The Founding Fathers bequeathed to us a glorious Republic based on the inalienable rights of Man. We squandered that bequest long ago. How do we get it back?
The course of human events is moved by philosophy. When a rational philosophy (such as Aristotelianism) is dominant, freedom expands. When an irrational philosophy (such as Platonism) is dominant, freedom contracts. As an Objectivist, I am working toward the re-establishment of a dominant rational philosophy - namely, Objectivism. How long will this take?
In discussing this with me, a friend and fellow Objectivist wrote "when I think about how much effort is required to grasp Objectivism, I am less than confident about the future of our society."
I think that is the key. Objectivists sometimes talk about how quickly Marxism became a worldwide phenomenon. The implication being that Objectivism might duplicate that feat. But the point is, Marxism wasn't intellectual at all. It was just a call to rob the rich and give to the poor. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." That's all people took away from Marxism and that's why they - the poor, the lazy, the envious - flocked to its standard. And why they still do, under different names, like modern liberalism, environmentalism, compassionate conservatism, and the anything-goes catch all, "democracy."
Objectivism is exactly the opposite. People, if they understand it, are more likely to run away screaming, than flock to it. They don't want to have to think, they don't want to have to work, they don't want to have to be responsible for their own welfare. Establishing and maintaining a Republic is damned hard work. To quote Benjamin Franklin, in answer to someone who asked him what kind of government the Constitutional Convention of 1787 had come up with: "A Republic - if you can keep it."
We failed to keep it. We will have to duplicate the efforts of the Founding Fathers and their generation - the genuine "greatest generation" - to regain a Republic based on individual rights. It will not happen quickly, or easily. There is no royal road to a just society.