Thursday, October 11, 2007

Remembering October anniversaries: Jacques de Molay, Sputnik, and 'Atlas Shrugged'

Several noteworthy anniversaries occur this month.

October 13, 2007, will mark the 700th anniversary of the mass arrests of Jacques de Molay and the Knights Templar at the order of King Philippe IV and Pope Clement V. It is believed that this is the origin of the superstition of Friday the 13th being bad luck.

Two other anniversaries are being noted this month, too.

It was 50 years ago this month that the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik, the first satellite. Sputnik sparked the space race between the United States and Russia. I saw former lunar astronaut Jim Lovell on television the other day; he said that were it not for Sputnik, we'd have never gone to the moon.

Also in October, 1957 Atlas Shrugged, a novel by Russian immigrant Ayn Rand, was published. Millions of copies have been sold. A 1992 survey by the Library of Congress determined that, after the Bible, Atlas Shrugged is the most influential book in the United States. It helped launch the modern free market and the libertarian movement, according to an opinion piece in today's Washington Times.

Image: Ayn Rand

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  1. The great irony of Rand's works of genius (Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead being the two most prominent) is that she was a Russian immigrant. At a young age, she witnessed the intrinsic evils of socialism and communism.

    Her objectivist philosophy is--in my humble opinion--closer to the direction intended by the Founding Fathers for this nation than those taken by either of the two bastardized, corrupt and intellectually-vacuous political parties.

    Sadly, the political heir to Rand's philosophy--the Libertarian Party--has been dominated by its own bad apples for years, never getting a serious foothold on the shores of American politics.

    Happy Birthday John Galt!

    Fraternally yours,
    The Libertarian


    The templars were a transnational organization.

    Imagine two seconds that you are a king in a new and fragile european nation.

    On your land there is an armed organisation that :
    - have more financial power than you,
    - don't obey to the nation laws and edicts
    - don't pay the tax
    - own not church but castle around the country.

    Philippe Le Bel

    ( btw : It's funny to praise libertarians and templars in the same post)

  3. Guess the 700-year anniversary of the dissolution of the Knights Templar is a good time for the Church to say it really didn't mean it.

    Knights In The Clear

  4. An interesting development after last year's weird news.

  5. I'm always suspicious of what is enjoyed by the masses. I think Rand would agree that the popularity of Atlas Shrugged does not itself prove its value. Atlas Shrugged was an okay book, not really phenomenal or exceedingly original imo. Rand based a lot of her objectivist philosophy on Nietzsche; a subjective philosopher. She did approach her objectivity very subjectively. I thought her book Anthem was more poignant, original, and worthwhile. A bit shorter and less preachy too, I would recommend Anthem over Atlas Shrugged any day.


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