NYC Junto Newsletter
written by Iris Bell on July 25, 2015
• NEW Junto meeting Thursday, August 6, CHANGED SPEAKER
• NEW Junto speakers through December 2015
• NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, July 26, 3:00pm
• NEW Magna Carta: English roots of American liberty
• NEW Explaining why income inequality is just and healthy
• NEW Yaron Brook’s podcast live 2:30pm eastern, Saturdays
• NEW Richard A. Epstein on Obama’s disastrous Iran deal
• NEW David Boaz: The libertarian mind on rights
• NEW Ayn Rand: Businessmen release us from subsistence life
• NEW Fox News, Dhimmi-America and your America
• NEW The “lost” parts of Ayn Rand’s Playboy interview
• NEW Institute for Justice wins for the American dream
• NEW “Ideal,” Ayn Rand’s novel before she created her ideal
• NEW Moderator Gene Epstein: How he became libertarian
• NEW Results of the July Junto debate
• Free market and Objectivist local meetings, sites, podcasts
• Fred Cookinham’s five Ayn Rand walking tours
• Read and post to Junto sites
• About Junto and this Junto newsletter
Junto focuses on free markets, Objectivism and investing. It’s a group that shares information, discusses current issues and presents speakers.
August 6, CHANGED SPEAKER
Ayn Rand: The new wave of myths and misrepresentations about her
Admission free — no reservation necessary
- We’ll socialize from 7:00pm to 7:30pm
- 7:30pm moderator, Gene Epstein calls first for announcements of things happening before the next Junto. Then he asks for other announcements and for people to introduce themselves.
- The speaker begins promptly at 8:00pm.
- Most speakers will present their thoughts in several sections. Each section will have audience questions, discussions and rebuttal of the speaker’s points.
- Discussions are intense but polite.
- The meeting will continue to 10:00pm or later.
General Society Library
20 West 44 Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, NYC
near the Grand Central Terminal
- Junto meets on the first Thursday of every month
- Participation by all attendees is highly encouraged.
- 70 to 150 people attend most Junto meetings.
David Kelley, chief intellectual officer of The Atlas Society. He’s been an active proponent of Objectivism for over 25 years.
Objectivism is Ayn Rand’s philosophy, which was set forth in her novel “Atlas Shrugged,” and her non-fiction essays.
The Atlas Society promotes open Objectivism: the philosophy of reason, achievement, individualism and freedom. Discover the principles behind living a happy, thriving, free life. Objectivism is designed as a guide to life and celebrates the remarkable potential and power of the individual.
David’s a professional philosopher, teacher and best-selling author. He joined the philosophy department of Vassar College, staying until 1984. He’s taught at Brandeis University as a visiting lecturer.
Among his books “Unrugged Individualism: The selfish basis of benevolence,” “The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand,” “The Evidence of the Senses, a treatise on epistemology” and “The Art of Reasoning” one of the most widely used logic textbooks in the country.
He co-authored “Laissez Parler: Freedom in the electronic media, a critique of government regulation.” He’s author of “A Life of One’s Own: Individual rights and the welfare state, a critique of the moral premises of the welfare state and defense of private alternatives that preserve individual autonomy, responsibility, and dignity.”
Articles by David are on social issues and public policy are in Harper’s, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman, etc. He’s been editorial writer Barron’s, been on 20/20 and ABC News special, “Greed” with John Stossel. He’s written and lectured extensively on issues in philosophy, politics and public affairs.
He’s lectured on Objectivism to student groups in Harvard, Yale, University of Michigan, Berkeley, Amherst and many others. He’s also addressed Mont Pelerin Society, Free Press Association, Cato Institute, Heartland Institute and many Objectivist conferences.
Read some of his recent articles here: Objective Reality — An Atlas University conversation, The Nature of Free Will, Choosing Life and The Epistemology of Perception.
- Junto’s audio podcasts since May 2014 here:
Listen to the June 4, 2015 Junto, Janine R. Wedel on her book “Unaccountable: How elite power brokers corrupt our finances, freedom, and security” here.
- The Junto Forum, read and post here.
