Monday, November 15, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday November 23rd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

This week we will be covering Ayn Rand's essay "What Is Romanticism?"

Romanticism is a category of art based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition. - Ayn Rand

You can find the readings in the Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand or The Ayn Rand Reader pgs 460-477

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday November 9th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

This is a special meeting because we will not be covering an article by Ayn Rand, but one by Alex Epstein. Alex will be speaking on the Auraria Campus on November 8th on his topic: "Vitamin 'O': America's Healthy 'Addiction' to Oil." You can RSVP To that talk by clicking HERE to go to our facebook event page.

The article we will be covering was written by Alex for The Objective Standard and it is entitled: "Vindicating Capitalism: The Real History of the Standard Oil Company.

It is an amazing article that blows away all the myths about Rockefeller as a supposed "Robber Baron."

It is available for free on The Objective Standard website. You can access it by clicking HERE
Also you can click HERE for the audio. The Audio version is somewhat long to listen to, but you can download it and listen to it whenever you want!

This is also a reason I've changed the schedule, we won't be meeting on the 2nd to give you time to look over this article.

Here is a description of the article:
It examines the inception and rise of Standard Oil, demonstrates that the company’s immense success was the result not of so-called “anti-competitive” practices or “predatory pricing” but of its superior efficiency and productivity, and does long-overdo justice to one of the greatest producers of life-serving values in history: John D. Rockefeller

It should make for a great meeting because Alex will be talking about Oil on the 8th. We should have plenty to discuss. Plus I'll be using some of Ari Armstrong's questions from his Liberty On the Books.

Please note the schedule change because I've made the meetings every other week instead of every week. It seemed people were having difficulty coming every time and we had sporadic showings, this should make it easier on everyone.

Thanks all!
I'll see you in a few weeks
-Kirk Barbera

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Speaking Event on Campus: "Vitamin 'O': America's Healthy 'Addiction' to Oil" by Alex Epstein

On Monday, November 8th from 6-8pm Alex Epstein from the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights will give a talk on the Auraria Campus entitled "Vitamin 'O': America's Healthy 'Addiction' to Oil."

It will be held in the Tivoli Student Union room 250- The Turnhalle room

click HERE for a map
We will be in Building 7 - Room 250.

Also, click HERE for a parking map

Here is a description of the talk:
Every day, you use an average of three gallons of oil. This is a very, very good thing. That is the radical message of "Vitamin O," a 30-minute speech by Alex Epstein that defends our so-called addiction to oil as vital to our lives and happiness, and debunks myths associated with our "addiction to oil": that we will run out of oil, that foreign oil causes terrorism and creates dependence, that oil spills and climate change will destroy our environment, and that oil can be replaced by "clean energy."

Following his speech, Mr. Epstein will answer questions on oil and the future of energy—from sustainability to energy independence to climate change.

Here is Alex's Bio:
Alex Epstein is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, focusing on business issues. He is the author of numerous articles on oil and energy, including, most recently: “Energy at the Speed of Thought: The Original Alternative Energy Industry.” His op-eds have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Detroit Free Press, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Times and Investor’s Business Daily. Epstein is a frequent speaker at universities around the country, a frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio programs, as well as a guest panelist on the popular “Front Page” show on

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday October 19th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Our next meeting is on a small portion of John Galt's Speech on Anti-Altruism. At the bottom of this post I explain where you can find this article.

It is often said that we “sacrifice” short-term fun for long-term career ambitions, or “sacrifice” personal enjoyment for the sake of raising beloved children. Actions like these are clearly noble, but do they really involve sacrifice? What is sacrifice, and are there grounds for thinking it is moral? What does the consistent surrender of values really mean for human life and happiness?

In this week’s discussion, we’ll discuss Ayn Rand’s analysis of the code of self-sacrifice, and examine why she regards it as incompatible with genuine moral values and self-esteem.

. . .

