4 Things You Probably Never Knew About John Stuart Mill
, 20 May 2016
Brief introduction to Mill followed by four interesting facts about his life and thought
The high-achieving, goal-oriented Mill literally drove himself crazy. He wondered what would happen if he achieved all his goals, and he feared the lack of challenge that would come with it. He began to heal by realizing that happiness was an emotion, not just an objective list of accomplishments that had been checked off. By taking long walks, spending meaningful time with friends, and developing some hobbies, Mill began to deepen his understanding of happiness and to pull himself out of his dark mental state.
The Abstract Concept of Human Liberty
, by Robert LeFevre
, The Freeman
, Dec 1982
Discusses how people may be interested in other people, in events or in material things but only a few are interested in ideas, and how each group of people tends to view liberty from those perspectives
These are the thinkers who recognize that it is not their ability to be handsome, to be glib, to be ... charming and poised which makes them important. That which makes them important is what they take to heart ... These same thinkers recognize that success in the accumulation of wealth does not relate to one's ability to grab; but in one's ability to attract the patronage he desires because of the merit of his offering. Deserved success is awarded like a prize. The fact that it is deserved is more important than the level of attainment, for such success arrives within the boundaries of freedom.
, by Murray N. Rothbard
, The Libertarian Forum
, 1 Jan 1970
Critique of anarcho-communism, examining its presumed voluntary nature, and its philosophical and economics orientation
The individual's desire for private property, his drive to better himself, to specialize, to accumulate profits and income, are reviled by all branches of communism ... At the root of all forms of communism, compulsory or voluntary, lies a profound hatred of individual excellence, a denial of the natural or intellectual superiority of some men over others, and a desire to tear down every individual to the level of a communal ant-heap ... Furthermore, anarcho-communism scorns reason, and its corollaries long-range purpose, forethought, hard work, and individual achievement; instead, it exalts irrational feelings, whim, and caprice ...
An Aristocracy of Pull?
, by Thomas M. Wilson, The Freeman
, Aug 2001
Tocqueville captured in a single sentence the possibilities of an open, achievement-oriented society when he wrote, 'In America most rich men began by being poor.' ... It is individualism and achievement that make America unique and great.
Epistemology and Politics: Ayn Rand's Cultural Commentary
, by David Kelley
, Dec 2004
Discusses the continued currency of Rand's 1960-1970s writings, citing as examples "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World", "Racism", "The Age of Envy" and "The Anti-Industrial Revolution"
[Rand] observed that the civil rights movement was beginning to switch from the pursuit of justice for individuals to the pursuit of privilege for racial groups ... The precedent set by black leaders was soon adopted by other groups ... In "The Age of Envy" (1971), Ayn Rand described how egalitarians were creating an "aristocracy of non-value" in which groups claim privileges for disability, poverty, misfortune, incompetence—i.e., for a lack, rather than for achievement. It is the morality of altruism, she argued, that allows such groups to demand special treatment at the expense of achievers.
The Great Multiplier
, by Henry Grady Weaver
, The Mainspring of Human Progress
Excerpted from chapters 2 and 3, "The Great Multiplier" and "Networks and Pitfalls"
Progress toward better living would never have been possible, except through the development of tools to extend the uses of human energy-tools that harness the forces of nature as a substitute for muscular effort. ... The introduction of tools marked the beginning of man's progress in three important directions: (1) More effective use of energy; (2) Specialization of effort; and (3) Advances in human co-operation and improvements in living conditions, through the peaceful exchange of goods and services.
The Idea of Liberty is Western
, by Ludwig von Mises
, American Affairs
, Oct 1950
Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", beginning in ancient Greece and moving westward to Europe and America, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
The civilizations of China, Japan, India, and the Mohammedan countries ... brought about marvelous achievements in the industrial arts, in architecture ... and in the development of educational institutions ... But then their effort was arrested ... and they lost the ability to cope successfully with economic problems ... Western society was a community of individuals who could compete for the highest prizes ... The alert youth of the West looks upon the world as a field of action in which he can win fame, eminence, honors, and wealth; nothing appears too difficult for his ambition.
Related Topics: Capitalism
, Free Market
Interview with David Kelley
, by David Kelley
, Raymie Stata, Full Context
, Jun 1993
Topics discussed include: the Institute for Objectivist Studies, ties between IOS and classical liberal institutions, the Objectivism movement, the split with the Ayn Rand Institute, the marketplace of ideas, open questions in philosophy, and psychology
I've just lately been writing in the [IOS] Journal about the kinds of fundamental values people choose. I'm in the middle of an argument about what it means to say that productive achievement is a central value in a person's life. I think achievement has to be understood much more widely than just a job or a career. I think Ayn Rand meant it in that wider sense. But then what exactly do we mean by achievement as the creation of value? How can we define more specific standards?
