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I'm gonna have to rewrite that article someday. The thing's a book.

I suggest you read Leonard Peikoff's Religion vs America, Ayn Rand's Man's Rights And The Nature Of Government and The Objectivist Ethics and then seriously consider what you have written here.

This is a very cool blog you have here. When I was 20, I told my Dad I was interested in reading some good books; he gave me his copy of Atlas Shrugged and, oddly, Quantum Psychology by Robert Anton Wilson. Looking back, I now realize he gave me Quantum Psychology as sort of an antidote to Atlas Shrugged - which is a great book, but it only takes a little bit of research to find that it's philosophy breeds fanatical assholes. If I knew nothing about Ayn Rand or her followers I think I would invest more time into understanding Objectivism.

I'm sure you've read this but I'll link it anyways: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard23.html

It is undenialbe that the Republicans have overreached in playing the religious conservatism hand in American politics. As much as America is a religious country (one of the most religious on earth, comparable to many muslim countries), we are still a pluralistic society with many religions and many backgrounds. As a fairly liberal Catholic, I find little in common with the fire and brimstone evangelicals that the Republicans are in bed with, so my vote goes to the Democrats on the grounds of making room for other relgious ideals and non-religious views. This is certainly one of the reasons the Republicans just lost control of Congress. They pushed the religious agenda too far to the right and there was a backlash from more moderate elements in American society.

Stem cell research focused the issue of the religious right's role in American society during the 2006 election, and many Americans, including myself, have decided that we should not set public health policy based on a narrow interpretation of a religious book such as the The Bible. Since the more conservative elements in the Republican Party did, in fact, embrace the religiosu right's view that The Bible tells us that life begins at conception and therefore stem cell research will destroy human life and is immoral (despite the fact the embroys will eventually be detroyed anyway), they set themselves up against those who wish to see medicial research make progess to cure some of our most devastating illnesses. In some ways this election was about religion (Republican) vs. science (Democrat).

Americans tired of Republicans religious agenda rather quickly:

Democrats controlled Congress for 40 years from 1955 to 1995.

Republicans controlled Congress for only 14 years from 1995 to 1997.

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I would like to see Congress expanded to include more political parties. How about a House of Representatives with 1,000 members. Perhaps Libertarians and Greens and others could win races in a more representative House.

Communism and religion may have been born out of an intellectual vacuum, but something made or makes them appetizing to their followers. That, I suggest, is the epistemological element you have pooh-poohed.

Communism was born out of Hegel's influence on Marx & Engles (M&E). Hegel was raised a religious man. His adult views merely doubted religion, not mystical power. He blithely replaced the mystical power of a God with a mystical power derived in collective humanity. M&E merely translated it into politics.

The Russian people did much the same thing with their Orthodox Christian beliefs, which initially held that if enough people prayed for the same goal it would increase the chances that God would make it happen. The populace were thereby ripe for Marx's political interpretation, that Trotsky and Lenin sought to implement. It was Stalin who gave it its full meaning: it provided the justification for him to break 'eggs' to create the omelet he wished for.

Not only was religious belief behind 20th century Collectivist violence, it has been behind most of the violence in history. Organized immorality is far more dangerous than criminals acting alone.

While collectivism is declining in intellectual bankruptcy, religion is again on the rise. Both represent organized, dictatorial control over ordinary individuals working to better their lives. Today's electorate is trapped between the statism of the Left and the statism of the Right. Both types of irrationality (there's that "epistemological fundamental" thing) need to be eliminated.

Peikoff may seem "over the top" but only because he looks farther ahead than most, even ahead of many of his supporters. Though the influence of the Left is not dead (as you point out), the rising Right faces little serious resistance.

Observing that communism rose to power in less than fifty years it is not laughable that religion should recover in the same time period. In less than a century the countries adopting communism killed 190 million of their own citizens! And, death is not the only harm it, and religion, bring to human life.

Finally, the irrational Left cannot stop the Right. Only objective reason can do that. People should take the time to learn reason, rather than careening about, self-righteously bashing its greatest advocate since Aristotle. There is more to gain by being for something, than merely being against something.

>Peikoff may seem "over the top" but only because he looks farther ahead than most, even ahead of many of his supporters.

I think it's doubtful that the fifth-rate leader of a dying cult sees farther ahead than anybody. I'm still waiting for that Nazi dictatorship Peikoff promised us in The Ominous Parallels...

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