Voices for Reason is a blog that covers a wide range of topics, including philosophy and its application to current events, programs of the Ayn Rand Institute and the ideas of Objectivism. Looking back on the year, here are 2016’s most-read blog posts (along with edited versions of the introductions that accompanied them at time of publication).
1. “Who Is John Galt?” Law Student John Thorpe Answers and Wins $20,000” As the moment of truth approached, John Thorpe, a law school student at Arizona State University, tried to forget about the Atlas Shrugged essay contest he entered in early 2015. John had spent weeks carefully rereading the novel and poring over his essay in the hopes of taking home the coveted first prize. As the announcement deadline approached, however, he couldn’t help but recall the two previous years he went home empty-handed.
2. “One Small Step for Dictatorship” by Onkar Ghate. An analysis of Trump’s election to the presidency, what the election means for America and why Ayn Rand’s philosophy is more important than ever.
3. “‘Je Suis Charlie’ No Longer: A Year After the Attacks, Is the West Betraying Free Speech?” by Steve Simpson. One year ago today, Islamic terrorists entered the offices of the French publication Charlie Hebdo and fired sixty shots inside of three minutes. When the smoke cleared, eleven employees of the magazine and one building maintenance worker had been killed and eleven other people in the building had been injured. The “crime” for which these individuals were being punished was blasphemy.
4. “Ayn Rand on Love” by Carl Svanberg. This Sunday is Valentine’s Day, a holiday on which we celebrate romantic love. But, what exactly is romantic love? According to Ayn Rand, “Love is a response to values. . . . One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person’s character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul — the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness.”
5. “Brewing Insulin Using Genetically Modified Bacteria” by Amanda Maxham. I first learned about diabetes in grade school when a friend was diagnosed. I went to the hospital with his family and learned how to give insulin injections and understand blood sugar measurements. One thing I didn’t learn at the time is the amazing biotechnology story behind the tiny bottles of life-saving insulin that showed up in his refrigerator.