“Why is it moral to serve the happiness of others, but not your own? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but immoral when experienced by you? If the sensation of eating a cake is a value, why is it an immoral indulgence in your stomach, but a moral goal for you to achieve in the stomach of others? Why is it immoral for you to desire, but moral for others to do so? Why is it immoral to produce a value and keep it, but moral to give it away? And if it is not moral for you to keep a value, why is it moral for others to accept it? If you are selfless and virtuous when you give it, are they not selfish and vicious when they take it? Does virtue consist of serving vice? Is the moral purpose of those who are good, self-immolation for the sake of those who are evil?
—John Galt in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, pg. 948

Material to be discussed:
• “Anti-Altruism from Galt’s Speech”
o Pp. 94-102 in *The Ayn Rand Reader*
o or pp 944-951 in *Atlas Shrugged*

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Next meeting Topic: The Meaning of Sex, and Of Living Death and Free Pizza!!!

Our next meeting is Tuesday October 12th from 6-8pm, we will be covering "The Meaning of Sex,' and "Of Living Death."

Where? Auraria Downtown Campus, click HERE for directions

We will also be having a "PIZZA PARTY" afterwards. So come join us for a great discussion and free pizza and drinks! Anyone is welcome! (We will not be going to Old Chicago after the meeting this week, but anyone is welcome to stay after the meeting and enjoy great conversation and Pizza!)

Where to find the readings for this week:
They are both available in The Ayn Rand Reader. And "Of Living Death" is also available as an audio online for free:

The Meaning of Sex is also found in Atlas Shrugged, it is Francisco's talk to Rearden about the Mind-body relation in regards to sex. This is a very short two and a half page excerpt.

Of Living Death (more explanation below) identifies the connections between the Catholic Church's basic philosophy and its view of sex. This is found in The Ayn Rand Reader or you can listen to a lecture (which is a bit expanded but has a great Q&A session as well) here:

Overview of what we are covering and why:

To this day virtue is thought of as identical to chastity, and virginity is equated with a kind of moral purity. Many people today do not concern themselves with this kind of virtue or purity, but concede that it *is* virtue or purity.

At this week’s meeting, we will examine Ayn Rand’s essay “On Living Death,” which analyzes a Catholic encyclical calling for believers to abstain from contraceptives and non-procreative sex. Rand argues that it is the premise that sex is base, rather than a moral end in itself, which results in this doctrine and its destructive consequences.

“The motive of the church's doctrine on this issue is . . . psychological: if man is forbidden to regard sexual enjoyment as an end in itself, he will not regard love or his own happiness as an end in itself; if so, then he will not regard his own life as an end in itself; if so, then he will not attain self-esteem.

It is not against the gross, animal, physicalistic theories or uses of sex that the encyclical is directed, but against the spiritual meaning of sex in man's life. . . . It is not directed against casual, mindless promiscuity, but against romantic love.”
—Ayn Rand , “Of Living Death.”

Many of those who oppose abortion rights claim to do so in the name of the “sanctity of life.” By this they mean the life of the fetus, not the life and happiness of the mother. Why do they regard the first kind of life as sacrosanct, but the second as dispensable? How can those who oppose abortion on these grounds also advocate the right to “the pursuit of happiness” for adults?

“This issue is not confined to the Catholic church, and it is deeper than the problem of contraception; it is a moral crisis approaching a climax. The core of the issue is Western civilization’s view of man and of his life. The essence of that view depends on the answer to two interrelated questions: Is man (man the individual) an end in himself?—and: Does man have the right to be happy on this earth?”
—Ayn Rand , “Of Living Death.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday October 5th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

This week we will be reading "Roarks Speech" and "Why Selfishness" in the Ayn Rand Reader (pages 71-83). We will be meeting in the same location; building 1020 in 9th street park by Einsteins on the Auraria Campus. If you don't have The Ayn Rand Reader yet, make sure to read atleast Roarks Speech in The Fountainhead.

Roark's Speech:
What is the source of human progress? Do the greatest human achievements come from those who devote their lives to serving others? Conventional wisdom says that they do. Is conventional wisdom correct? And since when do we look to conventions to find wisdom?

This week’s discussion will focus on the climactic courtroom speech by Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s novel, The Fountainhead, in which Roark breaks with tradition and asserts the primary role of the independent egoist in human history, and his moral right to exist for himself.

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received—hatred. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors—stood alone against the men of their time. . . . But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”
—Ayn Rand , The Fountainhead


And, Why Selfishness:
We'll also be discussing Ayn Rand’s essay titled “Why ‘Selfishness’?”, in which she explains her choice of the word ‘selfishness’ to denote a virtuous quality.

