A changing tide?

Last November, I noted that Obama's morality is one shared by the villains of Atlas Shrugged. Obama was quoted saying, "You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness." [Bold mine]. It was unclear if Obama, refers to selfishness in the same way as I do. Whether he regards selfishness as a short-term, hedonistic, whim based value system or as a long-term, objective, rational based value system (I believe the latter). But it was clear that Obama believes altruism is moral system that should be applied to politics.

In the comments of that post, Burgess Laughlin made an interesting point. Essentially, he said that Obama will make an easy target. Because Obama's political and moral views are so explicit, it will be much easier for defenders of freedom to pin-point the errors, flaws, and out-right destructiveness in Obama's policies.

What has happened since November? Defenders of rational, self-interested values and lovers of freedom have been busy - for a small sampling check out this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this (The list goes on and on. My appologizes if I missed some good ones). Burgess was spot on with his comment. Obama is a bulls-eye.

In an interview with EdNews.org, Yaron Brook said in response to the question "What would John Galt say about the programs proposed by President Obama"
"Again, I don't want to be presumptuous and speak for John Galt, but certainly everything Obama is proposing today parallels what the political villains in Atlas Shrugged were proposing—and we know what John Galt thought of their actions. From Obama's first day in office, he has engaged in massive violations of individual rights and massive redistribution of wealth."
Indeed, they do parallel the villians of Atlas Shrugged. My assessment of Obama's philosophy has been (unfortunately) proven true.

But there is hope. The rise in Atlas Shrugged sales, the growth of "Tea Parties" protesting the growth of our government and attacks on our freedoms, and the frequent mention of Ayn Rand in the media give evidence that the ideas of Objectivism are not dying. Objectivism is not a philosophy of a few hard core fans. The ideas of Objectivism are spreading. They are spreading faster than I would have anticipated, mostly because of Obama's presidency.

Will Objectivist ideas take hold in our culture? I believe they are starting too, but its just a start. The right ideas must be defended and done so with vigor. I'm begining to see a glimour of hope in the not to distant future. I, for one, plan to step up my advocacy of reason, facts, individual rights, and freedom.


  1. Bravo John! A lot of us have recently decided to increase our activism. Go you!

  2. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Political change being the impetus of cultural change?

    I know a few Objectivists who said it would never happen.

  3. Anonymous,
    To whom do you refer?

  4. Anonymous9:22 AM

    Mr. Drake,

    I refer to Leonard Peikoff, Peter Schwartz, Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger, et al.

    And worse: Their opposition was not to negative, but to positive, political change.

    It will be interesting to hear, in the months and years to come, how these men defend the notion that popular disgust with politics has a power to change the culture that popular admiration for the same can never have.

  5. Anonymous,
    I have never heard them say that or anything like that. Can you provide a quote?

    What I have heard them suggest is that Objectivists interested in changing society, should focus on changing individuals' philosophies. That political advocacy, in and of itself, will not change people's underlying philosophical beliefs. In this, I believe they are correct.

    The recent events have not changed the culture, but is leading to more people thinking about and reading Ayn Rand. If these people are honest, they will recognize the facts and change their own beliefs. And that may in turn change the culture.