Elan Journo, Author at The Ayn Rand Institute
Culture And Society

On This Holiday, Give Thanks to the Producers

In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, there’s an unforgettable Thanksgiving scene at the mansion of Hank Rearden, a self-made millionaire industrialist whose achievements include the invention — after ten years of toil — of a revolutionary new metal, stronger, cheaper and more durable than steel. In addition to Rearden, seated at the table for Thanksgiving dinner are his mother, his wife Lillian, and his brother Philip, all of whom are wholly dependent on Rearden and his wealth.
ARI News

Welcome to ARI’s New Fellow Ben Bayer

Last November at ARI's student conference in Atlanta, #AynRandCon 2016, I heard a riveting panel on psychology, neuroscience, and free will. One of the highlights was a question from the audience on religion and free will — a tough question — that Dr. Ben Bayer, one of the panelists, tackled. Ben’s answer was clarifying and provocative, and invited the audience to explore the issue in depth. Listening to that Q&A, I reflected, it was clear that here was an expert on the topic who was also a skilled teacher.
Foreign Policy

What Vox’s Will Wilkinson Gets Right — and Horribly Wrong — about Trump and the Islamist Menace

I applaud Will Wilkinson’s essay at Vox.com criticizing the Trump administration’s view of the jihadist threat, but I can offer only one cheer, not three. Wilkinson tries to put the threat in perspective, and although he makes some important points, he exhibits a mile-wide blind spot. Thus, in his own way, Wilkinson fails to understand the Islamist menace, what enables it, and the urgent necessity of confronting it.
Foreign Policy

The Jihadist Attack in London

After the attack outside Parliament in London on March 22, four people died and more than 40 were injured. Heading toward the Parliament buildings, the assailant drove at high speed on the sidewalk of Westminster Bridge, mowing down pedestrians. Then he got out of the car wielding a knife, sprinted inside the Parliament gates, and managed to stab to death one policeman, before being overpowered. The Islamic State has praised the 52-year-old killer, who was born and raised in England, as one of its soldiers.
Government And Business

After Banning My Book, UCLA Explains Itself

Two weeks ago, some students and the administration at UCLA School of Law tried to ban my book Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism from being displayed at a free-speech panel. (The event was co-sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute and The Federalist Society; you can read a detailed account in my editorial at The Hill.) Appalled by that incident, I wondered whether this was typical of UCLA, whether the university would explain its actions, whether it cared at all about intellectual freedom.
Foreign Policy

3 Things We Must Know in Order to Stop Jihadists

The truck attack at a Christmas market in Berlin has cast a lurid spotlight on German authorities. The police apparently knew the suspect, had evidence of his ties to jihadists and believed he posed a threat. Yet twelve people are now dead. Last August, we saw a truck used as a weapon of jihad in Nice, France, so why didn't police prevent this one?
Foreign Policy

Israel’s PM Reading John David Lewis’s Nothing Less Than Victory

Lately we've seen a whole flurry of articles — many of them overstated — about the influence of Ayn Rand on some of Trump's cabinet picks, and in that there's some (qualified) good news. Now comes this heartening news story: Israel's newspaper of record, Haaretz, reports that the country's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was seen in parliament reading a book by an Objectivist historian, the late John David Lewis.

Further Reading

Ayn Rand | 1957
For the New Intellectual

The Moral Meaning of Capitalism

An industrialist who works for nothing but his own profit guiltlessly proclaims his refusal to be sacrificed for the “public good.”
View Article
Ayn Rand | 1961
The Virtue of Selfishness

The Objectivist Ethics

What is morality? Why does man need it? — and how the answers to these questions give rise to an ethics of rational self-interest.
View Article