Ari Armstrong's Articles
A Parable for Thomas Piketty
If everyone’s rights are equally protected under the law, it does not matter, morally speaking, that we do not earn or possess equal wealth. What matters is that everyone is free to live and produce and prosper in accordance with his own choices, efforts, and actions.
Marco Rubio’s Presidential Campaign Launch: Good and Bad
Marco Rubio’s campaign announcement indicates that he would half-heartedly reign in some taxes and regulations, while energetically advancing his faith-based agenda.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s SNAP Food Stamp Farce
The deeper problem with Paltrow’s cause is that it presumes that taking wealth from some people by force and handing it to others is moral. It is not. Individuals have a moral right to use their wealth as they see fit. In no case may government morally seize people’s wealth. . . Continue »
Religious Freedom Laws vs. Equal Protection of Rights
Religious freedom laws (such as Indiana recently passed) legally discriminate against non-religious people, and are contrary to the principle that the government ought to protect the rights of all individuals. As such, laws that favor protecting certain group should be replaced with freedom laws—laws that establish freedom for everyone equally.
Grand Budapest Hotel Worth a Visit
Don’t be fooled by the pastel exterior of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Although laced with comedic elements, this is a serious film with important things to say about suffering and hope, betrayal and courage, brutality and love. It is strange but worth a visit.
Whiplash and the Quest for Greatness
At its heart, Whiplash is the story of a young man who strives for greatness in his chosen career and who struggles to overcome the failings of his overbearing mentor to do so. The film is inspiring, not only because it portrays the quest for greatness, but because the people. . . Continue »
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, by Alex Epstein
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, by Alex Epstein. New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2014. 256 pp. $27.95 (hardcover). Who would argue that producing and using fossil fuels is not only not shameful, but also positively virtuous? Alex Epstein would. And he has done so eloquently and thoroughly in his book, The. . . Continue »
Islam vs. Free Speech
Muslims who wish to violently suppress freedom of speech can find plenty of support for their cause within their religious texts. But there is a more fundamental reason why so many Muslims oppose freedom of speech, beyond the contents of their religious texts: the very existence of freedom of speech. . . Continue »
Is the NYPD’s Work Slowdown Good or Bad?
City government ought not turn the police into rights violators or extortionists with its ill-conceived policies; instead, it should direct police officers to protect people’s rights and to do only that. That would foster greater community support for the men and women in uniform who regularly risk their lives to. . . Continue »
A Conservative’s Muddled Thinking on Ayn Rand and Property
Contrary to Jonathan Coppage’s claims, services in a market economy are fundamentally dependent on the ownership of property—both physical and intellectual—not somehow untethered from it. The Hank Reardens of the world, the industrial “makers” whom Coppage demeans, continue to play a fundamental role in the economy, and they always will.
How Will the U.S. Government Respond to North Korea’s Apparent Acts of War?
Let us not whitewash events surrounding Sony’s now-cancelled film The Interview: The North Korean government apparently perpetrated multiple acts of war against the United States, its people, and their liberties, waging cyber warfare against Sony (of which Sony Pictures is headquartered in California) and threatening to blow up American theaters. . . Continue »