At the beginning of the article when Ayn Rand is asked why she uses the word selfishness, her response is: “For the reason that makes you afraid of it.” Read this essay and come to this discussion to learn what she means by this.

See you all there!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday Sept 28th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Philosophy Who Needs It

The topic for our next meeting this Tuesday is philosophy itself. We are going to discuss Ayn Rand's essay Philosophy: Who Needs It, and the shorter essay Introducing Objectivism.

Philosophy Who Needs It is available as the first essay in the book by the same name, it's also in one of the pamphlets we handed out for free at Fall Fest (by the way, we got a mention in an article about Fall Fest in The Advocate, go Kirk and Yuriy! Here is the link: ). The essay is also available online as an audio at the ARI site:

The second much shorter essay, Introducing Objectivism, is available at the ARI site as well:

We are going back to our regular meeting location, building 1020 in the 9th street park by Einsteins which is number 26 on this map:

See you all on Tuesday, and as usual we'll go out for beers and dinner afterward.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday Sept 21st from 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Roark and the Dean

For our next meeting tomorrow (Sept 21st) we will discuss Roark and the Dean, an excerpt from the beginning of The Fountainhead. You can read it on The Ayn Rand Sampler (we have free copies of those), on The Ayn Rand Reader (pages 3-17), or on The Fountainhead itself (pages 15 - 27).

For this week only, our location is going to be the Golda Meir house right next to St Cajetans, it's building number 18 on this map: (note: we normally meet in building 1020 in the 9th street park by Einsteins which is number 26 on the map, it will only be this Tuesday that we are meeting in a different location, and this location is close to where we normally meet.)

We'll meet from 6 to 8, and then we'll go to Old Chicago for dinner/drinks.
See you all tomorrow!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Next Meeting: Sept 14 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm - The Goal of My Writing

Great turnout for our first meeting this week!

For our second official meeting of the semester, we will be discussing Ayn Rand's essay "The Goal of My Writing". This essay was first published in The Romantic Manifesto, where Ayn Rand presents her theory of aesthetics, but you can also find it in The Ayn Rand Reader, and in the free booklet The Ayn Rand Sampler.

According to the synopsis in the website of the Ayn Rand Institute, in this essay "Rand articulates the goal of her own fiction writing as 'the projection of an ideal man, as an end in itself'—and explains that she originated her philosophy as a means to this end."

Most of the readings for this semester can be found in The Ayn Rand Reader, so it would be a good idea to get it, you can currently get it used from Amazon for about $1.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Next Meeting: September 7th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Our first official meeting will be watching and discussing a short (30 minutes with quick Q&A) video by Dr. Leonard Peikoff entitled "Why Ancient Greece is My Favorite Civilization."

Here's a quick synopsis:
In this heartfelt tribute to Greek culture, Dr. Peikoff names its essential virtue as man-worship. Greece, he says, was the only fully secular civilization in history—the "only conceptual-level culture ever."

This talk offers profoundly original identifications, such as: the significance of the Olympic Games; the Greeks' attitude toward male nudity and toward homosexuality—and its parallels with the Founding Fathers' attitude toward slavery; the difference between the Greek and the Enlightenment views about emotions

Monday, August 30, 2010

Next Meeting: August 31st from 6:00pm - 8:00

Our first meeting of the semester will be Tuesday the 31st of August. This meeting will primarily be a planning meeting to decide upon the course we will take in studying the ideas of Ayn Rand. Feel free to join and pitch in any ideas. We will have lots of materials to look over and pick from.

click HERE for directions.

It's building 1020 room A. The building is located on the Auraria campus' 9th street park.

See you all there!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday June 8th from 6:00pm - 9:00pm

We will be covering lecture 3. Our room is in North Classroom building room 1316 at 6pm.

Click HERE for the schedule.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday June 1st from 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Our next meeting will be June 1st (Tuesday). We will be listening to Lecture 2 and discussion will follow.

Again, Click HERE for the weekly schedule and details of the lecture.

Click HERE for a map and directions.

If you Have questions e-mail

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday May 25th from 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Our first meeting for the summer lecture series will Tuesday May 25th on the Auraria Campus. We will meet at the North Classroom (NC) room 1321.

