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|Born||Kirkland, Washington, USA|
|Residence||Tucson, Arizona, USA|
|Education||Mountain View High School (2005 to 2009)
Pima Community College (2009 to 2012)
Autodidacticism (Birth to Present)
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg).|
User:Adam9389 is a writer and Wikipedia contributor. He is registered on Wikipedia to contribute to subjects that he is knowledgeable in as well as to minimize bias and enforce NPOV. He hopes to help transform Wikipedia into a respected and reputable aggregation of encyclopedic knowledge.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 More About Adam
- 3 Philosophy and ideology
- 3.1 Political, economic, and social views
- 3.2 Views on religion
- 3.3 Views on science, technology, the environment, and transhumanism
- 4 Influences & People Who Inspire Adam
- 5 Recommended external links
- 6 Applicable Userboxes
The first decade of his life involved growing up in the Seattle metropolitan area before moving to the northwestern suburbs of Tucson, Arizona in 1999. At an early age, he demonstrated a high degree of interest in politics, history, mythology, and scientific disciplines such as geology, volcanology, astronomy, and meteorology—the vast knowledge of which he still carries to this day. In high school, his favorite subjects were social studies and business.
Writing is another interest of Adam's and a large part of his life. He is pursuing a writing career as a novelist and screenwriter, focusing especially on speculative fiction and young-adult fiction. He is currently working on his debut novel.
He follows a straight-edge lifestyle, abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, and promiscuity, in the interest of optimum longevity and health in all aspects of his life. To that end, he is a pescetarian and does not eat red meat.
More About Adam
Philosophy and ideology
- Objective reality in metaphysics (based on the three metaphysical axioms: existence exists, consciousness is conscious, and A is A)
- Reason in epistemology (reason defined as the a posteriori conceptualization and cognitive integration of sense data via logic)
- Egoist moral realism in ethics (per natural rights, you own yourself and your property; your life is yours; no such thing as unchosen obligations)
- Laissez-faire capitalism in politics (a free society in which all forms of human association are voluntary, therefore there is no force/coercion)
- Romantic realism in art/aesthetics (art is the implicit or explicit result of man's metaphysical value-judgments)
He also rejects the mind-body problem, viewing the mind and body as an integrated and organic whole. Regarding this issue, he is a biological naturalist and partial to the views of philosopher John Searle.
He is vehemently critical of postmodernism.
He, in part, sees the history of philosophy as a struggle between the various strands and derivatives of Platonism (which he fiercely opposes) against that of Aristotelianism (which he supports, and from which he traces Cicero, numerous Enlightenment philosophers, along with some contemporaries like Ayn Rand). While he credits the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to the re-emergence of Aristotelian philosophy (via Thomas Aquinas and Petrarch), he believes that Platonic ideas—including the theory of Forms, the philosopher king, and "Kallipolis"—directly and indirectly led to the rise of the Abrahamic religions along with most forms of 20th century totalitarianism (via Kantianism, Hegelianism, and Marxism), including Soviet communism, Nazism, and Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic Republic.
He views Objectivism as the heir to Enlightenment philosophy as well as to Friedrich Nietzsche's re-evaluation of all values and quest for a new and improved alternative to the flawed master–slave moralities of past and present.
General Overview and Party Politics
|“||"Maximized liberty based upon individual sovereignty and natural rights, free-market capitalist economic principles stemming from the basis of voluntary contractual relationships, decentralized civic and economic power, rule of law, a well-defined foreign policy of national self-interest, an appreciation for the fruits of reason and science, and the fundamental objective of improving the human condition through the advancement of freedom, education, technology, and competition. Our natural rights (rights to our life, our liberty, our property, and our pursuit of happiness) as human beings are based upon our intrinsic nature and what we—as individuals with minds of our own—need to do in order to survive, live, and thrive. A proper government's only function is to protect and safeguard those rights." —taken from his Facebook page||”|
Adam is a libertarian and an advocate of open government and an open, free, and voluntary society. Regarding party politics, he is a Goldwater Republican and he explains his party registration by quoting Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman, who said, "I am a Republican with a capital 'R,' and a libertarian with a small 'l.' I have a party membership as a Republican not because they have any principles, but because that's the way I am the most useful and have the most influence. My philosophy is clearly libertarian." Despite his libertarian political philosophy, Adam has never been a member of the Libertarian Party and is, in fact, critical of the LP over certain positions such as their dismissive attitudes toward border security and the threat of Islamic totalitarianism, along with their frequent disregard for the crucial connection between morality (i.e., self-ownership, individualism, ethical egoism, and natural-rights libertarianism) and liberty.
In 2012, he initially considered supporting Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico who previously ran in the 2012 Republican primaries, over Republican candidate Mitt Romney. While he respects and admires Romney's business career, Adam has misgivings over him as a politician, perceiving the former Massachusetts governor as the ultimate wishy-washy pragmatist, utterly devoid of ideas and ideals, and whose policies will be largely determined by whichever party takes majorities in the House and Senate. However, in light of Romney selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate, Adam decided to vote for their ticket. After Romney's loss in November 2012, he became vehemently critical of Romney's campaign performance, and more explicitly called for the Republican Party to abandon conservatism (especially the "sinking ship" of social conservatism) and to become "the party of freedom of the individual," embracing libertarianism and "Enlightenment values."
Though he identifies as a supporter of both, he is critical of the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party for their intellectual/philosophic emptiness, which he says is a key factor in contributing to their social conservatism, their demagogue tactics, and their constant inability to effectively articulate ideas and the good parts of their platforms.
He believes the present-day Republican Party needs a youthful and morally-grounded libertarian presidential candidate in the ideological and personality mode of Barry Goldwater or fictional candidate Arnold Vinick, and gifted with keen intellect, eloquence, friendly disposition, and rugged charisma.
Raised in a conservative Republican home, his political views drifted from conservatism to libertarianism in the mid-2000s. In hindsight, he describes his former preteen political views as Military Keynesianism coupled with what he calls "suburban, Bush-era, law-and-order conservatism," along with passionate support for radical gun rights (one position which remains unchanged). He had more moderate views on economic issues and fluctuating, non-religious social conservatism (both of which he now chalks up to ignorance and apathy rather than any real convictions).
He discovered libertarianism at age 14 and, thus, began a gradual drift from conservatism to libertarianism, identifying as a libertarian–conservative throughout much his teen years. Following his high school graduation, he discovered philosophy (including Ayn Rand and Friedrich Nietzsche), after which he renounced conservatism entirely and realized that he already long rejected its historical bulwarks such as religion, traditionalism, royalism, and its pessimistic, Hobbesian, depravity view of human nature.
Despite ongoing misgivings over some of Ron Paul's views on foreign policy, he endorsed him in the 2008 and 2012 Republican presidential primaries. In 2008, he was critical of and unenthusiastic about eventual Republican nominee John McCain, but voted for him anyway as he distrusted Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr, a former (and recent) hard-line social conservative who authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, advocated banning Wicca in the military, and was a firebrand supporter of Orwellian War on Drugs measures.
Along with libertarian and Objectivist influences, his intellectual development has also been influenced by Nietzscheanism, philosophical anarchism, individualist anarchism, anarcho-capitalism, and autarchism. Although he no longer identifies with any of these ideologies due to what he sees as certain flaws in each of them, he still professes a sympathetic understanding of their ideals.
He sometimes has contrarian tendencies, arguing against fellow libertarians and atheists as well as (especially) conservatives when he thinks their arguments are poor, not well-reasoned, or portray their cause in a bad light.