- Visit Junto’s site for information on current and past speakers, listen to podcasts, read previous newsletters and to sign up for the Junto e-newsletter here.
- Visit Junto on Facebook here.
- Follow Junto on Twitter here.
Junto’s founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer.
Visit his site here.
Feel free to use the above text to promote Junto among free marketers, Objectivists and investors.
Come to Junto, meet these upcoming speakers:
September 3, Adrian Bejan inventor of constructal law. On his book, “Design in Nature: How the constructal law governs evolution in biology, physics, technology, and social organizations” here. He says this is the easiest explanation of constructal law here.
October 1, Oxford-style debate: Richard A. Epstein and Michael Huemer “A government that performs its fundamental functions is preferable to a system of anarcho-capitalism in which these functions are privatized.
- Epstein takes positive. Law professor NY University and University of Chicago. Read his tweets.
- Huemer takes negative. Professor philosophy University of Colorado, Boulder. Author of “The Problem of Political Authority: An examination of the right to coerce and the duty to obey. Visit his site here.
November 5, Victor Niederhoffer on new principles of speculation, with his collaborator Ayaka Kinoshita singer, songwriter from Japan, see her here.
December 3, CHANGED SPEAKERS — Oxford-style debate: Michael Malice and Thomas Woods “Alexander Hamilton was a hero for the cause of liberty”
- Malice takes affirmative. Author of “Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il.” Co-author of five books, including D.L. Hughley’s forthcoming “Black Man, White House.” Often on TV. His site’s here.
- Woods takes negative. Senior fellow Ludwig von Mises Institute, NY Times bestselling author of 12 books, his newest “Real Dissent: A Libertarian sets fire to the index card of allowable opinion.” His Tom Woods Show weekday podcasts are here.
NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, July 26, 3:00pm
As always, we’ll talk about Ayn Rand, her works, challenges, Objectivist life, options, associations and knowledge. Give and take, open to all, no charge, no reservations. It’s on the last Sunday of each month.
It’s at The Midtown Restaurant, 155 East 55 Street, between 3rd and Lexington Avenues, mid-block on the north side of 55th Street, in Manhattan, free.
There are one to two dozen people at each Meetup. Benny Pollack, Ayn Rand Meetup organizer, says: “Join our group of regular Objectivists for a lively discussion on topics related to Ayn Rand and Objectivist philosophy in general.
“Please join us. If you are already versed in the topic, want to learn or just want to spend an intellectually stimulating afternoon, please come. I hope to see you all there.” Get up-to-date information here.
Magna Carta: English roots of American liberty
by Carrie-Ann Biondi, in The Objective Standard
Eight-hundred years ago…a group of English noblemen…said “No.” No — to unlimited monarchical power. No — to confiscation of property with impunity. No — to legal proceedings without due process. These so-called “rebel barons” persuaded the reluctant King John to affix his seal to the Magna Carta, the “Great Charter.” This was a major step toward the conception and implementation of properly limited government.
…This Great Charter was the basis on which jurists such as Edward Coke and William Blackstone [1723 — 1780] rejected the divine right of kings and developed their rights-oriented approach toward legal theory….
The Magna Carta was a profound development on the road to a civilized, rights-based society; and the document has had vital, long-reaching ramifications….Here’s to the rebel barons who stood up to a king so long ago! Read the rest of this short essay here.
Explaining why income inequality is just and healthy
The book “Equal Is Unfair: America’s misguided fight against income inequality” is by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute. It will be available on April 5, 2016.
The authors will be coming out with a lot of new content in the coming months, explaining this issue. Yaron has weekly podcasts and both publish many articles.
The book will be issued in almost every known format. For now you can preorder it in hardbound here.
Yaron Brook’s podcast moves to 2:30pm to 4:00pm eastern, Saturdays
This radical for capitalism discusses news, culture and politics from the principled perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.
This Saturday, July 25, among other subjects he’ll discuss Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and other presidential candidates. How to properly interpret poll results. Why drug prices are high in the United States. Listen anytime or live, here.
Richard A. Epstein on Obama’s disastrous Iran deal
Richard will be Junto’s October speaker. He uses his knowledge of legal deals to think about this deal.
