Friday, November 28, 2008

Going John Galt

While we're on the subject of Objectivism and the economic crisis, it seems many Objectivists are reacting to that (and the election of the dreaded Obama) by threatening to "go John Galt" - withdrawing their skills from society and letting the damn thing fall to the ground. The comments are a must-read, and we note among them our very own John Donohue, Pasadena!

Only thing is, I'm not sure that many of these would-be Galts have recently invented a perpetual motion machine...

53 comments:

john said...

Greetings and yes I am in that discussion. Many producers are "Shrugging in Place." This is not invented. It is real.

It is very clear that the response to this implosion is going to more statism, including higher taxes on entrepreneurs and corporations, and the nationalization of more businesses.

After a certain point, when planning the next business expansion you realize most of the new profits will go into the maw of the "Progressive" abyss, you just throw up your hands, shrug your shoulders and say "Why bother?" [more colorful earthy equivelent phrase self-edited, use your imagination.]

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA

JayCross said...

John,

Let me suggest, as a former Objectivist and someone who still holds most of Ayn Rand's philosophy in high regard, that you might be going about this the wrong way.

I hate statism and high taxes on entrepreneurs just as much as you do. Since I am an entrepreneur (freelance writer and marketing consultant) I am directly impacted by them. It sucks and I complain constantly about how unfair, idiotic and counter-productive to the supposed goal of economic growth these things are.

I think Hank Rearden is the man and I still well up with joy when I think of how he said "fuck you" to that parasitic society in Atlas Shrugged. However...

I also have to realize that I'm living the only life I'll ever have. That didn't seem very important to me when I was 17, but it matters a whole hell of a lot to me now when I'm a week away from turning 22. So while I would love nothing more to make a John Galt-like statement to the corrupt politicians and show them exactly who needs who, there are consequences to doing that.

Consequences like depriving myself of the creative passion that I'm still able to enjoy. Despite all the ridiculous regulations and burdens I still love writing. Few things make me happier than writing an article that makes the front page of Digg, or putting together a marketing campaign that brings in new customers, or cashing fat commission checks that clients I respect were happy to send me.

But if I decided to martyr myself for an Objectivist revolution I may not even live to see, I'd lose out on all that stuff. I gotta say - as much as I love Atlas Shrugged, I'm not okay with spending my life working at Burger King to make some philosophical statement to people who aren't going to listen to it anyway.

Are you? I'm sure there are productive activities you enjoy as much as I enjoy mine. When you really stop and think about it, are you prepared to sacrifice the immense joy and happiness you get from those things in the name of a philosophical movement that most people are simply ignorant of? Will it really selfishly benefit you?

I wrestled with this question for a long time and decided the answer is no. My only irreplaceable life is my supreme value, and I value it more highly than Objectivism.

Damien said...

Daniel Barnes,

I can't say I blame them. I don't like Obama, or his politics. I"m disappointed that he won. I'd rather McCain in the white house. So can understand their sentiments. However, objectivists are such a small minority, that it probably won't do much good to begin with anyway. If the overwhelming majority of non objectivist scientists and entrepreneurs continue going about things as usually, it will do far more to harm those people who do drop out, than it will to change society.

JayCross said...

Damien,

That's very true. The thing people don't realize is that Atlas Shrugged was a novel. An excellent novel, but still a novel that was scripted so that the good guys would tower above evil and ultimately prevail. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world where no such thing is guaranteed.

john said...

Thank you for your concern, but not to worry. No one, especially me, is doing it for "the sake of Objectivism". It is for the exact reason I gave: "Why bother?"

Why would an entreptreneur who is already making, say, $250,000 a year and already paying the commons for multiple people, undertake a new venture that would push him much higher in wealth?

A stupendous amount of the next stack of wealth created above $250,000, both in income and in appreciation of the entity created, is already in the gun sights of confiscation. Now, they will be putting bigger shotgun shells in the gun.

Personally I already have Shrugged from the business world and allow myself to earn just enough to sustain my maintenence, even after taxes. My personal rewards for living and creative impulse? Luckily, I do not need to launch an enterprise to do it, so it continues unabated.

It is a fantasy of collectivist polliticians and net-takers in the culture that they can just use a gun to "soak the rich" and that 'the rich' will keep on producing. Well, certain characters in Atlas Shrugged had to learn their error of "just taking it" and I suggest that in actual reality many are seriously looking at it now and are already doing some form of Shruggin in Place.

John Donohue
Pasadena, CA

JayCross said...

John,

I agree with you on many levels. However, there are (for now) still ways to shield wealth from taxation. IRAs offer excellent tax deferral, you can build tax-free wealth in real estate using certain techniques, etc. One silver lining of this economic crisis is that the capital gains tax may be lowered or eliminated.

Obama no doubt hates that idea, but as some have pointed out, he probably likes being re-elected more than he likes socialism.

So, if "shrugging" includes shifting money into untaxed activities or investments that are taxed at lower rates, count me in! I'm all for sticking it to the government in any way that doesn't cost the priceless joy of fulfilled dreams.

Daniel Barnes said...

OT, Jay, have you bought "Chinese Democracy" yet?

