Welcome to the Spring 2012 issue of The Objective Standard, which begins our seventh year of publication. Let me begin by thanking you, our readers, for your continued business and support, for enabling us to produce this vital journal, and for helping spread the word about its existence and articles. With your help, we have expanded dramatically in our first six years—and our seventh is off to a remarkable start: Our website traffic is up 160 percent from February 2011 to February 2012, and up 40 percent from January 2012 to February 2012. This explosive growth is due in large part to our proliferation of posts on TOS Blog—which has become the source for daily commentary from an Objectivist perspective. (Special thanks go to Joshua Lipana, Ari Armstrong, and Daniel Wahl for helping to make it so.)
With this issue of TOS, longtime contributors Andrew Bernstein and Richard M. Salsman join the masthead as contributing editors, lending their expertise in philosophy and economics respectively. (Being a contributing editor, or any other kind of editor, for TOS does not mean that one agrees with everything published in its pages.) Welcome aboard, Dr. Bernstein and Mr. Salsman!
The contents of this issue begin on a sad note, as contributing editor John David Lewis died this past January. Dr. Lewis was a great man and a true hero in the fight for freedom, capitalism, and justice; all who knew him will miss him dearly. For my thoughts on his life, see “In Memory of John David Lewis.”
My article “Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice” surveys the metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics of these two creeds, showing, at each level, that only one of them corresponds to observable reality.
Andrew Bernstein’s article, “Objectivism vs. Kantianism in The Fountainhead,” examines these opposing philosophies in the story, characters, and theme of Ayn Rand’s great novel. After this, you’re guaranteed to love The Fountainhead (and Rand) even more.
In his interview with TOS, Boaz Arad, a founder of and spokesman for the Israeli Freedom Movement, discusses the inception, activities, allies, and successes of the Israeli equivalent of the Tea Party movement. In one section, Mr. Arad recounts John David Lewis’s visits to and speeches in Israel. Great stuff—don’t miss it.
In their interview with TOS, Drs. Ellen Kenner and Ed Locke discuss their new book The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion and Reason, covering ground from how altruism destroys relationships, to why people settle for less-than-ideal partners, to how to ask your lover to experiment sexually. A stimulating conversation.
Our lively Letters and Replies section includes correspondence about whether a fetus has rights, whether Hayek and Keynes are really so similar, and whether Rand’s theory of rights is properly classified as a “natural rights” theory.
Under film reviews, new contributor Earl Parson discusses the documentary Eames: The Architect and the Painter (directed by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey), which you will place in your queue after reading this review.
Finally, the books reviewed in this issue include The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis by Robert R. Reilly (reviewed by Burgess Laughlin); The 7 Principles of Zionism: A Values-Based Approach to Israel Advocacy by Dan Illouz (reviewed by Gideon Reich); Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism by Ann Coulter (reviewed by Joshua Lipana); Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–1962 by Frank Dikötter (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); Objective Economics: How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Changes Everything About Economics by M. Northrup Buechner (reviewed by Richard M. Salsman); Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); If I Die in the Service of Science: The Dramatic Stories of Medical Scientists Who Experimented on Themselves by Jon Franklin and John Sutherland, MD (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); and Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People Who Led Extraordinary Lives by Jim Sheeler (reviewed by Joseph Kellard).
Enjoy the issue, visit TOS Blog (the most radical blog on the Web), and have a wonderful spring!