Freethought Almanac

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February 2: Ayn Rand (1905)

It was on this date, February 2, 1905, that Objectivist philosopher and author Ayn Rand was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum to Jewish parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. She always knew she wanted to be a writer. As a young girl, Alissa witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution and saw firsthand the brutality of the Soviet regime. Fearing for the safety of her family still in Russia, Alissa Rosenbaum changed her name to Ayn Rand. She published We the Living in 1936, The Fountainhead in 1943, and her most memorable if unreadable work, Atlas Shrugged, in 1957 (film, 2011). Her novels outline her philosophy of Objectivism. “My philosophy, in essence,” she wrote in her Appendix to Atlas Shrugged, “is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”…

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Originally published February 2004 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

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January 18: Jacob Bronowski

“Dissent is the mark of freedom,” wrote Bronowski, “These freedoms of tolerance have never been notable..., even when the dogma was Christian. Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetimes.”



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