Welcome to the December 31, 2009 edition of the Objectivist Round Up! For this Best of 2009 edition, your favorite Objectivist bloggers chose their best or favorite posts from the past year. Some chose their most popular post (perhaps based on number of hits or comments received); some chose their post because it was their best piece of writing; some chose a post that represented a personal achievement of some kind.
Whatever reasons the authors had for making their decision, there's no doubt that this collection of blog posts is one of our most varied, interesting, thoughtful carnivals to date. So enjoy this walk down memory lane . . . and get ready for more greatness in 2010!
Rational Jenn presents It's Not Galt's Speech, But . . . posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "I chose this post because it was one of the highlights of my year. I was asked to record a brief statement for the April Tea Party held in Atlanta, which was the largest of its kind on that day. (You can't see me in the video, but you can hear my statement.) The crowd cheered at my mention of Atlas Shrugged, and the speech was well-received."
C.W. presents Learn About Capitalism posted at Krazy Economy, saying, "It isn't just that people don't know that capitalism is moral. They don't know what it is or how it works. Neither do many of its supporters. Learn about capitalism."
Paul Hsieh presents Hong Kong Vs. Typhoon posted at NoodleFood, saying, "This time lapse video of "Typhoon 'Nangka' over Hong Kong" made me appreciate the power of storms -- and the power of men's ability to build cities capable of withstanding them."
Kirk presents Gun Control Facts and Fallacies posted at A is A, saying, "My most popular article to date. With the debate over the results of the CSU gun ban this article sheds some light on some facts and fallacies regarding guns, and from a students perspective."
Jared Rhoads presents LTE on fixing healthcare posted at The Lucidicus Project, saying, "Here's a brief letter to the editor that I recently submitted to the Boston Globe, urging legislators not to support the current health reform bill."
Greg Perkins presents Libertarian vs. Objectivist Thinking posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Libertarians seem mystified by Rand's flat refusal to be classified as libertarian in her politics, even though she obviously fits their definition. Here is an explanation that goes to the epistemological roots of the issue and underscores the dangers of the libertarian way of thinking about politics."
Miranda Barzey presents Depression in College: Getting Out of my Own Way posted at Ramen & Rand, saying, "Freshman year was terrible. Alone, depressed, and disappointed. But luckily I was able to pull myself out of it, and I'm happy to say I'm doing better."
Kendall Justiniano presents Distortions due to Subsidies and Protectionism in Domestic Corn Production posted at The Crucible & Column, saying, "This is the most read article of 2009 on The Crucible." Kendall also gives us What Really Caused China’s Success? posted at The Crucible & Column, saying, "This is the 2nd most read post on The Crucible. A look at some free market factors behind China's success."
Mike Zemack presents The Vanity of an Ayn Rand Critic posted at Principled Perspectives, saying, "One of the big themes of 2009 is the clash between the dramatic rise of Ayn Rand’s cultural profile, and the simultaneous emergence of the attack machine against her – or what one might call the Anti-Ayn Rand Cult. The Objectivist “mission” to change the culture was never going to be easy. As such, an inevitable and necessary challenge Objectivists must confront is the need to demolish the fierce opposition that was sure to arise as a consequence of our radical new philosophy. This post is one of my small contributions to that effort, and one of my favorites of 2009."
John Drake presents The Selfish Giver posted at Try Reason!, saying, "A picture and a story about my children giving in the most selfish way. While not my most popular, this post captured a moment in time that meant the most to me."
John Cox presents My Journey to Objectivism posted at John and Ansley, saying, "After being raised as a Christian for 18 years, I discovered Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand as a freshman in college. Here is the story of how, after many years of grappling with the inherent contradictions between the two philosophies, I finally decided to cast off all of the remnants of my Christian upbringing and begin to fully live my life for myself."
Rachel Miner presents Tool Box: Social Stories posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "Sharing one of my favorite parenting tools. "I know autistic kids aren't the only ones who deal with persistent traits. Even those children who aren't officially "slow to adapt" can find more ease and comfort when they get a heads up on what's coming. This is an awesome tool to make parenting life easier!" I've also added tags to my blog toolbox with my parenting posts under "rational parenting" (top right). I'd love feedback on the "Terminology: The Thinking Brain" post too :)"
Francis Luong (Franco) presents Celebrate Your Independence By Choosing To Read Atlas Shrugged posted at Just Add Rationality, saying, "This was my best of 2009. In the spirit of Independence Day, I thought I would write on how Ayn Rand helped me to fully realize that there is an American culture and that it is Individual Rights."
Brian Phillips presents Do Unto Others posted at Houston Property Rights, saying, "The inevitable result of altruism is the belief that the rights of individuals are necessarily in conflict. Either we all cooperatively sacrifice for some alleged "common good", or we plunge ourselves into civil warfare in which we each seek to stab one another in the back."
Edward Cline presents Facts are Stubborn Things posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "No better justice to President Barack Hussein Obama’s boast in the Washington Post of his political achievements can be done than to adapt portions of the Declaration of Independence to the subject of his accomplishments. Not all of the charges against George III in 1776 listed in Jefferson’s masterpiece are applicable. This charge sheet can also be leveled at Congress. I include only those offences which can be annotated. Call it not a parody, but a serious, appropriate, and well-deserved iteration."
Jason Stotts presents What Causes Sexual Attraction? posted at Erosophia, saying, "This was one of the first essays I attempted in sexual theory and the subject is one of my major interests. In the essay, I develop the thesis that it is our value judgments that underlie sexual attraction and that, consequently, we can understand sexual attraction in terms of these antecedent value judgements."
Stephen Bourque presents Shock and Awe: Obama’s First Forty Days posted at One Reality, saying, "For the "Best of 2009" carnival, I present this post that I wrote in March. I wish I could say that America's rush to tyranny has abated since then, but it has actually gotten worse."
Galileo Blogs presents The Case for Bankruptcy posted at Galileo Blogs, saying, "If Americans want to avoid more crises, they must understand and embrace the only moral response to them: bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is the opposite of Bailout, the theme of 2009. Bankruptcy is moral, respects rights, and will eliminate the perceived need for bailouts."
C. August presents Cass Sunstein's Bogeyman -- The Internet as a Threat to Democracy posted at Titanic Deck Chairs, saying, "Because of Cass Sunstein's prolific writing, strongly anti-individual rights stances on nearly all issues, and his appointment to a regulatory post by Obama, this post from March '09 was by far the most read post of the year on my blog, as well as being the most commonly searched-for." C. August also offers another favorite: Kleist and Kant: The Destructive Nature of Anti-Reason Philosophy posted at Titanic Deck Chairs, saying, "The tragic life of a young man who lived during the time of Kant illustrates the importance of ideas in dramatic fashion."
Diana Hsieh presents The News posted at NoodleFood, saying, "It's not my best post of the year, but it was the most important to me: it announces the successful completion of my Ph.D in philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder."
Zev Barnett presents The Undercurrent | In Defense of Liberty posted at The Undercurrent, saying, "In any country where men desire to be free, the fundamental ethical premise that must be advocated is the propriety of rational self-interest, not altruism."
That concludes this edition--and this year! Amy at The Little Things will be our first host of 2010!
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Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.