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Peter Schwartz

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DEAR READER,


March 2019


In this issue, you will find links to: 1) a video of my discussion (along with Greg Salmieri) about the Founding Fathers and slavery; 2) my 2015 article on how not to fight environmentalism; and 3) my 2006 talk on the real meaning of the anti-concept “diversity.” Also, I include my brief recommendation of a new movie, currently showing in theaters, Apollo 11.

– Peter Schwartz

 

  

This video, from a Q&A at last year’s AynRandCon in Atlanta, features two short presentations: my defense of the Founding Fathers against the accusation that they encouraged slavery by not freeing the slaves they owned; and Greg Salmieri’s explanation of the essential distinction between the pro-freedom, pro-life philosophy of the Founding Fathers and the anti-freedom, anti-life philosophy of the leaders of the Confederate South. 

 


With the “Green New Deal” emerging as the left’s next major goal, and with Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, this is an appropriate time to clarify the nature of the environmentalist threat and the intellectual means of fighting it. From my 2015 article:


“While at first environmentalists made some nominal claims about how people would ultimately be harmed, such claims have now become largely unnecessary. The environmentalists’ ‘package-deal,’ which blurs the distinction between effects on nature and effects on man, has become entrenched in people’s minds. Consequently, many people now regard the value of preserving the ‘environment’ as a given. Even professed opponents of environmentalism accept this premise. Consider the campaign currently being waged by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a generally good, pro-capitalist organization. . . . “

 


“Identity politics,” “white privilege,” “intersectionality”—these are among the cultural buzz-words today. And they all flow from the notion of the value of “diversity.” Here is a description of my 2006 lecture (at OCON):


“Mr. Schwartz explains how the use of the term ‘diversity’ negates a number of legitimate concepts, including the two concepts crucial to the entire cognitive process: integration and differentiation. The ‘diversity’ movement, he argues, represents the culmination of egalitarianism. That is, even though the egalitarian rejects differences while the proponent of ‘diversity’ seemingly wallows in them, the two ideologies preach the same message. The essence of this message, Mr. Schwartz shows, is a repudiation of all rational discriminations, which means: of all moral, and epistemological, standards.”

 


You wouldn’t think that a movie about the Apollo 11 mission that consists simply of footage shot at the time of the event could present a compelling, inspiring story. Yet this film does just that. 


This is a documentary that shows, rather than tells. And what it shows is the enormity of the achievement— not in physical, but intellectual, terms. From the astronauts to the flight director to the NASA engineers—hundreds of them, shown at their stations, calculating, writing, monitoring, thinking, each responsible for some facet of the mission, all their work integrated into a single, unprecedented feat—one implicit message shines through: this amazingly complex undertaking was a product of the mind, the dedicated, focused, rational mind.


 

IN DEFENSE OF SELFISHNESS: 

Why The Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive


What if the central idea we’re all taught about morality is wrong?


Virtually everyone regards self-sacrifice as a moral virtue. From childhood on, we are told that serving the needs of others, rather than our own, is the essence of morality and is the means of achieving social harmony. To be ethical—it is believed—is to be altruistic. Even questioning this premise is, to most people, equivalent to entertaining the notion that the earth is flat.


My book questions this premise.