Leonard Read, the Founder and Builder
, by Mary Sennholz, The Freeman
, May 1996
Biographical essay written by Read's secretary in the early days of FEE, as well as author of Leonard E. Read: Philosopher of Freedom
Success in life is a matter of concentration and service. Step by step, little by little, bit by bit—that is the way to success. Unbeknownst to himself, Leonard was about to enter a phase of his life that would take him to the very summit of accomplishment. He would succeed above his fellows because he would continue to grow in strength, knowledge, and wisdom. He would seek more light, and find more the more he sought. Leonard Read was to become one of those rare individuals who take and give every moment of time.
ripensare il femminismo/.1 Intervista a Wendy McElroy
, by Wendy McElroy
, Marco Faraci, 8 Mar 2012
"Rethinking feminism", an interview with Wendy McElroy in Italian; topics include differences between individualist and traditional feminism, the market vs. the state, gender feminism in the North America and quotas and affirmative action
E' difficile misurare l'impatto sistemico della svalutazione del merito all'interno della società, ma ho avuto modo di vederne i risultati a livello individuale. Un mio amico è stato scavalcato per una promozione che meritava all'università perché nello staff serviva una donna. Adesso lui dice a suo figlio che il merito non conta e che impegnarsi ad eccellere è inutile. Provate a moltiplicare questa situazione per centinaia ... di persone. Il rifiuto di riconoscere il merito ... abbassa la qualità complessiva della società perché non si permette alle persone innovative ed abili di produrre al massimo delle loro capacità.
Robert A. Heinlein's Soaring Spirit of Liberty
, by Jim Powell
, The Freeman
, Jul 1997
Biographical essay, including multiple quotes from fellow authors and significant excerpts from Heinlein's novels and stories
Added best-selling thriller writer Tom Clancy: "What makes Mr. Heinlein part of the American literary tradition is that his characters do prevail. His work reflects the fundamental American optimism that still surprises our friends around the world. As Mr. Heinlein taught us, the individual can and will succeed. The first step in the individual's success is the perception that success is possible. It is often the writer's task to let people know what is possible and what is not, for as writing is a product of imagination, so is all human progress."
Related Topics: Anarchism
, Right to Keep and Bear Arms
, Robert A. Heinlein
, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
, No Free Lunch
, J. Neil Schulman
, Science Fiction
Talking To Ourselves
, by Henry Grady Weaver
, Ideas on Liberty
, Sep 1955
Examines the question of whether it is worthwhile to distributing literature about individual freedom and free markets to those who already favor those premises; note this was the opening article of the second issue of Ideas on Liberty
Little if any thought is given to the one thing that we can effectively accomplish, namely, how to improve ourselves and our own thinking as individuals ... One understanding man summed it up this way: "... I've got enough to do just trying to improve myself as an individual citizen. If I work hard enough and long enough at that one job, then the time may come when two or three, or four or five, or maybe even eight or ten persons may voluntarily seek my counsel. Then and only then can it be truly said that I have earned a worth-while influence."
Visions and Ideals
, by James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart will one day realize it ... To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve ... The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream ... Your circumstances may be uncongenial but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it.
Faculty Spotlight Interview: Walter Block: Walter Block
, by Walter Block
, 18 Jan 2010
Asks Block about his hobbies, greatest inspiration, the impact of his work and more
Who is your greatest inspiration?
... I guess I'm an inspirational slut, since I am also inspired by pretty much anything I find admirable: Terry Fox's run across Canada, Bill Gates' entrepreneurship, Stephan Hawking's triumph over his physical ail-ments, Hussain Bolt's world record in the 100 meter dash, Michael Phelps' swimming in record time at the Olympics, Lew Rockwell's creation of the Mises Institute, Earl Boykins' basketball playing in the land of the giants, Ron Paul's cocking a snook at the powers that be, Mises' escape from the Nazis, a beautiful sunset, the beauty of nature, etc. Of course, I don't mean to equate these ...
Action!: Nothing Happens Until Something Moves
by Robert Ringer
Contents: The Action Phenomenon - Truth-Based Action - Value-Oriented Action - Virtue-Based Action - People Taxes and Action - Freedom and Action - Self-Disciplined Action - Adversity and Action - The Endgame of Action: Happiness
Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950
by Charles Murray
Contents: Introduction - One: A Sense of Accomplishment - Two: Identifying the People and Events That Matter - Three: Patterns and Trajectories - Four: On the Origins and Decline of Accomplishment - Appendices
Million Dollar Habits
by Robert Ringer
Contents: The Reality Habit - The Attitude Habit - The Perspective Habit - The Present Living Habit - The Morality Habit - The Human Relations Habit - The Simplicity Habit - The Drain People Elimination Habit - The Self-Discipline Habit - The Action Habit
Winning Through Intimidation
by Robert Ringer
Partial contents: Shattering the Myths - Replacing the Myths - My Three Unforgettable Professors at Screw U. - Using Posture Power to Get the Ball - Advancing the Ball to Midfield - Scoring -The Return of The Tortoise - Answer: Not to be Intimidated