Thursday, March 12, 2009
Salmieri on Atlas Shrugged
Via HBL, I have learned that the blog of Rowman and Littlefield, the parent of Lexington Books, has featured a post by philosopher Greg Salmieri about the current wave of popularity of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, in anticipation of its upcoming release of Robert Mayhew's collection, Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, by Lexington.
It's a short post, and excerpting it can't do it justice, but here we go anyway:
Most of the recent discussion of Atlas has focused on its political themes, creating the impression that the novel is essentially a condemnation of government intervention in the economy. However, its scope, its relevance to the current crisis, and the reasons for its enduring appeal go much wider and much deeper than this. Galt goes on strike not simply against high taxes and unjust regulations, but against the morality of altruism, which Rand identifies as the cause of such measures, and against the world-view of which this moral code is an expression -- a philosophy that denies the efficacy of reason and the absolutism of reality.With amazing word-economy Salmieri succeeds in both describing the deeper significance of Atlas and building even more interest in the novel. Read the whole thing. I especially like how it ends.
Admin Note: Blogroll (and Other Sidebar) Updates
Yes, it's been a busy year, but no, I'm not letting that stop me from updating my blog. In this installment of a few long-delayed maintenance tasks, I have updated the blogroll, adding more than thirty new blogs, and removing about a dozen retired or abandoned blogs, for a net increase of about twenty.
In quieter times, I prefer to introduce each new addition by highlighting a post, but the large backlog and my time constraints prohibit my doing so today. This time, I'll highlight just three of the new additions, one from each group of blogs I have added.
First, from a small group of blogs I've been following for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to adding, is fiscal conservative Alan Sullivan's Fresh Bilge. Sullivan is a weather buff and, blogging in that capacity during hurricane season, he has become a well-respected hurricane blogger. It was during the run-up to Hurricane Ike's landfall in Houston, where I live, that I made a habit of checking in on his blog each day. I still do, and I frequently find interesting news there that others miss, such as who the next Republican target of the Democrats will be.
Second, and from the bulk of the new additions -- promising, (mainly) Objectivist blogs that have recently come to my attention -- is Rajesh's Objective Extrospection. In fact, I first learned of his blog just yesterday. Go there for a look at India's recent past -- and the future Obama has the unmitigated ... audacity ... to wish on America. His post is titled, "Living under Socialism":
One of my jobs was to check with the local govt. office if our quota of pig iron had come. I had to go to the office which was on the outs kirts of the city on my puny scooter between rashly driven trucks (big rigs) since nobody would tell you anything on the phone even if you somehow got through. ...He also got taunted in school -- by his teachers -- for being the son of a businessman.
The staff was indifferent at best of times and outright hostile at other times. All the offices were dull, dusty, drab, dreary and every time you entered one your heart sank a little at the prospect of dealing with people who didn't even bother to look at you and were deliberately dismissive. If you persisted they would snap at you like a rabid dog and it was almost physically painfull when you had be very polite and use deferential tone even when you wanted scream at them and ask them if they were human before grinding there faces in the pile of dusty files in front of him.
And I thought the caste system was on its way out over there....
Third, from the group of bloggers I'll call "the big guns" for their general interest and broad popularity, I note this hipster PDA key chain from Life Hacker. It's too aesthetically-challenged for my tastes, but it has me thinking of using a small container made for key chains-- a pillbox, perhaps -- with an emergency paper scrap inside. That and a space pen should keep me from ever catching my mind churning at some weird time, but unable to capture the results.
Please take a look at the blogroll, if you were on it before and remain active. If your blog is now inactive, you will find it here, instead. Drop me a line if you are not listed in one of these places. Updating the sidebar was a big task, and I would not put it past myself to make a mistake here or there. If your blog has changed names at any point in the past year, you should find it listed under its new name now, if it wasn't already. For example, Rick MacDonald's blog is now listed as Doc MacDonald, rather than as SSN 687 and Friends.
Usually, I highlight only the last ten additions to the blogroll with the word "new", but at least until the next update, I'll have all these latest additions highlighted.
One last thing: I have removed most advertising from the sidebar. That will return only when I have time to figure out how to make the ads for Amazon change easily and the ads from Google pay!
Stephen Bourque has been blogging at One Reality for a year, and has taken the occasion to explain origins of the name.
Greenspan's Latest Mumble
C. August reacts to Alan Greenspan's latest attempt to curry undeserved favor with anyone who will listen just long enough to throw up his hands and assume that the gnome must know what he's talking about.
The old dog is back to his old tricks. The right regulations are the ones that Alan thinks are right, and despite his and statism's (not the free market's) spectacular failure, he clings to the idea that if someone is just smart enough, with enough data, they can "fix" everything. And it sounds like Alan thinks he still has the right stuff. I'm sure Geithner has him on speed-dial for when things get really tough.Brad Harper had emailed me about the Wall Street Journal piece a couple of days ago, too, but I never got around to it. That may be, in part, because Alan Greenspan had already answered himself decades ago. (More on that from me here, and from a former professional associate of Ayn Rand's here.)
Finally, if I recall correctly, Titanic Deck Chairs will host the next Objectivist Roundup some time in the very near future.
Today: Corrected a blog name in the body of the post (HT: Burgess Laughlin), as well as another typo.