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Casino Gambling Web | Best Online Gambling News and …

 Gambling  Comments Off on Casino Gambling Web | Best Online Gambling News and …
Jun 242016
 

The Top Online Casino Gambling News Reporting Site Since 2002! Latest News From the Casino Gambling Industry

Cheers and Jeers Abound for New UK Online Gambling Law May 19, 2014 The new UK betting law is expected to be finalized by July 1st and go into effect by September 1st. However, many are concerned the law could create another wild-west situation in the UK… Speculation on Casino Gambling Legalization in Japan Continues May 13, 2014 LVS owner Sheldon Adelson continues to create gambling news across the world, this time in Japan as he salivates at the possibility of legalization before the 2020 Olympics… LVS Owner Adelson Pulling the Strings of Politicians in the US May 8, 2014 Las Vegas Sands is playing the political system, and its owner, Sheldon Adelson, is the puppet master behind the curtain pulling the strings, according to new reports… New Jersey Bets Big on Sports Gambling, Loses – So Far… May 5, 2014 Governor Chris Christie may need a win in the Supreme Court to justify his defense for his initiative to legalize sports betting in the state… Tribal And Private Gaming Owners Square Off In Massachusetts April 28, 2014 Steve Wynn and the Mohegan Sun are squaring off in a battle for a casino license in Massachusetts, and the two have vastly different views of how regulations are being constructed…

Below is a quick guide to the best gambling sites online. One is for USA players, the other is for players in the rest of the world. Good luck!

As laws change in 2012 the internet poker craze is set to boom once again in North America. Bovada, formerly known as Bodog, is one of the only sites that weathered the storm and they are now the best place to play online. More players gamble here than anywhere else.

The goal of Casino Gambling Web is to provide each of our visitors with an insider’s view of every aspect of the gambling world. We have over 30 feeds releasing news to more than 30 specific gaming related categories in order to achieve our important goal of keeping you well updated and informed.

The main sections of our site are broken up into 5 broad areas of gambling news. The first area of news we cover is about issues concerning brick and mortar casinos like those found in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, the Gulf Coast Region, and well, now the rest of the USA. The second area of gambling news we cover concerns itself with the Internet casino community. We also have reporters who cover the international poker community and also the world of sports gambling. And finally, we cover news about the law when it effects any part of the gambling community; such legal news could include information on updates to the UIGEA, or issues surrounding gambling petitions to repeal that law, or information and stories related to new poker laws that are constantly being debated in state congresses.

We go well beyond simply reporting the news. We get involved with the news and sometimes we even become the news. We pride ourselves on providing follow up coverage to individual news stories. We had reporters in Washington D.C. on the infamous night when the internet gambling ban was passed by a now proven to be corrupt, former senator Bill Frist led congress, and we have staff constantly digging to get important details to American citizens. We had reporters at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas when Jamie Gold won his ring and changed the online gambling world, and we have representatives playing in the tournament each and every year.

It is our pleasure and proud duty to serve as a reliable source of gambling news and quality online casino reviews for all of the international gaming community. Please take a few moments to look around our site and discover why we, and most other insiders of the industry, have considered CGW the #1 Top Casino Gambling News eporting Organization since 2002.

The United States changed internet gambling when they passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), so now when searching for top online casinos you must focus your energies on finding post-UIGEA information as opposed to pre-UIGEA information. Before the law passed you could find reliable info on most gambling portals across the internet. Most of those portals simply advertised casinos and gambling sites that were tested and approved by eCogra, and in general you would be hard pressed to find an online casino that had a bad reputation. However, now that these gambling sites were forced out of the US they may be changing how they run their business. That is why it important to get your information from reliable sources who have been following the industry and keeping up with which companies have remained honorable. So good luck and happy hunting!

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), in short, states that anything that may be illegal on a state level is now also illegal on a federal level. However, the day after Christmas in 2011, President Barrack Obama’s administration delivered what the online gaming industry will view forever as a great big beautifully wrapped present. The government released a statement declaring that the 1961 Federal Wire Act only covers sports betting. What this means for the industry on an international level is still unknown, but what it means in the USA is that states can begin running online poker sites and selling lottery tickets to its citizens within its borders. The EU and WTO will surely have some analysis and we will keep you updated as this situation unfolds. Be sure to check with state laws before you start to gamble online.

The UK was the first high-power territory to legalize and regulate gambling online with a law passed in 2007. They allow all forms of betting but have strict requirements on advertisers. They first attracted offshore companies to come on land, which gave the gambling companies who complied the appearance of legitamacy. However, high taxes forced many who originally came to land, back out to sea and the battle forever rages on, but on a whole, the industry regulations have proven greatly successful and have since served as a model for other gaming enlightened countries around the world.

Since then, many European countries have regulated the industry, breaking up long term monopolies, sometimes even breaking up government backed empires, finally allowing competition – and the industry across the globe (outside of the USA) is thriving with rave reviews, even from those who are most interested in protecting the innocent and vulnerable members of society.

We strive to provide our visitors with the most valuable information about problem gambling and addiction in society. We have an entire section of our site dedicated to news about the subject. When a state or territory implements new technology to safeguard itself from allowing problem gamblers to proliferate, we will report it to you. If there is a new story that reveals some positive or negative information about gambling as it is related to addiction, we will report it to you. And if you think you have a problem with gambling right now, please visit Gamblers Anonymous if you feel you have a gambling problem.

In order to get all the information you need about this industry it is important to visit Wiki’s Online Gambling page. It provides an unbiased view of the current state of the Internet gambling industry. If you are interested in learning about other issues you may also enjoy visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling, a righteous company whose sole purpose is to help protect and support problem gamblers. They have a lot of great resources for anyone interested in learning more.

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Casino Gambling Web | Best Online Gambling News and …

Gambling Addiction – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment for …

 Gambling  Comments Off on Gambling Addiction – Signs, Symptoms & Treatment for …
Jun 242016
 

Home Gambling Addiction Call 800-654-0987 to speak with a addiction treatment counselor.

Do you, or does someone you love enjoy playing lotto, buying lottery tickets or visiting the casino on a regular basis?Has your desire to gamble ever resulted in your spending money that you really didnt have to spend, getting in trouble or had negative effects on your relationships with friends or loved ones?Frequent gambling could be a sign of a gambling addiction.

It is estimated that gambling addiction affects somewhere between two to five percent of all American adults in some way.Many different risk factors can lead to a compulsive gambling addiction that is both difficult to cope with and equally difficult to overcome.

Gambling addiction can lead to job loss, family problems, loss of material possessions such as a house or car, health problems, problems with the law and much more.

Fortunately, there is help and treatment has been derived from many different methods of counseling and therapy to assist those who have a compulsive gambling problem with overcoming their desire to gamble and learning how to control their behaviors.

A simple desire to scratch a ticket, play a slot or visit a casino is not necessarily a sign of gambling addiction but when this desire is so compulsive that you just cant stop thinking about it until you take action, there may be a problem in your life. Gambling addiction is characterized by a compulsive desire to gamble that is marked with an inability to control behaviors when gambling.Those who suffer from gambling addiction will continue to gamble (either daily or possibly just on a binge) despite negative financial, legal and social consequences.

Many people who are addicted to gambling will do things that they never would have done if it werent for their addiction such as stealing money from friends or family members or taking part in illegal activities in an effort to get more money either to gamble or to pay debts. Despite a desire to quit, many compulsive gamblers are unable to control their actions without help.The impulsive behaviors often get them into trouble and can lead to serious consequences.

Treatment can help you overcome! Call 800-654-0987 to find help today.

Often referred to as a hidden illness gambling addiction has no obvious physical signs or symptoms that can be quickly or easily spotted.Problem gamblers often go unnoticed for many years before the signs of the addiction finally become evident even to close friends and family members. In fact, because many gambling addicts are able to control their behaviors the majority of the time, it could be very difficult to spot a gambling addiction unless you physically go with the gambler into a situation in which they are actually gambling, then you may quickly realize that they are out of control.

Although the signs of gambling addiction are often difficult for others to spot, if you like to gamble, theres a good chance that you will be able to recognize the symptoms of gambling addiction in yourself early on, well before others will even notice.

Call 800-654-0987 toll free to get on the road to recovery today. You are not alone.

Fact:Compulsive gambling leads to emotional problems, relationship problems and could lead to legal problems in addition to the financial implications. Even if you have the money to spend, gambling too much can become problematic as your social life suffers from your spending too much time on gambling.

Fact:Gambling in excess, either daily or during a binge, can be problematic.Even if you dont gamble often, the gambling can still cause problems financially, legally or socially.

Fact:Gambling addicts often place blame on their loved ones in an effort to take the blame off of themselves but this doesnt necessarily mean that the partner has anything to do with their problem.

The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that one in five pathological gamblers attempts suicide, a rater higher than for any other addictive disorder.

Not all gambling is problematic.Responsible gambling is possible and many gaming venues take part in responsible gaming policies that are intended to provide gamblers with an ethical means of having fun without the dangers and risks associated with gambling addiction.

The devastation that gambling addiction can wreak on the life of those who suffer from this illness as well as those around him make this a very dangerous disorder to be reckoned with.Compulsive gambling accounts for as much as five billion dollars spent annually in the United States alone.Many of the people who are addicted to gambling find themselves accruing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

Gambling addiction affects each individual in a different way and each gambler will have unique needs for recovery.The type of treatment that works for one individual will not necessarily work for another. Probably the greatest hurdle in treatment for gambling addiction is to realize and admit that you have a problem and need help.Because gambling is called the hidden addiction it can be very, very difficult to attest to your wrongdoing, and admit that you have a gambling problem.This is especially true when a gambling addiction has resulted in extreme financial hardship, broken relationships and certain legal problems along the way.

Treatment for gambling addiction takes many forms and most people who seek help for a gambling addiction participate in Gamblers Anonymous (GA).In addition to the social support that is found in the Gamblers Anonymous programs, psychotherapy, and especially cognitive behavioral therapy, have proven to be effective at helping those who are addicted to gambling to change their behaviors and take on more positive actions to cope with stress or other potential triggers that would typically lead them to gamble.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for gambling addiction focuses on changing the poor behaviors of a problem gambler into positive thoughts and behaviors.The idea here is to rewire the gamblers brain into a new way of thinking about their gambling addiction and their desire to gamble.

During treatment, you will learn many ways to cope with cravings or your desire to gamble.It is completely normal to feel the urge to gamble, especially if you are recovering from a gambling addiction, but it can be difficult to cope with such desires in a positive way.Throughout your struggles with gambling addiction and recovery there will likely be many times that you want to gamble and struggle to make the right choice not to follow through with your desires.The following methods can help you to cope with potential triggers without relapsing:

If you relapse while you are undergoing treatment for gambling addiction, the best thing to do is to pick up on your recovery where you left off. Don’t let relapse stop you in your tracks! Do not use relapse as an excuse to give up on yourself or your recovery.

If you or someone you love needs treatment for a gambling problem, its important that you seek a treatment approach that will be most appropriate for your individual needs.Finding the right type of treatment for your needs and the right help for a gambling addiction will ensure that you have the greatest chance of recovery.Most of the time, gambling addiction treatment takes place either through social support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous and outpatient therapy or in an inpatient facility.

If your gambling addiction has lead to severe financial, legal or social problems then you may require inpatient treatment for your condition.This type of help for gambling addiction includes around-the-clock supervision in a hospital like setting where the patient will stay while undergoing treatment. The intense therapy, counseling and supervision provided by inpatient treatment centers significantly reduce the risk of relapse while in treatment.

Compulsive gamblers often need the support of friends, family members and additional peers in order to help them stop gambling.Gamblers Anonymous groups can provide peer and social support for those in recovery or for those who wish they could stop gambling.For many, these groups provide a foundation for a successful and long term recovery from addiction to gambling.

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Online Casino USA Friendly Online Casinos for 2016

 Gambling  Comments Off on Online Casino USA Friendly Online Casinos for 2016
Jun 242016
 

Play with confidence by exploring our 2015 list of the best online casinos before you place a bet. Our ratings take the work out of deciding where to play by providing current information about our recommended online casinos. Read our reviews and ratings about each casino to make an informed decision. We help you learn about each casinos software safety, available welcome bonuses, incentives, payout percent, banking options, game selection, customer service and other details.

* The Casinos listed here accept new customers from United States, USA & other countries.

Playing your favorite games online can be more cost-efficient, less hassle and provide a better atmosphere for winning than gambling in a traditional casino. Even if you have a casino nearby, you will put wear and tear on your car, pay for gas, and may need to spring for meals or a hotel room. Before you know it, you may spend several hundred dollars that you would have preferred to use playing games.

Additionally, your personal comfort can impact your concentration and gambling decisions. Imagine the noise at a traditional casino or interacting with a disgruntled player at your table. If you do not smoke, you may find the odor of smoke disturbing. When you have money on the line, you do not need distractions. You want to make decisions that maximize your winnings.

Your attire and disposition can also adversely affect your play. Uncomfortable shoes can take your mind away from a gaming decision, and hours in the same chair can make you grumpy. Stretch your legs at home without losing your seat at a hot table.

Most online casinos offer odds or incentives that surpass those of traditional casinos. Unlike brick and mortar casinos, online gaming establishments have minimal operating expenses. They do not need janitorial services to clean ashes and debris from the casinos. There are no heat, electric and water bills. In essence, there are few employees needed to maintain an online casino or monitor the games. Therefore, online casinos are in the unique position to entice players with more giveaways and incentives than standard casinos.

Have you ever gone to a traditional casino and decided not to play your favorite game because the minimum was too high? Since online casinos do not have operating costs of traditional casinos, you can usually choose the amount you wish to bet without meeting minimums. The advantages of online casinos are likely to heighten your enjoyment.

Online casinos allow you to partake in tournaments, set up games with friends, compete internationally and enjoy individual games. The variety of options can satisfy anyones preference.

Why Our Rating System is Beneficial

We carefully investigate online casinos to provide players with accessible information. Each casino offers its own benefits. Your style of play, game choice, your reason for playing, and other personal factors may make some online casinos a better fit for you. For example, if you are not a seasoned player, you may want an online casino that offers plenty of free or practice games that you can intersperse with betting games. You can become comfortable betting and playing without investing a large sum of money. Some players may place a priority on customer service or online casinos that have little or no software glitches. Enjoying hours of uninterrupted play or convenient customer service that may help minimize distractions and keep you focused. Only you can decide which perks make a particular online casino the right choice for your playing pleasure. Some players like to join new online casinos to take advantage of perks and bonuses for new registrants. Others like to frequent their favorite casinos and enjoy loyalty programs. Our organized ratings and information make it effortless to identify your favorite casino.

Choosing an online casino can be tricky because there are many casinos competing for your business. Our picks for 2015 are Silver Oak, Cool Cat, Palace of Chance, SlotoCash & a couple of others. All of our reviewed casinos welcome players from America and other countries. The minimum rating is 99.1, but most of our top choices have a rating of more than 99.5.

Our user-friendly material is a breeze to access. Our format allows you to compare bonus offerings and ratings without leaving our website. The basic information appears in a list without the need to read reviews or visit the online casinos.

Access our review to find information pertaining to play options, software, loyalty programs and advice about accessing bonuses. Our reviews let you know whether a particular online casino keeps their games fresh by adding new options and games. We also highlight details that make some online casinos more preferable than others depending on your concerns. Our reviews identify which casinos excel at offering exciting graphics, excellent safety, convenient banking choices, 24-hour customer support, VIP programs, practice games, no wager gaming and other benefits that may be appealing.

While our ratings share the advantages of each online gaming establishment, they also alert players to problems. Reading our reviews can help inform you about difficulties withdrawing money or customer service issues. Nevertheless, readers should be aware that online casinos try to improve, and any complaints may not be indicative of your experience.

Our list would be incomplete without providing our viewers with access to the casinos we rate. Investigate each casino to decide whether it meets your needs and has your favorite games. Read about their offerings and policies.

We offer information to enhance your playing pleasure and hope that you have a positive experience. In addition to online casino recommendations, read our information about specific games to learn helpful gaming strategies. Whether you choose to practice games to perfect your skills or play for cash immediately, online casinos can enable you to have instant fun without traveling. Try the games on this site to get started.

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gambling | Britannica.com

 Gambling  Comments Off on gambling | Britannica.com
Jun 242016
 

Alternative title: betting

Gambling, slot machinePcb21the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettors miscalculation.

The outcomes of gambling games may be determined by chance alone, as in the purely random activity of a tossed pair of dice or of the ball on a roulette wheel, or by physical skill, training, or prowess in athletic contests, or by a combination of strategy and chance. The rules by which gambling games are played sometimes serve to confuse the relationship between the components of the game, which depend on skill and chance, so that some players may be able to manipulate the game to serve their own interests. Thus, knowledge of the game is useful for playing poker or betting on horse racing but is of very little use for purchasing lottery tickets or playing slot machines.

A gambler may participate in the game itself while betting on its outcome (card games, craps), or he may be prevented from any active participation in an event in which he has a stake (professional athletics, lotteries). Some games are dull or nearly meaningless without the accompanying betting activity and are rarely played unless wagering occurs (coin tossing, poker, dice games, lotteries). In other games betting is not intrinsically part of the game, and the association is merely conventional and not necessary to the performance of the game itself (horse racing, football pools). Commercial establishments such as casinos and racetracks may organize gambling when a portion of the money wagered by patrons can be easily acquired by participation as a favoured party in the game, by rental of space, or by withdrawing a portion of the betting pool. Some activities of very large scale (horse racing, lotteries) usually require commercial and professional organizations to present and maintain them efficiently.

A rough estimate of the amount of money legally wagered annually in the world is about $10 trillion (illegal gambling may exceed even this figure). In terms of total turnover, lotteries are the leading form of gambling worldwide. State-licensed or state-operated lotteries expanded rapidly in Europe and the United States during the late 20th century and are widely distributed throughout most of the world. Organized football (soccer) pools can be found in nearly all European countries, several South American countries, Australia, and a few African and Asian countries. Most of these countries also offer either state-organized or state-licensed wagering on other sporting events.

Betting on horse racing is a leading form of gambling in English-speaking countries and in France. It also exists in many other countries. Wherever horse racing is popular, it has usually become a major business, with its own newspapers and other periodicals, extensive statistical services, self-styled experts who sell advice on how to bet, and sophisticated communication networks that furnish information to betting centres, bookmakers and their employees, and workers involved with the care and breeding of horses. The same is true, to a smaller extent, of dog racing. The emergence of satellite broadcasting technology has led to the creation of so-called off-track betting facilities, in which bettors watch live telecasts at locations away from the racetrack.

Casinos or gambling houses have existed at least since the 17th century. In the 20th century they became commonplace and assumed almost a uniform character throughout the world. In Europe and South America they are permitted at many or most holiday resorts but not always in cities. In the United States casinos were for many years legal only in Nevada and New Jersey and, by special license, in Puerto Rico, but most other states now allow casino gambling, and betting facilities operate clandestinely throughout the country, often through corruption of political authorities. Roulette is one of the principal gambling games in casinos throughout France and Monaco and is popular throughout the world. Craps is the principal dice game at most American casinos. Slot and video poker machines are a mainstay of casinos in the United States and Europe and also are found in thousands of private clubs, restaurants, and other establishments; they are also common in Australia. Among the card games played at casinos, baccarat, in its popular form chemin de fer, has remained a principal gambling game in Great Britain and in the continental casinos most often patronized by the English at Deauville, Biarritz, and the Riviera resorts. Faro, at one time the principal gambling game in the United States, has become obsolete. Blackjack is the principal card game in American casinos. The French card game trente et quarante (or rouge et noir) is played at Monte-Carlo and a few other continental casinos. Many other games may also be found in some casinosfor example, sic bo, fan-tan, and pai-gow poker in Asia and local games such as boule, banca francesa, and kalooki in Europe.

At the start of the 21st century, poker exploded in popularity, principally through the high visibility of poker tournaments broadcast on television and the proliferation of Internet playing venues. Another growing form of Internet gambling is the so-called betting exchangesInternet Web sites on which players make wagers with one another, with the Web site taking a small cut of each wager in exchange for organizing and handling the transaction.

In a wide sense of the word, stock markets may also be considered a form of gambling, albeit one in which skill and knowledge on the part of the bettors play a considerable part. This also goes for insurance; paying the premium on ones life insurance is, in effect, a bet that one will die within a specified time. If one wins (dies), the win is paid out to ones relatives, and if one loses (survives the specified time), the wager (premium) is kept by the insurance company, which acts as a bookmaker and sets the odds (payout ratios) according to actuarial data. These two forms of gambling are considered beneficial to society, the former acquiring venture capital and the latter spreading statistical risks.

Events or outcomes that are equally probable have an equal chance of occurring in each instance. In games of pure chance, each instance is a completely independent one; that is, each play has the same probability as each of the others of producing a given outcome. Probability statements apply in practice to a long series of events but not to individual ones. The law of large numbers is an expression of the fact that the ratios predicted by probability statements are increasingly accurate as the number of events increases, but the absolute number of outcomes of a particular type departs from expectation with increasing frequency as the number of repetitions increases. It is the ratios that are accurately predictable, not the individual events or precise totals.

The probability of a favourable outcome among all possibilities can be expressed: probability (p) equals the total number of favourable outcomes (f) divided by the total number of possibilities (t), or p=f/t. But this holds only in situations governed by chance alone. In a game of tossing two dice, for example, the total number of possible outcomes is 36 (each of six sides of one die combined with each of six sides of the other), and the number of ways to make, say, a seven is six (made by throwing 1 and 6, 2 and 5, 3 and 4, 4 and 3, 5 and 2, or 6 and 1); therefore, the probability of throwing a seven is 6/36, or 1/6.

In most gambling games it is customary to express the idea of probability in terms of odds against winning. This is simply the ratio of the unfavourable possibilities to the favourable ones. Because the probability of throwing a seven is 1/6, on average one throw in six would be favourable and five would not; the odds against throwing a seven are therefore 5 to 1. The probability of getting heads in a toss of a coin is 1/2; the odds are 1 to 1, called even. Care must be used in interpreting the phrase on average, which applies most accurately to a large number of cases and is not useful in individual instances. A common gamblers fallacy, called the doctrine of the maturity of the chances (or the Monte-Carlo fallacy), falsely assumes that each play in a game of chance is dependent on the others and that a series of outcomes of one sort should be balanced in the short run by the other possibilities. A number of systems have been invented by gamblers largely on the basis of this fallacy; casino operators are happy to encourage the use of such systems and to exploit any gamblers neglect of the strict rules of probability and independent plays. An interesting example of a game where each play is dependent on previous plays, however, is blackjack, where cards already dealt from the dealing shoe affect the composition of the remaining cards; for example, if all of the aces (worth 1 or 11 points) have been dealt, it is no longer possible to achieve a natural (a 21 with two cards). This fact forms the basis for some systems where it is possible to overcome the house advantage.

In some games an advantage may go to the dealer, the banker (the individual who collects and redistributes the stakes), or some other participant. Therefore, not all players have equal chances to win or equal payoffs. This inequality may be corrected by rotating the players among the positions in the game. Commercial gambling operators, however, usually make their profits by regularly occupying an advantaged position as the dealer, or they may charge money for the opportunity to play or subtract a proportion of money from the wagers on each play. In the dice game of crapswhich is among the major casino games offering the gambler the most favourable oddsthe casino returns to winners from 3/5 of 1 percent to 27 percent less than the fair odds, depending on the type of bet made. Depending on the bet, the house advantage (vigorish) for roulette in American casinos varies from about 5.26 to 7.89 percent, and in European casinos it varies from 1.35 to 2.7 percent. The house must always win in the long run. Some casinos also add rules that enhance their profits, especially rules that limit the amounts that may be staked under certain circumstances.

Many gambling games include elements of physical skill or strategy as well as of chance. The game of poker, like most other card games, is a mixture of chance and strategy that also involves a considerable amount of psychology. Betting on horse racing or athletic contests involves the assessment of a contestants physical capacity and the use of other evaluative skills. In order to ensure that chance is allowed to play a major role in determining the outcomes of such games, weights, handicaps, or other correctives may be introduced in certain cases to give the contestants approximately equal opportunities to win, and adjustments may be made in the payoffs so that the probabilities of success and the magnitudes of the payoffs are put in inverse proportion to each other. Pari-mutuel pools in horse-race betting, for example, reflect the chances of various horses to win as anticipated by the players. The individual payoffs are large for those bettors whose winning horses are backed by relatively few bettors and small if the winners are backed by a relatively large proportion of the bettors; the more popular the choice, the lower the individual payoff. The same holds true for betting with bookmakers on athletic contests (illegal in most of the United States but legal in England). Bookmakers ordinarily accept bets on the outcome of what is regarded as an uneven match by requiring the side more likely to win to score more than a simple majority of points; this procedure is known as setting a point spread. In a game of American or Canadian football, for example, the more highly regarded team would have to win by, say, more than 10 points to yield an even payoff to its backers.

Unhappily, these procedures for maintaining the influence of chance can be interfered with; cheating is possible and reasonably easy in most gambling games. Much of the stigma attached to gambling has resulted from the dishonesty of some of its promoters and players, and a large proportion of modern gambling legislation is written to control cheating. More laws have been oriented to efforts by governments to derive tax revenues from gambling than to control cheating, however.

Gambling is one of mankinds oldest activities, as evidenced by writings and equipment found in tombs and other places. It was regulated, which as a rule meant severely curtailed, in the laws of ancient China and Rome as well as in the Jewish Talmud and by Islam and Buddhism, and in ancient Egypt inveterate gamblers could be sentenced to forced labour in the quarries. The origin of gambling is considered to be divinatory: by casting marked sticks and other objects and interpreting the outcome, man sought knowledge of the future and the intentions of the gods. From this it was a very short step to betting on the outcome of the throws. The Bible contains many references to the casting of lots to divide property. One well-known instance is the casting of lots by Roman guards (which in all likelihood meant that they threw knucklebones) for the garment of Jesus during the Crucifixion. This is mentioned in all four of the Gospels and has been used for centuries as a warning example by antigambling crusaders. However, in ancient times casting lots was not considered to be gambling in the modern sense but instead was connected with inevitable destiny, or fate. Anthropologists have also pointed to the fact that gambling is more prevalent in societies where there is a widespread belief in gods and spirits whose benevolence may be sought. The casting of lots, not infrequently dice, has been used in many cultures to dispense justice and point out criminals at trialsin Sweden as late as 1803. The Greek word for justice, dike, comes from a word that means to throw, in the sense of throwing dice.

European history is riddled with edicts, decrees, and encyclicals banning and condemning gambling, which indirectly testify to its popularity in all strata of society. Organized gambling on a larger scale and sanctioned by governments and other authorities in order to raise money began in the 15th century with lotteriesand centuries earlier in China with keno. With the advent of legal gambling houses in the 17th century, mathematicians began to take a serious interest in games with randomizing equipment (such as dice and cards), out of which grew the field of probability theory.

Apart from forerunners in ancient Rome and Greece, organized sanctioned sports betting dates back to the late 18th century. About that time there began a gradual, albeit irregular, shift in the official attitude toward gambling, from considering it a sin to considering it a vice and a human weakness and, finally, to seeing it as a mostly harmless and even entertaining activity. Additionally, the Internet has made many forms of gambling accessible on an unheard-of scale. By the beginning of the 21st century, approximately four out of five people in Western nations gambled at least occasionally. The swelling number of gamblers in the 20th century highlighted the personal and social problem of pathological gambling, in which individuals are unable to control or limit their gambling. During the 1980s and 90s, pathological gambling was recognized by medical authorities in several countries as a cognitive disorder that afflicts slightly more than 1 percent of the population, and various treatment and therapy programs were developed to deal with the problem.

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Ayn Rand (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

 Ayn Rand  Comments Off on Ayn Rand (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Jun 242016
 

1. Introduction 1.1 Ayn Rand and Philosophy

In Rands own words, her first and greatest love, her life purpose, was the creation of the kind of world that represents human perfection, while her interest in philosophical knowledge was only for the sake of this purpose (Journal entry for 4 May 1946; in 1997: 479).[1] Nevertheless, her interest in philosophical knowledge continued long after she had created this world in her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, her last work of fiction. In her non-fiction, Rand developed a conception of metaphysical realism, rationality, ethical egoism (rational self-interest), individual rights, laissez-faire capitalism, and art, and applied her philosophy to social issues. She wrote polemical, philosophical essays, often in response to questions by fans of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead; lectured on college campuses; and gave radio and television interviews. In her own words, her philosophy,

in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. (Rand 1957 [1992]: Afterword)

Capitalism, the unknown ideal, is for her the only political-economic system compatible with this philosophy because it is the only system based on respect for human beings as ends in themselves. The free-market libertarian political movement, though largely disowned by Rand, drewand drawsgreat inspiration from her moral defense of the minimal state, that is, the state whose only raison dtre is protection of individual rights.

Whereas Rands ideas and mode of presentation make Rand popular with many non-academics, they lead to the opposite outcome with academics. She developed some of her views in response to questions from her readers, but never took the time to defend them against possible objections or to reconcile them with the views expressed in her novels. Her philosophical essays lack the self-critical, detailed style of analytic philosophy, or any serious attempt to consider possible objections to her views. Her polemical style, often contemptuous tone, and the dogmatism and cult-like behavior of many of her fans also suggest that her work is not worth taking seriously.[2] Further, understanding her views requires reading her fiction, but her fiction is not to everyones taste. It does not help that she often dismisses other philosophers views on the basis of cursory readings and conversations with a few philosophers and with her young philosophy student acolytes. Some contemporary philosophers return the compliment by dismissing her work contemptuously on the basis of hearsay. Some who do read her work point out that her arguments too often do not support her conclusions. This estimate is shared even by many who find her conclusions and her criticisms of contemporary culture, morality, and politics original and insightful. It is not surprising, then, that she is either mentioned in passing, or not mentioned at all, in the entries that discuss current philosophical thought about virtue ethics, egoism, rights, libertarianism, or markets. (Readers may also find the entry on Nozicks political philosophy to be of interest.) We present specific criticisms of her arguments and claims below, in the relevant sections of this entry.

Ayn Rand was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, to a bourgeois Jewish family in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 2 February 1905. A witness to the Russian Revolution and civil war, Rand opposed both the Communists and the Tsarists. She majored in history, but the social science program in which she was enrolled at Petrograd State University included philosophy, law, and philology. Her teachers emphasizedas she herself later didthe importance of developing systematic connections among different areas of thought (Sciabarra 1995). Rands formal philosophical education included ancient philosophy (especially Plato and Aristotle), logic, philosophical psychology, Marxism-Leninism, and non-Marxist political thought. But she was evidently also exposed to Hegelian and Nietzschean ideas, which blossomed during this period (known as the Russian Silver Age), and read a great deal of Friedrich Nietzsche on her own. After graduating from Petrograd State University in 1924, an interest in screenwriting led her to enroll in the State Institute for Cinematography. On the literary side, she studied the great Russian novelists and poets, but fell in love with Victor Hugo, to whose influence she owes the Romantic Realism of her novels.

In 1925 Rand succeeded in obtaining permission to visit relatives in the United States; hating the Soviet system, she left with no intention of returning. After six months with relatives in Chicago, she made her way to Hollywood where, on her second day, a fortuitous encounter with Cecil B. DeMille led to a job as a script reader, and later as a screenplay writer. The next week she had another fortuitous encounter, this time with the actor Frank OConnor, whom she married in 1929. She was married to him till his death in 1979. She adopted the pen name Ayn Rand to (it is thought) protect her family back in Russia, although she also told the New York Evening Post in 1936 that Rand was an abbreviation of her Russian surname.

Rand and her husband moved permanently to New York City in 1951, where she became involved with, and was influenced by, the circle of mostly New-York-based intellectuals involved in the revival of classical liberalism, such as the economic journalist Henry Hazlitt, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, and the Canadian-American novelist, literary critic, and political philosopher Isabel Paterson. Rand also studied, and was a great admirer of, the Lockean philosophy of the American founding. Rand lived and worked in New York City until her death in 1982.

Rand holds that philosophy, like all forms of knowledge and achievement, is important only because it is necessary for living a good human life and creating a world conducive to living such a life. Philosophy supplies the most fundamental cognitive and normative abstractions which, respectively, identify and evaluate what is. Everyone, according to Rand, needs a philosophy and is guided by at least an implicit one (1982a: ch. 1). Her novels express her belief that if our philosophy is more or less correct, our lives will be more or less successful, if our philosophy is wildly off the mark, our lives will be disastrous. Philosophy thus has an urgent, practical importance. But unlike Marx, her philosophical and political antipode, Rand thinks that social change has to start with a moral revolution within each individual and the spread of the right ideas and ideals through rational discourse and the inspiration of art.

Rands ideal human being appears, in varying degrees of development, in all her novels; her ideal world appears in Atlas Shrugged. Her novels feature striking, complex plots with subtle psychological explorations of her characters emotions and thoughts, and philosophical reflections that rarely lose sight of the dramatic context. Like many famous Russian novelists, especially Dostoevsky, whom she recognized as a great psychologist, Rand also uses long speeches to lay out her philosophy, a device that has both its supporters and its detractors. She described Atlas Shrugged as a stunt novel and a murder mysterythe murder of the human soul by a collectivist culture. By soul, however, she meant not an immortal substance that survives the death of the bodyshe is not a dualist in any aspect of her philosophybut the mind, or the human spirit that celebrates life on this earth. She took a familiar phenomenon and literary tropea workers strikeand turned it on its head to show what happens when the men of mindscientists, philosophers, industrialists, entrepreneurs, writersthe prime movers of a societygo on strike. It also purports to show how the wrong metaphysics can lead to the wrong ethics and thus to disastrous personal choices and a disastrous political and economic system, and how the right philosophy is needed for the rebirth of the soul and the rebuilding of the world. Her protagonists are not knights on white steeds rescuing damsels in distress, or swordsmen who can fight off a dozen enemies single-handed, but men and women in the mid-20th century industrial America of steel mills, skyscrapers, and glimmering highways: women who run transcontinental railroads and men who revolutionize architecture or (long before clean energy became a cause clbre) build a motor powered by static electricity to produce limitless, clean energy. Her novels show the importance of striving to be the best we can be:

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible. (Atlas Shrugged, 1957 [1992]: 983).

Her novels inspire readers because they present heroes of unbreached integrity, heroes who lead colorful and remarkable lives and succeed not in spite of, but because of, their uncompromising virtue. This estimate of their virtue is not, of course, shared by all: many readers find her characters wooden, her writing stilted, and her ethical and political views misguided.

