MARCH 31, 2013
Song of the Day: Pennies from Heaven, music by Arthur Johnston, lyrics by Johnny Burke, was the title song introduced in the 1936 film by Bing Crosby [YouTube clip from the film]. Crosby's version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004. It has also been performed by Billie Holiday (with guys like Benny Goodman on clarinet, Teddy Wilson on piano, Ben Webster on tenor sax, and Jonah Jones on trumpet), the Swinging Chairman of the Board, that other Pope Francis (Albert Sinatra) with the Count Basie Orchestra, tenor sax legend Stan Getz with pianist Oscar Peterson and guitarist Herb Ellis, and the irrepressable Louis Prima and saxman Sam Butera, among scores of others [all YouTube links]. It's just a nice way of sending the humble riches of heaven to those who are celebrating Passover and Easter this week; my own family celebrates Easter in May, one of those rare times when the Easter of Eastern Orthodoxy comes in late Spring.
MARCH 19, 2013
Song of the Day: Suit & Tie features the words and music of Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley, Jerome "J-Rod" Harmon, James Fauntleroy, Terence Stubbs, Johnny Wilson, Charles Still, Sean "Jay Z" Carter (who raps) and Justin Timberlake (who sings). This is the lead single to JT's newest album, "The 20/20 Experience," which is released today. The track is a sweet Old School throwback, with touches of MJ, Curtis Mayfield and the great Solar group, The Whispers. JT is in all his R&B glory, effortlessly moving through rhythmic ticks and melodic riffs, modal voicings and a killer falsetto. And Jay Z glides characteristically with Sinatra-esque ease above and behind the beat. Check out the full video on YouTube [video link] and a sizzling remix [video link] by resident 92.3 FM NYC DJ Jay Dabhi and Chachi [music link].
MARCH 14, 2013
I have been remiss in not mentioning that references to, and republications of, my work have been featured on the website of Center for a Stateless Society. From the mission statement of the Center:
The Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) is an anarchist think-tank and media center. Its mission is to explain and defend the idea of vibrant social cooperation without aggression, oppression, or centralized authority. In particular, it seeks to enlarge public understanding and transform public perceptions of anarchism, while reshaping academic and movement debate, through the production and distribution of market anarchist media content, both scholarly and popular, the organization of events, and the development of networks and communities, and to serve, along with the Alliance of the Libertarian Left and the Molinari Institute, as an institutional home for left-libertarian market anarchists.
One does not have to be a bona fide member of the Center, or an anarchist per se, to appreciate the fact that these folks are attempting to forge the way for a form of dialectical libertarianism, insofar as they refuse to focus strictly on the political, to the exclusion of the personal and the cultural, the social-psychological, the linguistic, the philosophical, and so forth. One of the reasons I've been critical of some forms of libertarianism is that there are what I have called "dualistic" tendencies among some libertarians to sharply separate the political from the personal and the cultural, as if dispensing with the state is all that is necessary to achieve a noncoercive society. As I have argued in my "Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy," the political is as dependent on the personal and the cultural as each of these levels is dependent on the others. It is the classic case of reciprocal interdependence:
My "Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy" consists of three books that proclaim the virtues of dialectical thinking in the service of a radical libertarianism. The essence of a dialectical method is that it is "the art of context-keeping." It demands that we study social problems by grasping the larger context within which they are embedded, so as to trace their myriad�and often reciprocal�causes and effects. The larger context must be viewed in terms that are both systemic and historical. By systemic, I mean that social problems need to be understood in ways that make transparent their relationships to one another�and to the larger system they constitute and that shapes them. By historical, I mean that social problems need to be grasped developmentally, that is, in ways that clarify their development over time. Grasping the larger context is indispensable to any "radical" politics worth its title. To be radical is to "go to the root." Going to the "root" of social problems requires understanding how they came about, where they might be tending, and how they may be resolved�by overturning and revolutionizing the system that generates them.
The three books of the trilogy are: Marx, Hayek, and Utopia; Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical; and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism.
The first book, Marx, Hayek, and Utopia, published in 1995 with the State University of New York Press, draws parallels between Karl Marx and F. A. Hayek with regard to their surprisingly convergent critiques of utopianism. Both thinkers exhibit an appreciation of context in distinguishing between dialectical, radical thinking and nondialectical, utopian thinking.
