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  2. Devil's Advocate

    Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

    And yet here we are (in America) consenting to be part of a Constitutional Republic. Compliance is only required to the degree that individual rights may be secure from coercion by one another and the government, at least in principle.
  3. Chapter X: How Are States Really Born? Fairy Tales Some parents tell their younger children that newborn babies are delivered to the home, sometimes adding the detail that a stork drops the newborn on the doorstep. No parent ever believes that, so why do they say it? Perhaps because the full truth is bloody and unpleasant, and a pre-pubescent child wouldn't be able to fully understand it anyway, the lie prevents some avoidable distress [to the parent as well as the child]. At any rate the truth must come out when the child is older, this merely prolongs a child's innocence and ignorance for short while. Instructors in politics, law, and philosophy tell their students about how states are born by invoking a similar fairy tale. They say that while living in a state of perfect freedom and equality, each individual consents, together with countless others, to form a government and to submit to its dictates. None of them believe it, so why do they teach it? Perhaps to protect the minds of their students from ugly and unpleasant truths. Unfortunately the truth does not necessarily reveal itself in time. The story of consent is impressed upon students at every level of their education, high school, college, grad school, law school. Legislators, scholars and jurists of renown still have this fairy tale taking up space in their minds where actual competence is needed. The fiction that states are formed by the consent of individuals hides from us the way in which states are born, and goes on from there to confound our understanding of how they continue to exist through time, of what holds them together, and of what destroys them. How the State Comes into Being The "state of nature" described by Locke or Hobbes in which individuals were loyal only to themselves has never existed. The political order of anarchy is the order of clans and tribes. There is no permanent central government, no standing army or police force, no bureaucracy capable of raising taxes sufficient to maintain such a force, and therefore no one with the ability to issue decrees that can then be imposed by means of armed force. A clan or tribe acts as a unified body when agreement of the clan or tribe exists that its leaders have decided a given matter correctly. Where such agreement is lacking loyalty of the clan or tribe to its leaders can still bring the tribe to act. And finally, the pressure that those who agree with the decision and those who accept it out of loyalty together bring to bear on anyone who remains uncertain will bring those to act. Where these are insufficient, the clan or tribe simply does not act as a unified body. The disadvantages of the order of clans and tribes are that defense is based on a fractious and irregularly trained militia, justice is attained only with great difficulty, and the customs of religion are maintained only voluntarily. When tribes and clans fall away from loyalty to their common customs and to one another, warfare among the tribes, injustice, and defeat at the hands of foreigners inevitably follow, with no one having the ability to set matters aright. The state is born out of the relative weakness of the old order of tribes and clans. A standing central government establishes a professional armed force that is not disbanded in peacetime; a bureaucracy capable of raising taxes sufficient to maintain such a force; and a ruler or government with the authority to issue decrees that are then imposed, where necessary, by means of armed force. Thus the political order of the state can defend the tribes against external enemies, adjudicate and suppress disputes among them, and institute uniform religious rites [or more generally, a uniform culture] on a national scale. The state is created in two ways: voluntary and involuntary. The voluntary state, or the free state, is created by heads of a coalition of tribes, recognizing a common bond among them as well as a common need, coming together to establish a national standing government. Free states are created by joining together, consolidating, existing political structures. The loyalty to the new layer of political hierarchy is founded first in the loyalty to the leader and structure that made that decision and second, if the leadership's decision was sound, that the interests of the new state are in fact common with his own. Examples in history of free states: the coming together of the tribes of Israel, the joining of the former colonies in North America first into a federation then into a constitutional union, ancient Athens constituted several clans thus making it a tribal city-state [rather than a national state, the usual modern form], Alfred unifying England. The involuntary state or despotic state is the subjugation of conquered clans and tribes. Foreigners or usurpers rule with no mutual loyalty to the ruled. Force is required to compel individuals to act as if they were loyal. A tyrannical state can suppress dissent by force and terror, impress workforces for large projects or military service, and can extract taxes to pay for the foregoing and make bribes as well. States can also come into being by the combination of the two methods. A method that never comes into play is consent of the governed individuals. The consent of the individual never comes into play in the creation of states. Obviously the despotic state has no role for consent. In the free state the decision for unification takes place in counsels to which the common man has little access. It is thus the interests and aspirations of the tribe and the nation, as these are understood by the tribal leadership, that are decisive in the birth of a free state.