Waterfall: Introduction

Executive Summary

  1. Waterfall is a guided, in-depth program for everyone interested in studying systematically issues upon which Objectivism has something distinctive and important to say.
  2. Four mini-courses per year are scheduled on perennial and contemporary themes—Money, Socialism, the implications of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Slavery and Reparations, Objectivity, Envy, Capitalism, Individual Rights, Egoism versus Altruism, and more.
  3. Each course includes twenty-four pieces of content, ranging from memes, videos, podcasts, texts by Ayn Rand, curated intellectual and scholarly texts by Objectivist and other thinkers from a variety of perspectives,
  4. Executive Summaries written by Senior Scholar Stephen Hicks, Researcher Andrei Volkov, and others are provided for the longer items to give busy people an essentialized overview and/or to highlight the key themes for those who will pursue the in-depth reading.
  5. A meme series—some advocating the Objectivist view, some complementary to it, and some hostile to it—is also available with serious, humorous, and adversarial content.
  6. Links to additional recommended items are provided for those wanting further study.
  7. Anyone can follow the Waterfall courses in self-guided fashion or by joining an informal online seminar with others interested in Objectivism. To participate in the seminar, enroll today as an Atlas Intellectual.

About Waterfall

Waterfall is an educational program created by The Atlas Society for those wanting an in-depth and systematic study of issues upon which Objectivism has something distinctive and important to say.​The Atlas Society is a non-profit organization that promotes and develops open Objectivism: the philosophy of reason, achievement, individualism, and freedom.​Our mission is to inspire people to embrace reason, achievement, benevolence, and ethical self-interest as the moral foundation for political liberty, personal happiness, and a flourishing society.

Stephen Hicks, Ph.D.

Senior Scholar

Stephen R. C. Hicks is Professor of Philosophy at Rockford University, Illinois, USA, Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship, and Senior Scholar at The Atlas Society.

He has four books:

  • Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy Publishing, 2004; Expanded Edition, 2011).
  • Nietzsche and the Nazis (Ockham’s Razor, 2010).
  • The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (co-edited with David Kelley, W. W. Norton & Co., 1994, second edition 1998).
  • Entrepreneurial Living (co-edited with Jennifer Harrolle, CEEF, 2016).

His writings have been translated into sixteen languages: Portuguese, Spanish, German, Korean, Persian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Swedish, Hindi, Russian, Ukrainian, Cantonese, French, Hebrew, Estonian, and Arabic.

He has published in academic journals such as Business Ethics Quarterly, Teaching Philosophy, and Review of Metaphysics, as well as other publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Cato Unbound, and The Baltimore Sun.

In 2010, he won his university’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

He has been Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., a Visiting Fellow at the Social Philosophy & Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio, Senior Fellow at The Objectivist Center in New York, and Visiting Professor at the University of Kasimir the Great, Poland.

He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Guelph, Canada, and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

Andrei Volkov

Lead Research Associate

Andrei Volkov is a Lead Research Associate at The Atlas Society.

Currently, he is a Junior at Rockford University. He is double-majoring in Philosophy and Political Science.

Notable projects that Andrei worked on include:

  • The Pocket Guide to Terms  (The Atlas Society Press, 2020)
  • Objectivist Epistemology Landing Page.
  • Production of the 3rd edition of David Kelley'sTruth and Toleration.
  • Production of Stephen Hicks's Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics.
  • Production of George Smith's Ayn Rand and Altruism.
  • Production of The Pocket Guide to Atlas Shrugged.
  • Production of The Atlas Society audiobooks.

Founded in 1990, The Atlas Society’s mission is to share with a new generation Ayn Rand’s message that reason, individualism, achievement, benevolence, and ethical self-interest are the moral foundations for political liberty, personal happiness, and a flourishing society.Young people are consuming content in radically new ways. That is why in 2016 The Atlas Society launched an across-the-board multimedia effort to fight collectivism on moral grounds and in wildly creative ways that connect with the under-25 crowd. Our videos, social media, activism materials, and comics don’t fight collectivism by brandishing facts alone –– but by firing the imagination and connecting liberty to personal ethics.

The Atlas Society has been virtually organized for years, with a distributed team working collaboratively via communication and project management technologies. Our small size and entrepreneurial, iterative approach to advancing ideas in new formats to new audiences means that we are positioned to take risks, fail fast, learn faster, and scale.

The Atlas Society has significantly grown and diversified our programs to become one of the most influential nationwide forces for advancing the key principles of individualism, reason, and liberty. We are reminded of the importance of our work by testimonials from the students we reach, like Hector Pimienta, an Atlas Advocate at California State San Bernardino who shared,

One of my high school teachers was an altruist who thought that success and money were evil, so she hated Ayn Rand. I decided to investigate for myself, and found that Ayn Rand explained how money and success really work. My family was poor, and when I was growing up we sometimes had trouble making ends meet. But I still believe in Capitalism, which offers people the best chance. I was fortunate to work with an Objectivist professor in college who helped me ignore what the majority of professors were saying about equality. I’m doing great. I’m about to graduate without any student debt. This is a great country. I’m glad that I read Ayn Rand.”
We promote open Objectivism: the philosophy of reason, achievement, individualism, and freedom.