Rand paid tribute to Aristotle, whom she considered the greatest of all philosophers, in the titles she gave to the three Parts of Atlas Shrugged (Non-Contradiction, Either-Or, A is A) and to one of the chapters (The Immovable Movers). While she differed sharply from Nietzsche on many issues, including rationality, free will, and individual rights, his influence is evident in her provocative, often aphoristic, point-counterpoint writing style, as well as in her transvaluation of traditional values and her powerful affirmation of life and joy and the spirit of youth. In the Introduction to the 25th Anniversary edition of The Fountainhead, she stated that the novels sense of life is best conveyed by a quotation from Nietzsches Beyond Good and Evil: The noble soul has reverence for itself. (For The Fountainheads partly sympathetic and partly critical engagement with Nietzsches ideas, see Hunt 2006.)

Fundamental to Rands outlookso fundamental that she derives the name of her philosophical system, Objectivism, from itis a trichotomy among three categories: the intrinsic, the subjective, and the objective (ITOE: 5254; Rand 1965: 1323). An intrinsic phenomenon is one whose nature depends wholly on factors external to the mind; a subjective phenomenon is one whose nature depends wholly on the mind; and an objective phenomenon is defined, variously, as that which depends on the relation between a living entitys nature (including the nature of its mind) and its environment, or as that which depends on the relation between a properly functioning (rational) mind and extramental reality. Commentators are divided over the best way to interpret Rands views on this issue.

Rand holds that there is a widespread tendency to ignore the third category or to assimilate it to the second, thus setting up a false dichotomy between the intrinsic and the subjective. On Rands view, many of the fundamental questions of philosophy, from the existence of universals to the nature of value, involve fruitless debates over the false alternative intrinsic or subjective? in cases where the phenomenon in question is neither intrinsic nor subjective, but rather objective.

If ethics is the branch of philosophy concerned with practice, then in a sense all of Rands philosophy is ethics, for Rand stresses the supremacy of actual living over all other considerations, and insists that philosophy needs to be brought up to the realm of actual livingadding I say intentionally brought up to it, not down (Journal entry for 15 May 1934, p. 72; in Rand 1997: 73). Consequently, Rand regularly concerns herself with the practical implications and social relevance not only of moral and political philosophy, but likewise of the seemingly more arcane strata of metaphysics and epistemologyas when she identifies errors in concept-formation as one of the roots of racism, or mind-body dualism as a root of the dichotomy between economic and personal freedom. This approach likewise reflects Rands emphasis on integrating each piece of information into the total context of ones knowledge, and her consequent hostility to compartmentalization.

Rands conviction of the vital practical importance of abstract theory may help to explain the passionately polemical nature of her philosophical writing, which some readers find inspiring and others hyperbolic and off-puttingthough Rands admiration for Nietzsche, as well as her having been educated in a Marxist-Leninist atmosphere, may also play a role. Rand also tendedperhaps owing in part to the same two influencesto regard philosophical errors as revelatory of the psychological flaws of their authors.

For a more in-depth presentation of Rands views on epistemology and metaphysics, please see the supplement on Epistemology and Metaphysics

Ethics

is a code of values to guide mans choices and actionsthe choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life. (1961b: 13)

Before we can decide which code of values we should accept, we need to ask why we need a code of values at all. Rand claims that no philosopher before her has provided a scientific answer to this question, and so none has provided a satisfactory ethics.

Rand starts by describing value or the good, in classical fashion, as the object of pursuit: that which one acts to gain and/or keep (1961b: 16). Thus, the concept of value presupposes the concept of an entity capable of acting to achieve a goal in the face of an alternativeand the basic alternative facing any living entity is life or death (1961b: 16). It is the conditional nature of life that gives rise to values, not just human values, but values as such. As she puts it:

Metaphysically, life is the only phenomenon that is an end in itself: a value gained and kept by a constant process of action. (1961b: 18)

Survival is the organisms ultimate value, the final goal or end to which all [its] lesser goals are the means, and the standard of all its other values: that which furthers its life is the good, that which threatens it is the evil (pp. 1617). The same, suitably modified, applies to human beings. Life is the standard and goal of all genuine human values, in the sense that all of themfrom food to philosophy to fine art to ethicsmust be explained and justified as requirements of human survival. Ethics is an objective, metaphysical necessity of mans survival (p. 24). Thus,

[t]he standard of value of the Objectivist ethics is mans life, or: that which is required for mans survival qua man, (1961b: 25)

that is,

the terms, methods, conditions and goals required for the survival of a rational being through the whole of his lifespanin all those aspects of existence which are open to his choice. (1961b: 27)

To choose to live is to accept ones own life as ones ethical purpose.

Rands metaphysical arguments make two points central to her axiology and ethics. (1) Values are not just a human phenomenon but a phenomenon of life: life necessitates value. Thus, values are neither intrinsic properties of things, nor subjective, neither free-floating Platonic entities, nor mere matters of desire or preference, culture or time. Rather, values are relational or objective, dependent on the nature of the valuing entity and the nature of its environment. (2) An entitys values are determined by the requirements of survival for entities of its kind, and ethics is a requirement of human survival.

Rand seeks to bolster this claim by arguing that the concept of value entails the concept of life:

epistemologically, the concept of value is genetically dependent upon and derived from the antecedent concept of life. (1961b: 18)

She supports it by asking us

to imagine an immortal, indestructible robot, an entity which moves and acts, but which cannot be affected by anything, which cannot be changed in any respect, which cannot be damaged, injured or destroyed. (1961b: 16)

Such an entity, she concludes, cannot have values.

Critics raise two objections to this argument. (i) It begs the question by assuming what is at issue, namely, that a non-living entity cannot be harmed (Nozick 1971). Unlike the robot of this example, real robots can be damaged or destroyed, not only by external events, but also by a failure to perform their functions well, that is, by their own actions or inactions. Hence they can, quite straightforwardly, be said to have values.[3] (ii) Even if one were to accept that the concept of value entails the concept of life, one could consistently regard ones survival as a means to a certain kind of life: a life of dedication to the greater glory of God, the common good, the environment, and so on (Mack 1984).

Rands naturalism, and her rejection of intrinsicism and subjectivism in favor of objectivism, anticipate recent naturalisms and echo Aristotles argument, against both the Platonist and the subjectivist, that the good must always be good-for-something. Her conception of the function of morality is notable both for its affinity to, and its difference from, Thomas Hobbes conception: like Hobbes, Rand sees morality as a necessary means to long-term survival, but unlike Hobbes, she does not see morality as requiring a contract or even as a fundamentally social affair. The need for morality, according to Rand, is dictated by our nature as creatures that must think and produce to survive; hence we would need morality even on a desert island. There is, however, no duty to survive; morality is based on a hypothetical imperative: if you choose to live, then you must value your own long-term survival as an ultimate end, and morality as a necessary means to it. (The much-debated question of whether the choice to live is a moral choice (Mack 1984, 2003; Long 2000; Rasmussen 2002, 2006) or a pre-moral one (Peikoff 1991; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000, 2006), and the implications of either position for the objectivity of Rands Objectivist ethics must, unfortunately, be left undiscussed.) If asked why the choice to live commits you to your own long-term survival rather than some other ultimate end (such as, for example, the greatest happiness of the greatest number (Nozick 1971), or becoming worthy of eternal life in heaven), the answer is: because any other ultimate end, if consistently adhered to, would lead to death.

Rands ethics is thus firmly teleological, this-worldly, and foundationalist. Virtue is the act by which one gains/and or keeps values in light of a recognition of certain facts (1961b: 27, 28); it is not an end in itself not its own reward (1957 [1992]: 939). A fact central to a scientific ethics is that reason is the chief indispensable human tool of survival, and we exercise reason by choice. Hence rationality is the fundamental moral virtue, a virtue implicated in all the other virtues, including productiveness (Section 2.4 below).

Rand is widely credited by Objectivists (Peikoff 1991; Binswanger 1990, 1992; Kelley & Thomas 1999see Other Internet Resources; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000, 2006) with having solved the is-ought problem by showing that morality is essential for long-term survival as a rational being, and so anyone who chooses to live ought to be moral (1961b: 19). But if the choice to live is itself a moral choice, in the sense that we ought to choose to live, then the argument proceeds from an ought to an ought, not from an is to an ought. On the other hand, if the choice to live is a non-moral choice (an idea thats hard to reconcile with Rands general view that all significant choices are moral choices), then suicide can never be wrong, even if it is done for cowardly, irresponsible, or unjust reasons, a view that seems incoherent (King 1984 and Narveson 1998 criticize this and other aspects of Rands moral views). Even more problematically, if morality is needed only for long-term survival, and choosing suicide is not immoral, then a suicide-bomber does no wrong in killing innocent people.

Relatedly, how should we understand the idea of survival as a rational beingthe life proper to a rational being (Rand 1961b: 27). Is a life proper to a rational being a necessary means, and only a necessary means, to literal, long-term survival? Or is such a life also, in part, the ultimate goal, something to be created and preserved for its own sake? Again, what are we to make of the many passages in which Rand states that the ultimate goal is ones own happiness?

Rand herself thought that she had only one, consistent metaethical view: the ultimate goal is the individuals own survival; the only way to survive long-term, i.e., over a complete life-span, is to live by the standard of mans life as a rational being, which means: to live morally; and happiness is the psychological result, reward and concomitant (p. 32) of living thus. Many of Rands commentators follow her in holding that there is only one consistent view, while disagreeing on the right interpretation of it (Den Uyl & Rasmussen 1978; Machan 1984, 2000; Peikoff 1991; Bidinotto 1994see Other Internet Resources; Hunt 1999; Kelley & Thomas 1999see Other Internet Resources; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000, 2006). Others (Mack 1984, 2003; Badhwar 1999, 2001; Long 2000) argue that Rands writings actually allow of two, if not three, mutually incompatible views of the ultimate goal, and our task is to see which of these is the dominant or most plausible view. The three views are: survival, survival qua rational being, and happiness in the ancient Aristotelian sense of flourishing or eudaimonia. In the rest of Section 2, we will present the textual evidence for each of these views of the final goal, and the common objections to them, in turn.

The survivalist view holds that just as literal survival is the ultimate value for other living entities, so it is for human beings (Kelley & Thomas 1999; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000). Survival is the source and final goal of all the actions of an entity, that which gives point to all its other values. For human beings, happiness, intellectual and artistic pursuits and rationality/morality are all means to survival. The vicious can achieve their goals [only] for the range of a moment, as evidenced by any criminal or any dictatorship (1961b: 26). Even those whose vice consists of imitating others rather than looting them live a precarious existence because they are likely to follow any destroyer who promises to be their savior (1961b: 25).

Non-survivalists make the following objections:

Like Hobbes, Rand rightly points out that if everyone or most people were to start preying on each other, then no one would survive for longliterally, and that generations of predators would end up destroying or driving away the producers, and thus destroying themselves (Anthem and Atlas Shrugged). But this doesnt show that a few predators in a society of producers cannot survive by predation. Indeed, Rand herself sometimes acknowledges that evil people can survive by free-riding (hitch-hiking, as she calls it) on rational, productive people:

If some men attempt to survive by means of brute force or fraud it still remains true that their survival is made possible only by their victims, only by the men who choose to think and to produce the goods which they, the looters, are seizing. (1961b: 25)

In Mans Rights, Rand explains an individuals right to his own life as

the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (1963b: 93 and 1967a: 32122)

Life here is explicated in terms of not only continued survival but also the enjoyment proper to a human being.

For all these reasons, a more plausible interpretation of Rands view is that morality is required for surviving qua human being, that is, for living a life proper to a human being.

Just as the standard of value is survival qua human being, so the ultimate goal is ones own survival qua human being. To accept this standard and goal is to accept (i) the three cardinal values of reason, purpose (or purposiveness) and self-esteem as not only the means to but also the realization of ones ultimate value, ones own life (1961b: 27), and (ii) the three corresponding virtues of rationality, productiveness, and pride. These values are means to ones life insofar as they further ones life as a rational being, and they realize it insofar as they express the value we place on our lives.

What it means to value survival qua human being turns on the relationship of the three cardinal values to the three virtues. Rand often states that virtue is only a means to value. But when she explains how the three cardinal values correspond to their three virtues, she does not provide a means-end analysis (Badhwar 1999, 2001). Thus, she says:

Productive work is the central purpose of a rational mans life, the central value that integrates and determines the hierarchy of all his other values. Reason is the source, the precondition of his productive workpride is the result. (1961b: 27)

The virtue of productiveness becomes the central example of purpose (one of the three cardinal values), reason (another cardinal value) becomes its source, and the virtue of pride becomes its result. Rand also defines rationality, which is the basic virtue, in terms of

the recognition and acceptance of reason as ones only source of knowledge and ones only guide to action. (1961b: 28)

By this definition, being rational means valuing reason in thought, word, and deed, and realizing reason in ones life means being rational: the virtue and the value entail each other.

This point generalizes to all the virtues and values. Further, since the (cardinal) values are both the means to and the realization of ones ultimate value (1961b: 27), it follows that the (cardinal) virtues are also both the means to and the realization of ones ultimate value: long-term survival qua human being. On this interpretation, to survive qua human being is none other than to lead a virtuous life in which one has realized ones potential.

Both survivalists and eudaimonists, however, point out that this conception of the final end contradicts Rands oft-repeated claim that Virtue is not an end in itself. In addition, eudaimonists make the following objections:

Eudaimonists hold that the dominant and/or more plausible view expressed in Rands writings is that happinessa happy lifeis the ultimate value, where a happy life is understood as a life of emotional fulfillment in worthwhile goals and activities. Happiness in this sense necessarily involves virtue, but is not identical with virtue (Den Uyl & Rasmussen 1978; Machan 1984, 2000; Mack 1984; Badhwar 1999, 2001; Hunt 1999; Long 2000).[4]

Happiness is the existentially and psychologically successful state of life (1961b: 27). As an emotion it is not simply a positive subjective state, as on some contemporary views, but an emotion that meets certain normative standards: a state of non-contradictory joya joy without penalty or guilt, achievable only by

the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions. (1961b: 32)

Happiness is also a form of life-affirmation:

the feeling of ones blessing upon the whole of the earth, the feeling of being in love with the fact that one exists and in this kind of world. (1957 [1992]: 1056)

Thus, happiness is an objectively worthwhile and emotionally positive state of life.

Rand holds that the pursuit of happiness is inseparable from the activity of maintaining ones life through the rational pursuit of rational goals (1961b: 29, 32). A virtuous life is, thus, essential to happiness. It is also a shield against soul-wracking unhappiness. Just as even great misfortunes dont throw Aristotles virtuous individual into misery, they dont throw Rands heroes into misery. Even at the worst of times, the virtuous individuals pain only goes down to a certain point (1943: 344), never touching the core of her being: the self-esteem that consists of the conviction that she is worthy and capable of happiness.[5]

In keeping with their richer conception of the final end, Rands novels also employ a richer conception of virtue as an integrated intellectual-emotional character trait to think, feel, and act in certain ways, rather than simply as an act in light of a recognition of certain facts (Badhwar 1999, 2001). Her characters reveal their souls not only in what they say or do, notice or fail to notice, focus on or evade, on this or that occasion, but in their cognitive, emotional, and action dispositions, their style of being in the world. Their actions show not only an intellectual commitment to the right but a wholehearted love of rectitude (1957 [1992]: 512).

This basically Aristotelian view of virtue goes hand-in-hand with a basically Aristotelian view of emotions. Rand rejects the reason-emotion dichotomy as stemming, ultimately, from a false mind-body dichotomy. Emotions are neither raw feelings nor inherently irrational but automatized value-judgments:

estimates of that which furthers mans values or threatens them lightning calculators giving him the sum of his profit or loss. (1961b: 27)

Emotions provide instant guidance when circumstances do not permit reasoning everything out anew. But our emotions are only as good as our reason, because they are programmed by our reason. Hence they can only be corrected by conscious reasoning, and in a conflict between reason and emotions, one must always side with the former.[6]

Eudaimonists argue that Rands vision of a virtuous and happy life in her novels can be understood only as a form of eudaimonism, even if she often makes statements inconsistent with this vision. The chief objection to eudaimonism is that, by defining a happy life partly in terms of virtue, it employs an unconvincing conception of happiness. The philosophical literature on happiness in this sense (usually called well-being) makes and answers many such objections (Badhwar 2014).

The chief Objectivist virtues are rationality, integrity, honesty (with self and others), justice, independence, productiveness, and pride. Rationality,

ones total commitment to the maintenance of a full mental focus in all issues, in all choices to the fullest perception of reality within ones power, (1961b: 28)

is the basic virtue of which the other virtues are aspects or derivatives. The virtues are thus united or reciprocal. Each virtue is defined partly in terms of a recognition and whole-hearted commitment to some fact or facts, a commitment understood by the agent to be indispensable for gaining, maintaining, or expressing her ultimate value. For example, integrity is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake your consciousness (1957 [1992]: 936), a recognition that is expressed in loyalty to ones rational values and convictions, especially in the face of social pressures to surrender them (1961b: 28; 1964a: 52, 80); honesty is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake existence, a recognition that is expressed in truthfulness in thought and speech (1957 [1992]: 93637); and justice is

the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that every man must be judged for what he is and treated accordingly. (1957 [1992]: 937)

Conspicuous by their absence from Rands list of the cardinal virtues are the virtues of benevolence, such as kindness, charity, generosity, and forgiveness. Rand states that charity is not a major virtue or moral duty (1964b); likewise, presumably, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness. Whether, and how much, one should help others depends on their place in ones rationally defined hierarchy of values, and on the particular circumstances (whether they are worthy of help, what the likely consequences are of helping them, and so on). The greater their value vis–vis ones rational self-interest, the greater the help that one should be willing to give, ceteris paribus. What is never morally appropriate is making sacrifices, that is, surrendering something of value to oneself for the sake of something of less or no value to oneself. Thus, it can never be moral to knowingly risk ones life for a stranger (unless, of course, ones life is no longer worth living) or to court unhappiness for the happiness of another, whether stranger or friend. It is appropriate to help a stranger only in an emergency, and only when the risk to our own life or well-being is minimal (1963c: 4345). This should not be taken to imply that helping a stranger is morally optional, regardless of the strangers plight. Indeed, people who are totally indifferent to anything living and would not lift a finger to help a man or a dog left mangled by a hit-and-run driver are psychopaths (1963c: 4345) Rand makes even more concessions to common sense morality when she states that its good to help a neighbor going through a hard time till he can get back on his own feet, if we can afford to and if we have no reason to think that he is undeserving. Charity understood thus is a virtue because it is an expression of the generalized good will and respect that all normal people have towards others as creatures who share with them the capacity to value (1963c: 4647). Nathaniel Branden tries to reconcile charity with a narrow act-egoism by declaring that the former stems from a species-identification with another, such that, in revering others, people are revering their own life. By acting charitably, people actualize this sense of kinship, without sacrificing their own well-being.

This last is true, but the desire to reduce all motivations to act-egoistic motivations leads Branden (and Rand and many Objectivists) to ignore the fact that charity is first and foremost profoundly other-regarding, prompted by anothers plight rather than concern for ones own self-actualization The same is true of trying to rescue a dog mangled by a hit-and-run driver, where the egoistic motivation is even weaker, since here there is no species-identification, but rather only a genus-identification with another sufferer.

At any rate, the argument from identification can also be used to justify charity towards strangers in non-emergency situations, for example, for those who are permanently disabled and unable to care for themselves (Badhwar forthcoming-b). Rand concedes as much in What is Capitalism? (1965) where she argues that people who are unable to work must rely on voluntary charity, thus implying that it is proper for those who can afford it to support strangers in non-emergency situations.

The question arises why Rand thinks that charity, kindness etc. are not major virtues when they meet all the conditions of appropriateness: the recipient is worthy of help, one can afford to help, it is in ones rational self-interest (or not contrary to it) to help, and so on. Perhaps Rand thinks that they are minor virtues because we are not obligated to act on them at all times, the way we are obligated to act justly and honestly at all times. A deeper reason, however, might be her conception of people as essentially agents rather than patients, doers rather than receivers, self-sufficient rather than dependent. Nevertheless, Rands view of the unity of the virtues dictates that, even if we are not obligated to act on charity, kindness etc. at all times, they are just as important to possess as the other virtues. Moreover, in keeping with her emphasis on the importance of goodwill towards others and the benevolent universe premise, Rands heroes are often extraordinarily (and almost always appropriately) kind and generous, not only to those they love but also to mere acquaintances, and even sometimes adversaries (Badhwar 1993bsee Other Internet Resources). Striking examples include, from The Fountainhead, Howard Roarks unsought-for attempt to give hope and courage to Steven Mallory, the gifted young sculptor whose failure to get work has driven him to the verge of a spiritual and physical collapse; Roarks unreproachful help to his erstwhile adversary, Peter Keating, when Keating falls on hard times; and from Atlas Shrugged, Dagnys support to a heart-broken and despairing Cheryl Taggart who, in the past, has treated Dagny with scorn; and Hank Reardens generosity towards his exploitative family before he realizes their exploitativeness.[7] By contrast, Rands villains lack genuine goodwill towards others and, thus, lack true kindness or generosity.

Just as rationality, a focus on reality, is at the heart of every virtue, so irrationality, evasion of reality (including self-deception), is at the heart of every vice. Rands villains are all master evaders motivated by a desire for power, social status, fame, or unearned wealth, and resentment of the good. They are second-handerspeople whose primary relationship is to other people rather than to reality. Between the virtuous and the vicious are the innocently wrong, people who adopt wrong moral principles or make wrong choices, not through evasion but through an error of judgment (Rand does not explicitly recognize any moral category other than virtue, vice, and moral error, although her novels portray characters that do not easily fit into any of these categories). Hank Rearden, in Atlas Shrugged, is the great innocent living under a burden of unearned guilt because of his mistaken sense of honor and his charity towards a family interested only in manipulating and using him. Cheryl Taggart is killed by the too-sudden revelation that the man she loved and admired as the embodiment of her ideals is a fraudand that the world is full of such frauds.

As already indicated, Rand justifies virtue in both instrumental and non-instrumental terms, though without distinguishing between them. The instrumental arguments show the existential and psychological rewards of virtue and costs of vice. Virtue creates a sense of inner harmony and enables mutually beneficial interactions with others. Evasiveness, by contrast, traps one in a tangled web of rationalizations and pretenses. The evader who deceives others is either eventually caught, or lives in fear of being caught, becoming dependent on others unconsciousness. He is a fool, says a character in Atlas Shrugged, whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling (1957 [1992]: 945). Further, like Sartre, Rand holds that no evasion is completely successful, because the truth constantly threatens to resurface. Hence, the evaders diseased soul is in a state of constant inner conflict and anxiety as he tries to suppress his awareness of uncomfortable truths while maintaining his hold on others. His lack of integrity and of esteem for reality results in a lack of self-love or self-esteem and, indeed, of a solid self. (It is noteworthy, however, that her portrayal of Gail Wynand in The Fountainhead is closer to Aristotles portrayal of the vicious man in Book III of the Nicomachean Ethics as someone who is unconscious of his vice, than to her own stated view of the evader.)

These views are familiar from the history of philosophy, but many readers find their expression in Rands novels to be of unusual psychological depth and conviction. Nevertheless, the views are subject to the well-known objection that the complexity and variability of human psychology and society allow only for the most part generalizations about the existential and psychological benefits of virtue or costs of vice. Thus, it is possible for a small injustice to lead to great rewards, especially since others are willing to shrug off or forgive occasional transgressions. It is also possible for poor introspection, forgetfulness, or self-acceptance to allow one to evade something without any need for supporting evasions or damage to ones self-esteem. Again, even if every wrongdoing carries psychological costs, these might sometimes be outweighed by the long-term costs of doing the right thing (as Rand herself suggests in her portrayal of the embittered Henry Cameron and Stephen Mallory in The Fountainhead).

The non-instrumentalist justification of virtue in Rands novels is largely immune to these objections (though subject to the objections noted in 2.4 above). To compromise morally is, necessarily, to compromise ones own (objectively conceived) happiness, because no existential loss can compare to the loss of moral integrity. Rectitude is partly constitutive of genuine happiness because it expresses the right relationship to reality: to existence, to oneself, and to others. For the same reason, it is partly constitutive of a self worth loving, an ideally human or rational self. Like Plato and Aristotle, Rand argues that virtue necessarily creates inner harmony and certitude. Any value gained at the price of rectitude is only the simulacrum of genuine value. In a variety of conceptually interconnected ways, then, virtuous individuals are necessarily better off than those willing to take moral short-cuts. In its structure and much of its content, Rands ethical egoism is thus of a piece with the egoism of ancient eudaimonistic theories.

An objection often levied against egoistic theories is that they give the wrong reason for acting in other-regarding ways: justly, kindly, etc. My act is not really just if I give you your due because it is good for me rather than because you deserve it; it is not really charitable if I help you for my own benefit rather than yours. A common reply is that the egoists justification is egoistic but not her motivation, a reply that itself invites the charge of moral schizophrenia. Rand does not address the wrong-reason objection, but its unlikely that she would accept this dichotomy between justification and motivation. So insofar as her view is instrumentalist and act-egoistic, the problem remains. The non-instrumentalist strand in her theory, however, implies that the objection itself is mistaken, because giving you what you deserve/merit is partly constitutive of my rational interests; there is no conflict between your rational interests and mine (cf. 1964a: 5765).

Rand regards goodwill towards others, or a generalized benevolence, as an offshoot of proper self-love, with no independent source in human nature. There is only one alternative to being rationally self-interested: sacrificing ones proper interests, either for the sake of other people (which she equates with altruism) or for the sake of the supernatural (which she calls mysticism) (1982a: ch. 7). Kants ethics is a secularized mysticism insofar as it rests on categorical commands and duty for dutys sake, which is to say: regardless of any earthly desire or interest (1970). An altruistic ethics equates right action with self-sacrifice for the sake of others good and immorality with selfishness, while saying nothing about the standard of the good (Introduction, 1964a: iii; 1974). It thus fails to answer the prior question of what code of values we should follow and why, and provides no motivation to be moral other than guilt over selfishness. When taken to its logical conclusion, altruism does not simply tell us that it is selfish to pursue our own desires, but also that it is selfish to uphold [our own] convictions, [that we] must sacrifice them to the convictions of others (Rand 1957 [1992]: 943; Galts Speech, Rand 1961a: 142). In foreign policy, altruism is used to justify and gain support for Americas intervention in other countries (1966a). Altruism is also the reason why so many sympathize with, or even praise, bloody dictatorships that proudly proclaim that the sacrifice of the individual is a necessary and noble means to the goal of the collective good (Rand 1966a).

As a moral code, altruism is impractical, because its requirements are contrary to the requirements of life and happiness, both the agents and other peoples. As such, it is also profoundly immoral. Altruism leaves us without any moral guidance in our everyday lives and gives morality a bad name.

What, then, is the psychological explanation for the widespread equation of altruism with morality? Rand suggests various explanations reminiscent of Nietzsches analysis of the psychology of altruism. The theorists and preachers of altruism are motivated largely by a desire to control and manipulate others by playing on their guilt. Those who accept their teachings typically do so either because of guilt over their own superior achievements, or because, lacking any intellectual integrity, love of truthor a passionate dedication to an idea, they have nothing much worth saving, and so do not mind sacrificing themselves (Selfishness Without a Self, 1973b; 1982a). Some altruists are altruists because their mentalities are still frozen in a tribal past when survival required the sacrifice of some for the sake of others (1973b). Rand herself rejects a zero-sum picture of human relationships, so long as everyone in the relationship acts rationally.

Rands defense of selfishness and rejection of altruism are part of the reason both for her popularity with the general reader, and her unpopularity with philosophers and other intellectuals, although some would no doubt agree with her rejection of abject self-sacrifice and her recognition of proper concern with the self as moral (Falk 1963; Gilligan 1982; Hampton 1993; Badhwar 1993a). The general reader who responds positively to Rands work finds, for the first time, a moral justification for pursuing a life of her or his own and a liberation from unearned guilt. The philosopher who responds negatively to her work finds many biased and simplistic interpretations of philosophers and philosophical doctrines, including her claim that she is the first to consistently defend a morality of rational self-interest, all other philosophers having defended either altruism or mysticism (Pojman 1995). Her critics also challenge her equation of altruism with abject self-sacrifice (Rachels 2000, Flew 1984), and her claim (explained below) that there is no conflict between peoples rational interests (Flew 1984). An adequate interpretation of her views, however, requires attention both to the fact that, in the absence of special obligations created by bonds of love, contract, or family, she regards others needs as making no claim on us, and to the fact that she is an uncompromising defender of justice, honesty, and respect for others as ends in themselves.

Rands moral society is a society of independent individuals who respect each others natural rights to life, liberty, and property, and who trade value for value, materially and spiritually. They live, in her words, by the trader principle. Individual (natural) rights and the trader principle are both dictated by the fact that, as rational, independent beings, we need to think and act for our proper survival (1961b: 31). Both are required by respect for individuals as ends in themselves, not mere means to others ends.

Rights are a moral conceptthe concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individuals actions to the principles guiding his relationship with othersthe concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social contextthe link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law. (1963b: 92).

These natural rights are basically rights to actions, not to things or outcomes, and they can be violated only through the initiation of force or fraud. Hence, all natural rights are negative, that is, claims on others non-interference, and not claims on them to provide one with certain goods or outcomes.[8] The fundamental right is the right to life: the right to take the actions necessary for sustaining the life proper to a human being.

The right to life meansthe freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.). (1963b: 93)

The right to liberty is the right to act (including to write and speak) on ones judgment; the right to the pursuit of happiness is the right to pursue goals for ones own fulfillment; the right to property is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values (1963b: 94). Like the mind-body dichotomy, the common dichotomy between human rights and the right to property is a false one, because to own ones life is to own ones actions and their fruits (1962b: 91).[9] Just as there is a causal and logical connection between the virtues, so there is between these rights: a government that violates human rights also violates property rights. Thus, for example, in violating the right to freedom of expression by banning obscene speech on TV, the government violates the property right of the owners of the TV station to use their property as they see fit. Like other libertarians, both right (market) and left (egalitarian), Rand opposes state regulation of morality, as well as forced service to the state, whether military or civilian. She criticizes both conservatives and liberals (as these terms are understood in American politics) for wanting government to control the realm they regard as important: the spiritual or moral realm in the case of conservatives, and the material or economic realm in the case of liberals (1981b). Both sides thus betray a lack of understanding of the fact that human beings need to be free in both realms to be free in either.

There is much that is of great value here, especially Rands insight that we would not have rights if we did not need them for our survival and happiness (Miller & Mossoff forthcoming; Badhwar forthcoming-a). But critics point out that grounding all rights in the right to take the actions necessary for proper survival entails that one has no right to take actions that are contrary to proper survival: blindly following a guru instead of thinking for oneself, living off others because one prefers the life of a couch potato to fending for oneself, wasting ones property instead of using it wisely, or, most obviously, committing suicide (Mack 1984; Zwolinski forthcoming; Badhwar forthcoming-a). Yet the freedom to do only that which is morally good or rational is not a freedom at all. But this is not Rands consistent position. For example, she also says that, as fallible creatures, human beings

must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. (1965: 17)

Some commentators rely on this statement to argue that Rand is not restricting rights to actions that are necessary for proper survival (Miller & Mossoff forthcoming). But it would be more accurate to say that, while this position is the one that is compatible with her deep-seated commitment to liberty and a minimal government, she also often makes statements that entail the opposite.

Rand argues that the only just social-political system, the only system compatible with our rational nature and with the right of individuals to live for their own sakes, is capitalism (1965, 1967b), that is,

laissez-faire capitalismwith a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. (1961b, 1964a)

State regulation of the market, she argues, is responsible for corrupting both state and market institutions, just as political regulation of religion (or religious regulation of politics), wherever it exists, corrupts both state and religious institutions. Regulation creates the opportunity for the trading of favors between politicians and religious leaders, and politicians and businesses. Atlas Shrugged offers a complex and compelling depiction of the economic, political, and moral corruption spawned by cronyism between government and business. Laissez-faire capitalism is the only [social] system that bans force from social relationships domestically and abroad, because the trader and the warrior are antagonists (Rand 1966a). Rands conception of capitalism is, thus, more radical than the mainstream conception, and her defense of it significantly different both from the utilitarian defenses given by most economists, and the religious defenses given by many conservatives (see Den Uyl & Rasmussen 1984b; Machan 1984). She does, of course, praise capitalism (or semi-capitalism) for creating widespread prosperity, but this feature is itself explained only by the fact that it leaves individuals free to produce in peace. In Atlas Shrugged, Rand distinguishes between the few business people who earn their money through honest effort, without seeking favors from the government, and the vast majority who are members of the aristocracy of pull (crony capitalists, in contemporary terminology) and get rich only through such favors, a situation that she thinks prevails, and has always prevailed, in the real world (Rand 1964c). She holds that for a short period in the nineteenth-century America came closer to a laissez-faire system than any other society before or since, but that capitalism remains an unknown ideal. Some critics complain, however, that in her non-fiction (1961c) Rand does not always recognize the aristocrats of pull in the real worldbusiness leaders who lobby politicians for subsidies for themselves and restrictions on their competitors (Rothbard 1968; Johnson 2006).

Rand rejects the criticism that unregulated, laissez-faire capitalism would lead to a concentration of power in a few hands and undermine equality of opportunity because laissez-faire capitalism requires the rule of law, a well-defined system of property rights, freedom of contract, and, as a corollary, a government that abstains from all favoritism.

Rand holds that there is no conflict between one persons rational interests and anothers, hence that respecting other peoples rights is perfectly compatible with advancing or preserving ones own interests. Is it true, however, that rational interests cannot conflict? It seems that whenever two people have an interest in one good, for example, a job, and are equally qualified to have it, their rational interests conflict, Perhaps what Rand has in mind is that rational interests dont necessarily conflict, that is, that it is not in their nature to conflict. Their conflict is due to external factors, such as only one job for two qualified people. But is such conflict compatible with rights in an egoistic framework? And can rights be defended within an egoistic framework? Critics object that respect for others rights cannot be justified only as a means to ones ultimate value, whether this be survival or happiness (Mack 1984; Flew 1984). For under perfectly realistic scenarios, ones ultimate value can require one to violate anothers right to life or property. In her justification of rights we see the same unresolved tension between the instrumentalist strand and the deontic strand that we do in her justification of morality in general (Mack 1984, 2003). The eudaimonist strand in Rands justification, however, allows her to respond that respect for others rights expresses our recognition of the fact that others are ends in themselves, a recognition that is required by justice, and that justice, along with the other virtues, is necessary for leading a happy life.

Rand defines government as

an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area. (1963a: 125)

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Ayn Rand (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

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Liberalism and Conservatism – Regis University

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Jun 212016
 

Dr. Jim L. Riley Regis University Denver, CO

1990

Moderate Ideologies along with moderate political viewpoints may be correctly seen as occupying positions between the more extreme wings of the spectrum. In terms of the extent of power of the State moderate ideologies strike a balance between individual rights, freedoms and obligations and the coercive power of the State to mandate or prohibit certain behaviors by people. This “balanced” view brings forth various implications regarding governmental structure, electoral procedures, the rule of Law, economic concerns, and other important issues present in all organized societies. Likewise considerations regarding time help define the boundaries of moderate ideologies.