The second book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, published in 1995 with Pennsylvania State University Press (and soon to be published in an expanded second edition) details Rand's approach as an instance of highly dialectical and radical thinking, which recognizes that social problems and social solutions must be understood systemically, across three distinctive, and mutually supportive, levels of generality�the personal, the cultural, and the structural, and dynamically or developmentally, inclusive of past, present, and potential future manifestations of the problems we are analyzing and attempting to resolve.
The third book, Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism, published in 2000 by Pennsylvania State University Press, offers a re-reading of the history of dialectical thinking, and a re-definition of dialectics as indispensable to any defense of human liberty. It includes a critical discussion of the work of Murray N. Rothbard, who was one of my most important influences.
One can never be sure of every last implication of one's work when one creates it. That's the nature of what is often called an enterprise of "hermeneutics", which is a fancy term to designate the art, nature, and evolution of interpretation. As different people relate their own unique contexts of knowledge to one's work, they are more than likely to find implications in the work of which not even the author may have been aware. It therefore gives me great pleasure to see that those on the "libertarian left" are drawing from some useful aspects of my work.
Here are some of the references to, and republications of, my work at the Center for a Stateless Society:
On the Shoulders of Giants by Kevin Carson
They Saw it Coming: The 19th-Century Libertarian Critique of Fascism (translated into Spanish as Lo Vieron Venir: La Cr�tica Libertaria Decimon�nica del Fascismo) by Roderick Long
Engagement with the Left on Free Markets by Kevin Carson
"Capitalism": The Known Reality by Chris Matthew Sciabarra (posted by James Tuttle)
A Crisis of Political Economy by Chris Matthew Sciabarra (posted by James Tuttle)
Dialectics and Liberty by Chris Matthew Sciabarra (posted by James Tuttle)
Support C4SS with Charles Johnson's "Liberty, Equality, Solidarity" by James Tuttle
MARCH 08, 2013
I recently announced the publication of Volume 12, Number 2 (Issue 24, December 2012) of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. The abstracts and contributor biographies for the current issue can be found at those links. Subscribers and contributors should have already received their copies in the mail.
We have had a very small working staff as an independently published journal. Over the last few years especially, following the journal's move of its central headquarters from Washington to Nevada to good ol' Brooklyn, New York, much of the management tasks have fallen on a staff of one. Fortunately, Volume 12, Number 2 is the last issue that this staff will manage.
On the editorial side, of course, we've had a hard-working team, with a stellar cast of peer readers, and indefatigable Editorial and Advisory Board members.
Since the nuts-and-bolts stuff, that is, subscription fulfillment, design, production, distribution, and mailing, is being managed, starting with our first 2013 issue, by Pennsylvania State University Press, I am One Happy Camper. The first 2013 issue is already in process!
Editors and Advisory Board members will continue to do what matters, intellectually: guiding this publication�s content into an exciting future, with an even greater focus on the quality that our readers have come to expect. But the PSUP collaboration guarantees an even larger readership and an extensive dissemination of our content all across the globe. Part of this is already being generated by JSTOR, which has digitally preserved our back (and future) issues for the benefit of subscribers and scholars the world over. I have visited the JSTOR site, and am happy to report that every page of every back issue is now available; soon enough all of our content will also be dark archived by Stanford University�s CLOCKSS for eternal preservation.
Moreover, beginning with their receipt of Volume 13, Number 1 (scheduled for publication by PSUP in July 2013), current JARS subscribers will have full access to the journal�s content�and all of its back issues. New subscribers will have the option of print-only, online-only, or print-and-online access; our new subscription rates can be found here. The increases are modest, considering that our domestic rates have been the same since the journal�s first issue in the Fall of 1999. Let me encourage new subscribers and all of those who are considering re-subscribing (when their subscriptions are due for renewal) to take advantage of both print and online access. You won�t be disappointed.
As readers know, JARS has suffered profoundly personal losses with the passing of the journal�s visionary founder, Bill Bradford, and two of our original, and best, Advisory Board members, Larry Sechrest and John Hospers. With our December 2012 issue, I announced that JARS expanded its current Board of Advisors with an eye toward bolstering its interdisciplinary and international reach. Our new Advisory Board members fill that criteria resoundingly.
