Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Protest in Washington against government spending

On September 12, a huge protest took place in Washington against the leftist schemes of the US Government. We may not have even heard of it as the media coverage of the rally is virtually non-existent. But it was actually a very big success, with a crowd estimated at close to 1 million.

Many Objectivists attended the event, including philosopher Harry Binswanger, who posted a report of the event on the HB List. In his evaluation, there were several good things about the protest, though he did have some misgivings as well. The positive news according to him was that:

- "The protestors gave every evidence of being decent, middle-class Americans. There were far fewer weirdoes than at other such events, and the people were in a different universe from the bearded, work-shirted nihilist/Goth/aged-hippies typifying leftist demonstrations."

- "The signage held by the protestors was often of a *conceptual* level. There were some that just attacked Obama (e.g.,Obama as a blood-dripping ghoul), but the word "socialism" appeared surprisingly frequently in the signs, and one even had "collectivism" on it."

- "There was a scattering of Ayn Rand influenced signs--not only "Who is John Galt?" but also at least one sign using the term "looters," and one man wearing a black t-shirt with Galt's oath in white print on the front!"

- Yaron Brook, director of the Ayn Rand Institute, was one of the speakers at the event. Unfortunately, "he was in a late group of speakers that were each given only two or three minutes. He began with a good opening, "I am a refugee from socialism," going on to explain that he is an immigrant from a socialist country. He defined the United States as a country based on individual rights, and concretized that a bit. His best line was, "You are not your brother's keeper." The speech was very well delivered and the crowd reaction was favourable to it [but not any more favourable than to those of all the others], even though it was really too brief a speech to have any significant overall effect."

Some of the less enthusing aspects of the event, according to Mr. Binswanger, were:

- "Most of the Objectivism-related sign holders when asked whether he or she was an Objectivist, answered "no." They cited libertarianism or religion--rather than Objectivism--as their allegiance."

- "Although the gathering understood the statist threat and came out to fight it, they were not the sort of people who could be at the vanguard of any movement to take the nation towards capitalism. At best they can retard the drift towards statism."

He concludes with the following thoughts:

“At the very least, the event proved that there are hearteningly many who will follow Objectivism - if the intellectual leadership will lead in that direction. ...The final good news is that the American sense of life, however limited it may be intellectually, is still strong enough to throw a big monkey wrench into the reactionary "progressives" dreams of wrecking this nation.”

Mr. Binswanger's comments have been extracted from a longer post that you can read by registering on his website http://www.hblist.com

Pictures of the event can be seen at http://912dc.dhwritings.com/ , a page created by David Hayes.


  1. Vikram, what are the chances of organizing a large protest in Delhi against the trillions (in rupees) that Manmohan S. Gandhi(as Sauvik Chakraverti likes to put it) are pouring down the drain in the name of social schemes?


  2. Celebrating Capitalism with the "Walk for Capitalism" in Connaught Place in Delhi, with 50 people, in 2001, was a challenge but also fun. Organising a protest, leave aside a large one(!), may pose a larger challenge without the fun!

  3. Oh yes, I remember the walk. Not a long walk but lot's of fun.Plus the astonished expression on the face of one particular shop executive(I think it was at the McDonalds)who was given an award.

  4. Some more photos from the Washington event can be seen on this page http://www.hblist.com/DC/

    As for our "Walk for Capitalism" nearly a decade ago, it still amazes me that we pulled it off!