From the Editor, Summer 2008


Because you may already have noticed the handsome barcode on the cover of this issue, let me assure you upfront that it serves more than a mere esthetic purpose: The Objective Standard is heading to the newsstands. The journal should be coming soon to a bookstore near you. So check your local Barnes & Noble, Borders, and the like, and if TOS is not on their shelves, tell the managers to get with the proverbial program. (It might help to mention that, in addition to being the journal of the future, TOS is the only quarterly that defends a big, profit-oriented bookstore’s moral right to exist.)

Also new with this issue is our dedicated Book Reviews section, which kicks off with reviews of The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law, by Steven M. Teles (reviewed by Larry Salzman); Sun-tzu: Art of War, translated with an introduction and commentary by Ralph D. Sawyer (reviewed by John David Lewis); and Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society, by Laura J. Snyder (reviewed by John P. McCaskey). This new section will be a regular feature of the journal, so please let us know of any books you would like to see reviewed therein.

As to the articles at hand, here is a preview.

“Property Rights and the Crisis of the Electric Grid” by Raymond C. Niles surveys the history and achievements of America’s electricity entrepreneurs, shows how government interference in the transmission grid has hampered their enterprises from the outset to the present day, and indicates what America must do to liberate the grid and enable a new wave of entrepreneurs to supply this vital product commensurate with the country’s demand.

“Vindicating Capitalism: The Real History of the Standard Oil Company” by Alex Epstein examines the inception and rise of Standard Oil, demonstrates that the company’s immense success was the result not of so-called “anti-competitive” practices or “predatory pricing” but of its superior efficiency and productivity, and does long-overdo justice to one of the greatest producers of life-serving values in history: John D. Rockefeller.

Lastly, “Proof of the Atomic Theory” by David Harriman surveys the observations, experiments, and generalizations that led to the discovery and validation of the atomic theory of matter; and, using that process of validation as an example, outlines the three criteria that are essential to the proof of any broad theory.

Enjoy the articles and reviews, check the newsstands for TOS, and have a wonderful summer!

—Craig Biddle
Editor and Publisher


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