Why the Future is Bright
The Institute’s focus remains unwavering. We, in partnership with our contributors, are striving to implement fundamental, philosophical change in the culture.
In the wake of the elections, what the next four years holds is uncertain. But whatever occurs, it will not be as important as the four years after that — and the years beyond.
That’s because it took decades for our values to be undermined, primarily through bad philosophy inflicted on generation after generation through our disastrous educational system. As a result it will take time to get the culture back on track.
But I remain convinced that we will prevail and that the victory will ultimately be won.
That’s why we continue to fight, and why I hope as this year comes to an end that you’ll help support ARI and provide the critical resources we need to carry on the battle.
My reason for this hope is simple: There is a new generation of advocates for reason, liberty and capitalism who are just now coming into their own. I find this development incredibly inspiring.
I encountered scores of these young people in Atlanta last month at our second annual Ayn Rand Student Conference (AynRandCon). These are extraordinarily bright, energetic, passionate young people who, while still outnumbered on their respective campuses, are now equipped with the right ideas — and are therefore more than a match for the vacuous irrationality of their opponents and professors in our colleges and universities.
I also find great promise in the audiences with which ARI intellectuals and I interact nearly every week on college campuses around the world. Many of these young people took part in the student-centered programs at OCON last year in the Seattle area, and we expect that they and many others will join us at next year’s summer conference in Pittsburgh.
And more young people are joining their ranks every day.
I see this in the orders we receive nearly every day from educators excited to take part in our Free Books to Teachers program, and the hundreds of thousands of copies of Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged we’ve shipped to those teachers eager to teach Rand to their students. More than half a million young people are reading one of Ayn Rand’s novels in their classroom this year.
Here are just a few examples of how teachers have embraced our high school programs:
- I cannot express in words how much I appreciate your organization for providing these classroom sets. As an Ayn Rand fan, I value Rand’s theme of individual responsibility; as an educator, I hope students will connect with the idea/message of self-importance and self-reliance, especially in today’s world. Thank you so much for being incredibly generous.
- Thanks ever so much. I am so excited about teaching The Fountainhead to my students! I have always recommended it as an outside reading book, just because my district could not afford to buy new novels, but thanks to the Institute, I will be able to teach it to TWO of my classes this year. I can hardly wait!
- I actually placed in an Ayn Rand essay contest as an 8th grader in 1997. I’m incredibly excited to read this story with my class.
- I have been teaching Anthem to my 9th-grade students for over 10 years. I received free books then, and many of those books are starting to fall apart after being read three times a year for 10 years. Do you still offer free books? If so, I would like to request 75 new copies of Anthem so that I can continue to share Ayn Rand’s vision with students. Anthem is always very well received by students and gives them amazing food for thought. Thanks so much for the info!
My optimism is even further enhanced by the more than 20,000 essays that poured into our office this past spring from the students competing in our annual essay contests. The quality of some of these entries is truly remarkable and indicates that there is a core group of young people who read, consider, understand and embrace the philosophic thrust of Ayn Rand’s fiction. They are the future.
To build on these programs we have invested heavily in the past few years in online learning, ARI Campus. Right now, more than 10,000 people are enrolled in one or more of the courses available on this one-of-a-kind educational platform. Moreover we expect participation to grow even further in 2017 as we launch our most ambitious ARI Campus offering yet — our new Introduction to Objectivism course.
The bottom line is this: with the help of our supporters, we are creating, through these programs, what is rapidly becoming an alternative educational option for young people.
Here’s how it works: a student first encounters Ayn Rand via a classroom reading of one of her novels. Inspired, that young person takes part in an essay contest and checks out our online resources at aynrand.org or ARI Campus. They continue their study of these ideas in college and we make sure they know that we will be there every step of the way to support them, through our rapidly expanding offerings for students online, and through scholarships to the OAC, for OCON and for AynRandCon.
Because of the failure of our educational system — the irrationality, mysticism, collectivism of mainstream institutions of “learning”—it falls to us to offer these young minds an alternative; a real education that will incalculably enhance their lives.
And from this group will come the intellectuals and activists that will effect much-needed change in the culture.
As I have mentioned before, we have to change the world one mind at a time. It is not easy, but there is simply no shortcut to the long-term, hard work this entails. We at ARI are working hard to make this happen. But as you can imagine there is much work left to do.
You can be a partner in this fight by contributing right now to ARI. Your help will enable us to steadily improve the quality of our educational offerings, and will also ensure that we will have the resources necessary for what we estimate will be a significant increase in the number of participants in all of our programs in the years ahead.
The payoff for all of us is the opportunity to realize the vision of living in a world that embraces rationality, self-interest, prosperity and a sense of life that upholds man as a heroic being. You’ll be contributing to the support of those young people who will be at the forefront of a brighter, more rational and freer future.
I believe this is a vision worth fighting for, even if its achievement appears at times to be elusive, difficult and frustrating. And engaging in the fight itself, regardless of whether we see victory very soon or in the more distant future, matters deeply.
You can support our critical work — you can be part of the fight — by going online right now to http://www.aynrand.org/donate.
Every dollar of your support matters. Every dollar you give goes toward reaching young minds and promoting tomorrow’s thought leaders in order to realize the vision of Ayn Rand’s novels.
Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a productive, prosperous New Year!