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

...the good guys would tower above evil and ultimately prevail. - Jay
___________________________________




Who decides who/what is good and who/what is evil?




___________________________________

Why would an entreptreneur who is already making, say, $250,000 a year and already paying the commons for multiple people, undertake a new venture that would push him much higher in wealth? - John
___________________________________





Bill Gates, Warren Buffet?

JayCross said...

Daniel,

Chinese Democracy has been melting my face since a few days before the release date. I bought the CD and the vinyl in case the latter becomes a collector's item.

Any favorite tracks so far? I'm partial to "Catcher in the Rye" and "Prostitute."

JayCross said...

Red,

In a novel, the author decides who/what is good or evil by how those things are portrayed. In the case of Atlas Shrugged, it was Ayn Rand who decided.

I generally agree with her assessments in that realm. Others are free to disagree with it. Just my opinion.

Red Grant said...

So does this mean then you believe morality is relative to each individual?

JayCross said...

Not necessarily, but I don't have a good enough argument that will overcome your line of questioning.

Not that there's anything wrong with that line of questioning, it's good, I just don't know how to defend this view of mine against it.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

So does this mean then you believe morality is relative to each individual? - Red Grant
-----------------------------------

Not necessarily, but I don't have a good enough argument that will overcome your line of questioning. - Jay
___________________________________




So this means then you believe morality could be relative to each individual?

Jason Sieckmann said...

Okay, I see a lot of people defending Rand, and some people just kind of posting random thoughts.

Here is what needs to be said, IMO.

The way to defeat anything; is not through 'sacrifice,' but rather through morally defeating it's actions and purpose.

In this sense, the Libertarians are far closer to defeating the current regime of government just through Ron Paul than any Objectivist could be. Why? Ron is the face of moral indignation for the everyman within government itself.

Despite his stance on abortion and his crazy Christian religion, he has simply come closer to raising the ire of regular people and getting them to take vested interest in their governments.

The idea of everyone going on strike isn't ending production for the 'looters,' it's giving up.

I strongly urge ANYONE that sees this situation we have gotten ourselves into as black and white and not layered to look at who makes up our government. To a large extent, the people running our government are the world's RICHEST 'capitalists.'

With that said, capitalism IS a moral stance; it is the openness for a man to achieve his will through his efforts; just so long as he does not violate the human or property rights of another man.

The men in charge of us now, are layered black and white. They make a great deal of 'capital,' but they do so through REAL, not 'misinterpreted,' EXPLOITATION.

If you want to stop these people, REALLY stop them, you MUST break the systems that their capital is built on.

Namely, the federal reserve and the IRS. The first, ruins all of our money and gives the government a blank check even when our accounts are empty to do as they please. The second allows the invention and enforcement of tax laws that are il-conceived and unjust.

There must be A: enough libertarians (or anyone morally capitalistic) in government offices to push through bills that eliminate the federal reserve and return us to gold and silver standards. And B: not just legislative pushes via bills, but a very LARGE consensus of Americans that REFUSE to pay their taxes as long as they are misrepresented.

Large movements of citizens refusing to obey laws at the same time and publicly united is not rebellion; it is a revolt.

Rand just didn't have what it took to see practical applications of her political theories. And yes, basing an entire system on idealism that is tied up in romanticism is a MONSTROUS mistake that is primarily blamable on her traumatic childhood and her searchings for heroes.

I guess, unfortunately, if Rand would have stripped down Objectivism, and just called it Capitalism; no one would have gotten her meaning.

JayCross said...

Dan,

Another slightly off-topic "Chinese Democracy" point. Axl is apparently sitting on a song called "Atlas Shrugged" that is due out on one of the next two albums. Can't wait to see what the lyrics to that bad boy are.

(Of course, if those albums take anywhere near as long as this one did we may never actually hear it!)

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

The way to defeat anything; is not through 'sacrifice,' but rather through

morally

defeating it's actions and purpose. - Jason
-----------------------------------
Ron is the face of

moral

indignation for the everyman within government itself. - Jason
-----------------------------------
With that said, capitalism IS a

moral stance; - Jason
___________________________________





Who decides what is moral?




___________________________________

With that said, capitalism IS a moral stance; it is the openness for a man to achieve his will through his efforts; just so long as he does not violate the human or

property rights of another man. - Jason
___________________________________





Who decides or would decide the individual property rights under capitalist system?

Jason Sieckmann said...

Who decides what is moral? It's a broad question in the sense of how many people are involved.

Honestly, I would have to say that the constitution and any law that protects individual liberty without making room for the harm of others through physical force or seizure of their assets.

The human and property rights under a capitalist system are derived from laws created by the constitution (should a nation have one.) And, in our nation, by the founding fathers.

And I definitely see your point; it can be up to interpretation. That necessitates the state to act on some kind of hierarchical moral grounds; in our case the constitution.

The thoughts of a sociopath (who can be quiet functional) are not those of a businessman who views himself as 'honest.' In order to keep A from eating B via deception, theft, or physical force; we must have a baseline of laws that basically says: "no, that's not okay."

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Who decides what is moral? It's a broad question in the sense of how many people are involved.

