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Beware the Optimates!

After nearly four centuries of Republican government, Rome began its century-long descent toward tyranny1 beginning about 133 BC with the murder of the Gracchus brothers.2 Perhaps the chief facilitator of that descent was the conservative/traditionalist group of elites in the Roman Senate—a group that came to be dubbed the optimates (“the best”).3 They claimed to …

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The Romance of Ayn Rand

(OR: Ayn Rand Romanticized) Mark Sanford, the recently beleaguered Republican governor of South Carolina, presented his pitch for the current relevance of Ayn Rand in Newsweek, November 2, 2009. He wrote, “What strikes me as still relevant is [The Fountainhead’s] central insight—that it isn’t ‘collective action’ that makes this nation prosperous and secure; it’s the …

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