[Where cohesion is strong the individual will be loyal to the new state out of loyalty to the tribe, and if he does not agree with the decision of his leadership he can at least be counted upon to comply in action. Hazony does not make the following summary formulation it is mine: the state is founded upon compliance not consent.]
  4. The article states that Thailand has a 60 percent tariff, and that Harley-Davidson was avoiding the tariff by producing in Thailand. That is a plain example of an economic incentive inducing action. If there is a rights violating initiation of force here, it appears Thailand initiated it with its very high 60% tariff rate. Responding tit-for-tat with equivalent tariffs against Thailand is the proportional response. After trade is harmed in both directions by symmetrical high tariffs then perhaps Thailand may reconsider its strategy and lower its tariffs. That seems to have been the outcome with Trump's other successful trade negotiations, so why couldn't it work again? Qua political theory, no. Nationalism does not need to rely on racism as justification. Racism has been around long before nations were founded. Nationalism's relation to racism is neither cause nor effect.
  5. Dick Morris explains how seven Republicans who -- as of election day -- had won congressional seats in California, "lost" them weeks later: If you have a ballot lying around, he'll fix things for you. (Image via Wikipedia.)California sends ballots to every voter before Election Day, whether they request it or not. All the voter needs to do is to fill in his choices and mail the form back. But if the mail ballot is not received by Election Day, it can still be counted if a sealed, completed ballot is dropped off with elections officials by hand -- and the voter does not have to drop off their ballot in person. In 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown opened the door to fraud by signing a law allowing anyone to drop off a ballot for another person. This gave rise to a new practice known as "ballot harvesting," in which Democratic Party canvassers visited people who had not voted on Election Day and collected their mail-in ballots and turned them in on their behalf. This year, a record 250,000 people voted by having someone else turn in their vote-by-mail ballots. [bold added]I am stunned, even in this day and age, that this law is even on the books. (Neighboring Arizona actually has a law making it a felony for anyone but a postal worker, family member, or caregiver to turn in a ballot on behalf of someone else.) It is clearly hopeless to change this law by legislative means in California, but it seems like something that shouldn't be necessary since this clearly violates the rights of voters. That said, a quick search shows no pending legal action against this law, although a site called Judicial Watch claims to be "investigating" the problem. (Posted there is a video, allegedly of a harvester in action. Quote from a partial transcript: "It's Lulu, I'm here to pick up your ballot. Yeah, we're offering this new service but only like, to people who are supporting the Democratic party.") I hope this law and others like it are challenged in court and declared unconstitutional. -- CAV Link to Original
  6. So you take Trump's actions generally as being supportive of free trade? Here's an opinion considering that analysis, among other possibilities. I don't know. I think it's possibly an error to consider Trump as being particularly principled in any direction -- except for the bedrock that is his own aggrandizement. But it certainly seems to me that he's not afraid to violate what I would otherwise consider to be free markets, or the individual rights which make free markets possible. If that's a "negotiating tool," I don't know that it makes it any better. I don't think he cares about things like "rights." In any event, how do you square your interpretation with Trump's threatening US businesses against moving overseas? For instance, here is a write-up of Trump's reaction to Harley-Davidson. This does not sound to me like a principled free-trader in action. Race has nothing to do with nationalism, either currently or historically? All right. I think there's possibly something arguable here, but I'll leave it for others, or for another time. Okay; I will look forward to that being addressed later. Do you also consider it a "valid and pertinent question" as to how it is proposed to enforce a preference for nationalism? Perhaps we have decided that the Quebecois and Basques, etc., should have states -- or perhaps not -- but how generally does the nationalist propose to preserve his culture against demographic shifts, immigration and emigration, influx of foreign media, etc.? Can this be done without violating individual rights?
  7. human_murda