Honestly, I would have to say that

the constitution and any law that protects individual liberty without making room for the harm of others through physical force or seizure of their assets. - James
-----------------------------------
The human and property rights under a capitalist system are derived from laws created by the constitution (should a nation have one.)

And, in our nation, by the founding fathers. - James
-----------------------------------
And I definitely see your point; it can be up to interpretation. That necessitates the state to act on some kind of

hierarchical moral grounds; in our case the constitution. - James
___________________________________




Did the constitution as proposed by the founding fathers allow slavery?


If so, then,

does this mean then you believe slavery was moral back then?

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

The thoughts of a sociopath (who can be quiet functional) are not those of a businessman who views himself as 'honest.' In order to keep A from eating B via deception, theft, or physical force; we must have a baseline of laws that basically says: "no, that's not okay." - Jason
___________________________________





So does this mean you believe U.S. should not have behaved like a "Sociopath" toward the Natives of North America?




In previous post, I referred to you as James, sorry about that.

Jason Sieckmann said...

lol I'm James now :)

The constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery, nor should slavery have continued.

Many of the founding fathers such as John Adams opposed slavery; but the potential loss of the southern colonies was too great to press the issue. Thus, blacks in the south remained sub-human to the majority of newly-founded America.

Was that okay? Definitely not.

As for the Native Americans, no, it was NOT okay for the U.S. to behave like 'sociopath.' Nothing makes it okay to kill other people for any reason other than self defense.

BTW, I love what this site represents; it is a challenge to Ayn Rand's personality cult.

I believe that the ultimate siphoning of everything that has been said, amongst all Objectivism and Libertarianism; and any philosophy concerning freedom is this:

capitalism is the highest form of economics, so long as it is unregulated beyond the enforcements of contracts by the government (and so long as those contracts do not violate the constitutional rights of individuals under contract.)

The constitution is the highest document in the United States by maximum necessity. The saddest part about human rights; is that they ever had to be written down to be enforced.

Jason Sieckmann said...

lol I'm James now :)

The constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery, nor should slavery have continued.

Many of the founding fathers such as John Adams opposed slavery; but the potential loss of the southern colonies was too great to press the issue. Thus, blacks in the south remained sub-human to the majority of newly-founded America.

Was that okay? Definitely not.

As for the Native Americans, no, it was NOT okay for the U.S. to behave like 'sociopath.' Nothing makes it okay to kill other people for any reason other than self defense.

BTW, I love what this site represents; it is a challenge to Ayn Rand's personality cult.

I believe that the ultimate siphoning of everything that has been said, amongst all Objectivism and Libertarianism; and any philosophy concerning freedom is this:

capitalism is the highest form of economics, so long as it is unregulated beyond the enforcements of contracts by the government (and so long as those contracts do not violate the constitutional rights of individuals under contract.)

The constitution is the highest document in the United States by maximum necessity. The saddest part about human rights; is that they ever had to be written down to be enforced.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

The constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery, nor should slavery have continued. - Jason
___________________________________




Then why was it allowed?



___________________________________

Many of the founding fathers such as John Adams opposed slavery; but the potential loss of the southern colonies was too great to press the issue. Thus, blacks in the south remained sub-human to the majority of newly-founded America. - Jason
___________________________________





Didn't someone say, "For the right price, everyone's a whore"?





___________________________________

Was that okay? Definitely not. - Jason
___________________________________





So does this mean then you believe U.S. should pay compensation to the blacks?




___________________________________

As for the Native Americans, no, it was NOT okay for the U.S. to behave like 'sociopath.' Nothing makes it okay to kill other people for any reason other than self defense. - Jason
___________________________________






So does this mean then you believe U.S. should give up all the land she had stolen from the Natives?




___________________________________

BTW, I love what this site represents; it is a challenge to Ayn Rand's personality cult. - Jason
___________________________________





I agree. I've been kicked out from at least 5 or 6 different sites for disagreeing with the "moderators" simply for pointing out inconsistencies in their statements.

So far, both Greg (who, btw, is very well-read and articulate, intelligent(better read than me), who just need to work on improving his consistencies)and and Daniel, have not "retaliated" against me, which speaks for their maturity and lack of childish ego/vanity so common among internet pundits.

You would be surprised how many so-called "Liberal, Free-speech" championing "intellectuals, FOX-News, O'Reilly, Bush hating" intellectuals will resort to censorship that would have made KGB proud when anyone dares to disagree with them and willing to back it up with hard facts.




___________________________________

I believe that the ultimate siphoning of everything that has been said, amongst all Objectivism and Libertarianism; and any philosophy concerning freedom is this:

capitalism is the highest form of economics, so long as it is unregulated beyond the enforcements of contracts by the government (and so long as those contracts do not violate the constitutional rights of individuals under contract.) - Jason
___________________________________



However, here's a problem.

In a constitutional democray, who makes the law?

and do they make the law to protect their perceived best interest?

or

to protect the constitutional rights of individuals?



___________________________________

...and so long as those contracts do not violate the

constitutional rights

of individuals under contract.) - Jason
-----------------------------------
The constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery, nor should slavery have continued. - Jason
__________________________________




So codification of constitutional rights did little good in protecting the constitutional rights of the blacks, did it?

or

did the blacks not have the protection of constitutional rights?