Change is inevitable in society, in governmental arrangements and relationships, in leadership, in public policies and throughout the political world. Ideologies of the moderate varieties seek change at a pace that enables progress to occur but neither so fast that the destruction of stability and order in society becomes more likely, nor so slow as to foster stagnation and status quo permanence. Clearly then, there is considerable room for disagreement and dispute over what is the proper balance in all of these concerns. These disputable arenas contribute profoundly to struggles among those who support different moderate ideologies.

Liberalism has occupied an important position in the moderate varieties of political ideologies for well over two centuries. Although its dimensions differ from society to society (where it is permitted to endure), there do exist core elements which can be identified, examined and understood. At the outset let it be noted that common parlance often misapprehends and violates the reality of liberalism. Calling someone a “bleeding heart liberal” is worse than an insult, it is largely meaningless insofar as conveying accurate information. Describing one public policy or another as “liberal” sheds precious little light on the nature of governmental activities.

The first glimmerings of liberalism may be discovered in the expansive political role being sought by increasingly large numbers of individuals and, more significantly, discreet groups of people with identifiable common interests. In the latter part of the 18th Century great forces were at work undermining existing political arrangements in Europe. Whereas the British had been experiencing a gradual expansion of the rights of ordinary citizens as well as the landed nobility as against the Monarch, such forces were largely held in check in France until the Revolution of 1789. Unlike in France the British had no central instrument of oppression such as a centrally controlled standing army ready to do the bidding of the monarch. British liberalism sought not to overthrow the Monarchy but to reign in its powers by expanding the role of the representatives of the people.

Certainly it was John Locke (1632-1704) who best expressed the principles of Liberalism in the British (and American) tradition. His Two Treatises of Government (first published in 1690) constitutes a most important statement on the liberal political philosophy that has so much influenced politics in succeeding centuries. At the center of his writings are basic values that today remain as under girding for the entire liberal view. Government exists to serve the people and community it governs. Its power is limited by concepts of natural rights of individuals and moral or natural law. Among these natural rights was the concept of the right to acquire and dispose of property. “Life, liberty and estate” belonged to individuals quite apart from any grant from society or its instrument Government.

The basic duty of government is to protect the common good and private rights which were seen to be inextricably related if not the same thing. Individuals agree to limits on their behavior by granting to government certain limited powers but only if the government rules on behalf of the common good and in the protection of private rights. For reasons of convenience and mutual benefit people enter into a compact whereby they willingly relinquish some of their freedom of action and in return gain security and stability in their daily lives. As Locke wrote: “Men being, as has been said, by Nature, all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this Estate, and subjected to the Political Power of another, without his own Consent.”

The only way whereby any one divests himself of his Natural Liberty, and puts on the bonds of Civil Society is by agreeing with other Men to join and unite into a Community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living amongst another, in a secure Enjoyment of their Properties, and a greater Security against any that are not of it. (Locke, Two Treatises of Government, NY: New American Library, 1963, pp.374-75.)

Should government become tyrannical and deviate from this Compact with the people, then the people had the right of revolution to overthrow the government which had broken the Compact. This right of revolution is based solidly on the notion that people may, when confronted with injustice, take actions to bring about basic changes in government. Society and government were separate entities and the dissolution of the latter did not imply the destruction of the former. Governments were bound by laws just as were individuals. Moreover, these laws, could not legitimately violate principles of natural justice; indeed if a contravening of principles of natural justice were was done then the actions of the government were not laws in the true sense of the term.

For Locke principles of natural justice were grounded in a right to own and dispose of property. Debate over what constitutes these principles has continued to the present time. In France the development of liberalism took decidedly different turns. A corrupt and parasitic nobility sought to maintain its grip on power at all costs and with no recognition of the rights of the populace at large. The demand for equality as part of the concept of liberalism was an invitation to complete rejection of the ancien regime and to do so in an uncompromising and violent manner.

A revolution devoted in 1789 to principles of individual rights degenerated by 1793 into the dictatorship of the Jacobins and the accompanying terror of mob rule. At this point in time the ideology supporting the French Revolution became extremist rather than moderate and laid the foundation for the eventual success of Napoleon Bonaparte who offered stability and order in place of the chaos of post-revolutionary France.

Because of common ethnic, cultural, legal, political and even geographic factors, liberal development in the United States initially took more from the British than the French. While the early stages of the American Revolution did borrow heavily from British political thought subsequent development had more in common with the French. Thomas Jefferson certainly was influenced by developments in both countries. The Declaration of Independence written by Jefferson in 1776 contains concepts developed by Locke and others in the British liberal tradition. However, following his tenure as Ambassador to France during the 1780’s Jefferson was evidently deeply influenced by French political thought and attempted to channel American liberal political development in directions parallel to those in France. These views contained a greater emphasis on popular control of government, deeply ingrained suspicions of institutionalized power, a decidedly anti-clerical orientation and in general an almost fanatical faith in the common people and their wisdom.

These initial successes of liberal movements had, as the name itself implies, a fundamental purpose: to liberate people from oppression. While the methods of liberation, as well as the sources of the oppression may be quite different depending on the time and the place in question, liberation is inevitably the fundamental purpose of liberal political thinking and liberal political movements.

To seek such a goal certain assumptions, not necessarily provable, had to be made. Natural rights as expanded upon by Locke is the first of these. As Jefferson wrote, there are “inalienable” rights that each individual has that may not be legitimately denied by government or any other instrument of society. Initially these rights were to be protected primarily from governments whose tendency it was to diminish, ignore or abuse these rights. Restraints on government in the form of Constitutions or other devices were necessary to the goal of individual freedom. Among the early restraints on government were those protecting largely unfettered rights to acquire and dispose of property, both real and personal. These so-called “economic freedoms” were supplemented with a host of political freedoms including rights to express controversial political views and to organize political opposition to the prevailing group in power.

Natural rights and limited government are corollary concepts. The acceptance of one concept necessarily implies acceptance of the other. Whenever there is a parent there is a child; whenever there is a husband there is a wife. Similarly, whenever there is a right belonging to an individual there is a duty on the part of some other entity — government or person — to respect and/or protect that right. If people have the right to freely express their ideas then it necessarily follows that government cannot legitimately suppress such expression or punish those who utter unpopular remarks or otherwise offend government officials. Not only is government power to restrain and to punish limited, but government also has the duty to protect those who, because of their unconventional views, may be in danger from non-governmental threats.

In Europe by the late 19th Century and in the United States by the early 20th Century liberalism began to shift its emphasis from protecting individuals from oppressive governments to using government as a device to enable individuals to achieve a more meaningful and rewarding life. Government was seen as a positive force in shaping human affairs and society, but only if it was used properly and controlled by the people. Liberalism had come to recognize that powerful institutions in society had to be controlled and regulated by the instrument of the people if true liberation was to occur.

In particular the growth of vast economic empires in the hey-day of capitalism generated a widely held view that only government could reign in these powerful enterprises and provide the citizenry with the means to deal with them effectively. Rights to form labor unions for the purpose of collective bargaining were among the major liberal goals. Regulations were promulgated regarding safety rules, wages, maximum hours, minimum wages and working conditions generally. The liberal credo thus shifted dramatically from a call for less government to cries for more government but in the name of empowering people to deal effectively with the vast powers of modern society.

Faith in the potential reasonableness and goodness of people runs as another constant thread throughout the liberal ideology. This is not to say that the liberal view rested on the assumption that all people were reasonable and good, but that it is the responsibility of society in general and government in specific, to adopt structures and policies that maximize this potential. Taken to its ultimate conclusion this position reaches the absurdity of a totally rationalistic society where all is planned carefully and with perfect premeditation.

Rationality constitutes a similar if not identical cornerstone of liberal philosophy. This emphasis on mankind’s rational potential supports quite well the modern liberal position calling for the use of government to solve social, political and economic problems. Government is viewed as the only representative agent of people capable of bringing to bea both rational problem solving techniques and the authority to carry such policies out at the societal level. Social development ought not to be left to chance but planning and governmental power must be brought to bear on problems that are too large, too intractable, or too complex for the private or non-public sector to deal with effectively and/or equitably.

Capitalism or the free market economy runs counter to this Twenthieth Century version of liberalism. A free market, by definition, is uncontrolled by government and is, therefore, in opposition to the modern liberal emphasis on rational social planning. The original liberal orientation toward freedom from social, economic, religious and governmental institutions fit much more comfortably with capitalism than does the modernist version of liberalism.

It must be remembered that liberalism and capitalism were products of roughly the same period of history: the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Each had as its core the concept of liberation. What were called the “excesses” of capitalism — massive concentrations of wealth in the hands of a relative few individuals and corporations, urban blight, worker alienation and exploitation, environmental degradation, etc. — became targets for liberal rationalists.

These social maladies demanded, in the liberal view, governmental remedies. Uncontrolled economic activity was thus viewed as a new form of oppression and thereby in need of regulation, restraint and control by government. The nature and scope of the limits on government have inevitably been and will continue to be a source of never ending debate and disagreement. Students of politics have a never ending dispute over what constitutes the proper balance between necessary governmental power and restraints needed to protect individual rights.

In general, the Twenthieth Century liberal view has been to stress the need for governmental restraints in the “political” realm such as freedoms of expression, but to seek expansive governmental powers in “economic” and “social” arenas in the name of protecting the disadvantaged and powerless groups who otherwise find themselves at the mercies of entrenched institutions criticized for running roughshod over hapless and helpless adversaries. Corporations must be controlled. The economy must be regulated. Moneyed interests must be tightly restricted. Private discrimination against individual members of minority groups that have been traditionally borne the brunt of societal bigotry must be outlawed and vigorously pursued by governmental agents. Thus, governments must be selectively limited in this modern liberal view.

The initial liberal concept that the government which governs least, governs best has been discarded by liberals and, ironically, claimed, at least in part, by conservatives. Government itself, in the liberal view, must be popularly controlled and directed. While modern liberal purists might opt for direct democracy in which each adult member of the citizenry takes a personal hand in making policies, the existence of governmental units with populations in the millions makes this impracticable if not undesirable. Even Locke did not support “direct democracy.” Indeed, he would have denied the right to vote to the poor unpropertied segments of society.

The modern liberal position is that representatives, chosen in freely contested elections permitting universal adult participation, should act in the name of and on behalf of the people. Majority rule through popularly elected representatives is imperative for a legitimate government to exist. People would be morally obliged to follow the limited dictates of the majority dominated government but only if its policies observed the rights of the people.

One of the most important political rights is that of the minority to criticize government polices and to try and become the majority. Minority rights are part of the concept of majority rule in the liberal view. The nature of these rights is subject to change over time as has been seen. Change in society is warmly embraced by liberal supporters. A brighter day can be obtained by combining the various precepts discussed above. Society is constantly evolving. Thoughtful and responsible people should nurture and guide this process in the name of human liberation and progress. That which exists is not sacred nor perfect. Nothing is protected by divine intervention. Through careful analysis, using mankind’s rational capabilities institutions, beliefs, and values can be consciously shaped and molded to produce a better world.

In summary, liberalism has embraced several fundamental but imprecise elements. Moreover, at different points in history the liberal ideology has emphasized different aspects of its basic principles. Those elements which have appeared as fundamental to liberalism may be seen as: 1. the idea of a compact between the people and their government 2. the right of revolution if the compact is violated 3. natural rights as belonging to all people 4. faith in and support of human rational potential 5. limited powers of government 6. majority rule tempered by minority rights 7. support of change in society

Frederich Hegel’s (1770-1831) view was that the process of dialectics constitutes the mechanism by which ideas change. Out of each thesis (or idea) necessarily arises an anti-thesis (or challenging idea) which inevitably becomes a synthesis of the two. Whether this is indeed the driving force in human intellectual development may never be known, but the development of conservatism bears a close resemblance to this process.

Whereas liberalism sought to liberate mankind from oppressive institutions (be they governments, religious institutions, oppressive social customs and traditions, or vast economic enterprises), conservatism developed as a reaction to what was perceived as dangerous tendencies within the liberal movements toward radicalism and a wholesale rejection of the past as valuable. There was and is an element within conservatism that holds the past in reverence and views with skepticism most change, particularly if it was planned change. If, however, conservatism means nothing more than a rationale’ justifying the maintenance of the status quo then it cannot be correctly adjudged an ideology for it would be content neutral. Conservatism could, in that instance, be used to support political systems ranging from democratic to communist to fascist to anarchistic.

A closer examination of conservatism does reveals a more meaningful doctrine than merely conserving that which exists. Whereas liberalism embraces societal and governmental change as both necessary and desirable, conservatism does indeed adopt a much more doubtful view of the desirability of altering proven institutions and societal values. Respect for authority, custom, and tradition permeate a conservative value system. In particular, changes in the moral ordering of society are seen as very suspicious and probably harmful. Aside from this ingrained suspicion of change there are at rock bottom values within the conservative tradition that remain constant.

Once again it is an Englishman who first expounded the moderate political doctrine in question. Edmund Burke (1729-97) did not create conservatism but as Locke did for liberalism, became its most eloquent spokesman and advocate. In numerous pamphlets this scholar-politician put on paper what was to become the anti-thesis to liberalism run riot (in Burke’s view). Throughout his long and lustrous career within the British political system Burke expressed a profound admiration for the success of the British “Glorious Revolution” of 1688-89 in which the Parliament asserted its power as against royal prerogatives.

The Bill of Rights was adopted which limited the power of the Monarch and protected itself from arbitrary royal enactments. His was a passion for justice, sound governmental administration, devotion to religion and unrelenting opposition to tyranny. For over twenty-five years he was the leading intellectual force in Whig party politics in Great Britain. As a Member of Parliament he supported the American independence movement largely on practical grounds. He continuously advocated policies that produced peace and prosperity.

What galvanized Burke most intensely was the French Revolution. In his work Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) ideas were set forth that shaped political thinking down to the present time. His intense opposition to and condemnation of the French Revolution as destructive to French society did irreparable damage to his political career and caused estrangements with old friends. Ultimately the Whig party itself was split asunder over this issue.

Burke had long be reluctant to engage in a discussion of the general principles of his ideas. He initially felt that broad abstractions were to be avoided. The French Revolution, however, forced his basic views out in the open. In his refutation of the justifications of the French Revolution Burke attempted to destroy the logic behind the revolutionist reliance on reason and logic as tools guiding social change. Human beings did have rights, Burke did readily admit, but they were conventional not natural. These rights were organically related to society and could not be divorced from it.

People need to have a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves; something that will endure beyond their own short lives. Base feelings of love and loyalty bind members of society together giving them a sense of purpose that permits and encourages self-sacrifice for the larger purposes of the community. Deep emotional attachment will nurture a sense of duty and responsibility that ultimately produce a better society for all. Society is not held together by abstract principles such as a “social contract” but by people bound together through a sense of history, shared experiences and common beliefs. The role of irrationality in society can be ignored only at the risk of misunderstanding a most important inherent characteristic in all mankind. Human institutions have evolved over time and are not the product of rationally constructed plans of action.

Society is indeed a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occasional interest may be dissolved at pleasure — but the state ought to be considered as something far better and more significant “than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern.” The State us not to be taken as something of a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to be looked on with other reverence. . . “It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. . . . Each contract of each particular state is but a clause in the great primeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds ass physical and all moral natures, each in their appointed place.” (Reflections 1790, Works, Vol. II p. 368)In this statement Burke makes little distinction between state and society.

The overall message is crystal clear: that which binds humans together is far more than any commercial contract which is subject to abrogation at will. No well-reasoned rationale’ can justify overturning what time immemorial has produced. Moreover, reason running rampant becomes raging radicalism inevitably destined to destroy much of what generations of human experience has produced.

The religious foundations of society almost inexorably come to support conservative political doctrine. Burke himself exhibited a devotion to religion and to the religious foundations of the just state. Government, the State and society in general were all part of a divine order though which God’s will exhibits itself. This religious orientation in Burke’s conservatism may be found in most, if not all, conservative movements. Regimes that call themselves “Marxist” have been seen to resort to religious-like defenses when confronted with serious challenges. Stalin urged Soviet citizens in the second world war to come to the defense of “Mother Russia.” More commonly those espousing a conservative position refer to some “divine” purpose inherent in their society and state. At best this places moral obligations on the state to follow policies that are just and fair (however these terms may be defined). At worst this “divine” purpose becomes a justification for domination of peoples outside the “chosen” ones. Without this religious anchor the development of some “special” social cause or purpose becomes very difficult to maintain.

Just as mankind’s need to have some transcendental system of belief in an ordered universe was seen an necessary, so too was a government which emphasized order, custom, and tradition. Order is needed to reign in mankind’s ingrained selfish tendencies and proclivity toward savagery. The state, which is the enforcement arm of society, must rule in a strong and resolute manner providing swift, sure and harsh punishment for those who violate the law. Proper respect for the roles and responsibilities of private institutions must be observed by government and support should be provided. Custom and tradition should receive their due for they are the outgrowth of generations of experience. Reverence for that which has stood the test of time is ignored at the risk of instability, disorder and social disintegration. A sense of community that is both broad and deep is needed if long-term adherence to social values is to be obtained. This sense of community is no conscious, voluntary and rational decision that one chooses to accept. Society is no debating group says the conservative.

Moreover, people must feel they are a part of something larger and more important than themselves. Pride in and love for the institutions and traditions of one’s society go beyond mere knowledge and willful acceptance of these things. From the earliest childhood and continuing throughout life individuals need to be made a part of the great traditions of his/her people. Accomplishments in the arts and sciences, cherished customs, linguistic uniqueness, religious traditions, economic practices, and especially established human relationships including marriage and family values must be embraced and supported with fervor. Symbols need to be revered and treated with the utmost respect for they represent the very basic elements of society.

The nature of humanity, according to conservative doctrine, is far less admirable than seen in the liberal view. All humans are essential self oriented and in pursuit of their own best interests as they see those interests These irrational drives and self-serving tendencies must be tempered by social control mechanisms that are the outgrowth of centuries of experience. In addition to this selfish characteristic of humans, conservatives believe that the concept of equality is both inaccurate and undesirable. People are not equal in their abilities or value to society. Those who are more able and who contribute more to the well being of their community are deserving of greater rewards. These rewards include not only enhanced material wealth, elevated social status but also a greater role in the governance structure. While traditional conservative doctrine supported the notion of a hereditary aristocracy, modern conservatives support what might be called an aristocracy of talent and morality. Societies leaders should be chosen from those individuals who have by their own talents demonstrated superior abilities through recognized achievements.

But even they cannot properly be given unlimited powers because like all humans they are flawed and cannot be trusted to do what is right. They too must be restrained in their powers by the same institutions and customs operating to maintain stability in society. Just as great societal changes (industrialization, organization, technological innovations, and modernization generally) forced liberalism to alter its stance regarding the proper role of government in economic matters, so too has conservatism changed its position in the face of such great forces. Regarding the important question of the proper relationship between government and the economy conservative doctrine has taken the somewhat ambivalent position of supporting government actions that simultaneously encourage and yet does not control or even closely regulate business activities. This often amounts to a “hands off” policy insofar as government regulation is concerned, but a “helping hand” policy regarding such matters as favorable taxation rates, beneficial tariffs (legislation protecting home business from foreign competition), price supports and countless other schemes.

As liberalism began to espouse the need for increased governmental regulation of business enterprises conservatives, particularly during the depression years in the United States, adopted increasingly anti-regulatory positions. Cries of “creeping socialism” were raised against liberal efforts to increase governmental control over the economy. Aside from questions of economics conservatism has retained, and in recent years emphasized, its original emphasis on maintaining traditional values and institutions. Social maladies that seem to accompany Twentieth Century intensive urbanization (family disintegration, drug and alcohol abuse, soaring street crime rates, and a general loss of a sense of safety) are seen by conservatives as clear evidence of a need to return to basics: faith in God, hope for a better future, love of country and family, instillation of self-discipline in the young, willingness to sacrifice immediate gratification for future goals, industriousness, and a sense of belonging.

Exactly how these values are to be implanted remains controversial even among conservatives but the goal of returning them to their proper place in society drives conservatives to offer a wide range of governmental policies: swift and harsh punishment for criminals, “no frills” education with strict discipline in schools, governmental protection of institutions devoted to maintaining traditional values (including churches), elimination of welfare programs believed to encourage immorality and indolence, expansive (and expensive) military policies ostensibly protecting the home country from foreign threats and a host of other proposals.

In summary, conservatism does contain basic beliefs and values beyond a mere mistrust of change. Certain core concepts remain throughout the long spectrum of the conservative ideology. They may be seen as: 1. high value on existing institutions as produced by custom and tradition 2. a belief in mankind’s essential base and irrational nature 3. faith in some supernatural force guiding human affairs 4. acceptance of human inequality and the attending consequence of social hierarchy 5. recognition of the need for a sense of community among individuals that will bind them emotionally to their society.

It has been said that no one who has a heart can resist being a liberal and that no one who has a brain can avoid being a conservative. Like most aphorisms this one contains a trace of truth wrapped in a maze of misperceptions. These two political ideologies offer to government leaders, policy makers, and thoughtful citizens a set of guides permitting some semblance of coherent conclusions regarding compelling social, economic and political issues.

Their common features include rejection of radicalism and its attending violent uprooting of established institutions and practices, acceptance of the need for restraints on the powers of government, advocacy of balance in society regarding individual rights and societal powers, and ultimately some root concerns for individual dignity. Most certainly disagreement abounds between the two ideologies when the outlines of such values are given clarity, but support of such basic principles enables supporters of each doctrine to work within the same governmental framework. This agreement to disagree in a civil manner surely constitutes one of mankind’s most noble political achievements.

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Ayn Rand Institute – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jun 212016
 

The Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit think tank in Irvine, California that promotes Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism. It was established in 1985, three years after Rand’s death, by Leonard Peikoff, Rand’s legal heir. Its executive director is Yaron Brook.[2]

ARI’s stated goal is:

. . . to spearhead a cultural renaissance that will reverse the anti-reason, anti-individualism, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist trends in today’s culture. The major battleground in this fight for reason and capitalism is the educational institutionshigh schools and, above all, the universities, where students learn the ideas that shape their lives.[3]

ARI is mainly an educational organization, but also has “outreach programs.” Its various programs include classes on Objectivism and related subjects offered through its Objectivist Academic Center, public lectures, op-ed articles, letters to the editor, competitions for essays about Rand’s novels, materials for Objectivist campus clubs, supplying Rand’s writings to schools and professors, and providing intellectuals for radio and TV interviews.[4]

During her lifetime, Rand helped establish The Foundation for the New Intellectual, to promote Objectivist ideas. The Foundation was dissolved some 15 years after her death, as having been made redundant by the Ayn Rand Institute. Although Rand never intended for Objectivism to become an organized movement, she heartily approved of rational individuals with the same ideas working toward a common goal.[5] Peikoff, her legal heir, was convinced to start the organization after businessman Ed Snider organized a meeting of possible financial supporters in New York in the fall of 1983.[6] Peikoff also agreed to be the first chairman of the organization’s board of directors.[7]

ARI began operations on February 1, 1985, three years after Rand’s death. The first board of directors included Snider and psychologist Edith Packer. Snider was also one of the founding donors for the organization.[7] Its first executive director was Michael Berliner, who was previously the chairman of the Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education at California State University, Northridge.[8] ARI also established a board of governors, which initially included Harry Binswanger, Robert Hessen, Edwin A. Locke, Arthur Mode, George Reisman, Jay Snider, and Mary Ann Sures, with Peter Schwartz as its chairman.[9]M. Northrup Buechner and George Walsh joined the board of advisors shortly thereafter.[10]

ARI’s first two projects were aimed at students. One was developing a network of college clubs to study Objectivism. The other was a college scholarship contest for high-school students based on writing an essay about Rand’s novel The Fountainhead.[10] Later, additional essay contests were added based on Anthem, We the Living and Atlas Shrugged.[11] In 1988 the institute began publishing a newsletter for contributors, called Impact.[12]

In 1989, a philosophical dispute resulted in ARI ending its association with philosopher David Kelley.[13] Board of advisors member George Walsh, who agreed with Kelley, also left.[14] Kelley subsequently founded his own competing institute now known as The Atlas Society, which remains critical of ARI’s stance on loyalty.[15]

In January 2000, Berliner retired as Executive Director, replaced by Yaron Brook, then an assistant professor of finance at Santa Clara University.[2] The institute was originally headquartered in Marina del Rey, California, but in 2002, it moved to larger offices in Irvine, California.[16]

Charity Navigator, which rates charitable and educational organizations to inform potential donors, gives ARI four out of four stars. According to the latest data from Charity Navigator, ARI spends 86.7% of its expenses on programs, 8.6% on fundraising, and 4.6% on administration.[17] As of June 2012[update] the institute’s board of directors[18] consists of Brook; Berliner (co-chair); Arline Mann (co-chair), retired attorney, formerly of Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Carl Barney, CEO of several private colleges; Harry Binswanger, long-time associate of Ayn Rand; Peter LePort, a surgeon in private practice; Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin;[19] and John Allison, CEO of the Cato Institute and former CEO of BB&T.[20]

Peikoff retains a cooperative and influential relationship with ARI.[21] In 2006, he remarked that he approved of the work ARI has done[22] and in November 2010 that the executive director “has done a splendid job.”[23] Peikoff was a featured speaker at ARI summer conferences in 2007 and 2010.[24] In August, 2010, he demanded and received a change to ARI’s board of directors.[25]

ARI runs a variety of programs:

In 2008, ARI opened the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights (“ARC”) in Washington, D.C. to specialize in issues of public policy.[27]

During the current economic crisis, the ARC has been a vocal proponent of the position that government intervention is responsible for the crisis, and that the solution lies not in further government regulation but in moving toward full laissez-faire capitalism.[28][29]

On foreign policy, the ARC advocates American national self-interest, including ending the regimes that sponsor terrorism, rather than the Bush Administration’s policies which they see as timid, halfway measures that only weaken America’s position in the world.[30]

ARI sponsored writers and speakers have promoted a number of specific positions in contemporary political and social controversies.[31]

Since Objectivism advocates atheism, ARI promotes the separation of church and state, and its writers argue that the Religious Right poses a threat to individual rights.[32] They have argued against displaying religious symbols (such as the Ten Commandments) in government facilities[33] and against faith-based initiatives.[34] The institute argues that religion is incompatible with American ideals[35] and opposes the teaching of “intelligent design” in public schools.[36]

ARI has taken many controversial positions with respect to the Muslim world. They hold that the motivation for Islamic terrorism comes from their religiosity, not poverty or a reaction to Western policies.[37] They have urged that the US use overwhelming, retaliatory force to “end states who sponsor terrorism”, using whatever means are necessary to end the threat.[38] In his article “Ends States Who Sponsor Terrorism”, which was published as a full page ad in The New York Times, Peikoff wrote, “The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. Our Commander-In-Chief must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who conspire to kill them.” Although some at ARI initially supported the invasion of Iraq, it has criticized how the Iraq War was handled.[39] Since October 2, 2001, the institute has held that Iran should be the primary target in the war against “Islamic totalitarianism”.[38]

ARI is generally supportive of Israel.[40] Of Zionism, executive director of the institute Yaron Brook writes: “Zionism fused a valid concern self-preservation amid a storm of hostility with a toxic premise ethnically based collectivism and religion.”[41]

In response to the Muhammad cartoons controversy, ARI started a Free Speech Campaign in 2006.[42]

ARI is highly critical of environmentalism and animal rights, arguing that they are destructive of human well-being.[43][44]

The institute is also highly critical of diversity and affirmative action programs, as well as multiculturalism, arguing that they are based on racist premises that ignore the commonality of a shared humanity.[45][46]

ARI supports women’s right to choose abortion,[47] voluntary euthanasia, and assisted suicide.[48]

ARI denounces neoconservatism in general. For example, C. Bradley Thompson wrote an article entitled “The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism”,[49] which was later turned into the book (with Yaron Brook) Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea.[50]

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Ayn Rand Wikipdia

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Jun 212016
 

Un article de Wikipdia, l’encyclopdie libre.

Ayn Rand (prononc [an rnd]), ne Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum (en cyrillique russe: ), est une philosophe[1], scnariste et romancire[2] amricaine d’origine russe, juive athe, ne le 2 fvrier 1905 Saint-Ptersbourg et morte le 6 mars 1982 New York.

Ayn Rand est connue pour sa philosophie rationaliste, proche de celle du mouvement politique libertarien, laquelle elle a donn le nom d’objectivisme. Elle a crit de nombreux essais philosophiques sur des concepts tenant de la pense librale, comme la libert, la justice sociale, la proprit ou l’tat et dont le principal (et l’un des seuls de ses textes traduits en franais, avec La Grve (Atlas Shrugged)), est La Vertu d’gosme (The Virtue of Selfishness en langue originale). Ses contributions principales s’inscrivent dans les domaines de l’thique, de la philosophie politique et de l’pistmologie. Cependant, malgr sa considrable popularit hors du champ acadmique, ses travaux ne sont gnralement pas comments par la plupart des philosophes. Cela peut s’expliquer parce qu’une lecture de ses romans est requise pour discuter les lments de sa philosophie objectiviste, et que les philosophes rechignent la lecture d’ouvrages de fiction[3].

Ayn Rand a galement publi des uvres de fiction telles que La Grve (Atlas Shrugged), La Source vive (The Fountainhead) et Nous, les vivants (We the Living), qui figurent parmi les plus vendues aux tats-Unis. Elle a par ailleurs crit de nombreux scnarios pour le cinma, dont des adaptations de ses propres uvres de fiction.

Ayn Rand est considre comme la thoricienne d’un capitalisme individualiste ainsi que d’un libertarianisme refusant toute forme de coercition et prnant les valeurs de la raison, du mrite et de l’gosme rationnel, son concept central. Figure de l’anti-communisme radical, Ayn Rand prne galement l’indpendance et le laissez-faire face toute forme de collectivisme ou de religion tablis.

De nombreuses personnalits, comme le psychothrapeute Nathaniel Branden, les conomistes Alan Greenspan et M. Northrup Buechner[4], le romancier Terry Goodkind, le prsident Ronald Reagan ou le fondateur de Wikipdia, Jimmy Wales, se rclament de ses conceptions. Ayn Rand a aussi profondment nourri la vision libertarienne dite minarchiste, replaant l’individu au centre de la socit et de l’thique.

Elle avait trouv dans Ludwig von Mises, lui aussi migr aux tats-Unis, le grand thoricien contemporain du laissez-faire qui compltait sa comprhension de l’conomie.

Selon Alain Laurent, un des spcialistes francophones de son uvre, Ayn Rand reprsenterait l’incarnation de la self-made woman immigre, car elle russit cet exploit tout en professant un athisme radical (…) et critiquant violemment l’altruisme au nom de l’gosme rationnel[5]. Ayn Rand fut par ailleurs la cible de nombreuses critiques dont la principale s’attache expliquer qu’en dpit d’une argumentation se voulant rationnelle, elle n’en matrisait pas toujours les raisonnements[6].

Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum nat Saint-Ptersbourg le 2 fvrier 1905 (le 20 janvier du calendrier julien) dans une famille juive agnostique de la classe moyenne, compose de trois enfants dont elle est l’ane[7]. Son pre, Zinovy Zacharovich Rosenbaum, pharmacien, est n Brestlitovsk le 18 novembre 1869 alors que sa mre, Anna Borisovna Kaplan, est ne Saint-Ptersbourg le 15 octobre 1880[8].

Elle s’intresse trs jeune la littrature et au cinma, crivant ds l’ge de 7 ans des romans ou des scnarios. l’ge de 9 ans, elle dcide de devenir crivain. Elle lit notamment Walter Scott et Alexandre Dumas et s’enthousiasme pour le courant romantique. Elle lit avec passion le roman d’aventure La Valle mystrieuse (1915) du romancier franais Maurice Champagne. Son personnage principal, figure de l’homme hroque et vertueux, marque l’imagination d’Alissa. Ce type de personnage se retrouve dans toute son uvre et, en particulier, travers le personnage principal d’Atlas Shrugged, John Galt[9]. Elle dcouvre 13 ans celui qui devient son auteur favori et qu’elle considre comme le plus grand crivain: Victor Hugo. Au collge, elle se montre brillante en mathmatiques; sa carrire universitaire semble alors toute trace. En 1912, sa famille s’installe dans la Perspective Nevski, dans le quartier Znamenskaya. La jeune Alissa y assiste sa premire exposition, consacre aux images de films, en 1913. Le cinma la passionnera en effet toute sa vie.

La ville de Saint-Ptersbourg est depuis longtemps l’un des foyers des troubles rvolutionnaires qui agitent la Russie tsariste. Rand soutient au dbut la rvolution[Quand?] mene par Kerensky mais l’arrive au pouvoir des bolchviques, en octobre 1917, puis la confiscation de la pharmacie de son pre par le gouvernement rvolutionnaire, contraignent sa famille fuir la Russie pour l’Ukraine puis pour la Crime. Les Rosenbaum s’installent Yevpatoria jusqu’ ce que celle-ci soit envahie par les rvolutionnaires en 1921[10]. dater de ce jour Rand nourrit une haine tenace pour les communistes, sentiment qui traverse tous ses crits. Elle brle alors son journal intime, car elle a pris l’habitude d’y consigner des rflexions et des critiques sur les rvolutionnaires.

Le 30 juin 1921, Alissa Rosenbaum est diplme du lyce de Yevpatoria. L’anne suivante, la famille Rosenbaum retourne Petrograd[11]. Alissa, qui a alors 16 ans, entame des tudes d’histoire et de philosophie l’universit de Petrograd et y dcouvre les uvres d’Edmond Rostand, de Friedrich von Schiller, d’Aristote et de Fiodor Dostoevski. Ses tudes lui donnent accs, selon ses propres termes, une culture millnaire travers laquelle elle juge nfaste l’influence des ides communistes en Russie. Ces dernires annes en Union des rpubliques socialistes sovitiques, o elle est oblige d’intgrer la propagande communiste, formeront la base de sa critique des systmes collectivistes.

Le 13 octobre 1924, Alissa sort diplme de l’universit. Elle continue crire et entre l’Institut d’tat des Arts cinmatographiques en 1924[12]. Elle y tudie l’histoire et la politique amricaine et dcouvre aussi le cinma nord-amricain, dont les westerns, mais aussi toute la culture des tats-Unis. Elle devient alors une admiratrice de la socit amricaine et de ses valeurs d’individualisme et d’optimisme. Comprenant qu’elle ne peut raliser son rve d’crire des romans en Union des rpubliques socialistes sovitiques en raison de la censure communiste, elle se rsigne l’ide de quitter le pays pour les tats-Unis[10]. En 1925 elle publie une brochure sur l’actrice de cinma Pola Negri, Moscou et Lningrad, puis en 1926 un petit essai intitul Hollywood: American Movie City Moscou[13]. la fin de l’anne 1926, elle se voit accorder un visa pour rendre visite des proches habitant aux tats-Unis et ce pour une courte priode, ce qui lui permet d’immigrer dans ce pays o elle s’installe pour le reste de sa vie.

Aprs s’tre arrte dans plusieurs villes d’Europe de l’Ouest, dont le port du Havre en France, d’o elle prend un bateau, le De Grasse, Alissa Rosenbaum arrive New York le 19 fvrier 1926. Ses premires impressions devant les gratte-ciels la marquent profondment et inspirent les descriptions de son roman La Source vive. Elle rejoint ensuite Chicago, dans l’Illinois, o elle vit pendant 6 mois et apprend la langue anglaise. Elle commence galement mettre en forme ses ides de romans et de films et dcide de devenir scnariste. Elle se voit accorder une extension de son visa par les autorits sovitiques. Alissa choisit alors de ne pas retourner en URSS et part pour Hollywood o elle devient scnariste sous la direction du ralisateur et producteur Cecil B. DeMille, qui s’intresse elle par hasard, alors qu’elle fait le pied de grue devant son studio[14]. Alissa lui explique qu’elle est passionne de cinma amricain et qu’elle arrive de Russie. DeMille travaille alors sur le film The King of Kings et l’emploie comme figurante. La jeune femme y rencontre galement l’acteur Frank O’Connor dont elle dira qu’il tait son visage idal[9]. Ils se marient le 15 avril 1929, et le resteront jusqu’ la mort d’O’Connor, en 1979.

Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum est naturalise amricaine le 13 mars 1931. C’est alors qu’elle change son nom en Ayn Rand, en rfrence selon elle la transcription en cyrillique du nom de sa famille. Une autre explication veut que ce serait en rfrence la machine crire Remington Rand, mais celle-ci n’a t vendue qu’ultrieurement[15]. Elle se montre fire de sa nouvelle nationalit et dclare ainsi en 1974, dans un discours aux lves de l’acadmie militaire de West Point: Je peux dire et il ne s’agit pas d’une banalit patriotique, mais avec une connaissance complte des racines mtaphysiques, pistmologiques, morales, politiques et esthtiques ncessaires que les tats-Unis d’Amrique sont le pays plus grand, le plus noble et, dans ses principes, le seul moral de l’histoire du monde[16].

Ayn Rand travaille trs dur comme lectrice de scnario, pour DeMille, ayant cur de se faire une place dans le monde d’Hollywood[9]. Paralllement, elle crit afin de raliser son rve. Avant de vivre de sa plume, elle occupe divers emplois, notamment la garde-robe de la RKO Radio Pictures[17] jusqu’en 1932, anne o elle russit vendre le scnario de Red Pawn Universal Studios. Son niveau de vie s’amliore alors considrablement, et Rand peut s’acheter une automobile, ce qui est pour elle cette poque le signe d’une russite sociale certaine qui contraste avec ses annes en Union des rpubliques socialistes sovitiques[9]. Le producteur Josef von Sternberg pense donner le premier rle l’actrice Marlene Dietrich mais le thme anti-sovitique tant encore mal considr cette poque, le projet choue[18].

Elle crit ensuite en 1934 les pices de thtre Ideal et Woman on Trial, cette dernire tant joue Hollywood le 22 octobre. La pice Woman on Trial, qui retrace le parcours peu commun de l’industriel et autodidacte sudois Ivar Kreuger, est recompose en 1935 puis produite sous le titre Night of January 16th qui est reprsente d’abord Hollywood puis Broadway le 16 septembre. La pice est originale: l’action consiste en un procs dont le jury, choisi parmi les spectateurs, pouvait dterminer la fin. Deux pilogues sont donc possibles, suivant la dcision du jury populaire.

Le manuscrit de son roman Nous, les vivants (We the Living, partiellement inspir par sa propre exprience) lui demande beaucoup de travail. L’ayant achev en 1933, elle ne parvient cependant le faire publier que le 18 avril 1936, aprs l’avoir fait parvenir de nombreux diteurs. Ce sont les ditions Macmillan pour les tats-Unis et Cassell pour l’Angleterre qui l’ont accept. Elle le considre comme la plus autobiographique de ses uvres de fictions: en effet, le roman dcrit la vie de son hrone sous la domination communiste, sa confrontation avec la violence absurde du rgime et sa fuite pour l’tranger. Cependant, Nous, les vivants ne reoit pas un accueil enthousiaste de la critique amricaine, en partie cause du fait que, dans les annes 1930, priode nomme la dcennie rouge (Red Decade), le communisme tant encore relativement bien considr dans les milieux intellectuels et artistiques amricains[10]. Nanmoins Rand considrait elle-mme Nous, les vivants comme davantage qu’une simple autobiographie: Ce n’est pas une autobiographie proprement dite, l’ouvrage a davantage un sens intellectuel. L’intrigue est invente mais l’arrire-plan non[19].

Ds 1935, Ayn Rand travaille sur son projet principal, la rdaction du roman La Source vive (The Fountainhead), dimension plus philosophique.

En 1938, elle publie en Angleterre le roman dystopique Hymne (Anthem), qui dcrit une socit dans laquelle le collectivisme a triomph. Hymne n’est accept par aucun diteur aux tats-Unis alors que We the Living n’a pas non plus rencontr un grand succs. Stephen Cox, de lObjectivist Center, considre que cela est d lpoque: We the Living fut publi quand la popularit du socialisme russe tait au plus haut parmi les faiseurs d’opinions amricains explique-t-il[20]. En 1939 Ayn Rand reoit les dernires nouvelles de ses parents demeurs en URSS, elle a ainsi dfinitivement coup toute relation avec son pass russe.

En 1940, Rand participe, avec son mari, la campagne prsidentielle amricaine pour le candidat libral Wendell Willkie dans sa section de la ville de New York. Cet activisme lui permet de rencontrer des intellectuels favorables au capitalisme de laissez-faire. Le journaliste du New York Times Henry Hazlitt et sa femme permettent Rand et son mari de rencontrer l’conomiste autrichien Ludwig von Mises qui admire les travaux de Rand, en dpit de diffrences philosophiques[21].

La mme anne, l’adaptation thtrale de We the Living, The Unconquered, par George Abbott, est reprsente Broadway le 13 fvrier. Abbott a nanmoins adouci la dimension critique du roman, le rendant davantage au got du public, notamment en ajoutant des dialogues sentimentaux[9]. Elle connat son premier grand succs avec la publication de La Source vive, le 8 mai 1943, roman qu’elle a mis sept ans crire. Refus par douze diteurs, le manuscrit est finalement accept par la maison d’dition Bobbs-Merrill grce l’insistance d’Archibald Ogden, membre du comit ditorial, qui a menac de dmissionner si l’on ne publiait pas l’ouvrage[22]. Vendu six millions d’exemplaires, le livre devient un succs plantaire, (il s’en vend encore 100000 par an). Adapt au cinma en 1949 par King Vidor la Warner avec Gary Cooper et Patricia Neal dans les rles principaux, le film est distribu en France la mme anne sous le titre Le Rebelle.

Rand commence pouvoir vivre de ses crits. Elle travaille ds lors comme scnariste mi-temps, toujours pour le producteur Hal B. Wallis. Sous sa direction, elle adapte en 1945 le roman Pity My Simplicity de Christopher Massie, nomm aux Oscars sous le titre Love Letters ainsi que You Came Along[23]. Rand travaille ensuite, en aot 1943 un article The Moral Basis of Individualism puis emmnage en Californie pour rdiger le scnario de The Fountainhead.

Elle s’installe donc la Von Sternberg House construite par l’architecte Richard Neutra. Par ailleurs elle rencontre Taliesin East le clbre architecte Frank Lloyd Wright qu’elle admire normment: pour elle Wright fut un innovateur, dfendant larchitecture moderne contre la tradition [24]. Toujours Taliesin East Rand rencontre d’autres figures intellectuelles du moment comme Morrie Ryskind, Janet Gaynor, Gilbert Adrian et Leonard Read. L’architecte devient un fervent admirateur de son roman The Fountainhead; il dessine pour elle une maison qui ne sera toutefois jamais construite. En septembre 1944, Rand crit le scnario de Love Letters. L’anne suivante The Fountainhead est class 6e best-seller de l’anne par le New York Times [25].

Ayn Rand se lie d’amiti avec l’crivaine libertarienne Isabel Paterson (18861961), qui l’initie l’histoire des tats-Unis. Leur amiti cessera par la suite, Rand n’ayant pas apprci le comportement de Paterson lors d’une crmonie Hollywood. Les deux femmes entretiennent alors une abondante correspondance. Le biographe de Paterson, Stephen Cox, explique que les penses des deux femmes se sont mutuellement influences[26]. Ayn Rand considre l’essai d’Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine (1943), comme l’quivalent pour les dfenseurs du capitalisme de ce qu’est Le Capital pour les communistes et la Bible pour les chrtiens[27].

Ds 1946, Ayn Rand travaille au manuscrit de son roman La Grve (Atlas Shrugged), tout en assurant un emploi de scnariste pour le producteur Hal B. Wallis. En 1947, en pleine priode du maccarthysme, elle tmoigne charge dans les procs des Dix d’Hollywood, qui dbouchent sur la constitution des listes noires[28], devant le United States House Un-American Activities Committee qui identifie les personnalits pro-communistes amricaines[29]. Ayn Rand est l’une des premires intellectuelles amricaines fustiger la propagande communiste dans le milieu du cinma. Pour ce faire, elle rdige Screen Guide for Americans qui recommande treize principes face au communisme et rejoint la MPA (la Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of the American Ideals) la mme anne[9]. Anthem est par ailleurs publi aux tats-Unis, en juillet 1946.

En 1949 The Fountainhead est adapt l’cran, le 23 juin. Ayn Rand dcide en 1951, en compagnie de son mari, de quitter Hollywood pour emmnager New York (au 120 East de la 34e rue), sa ville prfre en raison de ses gratte-ciel qui la fascinent, et o elle travaille plein temps sur son nouveau roman, La Grve (Atlas Shrugged), qu’elle n’achve que six ans plus tard. La rdaction de ce long roman provoque une dpression nanmoins vite surmonte[30].

En 1950, Ayn Rand et quelques proches crent un groupe qui prend par provocation le nom de Le Collectif, form par Alan Greenspan, futur prsident de la Fed et le psychologue Nathanael Blumenthal (qui deviendra Nathaniel Branden, l’auteur de The Psychology of Self-Esteem), futur amant de Rand, sa femme, Barbara Branden, et Leonard Peikoff, profondment influenc par The Fountainhead. Avec ce groupe, qui multiplie les confrences publiques, Rand compte diffuser sa philosophie et ses crits. Le cercle d’amis prend ainsi un rle de plus en plus important, aidant Ayn Rand diffuser son systme philosophique, auquel elle donne le nom d’objectivisme. Sous l’impulsion de Branden, le groupe fonde le Nathaniel Branden Institute (N.B.I), qui dite un priodique, The Objectivist, actif de 1962 1965. Le priodique devient ensuite The Objectivist Newsletter, de 1966 1971. Puis le groupe dite, de 1971 1976, une lettre d’information, The Ayn Rand Letter[note 1]. Ayn Rand y publie des articles, qui forment la base pour ces essais philosophiques, et en premier lieu l’ouvrage The Virtue of Selfishness qui dveloppe sa thorie du point de vue thique. La compilation Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966) regroupe ses tudes conomiques et politiques alors que Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (1971) prsente sa thorie des concepts, sa contribution la plus importante la philosophie. Rand crit galement une tude esthtique, The Romantic Manifesto (1969).

En 1957 est publie sa principale uvre, La Grve (Atlas Shrugged), aux ditions Random House, roman de prs de 1500 pages qui met en scne des entrepreneurs qui dcident de cesser d’tre les esclaves d’un tatisme pr-totalitaire qui ravage la socit l’image du New Deal de Roosevelt. Le tirage initial est de 100000 exemplaires et le livre devient rapidement un best-seller mondial puisque son tirage tait chaque anne de 200000 units jusqu’ l’lection du prsident Obama, qui a conduit en vendre un million d’exemplaires en deux ans et demi[31]. Dans une tude de 1991 de la Bibliothque du Congrs amricain, le livre tait cit par les Amricains comme celui qui les avait le plus influencs, aprs la Bible[32]. Le roman mle divers thmes et sujets de rflexion, passant de l’pistmologie la mtaphysique, suivant une action classique, centre autour du combat d’un mystrieux personnage, John Galt, qui n’apparat qu’ la fin. Il marque aussi la fin de l’activit romanesque de Rand, et le dbut de ses crits philosophiques[33].

En 1958, Rand anime des sminaires d’criture et, le 6 mars, elle fait sa premire confrence au Queens College de New York. Elle prend la parole pour la premire fois la tlvision amricaine, sur le plateau de Mike Wallace en 1959[34]. Elle prsente son essai Faith and Force: Destroyers of the Modern World l’universit Yale le 17 fvrier 1960. Le rythme de ses lectures publiques mais galement universitaires s’acclre. En 1961, Rand publie For the New Intellectual le 24 mars et fait une confrence au Ford Hall Forum, The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age le 26 mars. Le Ford Hall Forum devient le lieu privilgi de ses confrences qui ont lieu de 1962 1976. Elle ralise galement des allocutions et des ateliers (workshops) au Nathaniel Branden Institute qui ouvre en janvier 1962. Le mme mois le premier numro de The Objectivist Newsletter est publi.

La popularit de Rand s’accrot galement. De plus en plus sollicite par les journaux, elle signe, le 17 juin 1961, sa premire intervention dans la Weekly column du Los Angeles Times qu’elle animera quelques annes durant. Ses confrences sont toutes enregistres et diffuses aux tats-Unis et dans d’autres pays. Ayn Rand enseigne par ailleurs dans de nombreuses universits partir de 1960, Yale, Princeton et Columbia. Elle enseigne galement Harvard, l’universit du Wisconsin, l’universit Johns-Hopkins et au MIT. Durant ses dernires annes, Ayn Rand prend galement position sur de grandes questions de socit, s’opposant l’engagement amricain dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale, et soutenant Isral pendant la guerre du Kippour. Elle s’exprime sur tous les thmes de socit o sa morale objectiviste peut trancher: l’galit des sexes et l’homosexualit, le racisme et le travail.

Le 2 octobre 1963 Rand reoit un honorary doctorate de l’universit Lewis et Clark et publie en dcembre 1964 The Virtue of Selfishness (La Vertu d’gosme), l’essai qui prsente le mieux sa pense thique et philosophique. En juillet 1966, elle crit une autre tude, en plusieurs parties, publie dans le priodique The Objectivist intitul Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology[35] destine exposer les fondements de sa philosophie de la connaissance.

La relation sentimentale de Rand avec le psychothrapeute Nathaniel Branden s’intensifie dans les annes 1960. Branden publie galement divers textes psychologiques dans la revue d’Ayn Rand. En 1968, le couple illgitime rompt, en partie cause du fait que chacun tait mari[36].

Ds mars 1969, Ayn Rand donne des cours d’criture, pour les essais cette fois, des membres du Nathaniel Branden Institute. Le 11 octobre, elle anime des ateliers autour de l’pistmologie objectiviste. Le 16 juillet, elle assiste comme V.I.P. au lancement de la fuse Apollo 11. Cet vnement lui inspire deux essais[note 2] vantant le progrs technique permis par le capitalisme: La signification fondamentale du triomphe d’Apollo 11 n’est pas politique ni mme philosophique, elle est davantage pistmologique et morale[37] dit-elle cette occasion qui la marque beaucoup. Rand se lie par ailleurs d’amiti avec l’astronaute Michael Collins[38] ainsi qu’avec l’crivain Mickey Spillane et le critique musical Deems Taylor avec qui elle entretient une longue correspondance[39].

La sant d’Ayn Rand se dtriore au dbut des annes 1970. Elle est opre en 1974 pour un cancer du poumon car c’est une grande fumeuse. La fin de la relation avec Branden signe la fin de facto du Nathaniel Branden Institute et certains amis objectivistes s’loignent d’elle. Rand publie dans The Objectivist une critique de Nathaniel Branden, qu’elle juge avoir t malhonnte envers elle et d’avoir eu un comportement irrationnel dans sa vie personnelle[40]. Le 6 mars 1974 Rand fait une confrence West Point intitule Philosophy: Who Needs It, ouvrage parachevant sa philosophie de la ralit et de l’homme[41]. Le 14 avril, elle reoit sa sur, Nora Drobysheva, qui a pu obtenir une autorisation de quitter l’URSS. Rand tente de lui proposer son aide pour qu’elle immigre aux tats-Unis, mais sa sur refuse et rentre en URSS aprs quelques jours.

En janvier 1976, Rand publie son dernier article dans le recueil The Ayn Rand Letter, The Energy Crisis qui traite des enjeux gopolitiques. Le 27 juillet, elle est invite la Maison-Blanche pour diner avec l’homme politique libral australien Malcolm Fraser, futur premier ministre d’Australie: c’est le signe d’une reconnaissance nationale. Le 10 avril 1977, elle est invite au Ford Hall Forum pour un dner en son honneur, avec tous les membres du Nathaniel Branden Institute.

En septembre 1979, La Grve (Atlas Shrugged) est scnaris pour un projet de srie tlvise puis, en avril, son dernier essai, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, est publi par la New American Library. Le 9 novembre, son mari Frank OConnor dcde et, ds lors les activits d’Ayn Rand au sein du mouvement objectiviste se rarfient. Sa sant dcline par ailleurs. L’un de ses derniers projets est une adaptation tlvise de La Grve (Atlas Shrugged) ainsi qu’un roman, To Lorne Dieterling, dont elle ne laisse que des brouillons prparatoires.

En 1981 Rand anime ses dernires confrences: au Ford Hall Forum avec The Age of Mediocrity, le 26 avril et The Sanction of the Victims La Nouvelle-Orlans le 21 novembre. Elle travaille aux dernires pages du scnario tlvis de La Grve (Atlas Shrugged), qu’elle achve en janvier. Malade, elle recourt l’aide sociale pour couvrir ses dpenses de sant, sous le faux-nom d’Ann O’Connor, contredisant quelque peu ses principes[42]. Elle meurt d’une insuffisance cardiaque le 6 mars 1982 chez elle, New York.

De nombreux compagnons objectivistes se rendent son enterrement, dont Alan Greenspan et David Kelley, qui lit lors des obsques le pome If, de Rudyard Kipling[43]. Rand est enterre au cimetire de Kensico, Valhalla, New York. Dans ses dernires volonts, elle dsigne Leonard Peikoff comme hritier de sa proprit intellectuelle et le reconnat galement comme le meilleur spcialiste de sa philosophie[44]. Peikoff fonde le Ayn Rand Institute pour propager ses ides.

Ayn Rand a, au fur et mesure de ses crits, constitu un mouvement philosophique intitul l’objectivisme[45] reposant sur le postulat selon lequel ma philosophie conoit essentiellement l’Homme comme un tre hroque dont l’thique de vie est la poursuite de son propre bonheur, la ralisation de soi son activit la plus noble, et la Raison son seul absolu.[46]. En 1976, Rand explique que sa contribution principale la philosophie est sa thorie et [s]es concepts, [s]on thique, et [s]a dcouverte que, en politique, le mal – la violation des droits – consiste en un commencement de pouvoir et de force[47].

Rejetant la foi considre comme oppose la raison, Rand condamne toute forme de mysticisme, y compris les religions, et prne le ralisme philosophique[48]. Rand met en avant ce qu’elle nomme l’gosme rationnel, ou gosme de l’intrt personnel, seul principe moral digne d’tre suivi par opposition l’altruisme, de mentalit collectiviste. L’individu est selon elle la base de toute morale, il se doit d’exister pour lui-mme crit-elle en 1962 et de ne jamais se sacrifier pour les autres, ni sacrifier les autres pour lui-mme[49]. En 1976, Rand explique que sa contribution principale la philosophie est sa thorie et [s]es concepts, [s]on thique, et [s]a dcouverte que, en politique, le mal la violation des droits consiste en un commencement de pouvoir et de force[47].

Rand pose que le seul systme moral pertinent est celui du laissez-faire, le capitalisme. Elle est donc profondment individualiste et s’oppose tout systme collectiviste, en premier lieu au communisme. Elle critique de manire vhmente autant certains libraux et conservateurs amricains, comme les partisans du rgime sovitique[note 3].

D’inspiration aristotlicienne, la philosophie d’Ayn Rand se veut profondment rationaliste et objectiviste, les motions de l’homme se devant d’tre soumises sa raison, faute de quoi, l’homme baserait son existence sur des chimres issues de ses reprsentations du monde et non sur les faits. Elle ne renie pas pour autant la sphre motionnelle mais considre que l’homme qui se perd dans ses motions essaie de fuir la ralit au lieu de s’y adapter. Ayn Rand a ainsi dfini la psycho-pistmologie, socle de son systme objectiviste, comme l’tude des processus cognitifs humains vus partir de l’interaction entre l’esprit conscient et les fonctions automatiques de l’inconscient[50]. Harry Binswanger a continu ses travaux sur ce point. La vie de lhomme est considre comme le fondement de toute valeur, et sa propre vie est le but thique de tout individu. Le passage dit de l’allocution de John Galt (John Galt speaking), personnage principal du livre La Grve (Atlas Shrugged), reprsente la quintessence de sa pense propos de l’individu[51].

Ayn Rand a t influence par de nombreux philosophes comme Aristote en premier lieu[52] (et mme nul autre que lui, ses propres dires[53]), mais aussi John Locke, Thomas d’Aquin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Stirner, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Ludwig von Mises ou Isabel Paterson. Nanmoins, Douglas B. Rasmussen dcrit son approche de l’enseignement d’Aristote comme tant extrmement imprcise, alors que sa connaissance de son systme thique tait pour sa part trs mince[54].

L’influence de Nietzsche est, selon Ronald E. Merrill, auteur de The Ideas of Ayn Rand, relle[55], notamment travers la notion de surhomme qui se retrouve dans tous ses crits. Ayn Rand dit partager avec Friedrich Nietzsche le culte de l’ego humain, dont The Fountainhead veut rendre compte. C’est pourquoi elle apposa en en-tte du manuscrit de cette uvre une citation de Par del le bien et le mal exprimant, selon elle, ce culte. Elle dcida nanmoins de retirer cette citation de l’dition finale de l’ouvrage du fait de son dsaccord avec la philosophie de Nietzsche, dont elle rejetait le mysticisme et l’irrationalisme[56].

Pour elle, au sein de l’histoire de la philosophie, seuls trois auteurs, dont elle-mme, ont marqu l’thique, qu’elle nomme les trois A, pour Aristote, Thomas d’Aquin et Ayn Rand[57]. Parmi les philosophes, Rand prouve un ddain particulier pour Emmanuel Kant, qu’elle dit tre un monstre et le plus mauvais homme de l’histoire car il prne un systme thique totalement tranger l’intrt personnel. Elle critique la position de Kant, qui veut expliquer que la raison ne peut connatre la ralit en soi: pour Rand, sa philosophie est l’exacte oppos des positions kantiennes[58]. Pour les philosophes objectivistes George Walsh[59] et Fred Seddon[60], Rand n’a pas su interprter l’apport de Kant; pour le premier elle exagre l’ambition du philosophe allemand. D’autres critiques condamnent sa vision du kantisme comme tant simplement ignorante et indigne[61]. Il reste que la plupart des philosophes ralistes postrieurs Kant en ont autant, sinon plus, son gard[62].

Ayn Rand est surtout connue pour ses fictions, principalement Atlas Shrugged, vritable best-seller, et The Fountainhead. Les personnages de ses romans sont ainsi devenus des rfrences cls dans la culture amricaine comme John Galt, Dagny Taggart ou Kira Argounova[63]. Rand se dpeint elle-mme comme une romantique raliste, et toute son uvre reflte cette double tendance[64].

Atlas Shrugged est un roman de plus de 1000 pages qui fit d’Ayn Rand une romancire populaire, ds sa publication en 1957. En 2007, soit cinquante ans aprs la premire publication du roman, prs de 185000 exemplaires furent vendus d’aprs le Ayn Rand Institute[65]. Selon un sondage ralis par Freestar Media/Zogby, 8% des Amricains avaient lu Atlas Shrugged en 2007[66]. Une traduction franaise du roman est parue en octobre 2011 sous le titre La Grve, qui tait le premier auquel Ayn Rand songeait (The Strike) lorsqu’elle crivait son roman[67].

D’aprs l’auteur elle-mme, Atlas Shrugged a pour thme le rle de l’esprit humain dans la socit[68]. L’intrigue met donc en scne des hommes de l’esprit (men of the mind: scientifiques indpendants, entrepreneurs honntes, artistes individualistes) qui disparaissent mystrieusement, provoquant crises et catastrophes, dans un avenir (pour les annes 1950) proche qui n’en ressemble pas moins la catastrophe des annes 1930. Il s’agit d’un roman ides, par lequel Rand dveloppe sa conception de la vrit, de la libert et de l’gosme rationnel, tout en prsentant les mfaits de l’tatisme qu’elle prsente comme le produit du subjectivisme moral et intellectuel. Le titre Atlas Shrugged se rfre au titan de la mythologie grecque Atlas qui tient le monde sur ses paules, symbole du rle irremplaable des hommes de l’esprit, entrepreneurs et crateurs de valeurs, dans la socit. Ce roman dcrit galement la manire dont l’intervention de l’tat dtruit la production et la rgulation sociale[69], lui opposant la libre initiative et la responsabilit personnelle.

Le personnage principal du roman, John Galt, est l’archtype du hros vertueux et entreprenant. La premire phrase du rcit, Who is John Galt? a marqu la culture populaire amricaine, de mme que son allocution, long passage de 62 pages[70], qui est un morceau majeur de la philosophie, car il expose les racines profondes de l’idologie tatiste, qui sont chercher en premier lieu, et dans l’ordre, dans les domaines de la mtaphysique, de l’pistmologie et enfin de l’thique. explique le traducteur suisse, Pierre-Louis Boitel[71].

Publi en 1943 le roman La Source vive connut un grand succs et fut ensuite adapt au cinma par King Vidor en 1949 sous le titre Le Rebelle. Le titre du livre fait rfrence une dclaration d’Ayn Rand: l’ego de l’Homme est la source vive du progrs humain[72]. Refus par de nombreux diteurs car non commercial, le livre est pourtant parmi les plus vendus au monde au sein de l’uvre de Rand[73].

Le rcit dcrit la vie d’un architecte individualiste, Howard Roark, dans le New-York des annes 1920 qui ne parvient pas faire accepter ses crations. Par lui, Rand dveloppe les thmes contenus dans sa doctrine objectiviste, savoir l’intgrit, l’gosme rationnel, la vertu d’indpendance et la crativit. Chaque chapitre est dvolu un personnage, emblme d’une valeur randienne. Ayn Rand y esquisse deux philosophies antagonistes, travers les deux personnages en opposition. Le premier, incarn par Roark, est lhomme volontariste et libre, qui reprsente lgoste absolu, et dot de libert de jugement alors que Keating est l’archtype du parasite social. The Fountainhead peut, selon Mimi Reisel Gladstein, tre lu comme une version moderne d’une pice mdivale de moralit[74].

Les romans de Rand furent l’objet de vives critiques lors de leur publication[75]. Selon Jeff Britting, la popularit des crits de Rand doit beaucoup au bouche oreille[76]. En effet, les milieux universitaires et littraires ont longtemps ignor les romans de Rand. Le philosophe John Lewis dclare cependant, dans sa Literary Encyclopedia de 2001, que Rand a crit les uvres de fiction les plus intellectuellement brillantes de sa gnration[77].

Les premiers comptes-rendus de la critique apparaissent avec sa pice de thtre Night of January 16th. Ses autres premiers crits, We the Living et Anthem ont reu une faible attention des critiques, seul son best-seller The Fountainhead mobilisa vritablement la presse et en particulier le New York Times[78], journal que Rand apprciait grandement[79]. C’est surtout son roman La Grve (Atlas Shrugged) qui reut la plus grande critique, principalement ngative. En particulier, l’ancien espion sovitique repenti Whittaker Chambers, dans la National Review, qualifia l’ouvrage d’immature et de remarquablement stupide, ajoutant qu’on ne pouvait l’appeler un roman qu’en dvaluant le mot[80].

Les travaux de Rand veillrent peu d’intrt dans les milieux acadmiques et universitaires[81]. La premire tude sur son uvre, publie en 1971, tait celle de William F. O’Neill, With Charity Toward None: An Analysis of Ayn Rand’s Philosophy[82]. L’auteur fut vivement critiqu par ses pairs, qui lui reprochrent d’tre de parti-pris pour avoir pris Rand et ses crits au srieux. La revue The Personalist publia aprs sa mort de nombreux articles et le philosophe Robert Nozick y rdigea l’article On the Randian Argument[83].

Comme le souligne Alain Laurent, la popularit d’Ayn Rand a t telle qu’aux tats-Unis, presque tout le monde l’a lue et a eu son moment Ayn Rand comme l’a confi Hillary Clinton. Aprs sa mort, elle est demeure bien vivante dans le paysage intellectuel et politique amricain, influenant le libralisme classique comme le Cato Institute[84].

L’essai The Virtue of Selfishness, traduit en franais sous le titre La Vertu d’gosme synthtise la pense thique d’Ayn Rand[85]. Publi en 1964, il s’agit de ses principaux textes issus des confrences. Annonc par ses prcdents crits, la doctrine du vivre pour soi est le sujet de ce livre qui expose la plupart des axiomes objectivistes et en premier lieu le principe selon lequel l’ego est la seule rfrence thique: Aucune loi, aucun parti ne pourra jamais tuer cette chose en l’homme qui sait dire je[86]. Ainsi rsume Pierre Lemieux, La nature de l’homme lui impose un code d’thique rationnel (…) Les droits de l’homme se rsument dans le droit pour un individu d’utiliser sa raison, l’exclusion de toute coercition, pour mener sa propre vie. Raison et libert vont de pair pour Ayn Rand[87].

Le capitalisme est ainsi le seul systme o les hommes productifs sont libres d’agir et de cooprer en vertu de leurs liberts. Contrairement une critique rpandue, Rand n’est pas anarchiste, ni anarcho-capitaliste, car elle considre que l’anarchie en tant que concept politique, est une abstraction vague et nave[88]. Nanmoins Rand est souvent considre comme une thoricienne anarchiste, notamment par Ulrike Heider qui la surnomme the queen of reason[89]. Par ailleurs elle ne prne pas une socit sans tat. Elle propose un systme alternatif o l’tat est limit une activit judiciaire, via le monopole du contrle des contrats entre citoyens. Selon Alain Laurent, Rand est minarchiste, c’est une adepte du limited government. L’tat doit ainsi seulement protger l’individu de la violence physique, protger son droit la vie, la libert, la proprit et la poursuite de son propre bonheur. Ces objectifs concident exactement avec les principes des Founding Fathers, les pres fondateurs des tats-Unis[90]. L’thique de Rand renoue avec le concept aristotlicien de valeur qui est ainsi pour elle ce pourquoi l’on entreprend une action pour acqurir et (ou) conserver quelque chose[91].

La mthode de Rand se fonde sur l’objectivit dfinie comme Une mthode pour valuer la connaissance base sur sa conformit ou non la ralit[93]. La premire partie de ce livre est consacre dmontrer en quoi la vie, et l’individu, est essentiellement rationnel, et que son existence doit tre objective, c’est–dire conforme la ralit. Le rationnel est donc le moyen de survie, et, par extension, l’thique rgulant son comportement et ses choix[94]. Rand s’oppose aux doctrines philosophiques et politiques qui posent que l’thique est irrationnelle et donc que la raison n’est pas inhrente l’homme, justifiant par l un altruisme au service de la collectivit. Ces doctrines justifient le recours la force, caractristique de l’tat. La conduite thique est donc celle de la rflexion et du travail productif[95]. Selon Alain Laurent, dans Le Libralisme amricain, De ces prmisses [Rand] dduit une thique anti-sacrificielle et anti-collectiviste affirmant la lgitimit exclusive de la poursuite du self-interest cal sur le droit individuel de proprit, l’change librement consenti et le principe de non-initiation de la force[96].

Ayn Rand condamnait l’engagement amricain dans la Premire et dans la Seconde Guerre mondiale[97], puis dans la guerre de Core, considrant que la seule justification de la guerre doit tre le principe de lgitime dfense de soi-mme, et non des autres.

Elle s’est tout aussi publiquement oppose la guerre du Vit Nam en dclarant: Si vous voulez voir le summum ultime, suicidaire, de l’altruisme l’chelle internationale, observez la guerre du Vit Nam, une guerre o chaque soldat amricain meurt sans raison d’aucune sorte[98].

Rand s’opposait donc toute politique d’intervention et d’ingrence, mais au seul nom de la souverainet des tats respectueux du Droit: pour elle, les tats “tyranniques” et les conglomrats de “sauvages”, n’avaient aucun Droit. Ainsi, elle interprtait la guerre du Kippour de 1973 comme partant d’une attaque contre un tat respectueux des droits individuels, et elle soutint en consquence Isral, dclarant: Les Arabes sont une des cultures les moins dveloppes. Ils sont typiquement nomades. Leur culture est primitive et ils prouvent du ressentiment contre Isral car c’est la seule tte de pont de la science moderne et de la civilisation sur leur continent. Quand vous avez des hommes civiliss qui combattent des sauvages, vous soutenez les hommes civiliss, peu importe qui ils sont.[99].

Elle avait une vision tranche, voire expditive, de la politique internationale. Dans The Foreign Policy of a Mixed Economy, Rand condamnait le principe de l’aide publique entre les tats, qui nourrit les guerres conomiques et abaisse les liberts humaines, contribuant balkaniser les socits, notamment en entretenant le principe de l’ethnicit, selon le titre de son article Global Balkanization. Pour Ayn Rand, l’irrationnalisme (dont la ralisation historique ultime est le communisme, thse qu’elle dveloppe dans son article Capitalism vs. Communism) se propage, conduisant un nouveau fascisme, celui d’un culte du consensus[100] et du tout-tat, toujours plus prdateur et dpensier. Rand y voit par ailleurs la cause de la volont de certains tats, comme les tats-Unis, de conduire des guerres d’ingrence qui sont injustes (The Wreckage of the Consensus) parce qu’on les mne suivant les principes de l’altruisme, ce qui outrepasse leurs fonctions lgitimes et viole les droits de leurs citoyens.

Plusieurs des ouvrages de Rand prsentent les femmes et les hommes comme gaux sur le plan intellectuel. Toutefois, elle a, plusieurs reprises, affirm que les diffrences physiologiques entre les deux sexes conduisaient des diffrences psychologiques fondamentales, sources d’une diffrenciation naturellement sexue des rles sociaux. Il s’agit l d’un des postulats de ce qu’elle nomme la psycho-pistmologie, la science qui examine le rapport du psychisme humain la ralit. Rand affirma par exemple que, si les femmes sont comptentes pour occuper la fonction de Prsidente, aucune femme rationnelle ne devrait chercher atteindre cette position; elle expliqua plus tard qu’une telle fonction serait psychologiquement perturbante pour une femme[101]. Rand pense ainsi que l’essence de la fminit est la vnration le dsir d’admiration de l’homme, qu’une femme idale doit vnrer les hommes, et qu’un homme idal est le plus haut symbole de l’humanit[102]. Le sexe est pour elle l’expression de l’estime de soi[103].

Ayn Rand s’est exprime publiquement une unique occasion sur le thme de l’homosexualit, lors d’une confrence au Ford Hall Forum de 1968. En 1971, elle publie un recueil d’essais, The New Left, o elle attaque les mouvements fministes et gay, puisque la discrimination positive impose par l’tat est par dfinition injuste, et affirme que l’homosexualit est immorale en soi. En dpit de cette critique, elle estime que la loi ne doit pas intervenir dans une relation entre deux adultes consentants. Dans des conversations tenues en 1980 avec le philosophe Harry Binswanger, elle nuancera sa position, revenant sur le terme d’immoral sans retirer sa critique[104]. Rand dfendait par ailleurs le droit des entreprises de discriminer sur la base de l’orientation sexuelle, de la race ou de n’importe quel autre critre: c’est par dfinition du Droit de proprit que le refus d’une personne ou d’une organisation de traiter avec une autre ne viole aucun droit, quand la raison en serait irrationnelle, raciste ou homophobe[105].

Dans ses articles Racism et Balkanisation globale, Rand estime que le racisme est la forme la plus basse, la plus crment primitive de collectivisme[106]. Que cette notion implique qu’un homme soit jug non sur ses propres actions mais sur celles d’un collectif d’anctres apparaissait intolrable dans son systme de pense[107] car le racisme, a fortiori institu par l’tat, nie les deux aspects de la vie de l’homme: sa raison et sa moralit pour y substituer un dterminisme gntique. Elle tait oppose toute intervention tatique ce sujet, estimant qu’ partir du moment o ce n’est pas l’tat qui l’impose, le racisme n’est pas un problme de Droit mais une question morale, et ne peut tre combattu que par des moyens privs, tels que le boycott conomique ou l’ostracisme social.[108].

La culture n’est pas le produit anonyme de masses indiffrencies, mais la somme des ralisations intellectuelles d’hommes individuels[110] selon Ayn Rand qui fait de la culture et du progrs scientifique des domaines thiques. Cependant, dans son article Our Cultural Value-Deprivation (1966), elle note la perte de valeur dans la culture et notamment la valeur individualiste. Son essai The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age (1961)[111] a pour but de condamner une culture de masse mondialise, celle du XXesicle qui refuse l’hritage libral du sicle prcdent.

En matire d’cologie et d’environnement, Rand y voit une manipulation des gouvernements, destine rduire les liberts et faire primer l’motion sur la raison. Critiquant l’environnementalisme, dans Against Environnementalist, elle considre que l’cologie est un retour du religieux et de l’irrationnel, alors que seul le progrs technique peut amliorer la condition humaine[112].

Adepte du minarchisme et d’un libertarianisme anti-tat, Rand prconise un tat minimal. Elle oppose l’tatisme l’intrt bien compris des individus. Selon elle l’tat, qu’elle qualifie d’absolu lorsqu’il ambitionne de rgenter toute la sphre sociale et conomique, ne fait que violer le Droit qu’il est l pour faire respecter L’tatisme a toujours t le corollaire politique du collectivisme[113] explique-t-elle, sa dmesure culminant dans le communisme.

Ses jugements sur l’tatisme ont suscit l’admiration dans tous les mouvements libraux. La formule L’tat absolu n’est simplement qu’une forme institutionnalise du banditisme, quel que soit le gang particulier qui prend le pouvoir[113] rsume au mieux sa pense. Cependant, Rand n’est pas pour l’anarchisme, qui prne la disparition de l’tat. Elle considre que celui-ci doit exister, pour veiller ce que les citoyens jouissent de toute leur libert de choix et de raison: Le gouvernement agit seulement comme un agent de police qui protge l’homme des droits, il utilise la force physique uniquement et seulement titre de reprsailles contre ceux qui prennent l’initiative de son utilisation, tels que des criminels ou des envahisseurs trangers.[114]. En d’autres termes, l’tat doit veiller la conservation des droits individuels (la libert et la proprit), dont la source est la nature de l’homme car: la seule justification valable de l’existence d’un tat [est d’] assurer les Droits des hommes en protgeant ceux-ci de la violence physique[115].

Seul le systme du laissez-faire capitaliste peut garantir les liberts individuelles. La socit doit veiller ce qu’une complte sparation de l’tat et l’conomie existe, de la mme manire et pour les mmes raisons qu’existe la sparation de l’tat et l’glise [116].

Les crits d’Ayn Rand continuent d’tre largement vendus et lus, travers le monde, avec plus de 25 millions d’ouvrages vendus en 2007, et prs de 800000 de plus chaque anne selon le Ayn Rand Institute[117], y compris dans le milieu scolaire[118]. Selon une tude conduite par la Bibliothque du Congrs amricain et par Book of the Month Club (le club du livre du mois) dans les annes 1990, La Grve (Atlas Shrugged) est le livre le plus influent aprs la Bible aux tats-Unis[10].

Une certaine branche du mouvement fministe amricain se rclame des travaux de Rand. Dans Feminist interpretations of Ayn Rand[119] Mimi Reisel Gladstein et Chais Matthew Sciabarra analysent la nature de cette influence et expliquent mme en quoi la philosophe peut tre qualifie de fministe avant l’heure[120].

Ayn Rand a eu galement une profonde influence sur des penseurs et des personnalits contemporains tels John Hospers (le premier candidat du parti libertarien aux lections prsidentielles amricaines de 1972), George Hamilton Smith (pdagogue et auteur libertarien), le philosophe et pistmologue Allan Gotthelf, les philosophes et universitaires Robert Mayhew (auteur de Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged) et Tara Smith, l’conomiste George Reisman, le psychologue comme Edwin A. Locke, crateur de la goal-setting theory, l’historien Robert Hessen, et les politologues Charles Murray (crateur de l’American Enterprise Institute) et Peter Schwartz[121]. Selon Pierre Lemieux, Rand, en dpit de son aversion pour l’anarchie, est galement un modle des mouvements anarcho-capitalistes[87]. Les thoriciens anarchistes et minarchistes Murray Rothbard et Robert Nozick reconnaissent l’apport de Rand dans le champ thique surtout. L’crivain Mario Vargas Llosa est un de ses admirateurs[122]. Alain Laurent, citant une confidence d’Alan Greenspan explique mme que le prsident russe Vladimir Poutine non seulement connat ses crits mais de plus aime en discuter[123]>.

L’ancien prsident de la Fed, Alan Greenspan, a beaucoup t influenc[124] par Rand et dclara son propos: Elle m’a montr que le capitalisme n’est pas seulement efficace, mais aussi moral[125]. Ayn Rand a aussi eu une influence sur James Clavell, George Reisman, Alan Greenspan, Terry Goodkind et le professeur de marketing Jerry Kirkpatrick. L’ancien prsident des tats-Unis, Ronald Reagan se dit lui-mme un admirateur de Rand, dans sa correspondance prive[126]. Le dessinateur de comics Steve Ditko est un lecteur de Rand[127]. Parmi d’autres personnalits publiques, l’actrice Angelina Jolie et son mari et acteur Brad Pitt, Frank Miller, Vince Vaughn ou Ron Paul, ancien candidat la Prsidence amricaine, se disent influencs par l’objectivisme d’Ayn Rand.

Jimmy Wales, le fondateur de l’encyclopdie libre Wikipdia, professe son admiration pour Ayn Rand: ayant lu The Fountainhead, il se qualifie lui-mme de libertarien: La catgorie de personnes dans laquelle je peux le mieux me considrer serait celle des libertariens[128] dit-il. La pense de Rand colore tout ce que je fais et tout ce que je pense[129]. Wales a ainsi anim, de 1992 1996 une liste de diffusion lectronique nomme Moderated Discussion of Objectivist Philosophy. Il donna une interview qui fit la premire page du numro de juin 2007 du magazine libertarien Reason[130].

Un groupe d’entrepreneurs dcids fonder une cryptarchie en 1998, baptise Laissez Faire City d’abord en Indonsie, sur l’le de Bintan, puis au Costa Rica voulaient mettre en application les directives objectivistes. Le projet choua faute de trouver un territoire libre et en dehors de tout contrle tatique[132].

Ds ses dbuts Ayn Rand a runi autour d’elle une gnration de penseurs considrs comme objectivistes[133]. Plusieurs d’entre eux continuent, aprs sa mort, promouvoir sa philosophie, aux tats-Unis et dans le monde.

En 1985, Leonard Peikoff, en qui Rand avait totale confiance pour reprsenter sa philosophie, fonde le Ayn Rand Institute (ARI), qui a pour but de faire connatre la pense de Rand aux jeunes gnrations, de soutenir et dvelopper ses ides, et de promouvoir les principes de la raison, de l’intrt priv rationnel, des droits individuels et du capitalisme du laissez-faire le plus largement possible. En 1989, David Kelley cre quant lui lInstitute for Objectivist Studies, devenu The Atlas Society, et qui s’intresse davantage la dimension philosophique et universitaire des travaux d’Ayn Rand. En 2000, l’historien John McCaskey organise lAnthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, qui offre des bourses et des rcompenses pour des crits universitaires lis l’objectivisme pour les universits de Pittsburgh et du Texas Austin. L’association amricaine Rebirth of Reason fonde en 2005 par Joseph Rowlands et qui sige Santa Clara, en Californie regroupe la plupart des continuateurs de l’objectivisme[134].

En France, Alain Laurent, philosophe et essayiste, a fond avec Jos Luis Goyena une Ayn Rand French Society. La Ayn Rand French Society organise des confrences pour prsenter la pense librale et ralise des articles, tous publis dans le priodique numrique Le Nouvel 1dividualiste[135].

Jim Powell, du Cato Institute, considre Ayn Rand comme l’une des trois plus importantes femmes du mouvement libertarien moderne amricain, aux cts de Rose Wilder Lane et d’Isabel Paterson[136]. Alain Laurent parle lui des Founding Mothers (les mres fondatrices) du no-libralisme[137]. Pourtant, Rand a toujours refus d’tre considre comme une thoricienne du mouvement libertarien.

Le mouvement philosophique pro-technologique dit de l’extropianisme, ainsi que celui du transhumanisme, reconnat dans les concepts d’gosme et de productivit de Rand des valeurs ontologiques fondatrices. Dans ses Principles of Extropy, le fondateur de ce courant de pense, Max More dfinit l’optimisme pratique (practical optimism), l’auto-transformation (self-transformation), ainsi que l’auto-direction (self-direction) en rfrence aux considrations de l’Objectivisme; les parallles tant en effet nombreux[138]. L’Objectivisme tant une philosophie qui vante le progrs scientifique et technique, la manire du scientisme, des courants technophiles comme celui dit du Neo-Tech et qui a pour but llimination du mysticisme de la pense humaine, se rclament no-Objectiviste

La doctrine de l’gosme radical et de l’individualisme d’Ayn Rand a t rcupre par un certain nombre de personnalits sectaires; ainsi, Rand est l’un des principaux auteurs cits dans la Bible de Satan d’Anton Szandor LaVey, lequel explique que sa religion est uniquement la philosophie d’Ayn Rand laquelle a t ajoute des crmonials et des rituels[139],[140].

Les crits et la philosophie d’Ayn Rand ont t la cible de diverses critiques, tenant soit sa personnalit, soit son systme d’ides, soit son style littraire.

La contestation de l’altruisme de la part d’Ayn Rand a d’abord attir des critiques d’ordre thique. Par exemple, l’crivain Gore Vidal formule ainsi en 1961: Ds lors que nous devons vivre ensemble, dpendants les uns des autres, l’altruisme est ncessaire la survie. Il explique la popularit d’Ayn Rand en ces termes: Elle a un grand attrait pour les gens simples, perdus dans une socit organise, rticents payer des impts, n’aimant pas l’tat providence, qui se sentent coupables face la souffrance des autres mais voudraient durcir leur cur. Elle leur propose une prescription allchante: l’altruisme est source de tous les maux, l’intrt individuel est le seul bien, et si vous tes stupide ou incomptent, c’est votre problme. [141].

La prsentation de la vie d’Ayn Rand est elle-mme sujet controverse. Dans The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics[142], James Valliant axe son tude sur les manipulations biographiques possibles faites par Nathaniel Branden et sa femme de la vie de la philosophe aprs sa mort. Pour Valliant, les hritiers de Rand ont embelli son parcours et dissimul certaines notes de son journal[143].

L’anarcho-capitaliste Murray Rothbard, dans The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult (1972), aprs avoir soutenu Rand[144], dcrit les rouages de la socit objectiviste, la comparant une secte: non seulement la secte dAyn Rand tait explicitement athe, anti-religieuse, non seulement elle glorifiait la Raison, mais elle professait une dpendance de type matre-esclave envers le gourou au nom de lindpendance, une adoration et une obissance au chef au nom de lindividualit de chacun et une croyance aveugle dans le gourou au nom de la Raison[145]. Les critiques universitaires et politiques anti-libertariennes sont nombreuses[146]. Le clbre psychologue amricain Albert Ellis prsente le mouvement randien comme une religion dans son article Is Objectivism A Religion?[147](1968).

D’autres considrent que le raisonnement philosophique de Rand est sophistique, dtournant le concept de rationalit, tel Scott Ryan dans Objectivism and the Corruption of Rationality: A Critique of Ayn Rand’s Epistemology qui s’attaque, lui, aux fondements pistmologiques de la pense randienne, considre comme une pseudo-philosophie[148].

La pense de Rand continue gagner des dfenseurs, en dpit de la critique continuelle la qualifiant de mal construite et peu mthodique[149]. Son style est ainsi dcrit, mme au sein de ses partisans, comme tant littraire, hyperbolique et motionnel[150]. Le philosophe Jack Wheeler note la grandiloquence incessante et la dcharge continue de haine des crits de Rand, en dpit de cela, il voit son systme thique comme le plus achev et le plus fcond des tudes contemporaines[151]. Enfin, le populaire et satirique The Philosophical Lexicon ralis par les philosophes Daniel Dennett et Asbjrn Steglich-Petersen, dfinit le rand comme une tirade nerve cause lorsque l’on considre tort un dsaccord d’ordre philosophique comme une attaque personnelle et/ou comme la preuve d’une innommable corruption morale. “Lorsque j’ai remis en question sa seconde affirmation, il s’est lanc dans un rand”[152].

De nombreux dessins anims amricains font rfrence Rand. Un pisode de Futurama[Lequel?] imagine Rand dans le futur alors qu’elle vit dans les gouts.Dans l’pisode Le Charmeur de poules de South Park parle d’Atlas Shrugged comme d’un morceau de dchet [153]. alors que de multiples rfrences sont faites dans Les Simpson, particulirement dans l’pisode Manucure pour 4 femmes o une allusion critique est faite au livre The Fountainhead.

Des jeux tlviss font galement rfrence Rand, Jeopardy! mais aussi des sries dramatiques, Gilmore Girls (2000) et Mad Men (2007), ou des missions comiques (The Colbert Report…)[154].

Le groupe de rock canadien Rush, dans l’album 2112 fait rfrence au monde dcrit dans Anthem. En littrature, l’crivain objectiviste Kay Nolte Smith prsente un roman clef, Elegy for a Soprano inspir par le groupe du Collectif avec Rand et Branden. Le roman de William F. Buckley, Getting it Right fait galement allusion Rand. Le jeu vido BioShock utilise des lments de l’action du livre Atlas Shrugged.

Le visage de Rand apparat sur un timbre cre le 22 avril 1999 New York par le United States Postal Service[155].

Whoisjohngalt est un code dans l’extension Frozen throne de Warcraft 3 pour obtenir de faon rapide l’ensemble des amliorations disponibles.

Du vivant d’Ayn Rand

titre original: The Virtue of Selfishness (1964), prface d’Alain Laurent, traduction de Marc Meunier.

Premire dition en 1966

En collaboration avec Peter Schwartz.

Sous la direction de Michael S. Berliner, introduction de Leonard Peikoff

Premire dition en 1969.

Original post:

Ayn Rand Wikipdia

Libertarian Republican – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jun 212016
 

A libertarian Republican is a politician or Republican party member who has advocated libertarian policies while typically voting for and being involved with the United States Republican Party.

Sometimes the terms Republitarian or liberty Republican are used as well. Libertarian Republicans’ views are similar to Libertarian Party members, but differ in regard to the strategy used to implement libertarian policies.[citation needed]

Libertarian Republicans represent a political faction within the Republican Party. They are strong believers in the traditional Republican principle of economic libertarianism that was advocated by past and present presidential candidates such as former Senator Robert A. Taft, former Senator Barry Goldwater and former Representative Ron Paul and his son, current Senator Rand Paul. Individuals who self-identify as libertarian Republicans do not necessarily share the same political beliefs across the spectrum, though there do seem to be several issues that bind them together, including beliefs in fiscal conservatism, personal responsibility, and personal liberty.[citation needed]

The most common belief libertarian Republicans share is fiscal conservatism specifically, advocating for lower taxes at every level of government, a reduction in the level of spending in the federal budget, easing the burden of federal regulations on business interests, the reform of the entitlement system, and ending or making significant cuts to the welfare state. Additionally, they oppose budget deficits and deficit spending and work to minimize it as much as possible. Libertarian Republicans tend to support more fiscal conservatism than their mainstream counterparts in the party, and are less willing to abandon these principles for political expediency.[citation needed]

Libertarian Republicans often differ from traditional Republicans in their emphasis on protection of civil liberties.[1] It is distinct from the Republican Party because it sees state-enforced conservative social policies as encroachments on personal privacy and individual liberties.[1] Libertarian Republicans disagree with the activities of mainstream Republicans with regard to civil liberties since the September 11 attacks in 2001, opposing the PATRIOT Act, its reform the USA Freedom Act, REAL ID, and President George W. Bush’s domestic intelligence program.[2]

Opposition to the use of the term libertarian Republican comes from the libertarian adherence to the Non-Aggression Principle, its core philosophy of voluntaryism and lack of force against individuals, to which the Republican Party platform or philosophy does not adhere.[3]

The Republican Liberty Caucus was founded in 1991 at a meeting of a group of Florida members of the Libertarian Republican Organizing Committee attending a Young Republicans Convention. They included Philip Blumel, Tom Walls, Eric Rittberg, and Rex Curry and decided to develop a national Republican Liberty Caucus organization.[4] The group represents the GOP’s libertarian wing.

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Libertarian Republican – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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WW3 – World War Three in Detail, showing Start Date …

 Ww3  Comments Off on WW3 – World War Three in Detail, showing Start Date …
Jun 212016
 

A Three World War scenario was developed several decades ago (see Conspiratorial History). Two World Wars have already been achieved, and the Third and final World War envisions an attack on Iraq, Iran and/or Syria as being the trigger to set the entire Middle East into fiery conflagration. Once America is firmly entrenched into the Middle East with the majority of her first-line units, North Korea is to attack South Korea. Then, with America’s forces stretched well beyond the limit, China is to invade Taiwan. This will usher in the start of World War Three.

What constitutes a ‘world war’? How many countries need to be involved? And who decides at which point a number of regional skirmishes can be grouped together and called a World War? At the time, who called the official start of World War 1 and World War 2?

And have you noticed that although the term ‘World War Three’ is freely used in the alternative press and on the Internet, all the major news networks have stoically avoided using any phrase reminiscent of World War.

Since it’s difficult to find a definition for an event which has only happened twice in modern history, here’s my attempt at an answer to the question ‘what constitutes a world war’?

A World War is a military conflict spanning more than 2 continents, in which at least 20 major countries participate in an attack against a common enemy, and which has the attention of the man-in-the-street due to the significant loss of life.

With that definition, we can agree that WW1 and WW2 were in fact World Wars (both wars involved some degree of participation from most of the world’s then existing countries: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union). We can also agree that we are very close to achieving World War 3. The only requirement left to fulfill the start of WW3 is that of a military conflict spanning more than 2 continents. As soon as Israel attacks Palestine, or North Korea attacks South Korea or the US, or China invades Taiwan, we will have the next World War well underway.

These are, I believe, the stages of the planned Third World War:

Both Biblical prophecy and the Illuminati plan state that Israel is the key. The Third World War is planned to begin when Israel goes to war against her Arab enemies. Then, and only then, will all the other elements begin to occur and they will do so in rapid succession. The plan is to have one disaster following another in such rapid succession that, before people can mentally and emotionally handle one disastrous news event, they will be hit with another. It is also accurate to say that until ALL of the elements for WW3 are in place, the plan will not commence.

While it would be naive to suggest a specific timeline for the events leading up to and including World War 3, we do know that the plans for World War 3 are well advanced, and our leaders involved in this secret plan are waiting only for the right signal before all-out war begins.

We are in the last stages of the preparation to so globalize the world that the Masonic New Age Christ (Antichrist) can appear to receive all the political and economic power of the world’s rulers. This is the Illuminati plan and Biblical prophecy (Revelation 17:12-17).

In the words of Peter Lemesurier, author of The Armageddon Script:

“Their script is now written, subject only to last-minute editing and stage-directions. The stage itself, albeit in darkness, is almost ready. Down in the pit, the subterranean orchestra is already tuning up. The last-minute, walk-on parts are even now being filled. Most of the main actors, one suspects, have already taken up their roles. Soon it will be time for them to come on stage, ready for the curtain to rise. The time for action will have come.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, please take your seats and welcome on stage the players of this Grand Play:

World War Three!

Intro | Prelude | Act I | Act II | Act III | Act IV | Act V | Act VI

For a detailed look at WW3 statistics, including the running cost of World War Three, the number of lives lost and the countries involved in World War Three, please see our World War Overview. Further details will be added as events dictate.

If you found this article interesting and want access to other carefully researched and well written articles, you might want to see what others are saying about the ThreeWorldWars newsletter.

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The History of Gambling – Complete Gambling History Timeline

 Gambling  Comments Off on The History of Gambling – Complete Gambling History Timeline
Jun 192016
 

The history of humanity is inextricably linked with the history of gambling, as it seems that no matter how far back in time you go there are signs that where groups of people gathered together gambling was sure to have been taking place. Now we are not going to attempt to track every single twist and turn in the evolution of gambling in this article, but what we are going to do is to pick out some of the most important dates to act as milestones on the road to todays gambling experience.

2300bc

2300bc

While it is almost certain that some forms of betting have been taking place since the dawn of human history, the earliest concrete evidence comes from Ancient China where tiles were unearthed which appeared to have been used for a rudimentary game of chance. The Chinese Book of Songs makes reference to the drawing of wood which suggests that the tiles may have formed part of a lottery type game. We have evidence in the form of keno slips which were used in about 200bc as some sort of lottery to fund state works possibly including construction of the Great Wall of China. Lotteries continued to be used for civic purposes throughout history Harvard and Yale were both established using lottery funds and continue to do so until the present day.

c.500bc

The Greek poet Sophocles claimed that dice were invented by a mythological hero during the siege of Troy, and while this may have somewhat dubious basis in fact, his writings around 500bc were the first mention of dice in Greek history. We know that dice existed far earlier than this, since a pair had been uncovered from an Egyptian tomb from 3000bc, but what is certain is that the Ancient Greeks and Romans loved to gamble on all manner of things, seemingly at any given opportunity. In fact all forms of gambling including dice games were forbidden within the ancient city of Rome and a penalty imposed on those caught which was worth four times the stake being bet. As a result of this, ingenious Roman citizens invented the first gambling chips, so if they were nabbed by the guards they could claim to be playing only for chips and not for real money. (Note that this ruse will not work if attempted at a Vegas casino).

c.800ad

c.800ad

Most scholars agree that the first playing cards appeared in China in the 9th century, although the exact rules of the games they were used for have been lost to history. Some suggest that the cards were both the game and the stake, like trading card games played by children today, while other sources believe the first packs of cards to have been paper forms of Chinese domino. Certainly the cards used at this time bore very little relation to the standard 52 card decks we know today.

1400s

The earliest game still played in casinos today is the two player card game of Baccarat, a version of which was first mentioned as long ago as the 1400s when it migrated from Italy to France. Despite its early genesis, it took hundreds of years and various evolutions to arrive at the game we know today. Although different incarnations of the game have come and gone, the standard version played in casinos all over the world came from Cuba via Britain to the US, with a few alterations to the rules along the way. Although baccarat is effectively more of a spectator sport than a game, it is a feature of just about every casino due to its popularity with high rolling gamblers.

c.1600

c.1600

Some suggest that the earliest forms of blackjack came from a Spanish game called ventiuna (21) as this game appeared in a book written by the author of Don Quixote in 1601. Or was it the game of trente-un (31) from 1570? Or even quinze (15) from France decades earlier? As with all of these origin stories, the inventors of games of chance were rarely noted in the historical annals. The French game of vingt-et-un in the seventeenth century is certainly a direct forefather of the modern game, and this is the game that arrived in the US along with early settlers from France. The name blackjack was an American innovation, and linked to special promotions in Nevada casinos in the 1930s. To attract extra customers, 10 to 1 odds were paid out if the player won with a black Jack of Clubs or Spades together with an Ace of Spades. The special odds didnt last long, but the name is still with us today.

1638

The earliest gambling houses which could reasonably be compared to casinos started to appear in the early 17th century in Italy. For example, in 1638, the Ridotto was established in Venice to provide a controlled gambling environment amidst the chaos of the annual carnival season. Casinos started to spring up all over continental Europe during the 19th century, while at the same time in the US much more informal gambling houses were in vogue. In fact steam boats taking prosperous farmers and traders up and down the Mississippi provided the venue for a lot of informal gambling stateside. Now when we think of casinos we tend to picture the Las Vegas Strip, which grew out of the ashes of the Depression in America.

1796

1796

Roulette as we know it today originated in the gaming houses of Paris, where players would have been familiar with the wheel we now refer to (ironically enough) as the American Roulette wheel. It took another 50 years until the European version came along with just one green zero, and generations of roulette players can be grateful for that. During the course of the 19th century roulette grew in popularity, and when the famous Monte Carlo casino adopted the single zero form of the game this spread throughout Europe and most of the world, although the Americans stuck to the original double zero wheels.

1829

Its hard to pin down the precise origin of poker as with a lot of the games mentioned here, poker seems to have grown organically over decades and possibly centuries from various different card games. Some have pokers antecedents coming from seventeenth century Persia, while others say that the game we know today was inspired by a French game called Poque. What we do know for sure is that an English actor by the name of Joseph Crowell reported that a recognizable form of the game was being played in New Orleans in 1829, so that is as good a date as any for the birth of poker. The growth of the games popularity was fairly sluggish up until world poker tournaments started being played in Vegas in the 1970s. However poker really exploded with the advent of online poker and televised events allowing spectators to see the players hands. When amateur player Chris Moneymaker qualified for and won the 2003 world poker championship after qualifying through online play, it allowed everyone to picture themselves as online poker millionaires.

1891

1891

The first gambling machine which resembled the slots we know today was one developed by Messrs Sittman and Pitt in New York, which used the 52 cards on drum reels to make a sort of poker game. Around the same time the Liberty Bell machine was invented by a Charles Fey in San Francisco. This machine proved much more practical in the sense that winnings could be precisely regulated, and marked the beginning of the real slot game revolution. The fact that some new video slot games still feature bell symbols dates back to this early invention. While early machines spewed out cigars and gum instead of money, the money dispensing versions soon became a staple in bars and casinos around the globe, and when the first video slot was invented in 1976 this paved the way for the online video slots which were to follow.

1910

1910

The United States has always had an up and down relationship with gambling, dating back to when the very first European settlers arrived. Whereas Puritan bands of settlers banned gambling outright in their new settlements, those emigrating from England had a more lenient view of gambling and were more than happy to tolerate it. This dichotomous relationship has continued until now, and in 1910 public pressure led to a nationwide prohibition on gambling. Just like the alcohol prohibition of the same era, this proved somewhat difficult to enforce and gambling continued on in an only slightly discreet manner. The Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression that this spawned in the early 1930s led to gambling being legalized again, as for many this was the only prospect of alleviating the grinding poverty which they suffered through. Although gambling is legal in a number of States today most famously in Las Vegas, Nevada – online gambling is still something of a grey area in the United States. Right now, many international internet casinos are unable to accept American clients, although the signs are that this will change in the near future.

1994

Microgaming is one of the largest casino and slot game developers in the world today, and they are also considered to be pioneers of online gambling. The leap into the world of virtual casinos was taken all the way back in 1994, which in internet terms is kind of like 2300bc! Online gaming was worth over a billion dollars within 5 years, and today is a multibillion dollar industry with over a thousand online casinos and growing. The first live dealer casinos appeared in 2003 courtesy of Playtech, bringing us closer to a hybrid between brick and mortar casinos and the virtual world.

2016

2016

Since New Jersey legalized online gambling in 2011, there has been a boom in the interest people have in it. America has seen a move towards legalizing it state by state, as well as experiencing the rapid rise in mobile gambling. Across the globe, internet users are gradually veering away from their desktops and towards their handheld devices. This is true of online gamblers too, wanting to be able to enjoy their favorite games whilst on the go. The top gambling sites out there have recognized a market and have stepped up to deliver. With a wave of impressive mobile focused online gambling destinations taking the world by storm, it’s safe to say that desktops are being left far behind in favour of more mobile alternatives.

What Comes Next?

It is just about as difficult to predict the future for gambling as it is to uncover some of the origins of the gambling games we know so well today. Much of the focus at the moment is on the mobile gaming market, with online casinos scrambling to make more content compatible with the latest hand held devices. Virtual reality technology is just taking its first steps as a commercial proposition, and you can be sure that there will be gambling applications down the road. How would you like to sit around a virtual poker table with a bunch of your friends from all over the world, share a few laughs, try to tell if you can spot a tell-tale facial tick; and all this from the comfort of your home? VR Headsets can make it happen maybe not today, but certainly just a few years down the track if technology continues to advance in bounds and leaps.

And after that? Well who knows, but when it comes to gambling all things are possible.

Read the rest here:

The History of Gambling – Complete Gambling History Timeline

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Entheogens: Whats in a Name? The Untold History of …

 Entheogens  Comments Off on Entheogens: Whats in a Name? The Untold History of …
Jun 192016
 

Articles in this Series: 1) R. Gordon Wasson: The Man, the Legend, the Myth. Beginning a New History of Magic Mushrooms, Ethnomycology,and the Psychedelic Revolution. By Jan Irvin, May 13, 2012 2) How Darwin, Huxley, and the Esalen Institute launched the 2012 and psychedelic revolutions and began one of the largest mind control operations in history. Some brief notes. By Jan Irvin, August 28, 2012 3) Manufacturing the Deadhead: A Product of Social Engineering, by Joe Atwill and Jan Irvin, May 13, 2013 4) Entheogens: Whats in a Name? The Untold History of Psychedelic Spirituality, Social Control, and the CIA, by Jan Irvin, November 11, 2014 5) Spies in Academic Clothing: The Untold History of MKULTRA and the Counterculture And How the Intelligence Community Misleads the 99%, by Jan Irvin, May 13, 2015 PDF version: Download latest version v3.5 – Nov. 20, 2014

Computer generated Text-Aloud audio version:

Youtube computer generated version with onscreen citations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYmScOSmlxU

Franais: (Full text translated to French) http://triangle.eklablog.com/l-histoire-secrete-de-la-spiritualite-psychedelique-a125061104

Franais (French) translation PDF: http://www.gnosticmedia.com/txtfiles/Histoire-secrte-spiritualit-psychdlique.pdf

Today there are many names for drug substances that we commonly refer to as hallucinogens, psychedelics, psychoactives, or entheogens, et al. But it hasnt always been that way. The study of the history and etymology of the words for these fascinating substances takes us, surprisingly, right into the heart of military intelligence, and what became the CIAs infamous MKULTRA mind control program, and reveals how the names themselves were used in marketing these substances to the public, and especially to the youth and countercultures.[1]

The official history has it that the CIA personnel involved in MKULTRA were just dupes, kind of stupid, and, by their egregious errors, the psychedelic revolution happened thwarting their efforts. The claim is that these substances got out of the CIAs control. Words like blowback and incompetence are often tossed around in such theories regarding the CIA and military intelligence, but without much, if any, supporting evidence.

Its almost impossible today to have a discussion regarding the actual documents and facts of MKULTRA and the psychedelic revolution without someone interrupting to inform you how it really happened even though most often they have never studied anything on the subject.

As we get started, I would like to propose that we question this idea of blowback: Who does it benefit to believe that it was all an accident and that the CIA and military intelligence were just dupes? Does it benefit you, or them? It might be uncomfortable for a moment for some of us to admit that maybe they (the agents) werent so stupid, and maybe we were the ones duped. Sometimes the best medicine is to just admit hey, you got me and laugh it off. For those of you whove heard these blowback theories and havent considered the possibility that the CIA created these movements intentionally, this article may be challenging for you, but stick with it, as it will be worth your while.

Now were ready. Because, defenses aside, a more honest, and less biased, inquiry into the history and facts reveals, startlingly, something quite different from the popular myths. This paper reveals, for the first time, how the opposite of the official history is true, and that the CIA did, in fact, create the psychedelic revolution and countercultures intentionally.

As Ill show in this article, the goal had changed and they wanted a name that would help sell these substances to the masses as sources of spiritual enlightenment rather than insanity. In their book The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, we see doctors Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert explain:

Of course, the drug dose does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures. The nature of the experience depends almost entirely on set and setting. Set denotes the preparation of the individual, including his personality structure and his mood at the time. Setting is physical the weather, the room’s atmosphere; social feelings of persons present towards one another; and cultural prevailing views as to what is real. It is for this reason that manuals or guide-books are necessary. Their purpose is to enable a person to understand the new realities of the expanded consciousness, to serve as road maps for new interior territories which modern science has made accessible.[2] Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, Richard Alpert

But what was the purpose of all of this? They state The nature of the experience depends almost entirely on set and setting. As well discover on this etymological trip, it was all about marketing the CIAs marketing regarding set and setting. Sound like a whacky conspiracy theory yet? As well soon discover, its not. The CIAs MKULTRA program was very real, was exposed before Congress in the Rockefeller and Church Commissions, and was all over the news media in the 1970s. But that was 40 years ago and this is now. So why should we care? Because much of the program wasnt revealed in the 1970s and persists to the present, and it affected just about everyone. It wasnt limited to just a few thousand victims of the CIAs secret human experiments. There were actually many more victims millions more. You may have been one of them.

As well see, this idea that the psychedelic revolution and counterculture were intentionally created affects most of us: the youth caught up in drug use, the parents, the anti-war movement, those involved in the psychedelic revolution or in politics; as well as artists, or people who use these substances for spirituality, or even anyone whos ever spoken the word psychedelic. It affects us because, as well see, thats what it was meant to do.

In the early years of research into these drugs, psychology researchers and military intelligence communities sometimes called them, aside from hallucinogen, by the name “psychotomimetic” which means psychosis mimicking. The word hallucinogen, to generate hallucinations, came just a few years before psychotomimetic. The same year that psychotomimetic was created we also saw the creation of the word psychedelic which means to manifest the mind. The last stage of this etymological evolution, as well see, was the word entheogen which means to generate god within. Well return to hallucinogen and these other words in the course of our journey.

While these words may have told what these substances do in the intelligence communitys collective understanding, accurate or not, they are loaded with implications. Suggestibility, otherwise known as set and setting, is one of them. The study of the history of these words, their etymology, reveals how MKULTRA researchers covered up and kept covered up until now that is this aspect of the MKULTRA mind control program.

In the 1950s most CIA candidates and agents were required to take psychedelic or hallucinogenic drugs to prepare them for chemical and biological warfare attack. This requirement didn’t turn the agency into hippies. As this article will show, marketing and PR people that the Agency later hired created that end result.

19 November 1953

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

The Medical Office commented also on the draft memorandum to DCI from Director of Security, subject: Project Experimental Project Utilizing Trainee Volunteers; to the effect that it was recommended the program not be confined merely to male volunteer trainee personnel but that the field of selection be broadened to include all components of the Agency and recommended that the subject memorandum be changed as appropriate to the broadening of such scope. The Project committee verbally concurred in this recommendation. [][3] ~ CIA MKULTRA files

As Jay Stevens, author of Storming Heaven, reveals in the following quote, suggestibility plays a large part in the way psychedelic drugs work.

To drive someone crazy with LSD was no great accomplishment, particularly if you told the person he was taking a psychotomimetic and you gave it to him in one of those pastel hospital cells with a grim nurse standing by scribbling notes.[4] ~Jay Stevens

Psychotomimetic (psychosis mimicking) is a word loaded with implications, suggestibility being the most important.

This is something that Aldous Huxley, Dr. Timothy Leary, R. Gordon Wasson and others made clear in their books and articles. In order to suggest what the creators of the psychedelic revolution wanted, they had to pay particular attention to the name(s) used for these substances.

What’s in a name? … Answer, practically everything.[5] ~ Aldous Huxley

However, for marketing and PR purposes, the word psychotomimetic was abandoned, or remarketed, not long after it was created in 1957.

But why is all of this important?

As Huxley just admitted above: What’s in a name? … Answer, practically everything.

Insanity, or psychosis mimicking, or even generating hallucinations, arent attractive terms and dont work well for marketing purposes or for the outcome of the psychedelic or, more importantly, the entheogenic experience.

Though this may sound implausible at first, the purpose of making these substances more attractive was to intentionally sell them, and not just to patients in hospital wards and to those in a chair with their therapists, but, especially, to the youth and countercultures of the world a nefarious purpose indeed. Here Leary reflects on Arthur Koestlers work regarding juvenilization:

From Koestler I learned about juvenilization, the theory that evolution occurs not in the adult (final form) of a species but in juveniles, larvals, adolescents, pre-adults. The practical conclusion: if you want to bring about mutations in a species, work with the young. Koestlers teaching about paedomorphosis prepared me to understand the genetic implications of the 1960s youth movement and its rejection of the old culture.[6] ~ Timothy Leary

The understanding of suggestibility, or set and setting, including the name given these substances, is everything in how psychedelics work and were studied (and used) by the CIA for social control.

What could the name be replaced with? This was the problem set before those interested in remarketing these substances to the youth, counterculture and artists around the world. When discussing how to market these drugs with Humphry Osmond, Aldous Huxley remarked:

About a name for these drugs – what a problem![7] ~ Aldous Huxley

Over a couple decades this project would be undertaken by two different teams: Aldous Huxley, Humphry Osmond and Abram Hoffer; and the second, headed by Professor Carl A. P. Ruck of Boston University, included R. Gordon Wasson, and also Jonathan Ott, Jeremy Bigwood and Daniel Staples.

Some of us formed a committee under the Chairmanship of Carl Ruck to devise a new word for the potions that held Antiquity in awe. After trying out a number of words he came up with entheogen, god generated within, which his committee unanimously adopted[].[8] ~ Gordon Wasson

And though they defend them, Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain reveal some of these remarketing tactics in Acid Dreams:

The scientist who directly oversaw this research project was Dr. Paul Hoch, an early advocate of the theory that LSD and other hallucinogens were essentially psychosis-producing drugs. In succeeding years Hoch performed a number of bizarre experiments for the army while also serving as a CIA consultant. Intraspinal injections of mescaline and LSD were administered to psychiatric patients, causing an “immediate, massive, and almost shocklike picture with higher doses.”

Aftereffects (“generalized discomfort,” “withdrawal,” “oddness,” and “unreality feelings”) lingered for two to three days following the injections. Hoch, who later became New York State Commissioner for Mental Hygiene, also gave LSD to psychiatric patients and then lobotomized them in order to compare the effects of acid before and after psychosurgery. (“It is possible that a certain amount of brain damage is of therapeutic value,” Hoch once stated.) In one experiment a hallucinogen was administered along with a local anesthetic and the subject was told to describe his visual experiences as surgeons removed chunks of his cerebral cortex.[9] ~ Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain

In the following quote the authors reveal their bias in the situation, arguing for the spiritual aspects, while in the same book denying the psychosis aspects and that the psychedelic revolution was intentionally created by the CIA:

Many other researchers, however, dismissed transcendental insight as either “happy psychosis” or a lot of nonsense. The knee-jerk reaction on the part of the psychotomimetic stalwarts was indicative of a deeply ingrained prejudice against certain varieties of experience. In advanced industrial societies paranormal” states of consciousness are readily disparaged as “abnormal” or pathological. Such attitudes, cultural as much as professional, played a crucial role in circumscribing the horizon of scientific investigation into hallucinogenic agents.[10] ~ Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain

Here Lee and Shlain resort to name calling and ridicule, for example referring to psychotomimetic stalwarts and deeply ingrained prejudice, as the foundation of their argument rather than looking at the evidence itself which sounds ironic in a book about the CIA using these same substances for mind control. And who were these psychotomimetic stalwarts? Was it only Dr. Hoch? As well see, Lee and Shlain seem to also be referring to Aldous Huxley, Humphry Osmond, Albert Hofmann and Sasha Shulgin.

Lee and Shlain, while partially exposing MKULTRA, then promote the idea that the psychotomimetic theory was invalid. They continue:

Despite widespread acknowledgment that the model psychosis concept had outlived its usefulness, the psychiatric orientation articulated by those of Dr. Hoch’s persuasion prevailed in the end. When it came time to lay down their hand, the medical establishment and the media both “mimicked” the line that for years had been secretly promoted by the CIA and the militarythat hallucinogenic drugs were extremely dangerous because they drove people insane, and all this talk about creativity and personal growth was just a lot of hocus pocus. This perception of LSD governed the major policy decisions enacted by the FDA and the drug control apparatus in the years ahead.[11] [emphasis added] ~ Marty Lee and Bruce Shlain

Here we see the idea that the psychosis concept had outlived its usefulness. What does that mean exactly? Its an ambiguous statement. Most assume it to mean that the substances didnt actually create psychosis. But is that true? What if, instead, due to the above-mentioned suggestibility factor and set and setting, they decided to remarket these drugs as spiritual rather than psychotic? If we entertain this idea, we realize it could take just a new name to change not only everything about the outcome of the experience, but how quickly the youth and counterculture would adopt them. Well expand on this idea throughout this article.

On a side note, it should probably be mentioned that it was actually Timothy Leary and Arthur Kleps who went (along with Walter Bowart and Allen Ginsberg) before Congress in 1966 recommending regulation. You cant have a good youthful rebellion with legal substances!

Senator Dodd. Don’t you think that the drug needs to be put under control and restriction?

Dr. LEARY. Pardon, sir.

Senator Dodd. Let me rephrase my question. Dont you feel that LSD should be put under some control, or restriction as to its use?

Dr. LEARY. Yes, sir.

Senator Dodd. As to its sale, its possession, and its use?

Dr. LEARY. I definitely do. In the first place, I think that the 1965 Drug Control Act, which this committee, I understand, sponsored, is the high water mark in such legislation.

Dr. Leary. Yes, sir. I agree completely with your bill, the 1965 Drug Control Act. I think this is—

Senator Dodd. That the Federal Government and the State governments ought to control it?

Dr. Leary. Exactly. I am in 100 percent agreement with the 1965 drug control bill.

Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts. So there shouldnt be—

Dr. Leary. I wish the States, I might add, would follow the wisdom of this committee and the Senate and Congress of the United States and follow your lead with exactly that kind of legislation.

Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts. So there should not be indiscriminate distribution of this drug should there?

Dr. Leary. I have never suggested that, sir. I have never urged anyone to take LSD. I have always deplored indiscriminate or unprepared use.[12]

As the University of Richmond website relates:

Leary was one of many experts who testified at the 1966 subcommittee hearings, which showed both ardent support and uncompromising opposition to LSD.[] Just several months after the subcommittee hearings, LSD was banned in California. By October 1968, possession of LSD was banned federally in the United States with the passage of the Staggers-Dodd Bill, marking a tremendous step towards the War On Drugs campaign that would arise in the 1970s.[13]

But who within the CIA had promoted this term psychotomimetic?

For a moment, lets turn to the Oxford English Dictionary, where, under the definition of psychotomimetic, it states:

psychotomimetic, a. and n.

A.A adj. Having an effect on the mind orig. likened to that of a psychotic state, with abnormal changes in thought, perception, and mood and a subjective feeling of an expansion of consciousness; of or pertaining to a drug with this effect.[14]

Under the quotations in the OED for psychotomimetic, we further see that R. W. Gerard is listed for 1955, and the second entry for 1957 is from Dr. Humphry Osmond:

1956 R. W. Gerard in Neuropharmacology: Trans. 2nd Conf., 1955 132 Let us at least agree to speak of so-called psychoses when we are dealing with them in animals. Along that same line, I have liked a term which I have been using latelypsychosomimeticfor these agents instead of schizophrenogenic. 1957 Neuropharmacology: Trans. 3rd Conf., 1956 205 (heading) Effects of psychosomimetic drugs in animals and man. 1957 H. Osmond in Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. LXVI. 417 The designation psychotomimetic agents for those drugs that mimic some of the mental aberrations that occur in the psychoses had been suggested by Ralph Gerard and seemed especially appropriate.[15] [emphasis added]

If we read the OED entry carefully, what we see above is that Gerard actually used the term psychosomimetic with an s, rather than psychotomimetic with a t. In fact, it appears from the OED that it was Osmond himself who was first to begin using the term psychotomimetic, which was also adopted by the CIA and military for their purposes. This same Osmond, as well soon discover, just months later created the name psychedelic for these substances. Notice that Osmond states The designation psychotomimetic agents [] seemed especially appropriate. That Osmond created the word psychotomimetic is a fact that Lee and Shlain seem to want to avoid.

In another interesting quote in the OED from 1970, we see none other than Sasha Shulgin referring to ibogaine as a psychotomimetic:

1970 A. T. Shulgin in D. H. Efron Psychotomimetic Drugs 25 Ibogaineis another example in the family of psychotomimetics, with complex structures and no resemblance to known metabolic materials.[16]

Was this a slip by authors Lee and Shlain revealing that Osmond and Shulgin were CIA?

It is true, in fact, that both worked for the government. While Shulgin worked for the DEA, he was also a member of the infamous Bohemian Club[17]; and as we’ll see below, Osmond is revealed in the CIAs MKULTRA documents.[18] But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Well come back to this shortly.

In 1954, pre-dating the OEDs reference to Huxleys close friend Humphry Osmond, in The Doors of Perception Huxley stated:

Most takers of mescalin [sic] experience only the heavenly part of schizophrenia. The drug brings hell and purgatory only to those who have had a recent case of jaundice, or who suffer from periodical depressions or chronic anxiety.[19] ~ Aldous Huxley

He continued:

The schizophrenic is a soul not merely unregenerate, but desperately sick into the bargain. His sickness consists in the inability to take refuge from inner and outer reality (as the sane person habitually does) in the homemade universe of common sensethe strictly human world of useful notions, shared symbols and socially acceptable conventions. The schizophrenic is like a man permanently under the influence of mescaline[20] ~ Aldous Huxley

In Heaven and Hell Huxley went on:

Many schizophrenics have their times of heavenly happiness; but the fact that (unlike the mascalin [sic] taker) they do not know when, if ever, they will be permitted to return to the reassuring banality of everyday experience causes even heaven to seem appalling.[21] ~ Aldous Huxley

In their letters, Aldous Huxley and Humphry Osmond were very concerned over what to call these substances, but why should the public have cared what these two people wanted to call them? They were still mostly secret at this time and hardly anyone knew about them except through marketing efforts and publications. Furthermore, why were Huxley and Osmond so concerned, and why would it be a problem, unless there were an ulterior motive?

The issue here is a Bernaysian/Koestler-type marketing strategy. With a word like psychotomimetic these substances would have never taken hold in the youth and countercultures. It was fine for underground LSD and other studies by the intelligence community, but for the new purpose, theyd need a new name. From Huxleys letters in a book titled Moksha, we find:

740 North Kings Road, Los Angeles 46, Cal. 30 March, 1956

Dear Humphry,

Thank you for your letter, which I shall answer only briefly, since I look forward to talking to you at length in New York before very long. About a name for these drugs – what a problem! I have looked into Liddell and Scott and find that there is a verb phaneroein, “to make visible or manifest,” and an adjective phaneros, meaning “manifest, open to sight, evident.” The word is used in botany – phanerogam as opposed to cryptogam. Psychodetic (4) is something I don’t quite get the hang of it. Is it an analogue of geodetic, geodesy? If so, it would mean mind-dividing, as geodesy means earth-dividing, from ge and daiein. Could you call these drugs psychophans? or phaneropsychic drugs? Or what about phanerothymes? Thymos means soul, in its primary usage, and is the equivalent of Latin animus. The word is euphonious and easy to pronounce; besides it has relatives in the jargon of psychology-e.g. cyclothyme. On the whole I think this is better than psychophan or phaneropsychic. []

Yours, Aldous

“To make this trivial world sublime,

Take half a gram of phanerothyme.

(4) Osmond had mentioned psychedelics, as a new name for mind-changing drugs to replace the term psychotomimetics. Huxley apparently misread the word as “psychodetics,” hence his mystification. Osmond replied: “To fathom Hell or soar angelic, Just take a pinch of psychedelic.

Huxley still did not get the spelling, which he made psychodelic [Smith’s note]. Huxley invariably uses psychodelic for psychedelic, as he and others thought the latter term incorrect. Huxley’s spelling has been retained, as this was undoubtedly his preference. However, it fails one criterion of Osmond, which is that the term be “uncontaminated by other associations.”[22] [emphasis added]

Why was it important to meet the criterion for the new word to be uncontaminated by other associations? They dont say, but we can surmise that its because of this remarketing strategy and they needed to be careful of the term chosen. The word psychodelic contains psycho, but psycho carries negative associations. This explains why psychedelic is the only word in the English language to use psyche rather than psycho the criterion it failed was complete avoidance of any name that could imply a negative experience. Lee and Shlain in Acid Dreams give their version of the story thus:

The two men had been close friends ever since Huxley’s initial mescaline experience, and they carried on a lively correspondence. At first Huxley proposed the word phanerothyme, which derived from roots relating to “spirit” or “soul.” A letter to Osmond included the following couplet:

To make this trivial world sublime,

Take half a Gramme of phanerothyme.

To which Osmond responded:

To fathom hell or soar angelic

Just take a pinch of psychedelic.

And so it came to pass that the word psychedelic was coined. Osmond introduced it to the psychiatric establishment in 1957. Addressing a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences, he argued that hallucinogenic drugs did “much more” than mimic psychosis, and therefore an appropriate name must “include concepts of enriching the mind and enlarging the vision.” He suggested a neutral term to replace psychotomimetic, and his choice was certainly vague enough. Literally translated, psychedelic means “mind-manifesting,” implying that drugs of this category do not produce a predictable sequence of events but bring to the fore whatever is latent within the unconscious. Accordingly Osmond recognized that LSD could be a valuable tool for psychotherapy. This notion represented a marked departure from the military-medical paradigm, which held that every LSD experience was automatically an experimental psychosis.[23] ~ Marty Lee & Bruce Shlain

Its ironic that they claimed the term psychedelic, for mind manifesting is neutral. A more appropriate word to describe it would be ambiguous. But notice that its gone from mimicking psychosis to manifesting the mind. And just months earlier Osmond was promoting the word psychotomimetic, which he said seemed especially appropriate. Here Lee and Shlain admit that Albert Hofmann was involved with this public relations scheme:

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Cyberpunk – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jun 192016
 

Primary exponents of the cyberpunk field include William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, Bruce Bethke, Pat Cadigan, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley and Philip K. Dick (author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, from which the film Blade Runner was adapted).[8]

Blade Runner can be seen as a quintessential example of the cyberpunk style and theme.[4]Video games, board games, and tabletop role-playing games, such as Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun, often feature storylines that are heavily influenced by cyberpunk writing and movies. Beginning in the early 1990s, some trends in fashion and music were also labeled as cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is also featured prominently in anime and manga:[9]Akira, Gunnm, Ghost in the Shell, Serial Experiments Lain, Dennou Coil, Ergo Proxy and Psycho Pass being among the most notable.[9][10]

Cyberpunk writers tend to use elements from hardboiled detective fiction, film noir, and postmodernist prose to describe the often nihilistic underground side of an electronic society. The genre’s vision of a troubled future is often called the antithesis of the generally utopian visions of the future popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Gibson defined cyberpunk’s antipathy towards utopian SF in his 1981 short story “The Gernsback Continuum,” which pokes fun at and, to a certain extent, condemns utopian science fiction.[13][14][15]

In some cyberpunk writing, much of the action takes place online, in cyberspace, blurring the border between actual and virtual reality.[16] A typical trope in such work is a direct connection between the human brain and computer systems. Cyberpunk settings are dystopias with corruption, computers and internet connectivity. Giant, multinational corporations have for the most part replaced governments as centers of political, economic, and even military power.

The economic and technological state of Japan in the 80s influenced Cyberpunk literature at the time. Of Japan’s influence on the genre, William Gibson said, “Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk.”[12] Cyberpunk is often set in urbanized, artificial landscapes, and “city lights, receding” was used by Gibson as one of the genre’s first metaphors for cyberspace and virtual reality.[17]

One of the cyberpunk genre’s prototype characters is Case, from Gibson’s Neuromancer.[18] Case is a “console cowboy,” a brilliant hacker who has betrayed his organized criminal partners. Robbed of his talent through a crippling injury inflicted by the vengeful partners, Case unexpectedly receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be healed by expert medical care but only if he participates in another criminal enterprise with a new crew.

Like Case, many cyberpunk protagonists are manipulated, placed in situations where they have little or no choice, and although they might see things through, they do not necessarily come out any further ahead than they previously were. These anti-heroes”criminals, outcasts, visionaries, dissenters and misfits”[19]call to mind the private eye of detective fiction. This emphasis on the misfits and the malcontents is the “punk” component of cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk can be intended to disquiet readers and call them to action. It often expresses a sense of rebellion, suggesting that one could describe it as a type of culture revolution in science fiction. In the words of author and critic David Brin:

…a closer look [at cyberpunk authors] reveals that they nearly always portray future societies in which governments have become wimpy and pathetic …Popular science fiction tales by Gibson, Williams, Cadigan and others do depict Orwellian accumulations of power in the next century, but nearly always clutched in the secretive hands of a wealthy or corporate elite.[20]

Cyberpunk stories have also been seen as fictional forecasts of the evolution of the Internet. The earliest descriptions of a global communications network came long before the World Wide Web entered popular awareness, though not before traditional science-fiction writers such as Arthur C. Clarke and some social commentators such as James Burke began predicting that such networks would eventually form.[21]

The science-fiction editor Gardner Dozois is generally acknowledged as the person who popularized the use of the term “cyberpunk” as a kind of literature [according to whom?], although Minnesota writer Bruce Bethke coined the term in 1980 for his short story “Cyberpunk,” which was published in the November 1983 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories.[22] The term was quickly appropriated as a label to be applied to the works of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Pat Cadigan and others. Of these, Sterling became the movement’s chief ideologue, thanks to his fanzine Cheap Truth. John Shirley wrote articles on Sterling and Rucker’s significance.[23]John Brunner’s 1975 novel The Shockwave Rider is considered by many[who?] to be the first cyberpunk novel with many of the tropes commonly associated with the genre, some five years before the term was popularized by Dozois.[24]

William Gibson with his novel Neuromancer (1984) is likely[according to whom?] the most famous writer connected with the term cyberpunk. He emphasized style, a fascination with surfaces, and atmosphere over traditional science-fiction tropes. Regarded as ground-breaking and sometimes as “the archetypal cyberpunk work,”[7]Neuromancer was awarded the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards. Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) followed after Gibson’s popular debut novel. According to the Jargon File, “Gibson’s near-total ignorance of computers and the present-day hacker culture enabled him to speculate about the role of computers and hackers in the future in ways hackers have since found both irritatingly nave and tremendously stimulating.”[25]

Early on, cyberpunk was hailed as a radical departure from science-fiction standards and a new manifestation of vitality.[26] Shortly thereafter, however, some critics arose to challenge its status as a revolutionary movement. These critics said that the SF New Wave of the 1960s was much more innovative as far as narrative techniques and styles were concerned.[27] Furthermore, while Neuromancer’s narrator may have had an unusual “voice” for science fiction, much older examples can be found: Gibson’s narrative voice, for example, resembles that of an updated Raymond Chandler, as in his novel The Big Sleep (1939).[26] Others noted that almost all traits claimed to be uniquely cyberpunk could in fact be found in older writers’ worksoften citing J. G. Ballard, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Stanisaw Lem, Samuel R. Delany, and even William S. Burroughs.[26] For example, Philip K. Dick’s works contain recurring themes of social decay, artificial intelligence, paranoia, and blurred lines between objective and subjective realities, and the influential cyberpunk movie Blade Runner (1982) is based on his book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Humans linked to machines are found in Pohl and Kornbluth’s Wolfbane (1959) and Roger Zelazny’s Creatures of Light and Darkness (1968).[citation needed]

In 1994, scholar Brian Stonehill suggested that Thomas Pynchon’s 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow “not only curses but precurses what we now glibly dub cyberspace.”[28] Other important[according to whom?] predecessors include Alfred Bester’s two most celebrated novels, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination,[29] as well as Vernor Vinge’s novella True Names.[30]

Science-fiction writer David Brin describes cyberpunk as “the finest free promotion campaign ever waged on behalf of science fiction.” It may not have attracted the “real punks,” but it did ensnare many new readers, and it provided the sort of movement that postmodern literary critics found alluring. Cyberpunk made science fiction more attractive to academics, argues Brin; in addition, it made science fiction more profitable to Hollywood and to the visual arts generally. Although the “self-important rhetoric and whines of persecution” on the part of cyberpunk fans were irritating at worst and humorous at best, Brin declares that the “rebels did shake things up. We owe them a debt.”[31]

Fredric Jameson considers cyberpunk the “supreme literary expression if not of postmodernism, then of late capitalism itself”.[32]

Cyberpunk further inspired many professional writers who were not among the “original” cyberpunks to incorporate cyberpunk ideas into their own works,[citation needed] such as George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails. Wired magazine, created by Louis Rossetto and Jane Metcalfe, mixes new technology, art, literature, and current topics in order to interest today’s cyberpunk fans, which Paula Yoo claims “proves that hardcore hackers, multimedia junkies, cyberpunks and cellular freaks are poised to take over the world.”[33]

The film Blade Runner (1982)adapted from Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?is set in 2019 in a dystopian future in which manufactured beings called replicants are slaves used on space colonies and are legal prey on Earth to various bounty hunters who “retire” (kill) them. Although Blade Runner was largely unsuccessful in its first theatrical release, it found a viewership in the home video market and became a cult film.[34] Since the movie omits the religious and mythical elements of Dick’s original novel (e.g. empathy boxes and Wilbur Mercer), it falls more strictly within the cyberpunk genre than the novel does. William Gibson would later reveal that upon first viewing the film, he was surprised at how the look of this film matched his vision when he was working on Neuromancer. The film’s tone has since been the staple of many cyberpunk movies, such as The Matrix (1999), which uses a wide variety of cyberpunk elements.

The number of films in the genre or at least using a few genre elements has grown steadily since Blade Runner. Several of Philip K. Dick’s works have been adapted to the silver screen. The films Johnny Mnemonic[35] and New Rose Hotel,[36][37] both based upon short stories by William Gibson, flopped commercially and critically.

In addition, “tech-noir” film as a hybrid genre, means a work of combining neo-noir and science fiction or cyberpunk. It includes many cyberpunk films such as Blade Runner, Burst City,[38]The Terminator, Robocop, 12 Monkeys, The Lawnmower Man, Hackers, Hardware, and Strange Days.

Cyberpunk themes are widely visible in anime and manga. In Japan, where cosplay is popular and not only teenagers display such fashion styles, cyberpunk has been accepted and its influence is widespread. William Gibson’s Neuromancer, whose influence dominated the early cyberpunk movement, was also set in Chiba, one of Japan’s largest industrial areas, although at the time of writing the novel Gibson did not know the location of Chiba and had no idea how perfectly it fit his vision in some ways. The exposure to cyberpunk ideas and fiction in the mid 1980s has allowed it to seep into the Japanese culture.

Cyberpunk anime and manga draw upon a futuristic vision which has elements in common with western science fiction and therefore have received wide international acceptance outside Japan. “The conceptualization involved in cyberpunk is more of forging ahead, looking at the new global culture. It is a culture that does not exist right now, so the Japanese concept of a cyberpunk future, seems just as valid as a Western one, especially as Western cyberpunk often incorporates many Japanese elements.”[39] William Gibson is now a frequent visitor to Japan, and he came to see that many of his visions of Japan have become a reality:

Modern Japan simply was cyberpunk. The Japanese themselves knew it and delighted in it. I remember my first glimpse of Shibuya, when one of the young Tokyo journalists who had taken me there, his face drenched with the light of a thousand media-sunsall that towering, animated crawl of commercial informationsaid, “You see? You see? It is Blade Runner town.” And it was. It so evidently was.[40]

Cyberpunk has influenced many anime and manga including the ground-breaking Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, Battle Angel Alita, Megazone 23, Neo Tokyo, Goku Midnight Eye, Cyber City Oedo 808, Bubblegum Crisis, A.D. Police: Dead End City, Angel Cop, Extra, Blame!, Armitage III, Texhnolyze, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Psycho-Pass.

There are many cyberpunk video games. Popular series include the Metal Gear series, Megami Tensei series, Deus Ex series, Syndicate series, and System Shock and its sequel. Other games, like Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and the Matrix series, are based upon genre movies, or role-playing games (for instance the various Shadowrun games). CD Projekt RED are currently developing a cyberpunk game, Cyberpunk 2077.[41]

Several role-playing games (RPGs) called Cyberpunk exist: Cyberpunk, Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk v3, by R. Talsorian Games, and GURPS Cyberpunk, published by Steve Jackson Games as a module of the GURPS family of RPGs. Cyberpunk 2020 was designed with the settings of William Gibson’s writings in mind, and to some extent with his approval[citation needed], unlike the approach taken by FASA in producing the transgenre Shadowrun game. Both are set in the near future, in a world where cybernetics are prominent. In addition, Iron Crown Enterprises released an RPG named Cyberspace, which was out of print for several years until recently being re-released in online PDF form.

In 1990, in a convergence of cyberpunk art and reality, the United States Secret Service raided Steve Jackson Games’s headquarters and confiscated all their computers. This was allegedly because the GURPS Cyberpunk sourcebook could be used to perpetrate computer crime. That was, in fact, not the main reason for the raid, but after the event it was too late to correct the public’s impression.[42] Steve Jackson Games later won a lawsuit against the Secret Service, aided by the new Electronic Frontier Foundation. This event has achieved a sort of notoriety, which has extended to the book itself as well. All published editions of GURPS Cyberpunk have a tagline on the front cover, which reads “The book that was seized by the U.S. Secret Service!” Inside, the book provides a summary of the raid and its aftermath.

Cyberpunk has also inspired several tabletop, miniature and board games such as Necromunda by Games Workshop. Netrunner is a collectible card game introduced in 1996, based on the Cyberpunk 2020 role-playing game. Tokyo NOVA, debuting in 1993, is a cyberpunk role-playing game that uses playing cards instead of dice.

“Much of the industrial/dance heavy ‘Cyberpunk’recorded in Billy Idol’s Macintosh-run studiorevolves around Idol’s theme of the common man rising up to fight against a faceless, soulless, corporate world.”

Some musicians and acts have been classified as cyberpunk due to their aesthetic style and musical content. Often dealing with dystopian visions of the future or biomechanical themes, some fit more squarely in the category than others. Bands whose music has been classified as cyberpunk include Psydoll, Front Line Assembly, Clock DVA and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Some musicians not normally associated with cyberpunk have at times been inspired to create concept albums exploring such themes. Albums such as Gary Numan’s Replicas, The Pleasure Principle and Telekon were heavily inspired by the works of Philip K. Dick. Kraftwerk’s The Man-Machine and Computer World albums both explored the theme of humanity becoming dependent on technology. Nine Inch Nails’ concept album Year Zero also fits into this category. Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk drew heavily from cyberpunk literature and the cyberdelic counter culture in its creation. 1. Outside, a cyberpunk narrative fueled concept album by David Bowie, was warmly met by critics upon its release in 1995. Many musicians have also taken inspiration from specific cyberpunk works or authors, including Sonic Youth, whose albums Sister and Daydream Nation take influence from the works of Phillip K. Dick and William Gibson respectively.

Vaporwave and Synthwave are also influenced by cyberpunk. The former has been interpreted as a dystopian[44] critique of capitalism[45] in the vein of cyberpunk and the latter as a nostalgic retrofuturistic revival of aspects of cyberpunk’s origins.

Furthermore, many dubstep producers, such as Machine Man and Ghosthack, have found inspiration in cyberpunk themes for their works.

Some Neo-Futurism artworks and cityscapes have been influenced by cyberpunk, such as [12] the Sony Center in the Potsdamer Platz public square of Berlin, Germany,[46]Hong Kong, and Shanghai.[47]

Several subcultures have been inspired by cyberpunk fiction. These include the cyberdelic counter culture of the late 1980s and early 90s. Cyberdelic, whose adherents referred to themselves as “cyberpunks”, attempted to blend the psychedelic art and drug movement with the technology of cyberculture. Early adherents included Timothy Leary, Mark Frauenfelder and R. U. Sirius. The movement largely faded following the dot-com bubble implosion of 2000.

Cybergoth is a fashion and dance subculture which draws its inspiration from cyberpunk fiction, as well as rave and Gothic subcultures. In addition, a distinct cyberpunk fashion of its own has emerged in recent years[when?] which rejects the raver and goth influences of cybergoth, and draws inspiration from urban street fashion, “post apocalypse”, functional clothing, high tech sports wear, tactical uniform and multifunction. This fashion goes by names like “tech wear”, “goth ninja” or “tech ninja”. Important designers in this type of fashion[according to whom?] are ACRONYM, Demobaza, Boris Bidjan Saberi, Rick Owens and Alexander Wang.

The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong (demolished in 1994) is often referenced as the model cyberpunk/dystopian slum as, given its poor living conditions at the time coupled by the city’s political, physical, and economic isolation has caused many in academia to be fascinated by the ingenuity of its spawning.[48]

As a wider variety of writers began to work with cyberpunk concepts, new subgenres of science fiction emerged, some of which could be considered as playing off the cyberpunk label, others which could be considered as legitimate explorations into newer territory. These focused on technology and its social effects in different ways. One prominent subgenre is “steampunk,” which is set in an alternate history Victorian era that combines anachronistic technology with cyberpunk’s bleak film noir world view. The term was originally coined around 1987 as a joke to describe some of the novels of Tim Powers, James P. Blaylock, and K.W. Jeter, but by the time Gibson and Sterling entered the subgenre with their collaborative novel The Difference Engine the term was being used earnestly as well.[49]

Another subgenre is “biopunk” (cyberpunk themes dominated by biotechnology) from the early 1990s, a derivative style building on biotechnology rather than informational technology. In these stories, people are changed in some way not by mechanical means, but by genetic manipulation. Paul Di Filippo is seen as the most prominent biopunk writer, including his half-serious ribofunk. Bruce Sterling’s Shaper/Mechanist cycle is also seen as a major influence. In addition, some people consider works such as Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age to be postcyberpunk.

Cyberpunk works have been described as well-situated within postmodern literature.[50]

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation – Wikipedia, the free …

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Jun 192016
 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a magnetic method used to stimulate small regions of the brain. During a TMS procedure, a magnetic field generator, or “coil”, is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment.[1]:3 The coil produces small electric currents in the region of the brain just under the coil via electromagnetic induction. The coil is connected to a pulse generator, or stimulator, that delivers electric current to the coil.[2]

TMS is used diagnostically to measure the connection between the brain and a muscle to evaluate damage from stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, movement disorders, motor neuron disease and injuries and other disorders affecting the facial and other cranial nerves and the spinal cord.[3]

Evidence suggests it is useful for neuropathic pain[4] and treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.[4][5] A 2015 Cochrane review found not enough evidence to make any conclusions in schizophrenia.[6] For negative symptoms another review found possible efficacy.[4] As of 2014, all other investigated uses of rTMS have only possible or no clinical efficacy.[4]

Matching the discomfort of TMS to distinguish true effects from placebo is an important and challenging issue that influences the results of clinical trials.[4][7][8][9] The greatest risks of TMS are the rare occurrence of syncope (fainting) and even less commonly, induced seizures.[7] Other adverse effects of TMS include discomfort or pain, transient induction of hypomania, transient cognitive changes, transient hearing loss, transient impairment of working memory, and induced currents in electrical circuits in implanted devices.[7]

The use of TMS can be divided into diagnostic and therapeutic uses.

TMS can be used clinically to measure activity and function of specific brain circuits in humans.[3] The most robust and widely accepted use is in measuring the connection between the primary motor cortex and a muscle to evaluate damage from stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, movement disorders, motor neuron disease and injuries and other disorders affecting the facial and other cranial nerves and the spinal cord.[3][10][11][12] TMS has been suggested as a means of assessing short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) which measures the internal pathways of the motor cortex but this use has not yet been validated.[13]

For neuropathic pain, for which there is little effective treatment, high-frequency (HF) repetitive TMS (rTMS) appears effective.[4] For treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, HF-rTMS of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) appears effective and low-frequency (LF) rTMS of the right DLPFC has probable efficacy.[4][5] The Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has endorsed rTMS for treatment resistant MDD.[14]

The FDA approved use of a single-pulse TMS device for treating migraine with aura on the basis of a randomized, double-blinded study in 164 people; 39% of the treatment arm were pain free two hours after treatment vs 22% of people in the control arm.[15]

Although TMS is generally regarded as safe, risks increase for therapeutic rTMS compared to single or paired TMS for diagnostic purposes.[16] In the field of therapeutic TMS, risks increase with higher frequencies.[7]

The greatest immediate risk is the rare occurrence of syncope (fainting) and even less commonly, induced seizures.[7][17]

Other adverse short-term effects of TMS include discomfort or pain, transient induction of hypomania, transient cognitive changes, transient hearing loss, transient impairment of working memory, and induced currents in electrical circuits in implanted devices.[7]

During a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedure, a magnetic field generator, or “coil” is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment.[1]:3 The coil produces small electric currents in the region of the brain just under the coil via electromagnetic induction. The coil is positioned by finding anatomical landmarks on the skull including, but not limited to, the inion or the nasion.[18] The coil is connected to a pulse generator, or stimulator, that delivers electric current to the coil.[2]

Nexstim obtained 510(k) FDA clearance of Navigated Brain Stimulation for the assessment of the primary motor cortex for pre-procedural planning in December 2009.[19]

Nexstim obtained FDA 510K clearance for NexSpeech navigated brain stimulation device for neurosurgical planning in June 2011.[20]

MagVenture received FDA 510K clearance to market its MagVita Therapy System as a medical device for the delivery of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a treatment for major depressive disorder in July 2015.[21]

Neuronetics obtained FDA 510K clearance to market its NeuroStar System for use in adults with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (December 2008).[22]

The use of single-pulse TMS was approved by the FDA for treatment of migraines in December 2013.[23] It is approved as a Class II medical device under the “de novo pathway”.[24]

In 2013, several commercial health insurance plans in the United States, including Anthem, Health Net, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and of Rhode Island, covered TMS for the treatment of depression for the first time.[25] In contrast, UnitedHealthcare issued a medical policy for TMS in 2013 that stated there is insufficient evidence that the procedure is beneficial for health outcomes in patients with depression. UnitedHealthcare noted that methodological concerns raised about the scientific evidence studying TMS for depression include small sample size, lack of a validated sham comparison in randomized controlled studies, and variable uses of outcome measures.[26] Other commercial insurance plans whose 2013 medical coverage policies stated that the role of TMS in the treatment of depression and other disorders had not been clearly established or remained investigational included Aetna, Cigna and Regence.[27]

Policies for Medicare coverage vary among local jurisdictions within the Medicare system,[28] and Medicare coverage for TMS has varied among jurisdictions and with time. For example:

The United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issues guidance to the National Health Service (NHS) in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. NICE guidance does not cover whether or not the NHS should fund a procedure. Local NHS bodies (primary care trusts and hospital trusts) make decisions about funding after considering the clinical effectiveness of the procedure and whether the procedure represents value for money for the NHS.[33]

NICE evaluated TMS for severe depression (IPG 242) in 2007, and subsequently considered TMS for reassessment in January 2011 but did not change its evaluation.[34] The Institute found that TMS is safe, but there is insufficient evidence for its efficacy.[34]

In January 2014, NICE reported the results of an evaluation of TMS for treating and preventing migraine (IPG 477). NICE found that short-term TMS is safe but there is insufficient evidence to evaluate safety for long-term and frequent uses. It found that evidence on the efficacy of TMS for the treatment of migraine is limited in quantity, that evidence for the prevention of migraine is limited in both quality and quantity.[35]

TMS uses electromagnetic induction to generate an electric current across the scalp and skull without physical contact. A plastic-enclosed coil of wire is held next to the skull and when activated, produces a magnetic field oriented orthogonally to the plane of the coil. The magnetic field passes unimpeded through the skin and skull, inducing an oppositely directed current in the brain that activates nearby nerve cells in much the same way as currents applied directly to the cortical surface.[36]

The path of this current is difficult to model because the brain is irregularly shaped and electricity and magnetism are not conducted uniformly throughout its tissues. The magnetic field is about the same strength as an MRI, and the pulse generally reaches no more than 5 centimeters into the brain unless using the deep transcranial magnetic stimulation variant of TMS.[37] Deep TMS can reach up to 6cm into the brain to stimulate deeper layers of the motor cortex, such as that which controls leg motion.[38]

From the BiotSavart law

it has been shown that a current through a wire generates a magnetic field around that wire. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is achieved by quickly discharging current from a large capacitor into a coil to produce pulsed magnetic fields between 2 and 3 T.[39] By directing the magnetic field pulse at a targeted area of the brain, one can either depolarize or hyperpolarize neurons in the brain. The magnetic flux density pulse generated by the current pulse through the coil causes an electric field as explained by the Maxwell-Faraday equation,

This electric field causes a change in the transmembrane current of the neuron, which leads to the depolarization or hyperpolarization of the neuron and the firing of an action potential.[39]

The exact details of how TMS functions are still being explored. The effects of TMS can be divided into two types depending on the mode of stimulation:

MRI images, recorded during TMS of the motor cortex of the brain, have been found to match very closely with PET produced by voluntary movements of the hand muscles innervated by TMS, to 522mm of accuracy.[42] The localisation of motor areas with TMS has also been seen to correlate closely to MEG[43] and also fMRI.[44]

The design of transcranial magnetic stimulation coils used in either treatment or diagnostic/experimental studies may differ in a variety of ways. These differences should be considered in the interpretation of any study result, and the type of coil used should be specified in the study methods for any published reports.

The most important considerations include:

With regard to coil composition, the core material may be either a magnetically inert substrate (i.e., the so-called air-core coil design), or possess a solid, ferromagnetically active material (i.e., the so-called solid-core design). Solid core coil design result in a more efficient transfer of electrical energy into a magnetic field, with a substantially reduced amount of energy dissipated as heat, and so can be operated under more aggressive duty cycles often mandated in therapeutic protocols, without treatment interruption due to heat accumulation, or the use of an accessory method of cooling the coil during operation. Varying the geometric shape of the coil itself may also result in variations in the focality, shape, and depth of cortical penetration of the magnetic field. Differences in the coil substance as well as the electronic operation of the power supply to the coil may also result in variations in the biophysical characteristics of the resulting magnetic pulse (e.g., width or duration of the magnetic field pulse). All of these features should be considered when comparing results obtained from different studies, with respect to both safety and efficacy.[45]

A number of different types of coils exist, each of which produce different magnetic field patterns. Some examples:

Design variations in the shape of the TMS coils allow much deeper penetration of the brain than the standard depth of 1.5-2.5cm. Circular crown coils, Hesed (or H-core) coils, double cone coils, and other experimental variations can induce excitation or inhibition of neurons deeper in the brain including activation of motor neurons for the cerebellum, legs and pelvic floor. Though able to penetrate deeper in the brain, they are less able to produce a focused, localized response and are relatively non-focal.[7]

Early attempts at stimulation of the brain using a magnetic field included those, in 1896, of Jacques-Arsne d’Arsonval in Paris and in 1910, of Silvanus P. Thompson in London.[47] The principle of inductive brain stimulation with eddy currents has been noted since the 20th century[citation needed]. The first successful TMS study was performed in 1985 by Anthony Barker and his colleagues at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, England.[48] Its earliest application demonstrated conduction of nerve impulses from the motor cortex to the spinal cord, stimulating muscle contractions in the hand. As compared to the previous method of transcranial stimulation proposed by Merton and Morton in 1980[49] in which direct electric current was applied to the scalp, the use of electromagnets greatly reduced the discomfort of the procedure, and allowed mapping of the cerebral cortex and its connections.

TMS research in animal studies is limited due to early FDA approval of TMS treatment of drug-resistant depression. Because of this, there has been no specific coils for animal models. Hence, there are limited number of TMS coils that can be used for animal studies.[50] There are some attempts in the literature showing new coil designs for mice with an improved stimulation profile.[51]

Areas of research include:

It is difficult to establish a convincing form of “sham” TMS to test for placebo effects during controlled trials in conscious individuals, due to the neck pain, headache and twitching in the scalp or upper face associated with the intervention.[4][7] “Sham” TMS manipulations can affect cerebral glucose metabolism and MEPs, which may confound results.[61] This problem is exacerbated when using subjective measures of improvement.[7] Placebo responses in trials of rTMS in major depression are negatively associated with refractoriness to treatment, vary among studies and can influence results.[62]

A 2011 review found that only 13.5% of 96 randomized control studies of rTMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex had reported blinding success and that, in those studies, people in real rTMS groups were significantly more likely to think that they had received real TMS, compared with those in sham rTMS groups.[63] Depending on the research question asked and the experimental design, matching the discomfort of rTMS to distinguish true effects from placebo can be an important and challenging issue.[4][7][8][9]

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Human cloning – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Cloning  Comments Off on Human cloning – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 192016
 

Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human. The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning, which is the reproduction of human cells and tissue. It does not refer to the natural conception and delivery of identical twins. The possibility of human cloning has raised controversies. These ethical concerns have prompted several nations to pass laws regarding human cloning and its legality.

Two commonly discussed types of theoretical human cloning are: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning would involve cloning cells from a human for use in medicine and transplants, and is an active area of research, but is not in medical practice anywhere in the world, as of January 2016[update]. Two common methods of therapeutic cloning that are being researched are somatic-cell nuclear transfer and, more recently, pluripotent stem cell induction. Reproductive cloning would involve making an entire cloned human, instead of just specific cells or tissues.

Although the possibility of cloning humans had been the subject of speculation for much of the 20th century, scientists and policy makers began to take the prospect seriously in the mid-1960s.

Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Joshua Lederberg advocated cloning and genetic engineering in an article in The American Naturalist in 1966 and again, the following year, in The Washington Post.[1] He sparked a debate with conservative bioethicist Leon Kass, who wrote at the time that “the programmed reproduction of man will, in fact, dehumanize him.” Another Nobel Laureate, James D. Watson, publicized the potential and the perils of cloning in his Atlantic Monthly essay, “Moving Toward the Clonal Man”, in 1971.[2]

With the cloning of a sheep known as Dolly in 1996 by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), the idea of human cloning became a hot debate topic.[3] Many nations outlawed it, while a few scientists promised to make a clone within the next few years. The first hybrid human clone was created in November 1998, by Advanced Cell Technology. It was created using SCNT – a nucleus was taken from a man’s leg cell and inserted into a cow’s egg from which the nucleus had been removed, and the hybrid cell was cultured, and developed into an embryo. The embryo was destroyed after 12 days.[4]

In 2004 and 2005, Hwang Woo-suk, a professor at Seoul National University, published two separate articles in the journal Science claiming to have successfully harvested pluripotent, embryonic stem cells from a cloned human blastocyst using somatic-cell nuclear transfer techniques. Hwang claimed to have created eleven different patent-specific stem cell lines. This would have been the first major breakthrough in human cloning.[5] However, in 2006 Science retracted both of his articles on clear evidence that much of his data from the experiments was fabricated.[6]

In January 2008, Dr. Andrew French and Samuel Wood of the biotechnology company Stemagen announced that they successfully created the first five mature human embryos using SCNT. In this case, each embryo was created by taking a nucleus from a skin cell (donated by Wood and a colleague) and inserting it into a human egg from which the nucleus had been removed. The embryos were developed only to the blastocyst stage, at which point they were studied in processes that destroyed them. Members of the lab said that their next set of experiments would aim to generate embryonic stem cell lines; these are the “holy grail” that would be useful for therapeutic or reproductive cloning.[7][8]

In 2011, scientists at the New York Stem Cell Foundation announced that they had succeeded in generating embyronic stem cell lines, but their process involved leaving the oocyte’s nucleus in place, resulting in triploid cells, which would not be useful for cloning.[10][11]

In 2013, a group of scientists led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov published the first report of embryonic stem cells created using SCNT. In this experiment, the researchers developed a protocol for using SCNT in human cells, which differs slightly from the one used in other organisms. Four embryonic stem cell lines from human fetal somatic cells were derived from those blastocysts. All four lines were derived using oocytes from the same donor, ensuring that all mitochondrial DNA inherited was identical. A year later, a team led by Robert Lanza at Advanced Cell Technology reported that they had replicated Mitalipov’s results and further demonstrated the effectiveness by cloning adult cells using SCNT.[3][12]

In somatic cell nuclear transfer (“SCNT”), the nucleus of a somatic cell is taken from a donor and transplanted into a host egg cell, which had its own genetic material removed previously, making it an enucleated egg. After the donor somatic cell genetic material is transferred into the host oocyte with a micropipette, the somatic cell genetic material is fused with the egg using an electric current. Once the two cells have fused, the new cell can be permitted to grow in a surrogate or artificially.[13] This is the process that was used to successfully clone Dolly the sheep (see section on History in this article).[3]

Creating induced pluripotent stem cells (“iPSCs”) is a long and inefficient process. Pluripotency refers to a stem cell that has the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers: endoderm (interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs), mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood, urogenital), or ectoderm (epidermal tissues and nervous system).[14] A specific set of genes, often called “reprogramming factors”, are introduced into a specific adult cell type. These factors send signals in the mature cell that cause the cell to become a pluripotent stem cell. This process is highly studied and new techniques are being discovered frequently on how to better this induction process.

Depending on the method used, reprogramming of adult cells into iPSCs for implantation could have severe limitations in humans. If a virus is used as a reprogramming factor for the cell, cancer-causing genes called oncogenes may be activated. These cells would appear as rapidly dividing cancer cells that do not respond to the body’s natural cell signaling process. However, in 2008 scientists discovered a technique that could remove the presence of these oncogenes after pluripotency induction, thereby increasing the potential use of iPSC in humans.[15]

Both the processes of SCNT and iPSCs have benefits and deficiencies. Historically, reprogramming methods were better studied than SCNT derived embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, more recent studies have put more emphasis on developing new procedures for SCNT-ESCs. The major advantage of SCNT over iPSCs at this time is the speed with which cells can be produced. iPSCs derivation takes several months while SCNT would take a much shorter time, which could be important for medical applications. New studies are working to improve the process of iPSC in terms of both speed and efficiency with the discovery of new reprogramming factors in oocytes.[citation needed] Another advantage SCNT could have over iPSCs is its potential to treat mitochondrial disease, as it utilizes a donor oocyte. No other advantages are known at this time in using stem cells derived from one method over stem cells derived from the other.[16]

Work on cloning techniques has advanced our basic understanding of developmental biology in humans. Observing human pluripotent stem cells grown in culture provides great insight into human embryo development, which otherwise cannot be seen. Scientists are now able to better define steps of early human development. Studying signal transduction along with genetic manipulation within the early human embryo has the potential to provide answers to many developmental diseases and defects. Many human-specific signaling pathways have been discovered by studying human embryonic stem cells. Studying developmental pathways in humans has given developmental biologists more evidence toward the hypothesis that developmental pathways are conserved throughout species.[17]

iPSCs and cells created by SCNT are useful for research into the causes of disease, and as model systems used in drug discovery.[18][19]

Cells produced with SCNT, or iPSCs could eventually be used in stem cell therapy,[20] or to create organs to be used in transplantation, known as regenerative medicine. Stem cell therapy is the use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease or condition. Bone marrow transplantation is a widely used form of stem cell therapy.[21] No other forms of stem cell therapy are in clinical use at this time. Research is underway to potentially use stem cell therapy to treat heart disease, diabetes, and spinal cord injuries.[22][23] Regenerative medicine is not in clinical practice, but is heavily researched for its potential uses. This type of medicine would allow for autologous transplantation, thus removing the risk of organ transplant rejection by the recipient.[24] For instance, a person with liver disease could potentially have a new liver grown using their same genetic material and transplanted to remove the damaged liver.[25] In current research, human pluripotent stem cells have been promised as a reliable source for generating human neurons, showing the potential for regenerative medicine in brain and neural injuries.[26]

In bioethics, the ethics of cloning refers to a variety of ethical positions regarding the practice and possibilities of cloning, especially human cloning. While many of these views are religious in origin, the questions raised by cloning are faced by secular perspectives as well. Human therapeutic and reproductive cloning are not commercially used; animals are currently cloned in laboratories and in livestock production.

Advocates support development of therapeutic cloning in order to generate tissues and whole organs to treat patients who otherwise cannot obtain transplants,[27] to avoid the need for immunosuppressive drugs,[28] and to stave off the effects of aging.[29] Advocates for reproductive cloning believe that parents who cannot otherwise procreate should have access to the technology.[30]

Opposition to therapeutic cloning mainly centers around the status of embyronic stem cells, which has connections with the abortion debate.[31]

Some opponents of reproductive cloning have concerns that technology is not yet developed enough to be safe – for example, the position of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as of 2014[update],[32] while others emphasize that reproductive cloning could be prone to abuse (leading to the generation of humans from whom organs and tissues would be harvested),[33][34] and have concerns about how cloned individuals could integrate with families and with society at large.[35][36]

Religious groups are divided, with some[which?] opposing the technology as usurping God’s (in monotheistic traditions) place and, to the extent embryos are used, destroying a human life; others support therapeutic cloning’s potential life-saving benefits.[37][38]

In 2015 it was reported that about 70 countries had banned human cloning.[39]

Australia has prohibited human cloning,[40] though as of December 2006[update], a bill legalizing therapeutic cloning and the creation of human embryos for stem cell research passed the House of Representatives. Within certain regulatory limits, and subject to the effect of state legislation, therapeutic cloning is now legal in some parts of Australia.[41]

Canadian law prohibits the following: cloning humans, cloning stem cells, growing human embryos for research purposes, and buying or selling of embryos, sperm, eggs or other human reproductive material.[42] It also bans making changes to human DNA that would pass from one generation to the next, including use of animal DNA in humans. Surrogate mothers are legally allowed, as is donation of sperm or eggs for reproductive purposes. Human embryos and stem cells are also permitted to be donated for research.[citation needed]

There have been consistent calls in Canada to ban human reproductive cloning since the 1993 Report of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies. Polls have indicated that an overwhelming majority of Canadians oppose human reproductive cloning, though the regulation of human cloning continues to be a significant national and international policy issue. The notion of “human dignity” is commonly used to justify cloning laws. The basis for this justification is that reproductive human cloning necessarily infringes notions of human dignity.[43][44][45][46]

Human cloning is prohibited in Article 133 of the Colombian Penal Code.[47]

The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine prohibits human cloning in one of its additional protocols, but this protocol has been ratified only by Greece, Spain and Portugal. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union explicitly prohibits reproductive human cloning. The charter is legally binding for the institutions of the European Union under the Treaty of Lisbon and for member states of the Union implementing EU law.[48][49]

India does not have specific law regarding cloning but has guidelines prohibiting whole human cloning or reproductive cloning. India allows therapeutic cloning and the use of embryonic stem cells for research proposes.[50][51]

Human cloning is explicitly prohibited in Article 24, “Right to Life” of the 2006 Constitution of Serbia.[52]

In terms of section 39A of the Human Tissue Act 65 of 1983, genetic manipulation of gametes or zygotes outside the human body is absolutely prohibited. A zygote is the cell resulting from the fusion of two gametes; thus the fertilised ovum. Section 39A thus prohibits human cloning.

On January 14, 2001 the British government passed The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Research Purposes) Regulations 2001[53] to amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 by extending allowable reasons for embryo research to permit research around stem cells and cell nuclear replacement, thus allowing therapeutic cloning. However, on November 15, 2001, a pro-life group won a High Court legal challenge, which struck down the regulation and effectively left all forms of cloning unregulated in the UK. Their hope was that Parliament would fill this gap by passing prohibitive legislation.[54][55] Parliament was quick to pass the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 which explicitly prohibited reproductive cloning. The remaining gap with regard to therapeutic cloning was closed when the appeals courts reversed the previous decision of the High Court.[56]

The first license was granted on August 11, 2004 to researchers at the University of Newcastle to allow them to investigate treatments for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.[57] The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, a major review of fertility legislation, repealed the 2001 Cloning Act by making amendments of similar effect to the 1990 Act. The 2008 Act also allows experiments on hybrid human-animal embryos.[58]

On December 13, 2001, the United Nations General Assembly began elaborating an international convention against the reproductive cloning of humans. A broad coalition of States, including Spain, Italy, the Philippines, the United States, Costa Rica and the Holy See sought to extend the debate to ban all forms of human cloning, noting that, in their view, therapeutic human cloning violates human dignity. Costa Rica proposed the adoption of an international convention to ban all forms of human cloning. Unable to reach a consensus on a binding convention, in March 2005 a non-binding United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning, calling for the ban of all forms of human cloning contrary to human dignity, was adopted.[59][60]

In 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2007, the United States House of Representatives voted whether to ban all human cloning, both reproductive and therapeutic. Each time, divisions in the Senate over therapeutic cloning prevented either competing proposal (a ban on both forms or reproductive cloning only) from passing. On March 10, 2010 a bill (HR 4808) was introduced with a section banning federal funding for human cloning.[61] Such a law, if passed, would not prevent research from occurring in private institutions (such as universities) that have both private and federal funding. There are currently no federal laws in the United States which ban cloning completely, and any such laws would raise difficult constitutional questions similar to the issues raised by abortion.[citation needed] Fifteen American states (Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia) ban reproductive cloning and three states (Arizona, Maryland, and Missouri) prohibit use of public funds for such activities.[62]

Science fiction has used cloning, most commonly and specifically human cloning, due to the fact that it brings up controversial questions of identity.[63][64] In Aldous Huxleys Brave New World (1932), human cloning is a major plot device that not only drives the story but also makes the reader think critically about what identity means; this concept was re-examined fifty years later in C. J. Cherryhs novels Forty Thousand in Gehenna (1983) and Cyteen (1988). Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel Never Let Me Go centers on human clones and considers the ethics of the practice.

The reduction in the value of the individual human life in a resource-optimized clone-based society is examined in the 1967 novel Logan’s Run, and the later movie.

A recurring sub-theme of cloning fiction is the use of clones as a supply of organs for transplantation. The 2005 Kazuo Ishiguro novel Never Let Me Go and the 2010 film adaption[65] are set in an alternate history in which cloned humans are created for the sole purpose of providing organ donations to naturally born humans, despite the fact that they are fully sentient and self-aware. The 2005 film The Island[66] revolves around a similar plot, with the exception that the clones are unaware of the reason for their existence. In the futuristic novel The House of the Scorpion, clones are used to grow organs for their wealthy “owners”, and the main character was a complete clone.

The use of human cloning for military purposes has also been explored in several works. Star Wars portrays human cloning in Clone Wars,[67]Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, in the form of the Grand Army of the Republic, an army of cloned soldiers.

Orphan Black, a sci-fi/drama television series explores the ethical issues, and biological advantages/disadvantages of human cloning through a fictional scientific study on the behavioral adaptation of clones in society.[68]

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Cloning – Food and Drug Administration

 Cloning  Comments Off on Cloning – Food and Drug Administration
Jun 192016
 

As a consequence of scientific and biotechnological progress during the past decades, new biological therapies involving somatic cells and genetic material are being investigated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) described existing legal authorities governing a new class of human somatic cell therapy products and gene therapy products in an October 14, 1993 Federal Register Notice.

On February 23, 1997, the public learned that Ian Wilmut, a Scottish scientist, and his colleagues at the Roslin Institute successfully used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to create a clone of a sheep; the cloned sheep was named Dolly. SCNT involves transferring the nucleus of an adult sheep somatic cell, into a sheep egg from which the nucleus had been removed. After nearly 300 attempts, the cloned sheep known as Dolly was born to a surrogate sheep mother.

SCNT is not reproduction since a sperm cannot be used with the technique, but rather it is an extension of technology used not only in research but also used to produce medically relevant cellular products such as cartilage cells for knees, as well as gene therapy products. On February 28, 1997, FDA announced a comprehensive plan for the regulation of cell and tissue based therapies that incorporated the legal authorities described in FDA’s 1993 guidance “Proposed Approach to Regulation of Cellular and Tissue-Based Products

On March 7, 1997 then President Clinton issued a memorandum that stated: “Recent accounts of advances in cloning technology, including the first successful cloning of an adult sheep, raise important questions. They potentially represent enormous scientific breakthroughs that could offer benefits in such areas as medicine and agriculture. But the new technology also raises profound ethical issues, particularly with respect to its possible use to clone humans.” (Prohibitions on Federal Funding for Cloning of Human Beings)

The memorandum explicitly prohibited Federal Funding for cloning of a human being, and also directed the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) to thoroughly review the legal and ethical issues associated with the use of cloning technology to create a human being.

“NBAC found that concerns relating to the potential psychological harms to children and effects on the moral, religious, and cultural values of society merited further reflection and deliberation.” The report, Ethical Issues in Human Stem Cell Research, September 1999, describes 5 recommendations.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer holds great potential to someday create medically useful therapeutic products. FDA believes, however, that there are major unresolved questions pertaining to the use of cloning technology to clone a human being which must be seriously considered and resolved before the Agency would permit such investigation to proceed. The Agency sent a “Dear Colleague” letter which stated that creating a human being using cloning technology is subject to FDA regulation under the Public Health Service Act and the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. This letter notified researchers that clinical research using SCNT to create a human being could precede only when an investigational new drug application (IND) is in effect. Sponsors are required to submit to FDA

Recently, FDA sent letters to remind the research community that FDA jurisdiction over clinical research using cloning technology to create a human being, and to advise that FDA regulatory process is required in order to initial these investigations. (March 2001 letter)

On March 28, 2001, Dr. Kathryn C. Zoon, Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research gave testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States House of Representatives. Her statement described FDA’s role in regulating the use of cloning technology to clone a human being and further described current significant scientific concerns in this area.

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Cloning – Food and Drug Administration

Cloning – Let Us Reason

 Cloning  Comments Off on Cloning – Let Us Reason
Jun 192016
 

Cloning

Cloning

The replication of human beings through technological means has long been a subject of popular science fiction novels. Today as in many instances science has caught up with science fiction. We are told we now have the ability to improve the overall quality of life through genetic engineering.

We will soon be able to enhance our own intelligence, whether its through a chip implanted in the brain to make one smarter or have the blind see, and the deaf hear, or by gene splicing to give what is missing or correct what is flawed. Can wisdom enhancing agents be built in man that would have him go beyond any natural capabilities many say yes.

This new technology will not just affect a few people. It will directly affect the whole world we live in, as this technology will dominate the new century if allowed. Science allowed us previously to arrange the building blocks of life, now we can add or subtract them.

We now hear of Head transplants in monkeys, headless frogs, cloned sheep, designer humans, we are entering a very different world now. Nuclear transfer has been done before (which is a clone from the Nucleus of an adult cell), it was performed successfully on tetra, a primate who recently made the news. Most of us have not considered the ramifications of this new science breakthrough that is just now making the news. Eventually we will have to make up our minds about how we feel about cloning. I’m in no position to speak scientifically on these matters but I have looked at what is being said and for us to think through the ramifications of what will soon occur

We first heard about this from Scientists in Scotland that had successfully cloned a sheep called Dolly, the first mammal to be reproduced identically from the artificially manipulated cells of a donor mammal. Since Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996 scientists have been going further with their DNA research.

But Dolly was not the first mammal ever cloned in a lab. Many others, including rhesus monkeys, have been cloned from one, two, and four-celled embryos. Dolly was the first mammal cloned from adult cells, which is a more difficult achievement scientifically than embryonic cloning.

The researchers in Scotland responsible for Dolly have plainly stated that they see no reason to pursue human cloning and are personally repulsed by the idea. But not all feel the same way and many would like to see this funded for numerous reasons because they believe its beneficial. We all know that every technology has the ability for abuse even though it was invented for good. But good intentions will guarantee nothing This is one of those things that if allowed can have a more disastrous affect than the atom bomb, if not controlled. But who will control it?

In Scotland, sheep with human genes produce a drug-to treat cystic fibrosis. In the United States, arctic flounder genes have helped tomatoes resist frost. These do have benefits, but then we have Glow-in-the-dark mice scampering around labs in Japan, their bodies hosting DNA from fluorescent jelly-fish. I guess this will help to catch mice in the dark.

In USA weekend Oct.1–3 1999 the question was asked Is Jurassic park coming true? entombed in Siberian permafrost for 20,000 years, a well-preserved woolly mammoth may soon prove extinction is only temporary.

The ancient mammoth is to be dug out and sent to an underground laboratory and , a group of researchers will – cue the Jurassic Park soundtrack – attempt to extract DNA that eventually could be used to clone the seven-ton animal.

Larry Agenbroad, a mammoth expert from Northern Arizona University There are very good odds of finding intact DNA.

Using the same technique that produced Dolly, scientists might inject the nucleus from a mammoth cell into an elephants egg, then zap it with electricity to jumpstart cell division. Next step: Implant the mammoth embryo into a surrogate elephant mother.

There’s tremendous potential to re-create an animal that existed with humans in prehistory, says Agenbroad. And where might such an animal call home ? one possibility- an ice-age preserve called Pleistocene Park under construction in Siberia.

Still skepticism reigns in the scientific community. The likelihood [of cloning an extinct species) is very low, but one should never say never, says Rob DeSalle, a molecular biologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Ten years ago, scientists didn’t think cloning mammals was possible.

The mammoth may be only the first animal to rise from a dead species. In Australia and New Zealand, researchers are rounding up preserved specimens of an extinct tiger and Huia bird in a quest for viable DNA.

The last Spanish mountain goat in the world was killed by a falling tree but not to worry they are going to clone him. What this means is there may be no more endangered species. If they are successful with a Clone sample from a wooly mammoth or any of these, what next? What if they were to clone what they call cro magnon man should they clone him to see what they were like. There has even been talk of cloning the Shroud of Turin. On the Art bell show Malachi Martin was asked about this and he stated this could be the 2nd coming. Hardly, but something to seriously consider in the quest for cloning humans.

An Internet poll asking should humans be cloned?

Current Poll Results:Yes: 49% (892 Votes) No: 51% (897 Votes)

We are split on its usage, But do we know what its hidden potentials and dangers are?

Stephen Grebe: professor of biology, at American University- Were going to be facing this issue with humans… With that possibility open, Im concerned without safeguards that this will become a reality. It may very well already be.

A biotech company called Advanced Cell Technology announce it has created the first human embryos ever to be produced in cloning. This was Nov.2001( Bush Wants Human Cloning Banned Ginsa Kolata, The New York times on the Web Nov.26, 2001) If it cannot happen where it is illegal, they will certainly find a place where it is legal to do there New science.

We do know cloning occurs naturally Identical twins are an example, One in 67 births is twins. Identical twins are produced when a fertilized egg divides for the first time not remaining as a single organism, splitting into two independent cells. However each twin has his or her own distinct intellectual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual life. No twin considers themselves a carbon copy of someone else, they are individuals that enter different occupations, live different lifespans, get different diseases, They are shaped by their own likes and dislikes. Some say this is what clones would be like but we really don’t know.

Solving the Food Problem

Departing from genetic engineering in humans there are other ideas that many consider advantages. In a meeting the British Association delegates heard from scientists predictions of apples with antibodies that fight against tooth decay and crops that would glow when thirsty or diseased.

German scientists in Basle have already made fruit flies with extra eyes on their wings, antennae and legs, and scorpion poison genes have been added by Oxford geneticists to cabbages to kill caterpillars.

Monsanto has developed potatoes with bacterial insecticide genes to destroy Colorado beetle, and ESCA Genetics has made coffee beans with low caffeine, high aroma and pest resistance.

Genetic Engineering on Foods

Experimentation was done to find a more effective way to reproduce already genetically engineered sheep for production of pharmaceuticals. Sheep can be genetically engineered to produce a certain human protein or hormone in its milk. The human protein can then be harvested from the milk and sold on the market. Scientists take the human gene for the production of this protein or hormone and insert it into an early sheep embryo. Hopefully the embryo will grow into a sheep that will produce the protein. Edinburgh scientists have made a whole series of identical sheep, with the potential to create a flock of thousands of perfect clones.

The first transgenic mammals were born in 1976. There are now reported 60,000 artificially mutated animals born in the UK each year. Many of these creatures are said to contain a unique blend of genes from two or three species.

Some have been made by adding human genes to make them grow faster, or to turn their bodies into human medicine factories, or to make organs suitable for transplant. We could be setting ourselves up for agricultural and ecological disasters.

If we cloned animals or fruit for food and a large percentage of a nation’s cattle were clones, if it were attacked by a virus it could effect the entire population or foods at one time. The result could be catastrophic food shortages in that nation if they depended on them. But with this research they could change the gene structure in the animal or food to be inoculated against it.

Nexia Biotechnologies in Canada cloned Three goats their next step is to use cloning to create goat that secretes spider silk gene in milk, commercial goal is to make Bio-Steel the strongest, toughest fiber in the world, (tensile strength 300,000 pounds per square inch.) Stronger and lighter than steel or polymers, uses could be artificial tendons or ligaments and other bio-degradable structures in medicine. First cloned goats with new gene will then be breed conventionally (reported by Reuters April 28, 1999).

There is now an enormous amount of gene altered food. In Europe crops have been torn up and stores have bannedthese products. In the US the stores want to carry biotech foods but the US government refuses to put labels on them. Up to 70% of the foods on shelves are genetically modified to improve flavor and shelf life (replacing preservatives, BHA and BHT ). The maker of Gerber foods recently dropped using genetically modified crops in its products. The nations two largest natural food chains are asking the FDA to label these genetically altered foods so they can be identified and kept out of health food stores.

Lets Look at Some of the Ideas on the Table

Here is where Cloning can be abused for health – Clone the child, keep the frozen twin available in case for when the original twin needs a transplant of some organ. There would be no rejection the tissues would match perfectly.

Artificial twins could be kept frozen as an insurance policy even after the original child is born. If the original child dies at an early age, a frozen twin could be thawed, and the parent would have the identical child to raise again. This may sound good to those who may grieve over their loss, having a replacement will fill the void of having no child.

Here is where Cloning can be abused for convenience. It would allow a women to have one set of identical twins without going through two pregnancies. The women may not want to disrupt her career, or would prefer to only have one child at a time. With cloning it would be assured that they would be identical. It would make things more convenient. A matter of fact a woman can clone a child put it on ice and take it out any time she pleased. If her pregnancy was inconvenient she can abort and take up where she left off years later. What kind of an identity crises would someone have to find they were not the original and a carbon copy a carbon copy from a lab an extra.

What happens where children are no longer loved and valued for who they are? We see this already with abortions, will this be any different? Many teenagers even adults struggle with the expectations of the culture to have the perfect image in the size and shape of their bodies. Will society influence everyone to have a certain ultimate look, or ability and reject those who do not! One question leads to another

Clones Rights United Front founder Randolfe Wicker, Were fighting for research, and were defending peoples reproductive rights… I realize my clone would be my identical twin, and my identical twin has a right to be born. This argument fails in that it was not a natural occurrence, he was not born in the true sense. Does this mean whatever we can make from another human being has as much rights as we do? Maybe more.

