March 23, 2016 by Paul McKeever · Comments Off
On the “wall” for the facebook.com public group named “Ayn Rand” (the author philosopher who wrote the novel “Atlas Shrugged”), a group member posted the following question:
What exactly does the title of Atlas Shrugged mean? I remember the quote in the book went something like “Do you know what I would say to Atlas? I’d tell him to shrug.” But I’m unclear on what it literally means. Does it mean to make a gesture that says “Uh whatever” as if you don’t care, or does it mean to stop bearing the weight of the world and just let it drop?
I reply as follows. Read more
November 13, 2015 by Paul McKeever · Comments Off
DEAR FRANCE: “Atlas Shrugged” is a novel by Ayn Rand. The central message of the hero is that one must not sanction one’s own victimhood, and cannot be forced to do so. You are now experiencing the practical consequences of not taking that message seriously; of eschewing both factual certainty and moral absolutes. Neutrality has its costs. You’re paying them.
June 13, 2015 by Paul McKeever · Comments Off
The phony is befriended by people who are his enemies, and is loved by people who hate him. The phony not only sacrifices the possibility of friendship and love, but deliberately subjects himself to what only he knows to be exclusion and loathing. He is, in truth, a self-hater, and his own worst enemy.
May 9, 2015 by Paul McKeever · Comments Off
On May 3, 2015, a group of people assembled at the Curtis Culwell Centre in Garland, Texas to watch the announcement of the winner of a “Draw Muhammad” Contest. The organizers knew that some if not all Muslims believe that no person ever should draw Muhammad, and knew that some Muslims have murdered cartoonists in the past who have drawn or otherwise depicted Muhammad (see here, and here, as examples). Accordingly, the organizers spent something in the order of $10,000.00 on security for he event, which was closed to the public. Two men from out-of-state approached the Centre, shot a security guard in the ankle, and were promptly shot dead by a police officer. In the days that followed, most of the media thought the event to be an irresponsible, provocative, “baiting” of Muslims, and they actually expected the organizers of the event to be repentant for what happened. Read more
To produce the values upon which ones survival and happiness depend, one must engage in rational action. Those who are more consistently rational, and those who are physically more powerful, are the strong. The irrational, and the physically less powerful, are the weak. Read more
The electoral efforts of we pro-reason, pro-freedom individuals have been undermined by our cowardice.
Thinking ourselves bold and brave, we write in unambiguous and unequivocal terms of ideas and principles; of reason and faith; of selfishness and altruism; of individualism and collectivism; of free markets and central planning; of capitalism and communism. We stand up, look into the eyes of our audiences, and speak about big institutions and abstract entities – “the government”, “the state”, “unions”, etc. – and about their irrationality, their coerciveness, and the like.
In doing so, we act out of fear; fear not because of what we write or say, but because of what we refrain from writing and saying. Fearing we’ll offend someone, we cower from the utterance of the very thing that must be said if freedom is to prevail. Read more
Dreams, though usually experienced in the dark, can prove most enlightening. On July 24th this year, I had such a dream, and it gave me a valuable first-hand experience that has helped me to understand the role of purpose in ones life, and its relation to the value of thinking rationally. It also gave me some insight into the methods and motives of those who see no value in rational thought, or who are hostile to it. And, perhaps most importantly, it helped me to identify a common flaw in the advocacy of freedom. I share this dream, and my thoughts about it, with you below. Read more
As a courtesy to those who prefer to listen to audio books, and to the blind, I am happy to provide this audio version of my January 22, 2011 essay Multiculturalism, Islam, and Censorship (formerly titled “Why Lars Hedegaard is Being Tried”):
It’s the story that won’t just go away. Just two weeks ago, Tara Jones, an attractive young woman, issued a press release. It said that, on the anniversary of the gunning down of over a dozen women in Royalton, she would walk the streets near strip clubs in the city’s east side, wearing only a string bikini and pumps. Jones declared the evening to be “International Take Back the Night Day”, and said she would carry a sign saying “No Means No”. Read more
A strategy is emerging. Dare to point out the influence that religion is having upon government policy, and the defenders and apologists for such a mixture of religion and government will pretend that the condemnation of that mixture is somehow a call for religious people to be denied the freedom to air their views. For many, what may be more surprising is the observation that libertarians – a group that claim to be in favour of individual freedom – can be found amongst those defenders and apologists. Read more