He wrote this about the Iran deal on the Hoover Institution’s site Defining Ideas: …Oliver Wendell Holmes said that to understand the law, it would be necessary to adopt the perspective of the famous “bad man,” the one “who cares only for the material consequences” of his actions, but “does not care two straws for the axioms or deductions” of natural law….
Today, Holmes’s quintessential bad man is Iran, as it only cares about what happens if it gets caught, — caught, in this case, developing nuclear weapons. With most contracts, people work overtime to avoid that problem by choosing the right business partners. But there is no such luxury in international affairs.
…Any examination of this deal has to start with the ugly but accurate assumption that Iran will, at every opportunity, act in bad faith.
The agreement starts off on a grand note: “The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons.” But it is straight downhill from there.
The first problem with the deal is that it gives Iran an undeserved respectability that comes simply from being allowed to sign a significant international agreement…. Read all of this article here.
Listen to John Batchelor interviewing Richard about his ideas in this article here.
David Boaz: The libertarian mind on rights
Boaz writes: The basic principles of self ownership and the law of equal freedom have infinite implications. As many ways as the state can think of to regulate that’s how many rights libertarians can identify.
Learn more about his book, “The Libertarian Mind” here:
Ayn Rand: Businessmen released people from subsistence living
Rand wrote: The professional businessman is the field agent of the army whose lieutenant-commander-in-chief is the scientist.
The businessman carries scientific discoveries from the laboratory of the inventor to industrial plants, and transforms them into material products that fill men’s physical needs and expand the comfort of men’s existence.
By creating a mass market, he makes these products available to every income level of society. By using machines, he increases the productivity of human labor, thus raising labor’s economic rewards. By organizing human effort into productive enterprises, he creates employment for men of countless professions.
He is the great liberator who, in the short span of a century and a half, has released men from bondage to their physical needs, has released them from the terrible drudgery of an eighteen-hour workday of manual labor for their barest subsistence, has released them from famines, from pestilences, from the stagnant hopelessness and terror in which most of mankind had lived in all the pre-capitalist centuries — and in which most of it still lives, in non-capitalist countries.
This is from her book “For the New Intellectual.” A link to this and other quotes about businessmen are in the Ayn Rand Lexicon here.
Fox News, Dhimmi-America and your America
[Dhimmi are non-Muslims living as second-class subjects of an Islamic state, accepting a condition of inferiority.]
by Craig Biddle, in The Objective Standard
Bosch Fawstin recently posted this note to his public Facebook page: “By not showing my Mohammad cartoon [winner of Pamela Geller’s contest] while they discuss it, Fox News is not only submitting to Islamic norms, but they’re also making it seem as if it’s too obscene to show, therefore potentially endangering me even further.”
We at The Objective Standard couldn’t agree more. Every media outlet should show Fawstin’s cartoon whenever it or the attempted mass murder at Garland, Texas, is discussed. Few media outlets have shown the cartoon. Only one publication (The Objective Standard) has printed it.*
Is this your America? If not, what is? Read Fawstin’s interview with The Objective Standard here.
Show his profoundly important cartoon of Muhammad far and wide. And let media outlets know that if their America is Dhimmi-America, then, intellectually speaking, they are not Americans; they are abettors of the jihad against America. Read the rest of this article here.
The “lost” parts of Ayn Rand’s Playboy interview
Don Hauptman reported on the 1964 Playboy magazine which had an Ayn Rand interview. He writes: Playboy was one of the earliest mass-circulation public forums to offer Rand an opportunity to explain her philosophy and address at length a broad range of topics. She discussed everything from metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics to sex, religion, politics, and art. The interviewer was Alvin Toffler, later to become famous as author of Future Shock.
At a time when Rand’s books and ideas were often maligned and misrepresented by the media, Toffler and the editors of Playboy treated her seriously and respectfully. The introduction characterizes her as “among the most outspoken — and important — intellectual voices in America today.” And at a time when Rand had as yet published little non-fiction, the interview served as one of the best comprehensive statements of her views.
The original typewritten manuscripts and typeset galley proofs of Ayn Rand’s interview, along with correspondence, photos, and other related items were sold by Playboy and Don bought them.