In accordance with the principles of self-ownership, individualism, and capitalism, he believes in a permissive society limited legally only by the harm principle and the non-aggression principle. He supports unregulated legalization of all victimless "crimes", including but by no means limited to weapon/ammunition ownership, both open & concealed carry, gambling, drug possession/cultivation/sale, prostitution, assisted suicide/voluntary euthanasia, the sale of one's own bodily organs, ticket scalping, public nudity, etc. He supports gay rights and same-sex marriage (via the privatization of marriage) and opposes "thought crime" laws such as hate crime legislation. He also opposes laws against "hate speech," seeing them as infringements on freedom of speech/expression and a precursor to censorship and Newspeak. He supports legalized abortion and wholeheartedly supports all fruitful forms of stem cell research but, as a minarchist libertarian, opposes government funding for such things. He opposes the affirmative action as another form of racism and collectivist identity politics that has no place in a free society upholding the primacy and merit of the individual.
He opposes laws against private sector discrimination, holding that they are acts of coercion that infringe on employers' property rights and freedom of association, and therefore opposes such measures as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He also uses consequentialist arguments, saying that free market competition already provides disincentives to discriminate and most large companies (including next to all Fortune 500s) already ban sexual orientation discrimination (and other types) in their own hiring practices. Also, as most employment discrimination lawsuits end up meritless, such laws would result in frivolous litigation—the enormous costs of which would have to be made up most likely by increasing prices.
He is a strong supporter of youth rights. Among other things, he is in favor of lowering the legal drinking age to eighteen, citing the fact that eighteen-year-olds are legal adults with the right to vote, get married, join the military, etc. He also favors legally allowing minors to consume alcohol in a private residence with parental supervision. He supports keeping the age of majority at eighteen and fixing the legal age of sexual consent at fourteen, citing average adolescent cognitive and psychological development as well as the historical and present-day results of nations with similar laws and policies. He opposes parental consent laws for minors seeking an abortion due to what he describes as too many "what-if" scenarios.
While he supports allowing private schools to do whatever they want, he personally opposes single-sex education, viewing it as an archaic, arbitrary, and discriminatory practice that can stunt a boy or girl's socio-psychological development, leading to potential perpetuation of sexism, prejudice, and stereotyping. He sees single-sex public education as unconstitutional due to the fact that public schools and classes therein are supported by taxpayer money, regardless of a taxpayer's gender.
On the issue of abortion, he affirms that he is what is popularly referred to as "pro-choice" and argues against overturning Roe v. Wade. He states that government has no proper role in policing it because an embryo/fetus is not a human person yet and regulating the practice would be a violation of the individual rights of the woman (a born human being). (see Self-ownership and Bodily integrity) He also expresses disdain for the terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" and says he does not use either label to identify his position. He opposes the ban on so-called "partial-birth abortion" and argues that the term is inaccurate, sensationalist, media-created vernacular for a rare, emergency procedure that accounted for only 0.17% of all abortions. However, while he cannot say logically that abortion is morally wrong, he does believe that obtaining an abortion outside of rape-, incest- or health-related reasons requires a significant lack of empathy and compassion and that it would "haunt" him if someone he got pregnant got an abortion.
He expresses admiration for Emma Goldman and the 19th-century, "old-school" free love movement, and upholds the legitimacy of first-wave feminism; however, he derides subsequent feminism as a sexist and supremacist movement drenched in hypocrisy and double standards. He also accuses feminism of being accomplice to the postmodern perversion of philosophy along with ignoring the field of evolutionary psychology just as religious fundamentalists ignore evolutionary biology. Relatedly, he compares the feminist notion of gender as a social construct with anti-gay conversion therapy. Above all, he rejects feminism and its masculinist antithesis in favor of gender-blind individualist ethos.
He identifies with the sex-positive movement, advocating no social or cultural limits on sexuality outside of loyalty, honesty, consent, and safe sex. He is critical of marriage law and divorce law, and upholds free unions and the right to choose a self-uniting marriage.
He supports real capitalism (i.e., laissez-faire/free market capitalism), therefore opposing mandatory taxation, the redistribution of wealth, government control of education, subsidies, protectionism, government-provided welfare (including corporate welfare), unionization, zoning laws, price controls, wage controls such as the minimum wage, antitrust laws, and all other forms of economic interventionism and regulation outside of protecting property rights (which includes prosecuting fraud and breach of contract).
He views mandatory taxation as theft and chastises the Internal Revenue Service as "extortionists" and likens them to a state-sponsored mafia. In its place, he proposes a single-tax system of voluntary personal income taxation at a flat rate of the individual's choosing along with the elimination of all other forms of taxation. He supports immediate and unconditional forgiveness of IRS debt, back taxes, and tax evasion for all American citizens and businesses along with unconditional pardons for non-violent individuals convicted of tax evasion or insider trading.
He is a deficit hawk and favors a federal balanced budget amendment along with a pay-as-you-go system that allows for zero exemptions except for temporary wartime defense expenditures. On a related note, though he supported its eventual passage, he has criticized the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 for its numerous exemptions, which he says have watered down the act to having little-to-no effect whatsoever. He opposes further increases to the federal debt ceiling. In response to the 2012 fiscal cliff crisis, he reiterated his advocacy of unprecedented across-the-board spending cuts and tax decreases/abolitions.
He fully supports globalization, stating that its long-term and ultimate economic and cultural effects will probably end up being one of the best things to ever happen to mankind. He is a proponent of capitalist peace theory and holds that the combined forces of neoliberal globalization, universal free trade, and laissez-faire minimal governments are instrumental and crucial for achieving world peace. He believes that genuine peace does not occur between governments, it occurs between peoples.
He supports lifting the Cuban trade embargo, arguing that it is misguided and counterproductive and that the best way to defeat communism in a country is to allow its citizenry to be exposed to capitalism (via free trade, in this case). He cites the liberalizing economic conditions and changing cultures in China and India as examples.
He is critical of fractional-reserve banking, central banks, and fiat currency and supports monetary reform and free banking, returning to a commodity-based currency (such as the gold standard), and abolishing the Federal Reserve. He holds to the Austrian School of Economics view that the artificial regulation, control, and manipulation of the money supply and interest rates by central banks along with market distortions caused by government intervention and regulation are what causes the boom-and-bust business cycles along with downturns such as the Great Depression. He believes that a laissez-faire system based upon sound, commodity-based private currency (therefore, free of said artificial manipulations and the accompanying distortions) would result in a state of perpetual growth and full employment for those able and willing to work or employ themselves.
Although he is sympathetic to anarcho-capitalism and has been influenced by its theorists, he does not identify as an anarcho-capitalist and often cites the storylines behind Syndicate and BioShock as textbook examples of why an "an-cap" system would fail, despite BioShock intending to be a lampoon (albeit a straw-man lampoon) of Objectivism, which advocates minarchism as opposed to anarchism.
He sympathizes with the plight and frustration of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but contends that their anger is misdirected at Wall Street when the real villain is Washington, D.C. for their long-standing, interventionist economic policies that, among countless other things, include corporate welfare via the redistribution of wealth from everybody to "the one-percent," in clear violation of free market principles. While he admires forms of non-violent direct action, he condemned OWS for their violence and their disregard for property rights, such as their forcible occupation of the privately-owned Zuccotti Park.
He believes that minimum wage laws hurt the poorest and least-skilled by pricing them out of the job market and reducing their opportunities to acquire the skills which would make them more employable.
He criticized the Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" budget plan for not nearly going far enough, noting that instead of reducing spending, it merely reduces the rate of growth of spending back to 2008 levels. He also slammed Republican 2012 electoral campaigns for their plans to "save" Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—programs which he likens to Ponzi schemes.
He states that one of the key factors which hinders employers, entrepreneurs, investors, etc. and impedes economic recovery, growth, and investment is policy uncertainty, which is inherent under mixed economies, big government, and fiat currency.
He favors the legalization of insider trading, arguing that, aside from prosecuting fraud, it is not the government's job to restrict or regulate trade and that private stock exchanges will regulate the practice if they want to attract traders.
He says he does not believe in social classes, stating, "I don't regard such a thing as 'classes.' A person may happen to possess less disposable income and therefore has less access to material goods and services than I do, but I do not consider that person to be of a 'lower class' than I am." He says he only uses the term "class" in a purely utilitarian manner to denote income bracket groups. Furthermore, he states that only a libertarian society based on individualist principles could become a truly "classless society," as such distinctions of wealth/income, education, culture, or social network might arise and would only be determined by individual experience and achievement in such a society. He also believes that it is in fact government intervention/regulation and traditional culture—rather than laissez-faire—that engenders and solidifies social stratification and economic inequality.
