Every good libertarian has read Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. Ergo, I don’t believe I have to recite the influence it has held in the movement and a synopsis of Rand’s philosophy, ‘Objectivism.’ What I may have to explain, however, is the place of David Kelley’s Atlas Society, named as homage to the great book.
The Atlas Society serves to “[promote] the philosophy of Objectivism and its core values: reason, achievement, individualism, and freedom.” Importantly, though, they belong to the “open” faction of Objectivism. That is to say they reject Leonard Peikoff’s theory that Objectivism is a “closed system” containing only the philosophic principles advocated by Rand during her lifetime. They believe in a dialectical interpretation of Rand’s writings, an approach evident by the array of issues they use her texts to examine on their website.
It’s always so wonderful to meet people at events like Freedom Fest because, on one level or another, many of them try to implement the philosophy of liberty in their lives on a practical level. The “open” faction of Objectivism is, in my opinion, what keeps it relevant and useful to these people, which is why I was quite thrilled to see the Atlas Society represented. TAS is a great resource to see Rand filtered through a serious philosophical lens with an element of practicality.
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