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From the Editor

From The Objective Standard, Vol. 8, No. 4.

Welcome to the Winter 2013–2014 issue of The Objective Standard. Here’s an indication of the contents at hand.

The increasing popularity of libertarianism is both a problem and an opportunity. It is a problem because, although nominally for liberty, the ideology rejects the need to undergird liberty with an objective, demonstrably true moral and philosophic foundation—which leaves liberty indefensible against the many philosophies that oppose it (e.g., utilitarianism, altruism, egalitarianism, and religion). The increasing popularity of libertarianism is an opportunity because, although the ideology denies the need for such a foundation, many young people who self-identify as libertarian are active-minded and thus open to the possibility that such a foundation is necessary. Toward reaching these active-minded youth, my essay, “Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism,” examines libertarianism in the spirit of Frédéric Bastiat, taking into account not only what is seen, but also what is not seen in common and seemingly unobjectionable descriptions of the ideology. The article exposes major problems with libertarianism, compares it to radical capitalism, shows why only the latter provides a viable defense of liberty, and emphasizes the need to keep these different ideologies conceptually distinct.

Next up is “Education in a Free Society” by C. Bradley Thompson, which picks up where Thompson’s essay “The New Abolitionism: Why Education Emancipation is the Moral Imperative of Our Time” (TOS Winter 2012–13) left off. In this new essay, Thompson asks and answers questions such as: What would a fully free market in education look like? How would it work? Would it provide quality, affordable education for all children, including those from lower-income families? If so, how? This and Thompson’s prior essay are crucially important articles in the fight for a free market in education. Combined, they have the potential to change the course of history. Read and see.

Ross England’s essay, “Louis Pasteur: A Light That Brightens More and More,” surveys the life and accomplishments of this remarkable scientist, who, “once internationally revered, is now largely unknown—remembered, if at all, only for his invention of pasteurization.” England shows why “Pasteur deserves to be remembered as more than a portmanteau on the side of a milk jug” and why he ought to be remembered instead as an “adventurer of science” and as “a light that brightens more and more.” (You’ll find the historical sources and significance of those latter two phrases in the article.) England’s essay does beautiful justice to this brilliant man of reason. Read it soon. It will make your day.

Movies reviewed in this issue are: The Mark of Zorro, directed by Rouben Mamoulian; and Notorious, directed by Alfred Hitchcock (both reviewed by Scott McConnell).

Books reviewed are:

  • Mind vs. Money: The War between Intellectuals and Capitalism, by Alan S. Kahan (reviewed by Richard M. Salsman);
  • The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, by David Stockman (reviewed by Robert Garmong);
  • The Emergent Reader Series, by Laura Appleton-Smith (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); and
  • The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves, by James Tooley (reviewed by Kevin Douglas).

And, as always, in addition to the articles and reviews, the issue includes a sampling of posts from TOS Blog.

The winter holidays are upon us, and The Objective Standard is the perfect gift for active-minded friends and relatives. Your holiday shopping could be done in minutes—and it could enlighten your loved ones for life. Here’s what a recipient had to say about her gift subscription to the journal:

I read Ayn Rand’s fiction years ago and loved it, but I never thought her ideas applied to the real world. Last Christmas [a friend] gave me a subscription to TOS, and I can’t tell you how clarifying it has been. From privatizing education, to economics in Atlas Shrugged, to Ayn Rand’s theory of rights—it all just makes sense. Now I’m the one giving gift subscriptions. Thank you for this marvelous journal! —Nicole B.

Would you like to have that effect on your friends and loved ones? You can. Purchase gift subscriptions today, and we’ll deliver the notices on the day of your choosing—including Christmas Day.

From all of us at TOS, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, a joyful Christmas, a happy New Year, and a prosperous 2014. —Craig Biddle

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