In "Expanding Boards, Expanding Horizons," my Preface to the December 2012 issue, I re-acquaint readers with our Advisory Board members and introduce readers to the half-dozen new members, who are sure to contribute to the long-term success of this publication. First, I review our current Editorial Board, "now constituted by four hard-working scholars drawn from the humanities and social sciences," and provide a brief update on the work of my colleagues:
The newest addition is the elevation of our former Associate Editor and former Advisory Board member, Robert L. Campbell, to the Editorial Board proper. This merely formalizes a relationship that has existed for a long time; Campbell has been with JARS since its inception and has worked tirelessly in an editorial capacity, helping to maintain the quality of this journal. He is a Professor of Psychology at Clemson University. His writing in theoretical, developmental, and cognitive psychology has been published in journals as diverse as Human Development, The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Cognitive Development, and The Journal of Pragmatics, to name but a few. Since 2005, he has edited the journal New Ideas in Psychology. When he�s not writing essays on Rand for our journal, he�s busy producing books such as The Earthly Recordings of Sun Ra (1994; second edition, 2000), and writing on jazz and blues for such periodicals as Cadence and Blues and Rhythm.
Stephen Cox, a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego, has been a founding co-editor of JARS, and an indefatigable scholar and editor. His articles and monographs on Rand explore the underappreciated literary aspects of her work. He is also the author of the book on Isabel Paterson [The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America (2004)], an important American writer who influenced Rand�s intellectual evolution. Cox�s broad research interests are reflected in his other published work: on eighteenth-century British literature (�The Stranger Within Thee�: Concepts of the Self in Late-Eighteenth-Century Literature ); William Blake (Love and Logic: The Evolution of Blake�s Thought ); and the Titanic tragedy (The Titanic Story: Hard Choices, Dangerous Decisions ). [And I should add his 2009 publication, a book published by Yale University Press: The Big House: Image and Reality of the American Prison.
Philosopher Roderick T. Long joined our Editorial Board after Bradford�s passing, with the publication of Volume 8, Number 1 (Fall 2006). A Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University, Long is also a senior scholar for the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Director and President of the Molinari Institute, an advisory panel member for the Center for a Stateless Society, and has served as editor of The Journal of Libertarian Studies. He has published countless essays on Ayn Rand, and is the author of Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand (2000). In 2008, he published Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country? (co-edited with Tibor R. Machan). His book, Wittgenstein, Austrian Economics, and the Logic of Action: Praxeological Investigations, is forthcoming.
Rounding out the Editorial Board is yours truly, Chris Matthew Sciabarra, a founding co-editor of this journal, author of numerous articles that have appeared in various encyclopedias and other periodicals, and of the �Dialectics and Liberty Trilogy,� consisting of Marx, Hayek, and Utopia (1995), Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (1995; forthcoming expanded second edition, 2013), and Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (2000), and co-editor, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (1999).
Soon enough, I will be posting information on the expanded second edition of my book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, which will include my 1999 JARS essay, �The Rand Transcript,� my 2005 JARS essay, �The Rand Transcript, Revisited,� a new Preface that will reflect on the nearly twenty years that has passed since the book�s first publication, and an extended Postscript, with a response to recent discussions of my historical work on Rand�s education.
Returning to the Preface for our current issue, however, I'd like to provide more information on our Board of Advisors, which now boasts twelve members. Among them are these original six, whose contributions and work are worth revisiting:
Philosopher Douglas J. Den Uyl co-edited, with Douglas B. Rasmussen, The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1984), which was the first collection of scholarly essays on Rand. The book, published by the University of Illinois Press, included varied interpretive contributions from Antony Flew, Robert Hollinger, Charles King, Tibor R. Machan, Eric Mack, Wallace I. Matson, Jack Wheeler, and the editors. Its approach�which brought scholarly rigor to the study of one of the twentieth century�s most controversial thinkers�inspired the founders of this journal. Den Uyl also authored a Twayne�s Masterwork Series book, The Fountainhead: An American Novel (1999), but his scholarship extends well beyond the Randian, encompassing such other works as The Virtue of Prudence (1991) and God, Man, & Well Being: Spinoza�s Modern Humanism (2008). He is also the co-author, with Douglas B. Rasmussen, of such works as Liberty and Nature: An Aristotelian Defense of Liberal Order (1991). Den Uyl remains the Vice President of Educational Programs at The Liberty Fund.
