We’ve all heard that the American Dream is vanishing and that the cause is rising income inequality. We’re told that we need to fight inequality through tax hikes, wealth redistribution schemes and a far higher minimum wage. But what if that narrative is wrong? What if the real threat to the American Dream isn’t rising income inequality, but an all-out war on success?
Recorded on April, 19, 2016 at ARI Headquarters in Irvine, California.
From the attack on Charlie Hebdo to campus speech codes, it is clear that freedom of speech faces significant threats today. Unlike the rest of the world, America has the First Amendment to protect this right. But is the First Amendment enough?
In this talk, ARI director of legal studies Steve Simpson explains why the legal right to free speech won’t survive if people abandon free speech as a moral value. To keep this precious right, he argues, we need to convince people that free speech isn’t just something we must tolerate, but that it is a value we should embrace.
Recorded on March 22, 2016, at ARI Headquarters in Irvine, California.
After the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, many began questioning whether the right to free speech includes the right to offend. For example, does Charlie Hebdo have a right to publish cartoons offensive to Muslims? In this talk, Steve Simpson explains why our ‘culture of sensitivity’ reveals a troubling ignorance about the nature and value of free speech. (Recorded March 25, 2015.)
Former Director of Legal Studies (2013-2018), Ayn Rand Institute
Freedom of Speech or Tyranny of Silence?
by The Editors | January 21, 2015
Following the massacre of journalists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the intimidation of Sony Pictures over The Interview and a growing climate of self-censorship, this panel opens up a conversation on the future of the freedom of speech. What is the right to free speech? Does it include the right to offend? Is there such a thing as “hate speech” or “Islamophobia”? How should the government respond when foreign groups and regimes threaten Americans’ freedom of speech? What can you do to protect your freedom to voice your ideas?
The panelists are Flemming Rose, foreign editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and the author of Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate on the Future of Free Speech; Onkar Ghate, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute; Harvey Silverglate, co-founder and chairman of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; and Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe syndicated columnist. The moderator is Gregory Salmieri, a philosophy fellow at the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship.
This panel discussion was recorded on January 21, 2015, at the Old South Meeting House in Boston, Massachusetts.
After the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the lethal shootings at a free speech event in Copenhagen, some Western intellectuals are now raising the question whether we, in the West, are guilty of abusing our free speech.
Is it really necessary, they ask, to offend one billion Muslims, just to make a point? How many more will have to pay with their very lives, they ask, before irresponsible provocateurs and troublemakers like Flemming Rose, Lars Vilks and the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, realize that they have gone too far? The very fact that such questions are raised at all only underscores the severity of the threat to our freedom of speech.
In this talk, which was delivered as a part of ARI’s Road to a Free Society Tour, ARI’s executive director, Yaron Brook explains why free speech is being attacked today and argues that it’s imperative to defend this most precious freedom. (Recorded January 21, 2015.)
In this interview, Dr. Onkar Ghate discusses the “new atheists” — men like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, who have lodged important, new criticisms of religion in the wake of the attacks on 9/11. Topics covered include:
Does support for capitalism require belief in Christianity? In this interview, Dr. Ghate explains why the contrary is true — until capitalism is severed from religion, he argues, a true moral defense of capitalism is impossible and unconvincing. Topics covered include:
Many of our political discussions today assume that the advocacy of economic freedom and of religion go together, that to be against social security and our tens of thousands of other controls means you must also be against evolution and contraception. As Americans we’re told that our choice is to embrace either superstition and capitalism or science and the modern regulatory-welfare state — and faced with such a choice, many of us understandably choose the latter. In this talk, Onkar Ghate argues that in fact religion undermines freedom and that our real choice is to embrace science and capitalism or the authoritarianism of religion and today’s Big Government. (Recorded on December 3, 2014 at ARI’s headquarters in Irvine, California.)
The increasing gap between the rich and poor is a growing concern for many Americans. Some say that inequality is “the defining issue of our time” (president Obama), “the root of social evil” (Pope Francis), and “a threat to our way of life” (Robert Reich).
Are they right? Should we care about inequality? In this debate against James Galbraith of the University of Texas, Yaron Brook, executive director of ARI, questions the premise of the whole debate.