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Monday, October 22, 2012

What Election Season Would Be Complete Without an Ayn Rand Debate?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM

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The Republican party has once again gotten in bed with Ayn Rand. Her formidable legacy made an appearance in the political arena this election year when Paul Ryan revealed that he grew up reading the author's famously individualist work, proclaiming "it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are," only to rescind his enthusiastic Rand support once he realized her atheism didn't really fly with the Republican platform (or his own Catholicism).

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Still, novels like Atlas Shrugged and The Foutainhead are looked to by many as a strong philosophical basis for the dangers of big government and morality of laissez-faire capitalism, while the opposition, in their more heated moments, tend to throw around phrases like "glorified greed and selfishness" in regards to the Russian novelist. Naturally, the Commonwealth Club's extremely relevant debate, Is Capitalism Moral? has officially invited Randian views into the discussion, with Yaron Brook, the executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute and author of Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government taking on audience questions alongside his opposition David Callahan, author of The Moral Center: How Progressives Can Unite America Around Our Shared Values.

If you've always wondered about Objectivism, and mostly want to skip the 1,000 pages of reading, do yourself a favor (generally a Randian-approved action) and check out the debate.

Is Capitalism Moral? starts October 22 at 6 p.m. at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market (at Second St.), S.F. Admission is $7-$20.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.
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Neha Talreja

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