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Video: The Trinity of Liberty: Individualism, Individual Rights, and Independent Thinking

What are the essential principles that give rise to and support a free society? This is the most pressing question mankind faces today, and its answer is the least understood. In this speech, delivered at Hungry Minds Speaker Series in Denver, CO, Craig Biddle argues that a free society depends on the recognition and acceptance of three key principles—individualism, individual rights, and independent thinking—and that each of these is a part or manifestation of one deeper principle: egoism. Biddle then discusses crucial ways to conceptualize and advocate these principles, including understanding and upholding Ayn Rand’s morality of rational selfishness, clarifying the nature of independent thinking vs. second-handedness, and identifying the fallacies of “package-dealing” and “the frozen abstraction.”

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Posted in: Ayn Rand and Objectivism, Ethics, Individual Rights and Law

Comments are welcome so long as they are civil.
  • Anonymous

    Mr. Biddle, you’re an intell. hvy. wgt. We do need tons of others like you to take’em to the mat, intellectually. But I truly believe, they’ll physically trounce & destroy us if they can. Why? They’ll evade. Why? Because people are ‘good’, but with a tendency to evil, because THE DICE ARE LOADED! Why? Because they are temporal, but ’supplemented’ with free will, so they KNOW they’re temporal. What knowledge is enough to overcome that? LET’S GET THE MOST WHILE WE CAN!, WHILE WE CAN! THAT’S THE BEST WE CAN DO! So, in prehistory, they invented theology; shortly before our time they they invented collectivism. That meant, let the good times, for some, roll. Be one of the some (if you can) and get the most! Can egoism, individualism, indiv. rights, indep. thinking, & capitalism, intellectually expressed, stand up to, & put down, this hord (sp., or whatever? I don’t care) of apes? Without physical self defense, no. Without BULLETS and FISTS in their faces! they’ll flat out damn existence by initiatory force, and ‘win’. That’s what’s at the bottom of the educational & intellectual effort, force. At the bottom of all arguments, rational or irrational, is brute physical force. At the bottom of Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, is brute physical force, just like the machinations of collectivists. It’s only a matter of whether an argument, rational or irrational, proceeds with force, or waits, and responds with force, if force comes to it. The rational (or the MORE rational) argument must wait and GO ITS OWN WAY, and respond with force if anything (anybody) tries to stop it. That’s response (retaliation) to initiation. The irrational argument, if it goes its ‘own’ way at all, has automatically initiated force on someone; it has tried to stop the more rational. That’s initiation: crime. At the bottom of irrationality lies initiatory force: crime. At the bottom of reason, or Objectivism, lies responsive force, if needed. Ultimately, it will be needed, majority vote, or no. With a maj. vote, it’ll be easier. But, whatever, the intell. hvy. wgt. will have to be supplemented by the phys. hvy. wgt. in the streets, in the fields and in the hwys. I believe that’ll require some div. of labor & specialization. Reason is thinking AND action, whatever action is needed, incl. brute phys. force. Mike Kevitt

  • David Blankenau

    If you ever read Atlas Shrugged, especially Galt’s speech, you would find out WHY the statements ” Because people are ‘good’, but with a tendency to evil” and “THE DICE ARE LOADED!” are a load of crap. This is pure determinism. You are asserting that humans are INCAPABLE of reason, incapable of being persuaded by rational argument to abandon force as a means of dealing with others.

    If you doubt Objectivism’s power and potential to change the world, consider this:

    During the 2007 Objectivist Conferences, Yaron Brook postulated that it would be a very positive sign if Ayn Rand’s works were to enter the mainstream of discussion within 15-20 years. Within 3 — count’em — 3 years, Rick Santelli’s famous “in the end, I’m an Ayn Rander” statement and the birth of the Tea Party movement sparked a tidal wave of interest in her works. Sales of ‘Atlas’ skyrocketed (with tremendous assistance from Obama’s disastrous administration), and now, only 5 1/2 years later, her ideas seem to be everywhere.

    I am not nearly as pessimistic as you are about the future. As long as we have free speech, we have a good chance of PEACEFULLY persuading enough people to our side. In fact, there is no such thing as (and no way to) FORCE people into rationality. Thus, “brute force” is not and never will be necessary.

  • Anonymous

    David Blankenau: I thank you for your response, and for not attacking me personally. I will reply fully to your response soon, by way of editing this same comment, by adding to it (I’m glad this blog offers an edit capability).

    For now, I say my only 2nd. thoughts I have of what I said are about my statement, “What knowledge is enough to overcome that?” And I must explain more about what I mean by my statement, “With a maj. vote, it’ll be easier.”

    Please watch for my expansion of his comment, to become my full reply, coming soon. Mike Kevitt (not mkkevitt)