[AUDIO] Multiculturalism, Islam, and Censorship

January 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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”):


Quick Note to Objectivists on Participation in the Electoral Process

January 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A well known Objectivist, and one I greatly admire, recently commented on his facebook fanpage that:

This Repub field and the results from Iowa just prove that it’s still much too early for politics. Lots of educational work still to do…

It was an echo of a comment expressed by Ayn Rand shortly after the failure of the Goldwater campaign in the 1964 presidential election, and that sentiment got a few nods from the fanpage’s presumably Objectivist fans. That is not unexpected: many Objectivists, on the basis of what Rand wrote, and on the basis of what they think she meant by it, routinely state that “it’s too early” for participation in politics, or that “it’s earlier than you think”.

As I see it, Rand did not intend that Objectivists vacate participation in electoral or party politics, and I find it a galling cop-out when Objectivists poo poo any invitation to get involved in electoral politics. The usual response is that now is the time for education, as though education and electoral politics were mutually exclusive exercises, and as though most Objectivists are actually involving themselves in teaching in lieu of political action. The truth, for perhaps 99% of Objectivists, is that they are not involved in either. Too many, in a manner not unlike the libertarians, are in practice just curling up in a ball, navel gazing about ideal societies, re-reading Atlas Shrugged, and moaning “what a pity”. Well, something’s a pity, alright.

When time permits, I intend to write a more detailed piece about what Rand wrote, and what she meant by it, in context. In the interim, I below reproduce my response to the Objectivist gentleman’s recent facebook comment. I’ll just add that his comment was no more qualified or detailed than the quotation of it I make above. Accordingly, I cannot know, from that comment alone, whether or not he was implying that Objectivists should not participate in electoral politics. My response is less a response to his views on the subject, and more a response to those Objectivists who would take his statement to be confirmation that they can and should continue to remain uninvolved in electoral politics. And now, without further ado, my reply: Read more