Ayn Rand's Argument Analysis: Since 9/11

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The present state of the world is not the proof of philosophy’s impotence, but the proof of philosophy’s power. It is philosophy that has brought men to this state—it is only philosophy that can lead them out. — Ayn Rand, 1961 Look around the world, and you will see something that would have shocked anyone living in the after-math of 9/11. Following the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, with thousands of our citizens killed, Americans were rightly outraged—and their (healthy) response was to demand retaliation. Our leaders in Washington insisted that the people who attacked us would be made to pay. No longer would anyone dare think of the United States as a “paper tiger.” The prevailing mood conveyed a clear message: America…show more content…
At the same time, many Americans are exhausted, resigned, demoralized. Our military forces—mighty, brave, determined—were sent into Afghanistan and Iraq, two winnable wars that became quagmires. Materially, the Islamists are far weaker than the enemies we faced in World War II. Then, we eliminated the threat to our lives and freedom in less than five years. Since 9/11, however, we’ve been told that this must be a “long war.” George W. Bush viewed Afghanistan and Iraq as unwinnable. Indeed, Afghanistan is the longest war in Ameri-ca’s history. Barack Obama further scaled back expectations, pointedly ruling out a World War II-like “victo-ry” (a word he feels uncomfortable using). We have reached a new normal: clouding our daily lives is the per-sistent threat of jihadist attacks. And, for fear of incurring the wrath of Islamists, many newspapers, magazines, and publishing houses (such as Yale University Press and Random House) engage in self-censorship. What we’re seeing is the twilight of the freedom of speech. Suppose that in the wake of 9/11 you told people that this grim reality lay ahead. They would have been astounded. Indignant…show more content…
Bush administration, and part 1 of this book spans that period. Parts 2 through 4 cover the Obama years. That wider scope, subsuming two quite different administrations, only serves to under-score the profound impact of philosophic ideas in foreign policy, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office. You will also learn that victory is achievable—if we take certain necessary steps (a detailed account can be found in Winning the Unwinnable War). Part 5 sketches out how an Objectivist approach to foreign policy stands apart in today’s intellectual landscape. We at ARI fight for a future of reason, individualism, and freedom. We ask you to join us. How? The book’s final section, “What You Can Do,” provides concrete suggestions. Read, watch, listen to the recommended ARI content—then distribute it to others and speak up for your ideas and values. Join us, and your support will multiply ARI’s impact and fuel our mission. We make people aware of the philosophy of Objectivism because we believe that Objectivism is indispensable for understanding the world, defining values, and achieving one’s own

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