We will be going over Understanding Objectivism. Our first session will begin with a short meeting to help organize the rest of the summer's meetings.

Click HERE for a description of the lecture series.

Click HERE for directions, including a parking map, and a general map of the campus.

We will meet every tuesday at 6pm. But, for now, we don't have one room throughout the entire summer. I am still working on getting one.

e-mail me at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 20th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm (part 3)

So this will be our last session of the semester. Don't forget we do have our last speaking event next monday the 26th click HERE for more info.

This week we will be finishing The Objectivist Ethics. If you haven't been reading along you may still attend this last meeting!

Also, we will be continuing the club over the summer. We will concentrate on one lecture series (we haven't decided which one yet), although some of us like Leonard Peikoff's "History of Philosophy." Stay tuned for more info.

Heres the information for this last meeting:

Conventional wisdom often holds that we face a dilemma: either we surrender our interests to others or we exploit others. According to this view, there are unavoidable conflicts of interests among people.

In our final discussion on the “virtue of selfishness,” we’ll examine the psychological and social facts Ayn Rand identifies that undermine the inevitability of conflict and sacrifice, and her view of how the rejection of sacrifice supports the establishment of laissez-faire capitalism.

“[J]ust as life is an end in itself, so every living human being is an end in himself, not the means to the ends or the welfare of others—and, therefore, that man must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. To live for his own sake means that the achievement of his own happiness is man's highest moral purpose.”

—Ayn Rand , “The Objectivist Ethics”

Material to be discussed:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 13th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm (part 2)

This week we will be continuing our three part discussion. We will be
covering Ayn Rand's theoretical article entitled: The Objectivist
Ethics. Click HERE for the link to the full text for free.

And a supplemental audio HERE.

By the way, even if you missed the first one, just read the first 66
paragraphs and you'll be fine.

This will be Part 2 and we will cover paragraphs 34-66 (It will end on
the paragraph that starts like this):

"The Virtue of productiveness is the recognition..."

Here is an intro:

Most people are taught as children that it is wrong to be selfish, and
that living morally means surrendering one’s wealth and time to others
who are in need. In defense of this idea, little more is offered than
that some higher power commands it or that society expects it of us.

In this first discussion, we will ask, with Ayn Rand, whether there is
an alternative source of values, some rational, scientific basis—and
how the idea that selfishness is a vice looks in light of that
alternative basis.

. . .

“No philosopher has given a rational, objectively demonstrable,
scientific answer to the question of why man needs a code of
values. . . .
[M]ost philosophers have now decided to declare that reason has
failed, that ethics is outside the power of reason, that no rational
ethics can ever be defined, and that in the field of ethics . . . man
must be guided by something other than reason. . . .Today, as in the
past, most philosophers agree that the ultimate standard of ethics is
whim . . . and the battle is only over the question or whose whim:
one's own or society's or the dictator's or God's. . . .
If you want to save civilization, it is this premise of modern ethics—
and of all ethical history—that you must challenge.”
—Ayn Rand , “The Objectivist Ethics.”

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday April 6th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

This week we will be starting a three part discussion. We will be covering Ayn Rand's theoretical article entitled: The Objectivist Ethics.

This will be Part 1 and we will cover paragraphs 1-33. (It will end on the paragraph that starts like this: "The higher organisms possess a much more potent form of consciousness: they possess the faculty of retaining sensations, which is the faculty of perception. A “perception” is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism, which gives it the ability to be aware, not of single stimuli, but of entities, of things."

Here is an intro:

Most people are taught as children that it is wrong to be selfish, and that living morally means surrendering one’s wealth and time to others who are in need. In defense of this idea, little more is offered than that some higher power commands it or that society expects it of us.

In this first discussion, we will ask, with Ayn Rand, whether there is an alternative source of values, some rational, scientific basis—and how the idea that selfishness is a vice looks in light of that alternative basis.

. . .

