Yaron Brook

Yaron Brook

. [ [http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5151&news_iv_ctrl=1181 The Ayn Rand Institute: Yaron Brook Biography and Curriculum Vitae ] ]

Early life in Israel

Brook was born and raised in Israel. At the age of 18 he was drafted into the Israeli Army. He served for three years (1979 - 1982), and was a First Sergeant in Israeli military intelligence. Once out of the army, he attended college at the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology located in Haifa, and in 1986 he received his B.Sc. in civil engineering. [ [http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5151&news_iv_ctrl=1181 The Ayn Rand Institute: Yaron Brook Biography and Curriculum Vitae ] ]

Emigration to the U.S.

In 1987 Brook moved to the United States to study at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). At UT he received his MBA (in 1989) and his PhD in finance (in 1994). He was subsequently hired to teach finance at Santa Clara University in California, where he was an assistant professor for seven years. He was an award-winning teacher and developed a popular class on Finance and Ethics. [http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5151&news_iv_ctrl=1181]

In 1998 Brook (with Robert Hendershott) started an investment consulting business called [http://www.bhequity.com BH Equity Research] , located in San Jose, California. He is currently a managing partner of that firm. [http://www.bhequity.com] He also co-founded Lyceum International in 1994, a company that organized Objectivist conferences and offered distance-learning courses. [http://www.wju.edu/academics/bus/iscm/brook.asp]

Brook left Santa Clara University in 2000 to become president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, which was then located in Marina del Rey, California. The Institute moved to Irvine, California in 2002. [http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/123752021.html?dids=123752021:123752021&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jun+7%2C+2002&author=VIVIAN+LETRAN&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&edition=&startpage=B.6&desc=The+Region]

Advocacy of Objectivism

As head of the Ayn Rand Institute(ARI), Brook has become a well-known advocate for Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. His philosophical activism includes teaching and public lecturing at ARI-sponsored events and conferences held predominantly in North America; speaking and debating at numerous American universities; delivering seminars for businesses and corporations in the United States and abroad; and writing opinion editorials for newspapers and websites.

On TV, Brook is a frequent guest on popular CNBC programs such as "On the Money" and "Morning Call", where he applies his philosophy to current issues related to finance, business ethics, and foreign policy. [http://search.cnbc.com/main.do?keywords=yaron+brook&target=video&x=0&y=0] He is also regularly interviewed on local and national radio, having appeared many times on "The Thom Hartmann Program", which is carried by the Air America Radio network. [http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=interviews_hartmann]

Philosophical and Political Views

Rational Selfishness

As an Objectivist, Brook promotes the philosophical principles formulated by Ayn Rand, in particular her idea of rational selfishness (egoism) as a moral virtue. In addition to teaching classes on egoism at the Ayn Rand Institute and as a guest lecturer at Brown University, Brook has also defended the egoist position in a 2006 debate against former U.S. Senator Robert Krueger at Texas State University, San Marcos.

Foreign Policy and War

Brook has gained much attention for his application of Objectivist moral philosophy to the question of America’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

He advocates an American foreign policy of self-interest that would morally support Israel as a Western ally against Islamic terrorism, and that would declare and wage total war on Islamic totalitarian states, such as Iran, that allegedly support and engage in terrorism against the West. In his article [http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-spring/just-war-theory.asp "'Just War Theory' vs. American Self-Defense,"] co-authored with Alex Epstein in The Objective Standard, Brook writes:

Without physical and spiritual support by these states, the Islamic Totalitarian cause would be a hopeless, discredited one, with few if any willing to kill in its name. Thus, the first order of business in a proper response to 9/11 would have been to end state support of Islamic Totalitarianism—including ending the Iranian regime that is its fatherland.

Brook further argues that these Islamic states must be severely attacked in order to crush their will to engage in and support terrorism.

