Food for Thought


Michelle Fram-Cohen, who in the past has contributed to the literary webzine I publish, has written an article on Hugo's novel Ninety-Three for Navigator, the newsletter of The Objectivist Center. I agree with her that Ninety-Three is Hugo's best novel, though it's hard for me to choose because I also like Toilers of the Sea and Les Misérables quite a bit.

Although I no longer support The Objectivist Center, I'm happy to find that they have seen the light and now post their articles on the web. Hiding away your ideas in paper newsletters sent only to subscribers is no way to foment an intellectual revolution in these days of the World Wide Web.

I notice three articles of interest in their January newsletter. One is a longer remembrance (by David Kelley) of philosopher George Walsh. The second is an excerpt on Islam from George's book on religion. The third is an essay by Roger Donway on the idea of public service. Roger points out that, contrary to the views of many of today's libertarians (who rightly oppose compulsory national service but sometimes seem to oppose all public service), there is a place for volunteerism and citizen activism in our civil society -- and, indeed, that it is only citizen activism (e.g., colonial militias) that enabled America to free itself from the British crown. Roger argues that voluntary public service (such as participation in a neighborhood watch) is part of the eternal vigilance necessary to keep a republic. Food for thought.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal