Mar 092009

We’re currently in the middle of a “good news/bad news” situation with respect to Objectivism.

The good news is that there’s tremendous interest in Ayn Rand’s ideas.

At OCON 2008, Yaron Brook said that one of ARI’s goals was to reach the point that Ayn Rand’s ideas were being discussed everywhere — in the newspapers, in line at the local Starbucks, on talk radio, etc. He hoped that it could happen in 10 years.

It’s taken less than 10 months.

The bad news is that there’s a lot of misinformation about Objectivism being circulated out there, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Hence, if you think that some people are not accurately portraying Rand’s ideas, feel free to set the record straight by leaving your own comments on the various blog or news article sites.

The single most important thing you can do is to encourage people to read (or re-read) Rand’s books for themselves, so that they can make up their own minds on these issues (rather than just taking the word of some random author or online commenter).

Another thing you can do include post a link to the ARI website’s, Introduction to Objectivism.

The free online CliffsNotes for Atlas Shrugged are also pretty good (although of course not a substitute for the book itself.)

Or if I can plug myself, link to my PajamasMedia article, “Ayn Rand and the Tea Party Protests“.

Or if you’re feeling ambitious, write up your own blog post or OpEd on what “going John Galt” really means.

Other promotional methods (t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc.), can also play a part as long as they get people interested in studying Rand’s ideas.

And think about “upping your game” by one notch. If you’re a blogger and you’ve written an especially nice post on the topic, think about also sending it to your local newspaper as an OpEd. If you’ve composed a good online comment, think of sending it to your local newspaper as an LTE, as well as leaving it as a comment on more than one blog or article website. If you’ve read a good article on Rand, forward it as appropriate to your friends, family members, co-workers, and elected officials.

We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to promote Rand’s ideas. If we let her opponents and detractors frame the debate on their terms, it could harm our cause for years to come. On the other hand, if we frame the discussion on our terms, we could advance our cause by several years or possibly decades.

From personal experience, a single individual can have a disproportionately large effect in this battle of ideas, if he or she is willing to speak up and willing to articulate their ideas in a way that makes sense to the average American.

But we don’t have a lot of time to spare. Hence the importance of taking advantage of this golden opportunity.

Of course, there’s no “duty” to advocate and defend Rand’s ideas. But for many of us, it’s enjoyable and in our self-interest. If this is something that appeals to you, then please do so in whatever fashion is most suitable within the context of your life.


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