Law & Order Issues
He strongly opposes the PATRIOT Act, the TSA, and mass surveillance, condemning such actions as that of an Orwellian police state. He supports measured use of torture on captured enemy combatants and considers "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding to be forms of torture. He also supports expanded use of capital punishment on violent criminals and advocates firearms as the most effective and humane method of execution. He is critical of the United States criminal justice system, saying it "over-punishes" non-violent criminals and "under-punishes" the violent ones. He supports mandatory sentencing and Three Strikes Laws only in the context of violent felonies.
Regarding the issue of prison overcrowding, he proposes the step-by-step process of:
- A) The immediate and unconditional release and pardon of non-violent criminals incarcerated under a victimless crime if they are unconnected to organized crime or other violent criminals;
- B) The wholesale mass execution of all convicted murderers, rapists, and those incarcerated in maximum security prisons;
- C) Handing over construction and operation of all correctional facilities to the private sector.
He is sharply critical of the notion of prisoners' rights for violent convicts, believing that their actions have shown a clear disregard and disrecognition for the concept of a human being's rights, thereby choosing the lifestyle and worldview of a subhuman brute and foregoing their own rights.
He supports immigration reform, perhaps even free migration, but contingent on the abolition of the welfare state. While he agrees that America was "built on immigration," he notes that that was before the welfare state. As such, he currently supports immigration restrictions and increased border controls, citing the welfare state first and foremost along with certain national security concerns and the fact that a sovereign nation should rightfully have inviolable control of its own borders. However, he recognizes that tracking down, detaining, and deporting twelve-plus million illegal immigrants is not only expensive and unrealistic, but it would also severely harm the economy and necessitate unconstitutional and immoral police-state measures. As such, he supports granting immediate permanent residency to illegal immigrants who have no record of violent or property-related crime in either the U.S. or their home country. Under his plan, successful applicants will be allowed to legally reside in the United States, obtain a driver's license, get a job or engage in freelance work, enroll in school, join the military, and/or start a business.
After acquiring permanent residency, an immigrant would then be presented with a strict, conditional path to citizenship requiring the ability to read, write, and speak English fluently, have good moral character and no criminal record of any kind, the completion of at least an associate's degree at an American institution of higher learning or the completion of at least four years of U.S. military service (and, if discharged, received an honorable discharge), as well as a working knowledge of American history, the U.S. Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence (as is often standard in citizenship tests).
Also, he supports granting permanent residency to immigrants who come to the U.S. on a visa if they have completed at least an associate's degree at an American college or university, thus preventing brain drain.
He is opposed to current Republican proposals to beef up border security by sending hiring and sending an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents, saying that expanding "boots on the ground" is an outdated and expensive practice that the United States has been doing for the last couple decades, to little effect. He also makes a close-to-home point that the Border Patrol is already overstaffed which has led to severe equipment shortages, prompting the government to force individual agents to purchase their own equipment (such as guns, ammunition, handcuffs, etc.), thereby causing said agents and their families a large degree of financial strain, and therefore harming the economy itself.
Instead, Adam advocates more of a high-tech "smart border" emphasis, including the use of electronic sensors, UAVs, etc. that use a combination of surveillance methods, including but not limited to motion detection, vibration detection, along with thermography and other infrared methods. As mentioned below under Foreign Policy Issues, he also advocates the withdrawal of American troops from secure foreign nations like Germany and South Korea and their reassignment to border control on a rotational basis. On a related note, he believes the National Guard should never be deployed outside of the U.S. and should be tasked with similar roles domestically.
In sum, he wants to create an impenetrable electronic wall across the border checkered with perhaps a dozen (or less) strategically-placed, compact outposts out of which streamlined and elite police/military border guards would operate, complete with helipads, and ports for land vehicles and UAVs. When a breach of said "electronic wall" is detected, surveillance drones would lock on and track the moving subject and border guards would deploy to the location via helicopter and/or ground vehicles to take the trespasser into custody and release him to his native government, unless his intentions are found to be hostile (i.e., terrorism).
Adam is critical of multiculturalism due to its relativist philosophic premises. He is opposed to laws requiring bilingualism, as said laws are an act of coercion. He is supportive of sanctuary cities as long as those policies do not apply to illegal immigrants who have committed a violent or property-related crime. He was satisfied with the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona SB 1070, saying that it struck down the provisions he did not like while upholding the ones he did.
He was originally in favor of allowing the construction of Park51 (a.k.a. the "Ground Zero mosque") citing property rights before coming out against it, arguing the point that property rights are contextual and that preventing the construction is a wartime necessity. He compared it to the notion of allowing the Empire of Japan to construct a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor after the attack.
He also supports the right of jury nullification, believing it is essential to the criminal justice system of a free society and a natural extension of one of the "four boxes of liberty." He believes that juries should judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law itself.
Stemming from his advocacy of open government and open society, he is a supporter of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. On a related note, he is a strong proponent of government transparency and freedom of information. He has referred to Edward Snowden as a hero, and states that if he were President, he would give Snowden and Chelsea Manning full and immediate pardons.
Regarding foreign political parties, he tends to put his support behind libertarian political parties or parties that he thinks best embody liberal ideals. Lacking that, he can be more pragmatic and support certain right-wing, center-right, or centrist parties, though he opposes the Christian democracy ideals of some such parties. Some of the parties he has endorsed include: the Libertarian Party (UK), both the Free Democratic Party and the Party of Reason (Germany), Shinui (Israel), the Liberal Party of Australia, the Free Egyptians Party (Egypt), the Libertarian Party of Russia, the Italian Radicals (Italy), both the Liberal Democratic Party and Your Party (Japan), the Dutch Libertarian Party (Netherlands), the Liberal Alternative and the Liberal Democratic Party (France), the New Zealand National Party, ACT New Zealand, and Libertarianz (New Zealand), as well as the European Party for Individual Liberty (EU), among others around the world.
When it comes to constitutional interpretation, he is an originalist and strict constructionist, arguing that that's the point of having a constitution in the first place. He believes the United States Constitution—specifically the enumerated powers and the Bill of Rights—stipulates a minarchist night-watchman state form of government. He supports the incorporation doctrine, applying the Bill of Rights to state and local governments, as he does not believe tyranny is acceptable at any level of government (federal, state, local, etc.) and he has criticized Ron Paul's states'-rights arguments in this regard.
He has spoken in favor of abolishing In God we trust and E pluribus unum and embracing Live Free or Die as the national motto, as he finds it more in keeping with the United States' foundational Enlightenment ideals.
Animal Rights Issues
He is opposed to animal cruelty but, as his philosophy precipitates anthropocentrism, he recognizes no such concept as animal rights, arguing that only agents possessing rational faculties—the faculty of reason and high-level conceptual forms of cognition—have any rights.
In light of modern technology, he supports moving toward more electronic direct democracy/E-democracy within the framework of a constitutional republic. On a related note, he criticizes the Electoral College and supports its abolition, believing it to be a once-necessary institution that technological advancement has now made obsolete, and that its continued existence is anti-democratic—an example being George W. Bush winning the presidency in 2000 via electoral votes even though Al Gore won the popular vote.
He advocates drastically loosening ballot access restrictions and is fiercely opposed to the Commission on Presidential Debates, considering their conduct and their suppression of third parties' political freedom unconstitutional and an affront to the very principles of liberal democracy and a free society. On a related note, he advocates for the abolition of the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
He emphasizes the difference between republicanism and democracy, arguing that idealistic Western nations should be explicitly upholding republicanism and not "democracy," which he refers to as nothing more than mob rule and tyranny by the majority.