On these papers, Rand had made extensive corrections and revisions in her own handwriting. She jotted notes and asides to the editors. She even edited Toffler’s introduction and rewrote some of his questions along with her answers! You can read unpublished passages and Don’s analysis of Rand’s notes here.
Institute for Justice wins for the American dream
This “law firm for liberty” won on important case. “All I ever wanted was a fair chance to pursue my American Dream. And now I can.” Those were the words of Institute for Justice client Ash Patel, whose seven-year-long battle against the state of Texas’ attempts to arbitrarily deny him a chance to earn an honest living as an eyebrow threader came to a victorious end this morning at the Texas Supreme Court.
In his concurrence, Justice Don Willett said, “This case concerns far more than whether Ashish Patel can pluck unwanted hair with a strand of thread. This case is fundamentally about the American Dream and the unalienable human right to pursue happiness without curtsying to government on bended knee.”
“Ideal,” Ayn Rand’s novel — she wasn’t ready to create her ideal
By Robert Tracinski
…[Ideal’s] story follows a Garboesque Hollywood actress, Kay Gonda, who has been implicated in a murder and shows up suddenly on the doorsteps of a varied collection of her fans….Each of them has written fan mail declaring her to be a representative of the ideal. She puts them to the test, and one after another they each come up with excuses to betray their ideal.
…[Rand wrote of Hugo] It is not any specific code of values that concerns him…but the wider abstraction: man’s loyalty to values, whatever any particular man’s values might be…. “What greatness men are capable of, when they fight for their values!”
So you can see why she would take up this same issue, dedication to values and ideals, in her own work. But in Ideal, she inverts Hugo’s premise in an intriguing way. It is the moral and philosophical values men hold that keeps undermining their dedication to the ideal. They keep sacrificing what is most exalted in them to some “higher cause” dictated by their philosophical loyalties…. In effect, what Ayn Rand is saying to Victor Hugo is that men cannot be great no matter which values they pursue, because some moral systems undermine the very thing in them that makes greatness possible.
…What she is working toward, but never fully expresses in Ideal, is the theme that would be central to the novel that made her famous, “The Fountainhead:” the idea that individualism is the wellspring of human integrity and achievement, and that any creed that denies the value of the individual will lead to the destruction of the human spirit.
But she wasn’t quite there yet, and while Kay Gonda does eventually find someone who will not betray the ideal, this character is only a quick sketch and seems almost confused about what exactly he does stand for — even as he gives it his fullest, unflinching devotion in a wrenching climactic scene.
Ayn Rand once said [of “We the Living”]…she was not yet ready to write about the ideal man, but she was ready to write about a woman’s reaction to the ideal man. In “Ideal,” she was not yet ready to write about what the ideal actually is, but she was ready to write about how people respond to it. Read all of this article here.
Junto moderator Gene Epstein: How he became libertarian
Tom Woods interviewed Gene. Learn how he went from a red-diaper baby, raised by a Communist mother, to democratic socialist (via Heilbroner, Harrington and Howe), to Austrian economist/libertarian bleeding-heart capitalist (via Noam Chomsky and Murray Rothbard) here.
Results of the July Junto debate
Sustaining American security, freedom, and prosperity will require a greater assertion of geopolitical leadership and military power
Affirmative: Thomas Donnelly, American Enterprise Institute
Negative: Christopher Preble, Cato Institute
Voted before debate: For 37% Against 42% Undecided 21%
Voted after debate: For 37% Against 54% Undecided 9%
Change after debate: For 0% Against +12% Undecided -12%
Debater arguing “Against” the resolution clearly won. While debater arguing “For” did not lose votes, arithmetically, at least, debater arguing “Against” picked up all the Undecideds.
This is the way winners are decided by debating groups on both sides of the Atlantic. There were about 80 people in the audience.
