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2014 Atlas Summit videos

2014 Atlas Summit videos

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January 19, 2015

A complete listing of videos from our 2014 Atlas Summit.

Atlas Summit Highlights

Are you interested in Ayn Rand 's novels and her philosophy of Objectivism? Come join like-minded individuals at the 2015 Atlas Summit.

Who is John Galt?

Celebrate the revolutionary and inventive spirit represented by John Galt. Keynote speakers: James O'Keefe III, Ladar Levison, and David Harriman are joined by M.C. and headliner Ben Swann, creator of the Truth in Media Project.

Advancing Liberty as an Elected Official

Unless liberty voices have a seat at the table, their concerns may not be heard or understood by those in power. Speaker: George Lambert, a New Hampshire State House Representative

Sexuality and Society

In this video, Jerry Johnson compels a critical re-examination of prevailing attitudes towards sexual expression and push towards an emancipation of the mind and body.

Samuel Insull: Human Dynamo

Robert Bradley, Jr. looks at the life of famed entrepreneur Samuel Insull and discusses in what ways Insull was like Hank Rearden, or even John Galt—and in what ways not. What lessons from Insull’s rise and fall can be gained for Objectivism ’s philosophy for successful living?

The Objectivist Movement Today

The Objectivist movement has helped many people apply Objectivist principles to their personal lives; it has contributed to the broad-based political movement for liberty; and it has sponsored research on the philosophy of Objectivism itself. Yet people and groups within the movement differ on a number of issues. The panelists discuss what is closed and what is subject to change in the philosophy, and what kind of intellectual culture is required to help a distinctively Objectivist school of thought to grow and thrive without betraying its core principles. Participants include David Harriman, David Kelley, and TAS chairman Jay Lapeyre.

Mastering the Challenges of Life

Popular life coach Joel Wade shares tools for developing grit and resilience. Many of these skills are also what lead to a truly meaningful, satisfying, and happy life as well.

The Innocence of Samuel Insull

After FDR’s election, famed entrepreneur and investor Samuel Insull , now bankrupt and retired, was chased across Europe, kidnapped in the Bosporus, and dragged back to Chicago for the business trial of the century—only to be acquitted by the jury in two hours. It was this decisive acquittal that persuaded the New Deal to eviscerate the private-property status of publicly traded companies by imposing Procrustean standards on them through the SEC. Roger Donway describes Samuel Insull as an innocent.

The Path to John Galt

In Atlas Shrugged John Galt is a mysterious presence that seems to be destroying the world. But, in fact, Galt is actually allowing the destroyers to destroy themselves.


Building the Liberty Movement

What makes for a successful movement in favor of liberty and reason? Alexander McCobin, co-founder and president of Students for Liberty, shares his thoughts on what has been holding our movement back and what new steps are needed to reach wider audiences.


Implications of Inherent Differences in Temperament

Temperament has become one of the best-understood aspects of human personality thanks to the work of the Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan. In this presentation, Walter Donway explains what Kagan means by “temperament,” outlines the evidence for inherent temperament, and tries to give a sense of what it means to be of a given temperament.


The Morality of Human Habitat

The ability to own and trade peacefully the resource most needed for human survival is a unique invention of the human mind that extends the nature of the being into the realm of land use. In this video, Rick Porter argues that private property ownership is the moral approach to the utilization of our land.

Three Enemies of Capitalism

In this two-part video presentation, Carrie-Ann Biondi explains and challenges the essential claims of Karl Marx’s communism and Alasdair MacIntyre’s conservatism, and defends capitalism against the false accusations lodged against it by these enemies concerning alienation, exploitation, and consumerism.


The Value of Play

Shawn Klein presents an Objectivist conception of the value of play by way of answering the following questions. What role is there for play in an Objectivist life? Can play be a part of one’s central purpose? What is the relationship between the virtues (such as productivity and rationality) and play?


Dr. Raymond Raad on developing self awareness

The approach to life that Ayn Rand recommended requires knowing ourselves well, in order to make good and appropriate decisions about how to lead our lives.  Dr. Raymond Raad shares three mental tools that are necessary in the process of gaining seeking self-understanding: a commitment to reason, a willingness to examine and fully experience one’s emotions, and in many cases a suspension of moral judgment.

Introductory course on Objectivism

Designed for students interested in Objectivism , the sessions highlight key aspects of Objectivism across five major areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. It will enhance your appreciation of Ayn Rand 's heroic view of life.

Stephen Hicks on Corruption in business

How do we evaluate competing arguments about whether corruption is worse in free-market or government-regulation systems? In this lecture, Stephen Hicks discusses both sides’ arguments and bring to bear upon them the empirical work of this generation’s social science.

Using storytelling to advance liberty

Moving Picture Institute filmmakers have used storytelling to change laws, change the culture, win Emmy Awards, break Guinness world records, and appear on the Academy Awards shortlist. Listen to Adam Guillette of MPI to learn how opponents of liberty are using storytelling to advance their agenda—and how you can too.

Aphorisms and Philosophy

Aphorisms are philosophical statements with a punch: they deliver a statement about life, often in amusing or easy-to-remember terms. They have a long history, starting with the ancient Greeks, and are still used now. In this talk, Jay Friedenberg defines aphorisms and contrasts them with other short literary forms, providing examples from around the world. He will then read examples of his own aphorisms on Objectivist topics and contrast aphorisms and fully constructed philosophies.

