Summer 2012Vol. 7, No. 3

From the Editor

Welcome to the Fall 2012 issue of The Objective Standard.

Let me begin by saying how delighted I am with Ifat Glassman’s beautiful portrait of Ayn Rand, which adorns the cover of this issue. Having seen Ms. Glassman’s work on her website (http://ifatart.com), I commissioned her to produce a drawing of Rand showing her intelligence, certitude, and benevolence. Although I expected the portrait to be good, it far surpasses my expectations. Thank you, Ifat; I will cherish this forever.

In “Ayn Rand: America’s Comeback Philosopher,” I highlight the essential principles of Rand’s philosophy; compare them to the essentials of the predominant philosophies of the day, religion and subjectivism; relate each to the American ideal of individual rights and liberty; and show why, if America is to make a comeback, Americans must embrace Rand’s ideas.

“Religion Versus Morality,” by Andrew Bernstein, surveys the history and tenets of religion and shows that religion, in every essential respect, is utterly at odds with the requirements of a rational, practical, life-serving morality.

“The Role of Religion in the Scientific Revolution,” by Frederick Seiler, takes to task claims that religion was somehow responsible for the profound scientific advancements that animated the 16th and 17th centuries, and shows that the cause of these advancements was not religion or faith but the partial freeing of the mind from religious restrictions and the consequent use of observation and logic.

Curt Levey, in his interview with Ari Armstrong, discusses the U.S. presidential race and potential appointments to the Supreme Court.

Robert Zubrin, in his interview with Mr. Armstrong, discusses the history and scourge of antihumanism. (Mr. Zubrin’s book, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, is reviewed in this issue as well.)

In a new section of the quarterly, titled From TOS Blog, we share several of our many posts from the past three months, including those pertaining to my endorsement of Romney-Ryan, my essay “Political ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ Properly Defined,” and Ari Armstrong’s articles on the latest Islamist assaults and on related efforts to censor critics of the murderous cult. Enjoy (or be enraged by) these sample posts, and be sure to visit the blog for our daily commentary.

The books reviewed in this issue are:

  • Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins (reviewed by Ari Armstrong);
  • The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope, by John Allison (reviewed by Ari Armstrong);
  • Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, by Robert Zubrin (reviewed by Ted Gray);
  • Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America, by Mark R. Levin (reviewed by Michael A. LaFerrara);
  • The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-mile Diet, by Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu (reviewed by Andrew Brannan);
  • Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, by Gary Weiss (reviewed by Roberto Brian Sarrionandia);
  • Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow (reviewed by Robert Begley);
  • The Secret Lives of Codebreakers: The Men and Women Who Cracked the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park, by Sinclair McKay (reviewed by Daniel Wahl);
  • Double Cross: The True Story of The D-Day Spies, by Ben Macintyre (reviewed by Daniel Wahl);
  • Lunch Break, by Quent Cordair (reviewed by Daniel Wahl).

Enjoy the articles and reviews, join us on Facebook and Twitter, and let your friends know about TOS, the preeminent source for commentary from an Objectivist perspective.

—Craig Biddle