The Objective Standard Mini-Conference in Dallas last weekend was a tremendous success. Turnout was substantially greater than anticipated (80 attendees), with people coming from Austin, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New York, and Canada. The speakers, Andrew Bernstein, Richard Salsman, and Craig Biddle, delivered enlightening and energetic speeches followed by lively Q&A sessions.
Dr. Bernstein spoke first, explaining that although for thousands of years people have believed that religion is the necessary foundation of morality, the exact opposite is true. Adherence to religion, Bernstein demonstrated, makes a proper, rational, life-promoting morality impossible because religion inexorably opposes every principle and requirement of flourishing human life on earth.
Next up was Mr. Salsman, who began by pointing out that for the past forty years—unlike the prior forty centuries—the world’s paper monies have had no relation to gold (real money). As a result, explained Salsman, the size and scope of government has expanded enormously, money-banking-debt crises have proliferated, the cost of living has skyrocketed, and economies have stagnated. He then explained how and why sixty nations converged on the gold standard in the decades before WWI, showed how that system performed, zeroed in on its moral-political prerequisites, and explained how and why this system was lost entirely by 1971. Mr. Salsman concluded by explaining how we could return to the gold standard., and why doing so is not a pie-in-the-sky dream but a perfectly feasible possibility with much historical precedent.
Following Mr. Salsman, Mr. Biddle presented material from his book in progress, “Thinking in Principles: The Science of Selfishness.” Addressing the questions, “What are principles? Why does man need them?”, Biddle examined the nature of principles, specifying their essential characteristics, identifying the dual standard of validity by which principles are properly assessed, and concretizing, with a wide variety of examples, the fact that principles are crucial tools for thinking and thus living.
The conference concluded with a panel discussion on the purpose, accomplishments, and goals of TOS, and on how people can help us reach more minds.
Following the lectures, the speakers joined attendees for dinner and drinks at a local restaurant, where much more conversation ensued.
A hearty thank you to all the organizers, speakers, and attendees. Stay tuned to TOS Blog for information about future Objective Standard Conferences.