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.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Enter The Atlas Shrugged Video Contest!

The “Atlas Shrugged” Video Contest will end in a few weeks, so be sure to submit your entries and vote on your favorite videos!

The “Atlas Shrugged” Video Contest is a challenge to anyone with a video recorder who has read “Atlas Shrugged” and wants to change the world.

Create a short web video, three minutes max, on how Ayn Rand’s epic story relates to current issues in society or in your own life. Videos will be judged on their intellectual strength, creativity and persuasiveness.

Grand prize: $5,000
2nd prize: $1,000
Viewer’s Choice award: Apple iPad pre-loaded with works of Ayn Rand

Contest ends: December 8, 2010, at 11:59 pm (PST)

For more information, please refer to the Official Rules page. Or contact this mail address:

Ayn Rand Institute
2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250
Irvine, CA 92606
Telephone: 949-222-6550

E-mail address: contest@AtlasShrugged.com
Website: http://atlasshrugged.com/contest/

Monday, November 8, 2010

The "Giving Pledge"

The “giving pledge” of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates was signed by 40 of the wealthiest Americans. Gates and Buffett have asked the wealthiest to give up half of their wealth for philanthropic causes. Strangely, many complied and many more are like to, in coming days. Don Watkins and Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute has called it the “guilt pledge’ in Forbes. “Charity is not a primary virtue”, said Ayn Rand.

We are usually reminded that we could wipe out poverty if only we would be willing to sacrifice a little more. “What good would it do, for a corporate CEO to have one more private jet?” they ask. An overwhelming majority of world’s population lives in near starvation. Any sane, intelligent person can look upon this fact and pass his judgment that charity, definitely, isn’t a solution to this problem. How are we supposed to deal with a problem of this scale through sacrifices? When they say sacrifices are to be made out of profits, they ignore the basic economic fact that every penny given to charity is taken out of what would have been employed in capital investment or personal luxury.

Charity is, needless to mention, a virtue on a free, uncontrolled, unregulated economy if exercised in the right manner. Not for a single moment is anyone saying that we shouldn’t help men thrown into poverty by no fault of their own, but we should know what makes and keeps them poor. It would certainly be argued that their problems need immediate attention, and few have anything to say against it. What is to be said against it is that ‘charity’ or welfare state as a policy would only exacerbate their problems. Even if all the richest men on the earth try to cure poverty through charity, they won’t reach anywhere close to it, as the poor are too much for them to take care of.

We now see the richest men on earth running around like Santa Clauses, which forces me to believe that they do really believe what they preach. At least on a conscious level, they do, otherwise they wouldn’t have been willing to spend their hard earned money that way. We get to one more reason why a libertarian education is essential for each and every man on earth. It would relieve the rich of their guilt and the neurotics of their inferiority complex. Alienation and scapegoating has a lot to do with it.