MM: You will be the keynote speaker at The Atlas Society’s third annual gala October 10 in New York City.  Let’s tell people who you are and something about your background. Where did you grow up? GA: I was born in Guatemala. My dad is Cuban, and my mom is half Guatemalan and half Hungarian.  We lived in Guatemala City until I was nine years old. Then we moved to Honduras because of my dad’s work. He worked for Johnson and Johnson in Central America.  We moved to El Salvador again after that, so I was always used to being the new girl in school. I went back to Guatemala when I was 17 to graduate from high school.  I did my college years in Guatemala at Francisco Marroquin University, which promotes the ideas of classical liberalism and Objectivism and Austrian economics. After graduation I moved to Washington, DC. I did an internship at the Cato Institute, took some courses at Georgetown University, and then I moved to Belgium to get a master’s degree at Leuven University,  where I had a different experience with my education. Previously I had been exposed to liberalism and libertarianism and Objectivism, and I I studied some socialism and Marx but always in a negative way. In Europe socialist economics and Karl Marx, and also  philosophers like Foucault, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, were the mainstream.  After that I moved to Rome, Italy where I took a course in applied anthropology. I worked with Senegalese immigrants who had moved to Europe...
The following is a version of my part of a joint presentation with Stephen Hicks given at the first ever Malibu Summit student retreat hosted by The Atlas Society on June 29, 2019 at Scorpiesse in Malibu, California. June 29th, 2019 at Scorpiesse – Stephen Hicks talks with Atlas Advocates at The Malibu Summit.  An Impasse Between Creating and Destroying  The contrast between postmodernism and what I call “evolutionary art” is both epistemological, in the sense of how the artis made and the knowledge behind it, and metaphysical, what kind of subjects are important. Postmodern art is about seeking new means and content to challenge the very concept of art. Evolutionary art builds on the contributions of great artists and great art movements with new insights into human psychology and aesthetic means. Philosopher and The Atlas Society Senior Scholar Stephen Hicks, Ph.D, summarises the difference this way:  it is the difference between a master making a stained glass window and the moron that throws a rock and smashes it!  Louise Bourgeois vs. Martine Vaugel  Louise Bourgeois at MOMA. “Untitled” (1998), fabric and stainless steel at center  The postmodern works I am including are considered important by important art institutions. A defining moment and lifelong obsession of...
As with most people, my working schedule has been blurred. With colleagues in different time zones, 24/7 emails and texts, I can’t remember the last time I had an evening or weekend to myself—the traditional periods of respite.But there are two holidays when I refuse to work: Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Thanksgiving is the easy one to explain. It’s a harvest festival, deeply connected with the Objectivist virtue of productiveness when we enjoy what we have reaped and sowed. As a secular person, the thanks I give are to America, for the freedom that allows me to work for my vision.Which brings me to the Fourth. I am an intellectual and writer by profession. I am protected in my work by the First Amendment, for which I am deeply grateful. As a spokesman for an unconventional view, I’m especially aware of how often innovators of ideas, throughout history, have been persecuted, exiled, tortured, and executed. I think of Frederick Douglass. After escaping slavery, Douglass could have lived out his days in peace and quiet somewhere. Instead he chose to champion the cause of abolitionism and publicly fight to free those who were still enslaved, and later to champion liberty for all. I think of Ayn Rand, who escaped Soviet Russia and who, as an immigrant to the United States, took advantage of her new freedom to become a bestselling novelist, a philosopher, and...
On Thursday, June 19, the subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee met to shape recommendations on payment of reparations by white Americans to black­ Americans. Specifically, the bill introduced by Sheila Jackson Lee, Democratic Congresswoman from Texas, would establish a commission to study the impact of slavery and discrimination in the American colonies, later in the United States, and “any form of apology and compensation” by whites to blacks. This question has been around for a long time. John Conyers, Jr., then a Congressman from Michigan, proposed the bill three decades ago and reintroduced it in every session of the House until 2017, when he retired. It got nowhere. But now, it offers potential for political advantage as two dozen Democratic presidential candidates vie for attention in the presidential primaries. For these members of the party of identity politics, pitting races against each other for political gain, the question of reparations has become the litmus test for Democratic candidates. Two candidates, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, propose legislation to “narrow the racial wealth gap,” not necessarily by writing reparations checks. After a two-mile jog along the Hudson River in New York City with men and women of the LGBT “community,” Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke headed to his next identity politics...
A tragedy common to human history is unfolding in Venezuela. It’s impossible to predict how it will end or what the human toll will be. As we watch events and hope for a peaceful resolution that restores liberty in Venezuela, here are some noteworthy facts about the Land of Grace. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. While the US is the top producer of oil, its total reserves represent a mere fraction—roughly 10 percent—of Venezuela's 300-plus billion barrels of oil. (Source: UPI) In Venezuela today, the median monthly income is $8. (source: FEE) A two-pound bag of onions currently costs about $2 in Venezuela. (source: FEE) In 2016, the price of a gallon of gasoline in Venezuela was less than one cent per gallon. (source: Washington Post) Roughly 90 percent of Venezuelans today live below the poverty line. (source: The Borgen Project) In 1950, Venezuela ranked among the top ten most prosperous nations in...

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