“No philosopher has given a rational, objectively demonstrable, scientific answer to the question of why man needs a code of values. . . .
[M]ost philosophers have now decided to declare that reason has failed, that ethics is outside the power of reason, that no rational ethics can ever be defined, and that in the field of ethics . . . man must be guided by something other than reason. . . .Today, as in the past, most philosophers agree that the ultimate standard of ethics is whim . . . and the battle is only over the question or whose whim: one's own or society's or the dictator's or God's. . . .
If you want to save civilization, it is this premise of modern ethics—and of all ethical history—that you must challenge.”
—Ayn Rand , “The Objectivist Ethics.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Unwinnable Middle East Wars? A talk By Elan Journo

Come see Elan Journo Discuss America's war policy in the Middle East. The talk is entitled "Our Unnwinnible Middle East Wars?"

Elan Journo is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights focusing on foreign policy issues. He is the editor of and chief contributor to Winning the Unwinnable War: America's Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism. His articles have appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Sun-Times, and Orange County Register. Mr. Journo's articles have also been published in major newspapers abroad, including Australia's Herald Sun, Canberra Times and Canada's Globe and Mail. Mr. Journo is also a contributing writer for The Objective Standard, a quarterly journal of culture and politics. Mr. Journo has lectured in college campuses and has given numerous radio interviews on foreign policy and the threat of Islamic totalitarianism. Specialties: Foreign Policy, Foreign Aid, Islamic Terrorism, National Security, Individual Rights

WHEN: Monday, April 26th From 6:00pm - 8:00pm

WHERE: North Classroom (NC) Room 1539 on the Downtown Auraria Campus.

RSVP on our Facebook Event Page

Click HERE for a map of the Auraria Campus and all the parking lots. The Lecture will be in the North Classroom, which on the map is building 3.

WHAT: Below is a description of the event.

The regrouped Taliban and their Islamist allies are waging a fierce comeback in Afghanistan--the launching pad for 9/11--and are actively hatching plots against us. The Islamist regime in Iran--which began an anti-American holy war decades prior to 9/11--appears poised to acquire its own nuclear weapon. Pakistan struggles to fend off Islamist forces seeking to dominate the nuclear-armed state. Many now believe that America's military operation in Afghanistan is unwinnable--even as new threats, from Iran and Pakistan, loom large.

Is there a way out of this seemingly hopeless and worsening mire?

Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute explains that a key problem in U.S. policy since 9/11 has been Washington’s failure to clearly identify the enemy. The Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian regime are not separate problems to be dealt with piecemeal. They are part of the Islamist movement, the state-supported, ideological enemies whose members share the goal of imposing totalitarian Islamist rule worldwide, and they regard America as a prime enemy. To protect ourselves from the Islamist movement, Mr. Journo argues, requires a thorough understanding of this foe and the willingness to defeat its state supporters. Had we done that after 9/11, we could have ended the Islamist threat years ago--and we still could today. Q&A follows.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 30th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

We will be covering Ayn Rand's Essay "Collectivized Rights." Click HERE for the text.

The Preamble of the UN Charter claims to derive its authority from the “the sovereign equality of all its Members.” Article 51 also speaks of the right to “collective self-defense” of each of its members, as Article 55 speaks of the importance of “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”

Can every nation or people be said to have rights, in the same way that every individual can be said to have rights? Is there a basis for the claim that economic, racial, ethnic, sexual groups enjoy special rights? This week we will discuss Ayn Rand’s essay, “Collectivized Rights,” in which she claims that there are no such rights independent of the rights of individuals.

. . .

“The notion of ‘collective rights’ (that notion that rights belong to groups, not to individuals) mean that ‘rights’ belong to some men, but not to others—that some men have the ‘right’ to dispose of others in any manner they please—and that the criterion of such privileged position consists of numerical superiority.”
—Ayn Rand, “Collectivized Rights.”

Material to be discussed:
• “Collectivized Rights,” pp. 439-45 in *The Ayn Rand Reader*

o Full text online:

Also, for future meetings you will need to order the book "The Ayn Rand Reader" Which is where many of our future discussions will come from.

click HERE for the link to order the book.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 16th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

This week we will be covering Ayn Rand's essay entitled: Man's Rights.
Below is a description.
Click HERE to download a free copy of the essay.
And HERE Is a supplemental audio file to listen to.

The Declaration of Independence says that “men . . . are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human rights declares that “freedom from fear and want” have been “proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”

Are rights really God-given, or merely social proclamations? Or is there another source? This week we will discuss Ayn Rand’s essay, “Man’s Rights,” which describes a third possible source. Her view has the distinctive implication that the rights to life, liberty and property are only the rights of an individual to take action in pursuit of one’s interests—not the rights to demand the resources of others.

