Friday, October 23, 2009

Atlas Hugs

In the most recent issue of
Newsweek, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has a very insightful piece about the value of Ayn Rand's work...

When I first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in the 1980s, I was blown away. Those books portray the power of the free individual in ways I had never thought about before. Since then, I've grown more critical of Rand's outlook because it doesn't include the human needs we have for grace, love, faith, or any form of social compact. Yet I still believe firmly that her books deserve attention…

Atlas has sold more than 6 million copies since it was published just over 50 years ago…Over the past year, we've seen Washington try to solve all our problems—chiefly by borrowing billions from future generations—to little effect. In that sense, this is a very good time for a Rand resurgence. She's more relevant than ever.

Yes, Ayn Rand is more relevant than ever, and I do share Gov. Sanford's critique of her philosophy (known as "Objectivism")." While Objectivism contains many vital and unique truths (which have greatly influenced me), it isn't sufficient for happiness and success. For that, Gov. Sanford is correct: A good philosophy must address the "human need" for "grace, love, and faith." That's why I created "Spiritual Rationalism."

One final note: These days, Gov. Sanford is probably best known for his affair with an Argentinian woman, but that's really unfortunate. While there's no excusing the Governor's behavior, he took full responsibility for his action and is trying to atone for it. Indeed, he's handled the situation about as well as any human being could under the circumstances.

Gov. Sanford's affair shouldn't preclude him from having a voice in our national affairs (pun intended). Throughout his political career, he has been a smart, fearless voice for freedom, individual rights, and limited government. One example: The piece above. Think about it: How many other politicians would choose to spend their political capital by defending Ayn Rand and advancing her ideas? With the exception of Ron Paul, I can't think of anyone else.

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