The Liberal Institute
EXTERNAL ANALYSIS

The following are monographs and analyses of outstandingly high quality from outside The Liberal Institute. They elucidate events and prominent cultural issues from an intensely liberal perspective:

  • 'Epilogue from the book On Ayn Rand' (2000) by Allan Gotthelf (1942-2013): personal reminiscences by the Randian scholar; quick appraisal of what Ayn Rand meant to his private and intellectual life; unpublished till late 2013.

  • 'Free Speech and Occupy Wall Street' by George Reisman from his blog in December of 2011: how the recent Occupy Wall Street protesters attacked free speech; parallels with the 1960s "free speech" movement based in Berkeley, California; the centrality of property rights to true freedom of expression.

  • 'Altruism: The Moral Root of the Financial Crisis' by Richard Salsman from the Spring 2009 issue of The Objective Standard: possibly best analysis to date of cause of The Great Recession; considers the many acts of welfare statism and government interference in the economy preceding late 2008; roles of the Federal Reserve, Community Reinvestment Acts, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc. examined.

  • 'Retouching Rand' by Neil Parille from an August 2009 post at a colleague's blog: considers aspects of the long-time, dolorous phenomenon of Objectivist cultism; looks at the rewriting of the historical record in Ayn Rand's published letters and diaries by the "orthodox" Ayn Rand Institute.

  • 'Is Objectivism a Cult?' by William Dwyer from a September 2005 discussion at The Rebirth of Reason website: title tells it; long-time Objectivist intellectual discusses Objectivist cultism, particularly as manifested by partisans of Leonard Peikoff and The Ayn Rand Institute.

  • 'Up From Conservatism' by Robert Bidinotto from the March 2007 issue of The New Individualist: the contradictions and hopelessness of the contemporary conservative movement; reveals the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the US Republican Party and its conservative supporters.

  • 'No Substitute for Victory: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism' by John Lewis from the Winter 2006/2007 issue of The Objective Standard: companion piece to below; unique and outstanding analysis.

  • 'Just War Theory vs. American Self-Defense' by Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein from the Spring 2006 issue of The Objective Standard: in-depth monograph challenging fundamental American military doctrines and philosophy; takes the three-decade-old "just war theory" and concommitant restrictive "rules of engagement" to task; compares warfare today with that of the past, especially WWII; utterly condemns the victory-free way America and the West fight today; devastating inditement.

  • 'The Inequality Taboo' by Charles Murray from an October 2005 issue of The Wall Street Journal: another article not truly about liberal theory -- but one full of liberal inplications; more brave and honest about human genetic differences than anyone else on the planet; fully annotated monograph not available from the printed magazine; an utterly scrupulous and nuanced treatment by a classical liberal thinker; a consideration of a subject the weak, gutless, bankrupt proto-liberal world doesn't dare deal with.

  • 'Guns, Germs and Steel' by Jared Diamond from a July 2005 American television program: a full transcript of the 3-hour Public Broadcasting Service t'v' show; this broadcast special is based on his 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning book; a paradigm-shifting work which is sometimes considerably illiberal, but well worth pondering; argues that "the ascent of man" was mostly based on luck and geography; a unique and challenging intellectual and technological history of man from 11,000 BC to the present.

  • 'The Rise of Illiberal Democracy' by Fareed Zakaria from the November 1997 issue of Foreign Affairs: examines how democracy can and does sometimes result in tyranny; considers the failure of the West's glib proponents of "democracy" in our current post-Cold War era; anticipates his 2004 book of the same title.

  • 'The End of History?' by Francis Fukuyama from the Summer 1989 issue of The National Interest: coruscating, penetrating, stunning, large-scale, Hegelian analysis of the incipient worldwide triumph of "Western liberal" politics and culture; inspired the 1992 book 'The End of History and the Last Man'; a classic still worth reading.

  • The Clash of Civilizations' by Samuel Huntington from the Summer 1993 issue of Foreign Policy: brilliant, original, seminal reflection on likely future conflicts between liberalism, nationalism, Islam, etc.; inspired the 1996 book 'The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order;' answers Fukuyama above; a classic still worth reading.

  • 'The Roots of Muslim Rage' by Bernard Lewis from the September 1990 issue of Atlantic Monthly: title tells it; explains "the clash of civilizations" between the West and Islamdom before Huntington above; world's foremost authority on Islam calls it in advance; a classic still worth reading.