. . .

“The concept of individual rights is so new in human history that most men have not grasped it fully to this day. In accordance with the two theories of ethics, the mystical or the social, some men assert that rights are a gift of God—others, that rights are a gift of society. But, in fact, the source of rights is man’s nature.”
—Ayn Rand , “Man’s Rights.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 9th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Our next topic will be on Free Speech. We will watch a one hour panel discussion entitled: Free Speech and the Danish Cartoons. Then we'll have a one hour discussion on it.

The Panelists are:
Dr. Yaron Brook, Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute
Dr. Daniel Pipes, Director of Middle East Forum

The Moderator is Dr. Edwin A Locke, Deans Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Motivation. (This is the speaker that was on our campus last wednesday discussing "Christianity vs. Objectivism"

Here is the synopsis of the discussion:

The Danish Cartoons depicting muhammad have sparked worldwide controversy. Death threats and violent protests have sent the cartoonists into hiding and have had the intended effect of stiffling freedom of expression. The reaction to these cartoons raises urgent questions whose significance goes far beyond a set of drawings.

1. What is freedom of speech? Does it include the right to offend?
2. What is the significance of the worldwide Islamic reaction to the cartoons?
3. How should Western governments have responded to this incident?
4. How should the western media have responded?

After the hour panel discussion we will spend an hour discussing the idea of free speech and where it derives it's power from. As well as many of the issues that are raised in this fascinating dissection of an event in our recent history.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spring Schedule of Topics

Do you want to learn about Ayn Rand's (the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead) philosophy of art? If so join the Auraria Campus Objectivist club every two weeks to discuss some of her essays on esthetics. (The Spring schedule is at the bottom)

DIRECTIONS: The Auraria Campus Objectivist Club will meet every other Monday from 6pm-8pm on the Auraria Campus. We will be meeting in building 1020 on the 9th street historic park, click HERE for directions.

Every other week we will be covering different selections of Ayn Rand's non-fiction regarding her philosophy of art. If you are interested in discussing the esthetics behind her literature feel free to join us any time. There are no obligations, and you can come and go as you please!

THE BOOK: If you plan on attending there is one book you will need to purchase. The book is called "The Romantic Manifesto." It contains a series of Ayn Rand's essays on esthetics. You can find it for around $6 at any Borders or Barnes and Noble, and most other bookstores. You can also buy it on AMAZON for around $6.

Here is a description of the Book from the Ayn Rand Bookstore where you can also purchase the book:

In this profoundly original presentation of a rational esthetics, Miss Rand holds that the distinguishing characteristic of top rank Romantic writers ". . . (apart from their purely literary genius) is their full commitment to the premise of volition in both of its fundamental areas: in regard to consciousness and to existence, in regard to man's character and to his actions in the physical world. Maintaining a perfect integration of these two aspects, unmatched in the brilliant ingenuity of their plot structures, these writers are enormously concerned with man's soul (i.e., his consciousness).

"They are moralists in the most profound sense of the word; their concern is not merely with values, but specifically with moral values and with the power of moral values in shaping human character. Their characters are 'larger than life,' i.e., they are abstract projections in terms of essentials. In their stories, one will never find action for action's sake, unrelated to moral values."

"The events of their plots are shaped, determined and motivated by the characters' values (or treason to values), by their struggle in pursuit of spiritual goals and by profound value-conflicts."

"Their themes are fundamental, universal, timeless issues of man's existence—and they are the only consistent creators of the rarest attribute of literature: the perfect integration of theme and plot, which they achieve with superlative virtuosity."

"If philosophical significance is the criterion of what is to be taken seriously, then these are the most serious writers in world literature."

A profoundly original presentation of a rational esthetics.

If you have any questions in regards to the club, feel free to e-mail us at

Hope to see you at our next meeting!