So what would have been the remedy?

or

there was no remedy?





___________________________________

The constitution is the highest document in the United States by maximum necessity.

The saddest part about human rights; is that they ever had to be written down to be

enforced. - Jason
-----------------------------------
The constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery, nor should slavery have continued. - Jason
___________________________________




So does this mean then you believe the constitution was not enforced when it came to the protection of constitutional rights of the blacks?

even when written down?



If so, then what would have guranteed the protection of individual rights of the blacks?

gregnyquist said...

John: "Many producers are 'Shrugging in Place.' This is not invented. It is real."

"Many" producers? How many is "many"? It would be nice to have some hard data on this to see what it really amounts to. And how many of these producers really would be making money if they were unfettered? What exactly are they producing—or what would they be producing if they weren't shrugging? Isn't there a danger that some of these self-proclaimed "producers" might be using the threat of higher taxes and more government interference as a way to excuse their own entrepreneurial shortcomings? After all, we don't know as yet how bad Obama's really going to be. Indeed, if his cabinet picks are anything to go by, he seems much less worse than one might have originally feared. Instead of moving toward the left as soon as he won the presidency, as many of us feared he would, he seems to be moving to the right. Even Obama's tax policies, while hardly ideal, aren't necessarily any worse than what prevailed on Reagan and Clinton. Keep in mind, when Atlas Shrugged was published, the top marginal tax rate was over 90%! Yet Rand was not running around at the time telling businessmen to quit: on the contrary, she wanted them to stand up for themselves, to assert their moral rights, etc. etc. Given the tendency of Rand's followers to exaggerate how "collectivist" everything has become (or will become) and their refusal to fight within the system, it's difficult to take all this supposed shrugging very seriously.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

After all, we don't know as yet how bad Obama's really going to be. Indeed, if his cabinet picks are anything to go by, he seems much less worse than one might have originally feared. Instead of moving toward the left as soon as he won the presidency, as many of us feared he would, he seems to be moving to the right. - Greg
___________________________________




Austan Goolsbee is going to be one of Obama's economic advisors.

He's from UofChicago.

Jason Sieckmann said...

Sorry it took me so long, my site went down while we were doing overlays in wordpress, and I had to scramble to get something back in place.

I do love not only the lack of censorship here (gives you the chance to make a fool of yourself as the people here are already intellectuals,) but the sheer quality of responses I get.

I was hooked on Ayn Rand as soon as I read Atlas Shrugged (though I think the book is, in fact, terrible.) After getting over the book being a crude noir with pseudo-rape scenes redefined as 'romantic.'

After doing even a little analysis on Rand's characters, bells went off in my head suggesting that she was incapable of seeing herself as anything other than one of her protagonists. It's not that I don't feel that the struggle is epic, it's that I don't think it plays out in page-long paragraphs in 8-point type with run-on sentences.

Was Rand always wrong? I don't think so. And, a lot of other people that are voices for capitalism came from her teachings; people like Penn Gillette. Everyone here needs to understand that, to anyone on slight outside of this debate on Rand, we really are splitting hairs.

The average person will just NEVER figure out that Objectivism and Libertarianism are different; and then if you start to mention classic Liberalism and Anarcho-capitalism; plan on their eyes getting distracted by the nearest bright color.

I do have a question for all of the writers and commenters here:

What do you consider yourselves politically? Libertarians? Empiricists? (please no one say Technocrat, or I'll show you a video of a dog kept alive on by a machine in Soviet Russia)

Lastly, this blog is more than excellent; but I think you deserve some money if you are going to try this hard and write as this level of education. You should monetize it; seriously. It's NOTHING to set up an Amazon advertiser account and a Wordpress account. Just saying, people like me would go there and buy things because you know your stuff; stuff like the books you recommended for me today :)

P.S. I'm reading the site from 2006 up to date to capture all of your arguments b/c I get off on philosophy for some weird reason.

Now onto your very well-put questions Mr. Grant...

a) slavery was allowed to lull the southern colonies into comfort concerning what they considered to be a property rights issue. And, in a sense, they were correct in this assertion. Of course, contrary to Ayn Rand's thoughts on human rights descending from property rights; slaves are humans treated as property.

Slavery was never moral; as can be seen in the opposition of abolitionists in one form or another throughout history. What they were mainly lacking was mass (or massive for the time) media and unity from that media. So, not everyone always felt that using another human being as property was moral; which I believe is easy to conclude on; as empathy is not a new development amongst civilized man.

B) Didn't someone say, "For the right price, everyone's a whore"?

If someone said that, it still isn't true. There are people principled enough to stay true to their beliefs without failure; provided those beliefs are sustainable and don't run counter to basic human nature and nurtured development.

With that said, I am discussing a minority of people. Just as socialism is desirable and politically advancing to certain individuals and groups; that doesn't make it okay under any circumstance. Why? Because taking someone's money to pay for so-called 'socially just' acts is stealing; whether ideological or not. I'm sure the Christians felt that the crusades and manifest destiny were 'socially just.'

C) I'm with Penn Gillette on the issue of reparations to either blacks or natives. Simply put, those people are dead. The only people left from those original sufferers are beggars hoping to cash in on ethnic pride and national guilt. What's done is done. Native Americans were as much at war with each other as they were with the U.S. government. They failed to organize against the guns and germs of the Europeans, and thus lost a series of wars. If anything, their severe disunity strengthened the hunger of whites to united in taking their land.

As for blacks; they were primarily sold by their fellow black men. Through acts like tribal warfare, raiding, and birth; blacks were as much a danger to themselves as a racial collective as they were to any outside race. It's now increasingly ironic in the modern era to note that roughly half of the world's black population is Christian and the other half Muslim; as the first religion was full of the people that bought them; and the second was full of the Arabs and Persians that sold them. The lesson? Collectivism wasn't working for them then; and isn't working for them now. If they are intent upon racial unity for money; they should consider the country of Liberia as a refuge to 'get back to basics' -as that would be the most accurate and practical way to do so.

Otherwise, the failure of blacks in America to see themselves as Americans in the sense that whites and other races do only serves to polarize other Americans against them collectively. Thus, they become one of a thousand bickering tribes to be tuned out or glared at.

So no, they can't have a dime. I'm part native american, where's my check? I'm part German, where's my check for the bombing of German property during two world wars? Oh, that's right, those groups came out on the losing ends of warfare; as did captured and sold blacks during the slave trade. Was it okay? Nope. Did it happen? Yep. What should we do now to move on?

Surrender tribalism.

C) Constitutional law protects both the ruling class and citizenry by allowing for the first to not be upheaved and beheaded, and the second to have the maximum amount of options to succeed by choice. In constitutional, capitalistic society; the rulers don't have much to do other than look out for the enforcement of constitutional law. Obviously, we have become strayed from that path.

As for blacks and constitutional authority versus their freedom; I don't think that it was an issue that could have been solved without A) excessive federal force (which is what Sherman and Grant ultimately did) or B) crushing the south economically after their secession by allowing for complete freedom of industry in the north. Also, the north should have continued western expansion and officially announced non-citizen native americans as enemy combatants. This would have forced the south into probable destruction under it's own weight and slowness to keep up with technological improvements in the north.

It would have been interesting to see; as it would have been the Berlin Wall of it's day. And, if they both ended up free trade economies and slavery was abolished in the south; then would it really have been that bad?

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

I do love not only the lack of censorship here (gives you the chance to make a fool of yourself as the people here are already intellectuals,) but the sheer quality of responses I get. - Jason
___________________________________





Indeed. This site is very unique in that regard.

Most other political sites are "fixed", that is, if you are a good debater who wins square and fair against the favored idealogy of the site, the "moderators" will not hesitate "edit" your post to make you look foolish.

Or will "edit" their post after you responded to make you look foolish.


Some are "conservatives", some are "liberal".

I wasn't popular with either of them, for I stick to what is what, instead of usual partisan bs.




___________________________________

I was hooked on Ayn Rand... - Jason
___________________________________





I was, too, for awhile, after seeing "The Fountainhead".

There's something suspiciously "Socialist Realism" like about the movie.

With Howard Roark substituting for Lenin, Stalin, or Putin.

Damien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damien said...

Jason,
Red Grant,

I agree with both of you. I don't like censorship. If someone makes a blog and can't handle criticism, he shouldn't allow people to post comments on his blog. That at least is better than letting people post comments and then editing your post or editing their comments without their permission to make them like bad when you don't agree with them.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

The human and property rights

under a capitalist system are derived from laws created by

the constitution (should a nation have one.)

And, in our nation, by

the founding fathers. - Jason
-----------------------------------
The constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery, nor should slavery have continued. - Jason
___________________________________






So according to you,

1. the constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery,

2. The human and property rights

under a capitalist system are derived from laws created by

the constitution (should a nation have one.)

And, in our nation, by

the founding fathers.

then:


why did you say that:

___________________________________

a) slavery was allowed to lull the southern colonies into comfort concerning what they considered to be a

property rights issue.

And, in a sense, they were

correct

in this assertion.


Of course, contrary to Ayn Rand's thoughts on human rights descending from property rights;

slaves are humans treated as property. - Jason
___________________________________
?



Does this mean then you believe slavery was a matter of legal property rights even though the constitution did not allow it?

or


property rights and human rights under capitalism did/do not necessarily derive from the constitution?


or


U.S. then was not a capitalist nation?

Jason Sieckmann said...

I was actually thinking that Rand loves to bust everything up into intrinsic, subjective, and Objective.

But, really, Objective, as she sees it, is actually intrinsic-subjectivism.

Intrinsically, she beliefs that capitalism and hero-worship (gross) are good things; while subjectively applying them from her own view point as correct (subjective.)

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Jason,
Red Grant,

I agree with both of you. I don't like censorship. If someone makes a blog and can't handle criticism, he shouldn't allow people to post comments on his blog. That at least is better than letting people post comments and then editing your post or editing their comments without their permission to make them like bad when you don't agree with them. - Damien
___________________________________





Well, at least we agree on something.

But, I also don't care too much for a whining "crybaby" who makes half-baked self-contradicting statements, and caught at it, doesn't even have the decency to stop whining.

He only embarrasses himself and others who espouse whatever idealogy he thinks he believes in.





