A new year is usually a time when we recommit ourselves to making a difference in our own lives, when we reflect on our past achievements--and, perhaps, shortcomings--and anticipate with excitement the opportunities that tomorrow will offer.
I hope you’ll take a moment to check out “ Every Day a New Year ,” one of my past pieces in which I offer hope.
A new year also means pondering the past and presaging the future of our politics and culture. I see the future in the past--and, thus, reason for optimism.
On the political front, we saw in the past year the welfare state continue to collapse under its own contradictions. Obamacare not only made clear, even to many blinkered Barack backers, the gross incompetence of government. It also saw too few healthy young Americans—many of them early Obama boosters—agreeing to sacrifice their own self-interest by signing up to pay outrageously high insurance rates in order to foot the bill for the system. And it saw more and more physicians refusing to participate. Atlas was shrugging.
We saw in the past year revelations about government spying on almost everyone in the world. This made clear even to many who saw the state as a soft, benevolent puppy that, in fact, it is a monster growing more ravenous for total power and total control over our lives.
We saw in the past year lying by paternalist politicians taken to a new level, showing that deceit is essential to the statist.
And we saw in the past year mainstream recognition of a libertarian alternative to Democrats who want to control our pocketbooks and Republicans who want to control our pants.
But for skepticism about the state to transform society, a philosophical revolution is necessary.
And this is why I say that I see the future in the past--and, thus, reason for optimism. Last year, my Atlas Society colleagues and I continued our outreach to the young people who are our future. I’ve enjoyed sharing ideas with so many folks who are excited about their own lives and, thus, who want a free society in the future.
And last year, especially through our Business Rights Center, my Atlas Society colleagues and I reached out to even more entrepreneurs and business folks, those who help make our world prosper, who are persecuted for the virtue of being creative and productive.
And last year my Atlas Society colleagues and I revved up production of insightful videos on Objectivist philosophy.
And I’m excited about the new year because we have plans to build on these past achievements so that we can really make a difference.
This brings me back to personal renewal and making a difference in our own lives. The reason a free society with a rational culture is to be sought is that it offers us opportunities to flourish and prosper as individuals.
So I hope for 2014 that you seek, above all else, these goals, and that you have a Happy New Year!
Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.