1. The Psycho-Epistemology of Art – January 31st.

2. Philosophy and Sense of Life - February 7th

3. Art and Sense of Life - February 21st

4. Art and Cognitioon - March 7th

5. Basic Principles of Literature - March 21st

6. What is Romanticism? - April 4th

7. The Esthetic Vacuum of Our Age - April 18th

8. Bootleg Romanticism - May 2nd

9. Art and Moral Treason - May 16th.

Next Meeting: Tuesday March 2nd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

On Tuesday we will watch Dr. Yaron Brook (President of the Ayn Rand Institute) give a talk entitled: "Neoconservatives vs. America: A Critique of U.S. Foreign Policy Since 9/11." The talk is about one hour, and then we will discuss the talk for an hour.

See you all there!

Click HERE for directions to the meeting place.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday February 23rd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Session 14: February 23, 2010:
*Part 3: Chapter 3: Anti-Greed

Here are the questions:

*** Chapter 3: Anti-Greed ***
* What is so evil about Dr. Stadler's endorsement of Project X? What
knowledge does he have and what choices does he face during this
unveiling? Why does he choose as he does? What will be the effects
of his endorsement of Project X on his psychology? (816-31)

* What is so striking to Dagny on her return to the world? How does
the contrast of the valley make her see the world in a new light?

* What is the Railroad Unification Plan? How does it function? What
will be its effects? What does it show Dagny about the looters?

* How does Lillian attempt to blackmail Dagny into appearing on
Bertram Scudder's radio program? What does Lillian reveal about her
views and motives in the process? (847-50)

* What does Hank Rearden say to Dagny on her return to the apartment?
What is its meaning and importance? What has Rearden learned since
the night that their affair began? (856-61)

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday February 16th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Session 13: February 16, 2010: Pages 752 - 815
*Part 3: Chapter 2: The Utopia of Greed

Here are the questions for next week.

*** Chapter 2: The Utopia of Greed ***

* What kind of lesson is Ragnar attempting to teach the world by his
piracy? Is he right to do so? Why do the other strikers disapprove?

* Why does Dagny want to earn her keep as Galt's cook and maid? What
does the work—and the wages in gold—mean to her? (760-1)

* Why is communication with the outside world from the valley
forbidden during the vacation month? Should Dagny have asked for a
special exception to tell Hank that she is safe? (763-4, 769)

* Why did Francisco go on strike? How was Dagny the final argument
for doing so, even though that meant giving her up? Are his reasons
selfish or selfless? (765-7)

* Why does Francisco accept Dagny's taking Hank as a lover? Why does
he say that she still loves him? In what way does she love him?

* Why and how will Francisco be richer producing one pound of copper
in the valley than in producing tons of copper in the outside world?
What does that say about the value of wealth? (771)

* How are Dagny's feelings for John Galt different from her feelings
for Francisco? Why is the difference important to her? (770)

* Why do Dagny and Galt feel such strong sexual desire for each other—
yet refrain from consummating it? Would it be wrong at this point—and
why? (775-81)

* How are Dr. Akston's three pupils—John, Ragnar, and Francisco—both
normal men and extraordinary? (786) What were the critical points
about their education? (786-90)

* How does Dr. Akston explain the roots of Dr. Stadler's moral decay?
What choices did Stadler face? Where did he choose wrongly? Why is
Stadler the most guilty? How has he made the world in his own image?

* Why must Dagny hear of ever collapse in the outside world if she
stays in the valley? Why would that be unendurable for her? Why does
Galt insist on that so openly? (794)

* Why does Francisco want Dagny to stay with him for the week? Why
does Dagny want Galt to decide? What is the significance of his
decision? What would have been the effects on Dagny, Galt, and
Francisco if Galt decided otherwise? How would that act of self-
sacrifice have been faking reality? (796-8)

* Why does Dagny choose to return to the world? What does she still
have left to learn? (806-7, 811-2)

* What is the significance of the title of this chapter?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday February 9th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

We are now starting part 3!

