Ed Hudgins

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    http://www.objectivistcenter.org
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    Edward Hudgins
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    Director of Advocacy and Senior Scholar, The Atlas Society
  • Articles
    New Cult of Darkness Every Day a New Year Milton Friedman: 1912-2006 Republican Election Fiasco The Pope vs. Islam: Who Stands for Reason? Happy Labor Day - We're All Workers! Gustav Mahler’s Second and Eighth Symphonies Starbucks' Fat Cup of Trouble "Atlas" Movie One Step Closer! THE INSIDE SCOOP Why We Give Gifts Policing Phone Calls and Perverting Principles Birthday Blips: Are Americans Really Free & Equal? A Cool Capitalist Atlas Forced into Early Retirement The Public Side of Private Love

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  1. Ed Hudgins

    It's Time to Abandon Earth Day

    FYI: Data show only very small, steady sea level rise for centuries and no correlation with CO2, the usual culprit of the climate alarmists. If I can figure out how to post jpgs, I will put some up showing this info.
  2. Ed Hudgins

    Karl Marx at 200: His Lethal Legacy Lingers

    Marxism is being kept alive by a whole lot of professors on many campuses. One of my points is that the more true to Marxism they are, the more they believe that it's impossible to demonstrate the truth via reason; remember that our bourgeois brains just can't understand their "logic." I think that for a lot of reasons, one of which is to free higher ed from the grip of various forms of statist dogma, we need an education revolution.
  3. Karl Marx at 200: His Lethal Legacy Lingers By Edward Hudgins In his name, over 100 million people were murdered. May 5, 2018 marks Karl Marx's 200th birthday, and his profound errors still smolder and threaten new conflagrations. Marx was born into a Europe transforming into a modern, industrial society. Individuals were leaving ancestral villages and farms for growing cities and their seemingly dehumanizing factories. Incredible wealth was being created, but would the factory workers benefit from their labors? What did the future of this emerging new world hold? History as class conflict Marx posed as a "scientific socialist," explaining the past and prophesying the future. Marx was a radical materialist. He asserted that history is a class conflict based on economic forces. People's ideas, what Marx called "phantoms of their brains," are not the drivers of our destinies. We are simply the pawns of the factors of production and distribution of wealth. We don't make our tools so much as our tools make us. Marx rejected the notion that the rational capacity we all share can discover objective truth. Rather, he asserted that the structure of our minds is determined by our economic class. Thus, there is the "proletarian logic" of the workers and the "bourgeois logic" of the middle class and capitalists. The bourgeoisie are incapable of understanding the workers. It's futile for proletarians to try to explain their circumstances to the bourgeoisie. The truth of the one isn't the truth of the other. But how could Marx downplay the influence of ideas even as he offered his own, those phantoms in his brain? How could Marx, from a solid bourgeois background, transcend his class and understand "proletarian logic"? Was this just his deceitful way of silencing critics? If you ask, Marx might reply that your bourgeois brain and old-fashioned logic are incapable of grasping how contradictions can be truth. The few rich and the many poor Marx asserted that the capitalist owners of factories would use new equipment and efficient organization to create more and more wealth – a thousand teapots a day rather than a hundred; ten thousand shirts a day rather than one thousand. As production and efficiency rose, capitalist owners could fire many employees and reduce the wages of the remaining ones. The rich would get richer, and the poor would get poorer, and the latter's ranks would swell. You might ask Marx, who will buy those thousand teapots and ten thousand shirts if everyone is impoverished? He might answer that your limited bourgeois mind simply can't understand. Marx asserted a convoluted "labor theory of value" to demonstrate that most wealth created in factories was produced by the workers and expropriated as profits by the capitalists... (Continue reading here.) https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/karl_marx_at_200_his_lethal_legacy_lingers.html
  4. Ed Hudgins

    It's Time to Abandon Earth Day

    What on Earth are you talking about? ( ?) This really Mars the conversation! ( ?) Did you Planet this way? ( ? )
  5. Ed Hudgins

    It's Time to Abandon Earth Day

    Okay, we're deep into tin-foil hat, nut-case territory here, so I'll leave those with more time on their hands or those who get a dark amusement observing this form of human folly to populate this thread. I will say that since my teen years I found the issue of life on other worlds of serious interest. I was especially impressed by a young, little-known fellow who spoke in 1969 at Goddard Space Flight Center, where I'd been an intern, to separate flying saucer nonsense from a real search for extraterrestrial intelligence. That was Carl Sagan. Anyway, I guess I won't be seeing some of the folks on this thread on Mars. Hope Elon Musk's colony does way!
  6. Ed Hudgins

