Monday, November 19, 2012

4 Books for Post-Election, Pro-Freedom Political Activists

Regardless of who was to win the election, the work of advancing the ideas needed to change the American culture and thus the long-term political direction of our nation would continue. With Obama's narrow victory, the task is much more urgent, not different. In that vein, I offer 4 books worth reading.

American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives can Save the Republican Party

Margaret Hoover lays out a new philosophical agenda she believes vital to the Republican Party; reject the Religious Right and social conservative positions against reproductive rights, gay marriage, immigration, etc. and unite economic and social liberty under the principle of individualism. Hoover doesn't apply those principles consistently. Indeed, I don't think she herself fully grasps the wide political implications of individualism and individual rights. But the main thrust of her argument points the GOP in the right direction--one that can draw in a broad spectrum of people who still have some abstract respect for the principles of the Declaration of Independence; "the 58%," as I have identified them. Hoover's call that, without these fundamental changes, the party is headed for "irrelevance" is prescient. Her book is worth promoting by pro-capitalists as a vehicle for turning the Republican Party into a formidable ideological counterweight to the Democrats' crusading collectivism. See my Objective Standard review as well as my shorter Amazon review.

Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America

Mark R. Levin supports the kind of social conservative agenda that Hoover rightly believes must be expunged from the GOP. Nevertheless, this book is worth reading for its insightful introduction to some major historical thinkers who helped shape the statist trend of the past hundred years. The thinkers covered include Plato and Marx. The historical and philosophical context Levin provides is a welcome addition to the political debate. See my Objective Standard review.

Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas can End Big Government

Steve Forbes says of Yaron Brook and Don Watkins' book: "Free Market Revolution will raise the ire of every statist, socialist, and crony capitalist. [Ayn] Rand understood--as do the authors of this all-to-timely book--that free markets are, indeed, moral while big government is manifestly not." The moral case is indeed made flawlessly and in very readable fashion. More broadly, FMR solves the riddle of why capitalism is crumbling despite being the only social system that has proven to enable broad prosperity. It's a good companion for Hoover's main thesis while providing the antidote to her many contradictions. A must read!

Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It

A good companion to Free Market Revolution. Craig Biddle's excellent and very understandable introduction to a complex subject--Ayn Rand's ethics of rational egoism--will significantly enhance the activist's ability to promote Brook and Watkins' ideas and the moral case for capitalism.

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