Foreign Policy Issues
He advocates reducing foreign aid to zero and staunchly opposes nation-building, arguing that the U.S. military is not a humanitarian organization and that its function is the "protection of the lives and freedoms of American citizens—nothing more and nothing less." He vehemently denounces the military rules of engagement that have been in place since the end of World War II, saying that they have asininely hindered American military forces in every war since and have resulted in unnecessarily prolonged conflicts and more American casualties. He further argues that America's foreign policy has been self-detrimental since, again, the end of World War II; and he is highly critical of both neoconservative and isolationist views on foreign policy. His philosophy on war is that it should only be enacted in cases of self-defense or retaliation, but when said war is declared, he believes in only one kind of war: total war, citing a moral imperative to use any means to achieve a swift and complete victory over the enemy aggressor. He is unconcerned about collateral damage, saying that it is simply a reality of war and that moral responsibility for innocent deaths lies with the governments of enemy aggressors rather than with the United States.
He supports a non-interventionist, peace-through-strength foreign policy, saying he is not referring to imperialism, "hair-trigger" militarism, or "amoral" Realpolitik. Rather, he is referring to deterrence, "Big Stick" policy, and the capability & willingness to effectively defend oneself with minimal-to-no friendly casualties and wholly destroy the enemy aggressor. This, he asserts, is a policy of prudent precaution and effective defense without violating the non-aggression principle.
In regards to the War on Terror, he has been historically supportive of the military engagements in both Afghanistan and the Iraq, but he is very critical of how they have been handled, going all the way back to their inception. In hindsight, he believes the invasion of Iraq was most likely a mistake and says that he is comfortable with the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country. Conversely, he says the War in Afghanistan had to happen due to the Taliban's directly harboring and collusion with al-Qaeda. However, he is again critical of how the war has been handled from the beginning. As of now, he believes there is little more that U.S. forces can do anymore due to the restrictive rules of engagement, the U.S. government's unwillingness to engage Pakistan's duplicity, along with numerous other factors. He advocates a "go hard or go home" policy of either engaging al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and potentially Pakistan with total war tactics (including the use of weapons of mass destruction) to defeat the enemy or to withdraw from the country immediately and entirely, stating that there will be little to no improvements with the current policies in place and that the region will not get any more stable.
Furthermore, he believes Iran to be a threat due to their belligerent and theocratically hostile nature, their stated intentions, their nuclear program, along with their connections with, supplying and funding of Islamic terrorist groups over the last three decades. He notes that oil properties developed by western interests were confiscated by Middle Eastern regimes (therefore violating their property & contract rights) beginning with Iran in 1951, along with Iranian revolutionaries storming the U.S. embassy in Tehran—technically an act of war. He contends that these actions justify unilateral destruction of the Iranian regime. To this end, however, he opposes any "boots on the ground," much less any kind of occupation. Rather, he advocates total destruction of Iran as quickly as possible and with the fewest American casualties via more remote measures such as drone attacks, air strikes, carpet bombing, nuclear ICBMs and other weapons of mass destruction. He supports said measures against any Islamic state sponsors of terrorism.
Conversely, he does not see North Korea as a threat and laughs off their boasting about their alleged military capabilities. However, he opposes any interference one way or the other if South Korea decides to attack them.
When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he has voiced unequivocal support for Israel, citing their Western values such as modernity, liberalism, secularism, etc., which he claims antagonizes the Palestinians and Arab Muslims by introducing civilization and progress into their religiously-inspired stagnation. He argues that it is those values and the accompanying achievements that make Israel a moral beacon in a "region rife with barbarism and superstition" and that perceived symbolism of those same values are what made the World Trade Center a favored target for al-Qaeda when planning the 9/11 attacks. He advocates supporting Israel morally, but not necessarily financially, and is critical of Zionism, viewing it as a fusion of the valid self-preservation principle with the toxic premise of ethnically-based collectivism and religion.
Though he is opposed to imperialism on moral grounds as it is a violation of the non-aggression principle, he states that he is "not sorry" that various imperialist actions occurred throughout the millennia, such as that by Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, or the British Empire. Technological and economic efficiency were often improved in territories subjected to imperialism through the building of roads & infrastructure and the introduction of innovations. Similarly, the rapid adoption of the scientific method throughout the world was partly a side-effect of the British Empire.
He has voiced a lack of surprise with the ultimate sociopolitical results of the Arab Spring and is satisfied with the fact that such an unprecedented wave of revolutions in the most unlikely region in the world was able to happen in the first place. He sees the Arab Spring as an international revolution initiated by secular, liberal-minded youth coordinating through social media (i.e., technology made possible by Western capitalism) that was co-opted by authoritarian, religious elements. He sees these revolutions as the result of the Middle Eastern youth's inevitable exposure to the ideas and values of Western culture due to globalization and therefore expects more such revolutions to come. He has drawn parallels between the Islamists hijacking the Arab Spring and refashioning it in their name and the Religious Right in America attempting to do the same with the Tea Party movement.
He was not surprised by the results of the Arab Spring due to recognizing and correctly predicting that citizens in the Muslim world, if given elections, will merely elect Islamic fundamentalists into power, as freedom and liberal democracy have nothing to do with a culture firmly rooted in religion—Islam, in this case. This was one of the reasons why he opposed the NATO military intervention in Libya—not just because it was a purely humanitarian trip with no self-interested motive for American involvement whatsoever, but also because he preferred having quasi-secular (only nominally Muslim) dictators in power who were no threat to anyone outside their borders, as opposed to internationalist Islamists with an active hatred toward the West and a self-deluded supernatural edict to eliminate "The Great Satan." These reasons are also why he is quietly supportive of Bashar al-Assad's regime in the Syrian Civil War as the opposition is already partly controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood with al-Qaeda taking on an increasingly greater role.
He advocates the withdrawal of American troops from secure foreign nations like Germany and South Korea and their reassignment to border control on a rotational basis. On a related note, he believes the National Guard should never be deployed outside of the U.S. and should be tasked with similar roles domestically.
He is opposed to arms control/reduction agreements, viewing them as unnecessary, unrealistic, and steeped in naïvety. He has the same view of nuclear disarmament, contending that "You can't turn back the clock and magically un-invent something. The knowledge has been acquired, the technology has been invented; it exists, it's there, it's out in the world. There's no going back." Furthermore, he believes nuclear technology has done more good than harm for the world, citing nuclear deterrence, nuclear power, nuclear medicine, and smaller civilian applications, such as smoke detectors, gauges, electrostatic control, and food processing to destroy potentially harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses.
Views on religion
Adam is a staunch atheist and critic of religious belief with resolute anti-religious and anti-theistic intellectual views. His atheism is a logical component of his metaphysical naturalism and philosophical realism. His anti-religiosity and antitheism derives from the discernment that mysticism and any form of unreason is harmful to humanity (in all aspects of the term). It is harmful on an individual psychological level due to the suppression, dilution, and subversion of the human cognitive faculty of reason and the accompanying superstition and irrational behavior. It is also harmful on a group/societal scale as religious institutions are, by their nature, authoritarian and collectivist, and ultimately beget totalitarianism, regression, and societal collapse. They have led to numerous devastating wars, tyranny, harmful pseudo-moral systems (more on that below under Religious Concepts and Ideas), and the Dark Ages (half a dozen centuries of potential social, cultural, economic, scientific, and technological progress lost).
He contends that religious belief has done more harm than good, and that mankind would be better off without religion or any kind of supernatural belief (i.e., better off without believing in things without evidence; impossible things that contradict the laws of reality).
Drawing on Objectivist and classical philosophy, he cites laws of thought and logic and uses various applications of the law of noncontradiction, the law of identity, the primacy of existence versus the primacy of consciousness (i.e., the impossibility of consciousness preceding existence), and others to uphold metaphysical naturalism. He believes philosophy and science can and already have disproven the notion of the supernatural.