    It's Time to Abandon Earth Day

    Thanks Peter! JTS, the big question is, who they hell is Steven Greer and why would anyone waste a neuron transferring a charge via a synapse on what he blathers about anything? ?
  7. It's Time To Abandon Earth Day By Edward Hudgins April 22, 2018 -- There was a telling juxtaposition of events in April 1970. On the one hand, young people, infused with the Age of Aquarius, gathered in parks for the first Earth Day. They sang, danced, speechified, consumed illicit substances, and virtue-signaled they didn’t want a polluted planet. On the other hand, the Apollo 13 spacecraft, crippled by an explosion, limped back to Earth, with the survival of three astronauts very much in doubt. That April, a movement began to fight a perceived explosion of technologies and materialism that were polluting Earth, with the survival of humanity at stake. This worldview was as profoundly wrong then as it remains now. Human Improvement We all want to live in a world conducive to human health and safety. The good news is things have been improving for years. Starting with the big picture, some five decades ago, 45 percent of the world’s population was living in extreme poverty. Today, that number is less than 10 percent. Back then, global life expectancy was 60 years old. It is now around 72, in developed countries, it’s more than 80. Even in Africa, the most impoverished region of the world, average lifespan has climbed from 47 to 60. The annual death rate of children under five years old has dropped from about 15 percent to under 5 percent, with much of that progress coming in developing countries. And what about the environment? At the time of the first Earth Day, more than one million individuals worldwide, mainly children, died each year because of pathogens in polluted water. Fortunately, over the past four decades, the portion of the global population with access to improved water sources has jumped from only about 50 percent to more than 90 percent.... Read more.
  8. Ed Hudgins