  • 'The War Against Modernity' by David Kelley from the May 2002 issue of Navigator: seminal philosophical explication of 9/11 and "why they hate us" -- what it means and what America and the West should do now; considers Fukuyama and Huntington, among others; substitutes the term "modernity" for liberalism, but a generally outstanding Objectivist-based analysis. Liberal Institute analysis of this article

  • 'The Party of Modernity' by David Kelley from the November 2003 edition of Navigator: probably the most important article of the past several years; picks up from the article above; persuasively and elegantly contrasts "modernism" and the Enlightenment liberal ideal with the "pre-modern" world of religion and the "post-modern" world of socialism; altho' mistaken in terminology, this is a transcendent, incisive, scintillating intellectual survey of the past 300 years of Western history.

  • 'Stephen Hicks on Post-Modernism' an Interview of Stephen Hicks from the February 1999 edition of Navigator: general survey of what underlies today's "progressive" philosophy and culture, including almost all the fundamental "pomo" thinkers; examines the intellectual roots and consequences of the leftist/socialist side of illiberalism; anticipates his current 2005 book.

  • 'Why Art Became Ugly' by Stephen Hicks from the September 2004 edition of Navigator: original, amazing, provocative, high-quality survey of Western art over the past century or so; focuses on "modernism" and "post-modernism" in painting; huge number of helpful painting links.

  • 'Why and How to Conquer the Savages' by Ron Pisaturo from September 2001 in Capitalism Magazine: a dramatic answer to 9/11; vigorous and merciless consideration of how America should respond to the current Muslim threat; overshoots the mark, but an emphatic and overwhelming analysis from an idiosyncratic actor-philosopher; high-nutrition food for thought, and superior to Peikoff below.

  • 'End States Who Sponsor Terrorism' by Leonard Peikoff from the October 2, 2001 issue of the New York Times: a passionate, well-reasoned article against what Bush called "states who harbor terrorists;" mentions the widely-ignored 1951 Iranian oil "nationalization" and subsequent copycat nationalist kleptomania; a clarion call for robust action, and a strong, clear, emphatic argument against passivity and appeasement. Liberal Institute analysis of this article

  • 'Understanding the Global Crisis -- Reclaiming Rand's Radical Legacy' by Chris Sciabarra from the May/June 2003 issue of Free Radical: 9/11 considered; thoughtful, balanced, well-reasoned meditation which is largely anti-war and isolationist.

  • 'A Question of Loyalty' by Chris Sciabarra from the April 2004 issue of Free Radical: a careful and nuanced article which systematically lays out a thoughtful, perceptive anti-war position on Iraq; probably mistaken, but makes a strong, point-by-point case without falling into either the evils of libertarian amoralism and isolationism, or leftist anti-Americanism and appeasement.

  • 'Peter Schwartz and the Abandonment of Rand's Radical Legacy' by Chris Sciabarra from a mid-December 2004 article in 'Liberty and Power': a scholarly, systematic, subtle consideration of Peter Schwartz's recent monograph on foreign policy; Ayn Rand failed to discuss this issue in detail, and here Sciabarra exposes the considerable limitations of current ARI cultist thought.

  • 'Death By Environmentalism' by Robert Bidinotto from the March 2004 issue of Navigator: reveals the shocking way seemingly innocuous environmental law lays waste to human existence; discusses such items as food irradiation, genetic engineering of crops, and miles-per-gallon requirements; details how French anti-air-conditioning laws actually killed 15,000 Frenchmen in 2003 (five times the World Trade Center total!); explains how anti-DDT laws around the globe slaughter millions.

  • 'In Praise of Anger!'; 'Of Belly-Laughers and Anal-Retentives'; 'When Men Become Nem' by Lindsay Perigo from the August and September 2004 SoloHQ website: not particularly analytical or profound, but eloquent, lively, passionate, and inspiring; these three short essays capture a great deal of the dynamic, heroic, noble liberal spirit.

  • 'The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand' by Nathaniel Branden, from a personal statement issued in 1984: title tells it; a quietly controversial classic which has stood the test of time; argues that Rand's literal philosophy of Objectivism is simply outstanding at describing the outside world and creating a potential for individual happiness; but also claims that Rand, especially in her novels, implicitly advocated and conveyed a great deal of intellectual authoritarianism and emotional repression.