___________________________________

What do you consider yourselves politically? - Jason
___________________________________




Well, let's just say, I'm not a favorite with neither "Right", "Left", nor "Center".

Actually, I consider myself pragmatic realist.

that is, I believe in what is what.

I am more interested in substance than style.

I am not biased toward neither dictatorship, oligarchy, monarchy nor democracy, or republic.


I believe in meritocracy.



Right now, political style I'm leaning to is toward competently managed state capitalism combined with the elements from free market, and competently managed Keynsian moneytary system.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

I was actually thinking that Rand loves to bust everything up into intrinsic, subjective, and Objective.

But, really, Objective, as she sees it, is actually intrinsic-subjectivism. - Indeed
___________________________________




Indeed.




___________________________________

Intrinsically, she beliefs that capitalism and

hero-worship (gross) are good things ... - Jason
___________________________________




So do you think there are no genuine heroes?




___________________________________

Many of the founding fathers such as John Adams opposed slavery; but the potential loss of the southern colonies was too great to press the issue. Thus, blacks in the south remained sub-human to the majority of newly-founded America. - Jason
-----------------------------------

Didn't someone say, "For the right price, everyone's a whore"? Red Grant
-----------------------------------

If someone said that, it still isn't true. There are people principled enough to stay true to their beliefs without failure; provided those beliefs are sustainable and don't run counter to basic human nature and nurtured development. - Jason
-----------------------------------
Many of the founding fathers such as John Adams opposed slavery; but the potential loss of the southern colonies was too great to press the issue. - Jason
___________________________________







Does this mean then you believe John Adams and many of the founding fathers who opposed the slavery qualify as "whores"?

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Because taking someone's money to pay for so-called 'socially just' acts is stealing; whether ideological or not. - Jason
___________________________________





Didn't the capitalist nations also steal through colonialim, and manifest destiny?




___________________________________

I'm sure the Christians felt that the crusades and manifest destiny were 'socially just.' - Jason
___________________________________




You mean the real Christians who accept the message of Jesus for real

as opposed to "Christians", those who merely claim to be Christians?





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C) I'm with Penn Gillette on the issue of reparations to either blacks or natives. Simply put, those people are dead. - Jason
___________________________________




Okay, so following your logic, then:


one or one's successors who benefited from the original robbery/killing doesn't have to pay reparation to the victims and/or victims' descendants if one kills all the original victims instead of letting some of the victims live long enough to produce children?




___________________________________

What's done is done. Native Americans were as much at war with each other as they were with the U.S. government. They failed to organize against the guns and germs of the Europeans, and thus lost a series of wars. If anything, their severe disunity strengthened the hunger of whites to united in taking their land.- Jason
-----------------------------------
C) I'm with Penn Gillette on the issue of reparations to either blacks or natives. Simply put, those people are dead. - Jason
___________________________________





So does this mean then you believe it's okay to rob and kill peoples so long as they are at war with one another and fail to unite in single monolithic bloc?


Some Aliens from outer space could use the similiar logic to kill everyone on earth?

Would you find it acceptable?


Does this mean then another country or a group of countries would have had the right to attack and conquer U.S. and C.S.A. during the Civil War?

and once the conquest was complete, won't ever have to worry about reparation so long as they manage to exterminate the entire population of U.S. and C.S.A?



or


does your logic only apply to the blacks and the Natives?

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

As for blacks; they were primarily sold by their fellow black men. Through acts like tribal warfare, raiding, and birth; blacks were as much a danger to themselves as a racial collective as they were to any outside race. - Jason
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Does this mean then you believe it's okay to enslave peoples so long as their own peoples are willing to sell them?


___________________________________

Otherwise, the failure of blacks in America to see themselves as Americans in the sense that whites and other races do only serves to polarize other Americans against them collectively. - Jason
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Has any race (with the possible exception of the Natives) in U.S. suffered as much as the blacks?

Since when have the White Americans as a group treated the Blacks as equal Americans?

When white Americans as a group didn't treat the blacks as equal Americans, why do you think the blacks should see themselves Americans in the sense the white Americans as a group see themselves?

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

As for blacks and constitutional authority versus their freedom; I don't think that it was an issue that could have been solved without A) excessive federal force (which is what Sherman and Grant ultimately did) or B) crushing the south economically after their secession by allowing for complete freedom of industry in the north. - Jason
-----------------------------------
Constitutional law protects both the ruling class and citizenry by allowing for the first to not be upheaved and beheaded, and the second to have the maximum amount of options to succeed by choice. In constitutional, capitalistic society; the rulers don't have much to do other than look out for the enforcement of constitutional law.

Obviously, we have become strayed from that path. - Jason
-----------------------------------
Who decides what is moral? It's a broad question in the sense of how many people are involved.

Honestly, I would have to say that

the constitution and any law that protects individual liberty without making room for the harm of others through physical force or seizure of their assets. - Jason
-----------------------------------
The human and property rights under a capitalist system are derived from laws created by the constitution (should a nation have one.)

And, in our nation, by the founding fathers. - Jason
-----------------------------------
And I definitely see your point; it can be up to interpretation. That necessitates the state to act on some kind of

hierarchical moral grounds; in our case the constitution. - Jason
___________________________________







So the constitution doesn't necessarily protect the human and property rights of its citizens, does it?



