A Journal for Western Man :  Issue LVI

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Culture

Taking Back Our Homes:
May 7, 2006:
The mainstream "pop-culture" is horrendously depraved, and Rebecca Hagelin gives disturbing examples of how it is corrupting many American children. Mrs. Hagelin also gives advice for how parents might counter this trend and raise individuals with sound moral values.

Economics

The Contrast between the Views of Karl Marx and Adam Smith:
May 2, 2006:
Karl Marx and Adam Smith are both frequently categorized as "Classical" economists; they shared a labor theory of value, but in many other respects, they were diametrical opposites. Marx loathed the capitalist system, while Smith championed it. This essay by L.T. details some of the differences between these two thinkers.

Filosofy

Spinoza on Freedom, Ethics, and Politics:
April 27, 2006:
Dr. Edward W. Younkins presents the ideas of Benedict de Spinoza, a 17th-century rationalist filosofer who emfasized the importance of reason, individual moral agency, and political freedom-- embodied in the separation of state functions from morality.

Objectivism: Open System or Closed System?:
May 3, 2006:
Andre Zantonavitch argues that the pervasive debate about whether Objectivism is an "open system" or a "closed system" has been poorly waged by both sides. Rather, Objectivism ought to be viewed as a defined system in that it is a consistent, well-integrated body of thought. However, this means that Objectivism must be open to change if one of Ayn Rand's ideas is found to contradict the rest. If one has to choose between the "open-system" and the "closed-system" labels, the former is definitely superior.

Historical Analysis

Locke, Natural Rights, and the Sharon Statement:
May 8, 2006:
The Sharon Statement-- drafted by Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) in 1960-- is an excellent representative of the Lockean natural rights tradition, writes G. Stolyarov II. The Sharon Statement constitutes a fundamental defense of immutable natural liberties, the sanctity of private property, and the necessity of free markets devoid of state interference.

Locke versus Calhoun on Natural Rights: The Natural Rightness of Locke:
May 8, 2006:
In his "Disquisition on Government," John C. Calhoun attempted to defend slavery by attacking John Locke's idea of natural rights and the accompanying concept of a state of nature whence these rights are derived. G. Stolyarov II refutes Calhoun's argument, points out its numerous fallacies, and vindicates Lockean natural rights.

Franklin Roosevelt versus Ronald Reagan and the American Heritage:
May 8, 2006:
G. Stolyarov II contrasts the ideas on government present in Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1932 "Commonwealth Club Address" and Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address. Roosevelt considered public welfare considerations to overshadow individual sovereignty in importance; he was ready to use government power to force individuals to behave in the “public interest.” Reagan, on the contrary,  represented the American heritage– arguing against restraints on free enterprise and  defending individual sovereignty, natural rights, and limited government.

Literary Analysis

A Review of Edward W. Younkins's Philosophers of Capitalism:
May 5, 2006:
G. Stolyarov II reviews a new anthology edited by Dr. Edward W. Younkins-- a renowned contemporary scholar of Objectivism and Austrian Economics. He applauds Dr. Younkins's effort at creating a powerful libertarian synthesis by integrating the best elements of those two schools of thought.  Order the book here.

Music

Christopher Schlegel: The Magnanimous Man:
April 28, 2006:
Composer Christopher Schlegel offers a wonderful work for electric guitar-- his endeavor to use this instrument for life-affirming, heroic purposes as opposed to the gloom and despair of many post-modern rockers. This work is named after an ideal for the human condition expressed by the thinker Aristotle. You can learn more about the project from which this work came at http://www.truthagainsttheworld.com/ElectricGuitar/ConcertElectricGuitar.html. Left-click to play. Right-click to download.

Christopher Schlegel: Tenebrae Circumdare Lumen:
April 28, 2006:
Christopher Schlegel offers another piece from his collection of original instrumental music for electric guitar. See the official website of the collection at http://www.truthagainsttheworld.com/ElectricGuitar/ElectricGuitar.html. Left-click to play. Right-click to download.

Politics

Tyranny of the Majority?:
May 8, 2006:
Brian Johnston challenges a widespread and dangerous contemporary conservative belief that the majority of American voters is infallible and always makes the right choices. The majority can err, and sometimes disastrously so, and this is why those who believe in political and economic freedom ought to continue to actively persuade people to advocate pro-liberty policies.

Landowners' Coalition Demands Repeal of the ESA:
May 9, 2006:
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is among the worst laws ever created, having failed to protect 99% of endangered species and instead giving fanatical environmentalists the ability to arbitrarily prevent landowners from using their property. This American Policy Center press release describes a new effort by a coalition of landowners, businessmen, and thinkers to repeal this heinous law.

"Not everything that that exists today is reasonable; but this does not mean that everything that does not exist is sensible."

~ Ludwig von Mises