Welcome to the Spring 2024 issue of The Objective Standard. This begins the journal’s nineteenth year in publication, and I’d like to thank everyone who subscribes and supports our work. It’s because of you that all of us at TOS get to do what we love doing, supporting reason, egoism, and capitalism.

Ever since that last term, “capitalism,” was coined by the system’s detractors in the 19th century, capitalism has been scorned and lambasted with uncommon vitriol. In “Capitalism in One Lesson: Capitalism Is the Only Practical System Because It Is the Only Moral System,” Andrew Bernstein integrates the historic, economic, and philosophic data and arguments, showing capitalism’s dramatically life-serving results and why it thus stands alone as the ideal among politico-economic systems.

Undergirding the morality of capitalism is individualism, the idea, as Angelica Walker-Werth puts it, “that the individual is the unit of moral concern, and one cannot morally trample a single person’s life or rights, no matter the supposed benefit to others.” In “Individualism in Anthem, Jane Eyre, and The Giver,” she spotlights how Ayn Rand, Charlotte Brönte, and Lois Lowry gave us “valuable examples of what it means to live for one’s own happiness—examples we can come back to when facing pressures to sacrifice our values for the supposed good of some collective, whether community, nation, race, or any other group.”

One such sacrifice-demanding collective is Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood faction that governs Gaza based on sharia law and the goal of obliterating Israel. Since its horrific surprise attack against Israel last October, the phrase “Israeli occupation” has been on the lips of everyone from Hamas militants to Harvard students, European protestors to American politicians. It is perhaps the most cited cause for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and some even consider it a moral justification for Hamas’s shocking brutality against Israel. So, what exactly does the phrase mean, and how should we respond to it? That is the topic I take up in “What Is ‘Israeli Occupation’?

Next, in “Look What You Made Me Do: Taylor Swift’s Fight for Her Creative Legacy,” Justyna Piątek-Pawłowska recounts the pop star’s inspiring and instructive response to the unsavory figures in control of the master rights for her first six albums. It is “a lesson to bullies, and an example to all that—even when one’s back is against the wall—resourceful, creative thinkers can often find a way out.”

Why is it that such creative thinkers always seem to congregate in cities? Is there a link between population density and human progress? Thomas Walker-Werth investigates such questions in “Centers of Progress: An Interview with Chelsea Follett,” author of Centers of Progress: 40 Cities That Changed the World.

Bringing us back around to the subject of capitalism is the brilliant, world-historic speech delivered by Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, at the World Economic Forum in January. With a global audience hanging on his words, Milei argued for capitalism not merely on economic—but on moral—grounds, applauding entrepreneurs as heroes and morally condemning both collectivism and the morality that underlies it, altruism. Though not flawless, it is, to my knowledge, the greatest political speech of my lifetime—certainly the best so far this century. It ought to be studied by politicians and future statesmen, and we reprint it here, annotated with footnotes addressing some of its issues, with pleasure and the hope that it will be studied—and its virtues emulated.

The reviews in this issue are:

Rounding out the issue are a couple choice installments of my music column, “Noteworthy”:

I hope you’re having a wonderful 2024 and that these articles fuel you in the fight for capitalism and a more rational, more prosperous world. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Spring 2024 issue of The Objective Standard, featuring articles by @andyswoop, @AngelicaWerth, @revivingreason, and more.
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