Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

The Undercurrent

Posted by Jerry on April 28, 2007

I would like to highlight some particularly important and illuminating articles from the latest issue of The Undercurrent. The first is the interview with Dr. Onkar Ghate, an expert on Ayn Rand’s epistemological theory and her conception of the right to free speech.

In the brief interview, Dr. Ghate speaks about the nature of the principle of Free Speech.

What does the term “hate speech” mean? How does it relate to free speech? Is it even a valid idea? In order to judge, we need to examine the deeper philosophical roots of the right to intellectual freedom. What is the nature, source, and justification of free speech?

Observe that the human right to free speech is under attack from practical all quarters today: environmentalists, animal “rights” activists, multiculturalists and the PC police, the mobs of democracies and the “moral” police, the Islamo-loonies and jihadists, the religious right, the liberal left, anti-capitalists, anti-corporations, anti-human beings, etc.

Therefore, I highly, highly, recommend reading Dr. Ghate’s interview. The only way cultural change can begin is by advancing the right ideas into the mainstream; however, ideas cannot be introduced without having the ability to speak freely and having the security and guarantee that our speech and our lives will be protected from threat or physical harm. Understanding the fundamental nature of this right and its crucial relationship to free men being able to survive and flourish in free societies is a step toward greater cultural change.

The other article in The Undercurrent that I would like to draw attention to is “The Moral Case for Capitalism” by Noah Stahl. As Stahl correctly notes, “capitalism is rarely defended on moral grounds. Even conservatives, its alleged supporters, do not defend its moral goodness. Though they often advocate the free market as the most practical choice for creating wealth, their allegiance to religious altruism leads them to apologize for capitalism’s implicit endorsement of self-interest.” 

Ayn Rand was the first person in history to ground the political and economic philosophy of capitalism on solid moral and ethical footing; indeed, she conclusively demonstrated that capitalism was not only beneficial to mankind but was also the only moral political system appropriate for human beings and that every other political system–mixed, regulated, limited, and controlled–was positively immoral because to various degrees they infringed on basic human rights.

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7 Responses to “The Undercurrent”

  1. Jerr!!! The article is brilliant!

    But more importantly, the addition of the tag cloud to the right-side bar has turned the site into an eyesore in IE 6!

    Fix please….{

  2. Ergo said

    Avs, thanks for pointing out the eyesore. I have fixed it now.

    I’m glad you found the article brilliant; just exactly, which one? The interview on free speech or the article on capitalism? I’m guessing it’s the former, right?

  3. Aron said

    (It is of course a radically different issue if a racist takes physical action to violate another individual’s rights; but even here, the racist should be punished for his action, not for his hatred.)

    So brilliantly said and perfectly rational. i read the interview on free speech and it was excellent. I wish pratibha nathani and all those moral policing idiots could read this interview….

  4. Ergo said

    Yea, I totally agree. Dr. Ghate elucidates the nature of free speech brilliantly (being consistent, of course, with Rand’s original formulation of the principle).

    And yes, I wish more people would read the interview–and indeed all of Rand’s works; but I doubt that much will come out of it anytime soon. The altruistic and collectivistic/tribal premises have had the advantage of *centuries* of reinforcement in man’s mind–through religion, tribal practices, statism, dictatorships, communism, etc. It’s no easy task to introduce a radical departure of ideas particularly when these radical ideas of individualism, reason, and self-interest themselves have been the target of moral attacks and derision for thousands of years.

  5. Was referring to Dr. Ghate’s interview, particularly to his views on hate speech bans.

    Under the principle enacted by “hate speech” laws, the individual is no longer free to think and express his thoughts. Instead, he must seek every collective’s permission before speaking, making sure that no one is offended by his ideas and that no one takes his ideas as reason to hate anyone or anything.

  6. […] The Undercurrent […]

  7. […] a thorough and illuminating exposition of the right to free speech, read the interview of Dr. Onkar Ghate, who is an expert on […]

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