“More people die in the bathtub than from Islamist attacks.” Therefore, … what? How we understand the “terrorist threat” is critical to defining a sound policy for addressing the problem. Yet there’s something deeply, dangerously wrong in the way many of us think of the threat. That’s manifest not only in the prevailing view, but also, especially, in the outlook of some of its fiercest critics. Continue reading.
The CIA has concluded that the Saudi crown prince ordered the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. After a closed-door CIA briefing, GOP senators emerged convinced of the Saudi regime’s complicity, and the Senate has unanimously voted to hold Mohammad bin Salman responsible for the murder. But, despite the mounting evidence, Donald Trump has remained stalwart in his support of Saudi Arabia and Mohammad bin Salman (a “truly spectacular ally”). Why?
The just-published A New Textbook of Americanism: The Politics of Ayn Rand presents Rand’s little-known 1946 essay “Textbook of Americanism” and never-before-seen commentary on issues in political philosophy. Building on Rand’s philosophic thought, the book also features new essays from Objectivist scholars and writers exploring further aspects of the actual nature of Americanism.
Seventeen years, 2,351 Americans dead, 20,094 wounded. These grim numbers scarcely begin tell the story of the Afghanistan war, which marked its 17th anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 7. It’s been a tragic failure, but for reasons few people understand.
By allying with Saudi Arabia’s Islamist monarchy, American policy betrays our own ideal of political freedom and sells out the regime’s victims — thus continuing a wider pattern in America’s Mideast policy. The essay spotlights the fate of Raif Badawi and the subjugation of Saudi women.
The range of Ayn Rand’s commentary on cultural-political issues was sweeping. You can see that, for example, in some of the topics she explored in her public lectures at the Ford Hall Forum: from the philosophic meaning of Woodstock and the moon landing, to the ecology movement and the moral significance of the Catholic Church’s views on contraception; from the nature of laissez-faire capitalism and freedom of speech, to the military draft and the Vietnam war.
I’ve often revisited her commentary on foreign policy and international relations, partly because — just as in her analysis of economic, political and cultural issues — there are enduring philosophical lessons with application today. It’s an area of her thought that I hope scholars will delve into.
So I was pleased to read a recent article, “Fostering liberty in international relations theory: the case of Ayn Rand,” by Edwin van de Haar in the academic journal International Politics. It’s encouraging to see academic work on Rand that takes her seriously.