That said, he does not consider himself a militant atheist, and has criticized the present-day "New Atheist" activists for their "loud, obnoxious, abrasive, angry, in-your-face pompousness." He despises them, stating that they give a bad name to normal people who don't believe in religion—people who actually have lives. (More on this matter below under the Atheist Activists section). As his favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, once stated: "In accordance with the principles of America and of capitalism, I recognize your right to hold any beliefs you choose—and, on the same grounds, you have to recognize my right to hold any convictions I choose. I am an intransigent atheist, though not a militant one. This means that I am not fighting against religion as such—I am fighting for reason. When faith and reason clash, it is up to religious people to decide how they choose to reconcile the conflict. As far as I am concerned, I have no terms of communication and no means to deal with people except through reason."
His interest in religion derives directly from his interests in philosophy and mythology, seeing religion as a mixture of both. He enjoys learning about different belief systems and he admits that he does have some degree of anthropological respect for religion in the sense that it is a primitive precursor to philosophy—and philosophy is something that every human being needs.
Nevertheless, he expresses bewilderment and shame at the continued existence of religion and supernaturalism in a post-Enlightenment, post-Industrial Revolution, post-Information Age world. But he is encouraged by the rapid and unprecedented decline in religious belief and the corresponding rise of irreligion and secularism. He points to neoliberal globalization as a key contributor to this trend around the globe, claiming that nothing kills religion better than capitalism.
Religion and Science
He contends there is no such thing as "creation science" and that any attempt to move away from methodological naturalism is a rejection of the scientific method and, therefore, of science itself (as science is, by definition, the study of the natural realm).
Jesus Christ & the Origins of Christianity
Regarding the origins of Christianity and the historicity of Jesus, Adam is partial to the Christ myth theory, contending that, based upon the pagan and Hellenic influences on early Christianity, Jesus was never an actual person (divine or not), but rather just one of many mythological life-death-rebirth savior deities around which many cults were formed during that era. He asserts bias on part of the many scholars and theologians who dismiss the Christ myth theory, as said scholars are mostly Christian or at least pro-Christianity.
(See also: Jesus Christ in comparative mythology)
He also believes many other parts of the Bible were derived from earlier myths, using the Epic of Gilgamesh's flood story as one example of many ancient flood myths that predate the writing of the Book of Genesis by at least a millennium.
He believes the Catholic Church is essentially a criminal syndicate and one of the most evil institutions ever to plague mankind. He sees Islamism as an immediate military threat, and believes that, beneath all of the ethnic and political conflicts, the main cause of military conflict in the 21st century has been a religious foundation.
Religious Concepts and Ideas
He fiercely criticizes anti-human and anti-worldly religious concepts and practices such as contemptus mundi, the mortification of the flesh, penance, asceticism, anti-sexualism, etc. He denounces the "depraved, degrading, arbitrary guilt code" associated with "nonsensical" notions like original sin. He accuses most religions of "worshiping suffering" and describes many practices, beliefs, and paraphernalia (such as transubstantiation and the crucifix) as the "marks of a blood cult." He condemns religion as "doctrinized hatred for mankind, this life, and this world masquerading as the opposite."
He is critical of all forms of duty-based ethics, including religious morality, referring to such ethical systems as "fake, disingenuous, pseudo-morality." He believes that "performing good deeds or refraining from bad deeds, not because you want to but because you feel like you have to (whether it's in a religious context or a secular context), is not morality." He points out certain factors such as the "reward-punishment codes" including the promised reward of heaven or nirvana coupled with the fear of hell or negative karma, etc., as indicative of "the ethical code of a dog, not a human being."
He blames pervasive religious morality, in part, for the worldview of most relativist and nihilist atheists, believing that their feelings of meaninglessness and lack of moral absolutism is the unfortunate psychological impact of being raised in a religion-saturated culture—no more than a self-fulfilling prophecy by religion depicting man as amoral and directionless without theism.
He has also criticized the popular idea of upholding decentralized and individualized spirituality/mysticism over organized religion, saying that any form of supernatural belief will eventually develop into organized religion.
Humanism and Agnosticism
Though he says he may be called a humanist in the sense of the classical definition (i.e., upholding man and focusing on this life, this world, and human affairs without regard to some alleged supernatural dimension), it's not a term he uses to identify himself due to modern connotations and has, in fact, criticized "secular humanism," viewing the term (and concept) as so broad and abstract in meaning that it is almost devoid of any real content or substance. He is also a critic of the movements and organizations generally associated with secular humanism, perceiving them as dominated by determinism, utilitarian ethics, and left-wing politics—all of which he despises.
He also criticizes certain types of agnostics, believing that their rejection of certainty amounts to a rejection of objective reality and the faculty of reason. He also perceives some agnostics to be rejecting objective reality in favor of futile attempts at metaphysical egalitarianism.
He is critical of the modern, activist "New Atheist" movement. While he agrees with their fundamental view that "religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises," he admonishes them for:
- A) Their pompous abrasiveness (giving normal atheists a bad name).
- B) Their pathetic tendencies toward "organized nonreligion" (such as Camp Quest or the ridiculous "Bright" movement—becoming a mirror to the very thing they are supposed to be fighting).
- C) Their stupid activist gestures (such as erroneously capitalizing the "A" in atheist or renting out a salon and soliciting people to come in to get their heads ritualistically blow-dried to "cleanse" them of their baptism).
- D) Their irrational (i.e., logical positivist) disregard for the crucial role of philosophy in debunking the erroneous metaphysical, epistemological, and moral claims put forth by religionists.
He further criticizes specific activist groups, including but not limited to, American Atheists (referring to their founder, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, as a "callous bitch who got probably just what she deserved") and the Rational Response Squad, referring to them, their YouTube Blasphemy Challenge, and their conduct at the Way of the Master debate as "cringingly juvenile."
However, he has a higher opinion of debunker groups like the Center for Inquiry, the James Randi Educational Foundation, Penn & Teller, etc., along with more philosophically-based anti-religious organizations like the Ayn Rand Institute and The Atlas Society, who advocate atheism within the context of a broader philosophy.
He was raised in a family that he describes as "nominally Christian, functionally atheist," having been to church only a couple times in his whole life. The occasional saying of grace at the dinner table is as religious as his family gets. His stepfather, who has been in Adam's life since he was around three years old, is a lapsed Adventist who was raised in the Armstrongist Worldwide Church of God. His mother was raised loosely Christian, having attended a Lutheran church only a couple times with her mother (who has since disaffiliated from religion herself). Although Adam's parents believe in God, they have little patience for organized religion.
When Adam was fifteen, a brief interest in the paranormal along with readings of Christian literature coinciding with a prolonged battle with severe clinical depression culminated in a perfect storm, resulting in the previously irreligious Adam's conversion to evangelical Christianity in April 2005. After a brief but zealous three-month fling with the religion, he subsequently became an explicit atheist after further scientific, historical, theological, and philosophical study along with the frustrating total lack of spiritual experience. Looking back, he describes this chapter of his life as the "rock-bottom moment" in his "adolescent era of weakness and failure."
Views on science, technology, the environment, and transhumanism
Regarding the origin and age of the universe, Adam disagrees with the cosmological model known as the Big Bang theory and instead subscribes to the classical Steady State theory that the universe ageless and eternal, that it is infinite space and time (hence the definition and etymology of the word "universe," meaning all that exists), while "celestial bodies such as galaxies, stars, and planets come and go via natural processes just like they always have." He argues that the Big Bang theory's notion that something can come from nothing violates the law of causality and that the father of the theory, astronomer-priest Georges Lemaître, was tainted by his religious philosophy. He notes that even Albert Einstein was critical of Lemaître's physics and was skeptical of them holding up to physicalist standards and that Einstein only embraced Lemaître's theories after thinking his concept of a cosmological constant upholding Steady State theory had been disproven. But, nevertheless, we did discover the cosmological constant many decades later—dark matter.
He compares the "Big Bang theory versus Steady State theory" conflict as similar to the "intelligent design versus evolution" controversy with "the wrong side winning and becoming the prevalent premise."
