The Liberal Institute

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reminiscences by the Randian scholar; quick appraisal of what Ayn Rand meant to his private and intellectual life; unpublished till late 2013.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.