Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog
Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: What Made America Great?

Monday, June 20, 2005

What Made America Great?

Edwin A. Locke of The Ayn Rand Institute wrote an excellent article for Capitalism Magazine, originally published July 4, 2004 and republished for this year’s observance of Independence Day. The article is titled "July Fourth Celebrates America's and the West's Core Values: Reason, Rights, and Science Are What Made America Great."

Far too many people have either forgotten or do not know what made the dream of America possible. According to Locke the founders based their philosophy on reason, individual rights, and the pursuit of science and technology. Here is an excerpt of how these three pillars of American philosophy made America great:

The result of these core achievements was an increase in freedom, wealth, health, comfort, and life expectancy unprecedented in the history of the world. These Western achievements were greatest in the country where the principles of reason and rights were implemented most consistently -- the United States of America. In contrast, it was precisely in those (third-world) countries which did not embrace reason, rights, and technology where people suffered (and still suffer) …


Despite its undeniable triumphs, America is by no means secure. Its core principles are under attack from every direction -- by religious zealots who want to undermine the separation of church and state, and by its own intellectuals, who are denouncing reason in the name of skepticism, rights in the name of special entitlements, and progress in the name of environmentalism.

As Locke points out, we have strayed too far from the ideals that made this country what it is today. When we take our Independence Day holiday in a few weeks, let us all spend at least a moment to reflect on the wisdom of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and all of the brave men who dared to declare independence from the paternalistic, tyrannical policies of King George. After taking the time to ponder that, ask yourself the question: “What can I do to bring reason, individual liberty, and the pursuit of science and technology back to the forefront of the American debate?”


Blogger Robert said...

Hey Stephen, I think this post is right on target, so I paid homage to it at my place.

7:19 PM  
Blogger T. F. Stern said...


The celebration of Independence Day is more important than fireworks, hot dogs and a six pack with friends. I agree that we all need to contemplate the gift of freedom which so many have worked to provide for us. To ignore the individual accomplishments of thought process that took man from servant to free men would be tragic. These deep thoughts, while not ever present in our youth, or at least not on the surface, still exist. I listen to so many of these young people, the generation behind mine, and for the most part I am pleased that they are thinking individuals who are able to sort through complex issues and take a stand. I do not agree with some of the solutions that are proposed; however, the fact remains that these individuals are involved in the process of self determination and are no different than the “radical element of society”, those who caused our nation to become separate and independent. I therefore remain optimistic in spite of the trivial political banter that seeks to demean this great country.

6:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
devry university