Tag Archives: Politics

Control of Pregnancy Means Control of Women

How involved should government be in women’s pregnancies? A case from Wisconsin speaks powerfully about the dangers of personhood policy.

Early in 2014, 29-year-old Wisconsin woman Tamara Loertscher left her job, leaving her without the health insurance she needed to treat a thyroid condition. During her unemployment Loertscher sometimes self-medicated with marijuana and methamphetamine, a stimulant, for depression and pain.

Months later, in July, Loertscher suspected she had become pregnant by her long term boyfriend. She discontinued all substance use.

Then she went to the Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on August 1. She was seeking care for her depression and thyroid condition, to confirm herpregnancy, and to ask questions about the health of a fetus she intended to carry to term. She disclosed her medical history, including previous substance use, so health providers might offer the best information about her health and the fitness of her pregnancy. A urine test confirmedpregnancy as well as drug use.

Tamara Loertscher’s visit to the Wisconsin clinic then took a dark turn.

Continue reading Control of Pregnancy Means Control of Women

Advertisements

Ayn Rand, the Movies, and the Idea of America

This article was originally published at FEE.org.

Ayn Rand’s monograph “Textbook of Americanism,” now published on FEE.org, is virtually unknown. Written during a decisive turning point in history, it was delivered by Rand personally to FEE’s founder Leonard Read in 1946. The monograph represents Rand’s desire to draw stark lines between an emerging postwar collectivism and the individualism she believed built America. She joined others in pointing out that collectivism had wrought the horrors the world had just endured.

“Textbook of Americanism” also represents her worldview as it came to be shaped by her childhood experiences with communism, her early love of film as a means of artistic expression, and her perceptions about the future of freedom.

As a young student in Russia at the dawn of the Bolshevik takeover, at a small theater for silent films, Rand caught her first glimpse of the New York skyline. The silhouette burned in her mind, a symbol of creative passion and unbounded achievement, outlining the edges of her growing philosophy of individualism.

Continue reading Ayn Rand, the Movies, and the Idea of America

approaching anarchy

I’m really drawn to the individualist, market, and existentialist descriptions on this fantastic chart I found. Evolving from a starting point of classical liberal — basically I intellectually inherited minarchy as a default of Rand’s Objectivism, and hadn’t questioned it much until more recently.

Now I mostly just hold on to a vague minarchist position out of

  1. lingering skepticism about the development of gang warfare and “a market of force,”
  2. wide-eyed, beagle-like trust in the power of written laws to manifest justice,
  3. general reluctance to change my mind too easily, and
  4. the fun of annoying anarchists.

types of anarchism

 

Video Interview with Ron Johnson (R-WI)

This video interview originally appeared at The Atlas Society.
See it here: http://www.atlassociety.org/ele/sen-ron-johnson-atlas-shrugged 
Or watch on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1tEse1Y

January 16, 2013 — “Fight to be free.” These are the words of Republican Senator and businessman Ron Johnson, and he is so committed to the fight, he had the words inscribed at the foot of a giant Atlas statue in his hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Johnson recently sat down with Laurie Rice of The Atlas Society to discuss the ideas of Atlas Shrugged, his experience running a successful manufacturing company, the goals of his political career, and the future of the American economy and culture.

Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged grow in influence everyday. In expressing the impact Atlas Shrugged has had on his ideas, Senator Ron Johnson is in the company of politicians such as Paul Ryan (who spoke at an Atlas Society event in 2005), Congressman Allen West (who gave an interview to The Atlas Society’s Ed Hudgins in June 2012) and 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (who was interviewed by TAS CEO Aaron Day). These American leaders are using the ideas of Objectivism to realize their goals and shape the world according to their values. The Atlas Society is here to provide, explain, and promote the philosophical framework for “Objectivism in life and thought.”

Ron Johnson is a member of the budget committee and the appropriations committee in the United States Senate. Before he was elected to serve in 2010, Ron Johnson was a CEO and accountant at Pacur, a medical device packaging company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

UPDATE: As of February 4, 2013, this Atlas Society video interview with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was picked up by numerous media outlets, including PoliticoThe NationThe BlazeMother JonesThe Huffington PostSlateThe Chicago TribuneHuman EventsReason MagazineThe HillRoll CallPolitics Nation with Al Sharpton on msnbcThe Center for Media and Democracy’s PR WatchL’OpinioneThe Northwestern.comThe Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Right Wisconsin.

Feminism and the Future

Imagine a rich, new media landscape—one that extols complex heroines whose lives expand a young woman’s sense of the many ways that it is possible to be; one that de-emphasizes sexuality and appearance as the measures of a woman’s worth. Imagine energized women smartly banding together to solve social problems—using micro-financing to enable other women to launch businesses, for example—instead of leaning dependently on a paternalistic government. Before we look deeper into what our future could be, let’s consider feminism’s trek to date.

In the last 150 years, the United States has accepted a basic ideal of equality between males and females. Best understood, this ideal holds that men and women are first and foremost individuals who live by reason. As such, both men and women have the same requirements for freedom and the same potential for achievement. The belief in these core ideas is what Joan Kennedy Taylor, a feminist and Objectivist intellectual, called “the individualist feminist impulse.”

Continue reading Feminism and the Future

Did Objectivists End the Draft?

This article was originally published at The Atlas Society.

In the mid-1960s, a handful of individuals from Ayn Rand’s inner circle set out to end the draft. Few know the story of their activism. Just how powerful was their influence over Nixon?

IT WAS NIGHTFALL IN BOSTON; April 16, 1967. A wet, icy wind blew off the Charles River and howled down the wide channel of Massachusetts Avenue, gusting into narrow alleyways, and rattling the windows of Jordan Hall on Gainsborough Street. Inside, anticipation was building as the murmuring crowd took their seats on rows of white, wooden benches. Then she appeared; America’s most controversial individualist: Ayn Rand. People leaned over the balconies to catch a better glimpse of the best-selling novelist and diminutive philosopher who stood at the podium. Applause broke out; Rand took in the scene, scanning the room. Her penetrating gaze drifted up to the second level balcony, past the large, gilded clock which faced her. She began in earnest: “The question of the draft is, perhaps, the most important single issue debated today,” Rand said, “but the terms in which it is being debated are a sorry manifestation of our anti-ideological ‘mainstream.’… A volunteer army is the only proper, moral—and practical—way to defend a free country.”

Ayn Rand’s speech, called “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” was her first sustained look at the Vietnam War and the draft. Just one week later, Dr. Martin Luther King would stand at the same podium. And four months prior, General Lewis B. Hershey, the long-time head of Selective Service and the public face of the draft, addressed the forum.

Rand opposed the draft because it was a statist infringement on the right of the individual to own his own life.

Ayn Rand’s position on the draft, like so many of her ideas, was a contrast to both Left and the Right. Rand opposed the draft because it was a statist infringement on the right of the individual to his own life, and because it relied on an ethic of duty and sacrifice. Rand’s philosophical system,Objectivism, which grounded man’s right to life in his faculty of reason and the conditions of his survival, provided a context for consistent, integrated arguments against the draft.

The young intellectuals in Rand’s inner circle—students of Objectivism, at the time—often used the context of her philosophy as the basis of their own activism. And it was now that they began to ask themselves, “What will it take to end the draft?”  Continue reading Did Objectivists End the Draft?