Desperate exchanges in the kidney black market

A woman might sell her kidney for a sack of rice if her family is on the brink of starvation and she knows of no better alternative.Philosophy professor and author Neera K. Badhwar argues that heroic figures like Dagny or Rearden would never give a starving woman only a sack of rice for a kidney, because they would regard it as unjust. But pinpointing the injustice of the act is not so easy. She focuses on trying to understand this issue.


Sidney Powell on "The real legacy of the Enron task force"

Texas "superlawyer" Sidney Powell describes how a handful of corrupt federal prosecutors destroyed Arthur Andersen; assaulted Wall Street; sent innocent Merrill Lynch executives to prison; changed the balance of power in the US Senate; facilitated the enactment of Obamacare; and became assistant attorneys general for the criminal division of the Department of Justice, chief White House counsel, and general counsel for the FBI.


The Search for Romanticism in Hollywood

Screenwriter-turned-novelist Vinay Kolhatkar will take you through the basics of contemporary screenwriting theory and draw parallels with romanticism. After this talk, you may be perpetually walking out of theaters re-plotting the story to make it more inspiring, more intriguing, and more conflict-driven. You could even be on your way to becoming a romanticist fiction writer.

Why John Galt is an inventor

Was Ayn Rand wrong when she said, “Patents … are the legal implementation of the base of all property rights”? In this unique presentation patent attorney Dale B. Halling explores why John Galt is an inventor.

Bucking the Establishment in Art

Ever wonder what would it take nowadays to buck the establishment in art? Find out from maverick painter Paul Ingbretson.

Presidential power and the dangers of delegation

The separation of powers remains the most powerful structural device (apart from a well-armed citizenry) yet invented for reducing the risk of tyranny. Boston University law professor Gary Lawson discusses the decades-long threat to that separation.

Republican Party Values: a panel discussion

What fundamental values should be guiding the American right wing? .


Symposium on Parenting and Childhood

The 2014 Atlas Summit featured a Symposium on Parenting and Childhood. Speakers included best-selling author and philosopher William R Thomas, Montessori educator Donahue Shortridge, and parenting entrepreneur Rosslyn Ross. We have shared those presentations here.

Panel on parenting and childhood

The Atlas Summit's Symposium on Parenting and Childhood featured distinct presentations on the Objectivist approach to issues related to choosing to have children, best techniques for raising children, and the educational, developmental, and ethical needs of children. The symposium's speakers join together here on a panel to compare notes and discuss differences of opinion. New insights are gained and differences clarified in a showcase of open Objectivist intellectual exchange. The panelists include Roslyn Ross, Donohue Shortridge, and William R Thomas.

Parenting like Ragnar and Kay: How to raise an individualist with high self-esteem

How would children be raised in Galt’s Gulch? Most Objectivist parents want to raise their children with as little coercion as possible, but lack the knowledge of how to do so: how to get children to eat vegetables, bathe, study and make safe choices, even as toddlers, without trickery, manipulation, bribery, punishment, or other forms of coercion. Parenting can and should be completely consistent with Objectivist values—there are no contradictions, just faulty premises. Join Roslyn Ross as she examines the most common mistakes Objectivists parents make and how to avoid them.


Objectivist ethics for parents and children

When children are born, they are mentally and spiritually unformed. For parents, they imply an obligation to provide love and care. Why should people consider taking on such an obligation? And what do the values at stake in parenting imply about how parents should treat children? For their part, children grow up taking their parents and family as given. And children are accustomed to depending on their parents for love and support. How should minor children act to develop their own independence and to convert their familial relations from duty to a positive, value-based relation?

How to make a great person (Part 1)

Does the Objectivist philosophy apply to parenting? What should parents and parents-to-be think about when deciding to bring children into the world?

How to make a great person (Part 2)

Montessori educator Donahue Shortridge concludes her two-part series on parenting. Does the Objectivist philosophy apply to parenting? What should parents and parents-to-be think about when deciding to bring children into the world?

Video: The Sanction of the Victim

David Kelley explores the foundation of Galt's strike: the nature of the "sanction of the victim," and what is entailed in withdrawing it. This presentation will  provide insight into the forthcoming Atlas Shrugged Part III, the final installment of the film adaptation.

Video: Objectivism and India

Using cultural themes specific to India, Jerry Johnson explores how Objectivism can be more easily promoted and digested within non-Western cultures.

Video: 1st stop: the bakery. 2nd stop: Galt's Gulch!

First she bought a building. Partnering with a friend, she turned it into a bakery. But Kathy Prellwitz soon got entangled in a complex web of government regulations and fees associated with becoming a business owner. The experience left her in the end with only one thought: Get me to Galt’s Gulch!

Video: Virtue and Selfishness

The Objectivist ethics is based in a recognition that, for each organism, its life is its ultimate value. This is the egoism, or "selfishness," that lies at the root of the Objectivist ethics. In this session, William R Thomas discusses this meta-ethical view and contrasts it with other ethical conceptions.

Objectivity: Metaphysical and Epistemological

What does it mean to be objective? David Kelley discusses the relation of the objective, the intrinsic, and the subjective. He discusses objectivity both in a metaphysical and in an epistemological sense. And he shows why objectivity is essential to the Objectivist conception of reason as an absolute.