Merry Christmas, readers! Welcome to the Winter 2012 issue of The Objective Standard.

Two of the most fundamental problems in American and, more broadly, Western culture today are the existence of government-run schools and widespread ignorance of the nature of Islam. This issue of TOS begins by addressing both.

First up, in his article “The New Abolitionism: Why Education Emancipation is the Moral Imperative of Our Time,” C. Bradley Thompson tackles the problem that is the so-called public schools, showing that they are fundamentally corrupt and unfixable, and must be abolished.

Next, accentuating the positive, is a series of brief interviews with five rising innovators in the field of private education, discussing their organizations, missions, philosophies, and offerings.

Also on the subject of innovation in education is Daniel Wahl’s review of Salman Khan’s The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, which is a fascinating glimpse into the mission, philosophy, and rise of Khan Academy, the spectacularly successful online school whose mission is “to change education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.”

Turning to Islam, Andrew Bernstein examines the Golden Age of this religion and considers the ideas of some of its leading thinkers, telling “a story of great achievements—and their rejection; of great heroes—and their defeat; of great minds—and their suppression; ultimately, of great danger—and its cancerous growth.”

Next, in “Sam Harris’s Failure to Formulate a Scientific Morality,” Ari Armstrong examines Harris’s claims to have grounded his brand of utilitarianism in reality, and finds them wanting.

In “Independent Thinking, Morality, and Liberty,” I examine the crucial need for advocates of liberty to uphold the same cognitive standard in considering moral matters as we do in considering political matters.

And in “Apple’s App Revolution: Capitalism in Action,” Karl G. Kowalski surveys Apple’s staggering creation of great products, new markets, and massive wealth—for itself, its customers, and its competitors. Greed indeed.

In our section, From TOS Blog, we share several of our many posts from the past three months, including “The Egalitarian Assault on Free Speech”; “Obama, Unsurprisingly, Gets Ayn Rand Wrong”; “The Left’s False Alternative on Health Care”; “Does a Big Storm Require Big Government?”; “The Moral Integrity of Condemning Social Security While Collecting It”; and “The Crucial Distinction Between Subsidies and Tax Cuts.” Enjoy these posts, and be sure to visit TOS Blog for our daily commentary.

Books reviewed in this issue are the aforementioned The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, by Salman Khan (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders, by Jason L. Riley (reviewed by Kevin Douglas); and The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy, by William J. Dobson (reviewed by Daniel Wahl).

From all of us at TOS, have a joyful Christmas, a happy New Year, and a prosperous 2013.—Craig Biddle

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