four justices dissented from the majority decision? Justice Elena Kagan, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. In other words, the justices were aware of exactly how important this decision could be in upholding the fundamental requirement of a free market. And the ideological enemies of capitalism lost in this case, because of the two new Trump appointments to the Court. The Takings Clause The Fifth Amendment is packed with protections of individual rights, including protection against self-incrimination—as are the other nine amendments in the Bill of Rights. To understand what the Court did last week, you must know that government violations of all those individual rights can be challenged in federal court.  But, since 1985, that has not been true for a violation of the takings clause: the guarantee that government cannot take an individual’s property without just compensation. And, since 1985,...

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