Summer 2014 • Vol. 9, No. 2

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From the Editor, Summer 2014

Welcome to the Summer 2014 issue of The Objective Standard. Here’s a brief indication of the contents at hand. For years, I have cringed every time Abraham Lincoln’s name has been mentioned on liberty-oriented television, radio, or social media—as, invariably, it was followed by a deluge of derogatory claims about Lincoln to the effect that he was a statist, a wannabe dictator, a warmonger, a racist, a pragmatist, or all of the above. The MO of the claimants was always to ignore relevant facts and context surrounding Lincoln’s era, his administration, his words, and his actions; and to focus narrowly on some isolated fact such as that Lincoln imposed a draft, or introduced an income tax, or wanted to return blacks to Africa. Well, it is time to shine some light on the essential facts of the matter; and, in “Getting Lincoln Right,” Alexander Marriott does just that. Marriott’s essay addresses various claims of Lincoln-bashing libertarians and conservatives; presents crucial and oft-ignored facts about Lincoln, about the Founders he revered, about the state of the Union during his time, and about the Civil War; and provides the context necessary to judge Lincoln and his actions objectively.. . . Continue »

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Getting Lincoln Right

Addresses various claims of Lincoln-bashing libertarians and conservatives; presents crucial and oft-ignored facts about Lincoln, about the Founders he revered, about the state of the Union during his time, and about the Civil War; and provides the context necessary to judge Lincoln and his actions objectively.




Shorts

Zach Braff Is No Liberal

Ari Armstrong April 23, 2014 PDF

In terms of politics, the fundamental issue is not whether and in what ways individuals are willing to voluntarily share their wealth. The fundamental issue is whether individuals have a moral right to decide how to use their wealth. Real (classical) liberals hold that individuals have such a right; modern (leftist) “liberals” hold that individuals have no such right.


Obama Administration Continues to Thwart the Keystone XL Project

David Biederman April 24, 2014 PDF

The Obama administration is “putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections,” the Associated Press reports, illustrating how leftist political maneuvering continues to delay this vital project. The developers have a moral right to use their minds, to develop technologies, and to offer their products in the marketplace.





Cliven Bundy, the Dishonest Left, and the Welfare State

Ari Armstrong April 27, 2014 PDF

As a chapter of the NAACP once concluded, “the ready access to a lifetime of welfare and free social service programs is a major contributory factor to the crime problems we face today.” The same holds for the related problems usually associated with high-crime neighborhoods, including high rates of absentee fathers, rampant drug abuse, gang violence, and the like.


Should Government Force Walgreens to Employ Salespeople Who Refuse to Sell Its Products?

Natalie Ogle April 27, 2014 PDF

Pharmacist Philip Hall is suing Walgreens, alleging that the company violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act when it fired him for refusing, on religious grounds, to sell the birth-control drug Plan B. But Walgreens is a pharmacy; the notion that it should be forbidden to require its employees who are hired to sell pharmaceuticals to actually sell pharmaceuticals is absurd.



The Pope and the Root of Social Evil

Ari Armstrong April 28, 2014 PDF

Inequality of resources per se is neither good nor bad. When government protects people’s rights and some people earn more wealth than others do by their own productive effort, the outcome is just. When government (or a criminal) violates people’s rights, the outcome (not to mention the act) is unjust—whether the result is more inequality or less.




Austrian Steelmaker’s Texas Plant Highlights Value of U.S. Fracking and Property Rights

David Biederman May 1, 2014 PDF

Whereas in the United States owners of resources have a strong incentive to contract with frackers—development of Eagle Ford shale in Texas generated some $2.4 billion in leases in 2010 alone—European politicians and bureaucrats, who control the resources in question there, have little to no incentive (and likely negative incentive) to enable fracking.


The National Day of Prayer versus Fidelity to Reason

Ari Armstrong May 1, 2014 PDF

Rather than humbly seek God’s guidance through prayer, we should proudly uphold the value of reason as our only means of achieving rational guidance in politics or any other area of life. And we should demand that our political leaders go, not by faith, feelings, or popular opinion, but by rational, rights-respecting principles.





Mike Rowe’s Excellent Career Advice

Ari Armstrong May 5, 2014 PDF

Rowe is right that “happiness does not come from a job,” in the sense that getting an idealized job will not automatically make you happy. But, in a deeper sense, happiness does come from a job, in that working in a productive career you love is a fundamental source of joy in life. Rowe’s own approach to work demonstrates this.




Two Paradoxes of Capitalism, Resolved

Ari Armstrong May 8, 2014 PDF

Because human beings survive fundamentally by using their reasoning minds to produce values, they need the freedom to act in accordance with their judgment; therefore they need a government that protects them from the only thing that can stop them from acting on their judgment: initiatory force.



Book and Film Reviews