31 December 2008


In today’s note on his private list, Harry Binswanger called attention to something that I found has become a habit of mine recently: jumping to the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) to see which letters-to-the-editor have been written by Objectivists.  

Yet another one was published yesterday, a letter by James G. Lennox, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburg, defending Charles Darwin’s achievements.  Letters critical of Barack Obama’s health plan, by Richard Ralston of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine (AFCM), and Dr. Paul Hsieh of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM), were published on the same day last week.  On the very next day, Dr. Ralph Whaley’s letter pointing out an individual’s ownership of his own organs was printed.  David Rafner had a letter published the week before last, concisely defending principles against pragmatism.  Dr. Hsieh had another letter printed in the WSJ last month.  There are others, too, that I can’t quite put my finger on.  (I am pretty sure Alex Epstein of ARI had a letter printed not too long ago, and my own letter was published earlier this year.)

It’s progress.


Kim said...

It's enough to make me feel all warm and fuzzy. I am not yet feeling activist, but I certainly value those who have the time and inclination to write and propound ideals I find so compelling.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Burgess Laughlin said...

The growing number of published letters to editors, guest editorials, and columns is indeed a sign of progress.

Even looking narrowly at my area (the Seattle-Portland Objectivist Network . . .


. . . I can see a quiet wave of activity rolling into the beach: some are writing weblog posts, some are writing LTEs, some are speaking to a "captive audience" at Toastmasters meetings, some are very active in promoting objective ideas on Facebook, and some are writing books (nonfiction and fiction).

Many more Objectivists need to take action. The more voices saying the same message (but each ideally in their area of specialization and therefore expertise), the greater the "leverage" the Objectivist movement has.

P. S. -- The one area in which our network's members have not been active is in forming special-purpose organizations. Examples elsewhere are Americans for Freedom of Choice in Medicine, and Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine. There need to be one or more such organizations (even if they only have two members initially!) in all fields--from nuclear power to education. Degree credentials and organizational titles open doors to publication.

Daniel said...

Progress continues. I'm an Objectivist and just started up a couple blogs, called The Nearby Pen and Systemically Important.

The purpose is not so much to push Objectivism, but simply with one to have fun and with the other to talk about some things I value and their source. Impossible to do either really, and especially the last, without pointing to correct philosophical principles.