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The 1980s Called, and They Want Their Objectivism Back

In recent years, for reasons I have explained at length before, I have separated myself from the formal Objectivist movement and its occasional soap operas—though not, of course, from the philosophy of Objectivism itself, which happily survives independent of the various characters who associate themselves with it. So it is with some reluctance that I […]

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The Appropriation of Culture

Randa Jarrar is back to remind us just how atrocious an idea “cultural appropriation” is. A few weeks ago, the Palestinian-American feminist made a splash with an article in Salon explaining “Why I Can’t Stand White Belly Dancers.” Her argument, to the extent she offers one, is that this is a peculiar form of exploitation […]

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War Is the Health of Putin’s State

There’s an old saying that “war is the health of the state.” Though it was coined by an anti-war leftist during World War I, it has since taken on a certain currency among libertarians. And there is a lot of truth to it. Historically, war has served as a ready excuse for bigger government spending, […]

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Code-Talkers

Yesterday, Paul Ryan spoke at length on a conservative radio talk show about the role of work in raising people out of poverty. Asked what the Republican plan was to end poverty, he replied: In a nutshell, work works. It’s all about getting people to work. And when you were one of the leaders of […]

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The Conspiracy Theory

It’s been fifty years since John F. Kennedy was assassinated, but the big conspiracy theory about his death still lives on. No, I don’t mean any of the outlandish and thoroughly debunked theories about “magic bullets” and grassy knolls. I mean the much more pervasive myth that somehow the political right is responsible for Kennedy’s […]

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Battlefield Earth Economics

I wrote a little while back about the rise of “Star Trek economics”—the left’s view that distributing wealth is like ordering food from a “replicator” in the Star Trek science fiction franchise. You ask for it, and it just appears. To paraphrase one of Arthur C. Clarke’s rules about science fiction, any sufficiently advanced economy […]

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Original Redemption

What’s the opposite of original sin? Original redemption? I thought of this when I read a fascinating article by Andro Linklater, promoting a new book on the history of private ownership of land, about the rejection of collectivism by the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony. The 102 Pilgrims who sailed to the New World in […]

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Original Sin

Fresh out of a White House meeting in which President Obama passed on his preferred talking points to sympathetic journalists, Juan Williams revealed what one of those talking points is. The attacks, I think this is just, again, more attacks coming from Republicans who don’t like the plan…. It’s what the White House now calls […]

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Best Practices

In the next few weeks, I intend to revisit the subject of my essays on “What Went Right?” It has been easy to forget about things going right for the past five years because so many things have been going very wrong, for Americans at least, under our current president. But a lot of things […]

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Suicide Watch

Regular readers know that I don’t go in for the whole “civilization is collapsing” line of pessimism. This is 20th Century Lite, not the fall of Rome. But there are a few exceptions where that level of alarm is merited, as with the ruins of Detroit. Here is another such example: the rise of “Muslim […]

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