Free market and Objectivist local meetings, sites and podcasts
*** Groups which meet in Manhattan ***
*** Sites to visit ***
Aristos: An online review of the arts
The Atlas Society
Ayn Rand Institute
Ayn Rand Lexicon
Center for Industrial Progress
The College of the United States
Forum for Ayn Rand Fans
The Heartland Institute
Institute for Justice
Ludwig Von Mises Institute
News Sandwich from Amy Peikoff
The Objective Standard
The Objective Standard’s Blog
Real Clear Politics
Rebirth of Reason
The Savvy Street
Sense of Life Objectivists
taxPOLItix by Alan J Dlugash
Robert Tracinski at The Federalist
The Tracinski Letter
* “The Yaron Brook Show” is one and a half hours weekly.
NEW TIME FOR LIVE SHOW
This radical for capitalism discusses news, culture and politics from the principled perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.
Yaron, president Ayn Rand Institute, is co-author of “Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s ideas can end big government.”
He ends each show with suggestions of movies, music and/or novels, you never know what life enhancing gems he and his listeners might share.
Your questions or comments are welcome in the chat room, tweet or phone to talk with Yaron. Listen to any of these shows any time. They began January 2015.
Live Saturday, 2:30pm to 4:00pm eastern here.
Live for Chicago radio AM560 The Answer, Saturday, 5:00pm to 6:00pm eastern here.
* “Philosophy in action” Diana Heish Brickell answer questions from listeners, applying rational principles to challenges of real life.
Sunday, July 26, she’ll answer questions on honesty under confidentiality agreements, adopting hobbies for just for dating, efficiency in writing and more.
- Live Sunday, Q&A, 11:00am eastern
- Live Thursday, interview and chat, 9:00pm eastern
- Listen live or any time here.
* Hillsdale Dialogues, a survey of great books, great men, and great ideas. Larry Arnn, president Hillsdale College, on Hugh Hewitt Show. Arnn is a teacher who enjoys teaching and his subjects, he makes learning fun and memorable.
Subject such as: “American Principles,” “Foreign Affairs and Separation of Powers,” “Israel, Iran, and Senator Cotton’s Letter.” On radio in NYC he’s often on Fridays, a short segment during 9:00pm to 10:00pm eastern, show on AM970 The Answer.
Listen online any time here.
* “Don’t let it go…unheard” Amy Peikoff on news and politics from the perspective of Ayn Rand’s philosophy Objectivism.
Bosch Fawstin, illusWriter also on the show. Visit his site to see his clever and dramatic work, here.
Live Tuesday and Friday, 11:00pm to 1:00am eastern
Listen live or any time here.
* “The Peikoff podcasts” Alternate weeks have Leonard Peikoff, philosopher, Ayn Rand’s intellectual heir or Yaron Brook, president Ayn Rand Institute.
Leonard answers questions on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, on human relationships, career, moral issues — not technical philosophy or practical politics. Yaron answers questions on politics, economics, foreign policy. Podcasts are available by topic, single questions or full episodes, here.
Fred Cookinham’s five Ayn Rand walking tours
*Atlas Shrugged *Ayn Rand’s Park Avenue *Ayn Rand’s Fifth Avenue *Skyscrapers of The Fountainhead *Ayn Rand on Broadway 6 Private tours $30 per person. Arrange tour or get information, call Fred at home: 718-397-9019 or on his cell: 917-607-9019, email: fcookinham [at] juno.com His site is here.
Read and post to Junto sites
- Read and post to the Forum here.
- Read and post to Junto-discuss list: Discuss Junto speakers and other topics. To post you need to be a member. To sign up or to read posts here.
About Junto and this Junto newsletter
- Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value and laughter; a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place. Visit his site here.
- Gene Epstein moderates Junto. He’s the economics editor and books editor of Barron’s, the weekly business magazine, author of “Econospinning: How to read between the lines when the media manipulate the numbers” here.
- Iris Bell writes this e-newsletter, designs the Junto handouts and is a freelance graphic designer. She was Ayn Rand’s and the Nathaniel Branden Institute’s graphic designer.
- Oleg Atbashian created NYCjunto.com. He also sends out this e-newsletter, cares for its email list and moderates the discussions here. His own famous site discusses important issues with humor, here.
- This e-newsletter comes out twice a month. You might get an occasional extra email about a timely event.
- To subscribe to this newsletter put “Junto list” in the subject line, email your name & preferred email address to: info@NYCjunto.org