    From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions

    Huge Water Reserves Found All Over Mars For those of you space geeks who follow this, looks like you'll have plenty to drink when you establish your colony on Mars! Some cool photos in the article as well!
  9. At communist centenary, many Americans still believe in collectivism By Edward Hudgins November 7, 2017 November 7 marks a century since the founding of one of the most murderous tyrannies in human history. Russia's communist empire was an appalling failure in every way, yet we often see the hammer and sickle, the symbol of the Soviet Union, carried on college campuses and at protests around the country. Communism still holds sway among a significant part of the U.S. population. In 1917, Russia was ruled by a powerful tsar. But in the preceding decades, reformers had been chipping away at the feudal system, which was all Russia had ever known. More democratic and free-market ideas were taking hold. Most of the peasant masses, however, were still impoverished, and millions of Russian men were being used as cannon fodder in World War I. The process of change accelerated in March 1917, when reformers forced the tsar to cede power. Elections were planned for a democratic assembly, the Duma. The Bolsheviks, however, had been agitating and organizing an alternative to the democratic reformers. Led by Vladimir Lenin, this group of communists staged a coup on Nov. 7, 1917. What followed was not an open society with economic opportunity and democratic institutions, much less a workers' paradise. Far from it. The communists could not sustain an economy. The regime engineered a catastrophic famine deliberately to starve to death millions of small farmers, who, the communists feared, could resist the regime's confiscation of their land. Millions more innocent people were murdered by firing squads or worked to death in the Gulag slave labor camps. The Soviet Union was the first modern totalitarian regime. Private life and private enterprise were forbidden. Everything was political. Spies were everywhere, watching for any deviation from dogma in thought or deed. From its inception to its 1991 demise, the Soviet regime murdered 50 million individuals, according to the best estimates. Other communist regimes established, abetted, or inspired by the Soviet Union – in China, Cambodia, North Korea – brought the body count as high as 150 million. In the United States today, the media rightly deplore and ostracize bigoted brutes who march under the swastika. When Antifa thugs parade under the hammer and sickle and do violence to peaceful demonstrators, however, they are commonly given a chorus of approval or at least tolerance among the nation's elites, who profess to disagree with their tactics while honoring their intentions: achievement of "social justice," which translates to socialism under ironhanded rule by elites. Three insights help explain this morally sick phenomenon. First, communism is a collectivist ideology. It puts the group – in this case, the so-called proletariat of downtrodden workers – ahead of the individual, and it characterizes all social life as a war between rich and poor. The individual is routinely sacrificed for the good of society, often fatally. Whereas, historically, Americans defended free association among individuals – family, friends, social organizations, and other components of civil society – today, many reject the nation's founding principle of free association and individual liberty and actively work to undermine all groups not created by the state. Second, communism contains a strong element of envy. Instead of wanting to allow everyone to proper, communism and its little brother, socialism, works to pull down those who already prosper. "Take from the one percent!" they shout. Or the 10 percent. Or the 20 percent. Never mind that allowing people to retain their wealth creates greater wealth that benefits everybody, resulting in the most prosperous society the world has ever known. Instead, a large class of privileged ingrates enjoys the riches created by others even as their ugly, angry, tear-it-down envy, combined with collectivist dogma, drives their denunciations of the creators of the system, their guilt-tripping against productive individuals, and their condemnation of entire ethnic groups for their "shameful" history of productive virtues. These malcontents share the motives of the Marxists, who, a century ago, sought to destroy not only feudal oligarchs, but also entrepreneurial wealth-creators. A third insight is that a long-term communist strategy is in full operation in this country. Italian communist Antonio Gramsci in the early twentieth century explained the importance of taking over a nation's culture to prepare the ground for political revolution. In the 1960s, the German red Rudi Dutschke called this the "long march through the institutions." Individuals who accept collectivist principles gradually become the politicians, entertainers, teachers, educators, lawyers, media moguls, and journalists who mold the culture and spread their values throughout society, strengthening their efforts by suppressing freedom of speech whenever they have the power to do so. Within a few generations, a country is ripe for a collectivist revolution. Today, the United States is not in danger of becoming another Soviet Union. Yet cultural elites are steadily spreading the premise that we all owe allegiance first and foremost to one another, not to those whom we value and who enhance our flourishing, such as family and friends. This ultimately puts government at the head of everything, with claims that its activities represent some "general will" about the good of society. There is no private life. Everything is political. On the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Soviet tyranny, it is crucial that those of us who still live by American values – individual liberty, self-reliance, voluntary assistance to others, and limited government – understand the significance of some of our countrymen not abhorring the hammer and sickle as they do the swastika. We must devise our own "long march through the institutions" to preserve the values that make America great by allowing each individual to achieve his own greatness. Edward Hudgins is research director for The Heartland Institute. In the last years of the Soviet regime, he helped organize and run free-market reform conferences behind the Iron Curtain. For further reading: Edward Hudgins, "Eastern Europe 20 Years Later," December 24, 2009. Edward Hudgins, "The Berlin Wall Then and Now," November 5, 2009 Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/11/at_communist_centenary_many_americans_still_believe_in_collectivism.html#ixzz4xnlAIpiF
  10. Ed Hudgins

    Hudgins Joins Heartland!

    Thanks Michael, et al! I'm excited about the new challenge, especially at this time. We're in a political volatile times. So while we need philosophical clarity, we also have the opportunity to actually promote some real change. Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord was one such change. His appointments at OMB, EPA, the FCC and elsewhere are important. And we have some real opportunities at the state level. I hope to get back to writing in the future, probably some policy papers and, I hope, short pieces as well. I'll keep you informed. Cheers! Ed
  11. Ed Hudgins

    Hudgins Joins Heartland!

    As some of you already might know, I have accepted the job of new research director at the Heartland Institute! Heartland is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, outside of Chicago, though I'll still be working in the Washington,D.C. area. Heartland is an “action tank” as well as a “think tank,” discovering, developing, and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. It is a national leader in the fight for climate realism against alarmist dogma; founder Joe Bast & two other Heartlanders were at the White House for Pres. Trump's announcement about pulling out of the Paris Accords, while I did a TV show on the subject. It is a leader for control by parents control of their children’s education against “Common Core” government control freaks. But Heartland specializes in taking the battle for free markets to the states, providing studies for policymakers and activists, witnesses for state legislative committees, and analysis that helps friends of freedom in the various states learn from their respective experiences. I will be building out Heartland’s research efforts, producing intellectual and policy ammunition for its traditional audiences and for new audiences—Millennials, minorities, well-intentioned civic leaders who want the best for their communities. I'm with Heartland plotting a long march through the institutions! Any of you who are ground troops in the battle, feel free to offer me your thoughts on how we can help! My new work email is ehudgins@heartland.org
  12. Ed Hudgins