Session 12: February 9, 2010: Pages 699 - 751
*Part 3: Chapter 1: Atlantis

Here are the questions:

*** Part 3: Chapter 1: Atlantis ***

What does Dagny see in John Galt on first meeting him? Is it possible
for a person to see that much in another on first meeting? (701-2)

What critical information about Galt does Dagny learn about him on
their way to his house and then at the house? (701-16)

Why does Mulligan's car rent for a rate? Why doesn't Mulligan allow
Galt to use it as a courtesy? (714)

Is it a degradation or a waste for these great industrialists to be
farmers and ordinary workers? Why does Dagny think so? Why don't
they agree? (716-27)

Why is Dagny suprised that Andrew Stockton ruined a competitor? What
does that tell us about the values of the valley? Why do the strikers
regard competition as a positive good? (724-5)

What is Galt's oath? What is its meaning and significance? (731)

What is the essential meaning of and motive for the strike? (738-41)

Why did each of the men at the dinner party go on strike? Were they
justified in doing so? What did each man give up? What did he gain?
How are their stories similar? (741-46)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday February 2nd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Questions for our first Atlas Shrugged Reading Group of the semester. Go HERE for the full schedule of readings.

Don't forget we have changed locations, go HERE for details.

Session 11: February 2, 2010: Pages 633 - 697
*Part 2: Chapter 9: The Face without Pain or Fear or Guilt
*Part 2: Chapter 10: The Sign of The Dollar

*** Part 2: Chapter 9: The Face without Pain or Fear or Guilt ***

What is Dagny's state of mind when she returns to work after the
tunnel disaster? How and why has her attitude toward her work
changed? (633-4)

What does the revelation of Hank and Dagny's affair mean to
Francisco? Why does it mean so much to him? Why is there such a
dangerous potential for violence between the two men? (638-9)
Why has Quentin Daniels quit? How is he ready for the strikers? What
has he learned? (644-5)

What is Eddie's response to his discovery that Hank and Dagny are
lovers? Why does he respond that way? What does he discover about
himself? (650, 652-3)

*** Part 2: Chapter 10: The Sign of the Dollar ***

How does Dagny's attitude and response to the train moving and then
stopping differ from her attitude when due to the signal light outage?
(654-6, 672-88, 12-8)

What is the basic story of the 20th Century Motor Company? What is
the moral principle on which it operated? What does the story reveal
about the real-life effects thereof on the company's products,
profits, employees, and community? (660-72)

How does Jeff Allen explain the near-universal support for the scheme
of the 20th Century Motor Company? Is he right or wrong? Why? What
other motives might people have? What were the motives of the Starnes
heirs? (667-8)

What is the response of the passengers to the frozen train? Why is it
so wrong? Is Dagny Taggart running empty trains? (675-7, 678-9)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christianity vs. Objectivism - A talk by Dr. Edwin Locke

Come see Dr. Edwin Locke discuss the ethical philosophy behind Objectivism and Christianity. The talk is entitled: Christianity vs. Objectivism: Which is the Proper Philosophy for Living on Earth?

Edwin A. Locke, Ph.D., is Dean's Professor (Emeritus) of Leadership and Motivation at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his BA from Harvard in 1960 and his Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from Cornell University in 1964. He has published over 285 chapters, notes and articles in professional journals, on such subjects as work motivation, job satisfaction, incentives, and the philosophy of science.

WHEN: Wednesday February, 24th 6:00-8:00pm

WHERE: ST. Cajetan's Church, on the downtown Auraria Campus

Click HERE for information on parking and how to get to St. Cajetan's on campus

Click HERE for a virtual tour, it's building 16.

Go to our Facebook page to RSVP

And here is a description of the talk. There will be a Q&A session afterwards with Dr. Locke

Christianity vs. Objectivism: Which is the Proper Philosophy for Living on Earth?

This talk argues that only Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, provides a code of morality suitable for living successfully and happily on earth. Objectivism holds that reality is real, that reason is man's only means of knowing it and that one should act in one's own rational self-interest, with rationality being the highest virtue. Life is the objective standard of morality. In contrast, Christianity asserts that reality is governed by supernatural forces, that knowledge is based on faith and that the highest moral virtue is self-sacrifice. It will be shown that Christianity cannot be practiced consistently, destroys the integriity of man's mind, and is incompatible with living successfully and happily in the real world.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Next Meeting: Tuesday January 26th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm


That said, our next meeting will be January 26th from 6-8 and we will be covering an essay by Ayn Rand entitled: "The Nature of Government" found in the book The Virtue OF Selfishness

If you don't own the book you may read the text here and there is a supplemental audio track if you'd like to listen to that as well, HERE

Please have read atleast the essay, it's not very long. We are using meeting plans developed by other long standing Objectivist campus clubs to help along our discussion and to ensure a thorough study of the essay.