Twenty years ago, the “peace process” ignited fervent hopes of Mid-East peace. But that policy collapsed. Peace remains elusive. Why? Now, amid the rise of Islamists, the upheaval in Egypt, the Syrian civil war, and an imminently nuclear-capable Iran, what might it take to achieve peace? Following the so-called Arab Spring, how should we view the Israel-Palestinian conflict? What should America’s policy be toward the region, and Israel in particular? (Recorded September 10, 2013.)
Capitalism has an undisputed record of wealth generation, yet it has always functioned under a cloud of moral suspicion. In a culture that venerates Mother Teresa as a paragon of virtue, businessmen sit in stoic silence while their pursuit of profits is denounced as selfish greed.
Society tells businessmen to sacrifice, to serve others, to “give back” — counting on their acceptance of self-interest as a moral crime, with chronic guilt its penance. Is it any wonder that productive giants from John D. Rockefeller to Bill Gates have behaved as if profit-making leaves a moral stain that only tireless philanthropy can launder but never fully remove?
It is time America heard the moral case for laissez-faire capitalism.
Two centuries ago the Founding Fathers established a nation based on the individual’s rights to life, liberty, property — and the selfish pursuit of his own happiness. But neither the Founders nor their successors could properly defend self-interest and the profit motive in the face of moral denunciation. The result has been a slow destruction of freedom in America, leading us to today’s economic mess. (Recorded January 21, 2013.)
Objectivists know that the entitlement state is an immoral institution that needs to be abolished. But most Americans regard this as unthinkable. Why? What ideas have made the entitlement state sacrosanct? Why haven’t traditional arguments against wealth redistribution — for example, “Social Security is theft” — been effective? How do we convince Americans that need truly isn’t a claim on other people’s wealth?
To answer these questions, Don Watkins examines how, over a hundred years ago, the left transformed America from an essentially free market into a regulatory entitlement state. Arguing that its success was the result of a powerful moral narrative, Mr. Watkins discusses how supporters of capitalism can develop an even more persuasive moral narrative of our own — one that will change the debate over entitlements from how to save them to how to end them. (Recorded July 2, 2012.)
It’s an open secret that America’s entitlement state is in disarray, and that the United States faces a crushing debt, thanks to programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But according to Don Watkins, ARI fellow, that’s not the biggest problem with entitlements.
In this talk, you will discover the unknown history of life in America before the entitlement state, and discover the surprising reason why the United States went from a limited government to an entitlement nation. In the process, you will find out why all of the usual solutions to our entitlement crisis cannot work — and what kind of solution can work. (Recorded February 21, 2012.)
The Islamist Threat: From AfPak to Jyllands-Posten and Times Square
by John David Lewis | September 08, 2011
In this panel discussion, titled “The Islamist Threat: From AfPak to Jyllands-Posten and Times Square,” Peter Brookes, Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, John David Lewis, Visiting Associate Professor at Duke University and Diana West, Author and Syndicated Columnist assess the threat posed by radical Islam in light of the lessons learned since 9/11. Moderated by Elan Journo, Fellow and Director of Policy Research at Ayn Rand Institute. This event was recorded on September 8, 2011, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
About The Author
John David Lewis
Dr. John David Lewis (1955 – 2012) was visiting associate professor in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program at Duke University and the author of Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History (among others).
Upheavals in the Middle East: Assessing the political landscape
In this panel discussion, titled “Upheavals in the Middle East: Assessing the Political Landscape,” Yaron Brook, President and Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, Walid Phares, Author and Advisor to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, Efraim Karsh, Director at Middle East Forum, and Daniel Pipes, President of Middle East Forum, discuss the political situation of the Middle East in light of the lessons learned since 9/11. Moderated by Elan Journo, Fellow and Director of Policy Research, Ayn Rand Institute. This event was recorded on September 8, 2011, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
In this panel discussion, titled “Iran, Israel, and the West,” Elan Journo, Fellow and Director of Policy Research at the Ayn Rand Institute, Efraim Karsh, Director at Middle East Forum, Claire Lopez, Senior Fellow at Center for Security Policy and Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar at American Enterprise Institute discuss the West’s relationship to Israel and Iran, and what their conflict means to us. Moderated by Yaron Brook, Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute. This event was recorded on September 8, 2011, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Senior Fellow and Vice President of Content Products, Ayn Rand Institute
Using Ayn Rand's Values to Create Competitive Advantage in Business
by John Allison | April 04, 2011
John Allison, who as chairman and CEO made BB&T Corporation the 10th largest financial institution headquartered in the United States, attributes the success of BB&T to the concept of Principled Leadership, based on an uncompromising commitment to fundamental values. In this talk, he explains how Ayn Rand’s ethical system can be used practically to create a competitive advantage in any organization. (Recorded April 4, 2011.)
About The Author
John Allison, former chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation, is president and CEO of the Cato Institute.
The financial industry took most of the blame for the 2008 financial meltdown, as it has taken the blame for virtually every economic crisis and disaster in history. In this talk, Yaron Brook will challenge the conventional wisdom and argue that finance is a crucial, productive, and noble undertaking.
Addressing a widespread myth, Dr. Brook will show how the financial industry has long been the most regulated industry in America, and that these regulations were a central cause of the recent financial crisis. Free, unregulated financial markets, he’ll conclude, serve the vital function of providing capital to producers and fueling economic progress.
Dr. Brook will end by exposing the deepest source of hostility toward the financial industry: the widespread hatred of the profit motive. (Recorded February 15, 2011.)
Why Should Business Leaders Care about Intellectual Property? — Ayn Rand’s Radical Argument
by Adam Mossoff | November 30, 2010
The extraordinary achievements in the modern pharmaceutical, biotech, telecommunications and computer industries are dramatic evidence of the significance of intellectual property rights to human life and success. In this talk, law professor Adam Mossoff will explain Ayn Rand’s radical justification for intellectual property rights: that all property is—at root—intellectual property. The property rights that are created and traded in our advanced capitalist system, whether in land, factories, consumer goods, securities, or inventions and books, are born of innovators who first conceived these new values.
In recognizing this fundamental truth, Rand is the only philosopher who offers a rational alternative to the anti-mind premise of judges, policy activists and professors who smear the owners of intellectual property as evil monopolists who steal from the so-called public domain. Rather, intellectual property rights represent the heart and core of property rights. Thus, every business and every pro-capitalist should embrace and defend the intellectual property rights — the patents, copyrights and trade secrets — that are the lifeblood of our free enterprise system. (Recorded November 30, 2010.)
About The Author
Adam Mossoff is professor of Law and co-director of Academic Programs and a senior scholar in the Center for Protection of Intellectual Property at George Mason University.