The New Clarion

The New Clarion header image 2

What’s In A Name?

December 19th, 2008 by Myrhaf · 9 Comments · Metasite

Bill Brown sent me an email proposing we do a group blog. I thought about it a few days, then agreed. After that we spent a somewhat agonizing week trying to think up a name for this blog.

I noted that blogs can have quirky names. Little Green Footballs, for instance; the name has nothing to do with the content. But we were not comfortable with a meaningless concrete. We wanted a concrete that has an abstract meaning.

A lot of names were rejected. Western Twilight, for instance, though a beautiful image, did not work because it evokes defeat. It’s too much old school conservative, like Whittaker Chambers, who thought he was on the losing side in the west, or James Burnham, who wrote Suicide of the West. In the long run I think it looks good for the west — although I do have my moments of darkness…

We finally agreed on The New Clarion. Clarion is defined in dictionary.com as:

–adjective

1. clear and shrill: the clarion call of a battle trumpet.

–noun

2. an ancient trumpet with a curved shape.

3. the sound of this instrument.

4. any similar sound.

Clarion evokes a call to arms. It is forward-looking and optimistic. We’re fighting for the future of freedom here. We believe it is important to fight for our values and we believe it is practical. This blog is not an ivory tower exercise, playing games with ideas detached from real life. We understand that ideas have consequences and that by speaking out we can help change the world. This blog is meant to be both idealistic and effective in reality. So clarion evokes the opposite of the defeatism in Western Twilight.

The word new is also important. Objectivism rejects traditional morality. It opposes the altruism of both the socialist left and the religious right and upholds a new morality, rational self-interest. Really, Ayn Rand’s entire philosophy is new and revolutionary, from her theory of concepts to her theory of art.

Capitalism, as Ayn Rand put it in the title of her book on politics, is the unknown ideal. If we ever achieve undiluted laissez-faire capitalism, then it will bring about a new society. An unfettered free market will produce dynamic change at a pace and scale as yet unseen. Everything will be new, in ways we can’t imagine. To be a radical for capitalism is most definitely not to be a conservative or traditionalist.

It is ironic that the socialists have appropriated forward-looking terms such as progressive and liberal. Nothing could be more regressive than state control of the economy. Both socialism and conservatism originated in the 19th century as reactions to the most liberating and revolutionary force in history: capitalism. Even in the partial, fettered forms in which it has been known, capitalism has changed civilization and greatly improved the standard of living throughout the world. Those who long to hamper, regulate or destroy capitalism are the true reactionaries.

The New Clarion, then, is a revolutionary call to arms, a place to fight for the unknown ideal of capitalism. But don’t get me wrong — not every post will be a full-throated cry atop the barricades. There is room for posting funny videos from YouTube. (Like Afro Ninja. About the funniest damn thing I’ve seen.) In general the emphasis will be on politics and culture. This blog is not the place for either personal diary stuff unrelated to a philosophic principle or pure philosophy such as an essay on measurement omission in concept formation. It should be a place for examining events of the world around us in the light of philosophic principle.

9 Comments so far ↓

  • EdMcGon

    Myrhaf, you need to check out the sequel to Afro Ninja. It’s even better:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_NQCTbvRnM&NR=1

  • Inspector

    Now that I know the story, I like the name even more!

  • Myrhaf

    Ed, funny stuff. People love to humiliate themselves on YouTube.

    Inspector, if people are like me, they don’t have a clear image of what clarion means when they first see the word.

  • Burgess Laughlin

    Myraf, bravo!

    No matter how seemingly small, every role on the stage of history is worth playing out to the end.

    At the very least, those who do take part will have gained satisfaction, the second prize–even if our opponents or misfortunes prevent us from gaining happiness, the first prize.

    Ayn Rand noted that if, for reasons beyond one’s control one is not able to attain happiness (the state of consciousness that arises from the achievement of one’s highest values), every virtuous person can be assured of satisfaction (the feeling that comes from knowing one has acted properly).