Mimi Reisel Gladstein, a Professor of English and Theatre Arts at the University of Texas, El Paso, has been one of the most prolific writers in Rand studies. She wrote the trailblazing 1978 College English article, �Ayn Rand and Feminism: An Unlikely Alliance,� that ultimately inspired the provocative 1999 volume in the Pennsylvania State University Press book series, �Re-reading the Canon�: Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, which Gladstein and I co-edited. The series currently sports well over 30 volumes, each covering a major thinker in the Western canon, from Plato, Aristotle, and Immanuel Kant to Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, and Mary Daly. Gladstein�s Rand scholarship also includes The Ayn Rand Companion (1984) and its much more comprehensive second edition, The New Ayn Rand Companion (1999), each surveying the ever-growing literature on Rand�from the literary and biographical to the philosophic and cultural. She is also the author of a Twayne�s Masterwork Series book, Atlas Shrugged: Manifesto of the Mind (2000), and Ayn Rand (2009), part of the Continuum series on �Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers.� This is all in addition to her seminal work on John Steinbeck, which earned her the John J. and Angeline Pruis Award for Steinbeck Teacher of the Decade (1978�1987), and the Burkhardt Award for Outstanding Contributions to Steinbeck Studies (1996).
Historian Robert Hessen, a senior research fellow from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is the editor of the multi-volume series Hoover Archival Documentaries. He has published many essays on topics in American economic and business history, and such books as In Defense of the Corporation (1978) and Steel Titan: The Life of Charles M. Schwab (1990)�not to mention original contributions to Ayn Rand�s Objectivist periodicals and to her book, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1967).
Lester H. Hunt, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is the author of many articles on aesthetics, ethics, and politics, and such books as Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue (1991) and Character and Culture (1997). He maintains the blog �E pur si muove!�
Eric Mack, a Professor of Philosophy at Tulane University, is the author of many essays on ethical and political philosophy, which have appeared in journals and books, and of such works as John Locke (forthcoming, January 2013), part of the Continuum series on �Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers.� He is also the editor of collections by Auberon Herbert (The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State and Other Essays, 1978) and Herbert Spencer (The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society, and Freedom, 1981).
Douglas B. Rasmussen, Professor of Philosophy at St. John�s University, co-edited with Douglas J. Den Uyl, The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1984). He is also co-author, with Den Uyl, of such works as Liberalism Defended: The Challenge of Post-Modernity (1998) and Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for a Non-Perfectionist Politics (2005). His essays have appeared in such journals as American Philosophical Quarterly, International Philosophical Quarterly, The New Scholasticism, Public Affairs Quarterly, The Review of Metaphysics, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Social Philosophy and Policy, and The Thomist.
In the December 2012 Preface, I also present the six newest members of the JARS Board of Advisors:
David T. Beito, Professor of History at the University of Alabama, has authored many historical works, including Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression (1989); From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890�1967 (2000); The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society (2002); and, with co-author Professor Linda Royster Beito of Stillman College, Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard�s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power (2009). He is the founder of the �Liberty and Power Group Blog� , and has published in this very journal (�Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America,� Spring 2007, Issue 16).
Peter J. Boettke is a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University (GMU), the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, and the Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU. He has also authored works on the history and collapse of the Soviet economy, including The Political Economy of Soviet Socialism: The Formative Years, 1918�1928 (1990); Why Perestroika Failed: The Economics and Politics of Socialist Transformation (1993); and Calculation and Coordination: Essays on Socialism and Transitional Political Economy (2001). He is also the author of Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (2012) and a widely used textbook (co-authored with Paul Heyne and David Prychitko) entitled The Economic Way of Thinking (2009). He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Review of Austrian Economics. He contributed to our path-breaking Centenary Symposium, �Ayn Rand Among the Austrians� (Spring 2005, Issue 12), and is a scheduled participant in the 2014 American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meeting of the Ayn Rand Society on the topic, �The Moral Basis of Capitalism: Adam Smith, the Austrians, and Ayn Rand.�
Susan Love Brown, Professor of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University, focuses on sociocultural, political, psychological, and African American anthropology, as well as on issues of gender, intentional communities, and social evolutionary theory. Her areal interests center on the United States and the Caribbean. She is the co-author (with Robert Bates Graber, Ralph M. Rowlett, Randall R. Skelton, and Ronald Kephart) of Meeting Anthropology Phase to Phase (2000), and the editor of Intentional Community: An Anthropological Perspective (2002). She has authored countless articles, which have appeared in many books, encyclopedias, and journals on topics as diverse as race and ethnicity, religion, and the counterculture. Her essays on Rand have appeared in several books�including Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (1999) and Ayn Rand�s Atlas Shrugged: A Philosophical and Literary Companion (2007)�and journals, including The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (to which she has contributed two essays).
