What is wrong with the world? Part 2 of 2

Related Content: What is wrong with the world? What is the nature of reality? The nature of the Universe? Ayn Rand and Christianity: Build Understanding to Break Down Barriers Ayn Rand and Christianity: Engage to Build Understanding Ayn Rand and Christianity: Introducing Author/Speaker Mark David Henderson

Who is the ideal audience for The Soul of Atlas?

Nouveau-Seminaire-Jeune-Public-a-Sofia

The Soul of Atlas is addressed to three distinct audiences: two explicit and one implicit. The explicit audiences are Objectivists and Christians; the implicit is the listener, the “fly on the wall.” (Not that I think of any reader as a fly; it’s a metaphor.) There is also a sense of wanting both Objectivist and […]

When do I need to listen to the audience?

good-audience

Sometimes, my audience is hostile. (Not all atheist groups, but some ardent Ayn Rand followers fit that description.) At least the audience doesn’t agree with what it thinks I am going to say, and that creates a barrier. Other times, the audience is happy, enthusiastic, and supportive. In either case, I need to listen. As […]

What Christian did Ayn Rand Admire?

Atlas-Aquinas-Church

Thomas Aquinas believed truth is to be accepted no matter where it is found.  Many philosophical “bad guys” have come from the Christian tradition—on this, all can agree. But, unique among philosophers, St. Thomas Aquinas won the admiration of both Ayn Rand and the church. Aquinas helped reintroduce the teachings of Aristotle (“The Philosopher”) into […]

GreatFinancialDeformation

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America (Washington, DC: PublicAffairs, 2013)

The Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington’s craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America’s private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few.

Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair.

DavidStockmanStockman’s analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed’s massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.

Selflessness and Pride

Algot Henge is the former director of coordinated strategy at WeDesign Marketing and is now an independent educational consultant and speaker on coordinating design. She contributes thought-provoking insights across the blogosphere. She loves reading, debating, and witty rapartee. You can also follow her on Twitter.

beauty-and-modesty

This letter came in… I felt compelled to share some of her insights about selfishness and pride, as it relates to Ayn Rand and Jesus. Insights from Skye: I’m at college, so when I am home I still go to church. At the last Wesleyan service we went to the message was about selfishness and […]

To Change the World

To Change the World (Oxford University Press, 2010)

The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World

The call to make the world a better place is inherent in the Christian belief and practice. But why have efforts to change the world by Christians so often failed or gone tragically awry? And how might Christians in the 21st century live in ways that have integrity with their traditions and are more truly transformative? In To Change the World, James Davison Hunter offers persuasive–and provocative–answers to these questions.
Hunter begins with a penetrating appraisal of the most popular models of world-changing among Christians today, highlighting the ways they are inherently flawed and therefore incapable of generating the change to which they aspire. Because change implies power, all Christian eventually embrace strategies of political engagement. Hunter offers a trenchant critique of the political theologies of the Christian Right and Left and the Neo-Anabaptists, taking on many respected leaders, from Charles Colson to Jim Wallis and Stanley Hauerwas. Hunter argues that all too often these political theologies worsen the very problems they are designed to solve. What is really needed is a different paradigm of Christian engagement with the world, one that Hunter calls “faithful presence”–an ideal of Christian practice that is not only individual but institutional; a model that plays out not only in all relationships but in our work and all spheres of social life. He offers real-life examples, large and small, of what can be accomplished through the practice of “faithful presence.” Such practices will be more fruitful, Hunter argues, more exemplary, and more deeply transfiguring than any more overtly ambitious attempts can ever be.
Written with keen insight, deep faith, and profound historical grasp, To Change the World will forever change the way Christians view and talk about their role in the modern world.

Must we always choose between Happiness and Duty?

Feeling-Good

Are the motivations of Happiness and Duty opposed to one another? In Mortimer J. Adler‘s Syntopicon (Britannica), the passage quoted below discusses the means and ends of moral education. (Earlier in Chapter 20: Education, the distinction is made between liberal education and moral education, the latter “which concerns excellence in action rather than in thought.” […]

My recent discussion: Would I consider it a train wreck?

Group-at-work

Thanks for your support and encouragement. My discussion Tuesday morning (about Ayn Rand, Christianity, and my personal quest for common ground) went well, but before I mention the details, I think I should explore why this was such a big deal. I’m sure there’s a lot of psychology behind why this discussion has been difficult […]