The bible teaches that reproduction is after each kind. God made an order to the species and a certain way for it to occur. Today scientists have the ability to not only change the species, they now have the ability to create a whole new species. Through Genetic engineering we are able to create something that has never been in nature before.

Critic Jeremy Rifkin called for an immediate ban on human cloning, urging it be classed a crime on par with rape, child abuse and murder. A spokesman for the lab that created the clone stated that animal cloning necessarily would lead to human cloning.

History has proven whatever can be thought of can eventually be done . what is forbidden now will become a normality of life later, especially if there is money to be made. Under scientific advancement the Pandora’s box is open.

Should this technology be left up to the population to vote by their pocketbooks (considering our sin nature, we would want to make ourselves perfect people. Laws have always lagged behind the technology as the product is marketed. We are never ready for the technology whether its guns, nuclear. There is no way for the laws to catch up with how fast science is progressing today. Yet many Scientist are excited as they see the potential for all kinds of possibilities.

Supporters of cloning feel the technological benefits of cloning for humanity outweigh any of the possible social consequences. As long as research is carefully done. We can all have an improvement in our quality of life. But do we want to roll the dice on this issue. Once its rolling it will be very hard to turn back , it could be a mistake of dire consequences.

The Benefits

No one wants to die. Bio-engineering is pursuing to understand the basic building blocks of life, they are pursuing knowledge that only God knew. Dr. Richard Seed, one of the leading proponents of human cloning technology, suggests that it may someday be possible to reverse the aging process because of what we learn from cloning.

If they can mutate a few genes they can prolong life immensely and postpone the penalty of sin.

Science has identified that the average person carries 8 defective genes inside them. These defective genes allow us to become sick when we would normally remain healthy. With the technology of human cloning it may be possible to ensure that we no longer suffer because of our defective genes. We could have optimum health.

There was a court case where a child was denied health insurance because of what is in his gene pool, he was not at risk now but could be in the future.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and several other industrialized countries. Scientists believe that they may be able to treat heart attack victims by cloning their healthy heart cells and injecting them into the areas of the heart that have been damaged. This can mean no more surgery for cures. Cloning may replace organ donors as the compatibility would be close to 100%. Surgery as we know it may change. It may look very crude after we venture into this new science.

Cloning research may contribute to treating diseases by allowing scientists to reprogram cells. The benefits of cloning could provide spare parts ones liver cells, or eye cells, or bone cells, hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys could be produced. Embryonic stem cells can be grown to produce organs or tissues to repair or replace damaged ones. If any of body parts failed or were injured they can be replaced. Limbs for amputees may be able to be regenerated. Burn victims could receive new skin. Brain cells for the brain damaged, spinal cord cells for quadriplegics a paraplegic could be cloned, get a new body ending their paralysis. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, degenerative joint disease, diabetes, and other problems may become curable if human cloning and its technology are not banned. Sounds good on paper but

Take for example Jesse Gelsinger was born with ornithine transcarbamoylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare metabolic disorder that disables the liver and causes a toxic buildup of ammonia. He volunteered for gene-therapy program last September at the University of Pennsylvania because gene therapy had been hailed as the new frontier of medicine. The experiment entailed patients injected with corrective genes to replace the missing or defective ones. The purpose was a commendable one, to save lives. Within 24 hours after Jesse received his first infusion, he was suffering from a life-threatening clotting disorder which red blood cells were breaking down faster than the liver could metabolize them. He now is known as the first patient to die directly from the result of gene therapy. His father who encouraged him to do this said to a senate subcommittee investigating this that he was not given all the information. Such as side effects and that lab monkeys have died during the same experiment. (Death by research People 2/21/2000)

Cloning animals for medicines, organs, and body parts to benefit ill or injured humans is a humane concept, but does the means justify the end. Are we playing God? We could possibly expand the human lifetime to double or even a thousand years if one keeps replacing what fails. It may be the golden age of mankind that is found in ancient myths and legends, but it will not be the Millennium of the bible.

We are allowed by law to fix flaws or failures in our human body but we are not allowed to expand it beyond its basic natural capabilities. So why not? We already receive spare kidneys from family members and parts from other humans like a liver or a heart to save a life, so what can be wrong with taking a cell from ones own body to have a perfect match.

A Cloned cell as a replacement for a body part is certainly not a human person, but it does open the door. As we all know once the door is open the envelope gets pushed further in time.

gene therapy can be done by having the genes are changed in the embryo so when the person develops it will contain the new genes. Designer genes will not be something you wear but something you are. Some believe that if a parent wanted to produce talents in a child similar to his own, they can clone the DNA from the cell of the adult that may produce a child with the same traits. You can call them designer children. Clones that are derived from an existing adult cell, that has older genes. What will life be to a cloned son looking at his dad and know he is his exact twin? The cloned son will know how tall he will be, whether he will be bald at 30, what are the hereditary flaws he has and will know what talents he possesses, unless there is gene tampering.

Supporters of cloning feel that with controlled research, the technological benefits of cloning clearly outweigh any of the possible social consequences, but do they outweigh the scientific dangers? The applications of cloning is seen as humanitarian Cloning could stop parents who risk passing their defects to a child. A fertilized ovum could be cloned, and the duplicate would be tested for disease and disorder of the original. If the clone is found free from any defects, then other would be as well. But what if it is found defective? Will it be destroyed for a more optimum fetus or will it be fixed?

Through Genetic research and use of this technology the advantage of curing diseases and its ability to treat and cure genetic flaws diseases is an ethical goal. But the potential to Create new species with gene splicing is not. Serious questions about the ethical legitimacy and potential abuses surround this new science. Its likely that the answers will not come quickly, but will research will continue.

When the Sunday Times reported that British scientists have created a frog embryo without a head.

Dr Patrick Dixon, a leading authority on the ethics of human cloning, author of The Genetic Revolution which forecasted the cloning of animals, predicted Headless human clones will be used to grow organs and tissues for transplant surgery in the next 5-10 years. The technique used to create the headless frog could be adapted to grow human organs such as hearts, kidneys, liver and pancreases in an embryonic sac living in an artificial womb,

We are at the door of doing anything we want. Now people who may be dying can possibly get another body that was dead and make it alive by transplanting their head Right now we can freeze a body (cryonics) and we can even surgically remove a (monkeys )head and put it on another body. So when a persons body wears out they can have a cloned xtra and remove their head and transplant it onto the clone. The potential is that one can live forever as long as long as the bodies parts keep coming. What would it mean to have an x-tra body part for you that you know would be compatible if an organ failed or a body part was destroyed. Certainly it would be wonderful. But with this seemingly advancement in technology comes a darker side, something so sinister that humanity has no way of grasping it right now. For the most part, science makes its progress and influences human ethics not vice versa. Look at evolution and modern psychology.

What happens if the original person dies, the clone can take his place. How many copies can be made, 1 to 5 or even10 its all left up to us. Parents who have a child die could recover them by recovering the cells from their dead childs body. Appealing and possibly comforting but it can never give back the original lost child. The clones environment may change their personality even though they have the same genetic makeup as the original. In other words they may look the same but be a completely different person on the inside, if we can actually call them a person. Are they artificial, or genuine a human. What about their soul? Will they have one (Spirit). How do we reconcile what God made as a family unit now being dispensed with. This truly will be future shock, now.

One could literally make replacements for people and produce a whole new society. They can be automatons that do the work, while we their creators enjoy ourselves, the possibilities are endless for both good or bad.

This new population could be susceptible to the same diseases, and one disease could devastate the entire population if we are all clones having the same exact genes. Maybe the variety of man with all our flaws was included in Gods wisdom.

What of Infanticide? In India four million they’re missing young girls because peasants have sonograms. China had to ban them. Will everyone choose males and no females. They may have men with no grand children. Do we remove the process of conception that was God given in the marriage relationship. This new science may well affect marriage as we know it.

If cloning is allowed for humans, there would be no genetic need for men, they can be replaced. All of us can be replaced because we would be an inferior product to the new an improved one.

If we mess with the DNA there is not telling what we can turn ourselves into. Somewhere in Germany is a baby Superman, born in Berlin with bulging arm and leg muscles. Not yet 5, he can hold seven-pound weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do. He has muscles twice the size of other kids his age and half their body fat.

DNA testing showed why: The boy has a genetic mutation that boosts muscle growth. New England Journal of Medicine, represents the first documented human case of such a mutation… story onsuperbaby

Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy Maryann Mott National Geographic News January 25, 2005.

Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimerasa hybrid creature that’s part human, part animal.

Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells.

researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies.

Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing spare parts, such as livers, to transplant into humans.

A chimera is a mixture of two or more species in one body. Not all are considered troubling, though.

For example, faulty human heart valves are routinely replaced with ones taken from cows and pigs. The surgerywhich makes the recipient a human-animal chimerais widely accepted. And for years scientists have added human genes to bacteria and farm animals.

What’s caused the uproar is the mixing of human stem cells with embryonic animals to create new species.

Biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin is opposed to crossing species boundaries, because he believes animals have the right to exist without being tampered with or crossed with another species.

He concedes that these studies would lead to some medical breakthroughs. Still, they should not be done.

There are other ways to advance medicine and human health besides going out into the strange, brave new world of chimeric animals, Rifkin said, adding that sophisticated computer models can substitute forexperimentation on live animals.

One doesn’t have to be religious or into animal rights to think this doesn’t make sense, he continued. It’s the scientists who want to do this. They’ve now gone over the edge into the pathological domain. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0125_050125_chimeras.html

part 2 the moral and religious questions

Excerpt from:

Cloning – Let Us Reason

 Posted by at 2:37 pm  Tagged with:

The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income | Libertarianism.org

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Jun 192016
 

Dec 5, 2013

Guaranteeing a minimum income to the poor is better than our current system of welfare, Zwolinski argues. And it can be justified by libertarian principles.

This morning, I did a short interview with the Cato Institute about the libertarian case for a Basic Income Guarantee. The immediate stimulus for the conversation was the recent Swiss proposal to pay each and every and every citizen 2,500 francs (about 2,800 USD) per month. But conversation quickly turned to the question of whether some form of basic income proposal might be compatible with libertarianism. Some of my colleagues at Bleeding Heart Libertarians have certainly expressed enthusiasm for it in the past. And over at Reason.com, Matthew Feeney recently published a short but favorable writeup of the idea.

Of course, as with any policy proposal, the details matter a lot. And the Swiss proposal is problematic in a number of ways. For starters, 2,800 USD a month means that a married couple could get $67,200 per year for doing nothing. And while its true that Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of per capita income, thats still an awful lot of money. Furthermore, the Swiss proposal seems to involve implementing a basic income in addition to their currently existing welfare system. Few libertarians would be willing to sign up for that deal. But as a replacement for traditional welfare programs, there is a lot for libertarians to like about a basic income.

Still skeptical? Well, here are three libertarian arguments in support of a Basic Income Guarantee. I begin with a relatively weak proposal that even most hard-core libertarians should be even to accept. I then move to stronger proposals that involve some deviation from the plumb-line view. But only justifiable deviations, of course.

1) A Basic Income Guarantee would be much better than the current welfare state.

Current federal social welfare programs in the United States are an expensive, complicated mess. According to Michael Tanner, the federal government spent more than $668 billion on over one hundred and twenty-six anti-poverty programs in 2012. When you add in the $284 billion spent by state and local governments, that amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America.

Wouldnt it be better just to write the poor a check?

Each one of those anti-poverty programs comes with its own bureaucracy and its own Byzantine set of rules. If you want to shrink the size and scope of government, eliminating those departments and replacing them with a program so simple it could virtually be administered by a computer seems like a good place to start. Eliminating bloated bureaucracies means more money in the hands of the poor and lower costs to the taxpayer. Win/Win.

A Basic Income Guarantee would also be considerably less paternalistic then the current welfare state, which is the bastard child of conservative judgment and progressive condescension toward the poor, in Andrea Castillos choice words. Conservatives want to help the poor, but only if they can demonstrate that they deserve it by jumping through a series of hoops meant to demonstrate their willingness to work, to stay off drugs, and preferably to settle down into a nice, stable, bourgeois family life. And while progressives generally reject this attempt to impose traditional values on the poor, they have almost always preferred in-kind grants to cash precisely as a way of making sure the poor get the help they really need. Shouldnt we trust poor people to know what they need better than the federal government?

2) A Basic Income Guarantee might be required on libertarian grounds as reparation for past injustice.

One of libertarianisms most distinctive commitments is its belief in the near-inviolability of private property rights. But it does not follow from this commitment that the existing distribution of property rights ought to be regarded as inviolable, because the existing distribution is in many ways the product of past acts of uncompensated theft and violence. However attractive libertarianism might be in theory, LibertarianismStarting Now! has the ring of special pleading, especially when it comes from the mouths of people who have by and large emerged at the top of the bloody and murderous mess that is our collective history.

Radical libertarians have proposed several approaches to dealing with past injustice. But one suggestion that a lot of people seem to forget about comes from an unlikely source. Most people remember Robert Nozicks Anarchy, State, and Utopia as a fairly uncompromising defense of natural-rights libertarianism. And most people remember that Nozick wrote that any state that goes beyond the minimal functions of protecting its citizens negative rights would be itself rights-violating and therefore unjust.

But Nozicks entitlement theory of justice is a historical one, and an important component of that theory is a principle of rectification to deal with past injustice. Nozick himself provided almost no details at all regarding the nature or proper application of this principle (though others have speculated). But in one fascinating passage, Nozick suggests that we might regard patterned principles of justice (like Rawls Difference Principle) as rough rules of thumb for approximating the result of a detailed application of the principle of rectification. Heres what Nozick has to say:

Perhaps it is best to view some patterned principles of distributive justice as rough rules of thumb meant to approximate the general results of applying the principle of rectification of injustice. For example, lacking much historical information, and assuming (1) that victims of injustice generally do worse than they otherwise would and (2) that those from the least well-off group in the society have the highest probabilities of being the (descendants of) victims of the most serious injustice who are owed compensation by those who benefited from the injustices (assumed to be those better off, though sometimes the perpetrators will be others in the worst-off group), then a rough rule of thumb for rectifying injustices might seem to be the following: organize society so as to maximize the position of whatever group ends up least well-off in the society (p. 231).

In a world in which all property was acquired by peaceful processes of labor-mixing and voluntary trade, a tax-funded Basic Income Guarantee might plausibly be held to violate libertarian rights. But our world is not that world. And since we do not have the information that would be necessary to engage in a precise rectification of past injustices, and since simply ignoring those injustices seems unfair, perhaps something like a Basic Income Guarantee can be justified as an approximate rectification?

3. A Basic Income Guarantee might be required to meet the basic needs of the poor.

The previous two arguments both view a basic income as a kind of second-best policy, desirable not for its own sake but either as less-bad than what weve currently got or a necessary corrective to past injustice. But can libertarians go further than this? Could there be a libertarian case for the basic income not as a compromise but as an ideal?

There can and there has.

Both Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek advocated for something like a Basic Income Guarantee as a proper function of government, though on somewhat different grounds. Friedmans argument comes in chapter 9 of his Capitalism and Freedom, and is based on the idea that private attempts at relieving poverty involve what he called neighborhood effects or positive externalities. Such externalities, Friedman argues, mean that private charity will be undersupplied by voluntary action.

[W]e might all of us be willing to contribute to the relief of poverty, provided everyone else did. We might not be willing to contribute the same amount without such assurance.

And so, Friedman concludes, some governmental action to alleviate poverty is justified. Specifically, government is justified in setting a floor under the standard of life of every person in the community, a floor that takes the form of his famous Negative Income Tax proposal.

Friedrich Hayeks argument, appearing 17 years later in volume 3 of his Law, Legislation, and Liberty, is even more powerful. Heres the crucial passage:

The assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone, or a sort of floor below which nobody need fall even when he is unable to provide for himself, appears not only to be wholly legitimate protection against a risk common to all, but a necessary part of the Great Society in which the individual no longer has specific claims on the members of the particular small group into which he was born. (emphasis added)

To those who know of Hayek only through second-hand caricatures of his argument from The Road to Serfdom, his claim here will no doubt be surprising. But as my colleague Kevin Vallier has documented repeatedly, Hayek was not opposed to the welfare state as such (not even in the Road to Serfdom). At the very least, he regarded certain aspects of the welfare state as permissible options that states might pursue. But the passage above suggests that he may have had an even stronger idea in mind – that a basic income is not merely a permissible option but a mandatory requirement of democratic legitimacy – a policy that must be instituted in order to justify the coercive power that even a Hayekian state would exercise over its citizens.

I said in the beginning of this essay that in evaluating basic income proposals, the details matter a lot. But in the arguments above, Ive mostly put those details to the side, even glossing over the difference, for instance, between a Basic Income Guarantee and a Negative Income Tax. Before I close, I want to say at least a little about the different policy options. But there are a lot of different options, and a lot of details to each. So bear in mind that what follows is only a sketch.

A Basic Income Guarantee involves something like an unconditional grant of income to every citizen. So, on most proposals, everybody gets a check each month. Unconditional here means mostly that the check is not conditional on ones wealth or poverty or willingness to work. But some proposals, like Charles Murrays, would go only to adult citizens. And almost all proposals are given only to citizens. Most proposals specify that income earned on top of the grant is subject to taxation at progressive rates, but the grant itself is not.

A Negative Income Tax involves issuing a credit to those who fall below the threshold of tax liability, based on how far below the threshold they fall. So the amount of money one receives (the negative income tax) decreases as ones earnings push one up to the threshold of tax liability, until it reaches zero, and then as one earns more money one begins to pay the government money (the positive income tax).

The Earned Income Tax Credit is the policy we actually have in place currently in the United States. It was inspired by Friedmans Negative Income Tax proposal, but falls short in that it applies only to persons who are actually working.

The US Basic Income Guarantee Network has a nice and significantly more detailed overview of some of the different policies. You can watch Milton Friedman explain his Negative Income Tax proposal with characteristic clarity to William F. Buckley here. And for an extended and carefully thought out defense of one particular Basic Income Guarantee proposal from a libertarian perspective, I highly recommend Charles Murrays short book, In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State.

1) Disincentives – One of the most common objections to Basic Income Guarantees is that they would create objectionably strong disincentives to employment. And those who make this objection can draw some support from experimental studies with the Negative Income Tax in the United States in the 1960s and 70s.

But the significance of this objection depends a lot on the details of the proposal under consideration, and is probably overstated, anyway. After all, with a Basic Income Guarantee, the money you get is yours to keep. You dont lose it if you take a job and start earning money. And so in that way the disincentives to employment it creates are probably less severe than those created by currently existing welfare programs where employment income is often a bar to eligibility.

With a Negative Income Tax, the disincentives are there, but arguably at an acceptable level. After all, under a NIT if you are unemployed and then you get a job, youre going to have more money as a result. You wont keep all of the money. But nobody keeps all of the money they earn from their job – a large chunk of it goes to taxes. Its the same idea here, except in reverse – hence, the label of negative income tax.

2) Effects on Migration – When most people think about helping the poor, they forget about two groups that are largely invisible – poor people in other countries, and poor people who havent been born yet (see this paper by Tyler Cowen for more). With respect to the first of those groups, I think (and have argued before) that there is a real worry that a Basic Income Guarantee in the United States would create pressures to restrict immigration even more than it already is. After all, when every new immigrant is one more person collecting a check from your tax dollars, its not entirely unreasonable to view those immigrants as a threat, and to be more willing to use the coercive power of the state to keep them out. That worries me, because I think the last thing anybody with a bleeding heart ought to want to do is to block the poorest of the poor from access to what has been one of the most effective anti-poverty programs ever devised – namely, a policy of relatively open immigration into the relatively free economy of the United States. Especially when ones justification for doing so is merely to provide a bit of extra cash to people who are already citizens of one of the wealthiest countries on the face of the planet.

3) Effects on Economic Growth – Even a modest slowdown of economic growth can have dramatic effects when compounded over a period of decades. And so even if whatever marginal disincentives a Basic Income Guarantee would produce wouldnt do much to hurt currently existing people, it might do a lot to hurt people who will be born at some point in the future. Heres a thought experiment for the mathematically inclined among you: imagine that Americans in 1800 decided to institute a social welfare policy that reduced annual economic growth by 1%, and that the policy was maintained intact to the present day. How much poorer a country would America be? How much poorer would the poorest Americans be? Even if the only thing you cared about was improving the lot of the poor, would whatever benefits the policy produced have been worth it?

Tyler Cowen and Jim Manzi put forward what seem to me to be the most damning objections to a Basic Income Guarantee – that however attractive the idea may be in theory, any actually implemented policy will be subject to political tinkering and rent-seeking until it starts to look just as bad as, if not worse than, what weve already got. Murrays proposal to implement a Basic Income Guarantee via a constitutional amendment that simultaneously eliminates all other redistributive programs goes some way toward insulating the policy from the pressures of ordinary politics. But Im not sure its enough.

The journal Basic Income Studies published a special issue on libertarianism and the Basic Income Guarantee, with contributions from me , Mike Munger , Pete Boettke and Adam Martin , Dan Moseley , Dan Layman , Brian Powell , and Peter Vallentyne .

Continued here:

The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income | Libertarianism.org

 Posted by at 2:33 pm  Tagged with:

Wage-Slavery and Republican Liberty | Jacobin

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Jun 192016
 

Generations of workers critiqued wage-labor in the name of republican liberty.

In a recent interview, historian Quentin Skinner had the following to say about Karl Marx and the republican theory of liberty. The republican or neo-Roman theory says that we are unfree when we are subject to another persons will:

I am very struck by the extent to which Marx deploys, in his own way, a neo-Roman political vocabulary. He talks about wage slaves, and he talks about the dictatorship of the proletariat. He insists that, if you are free only to sell your labour, then you are not free at all. He stigmatises capitalism as a form of servitude. These are all recognizably neo-Roman moral commitments.

Skinner also says that this is a question which would bear a great deal more investigation than it has received.

I have been engaging in some of this investigation. It is not just Marx or even primarily Marx who believed that the neo-roman theory of freedom leads directly to a critique of wage-slavery. As early as the late 1820s, urban workers seized on the inherited republicanism of the American Revolution and applied it to the wage-labor relationship. They organized themselves city-by-city into the first self-conscious political parties of labor and their main campaign was against wage-slavery.

They argued that the wealthy keep us in a state of humble dependence through their monopoly control of the means of production. As Thomas Skidmore, founder of the Workingmens Party of New York, put it:

thousands of our people of the present day in deep distress and poverty, dependent for their daily subsistence upon a few among us whom the unnatural operation of our own free and republican institutions, as we are pleased to call them, has thus arbitrarily and barbarously made enormously rich.

Their humble dependence meant that they had no choice but to sell their labor to some employer or another. Their only chance of leading a decent life was if some employer would give them a job. Though formally free, these workers were nonetheless economically dependent and thus unfree. That is why they saw themselves as denied their rightful republican liberty, and why wage-labor merited the name slavery. Skidmore made the comparison with classical slavery the most explicit:

For he, in all countries is a slave, who must work more for another than that other must work for him. It does not matter how this state of things is brought about; whether the sword of victory hew down the liberty of the captive, and thus compel him to labor for his conqueror, or whether the sword of want extort our consent, as it were, to a voluntary slavery, through a denial to us of the materials of nature

The critique of wage-slavery in the name of republican liberty could hardly be clearer.

Given their analysis of wage-labor, these artisan republicans were inexorably led to radical conclusions about the conditions that could restore workers their full independence. Every leading figure of these early workingmens parties made some form of the argument that the principles of equal distribution [of property be] everywhere adopted or that it was necessary to equalize property. Here, the property to be equally distributed was clearly means of production. And it was to be distributed not just in the form of land, but cooperative control over factories and other implements.

For instance, the major report articulating the principles of the Workingmens Party of New York included the demand for AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF PROPERTY ON ARRIVING AT THE AGE OF MATURITY. Only with control over this kind of property could workers structural dependence on owners be eliminated. For these Workies following out the logic of the republican theory led not to a nostalgic, agrarian idealism, but to the view that each persons independence depended upon everyone possessing equal and collective control of productive resources. Even more striking, they argued that the only way to achieve this condition of independence was through the joint political efforts of the dependent or enslaved class.

As Langdon Byllesby, one of the earliest of these worker republicans, wrote, history does not furnish an instance wherein the depository of power voluntarily abrogated its prerogative, or the oppressor relinquished his advantages in favour of the oppressed. It was up to the dependent classes, through the agency of their workingmens parties, to realize a cooperative commonwealth.

There is an important historical connection between these radical artisans and Marx. As Maximilen Rubel and Lewis Feuer have shown, just at the time that Marx turned from Hegelian philosophy to political economy, in 18412, he began to read comparative political history. He was particularly interested in the American republic, and read three main sources: Beaumont, Tocqueville, and a less well-known Englishman, Thomas Hamilton. Hamilton was a former colonel who wrote his own, very popular observation of his time traveling in the United States called Men and Manners in America, published in 1833. For Marx, Hamilton was the best source of the three because Hamilton, unlike the Frenchmen, actually met with and spoke to leaders of the Workingmans Party of New York. That section of Hamiltons travelogue includes ominous references to the Extreme Gauche of the Workies who wish to introduce an AGRARIAN LAW, and a periodical division of property, and includes gloomy reflections on the coming anarchy and despoliation. It is these very sections of Hamilton that Marx copied into his notebooks during this period of preparatory study.

Unbeknown to Marx, he was copying a copy. In those sections of Men and Manners Hamilton had essentially transcribed parts of Thomas Skidmores report to the Workingmens Party of New York, which were a distillation of the ideas that could be found in Skidmores lengthy The Rights of Man to Property! Skidmores book included the argument that property rights were invalid if they were used to make the poor economically dependent, allowing owners to live in idleness, partial or total, thus supporting himself, more or less, on the labors of others.

If property rights were illegitimate the minute they were used to make some dependent on others then it was clear all freedom-loving citizens were justified in transforming property relations in the name of republican liberty. This was why Skidmore proposed the radical demand that the workers APPROPRIATE ALSO, in the same way, THE COTTON FACTORIES, THE WOOLEN FACTORIES, THE IRON FOUNDERIES, THE ROLLING MILLS, HOUSES, CHURCHES, SHIPS, GOODS, STEAM-BOATS, FIELDS OF AGRICULTURE, &c. &c. &c. in manner as proposed in this work, AND AS IS THEIR RIGHT. The manner proposed for this expropriation of the expropriators was not violent revolution but a state constitutional convention in which all property would be nationalized and then redistributed in shares of equal value to be used to form cooperatives or buy land.

Marx never knew these labor republicans by name, nor any of their primary writings, but it is clear from his notebooks that their ideas and political self-organization contributed to his early thinking, especially at the moment at which he was formulating his view of workers as the universal class. Indeed, in On the Jewish Question, Beaumont, Tocqueville and the Englishman Hamiltons accounts of the United States feature heavily in Marxs discussion of America. It is there that Marx makes the famous distinction between political and human emancipation, arguing that the American republic shows us most clearly the distinction between the two. This was almost exactly the same distinction that the Workies made when saying, as Philadelphian Samuel Simpson did, the consequence now is, that while the government is republican, society in its general features, is as regal as it is in England. A republican theory of wage-slavery was developed well before Marx (see here for evidence of similar developments in France that were also very likely to have influenced Marx).

In the United States, the republican critique of wage-labor went into abeyance for a time after the 1840s, or more appropriately, it was absorbed into the agrarian socialism of the National Reform Association a tale masterfully told by the historian Mark Lause in Young America: Land, Labor and Republican Community. But labor republicanism exploded back onto the political scene in the United States after the Civil War, especially with leading figures around the Knights of Labor and the eight-hour movement. The Knights were for a time one of the most powerful organizations in the country, organized skilled and unskilled labor together, and at their peak included more than 700,000official members, probably representing more than 1 million participating workers. The Knights used the republican concept of liberty to assert the universal interests of labor and to argue for the transformation of American society. George McNeill, a leading Knight, wrote that There is an inevitable and irresistible conflict between the wage-system of labor and the republican system of government. Ira Steward, most famous as an eight-hour campaigner, demanded a a republicanization of labor, as well as a republicanization of government.

These turns of phrase were more than rhetorical gestures. They were self-conscious appeals to the republican theory. Indeed the Journal of United Labor even reproduced a famous passage on slavery from Algernon Sidneys Discourses on Government in order to articulate why wage-labor was a form of servitude. The passage goes:

Slavery. The weight of chains, number of stripes, hardness of labor, and other effects of a masters cruelty, may make one servitude more miserable than another; but he is a slave who serves the gentlest man in the world, as well as he who serves the worst; and he does serve him if he must obey his commands and depend upon his will.

This passage, and Sidneys writings, have played a major role in contemporary scholarship on early modern republicanism, and here it is deployed to critique not the political enslavement to a monarch but wage-slavery.

In fact, the labor republicans not only drew on the republican theory but further developed it in light of the new dynamics of industrial capitalism. They noted that there were two interconnected forms of dependence. One was the general or structural dependence of the wage-laborer on employers, defined by the fact that the monopoly of control over productive property by some left the rest dependent upon those owners for their livelihoods. This, as George McNeil put it, meant that workers assent but they do not consent, they submit but do not agree.

The voluntaristic language here was meant to capture how, thought the workers were not literally slaves, they were nonetheless compelled to work for others. As Skinner has shown in his book on Hobbes, it is precisely this conflation of voluntaristic action and freedom that modern republicans have always rejected, and which their enemies, like Hobbes, have regularly defended. Though here, the workers dependence was not a feature so much of being the legal property of another as it was being forced, by economic need, to sell his labor:

when a man is placed in a position where he is compelled to give the benefit of his labor to another, he is in a condition of slavery, whether the slave is held in chattel bondage or in wages bondage, he is equally a slave.

Emancipation may have eliminated chattel slavery, but, as eight-hour campaigner Ira Steward once put it, the creation of this new form of economic dependence meant something of slavery still remainssomething of freedom is yet to come.

According to labor republicans, the structural dependence of the wage-laborer was translated, through the labor contract, to a more personal form of servitude to the employer. After all, the contract was an agreement of obedience in exchange for wages. It was an agreement to alienate control over ones own activity in exchange for the privilege of having enough money to buy necessities, and perhaps a few luxuries. Indeed, even if the wages were fairly high, the point of the contract was to become subject to the will of a specific owner or his manager. As one anonymous author put it, in the Journal of United Labor, Is there a workshop where obedience is not demanded not to the difficulties or qualities of the labor to be performed but to the caprice of he who pays the wages of his servants? As nearly every scholar of republican thought has noted, the language of being subject to the caprice of another is one of the most enduring rhetorical tropes of the neo-Roman theory of freedom. It is no accident that it would feature so heavily in labor republican arguments about domination in the workplace.

It was for this reason that the Knights of Labor believed that the only way to republicanize labor was to abolish as rapidly as possible, the wage system, substituting co-operation therefore. The point about a cooperative system was that property was collectively owned and work cooperatively managed. Only when the class differences between owners and workers were removed could republican liberty be truly universalized. It would, at once, remove the structural and personal dependence of workers.

As William H. Silvis, one of the earliest of these figures, argued, cooperation renders the workman independent of necessities which often compel him to submit to hectoring, domineering, and insults of every kind. What clearer statement could there be of the connection between the republican theory of liberty, economic dependence, and the modern wage-system? Here was a series of arguments that flowed naturally from the principles of the American Revolution.

To demand that there is to be a people in industry, as in government was simply to argue that the cooperative commonwealth was nothing more than the culmination and completion of the American Revolutions republican aspirations.

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WTC PROGRESS – One World Trade Center

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Jun 192016
 

Developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and managed, operated and leased by The Durst Organization, One World Trade Center is redefining Lower Manhattans New York skyline. Standing at a symbolic 1,776 feet tall, the architectural and engineering marvel is an ever-present symbol of renewal and hope.

Designed by renowned architect David Childs, of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP, One World Trade Center incorporates new architectural and environmental standards, setting a new level of social responsibility in urban design.

The 104-story building, a joint venture between The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and The Durst Organization, is designed to be the safest commercial structure in the world and the premier c ommercial business address in New York. Currently One World Trade Center has leased 67 percent of its 3,000,000,000 square feet of office space which includes tenants: Cond Nast who is One WTCs an chor tenant leasing nearly 1.2 million square feet to house its global headquarters, U.S. General Services Administration which has leased more than 270,000 square feet, global digital gaming company High 5 Games has leased more than 85,000 square feet, Tech advertising firm xAd has leased more than 86,000 square feet, and prominent financial services Moodys has leased more than 70,000 square fee t bringing some of the worlds top companies to Lower Manhattan.

One World Trade Center has also attracted broadcast tenants CBS, NBC Universal-owned WNBC, WNJJ and PBS has relocated operations to the 408-foot-tall spire of One World Trade Center.

The ultra-modern design of One World Trade Center is an innovative mix of architecture, safety and sustainability featuring column-free floors, nine-foot high, floor to ceiling, and clear glass windows for

spectacular unparalleled views. The building’s simplicity and clarity of form are timeless, extending the long tradition of American ingenuity in high-rise construction. One World Trade Center will be a new visual landmark for New York and the United States.

One World Trade Center is designed to achieve LEED CS Gold Certification and its structure is designed around a strong, redundant steel frame, consisting of beams and columns. Paired with a concrete-core shear wall, the redundant steel frame lends substantial rigidity and redundancy to the overall building structure while providing column-free interior spans for maximum flexibility. The building incorporates highly advanced state-of-the-art life-safety systems that exceed the requirements of the New York City Building Code and that will lead the way in developing new innovative technology for high-rise building standards.

Through unprecedented collaborations with technology and energy leaders throughout the world, One World Trade Center’s design team used the latest methods to maximize efficiency, minimize waste a nd pollution, conserve water, improve air quality and reduce the impacts of the development.

Taking advantage of the next generation of innovative energy sources, as well as off-site renewable wind and hydro power, One World Trade Center is slated to be both safe and environmentally friendly.

Workers commuting to One World Trade Center will enjoy unprecedented access to mass transit service. Dazzling new climate-controlled corridors will connect One World Trade Center to the WTC Transportation Hub and the new PATH terminal, 11 NYC Transit subway lines and the new Fulton Street Transit Center, the World Financial Center and ferry terminal, underground parking and approximately 450,000 square feet of world-class shopping and dining amenities developed by Westfield a leading world-wide retail property owner situated throughout the16-acre World trade Center campus.

One World Trade Center’s location in Lower Manhattan positions it in close proximity to amenities at the World Financial Center, Battery Park City and the new West Side Promenade, as well as offers easy access to Tribeca, South Street Seaport and Wall Street. Neighborhood amenities include world-class shopping and a riverfront walkway in a mixed-use community that is active 24/7.

To learn about leasing space, see floor plans and more, visit the One World Trade Center site.

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WTC PROGRESS – One World Trade Center

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution