This talk by John Lewis was delivered in Irvine, California, on March 23, 2005, as part of the ARC Lecture Series.
With the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, America has accepted a permanent, institutionalized state of siege on its own soil. But is this the correct strategy? In this lecture Dr. John Lewis examines several examples from history—including Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome—in which great nations, facing attack, have acted defensively rather than with bold offense. The results are clear: such a policy is suicidal. Rather than bracing against further attacks at home or spreading “democracy” abroad, America should destroy her enemies.
But this strategic lesson needs a moral foundation. The moral requirement of victory is self-interested action, not appeals to the needs of others. Wars cannot be fought altruistically. Once the civilian government has set clear goals, the military must be allowed to win. History illustrates the deep connection between intellectual clarity, moral certainty and the offensive strategy needed to defeat a ruthless enemy. Only Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism provides the moral basis for a successful military response to the threats we face today.