Thursday, March 23, 2006

$50K to Fight for Freedom

Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism has the power to change the world. From her groundbreaking explanation of the power of the human mind to discern reality, to her moral justification for individualism and capitalism, to her defiant exultation of heroes, Ayn Rand presented mankind with a proud new vision of himself. This vision has inspired millions across the world, yet for Objectivism to truly change the course of history, those who are animated by Ayn Rand's vision must choose to carry on with the fight she first stated.

And to help carry on the Objectivist fight is precisely why I founded the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism. When first launched in 1998, it was because I believed that the advance of Objectivism required a group that was both intellectual and activist and that was uniquely dedicated to defending Ayn Rand's trader principle as the only legitimate basis for our social relationships. The Center's mission was thus defined as using Objectivism to present policymakers, the judiciary and the public analyses to assist in the identification and protection of the individual rights of the American people.

In the years since the Center's founding, it has repeatedly achieved groundbreaking results. Its advocates have appeared in the nation's newspapers, on radio and on TV, including economist Richard Salsman's appearance on NPR's Justice Talking and my own appearance on national broadcast television when I was a guest on ABC's Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. The Center's arguments in defense of Microsoft were included in the Department of Justice's "major comments" list during the Microsoft antitrust trial--the first time the Objectivist argument calling for the abolition of antitrust was given such consideration, and both times the Center held press conferences defending technology and industry and attacking the environmentalists on Earth Day, C-SPAN came to cover the event.

The Center's advocates have also fought for America's right to self-defense against Islamic jihadists. In one of my proudest moments, after I debated the Oxford-trained director of the peace studies program at George Mason University on the right of the US to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein, the university president who was in attendance commented that debates like the one I just participated in were "the reason we have universities." Earning that praise was an incredible victory, for it showed that our best efforts in representing our philosophy will earn us an audience--the first step in changing our culture for the better.

Yet unlike many groups that refuse to touch the controversial, not every principle the Center fights for wins on the first try. The Center stood with students who were refused admission to a public university because of the color of their skin, just as it stood up for the free-speech rights of businessmen as they were sued for "false advertising" because their company bought newspaper advertisements that defended the firm from the unjust smears of critics. When doctors were persecuted by antitrust regulators for attempting to bargain with giant, government-created HMO's, the Center was one of the only voices to stand up in their defense--even when their own medical associations refused to defend a doctor's right to profit form his own hard work.

Why fight for these unpopular causes? Because ideas and their consequences matter. Even if one doesn't secure an immediate victory, the first battle lays down the foundation for the next. And that is why I believe Objectivism's advocates must go to the realms where ideas are discussed and debated and profess objective truths about issues that are important to people's lives. If Objectivism is to have increased currency in our culture, its advocates must confront the enemies of reason and freedom with our answers to the questions of our time, even if Objectivist ideas are first met with skepticism. Remaining silent gains one nothing; only by being outspoken can one hope to gain converts.

And I hold that this organization rests upon a combination of ideas, skill and ambition that ought to be nurtured and supported. The Center fights the long fight--but to continue, we need your help. We need you to stand with the Center and help make it a success. We need you to help financially support our advocacy.

That is why I am launching the "$50K to Fight for Freedom" campaign. Fifty thousand dollars is what I believe it will take to re-energize this group and restore it to a full-fighting stance. Fifty thousand dollars is the amount of money the Center needs to be able to raise even more money for its projects, projects such as the Capitalist's Amicus Curiae program, our writing program, and a student leadership conference where the Center's experts can meet with the next generation of Objectivists and give them the benefit of our knowledge and experience.

And that is where you come in. I need you to give your financial backing to the Center--I cannot do it alone.

And if the Center cannot raise this $50K, it will be time to admit defeat and throw in the towel. This not a threat--it is a recognition of the reality that if we can't raise this small amount of money to conduct our projects, the Center simply does not enjoy the support necessary for it to succeed.

I never have liked fundraising letters that take desperate tones--they always sounded fake to me--but I must confront the fact that this organization has its back up against the wall. I hope you agree with me that it shouldn't--that the contributions the Center makes in the advance of Objectivism are valuable and that with even more support, the Center can achieve even loftier goals. Please, join me and make a contribution to the Center today.

Sincerely,

Nicholas Provenzo
Chairman

PS: The future of your freedom literally rests in your hands. I ask that you act today and make a donation, however the amount, in support of the Center and its fight for a better tomorrow.

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