Sunday, February 3, 2019

ARI begins outreach to student libertarian groups

What Defenders of Liberty Need to Know - Tom Bowden, New Ideal:

January 21, 2019 - "In recent years, there has been a resurgence of libertarian student organizations both in the US and around the world. Many of the students involved in those organizations are interested in Ayn Rand, and it’s for this audience that philosophers Onkar Ghate and Gregory Salmieri presented a seven-part lecture series called “What Is Liberty?”"

"'It’s exciting to see that there are so many students around the world interested in promoting liberty,' Salmieri says. 'That’s a project that requires philosophy, and most of these students are still at the early stages in the process of thinking through what liberty is and what’s needed to defend it. We prepared these lectures as a summary for this audience of Rand’s political philosophy....

”The relationship between Objectivism and the libertarian movement has been fraught since the libertarian movement coalesced in the late 1960s, Salmieri observes. 'Early libertarian leaders all cited Rand as an influence, but most of them had embraced anarchism, a view that Rand considered to be deeply incompatible with capitalism — and, indeed, with the requirements of human life. She held the libertarian movement in contempt for this reason, and also because she regarded it as unphilosophical — as an attempt to pursue ‘liberty’ as a vaguely defined political goal without first doing the thinking needed to understand what liberty is or what it requires.'

"In some ways, Salmieri notes, today’s liberty movement is a lot better than the movement Rand denounced in the early 1970s, but her central criticisms of the movement remain valid. 'Anarchism may not be as dominant as it once was,' he explains, 'but it exerts an outsized influence on how almost all self-professed libertarians think about freedom. And, if one looks at the full range of positions endorsed by all the people who claim to be united ‘for liberty,’ they’re too disparate for them to count as all fighting for the same thing. Some of them are fighting for something I can recognize as freedom, but others are fighting against it.'

"This confusion presents a real problem for the future, Salmieri contends, because at one time or another all of the most oppressive social systems in history — socialism, fascism, anarchism — have been hailed as 'pro-liberty' and championed by young people who thought they were on the side of freedom....

"All seven sessions, filmed at the 2017 Ayn Rand Student Conference, are available on this YouTube playlist in the order presented."

'via Blog this'

1 comment:

  1. "'Early libertarian leaders all cited Rand as an influence, but most of them had embraced anarchism" sounds like a mischaracterization. When I joined the LP in 1974, 1970s, for example, the leading libertarian philosophers were John Hospers, Murray Rothbard, and Robert Nozick. Hospers cited Rand as an influence, but did not embrace anarchism; Rothbard embraced anarchism, but did not cite Rand as an influence; Nozick did neither.