rights

Wealth Creators: The Forgotten Victims of Cronyism by Steve Simpson

Critics of cronyism typically describe the problem as politicians and businesses conspiring to win government favors at the expense of taxpayers, or the public in general. While this view is not entirely wrong, it misses important aspects of the problem and does a grave injustice to businessmen who succeed through production rather than pull. This talk, by Ayn Rand Institute director of Legal Studies Steve Simpson, untangles the confusion about cronyism and explains why its biggest victims are businessmen.

This talk was delivered at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, June 11, 2017. He is joined in the question period by Gregory Salmieri, who teaches philosophy at Rutgers University and is a fellow at the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship.

All Regulation is Over-Regulation by Harry Binswanger

Conservatives complain about “over-regulation,” but all governmental regulation—regulation as such—is destructive and evil. Ayn Rand wrote that the premise of regulation is “the concept that a man is guilty until he is proved innocent by the permissive rubber stamp of a commissar or a Gauleiter.” Dr. Binswanger will argue that government must have “probable cause” before it can use force against someone—and he will discuss how this applies not only to business activity, but also to immigration, “public health” and gun ownership. Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 31, 2021.

Questioning the Sacrosanct: Is There a Right to Protest? by Onkar Ghate

Americans today are divided on many issues. But one thing almost everyone seems to agree on, from BLM protestors to January 06 demonstrators, is that they have a right to take to the streets in protest. What if this is a mistake? What if there is no right to protest, at least not in the way traditionally understood? And what if this misunderstanding fuels escalating conflicts in America? In this talk, Ghate explores these questions and offers a distinctive account of what forms of public protest are consistent with the principle of individual rights and which are not.

This talk was given as part of Free Speech Week at the Salem Center for Policy, The University of Texas at Austin on Thursday, October 21, 2021.

Life, Liberty, and Intellectual Property with Adam Mossoff

In this talk, Mossoff addresses the nature of patent rights, emphasizing the Founding Fathers’ moral achievement in securing patents and other intellectual property rights in U.S. law. Known for leading the charge on intellectual property rights, Mossoff has testified before the Senate and the House on patent legislation, and speaks and writes extensively on the issue.

This talk was recorded as part of OCON 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

How Did Freedom Fare in the Supreme Court This Year? (2018) with Amy Peikoff, Larry Salman, Steve Simpson

Gay wedding cakes. Compulsory union dues. Mandatory disclosures for pregnancy centers. Police searches of cell phone records. These are just a few of the subjects the Supreme Court has taken up this term. The Court’s major cases impact freedom in America and involve fascinating political and philosophical questions. Our panel of experts: Amy Peikoff, Larry Salzman and Steve Simpson, analyze some of the Court’s most momentous decisions from this term and explain their implications.

Recorded live at OCON 2018 on July 3, 2018.

Yaron Brook and David Pakman Debate: “Is Capitalism Moral?”

The second of four debates between Yaron Brook and David Pakman. This debate covers the question: “Is Capitalism Moral?”

Free Speech and the Threat of Tech Regulation by Yaron Brook, Dave Rubin, Brian Amerige and Greg Salmieri

Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report is joined by Yaron Brook, Brian Amerige, and Greg Salmieri LIVE from OCON to talk about big tech censorship, the Google leak, Project Veritas, free speech, YouTube demonetization, fake news, and more.

What Are Rights and Where Do They Come from? by Harry Binswanger

Join special guest Harry Binswanger for this entry in the series of Ayn Rand Institute webinars on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism and its application to current issues. His topic is the one principle on which our very lives depend: the principle of Individual Rights. This concept—which the United States of America was based upon—has now vanished from the public understanding with tragic results. In his discussion, Binswanger will present the Objectivist theory of what rights are (their metaphysical status), how we know them (their epistemological status) and what they mean in political practice.

Harry Binswanger explores another one of life’s big questions: What Are Rights and Where Do They Come from?

Howard Roark and the Great Heroes of Literature by Andrew Bernstein

This talk shows that there are several attributes of literary heroism: the promotion of life-affirming values, the depth of virtue(s) manifested, the power of antagonists faced, and the hero’s degree of prowess. When we deploy such criteria and compare and contrast Howard Roark to some of literature’s other great heroes-for example, Odysseus, Cyrano, Doctor Stockmann, and Shane-where do we find he stands in the pantheon of literary heroism? This talk examines and answers this question.

The Berkeley “Free Speech Movement” and the Erosion of Free Speech by Steve Simpson

In the 1960s, protests erupted at U.C. Berkeley over a ban on political activity on campus. Students marched and occupied school property, all in the name of “free speech.” Today, the Free Speech Movement launched at Berkeley in the 1960s is widely held as a model for advocates of the right to free speech. Is that true? This talk analyzes the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and its implications for free speech today.