Welcome to the Fall 2015 issue of The Objective Standard.
The way in which today’s parents raise their children substantially determines the extent to which the next generation of adults will embrace (or reject) reason, egoism, and capitalism. Are today’s children encouraged to think for themselves, to design their own lives, to innovate? Or are they encouraged to turn to authorities, to follow the crowd, to accept the status quo?
Children raised in a manner that fosters independent thinking, self-interested action, and creativity are, as adults, more likely to embrace philosophic, moral, and political ideals that follow from those virtues. They are also more likely to invent and produce values that enhance and extend our lives. For these and related reasons, I think parents and non-parents alike will appreciate this issue’s cover article, “How To Raise a Life-Loving Child.”
The essay, coauthored by my wife, Sarah, and me, spirals through various parenting situations and stages of child development, showing how one principle—which we call the “Master Question”—provides profoundly helpful guidance at every point and turn. We hope you enjoy the article as much as we enjoyed writing it.
We extend a special thanks to Quent Cordair Fine Art and to painter Bryan Larsen for his breathtaking cover art, which perfectly captures the ideas in the article. (Mr. Larsen’s original painting as well as limited-edition prints of the work are available at www.Cordair.com. Get ’em while you can!)
On a related note, “A Dozen Great Books for Young Children,” by Daniel Wahl, is a delightful stroll through some of the best children’s books in print (and a few out of print). If you have young children or know anyone who does, this essay is a gold mine. In addition to beautifully indicating the nature and value of the books discussed, the essay models a purposeful approach to evaluating children’s books, whether for reading or gifting.
In “The Cause of the Civil War According to Confederate Leaders,” Richard Shedenhelm sets forth, as he puts it, “three strong threads of evidence supporting the idea that the primary cause behind southern secession was the desire to maintain the institution of chattel slavery.” After reading Mr. Shedenhelm’s article, I think you’ll agree that, if anything, “strong” is an understatement.
Next up is my interview with Amy Nasir, who provides a rundown of her experiences and successes to date as an Objectivist involved in local politics (specifically, as a committeewoman for the Republican 13th District in Michigan). To the age-old question, “Can an Objectivist have significant, positive effect by running for political office?,” Ms. Nasir gives an encouraging, “Yes.” If you are interested in how a radical capitalist can be effective politically on the local level, check out this interview.
The books reviewed in this issue are: The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); James Madison: A Life Reconsidered, by Lynne Cheney (reviewed by Alexander Marriott); The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds, by Gavin Pretor-Pinney (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); and The Forgotten Depression—1921: The Crash That Cured Itself, by James Grant (reviewed by Michael LaFerrara).
Finally, our section From TOS Blog features: “The ‘Ayn Rand Equals Joseph Stalin’ Smear,” by Ari Armstrong; “Magna Carta: English Roots of American Liberty,” by Carrie-Ann Biondi; “Yes, Conservatives, Islam Is a Religion,” by yours truly; and “The U.S. Treasury’s Unjust Debasement of Alexander Hamilton,” by Richard M. Salsman.
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Enjoy the issue! —Craig Biddle