He notes that philosophy is logically prior and foundational to the natural sciences and admonishes contemporary and modern scientists for discarding the role of philosophy (due to the influence of logical positivism), saying that it has led to all kinds of "crazy, hole-riddled" premises, such as string theory and countless "metaphysically impossible" interpretations of quantum mechanics. He quotes Leonard Peikoff in saying, "Science is not simply what scientists say it is. Science is what scientists say it is when they are actually using a proper, rational methodology."
On that note, he denounces logical positivism and its "analytic philosophy" heir for their vigorous (and, unfortunately, largely successful) pseudo-scientific anti-realist attempts to purge science of talk regarding nature's more fundamental aspects—including causality, mechanism, and principles (such as axioms and laws of logical thought). He contends that, far from being logical, logical positivism has actually undermined and rejected the foundations of logic and has played a large (albeit indirect) role in the rise of postmodernist philosophy.
Adam is a techno-utopianist, extropianist, and transhumanist. He supports voluntary, market-based eugenics (inheritable genetic modification) and human enhancement free of state intervention and control (libertarian transhumanism). He also speaks highly of the limitless potential applications of emerging technologies, such as information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, cybernetics, robotics, cognitive science, geoengineering, advancements in energy development, military technology, space exploration, etc. He believes that the radical, long-term technological advancements under a laissez-faire society will accomplish transhumanist goals and eventually yield a state of practical post-scarcity.
He hopes that philosophic, cultural, and technological progress will ultimately transform mankind into a super-race of enlightened, polymathic superhumans living in an advanced, voluntaryist civilization.
He has a passion for futurology and subscribes to the concept of accelerating change, saying, "The more technology advances, the faster it advances." He believes such rapid and radical advancement should be embraced and celebrated, not feared or hindered. He is a libertarian transhumanist and is critical of left-wing forms of transhumanism (such as democratic transhumanism) as he believes government regulation and control could lead to a Brave New World-like state of totalitarianism.
Furthermore, he is a passionate space advocate, supporting space exploration and colonization via private spaceflight. He believes the future of space exploration and colonization lies in the private sector and that government dominance in space has hampered progress.
He argues in favor of free-market environmentalism, technogaianism, and technocentrism regardless of the factuality behind anthropogenic climate change. Furthermore to this end, he is a fan of economist Julian Simon's ideas.
On the subject of global warming controversy, Adam does not deny that global warming exists and that it is occurring, but he believes human contribution to it (anthropogenic global warming) is minimal and that "volcanic eruptions toss up more CO2 than Detroit would in a million years." He points to the Little Ice Age and the fact that it ended in the mid-19th century, coinciding with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and that therefore the current warming trend is part of a recovery process and that proponents of anthropogenic global warming are drawing a false positive correlation between the start of industrialization and the warming trend, committing the 'correlation implying causation' fallacy. He also voices confusion as to why the subject of paleoclimate isn't brought up more often, as the data shows that Earth is in one of its coolest periods in its history.
In accordance with the anti-coercion views of libertarianism, he opposes the Kyoto Protocol but supports the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.
He has criticized the political and regulatory red tape that has hampered the approval and construction of the Cape Wind offshore wind farm project and noted that it has served as a disincentive for investors and entrepreneurs to invest in further similar projects up and down the Eastern Seaboard. He has used such events to demonstrate his view that the accompanying technological innovation under laissez-faire capitalism would ensure the more rapid development of clean and renewable energy that would be advanced enough to transition to completely.
He has written in support of "an appreciation for the fruits of reason and science, and confidence in man's ability to solve problems (such as environmental issues) through unhindered human ingenuity, innovation & technology, and the encouragement of voluntary cooperation, instead of regulating us back into the Dark Ages."
Influences & People Who Inspire Adam
- Dr. Leonard Peikoff - An Objectivist philosopher, author, and scholar. He is a former professor of philosophy, a former radio talk show host, and founder of the Ayn Rand Institute.
- Yaron Brook - Israeli-born executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, founder and managing partner of investment consulting firm BH Equity Research.
- Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX) - U.S. Representative for Texas's 14th congressional district and Republican presidential candidate. Outspoken and principled advocate of liberty even in the face of stalwart opposition from the media and political establishments.
- Penn & Teller - Illusionist/comedy duo. Their network television show Bullshit! took a skeptical look at psychics, religion, pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, the paranormal, etc. It also featured critical segments on social and political issues from the duo's libertarian perspective.
- Matt Stone & Trey Parker - Co-creators, writers, animators, and voice actors of South Park, using the veil of vulgarity and satire to make very insightful philosophical, social, cultural, and political commentary. Gave meaning to the term "South Park Republican."
- Jimmy Wales - An Objectivist internet entrepreneur who co-created Wikipedia and is the current president of Wikia.
- Peter Thiel - An entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager. He is the co-founder and former CEO of PayPal as well as the angel investor and financial backer of the Facebook start-up. He is a prolific philanthropist known for his libertarian and transhumanist causes.
- Elon Musk - An entrepreneur, innovator, and inventor best known for founding SpaceX, and co-founding Tesla Motors and PayPal (initially known as X.com). While at those companies, he oversaw the construction of the first electric car of the modern era, the Tesla Roadster, a private rocket and spaceship successor to the Space Shuttle known as Falcon 9/Dragon, and the Internet payment system PayPal. He is currently the CEO and Chief Designer of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity.
- Adam Carolla - The outspoken libertarian host of the The Adam Carolla Show. An unapologetic defender of atheism and not afraid to fiercely defy political correctness.
- Alan Duncan - A British Conservative Party MP. An outspoken libertarian, he has been referred to as a modernizer and as the "liberal, urbane face of the Conservative Party." He believes in minimizing the size of government, limiting government responsibility to essential services such as defense and policing. He is therefore in favor of many deregulations that conflict with the conservative platform of his party, such as gay rights and legalization of all drugs. He is openly gay and is the author of Saturn's Children: How the State Devours Liberty, Prosperity and Virtue. The book presents a detailed case regarding the history and consequences of government control over institutions and activities which were historically private, to the extent that many citizens assume that privately- or communally-developed municipal facilities and universities are creations of the state, and that prohibitions on drug use, sex, and personal defense have always existed. Its main thesis is that states expropriate private property, eliminate personal liberties, and undermine the material well-being of the people.
- Dan Savage - The outspoken pundit, author of Savage Love, and founder of the It Gets Better Project. He is an openly gay atheist with pronounced contrarian and libertarian streaks. He is part of the sex-positive movement and has notoriously clashed with social conservatives on the Right and the LGBT establishment on the Left. He has made several controversial public statements in various media, often lambasting people with whom he disagrees. Savage has popularized several neologisms, including "santorum," "saddlebacking," and an emotional/sexual connotation of the "campsite rule." He has also debunked several sexual neologisms, including the Donkey Punch, The Pirate, and the Hot Karl, saying, "They’re all fictions." He has made efforts to reclaim offensive words, such as faggot.
- Ayn Rand - 20th century Russian-American writer and philosopher, founder of the philosophic school of thought known as Objectivism, a systematic philosophy upholding reason, individualism, and capitalism, with laid-out, organically foundationalist positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.
- Friedrich Nietzsche - 19th century German philosopher. Central to his philosophy is the idea of "life-affirmation," which, among other things, involves a bluntly honest questioning and rejection of all doctrines that drain life's expansive and upwardly-mobile energies, however socially prevalent those views might be. He notoriously argued against religion, Kantianism, ethical altruism, as well as collectivist worldviews such as statism, socialism, communism, and left-wing anarchism, morally condemning them as excrements of the mentality behind slave morality. He famously called for a re-evaluation of all values and postulated the concept of the Übermensch (translates to "overman" or "superman") as a goal and state for humans to strive for.
- H. L. Mencken - 20th century American libertarian journalist and satirist who famously ridiculed the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial. He was a Nietzschean individualist who commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, pseudo-experts, the temperance movement, and The Uplifters. A keen cheerleader of scientific progress, he was very critical of anti-intellectualism, bigotry, populism, religion, creationism, the notion of God, and osteopathic/chiropractic medicine.
- Max Stirner - 19th century German philosopher and individualist anarchist who penned The Ego and Its Own (The Individual and His Property). Credited with influencing the philosophies of Nietzsche and Ayn Rand and the development of libertarianism and existentialism, this ahead-of-his-time philosopher challenged the very notion of a "common good" as a healthy goal and driver of civilization. He chronicled the battle of the individual against the collective to show how the latter invariably leads to oppression. In addition, Adam sees Stirner's union of egoists concept as an important forerunner and component to voluntaryism.
- Yang Zhu - Ancient Chinese philosopher and founder of Yangism, a once-prevalent school of thought and one of the earliest ethical egoist philosophies. Though only bits and pieces of his philosophy survive (via the interpretations/misinterpretations by philosophic adversaries), Adam regards him as the Ayn Rand of ancient China.
- Sun Tzu - The legendary ancient Chinese philosopher-general and strategist who authored The Art of War.
- Thucydides - Ancient Athenian realist general who fought in and chronicled the events of the Peloponnesian War and mused on statecraft and human nature.
- Niccolò Machiavelli - A Renaissance-era Italian historian, politician, diplomat, writer, and philosopher who wrote the classic political treatise, The Prince, on statecraft, power-building, and human nature. He was a humanist and materialist who criticized the passivity, resignation, and fatalism instilled by religion while upholding the classical virtues of ambition, spiritedness, prudence, and the pursuit of glory—including controlling one's own future, controlling nature, progress through upward striving, and the added glory of aiming to establish a new state, in defiance of traditions and laws.
- Herbert Spencer - 19th century British philosopher notable for his individualism, his libertarianism, and his optimistic view of human progress.
- The Founding Fathers of the United States - An 18th century group of political leaders, statesmen, intellectuals, and polymaths who drafted the two greatest (albeit flawed) government documents in human history (the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution) and created what was initially the freest and therefore greatest country yet: the United States of America.
- Christopher Hitchens - A British author, journalist, and literary critic who was brilliant, outspoken, uncompromising, and principled. He was bluntly honest and a tenacious antitheist and political eclectic who was never afraid to call it like he saw it.
- Confucius - The first thinker to relate ethics to the political order.
- Aristotle - Classical Greek Athenian philosopher. His writings cover numerous subjects, including metaphysics, physics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, zoology, etc. His writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of philosophy, encompassing metaphysics, logic, science, ethics, politics, and aesthetics. Aristotle achieved merit through teaching Alexander the Great, as personally requested by Philip of Macedonia. In the zoological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate in the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic. His ethics, though always influential, gained renewed interest with the modern advent of virtue ethics. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today. He wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues, with Cicero describing his literary style as "a river of gold." He wrote his Politics as an extension of his Nicomachean Ethics, following a similar line of moral-political thinking as Confucius. These works are notable for originating the theories that humans are rational agents and social animals, and that the polis (translated literally as the city-state, translated broadly as civilization itself) existed to bring about the good life appropriate to such agents. His political theory is based upon an ethics of perfectionism.
- Frédéric Bastiat - An early-19th century French classical liberal theorist and economist, and member of the French assembly. He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost, and for penning the influential Parable of the Broken Window. His ideas have gone on to provide a foundational basis for libertarian schools of thought as well as the individualist, laissez-faire economic school of thought known as the Austrian School. He may have been the first public figure to espouse minarchism as a coherent philosophy on the role of government—advocating a minimal, "night-watchman state." Bastiat was the author of many works on economics and political economy, generally characterized by their clear organization, forceful argumentation, and acerbic wit. Economist Murray Rothbard wrote, "Bastiat was indeed a lucid and superb writer, whose brilliant and witty essays and fables to this day are remarkable and devastating demolitions of protectionism and of all forms of government subsidy and control. He was a truly scintillating advocate of an unrestricted free market." In The Law, Bastiat wrote that every individual has a right to protect "his person, his liberty, and his property." The state should be only a "substitution of a common force for individual forces" to defend this right. "Justice" (defense of one's life, liberty, property) has precise limits, but if government power extends further, into philanthropic endeavors, government becomes so limitless that it can grow endlessly. The resulting statism is "based on this triple hypothesis: the total inertness of mankind, the omnipotence of the law, and the infallibility of the legislator." The public then becomes socially-engineered by the legislator and must bend to the legislators' will "like the clay to the potter." Bastiat posits that the law becomes perverted when it punishes one's right to self-defense (of his life, liberty, and property) in favor of another's right to "legalized plunder," which he defines as: "if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." Bastiat asserted that the sole purpose of government is to protect the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property, and why it is dangerous and morally wrong for government to interfere with an individual's other personal matters. From this, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes "legal [or legalized] plunder," which he defined as using government force and laws to take something from one individual and give it to others (as opposed to a transfer of property via mutually-agreed contracts, without using fraud nor violent threats against the other party, which Bastiat considered a legitimate transfer of property). In The Law, Bastiat explains that, if the privileged classes or socialists use the government for "legalized plunder," this will encourage the other socio-economic classes to also use "legal plunder," and that the correct response to both the socialists and the corporatists is to cease all "legal plunder." Bastiat also explains in The Law why his position is that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes socialist policies. When used to obtain "legalized plunder" for any group, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the only things (life, liberty, and property) it is supposed to defend. Congruent with his overall philosophy, Bastiat was naturally a strong supporter of free trade. He "was inspired by and routinely corresponded with Richard Cobden and the English Anti-Corn Law League and worked with free-trade associations in France. Because of his stress on the role of consumer demand in initiating economic progress (a form of demand-side economics), Bastiat has been described by economists as a forerunner to the Austrian School.
- Auberon Herbert - A 19th century English writer, theorist, philosopher, and UK Parliament member. An radical individualist and early minarchist, he promoted a classical liberal philosophy and took the individualist ideas of Herbert Spencer to their logical conclusion by advocating voluntary-funded government that uses force only in defense of individual liberty and private property rights. He is known as the originator of voluntaryism.
- Carl Menger - 19th century founder of the Austrian School of economics, famous for contributing to the development of the theory of marginal utility, which contested the cost-of-production theories of value, developed by the classical economists such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo. He wrote the treatise Principles of Economics, which Ludwig von Mises referred to as the best introduction to thinking like an Austrian economist.
- Ludwig von Mises - 20th century classical liberal philosopher and Austrian School economist. He contributed a vast array of thought and literature to the defense of capitalism; some of Adam's favorites include Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, and his early The Theory of Money and Credit.
- Friedrich Hayek - 20th century classical liberal philosopher and Austrian School economist. A student of Ludwig von Mises, Hayek is one of the greatest economists and political philosophers of the twentieth century. He considered the efficient allocation of capital to be the most important factor leading to sustainable and optimal GDP growth, and warned of harms from monetary authority manipulation of interest rates. Interest rates should be set naturally by equilibrium between consumption of goods or capital stock. Hayek's account of how changing prices communicate information which enable individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. He also contributed to the fields of systems thinking, jurisprudence, neuroscience, and the history of ideas. Amongst his other bibliography, he penned The Road to Serfdom and The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism. His essay "The Use of Knowledge in Society" served as inspiration behind the creation and management of Wikipedia.
- Murray Rothbard - 20th century American historian, Austrian School economist, and primary political theorist behind a strain of libertarianism known as anarcho-capitalism. He defended such Lockean libertarian concepts as natural law, self-ownership, free banking, and the gold standard while criticizing the initiation of force/coercion, including interventionism and mandatory taxation.
- Milton Friedman - 20th century American Chicago School economist, statistician, and prolific author. He is known for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy. As a leader of the Chicago School of Economics, he influenced the research agenda of the economics profession. A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second most popular economist of the twentieth century and The Economist described him as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century…possibly of all of it." His political philosophy extolled the virtues of a free market economic system with minimal intervention. He wrote Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose, advocating capitalist principles.