Hannes H�lmsteinn Gissurarson, Professor of Politics at the University of Iceland, earned his D.Phil. in Politics at the University of Oxford, where he was the R. G. Collingwood Scholar at Pembroke College. Among his many books are Hayek�s Conservative Liberalism (1987), Overfishing: The Icelandic Solution (2000), Kjarni malsins. Fleyg ord a islensku [A Dictionary of Quotations] (2010), and Islenskir kommunistar 1918�1998 [Icelandic Communists 1918�1998] (2011). He is also the Icelandic translator and editor of The Black Book of Communism (2009). He has served on the supervisory board of Iceland�s Central Bank (2001�2009) and on the board of the Mont Pelerin Society (1998� 2004) and is currently the academic director of RNH, the Icelandic Research Centre for Innovation and Economic Growth (RNH n.d). RNH is supporting the Icelandic Ayn Rand Project of the publishing house Almenna bokafelagid, which has already published Icelandic translations of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. In 2013, We the Living is due to be published in an Icelandic edition, which will include the play Night of January 16th (RNH 2012).
Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at St. Lawrence University. He is the author of Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (1992), Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (2000), and many articles on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, macroeconomics, and the social theory of the family. He co-edits the book series Advances in Austrian Economics. He has contributed essays to the JARS Symposium on �Ayn Rand and Progressive Rock� (Fall 2003, Issue 9) and the Centenary Symposium, �Ayn Rand Among the Austrians� (Spring 2005, Issue 12).
David N. Mayer, Professor of Law and History at Capital University, is the author of essays in law reviews, history and political science journals, and of the books The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (1994) and Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right (2011). He also serves on the board of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law (in Columbus, Ohio), the editorial board of the Cato Supreme Court Review, the fellowships Academic Review Committee for the Institute for Humane Studies, and the advisory board of The Atlas Society. Among his essays is �Completing the American Revolution: The Significance of Ayn Rand�s Atlas Shrugged at its Fiftieth Anniversary,� published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (Spring 2008, Issue 18).
Working with JARS has been a labor of love, though I can think of a few instances where it has also been a labor of aggravation. That�s life. But after twelve years of independent publication, we are ecstatic to join forces with Pennsylvania State University Press, wherein we retain our intellectual independence and 100% control of the editorial side of this project. PSUP takes over all those managerial, production, subscription, and distribution tasks, all those tedious and endlessly exhausting tasks that I will truly miss. Not.
At the conclusion of our Tenth Anniversary Issue, it was my desire to have produced a Ten-Year Master Author Index, to remind readers of where we�ve been. Alas, circumstances made the production of that index impossible. But we have reached a major transitional moment in our history as we begin our collaboration with PSUP this year. So now, it seemed the perfect time to produce that Master Author Index, which provides an alphabetical listing of every author's essays, arranged chronologically. The Master Author Index can be found at the conclusion of the December 2012 issue; it covers all 12 volumes of the journal (Issues 1-24).
I should point out that I made one error in the Master Author Index; it was the omission of a single reference to Dennis C. Hardin. My apologies, Dennis! His entry is included in our Volume 12 index, but was mistakenly omitted from the Master Author Index. So, it gives me great pleasure to inform our readers that a corrected copy of the Master Author Index of our first twelve years of independent publication is now available as a PDF here. (We hope that JSTOR will provide a corrected copy as well.)
Finally, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Dave Barakat, with whom I worked closely in bringing this journal to print for so many years. Dave is now with Gator Communications Group LLC (they have a Facebook page too). He is, quite simply, one of the most professional, efficient, kindest, and downright charming people with whom I have ever worked. My best wishes to him in all his future endeavors.