___________________________________

Many of the founding fathers such as John Adams opposed slavery; but the potential loss of the southern colonies was too great to press the issue. Thus, blacks in the south remained sub-human to the majority of newly-founded America. - Jason
-----------------------------------
The constitution as proposed did not allow for slavery, nor should slavery have continued. - Jason
-----------------------------------
Slavery was never moral; - Jason
___________________________________






Does this mean then you believe U.S. was not a moral nation?

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Also, the north should have continued western expansion and officially announced non-citizen native americans as enemy combatants.- Jason
-----------------------------------
As for the Native Americans, no, it was NOT okay for the U.S. to behave like 'sociopath.' Nothing makes it okay to kill other people for any reason other than self defense. - Jason
___________________________________






Does this mean then you believe U.S. should have behaved like a 'sociopath', something you consider to be NOT okay?




___________________________________

And, if they both ended up

free trade economies

and slavery was abolished in the south; - Jason
___________________________________




The South had already been for free trade.

It was the North that had been anti-free trade.




___________________________________

B) crushing the south economically after their secession by allowing for complete freedom of industry in the north. - Jason
___________________________________




The South was a lot richer than the North.

North was not in a position to crush the South economically.

Economically, it was the South that was in a position to crush the North.

btw. The North could not afford the complete freedom of the industry.

meg said...

It's a variation of "WAAAA I'm moving to Canada"

I love the comments on that page. I can't believe these people are for real. My favorite is:

I think L Raj is an ignoramus and is very likely one of those unproductive types. Children are “unproductive” on purpose. Plenty of other countries have productive children manning sweatshops. Besides that, the last time I checked the various markets serving the wants and needs of children from toys to schools are quite large.

What "L Raj" said was "Caring for others makes us human.

If we looked after only ourselves and had nothing but contempt for the weaker sections of society, how would we call ourselves any better than “animals” ?

Remember, you were also unproductive once - as a child and will become unproductive again when you retire."

"Children are unproductive on purpose"? I don't think children really have much say in their "purpose" of being unproductive, or anything else they do for that matter. So basically what Wannabe-Galt is saying is that only useful purpose for children is to man sweatshops and (if they are so fortunate to live in rich capitalist economies) guilt tripping their parents into overpaying for shitty toys produced in sweatshops.

Unbelievable.

Damien said...

meg,

I'm sorry, but what are you talking about? What is that page and who is L Raj?

meg said...

I'm talking about comments to the going John Galt article

Damien said...

Meg,

Thanks for clearing that up.

Damien said...

Meg,

By the way, I personally think whoever said what you are quoting here, needs to think things through a little more.

--------------------------------------------------
I think L Raj is an ignoramus and is very likely one of those unproductive types. Children are “unproductive” on purpose. Plenty of other countries have productive children manning sweatshops. Besides that, the last time I checked the various markets serving the wants and needs of children from toys to schools are quite large.
--------------------------------------------------

Most American Children are not unproductive, getting an education instead of working in a sweat shop is not unproductive. American parents should be glad their children don't have to work in sweat shops to feed the family and get a good education instead. Working in a sweat shop would be better than starving to death, but I wouldn't want to have to work in one, or one of my children to have to do so. Seeing to it that most of a nations children get a good education is good for society and it is good for economy. One major reason for Japan's success is its culture's high value placed on education. Societies where most of the children work in sweatshops are poor, not wealthy. Its the wealthy nations whose children go to school instead of working in sweatshops.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Children are unproductive on purpose"? I don't think children really have much say in their "purpose" of being unproductive, or anything else they do for that matter. So basically what Wannabe-Galt is saying is that only useful purpose for children is to man sweatshops and (if they are so fortunate to live in rich capitalist economies) guilt tripping their parents into overpaying for shitty toys produced in sweatshops. - meg
-----------------------------------

Seeing to it that most of a nations children get a good education is good for society and it is good for economy. One major reason for Japan's success is its culture's high value placed on education. Societies where most of the children work in sweatshops are poor, not wealthy. Its the wealthy nations whose children go to school instead of working in sweatshops. - Damien
___________________________________






So public schools at taxpayers' expense for children, even for the poor could serve a very valuable economic purpose?


or

the education should be done by private schools only (so that the taxpayers, especially the rich ones don't have to pay for the education of the children from poor)?

Damien said...

Red Grant,

Education gives people an edge, and having the people of one society generally more well educated than another, gives that society an edge. Most high paying jobs require a lot of education. Also, really poor people are too busy trying to survive to get a really education.

To answer your question, I support both public and private schools.

Red Grant said...

___________________________________

Education gives people an edge, ... - Damien
___________________________________





Not always necessarily, (depending on what kind of education, that is,)

...but generally more likely to give an edge.



___________________________________

To answer your question, I support both public and private schools. - Damien
___________________________________




Glad to hear that.

I enjoy asking one of those "free market fundamentalists" who oppose government intervention at taxpayers' expense,

which school do they send their own kids.

Damien said...

Red Grant,

Of course you're correct to say that education does not always give people an edge. I should have clarified by saying some like "education usually gives people an edge"

And I'm also glad to hear that you support the idea of having both public and private education.

meg said...