- Benjamin Tucker - 19th century American individualist anarchist, and editor and publisher of the individualist anarchist periodical Liberty. His publication involved some of the first English translations of philosophers like Stirner and Nietzsche, exposing their philosophies to American readership for the first time. He famously stated, "If the individual has the right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny." Tucker died in Monaco in 1939, in the company of his family. A man of stalwart principle, his daughter, Oriole, reported, "Father's attitude towards communism never changed one whit, nor about religion... In his last months he called in the French housekeeper. He said, 'I want her to be a witness that on my death bed I'm not recanting. I do not believe in God!"
- Robert LeFevre - 20th century American libertarian businessman, radio personality, and primary theorist of autarchism.
- Winston Churchill - Conservative British Prime Minister during World War II. A colorful maverick personality with a keen intellect and moral character, he was one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century.
- The Pre-Socratic philosophers - Western philosophers bold and brilliant enough in a primitive age to question supernaturalism and seek naturalistic explanations regarding the origin and workings of the universe and life.
- Socrates - Classical Greek Athenian philosopher and one of the founders of Western philosophy. Though he did it by erroneously submitting to unjust laws, his trial and execution effectively made him a martyr for free speech and reason. He was put to death by the Athenians after being found guilty of "corrupting the minds of the youth" with his philosophic teachings and his impious refusal to acknowledge the existence of the gods.
- Alexander the Great - Alexander III of Macedon, and the conquests of the empire he helmed, was instrumental in laying the foundation for Western civilization. Taught by Aristotle in his school days, by the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military leaders.
- Marcus Aurelius - 2nd century Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors ruling over Pax Romana and is the author of Meditations, a series of reflective and philosophical personal writings addressed to himself as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement.
- Cicero - A Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, orator, political theorist, Roman consul and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists. He introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary, distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance.
- John Locke - Widely known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism," Locke was a 17th century English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work had a great impact upon the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence. He is the philosophic father of the United States of America.
- Albert Camus - A 20th century French Nobel Prize-winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay "The Rebel" that his whole life was devoted to opposing authoritarianism and the philosophy of nihilism while upholding individual freedom.
- Bernard Williams - A 20th century English moral philosopher and humanist, described by The Times as the "most brilliant and most important British moral philosopher of his time." Williams became known internationally for his attempt to reorient the study of moral philosophy to history and culture, politics and psychology, and in particular to the Greeks. He was a firm critic of utilitarianism and Kantianism. Williams turned his back on the meta-ethics studied by moral philosophers in the Western analytic tradition, and instead tried to address the question of how to live, focusing on the complexity of everyday life. In Morality: An Introduction to Ethics (1972), he wrote that whereas "most moral philosophy at most times has been empty and boring ... contemporary moral philosophy has found an original way of being boring, which is by not discussing moral issues at all." The study of ethics, he argued, should be vital and compelling. He wanted to find an approach that was accountable to psychology, history, politics, and culture—or accountable to reality, as Adam would put it. In his rejection of morality as a discrete and separable domain of human thought, or "a peculiar institution," Williams resembled Friedrich Nietzsche, someone he said he wished he could quote every twenty minutes. Although his disdain for reductionism could make him appear a moral relativist, he was far from that. He believed, like the Ancient Greeks, that what he called the "thick" moral concepts, such as cruelty or faithfulness, were real, a "union of fact and value." He was famously sharp in conversation. One philosopher said that he "understands what you're going to say better than you understand it yourself, and sees all the possible objections to it, all the possible answers to all the possible objections, before you've got[ten] to the end of your sentence."
- Raymond Aron - A 20th century French liberal philosopher, sociologist, journalist, and political scientist. He appropriated Karl Marx's claim that religion was the opium of the people, arguing that in post-war France, Marxism was the opium of intellectuals. Aron chastised French intellectuals for their harsh criticism of capitalism and democracy and their simultaneous defense of Marxist oppression, atrocities, and intolerance. Critic Roger Kimball suggests that Aron's book, The Opium of the Intellectuals, is "a seminal book of the twentieth century." Aron is also known for his lifelong friendship with intellectual opponent Jean-Paul Sartre. Aron wrote extensively on a wide range of other topics. Citing the breadth and quality of Aron's writings, historian James R. Garland characaterizes Aron as a libertarian and suggests, "Though he may be little known in America, Raymond Aron arguably stood as the preeminent example of French intellectualism for much of the twentieth century." He was a rationalist humanist, and a leader among those who did not embrace existentialism. Aron took first place in the Agrégation of Philosophy in 1928, the year Sartre failed the same exam. Aron, who developed an aversion to all totalitarian systems, is the author of books on Karl Marx and on Carl von Clausewitz.
- John Anderson - A 20th century Scottish-Australian realist philosopher who founded an empirical brand of philosophy known as Australian realism, or Australian materialism. He promoted freethought in all subjects, including politics and morality, and believed that an acceptable philosophy must have significant "sweep" and be capable of challenging and molding ideas in every aspect of intellect and society. He is credited with educating a generation of influential "Andersonian" thinkers and activists—some of whom helped to place Sydney in the forefront of the worldwide "sexual revolution" of the 1950s and 1960s. The failure of the Communist Party to build a significant influence at Sydney University during the 1930s and 1940s is often attributed to the influence of "Andersonian individualism" among Sydney students. Anderson rejected supernaturalism and Platonism, and espoused a Nietzschean conception of morality. Politically, he was a pluralist and a libertarian—an opponent of all forms of authoritarianism. He was particularly a defender of free speech and advocated ideological and sexual freedoms and free discussion of issues in an era when mention of taboo subjects commonly resulted in angry public condemnation by prominent moralists. His insistence on unceasing inquiry and criticism became central to the intellectual principles of the university's Libertarian Society which supplanted the Freethought Society in the early 1950s and, throughout the 1960s, provided a philosophic platform for the much broader intellectual subculture known as "the Push." The Sydney Push operated in a pub culture and comprised a broad range of manual workers, musicians, lawyers, criminals, journalists, and public servants as well as staff and students of Sydney University. Rejection of conventional morality and authoritarianism formed their main common bond. From the mid-1960s, people from the New South Wales University of Technology (later renamed the University of New South Wales) also became involved.
- Napoleon Hill - A 20th century American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. Originally inspired by Andrew Carnegie, he is widely considered to be one of the great writers on success. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time. Hill's works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. He became an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1936. "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve" is one of Hill's hallmark expressions. How achievement actually occurs, and a formula for it that puts success in reach of the average person, were the focal points of Hill's books.
- Andrew Carnegie - A Scottish-American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century, enabling the eventual construction of steel skyscrapers.
- John D. Rockefeller - A late-19th century/early-20th century American industrialist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy.
- Barry Goldwater - A 20th century American businessman and five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 presidential election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr. Conservative." He is the politician most often credited for sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement. Goldwater returned to the Senate in 1969, and specialized in defense policy, bringing to the table his experience as a senior officer in the Air Force Reserve. His greatest accomplishment was arguably the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which restructured the higher levels of the Pentagon by increasing the power of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to direct military action. In 1974, as an elder statesman of the party, Goldwater successfully urged President Richard Nixon to resign when evidence of a cover-up in the Watergate scandal became overwhelming and impeachment was imminent. By the 1980s, the increasing influence of the Religious Right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater's libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the Religious Right on issues such as abortion, gay rights, drug legalization, and the role of religion in public life.
- Steve Jobs - An American businessman, designer, and inventor. He is best known as the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields. Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar. Jobs has received a number of honors and public recognition for his influence in the technology and music industries. He has widely been referred to as "legendary," a "futurist," or simply "visionary," and has been described as the "Father of the Digital Revolution," a "master of innovation," and a "design perfectionist."
Basic Personal Info
|Basic Personal Info|
Political, Economic, and Social Views
|Political, Economic, and Social Views|
Views on Religion
|Views on Religion|
Interests, Hobbies, etc.
|Interests, Hobbies, etc.|
Art & Entertainment Preferences
|Art & Entertainment Preferences|