    Elon Musk and Merging With Machines

    I remember that one! But I'll come clean, here's the focus of my real interest in robots:
  13. Ed Hudgins

    Elon Musk and Merging With Machines

    I suggest that neither you nor I know the truth about dry vs wet tech vis a vis human life. I suspect that the folks who are investing billions of their own $$$s into human-brain interface work know better than we do, though they could be wrong. As I've also pointed out, the costs of sequencing a human genome has dropped from $100 million in 2001 to $10 million in 2007 to just over $1,000 today. That an innovations like the CRISPR cas9 gene editing tool suggests that manipulating our DNA will play a major roles in the kinds of creatures with evolve to in the future. Also, see Diamandis's quote in my piece.
  14. Ed Hudgins

    Elon Musk and Merging With Machines

    I might as well post this here for future discussions. THE HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT ALLIANCE Exponential technologies in information, nanotech, biotech, robotics, and AI promise a future of unimaginable prosperity with longer, healthier, even transhuman lives for all. But these changes are producing radical economic, social, and moral challenges, with reactionary pushback from left and right and with calls for government controls. Worse, our increasingly nihilist culture is eroding the value and joy of productive achievement. But the good news is that otherwise cynical young people do love technology. Further, entrepreneurs creating this tech are individualists who love their work and want to prosper, but who need to understand better the need for free markets if they are to achieve their goals. A Human Achievement Alliance can meet these challenges. This initiative exploits the synergy between the values of Millennials, a new breed of entrepreneurial achievers, and friends of freedom. It offers an optimistic, exciting, empowering vision of the world as it can be and should be. In operation, it seeks: ●Celebrate and promote through our institutions and through a Human Achievement Day, the value of achievement and Enlightenment virtues of reason and entrepreneurship from which achievements emerge. ●Raise public awareness of the potential of exponential technology and the necessity of economic liberty in coalitions, media, political circles, and the wider culture. ●Develop cutting-edge thinking on deep issues concerning exponential technologies: Should we reject the “precautionary principle’ for a “proactionary” principle?” Why are robots and AI do not threaten jobs? Will human-machine mergers pose ethical problems? Could we actually live 500 years? ●Promote free-market public policies that remove barriers to exponential tech. “We are all achievers, whether nurturing a child to maturity or business to profitability, writing a song, poem, business plan or dissertation, laying the bricks to a building or designing it.” To help ensure this bright future, and for further information, contact Edward Hudgins at edward@edwardhudgins.com.
  15. FYI: You'll see more about this in the future: THE HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT ALLIANCE Exponential technologies in information, nanotech, biotech, robotics, and AI promise a future of unimaginable prosperity with longer, healthier, even transhuman lives for all. But these changes are producing radical economic, social, and moral challenges, with reactionary pushback from left and right and with calls for government controls. Worse, our increasingly nihilist culture is eroding the value and joy of productive achievement. But the good news is that otherwise cynical young people do love technology. Further, entrepreneurs creating this tech are individualists who love their work and want to prosper, but who need to understand better the need for free markets if they are to achieve their goals. A Human Achievement Alliance can meet these challenges. This initiative exploits the synergy between the values of Millennials, a new breed of entrepreneurial achievers, and friends of freedom. It offers an optimistic, exciting, empowering vision of the world as it can be and should be. In operation, it seeks: ●Celebrate and promote through our institutions and through a Human Achievement Day, the value of achievement and Enlightenment virtues of reason and entrepreneurship from which achievements emerge. ●Raise public awareness of the potential of exponential technology and the necessity of economic liberty in coalitions, media, political circles, and the wider culture. ●Develop cutting-edge thinking on deep issues concerning exponential technologies: Should we reject the “precautionary principle’ for a “proactionary” principle?” Why are robots and AI do not threaten jobs? Will human-machine mergers pose ethical problems? Could we actually live 500 years? ●Promote free-market public policies that remove barriers to exponential tech. “We are all achievers, whether nurturing a child to maturity or business to profitability, writing a song, poem, business plan or dissertation, laying the bricks to a building or designing it.” To help ensure this bright future, and for further information, contact Edward Hudgins at edward@edwardhudgins.com.