    (Source: Mary Ann Sures, _Facets of Ayn Rand_, pp. 74-76.)

  • Myrhaf

    Excellent, Burgess. Thank you. I think America is still free enough that happiness can be found here — but I fear for the near future.

  • Burgess Laughlin

    Myrhaf, I too fear for the future, but I have been fearing for the future for 47 years–that is, since I first began reading Ayn Rand’s works. They have helped me see what is at stake.

    However, now, for the first time in my life, I do feel some hope–based on factors including:
    – The intellectually weak nature of the opposition (mere traditional fideism of the right and the now dead-end “secular” mysticism of the left).
    – The growing insight and experience of the best of the individuals and institutions in the Objectivist movement.

    To the extent it is possible at all, quality control in movements does work and has worked.

    http://aristotleadventure.blogspot.com/2008/07/quality-control-in-movements.html

    Take care.

  • Richard

    I can relate to your blog naming troubles. Thinking of a name I’d like to use has been a mini project in the back of my mind for several weeks now, and it’s quite difficult. I don’t intend to publish a blog for a long time still, so luckily for me I’m not in a hurry. Considering your time constraint I think you picked a great name. It’s short, simple, meaningful, and above all must have been not taken yet, haha.

    One name I was considering was “Individual Z”, as a reference to Rand’s idea that the individual is the smallest minority, as well as an economic reference. But like you said about “Western Twilight” I think that it sounds too negative. So I’ll continue to toss around ideas.

  • Bill Brown

    Since everyone seems interested in this topic, here’s a list of the domain names we considered (all were available as of a few weeks ago, you’re welcome to use any of them):

    • AisATeam.com (bought it just in case)
    • objectivepundit.com (bought it just in case)
    • libertyforachange.com (already had it)
    • capitalismforachange.com
    • whataboutfreedom.com
    • letssayfair.com (say it aloud. Heh)
    • moralityofcapitalism.com (boring)
    • capitalistradicals.com
    • radicalcapitalists.com
    • galtsblog.com
    • atlasgasped.com
    • flamespotters.com
    • idealsunknown.com
    • idealunknown.com
    • untriedideal.com
    • unsungideal.com
    • rightsinright.com
    • rightinright.com
    • newidealists.com
    • radicalideal.com
    • radicalidealist.com
    • culturalradical.com
    • newbastion.com
    • newdissent.com
    • capitalistandproud.com
    • proudcapitalism.com
    • proudegoist.com
    • proudideal.com
    • cultureofreason.com
    • spreadreason.com
    • johngaltblogging.com
    • marchofreason.com
    • torchofreason.com
    • classicallyliberal.com
    • trulyliberal.com
    • truecapitalists.com
    • trulyradical.com
    • tothebuff.com (Theodore Roosevelt inspired)
    • hellreason.com
    • selfishpursuits.com
    • reasonattack.com
    • objectivish.com
    • objectivistic.com
    • lifeasthestandard.com
    • valueofstandards.com
    • standardofvalue.com
    • pursuitofvalue.com
    • pursuitofvalues.com
    • valuepursuit.com
    • newvaluers.com
    • thevaluers.com
    • objectivevalues.com
    • primaryvalue.com
    • theonlyabsolute.com (I liked this one a lot!)
    • throneofreason.com (Jeffersonian)
    • newclarion.com
    • reasonstriumph.com
    • libertyahoy.com
    • freedomahoy.com
    • reasonswitch.com (as in flip the reason switch or turn on the reason switch)
    • SirensOn.com
    • klaxonson.com
    • heartheklaxons.com
    • firegut.com
    • gutfired.com
    • freedomsclarion.com
    • reasonsclarion.com

    That’s a long list but I wanted to show concretely how much we considered before settling.

  • Imago

    Clarion sounds like a French instrument of some kind, or like a brand of sparkling water. 😉