What specific military actions would have been required post-9/11 to end state support of Islamic Totalitarianism is a question for specialists in military strategy, but even a cursory look at history can tell us one thing for sure: It would have required the willingness to take "devastating military action against enemy regimes"—to oust their leaders and prominent supporters, to make examples of certain regimes or cities in order to win the surrender of others, and to inflict suffering on complicit civilian populations, who enable terrorist-supporting regimes to remain in power. [http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-spring/just-war-theory.asp]

From the beginning of the War on Terrorism, Brook has argued that Iran should be the primary target of U.S. retaliation for Sept. 11. He supported the invasion of Iraq, however, because he thought it would be better than doing nothing against terrorist-supporting nations in the Middle East and since he expected the US to move on quickly. Since then he has condemned the Bush Administration’s ineffective handling of the war in Iraq. [http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&page=NewsArticle&id=7877] He is for waging war on Islamic totalitarian states, but he believes that Bush’s "Forward Strategy of Freedom" is altruistic, self-defeating, and in opposition to America’s national self-interest. [http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-spring/forward-strategy-for-failure.asp]

The US has been attacked first thus it has the "moral right" to fight Islamism. The sole moral duty of the United States is to defend its citizens against its enemies by all means, even with the use of the atom bomb if necessary. [http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4342]

In his 2006 speech "Democracy vs. Victory: Why the 'Forward Strategy of Freedom' Had to Fail" [http://forum.wgbh.org/wgbh/forum.php?lecture_id=3228] given at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston he said:

Washington commanded the military to tip-toe around Iraq. Troops were coached in all manner of cultural sensitivity training, so they would not offend the customs of the locals. The welfare of Iraqis was placed above the lives of our soldiers, who were put in the line of fire but prevented from using all the necessary force necessary to win. U.S. troops died as a result.

Washington treats the lives of our military personnel as expendable. Their blood is spilled for the sake of serving Iraqis, a people overwhelmingly hostile to America.

Bush had committed America to this selfless mission in the run-up to the war.

During a December 17, 2004 appearance on Fox News channel’s "The O'Reilly Factor", Brook argued that a major change in war tactics is necessary in order to defeat the Iraqi insurgency. He said that the United States needs to be "more brutal" and needs to "start bringing the consequences of [the] war to the civilians who are harboring terrorists and insurgents." [http://ariwatch.com/OReillyInterviewsYaronBrook.htm] Then, several months later in a lecture aired August 14, 2005 on C-SPAN radio, Brook suggested that it might be better to withdraw from Iraq, rather than continue with Bush's "altruistic" war policy: "If we cannot fight this [Iraq] war properly, then bring the troops home."

On March 13th, 2007 Brook debated the morality of Just War theory with Martin Cook, professor of philosophy at the United States Air Force Academy and preeminent just war theorist. The debate was sponsored by the philosophy department of the University of Colorado.

Brook demands a new morality of war, a morality freed from all conventional so-called "humanist" or religious considerations. [http://www.commonwealthclub.org/archive/07/07-04brook-audio.html]

:"Brook argues that America is still under attack because it is morally unwilling to defeat its enemies, despite its great material superiority ... a new morality of war based on a moral code of rational self-interest."

Brook is highly critical of Zionism, arguing that "Zionism fused a valid concern - self-preservation amid a storm of hostility - with a toxic premise - ethnically based collectivism and religion" [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1184168546756&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter] .

Capitalism and Business

Brook is also an outspoken proponent of laissez-faire capitalism. In appearances on CNBC [http://search.cnbc.com/main.do?keywords=yaron+brook&target=video&x=0&y=0] and in several articles [http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&page=NewsArticle&id=5455] and speeches [http://www.aynrandbookstore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=LS062DV] , he has defended the rights of corporations and businessmen and upheld the virtues of capitalism. In a January 7, 2007 editorial in "USA Today", he defends multi-million dollar CEO pay packages against the attempt by government to regulate them. [http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070108/oppose08.art.htm] Brook has criticized President Bush for signing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which regulates corporate accounting practices. [http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0703/0703businessassault.htm] And he has argued that antitrust laws are "unjust and make no sense ethically or economically." [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/liveonline/00/business/specials/brook0719.htm]

*"Corporate governance: a study of director liability, firm performance and shareholder wealth", University of Texas, Austin, 1994 [thesis]
* [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-1090(199409)29%3A3%3C481%3ASWEODL%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Q "Shareholder wealth effects of directors' liability limitation provisions", Brook, Yaron ; Rao, Ramesh K. S., Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, vol. 3, 1994, 481-497]
*"Terrorism in Israel", Yaron Brook, "The Intellectual Activist", Vol. 10, No. 4, July 1996
* [http://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jfinan/v53y1998i6p2185-2204.htm "The gains from takeover deregulation: Evidence from the end of interstate banking restrictions", Brook, Yaron ; Hendershott, Robert ; Darrell Lee, Journal of Finance the journal of the American Finance Association, {Malden, Mass. et al.: Blackwell}, vol. 6, 1998, 2185-2204]
* [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4130/is_3_27/ai_53649445 "Do Firms Use Dividends to Signal Large Future Cash Flow Increases?", Brook, Yaron ; Charlton, William T., Jr. ; Hendershott, Robert J., Financial Management, (Tampa, Fla. : Financial Management Association International) vol. 3, 1998, 46-57]
* [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VFK-40V4F2V-3/2/63604c0fb7ff5548583f636d62f3b741"Corporate Governance and Recent Consolidation in the Banking Industry", Brook, Yaron ; Hendershott, Robert J. ; Lee, Darrell, Journal of Corporate Finance: contracting, governance and organization, (Santa Clara U; Kennesaw State U), vol. 2, 2000, p. 141-64]
* [http://www.iijournals.com/JOI/default.asp?Page=2&ISS=8234&SID=319462"Hype and Internet Stocks", Brook, Yaron ; Hendershott, Robert J., Journal of Investing, vol. 2, 53-64]
* [http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-spring/just-war-theory.asp "Just War Theory" vs. American Self-Defense", Yaron Brook, Alex Epstein, "The Objective Standard", Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2006]
* [http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-spring/forward-strategy-for-failure.asp "The 'Forward Strategy' For Failure", Yaron Brook, Elan Journo, "The Objective Standard", Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 2007]
* [http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20070108/oppose08.art.htm Brook's article on CEO compensation in "USA Today"]


External links

* [http://www.yaronbrook.com Yaron Brook's personal website]
* [http://search.forbes.com/search/colArchiveSearch?aname=Yaron+Brook&author=yaron+and+brook&boxes=custom Yaron Brook's column on Forbes.com]
* [http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&page=NewsArticle&id=5151 Yaron Brook's Curriculum Vitae] includes an extensive bibliography
* [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=yaron+brook&search_type= Link to a search of YouTube videos referring to Yaron Brook]
* [http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_new Free video] of "Totalitarian Islam's Threat to the West" panel discussion with Yaron Brook, Daniel Pipes, and Wafa Sultan. Held at UCLA on April 12, 2007.
* [http://forum.wgbh.org/wgbh/forum.php?lecture_id=3228 Yaron Brook Lecture ] Free audio and video of Yaron Brook's WGBH Forum talk "Why the Forward Strategy of Freedom Had to Fail"
* [http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/events.asp Yaron Brook Lecture] Audio of Yaron Brook's talk "'Just War Theory' vs. American Self-Defense" at the National Press Club (Scroll down to find audio link)
* [http://capmag.com/author.asp?name=16 About Yaron Brook] Profile and list of articles published in Capitalism Magazine.
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/liveonline/00/business/specials/brook0719.htm Webchat on Capitalism and Business Ethics] with Yaron Brook, hosted by the Washington Post July 19, 2000
* [http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/events.asp Eminent Domain Debate] Free audio of Eminent Domain Debate between Yaron Brook and Jeffrey Finkle
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=fVz4hsx0uns Youtube video of Dr. Yaron Brook speaking at "Totalitarian Islam's Threat to the West" at UCLA with Daniel Pipes and Wafa Sultan, hosted by L.O.G.I.C. on April 12th, 2007]

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