If you are a regular visitor to us, by now you probably
realize we've renamed our group to "The Center for the Advancement of
Capitalism" as well as overhauled our website. I think both measures bode
well for the kind of intellectual activism that we have been engaged in
for the over four years since our founding.
We decided to change our name from "The Center for the
Moral Defense of Capitalism" to "The Center for the Advancement
of Capitalism" because we think the idea of "advancement" better captures
the spirit and mission of our organization. We found the original name of
"Moral Defense" implied a passive, reactive group that responded to
threats. "Moral Defense of Capitalism" also implied that we have
capitalism today, If you read just one of our articles or essays, you will
probably agree that's far from the case.
Our original idea was since there are many groups that
attempt to make the practical case for capitalism that ultimately fail
because they do not address the larger, moral questions surrounding
individualism and freedom, we were not going to make the same mistake. In
fact, we intended to focus our group explicitly on the moral issues of the
In practice though, our name did not help us. Besides
being a mouthful, it simply confused many of the people we were trying to
impact with our argument. Some people thought we were we a religious
group. Others did not understand the moral/practical dichotomy that
infects our culture and was the premise behind our name. While
Objectivists clearly grasp that moral behavior is practical in the long
term, many non-Objectivists don't understand the importance of that point.
If in the mere act of introducing yourself you leave your audience
confused, it makes your work that much harder.
We think "Advancement" solves the problems we have been
having. "Advancement" implies a rising tide. We are not just defending our
values; we seek to advance them throughout our nation's institutions. We
work to achieve the freedom inherent in capitalism today— not in some
nebulous and distant future—and our group takes the daily steps necessary
to achieve our goal. Our tools remain the same; we make philosophic
arguments for individualism and freedom by focusing on the contemporary
political questions of the day and we provide the means for like-minded
individuals to do the same. In the end however, new name makes our message
that much clearer.
Which brings me to my second point, the overhaul of our
website. Our primary means of communication is web based and the Center
has used this to our advantage in two ways. Our website's visitors rely on
us to keep them up to date on cultural and political trends, and we rely
on our website's visitors to use that information to help communicate a
pro-capitalism message to our political and media leaders. We are not just
a think tank, we are an activist group in that leverages our grassroots
supporters to advance our overall arguments.
The Center has built many resources that make it easy
for our visitors to engage in their own activism. Primary among them is
our "Government & Media Action Center."
This site allows our Internet visitors complete access to their elected
officials. By entering your zip code, you can view your senators and
representatives pictures, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, staff,
committee assignments, voting records, and more. In addition to elected
officials, you can locate and contact local and national media in all 50
We also have introduced our daily web journal "Initium"
which means "start" in Latin. Initium journal gives the Center's experts
the opportunity to comment on issues that are important to the advance of capitalism. I
like to think of it as a place where capitalism's defenders can fire from
the hip, which is often a useful place to fire from.
Coupled with the Center's analysis and advocacy
campaigns, our ability to connect our supporters with government and media
leaders is unique in Objectivism. If you think it makes sense to identify
issues important to your freedom and economic well-being, get the best
experts coming up with rational solutions to these issues and build a
movement of intellectual activists to help advance the pro-freedom
position with our leading institutions, I hope you will see the value in
the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism. We're in the thick of the
battle here in Washington. Why not join us?