I think education is not productive in and of itself, but rather an investment to increase future gains. It is sacrificing present productivity or income to invest in increasing your skills for [hopefully] higher productivity and income in future. However, one criticism of this thinking that has been brought up here is that education does not always increase productivity or give people an edge. This is especially true today when the cost of education can be prohibitive and not at all commensurate to the expected gains of future income or employability. I made a post about education on my blog a while back http://megsmargin.blogspot.com/2008/02/rocky-vista-university-founders-med.html

I’m not sure the answer is necessarily to increase high school or college graduation rates, and keeping middle class and lower income groups in school longer paying through their nose for degrees from mediocre institutions that will probably not do them much good anyway. Higher education is most appropriate and useful for people who want to work in an academic and intellectual or innovative setting, and less so for commercial or technical jobs. Also, it is most useful to people who are inclined toward intellectual pursuits. It would be better to increase the quality of basic K-12 education such that kids develop skills to equip them for life and work in the outside world, rather than watering down the curriculum so the lowest common denominator of students can graduate.

Finally, “productivity” is another loosely defined term in Objectivlish-speak. Apparently it is more “productive” to sit around talking and writing books about philosophy, but it is immoral and unproductive or counterproductive or destructive to get involved in the politics of economics by working for the government or Federal Reserve to bring about a measure of change in an imperfect system because it would be giving a “sanction” to the enemy. Indeed, it is most productive to just sit around and not do anything at all and wait for the current economic system to collapse!

Also, Rand considered pursuing various fine arts as “productive”, but only as long as she “approved” of the finished product. I think it’s hard to put a precise value on how art or how worthy or productive the pursuit of art is, but there is definitely some sort of value, albeit different from the productiveness of producing something absolutely necessary for survival such as food or clothing. My point being that the definition of “productiveness”, one of the sacred cows of Objectivism, is at least somewhat open to interpretation.

Damien said...

Meg,

You said,
------------------------------------------------------------
Also, Rand considered pursuing various fine arts as “productive”, but only as long as she “approved” of the finished product. I think it’s hard to put a precise value on how art or how worthy or productive the pursuit of art is, but there is definitely some sort of value, albeit different from the productiveness of producing something absolutely necessary for survival such as food or clothing.
------------------------------------------------------------

In a way its very odd of Rand to be so judgmental of anyone who simply liked a song she didn't like. This attitude is rather incompatible with support for individualism, something Rand claimed to be a major supporter of.

Andrew said...

Jay Cross-

"I think Hank Rearden is the man and I still well up with joy when I think of how he said "fuck you" to that parasitic society in Atlas Shrugged."


Rands bitter polemical phrases including such words as "parasites" are not only immature, but it is morally reckless to use language in this way. This label your attaching to people as "parasites" is dehumanizing, degrading and out of touch with reality.

The vast majority of the time it is through no fault of their own that people are in horrendous circumstances. So blaming the "parasites" down at the welfare office, simply serves to vilify someone without providing any real insight or solution.

Sadly, Rands personal psychology and intellect was such that she seemed to hold this extreme contempt for some of her fellow man.

I agree we should focus our efforts on cultivating creativity, productivity and technical innovation. However, some are less fortunate than others and they do not deserve to be degraded.

Severe psychological damage (sexual and other child abuse rates are underestimated by statistics), low intelligence and other deterministic factors make being a paragon of productive genius out of reach for many people.

I enjoy Foucault's view on polemics, as he said, "If I open a book and the author is accusing someone of infantile leftism, I shut it again right away." As he elaborates, a whole morality is at stake. The polemicist by their nature denies their adversary a right they presuppose.

With intransigent Ayn we get into sermonizing polemics and dehumanizing labels, sprinkle a bit of righteous capitalist on top and a healthy dollop of ego and there you go.

Which is why after reading The Fountainhead, Capitalism The Unknown Ideal, Philosophy Who Needs It and getting 150 pages into Atlas Shrugged, I decided to shut it.

You can get a lot further with 1100 pages elsewhere.

I will try to check this post again for a reply.

Damien said...

Andrew,

Does Hank Rearden actually use the "F" bomb in Fountain Head? Wasn't that book written in the fifties? So why wasn't there this huge scandal?

Andrew said...

Damien-

I think Jay Cross added that expletive to give some extra wow to the exciting escapades of one Hank Rearden, a character of Atlas Shrugged. The inventor of Rearden metal, an invention not yet re-created in our second-rate real life society, probably due to the high number of "parasites" we have to fend off. Too many of our "creators" shackled to the bottomless pit of social needs through our socialist government structure.

Of course, as pointed out, our "creators" could "go Galt", but where would they go? And most importantly, how would a society of "creators" function? Who would scrub the toilets and take orders at the drive through? Surely not Hank Rearden or John Galt, or any other serious "creator" who was dignified enough to "go Galt".

"Going Galt" would amount to an impractical temper tantrum. No responsible person would consider such a retreat from society.

lila beta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meg said...

"Going Galt" would amount to an impractical temper tantrum. No responsible person would consider such a retreat from society.

Two words: Ted Kaczynski