My kids and I have just returned from a trip up to Washington, DC to see my parents and grandmother. We visited the Spy Museum (super cool) and took a brief look at the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives. Always gives me chills down my back, and even though it's very, very faded, you can see John Hancock's name quite clearly, and the words that Jefferson emphasized (sort of in boldface): "FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES." Really neat to have shared that with my kids for the first time. The older ones, particularly my oldest one, got into the spirit of the moment I think.
So I was looking on the online Ayn Rand Lexicon for a Founding Father-related quotation because I've had the Declaration on my mind. Here is a quotation from Leonard Peikoff, from his book The Ominous Parallels (emphasis in italics in the original; emphasis in bold is my emphasis):
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
Jefferson—and the other Founding Fathers—meant it. They did not confine their efforts to the battle against theocracy and monarchy; they fought, on the same grounds, invoking the same principle of individual rights—against democracy, i.e., the system of unlimited majority rule. They recognized that the cause of freedom is not advanced by the multiplication of despots, and they did not propose to substitute the tyranny of a mob for that of a handful of autocrats . . . .
When the framers of the American republic spoke of “the people,” they did not mean a collectivist organism one part of which was authorized to consume the rest. They meant a sum of individuals, each of whom—whether strong or weak, rich or poor—retains his inviolate guarantee of individual rights.
--Leonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels, 111
Good stuff. And now, on to this week's Round Up!
Darius Cooper presents Government Economic Policy posted at Practice Good Theory, saying "I discuss various categories of government policy."
Roberto Sarrionandia presents Payday Loan oh noes! posted at Roberto Sarrionandia, saying "Why criticism of the payday loan industry makes no sense."
C.W. presents Austerity versus Growth in Europe posted at Krazy Economy, saying "Europe is going to have to choose between "austerity" and more government controls. We probably should reread The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff."
Earl Parson presents ATLOSCon 2012 Wrap Up posted at Creatures of Prometheus, saying "My account of ATLOSCON 2012 where I saw a lot of old friends, made some new ones, saw some great architecture, and presented a talk about great architecture. What a weekend it was!"
Jason Stotts presents Sexual Ethics and Objectivism posted at Erosophia, saying, "This is the speech I presented at ATLOSCon 2011 and presents an overview of Sexual Ethics from an Objectivist perspective."
Kelly Valenzuela presents On Immigration, Too Many Conservatives Oppose Liberty posted at Mother of Exiles, saying "This week, MoE is proud to feature an article that Ari and Linn Armstrong wrote for Grand Junction, Colorado's Free Press back in 2010, On Immigration, Too Many Conservatives Oppose Liberty."
As a reminder, the Objectivist Round Up will be closing up shop on July 19, 2012. Thank you to all who have participated and hosted and other supported our efforts with the ORU.