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    I failed to mention: this is because of the spread of the English language in India. Perhaps, lack of interest in capitalism doesn't need to have any deep meaning. The reason could be something as unphilosophical as people learning English. Due to this. Not due to IQs. How do you get data about the IQs of different parts/nations of the world (used to build up your argument), if not from Lynn and Vanhanen.
  8. Yesterday
  9. Devil's Advocate

    Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

    I believe 2016 marked that point.
  10. Farmers are traders. Everyone who produces something to sell is a trader.
  11. Devil's Advocate

    Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

    Producing is a trade, i.e. a trader by profession. We needn't identify every participant as a trader who produces pork bellies vs a trader who buys pork bellies. The Trader Principle applies to both.
  12. Producers. There are traders who only buy and sell, for example, on a commodities exchange. They may buy and sell pork bellies, corn, wheat, etc. without ever producing those things. If farmers didn't produce those things, the traders couldn't buy and sell them.
  13. Devil's Advocate

    Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

    In the context of laissez-faire capitalism, what else is necessary but the presence of traders? I believe it's worth remembering that Ayn Rand wrote of capitalism as an unknown ideal, and it remains so today. That's not to say that we haven't benefited by the mixed version that we do know and experience, but only to recognize that the "failures" of capitalism are failures of regulation. I don't believe that the State will get it right someday, or that it will give up trying, but I remain optimistic in the promise of capitalism. The bottom line is, "separation" means separation.
  14. So much to unpack here.... Let me start at the end. This part : "The reason mixed economies are inevitable .." I am disappointed to learn that you don't regard capitalism as actually achievable. That must put a real damper on your overall optimism. The separation of church and state was first achieved only on the basis of a particular national political and religious culture. If ever the separation of state and economics is to be achieved it too will only first happen within a particular national cultural context that makes it possible, not an overnight worldwide revolution. Erasing nations and nation-states would erase the means by which political progress is made at large scales. Capitalism is not merely the presence of trading.
  15. Trump uses tariffs as a retaliatory measure and negotiating tool against other countries tariffs and trade controls. He has already dropped tariffs where progress on trade agreements have been made. See the USMCA agreement and the announced basis of negotiation with the EU From https://www.npr.org/2018/07/25/632436795/trump-announces-trade-deal-with-european-commission-that-will-lower-u-s-europe-t As for your other questions, Hazony has been taking pains to emphasize that the basis of mutual loyalty is shared values and specifically shared actions to gain or keep values in the face of joint adversity. Race has nothing to do with it, not in the present day and not in the ancient biblical roots of nationalism that he cites. There are hundreds of occurrences of the word 'nation' in the King James presentation of the Old Testament, a period of history when there was no science of biology and no possible biological rationalization of race awareness. Certainly people noticed different features of different peoples but they also noticed their different architecture and different gods and temples. Culture is primary. Further chapters will spend additional time hammering that point home. It is a valid and pertinent question as to which nations also should have states. The short answer is: not all of them. That gets addressed in a later chapter.
  16. Devil's Advocate

    Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

    A social context is created simply by the interaction of individuals (no state required), and a legal scheme provides security for, but is not what is capitalism because traders will still trade and be held accountable even in anarchy. The rest is simply enhancement. Culture leans to heavily on nationalism when the individuals within that "culture" are required to conform (by association) to the directions of that group. I hold to Ayn Rand's contention that a separation of state and economics is necessary for the same reason state and church is. The reason mixed economies are inevitable is because the "invisible hand" is inevitably a national one.
  17. That is an immediate descent into incoherence. If capitalism is an individual resource because the individuals are free than tyranny is an individual resource because you have to oppress the individuals. A social context is required for any political theory to be applicable, so no, capitalism is not an individual resource. It is also well settled in both Objectivist and wider pro-capitalist thought that what makes capitalism possible is a government with a legal scheme and that protects property rights systematically. Put emphatically, it is simply impossible to have capitalist political system without a state. The additional point of nationalism qua political theory is that is also necessary to have a nation, some(any) particular national culture, to maintain a state.
  18. I think this question is "superficial and artificial" partly because it's not yet clear exactly what we're discussing, in terms of actual policy (and thus how it might intersect with capitalism/individual rights). Is this supposed "nationalism" versus "imperialist" discussion merely a question of organization (like discussions of the federal government/states rights)? Or are there actual policy proposals, waiting in the wings (like how "states rights" have sometimes been used as a cover for slavery or Jim Crow)? For instance, Rand's quote also speaks glowingly about "free trade," but I don't know that most people I'd consider nationalist (historically or currently) are generally proponents of free trade. If Donald Trump is meant to represent "nationalism," say, then at least his brand seems to me to be more protectionist. And in those situations where there exists some group, like the Quebec separatists, are we meant to be in favor of their nationalist ends? And what of their violent means to achieve them? I mean, even granting for the sake of discussion that there's some sense to the idea that speaking a separate language, or having a different cultural or ethnic identity, implies something about desirable political organization (otherwise highly questionable, imo), it's yet unclear what people are supposed to do about that, in reality. In the United States today, there are some who believe that white people and black people cannot fundamentally coexist under the same government -- are they supposed to have a point? Should they be regarded as separate "nations," and drive towards separate states? At what point are we simply rationalizing tribalism?
  19. Devil's Advocate

    Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

    The problem is that capitalism is an individual resource, not a national one because nations can only produce mixed economies. In that respect it doesn't mater if you're referring to one nation or many, for the same reason as one or many groups, only individuals have rights. A national border represents a constraint of capitalism, so having them wither away by allowing individuals to contract as traders (not citizens) is the ideal form of capitalism.
  20. "Progressive" politicians in New Jersey are citing "discrimination" as their excuse to violate the rights of businesses such as Amazon that wish to set up cashless stores. The state, along with several municipalities, is considering forcing essentially all brick-and-mortar stores to accept cash: It is immoral to force anyone to keep piles of cash lying around, and impractical, if consumer interests really are a concern. (Image via Picabay.)As technology gives consumers more ways to pay, including with their smartphones, some businesses have gone cashless to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of robbery, among other reasons. But consumer advocates say cashless businesses effectively discriminate against poor customers who don't have access to credit or bank accounts, and seniors who aren't comfortable paying with plastic or digital devices. [bold added]As with other improper, rights-violating measures (e.g., the minimum wage and "ban the box" laws) foisted on the public in the name of addressing "discrimination," this will also fail to achieve its alleged goal. Off the top of my head: Have these "consumer advocates" not heard of "food deserts" -- poor areas in cities that lack grocery stores? Cashless stores alone would not solve the problem, but it's conceivable that the ability to operate without mounds of cash on hand might make it safer enough for at least a few businesses to enter or start in such potential markets. And as for "the unbanked" not being able to pay, I am sure some enterprising soul could come up with a pre-paid way for many of them to use such stores, if that hasn't been implemented already. But that's not even the half of how ludicrous such proposals are. For that, we can start to see this from a report in the British Guardian: I sat down to eat a curry I had bought (with old-fashioned cash) from another Hatch unit. Then, an Öl barman brought over a conciliatory glass of beer, on the house. I told him the bar's cash-free policy is elitist; who wants to be forced to put a pint on a credit card? He talked about time saved and how not having cash on the premises was safer for the staff. We politely agreed to disagree. Relating this later, to Öl's co-owner David McCall, I find him irrepressibly upbeat, as if everything is going to plan: "We have probably given away 10 beers to people who didn't have cards -- and a few when Visa went down. But we would rather give you a free beer than give the bank five grand, and we want our staff to feel secure. On our second week, we were broken into [overnight] with sledgehammers. All they could take was one iPad." McCall's Manchester coffee shop Takk takes cash. But opening Öl and a second Takk at the student-oriented Hatch was a chance to dispense with the £3,000- to £5,000-a-year in bank charges that the original Takk, like every business, incurs for depositing cash. "We pay above Living Wage [Foundation rates], but we want to pay our 25 staff more," says McCall. The savings made by going card-only will help with that. plastic or digital devices. [bold added]First, nobody is forcing anyone buy anything. Second, guess who loses when their employer's costs increase? Or is it "elitist" to make entry-level employees accustomed to higher pay levels? Another report from the same paper underscores how absurd this idea is: The smartest businesspeople I know don't need a state law telling them it makes the most business sense to accept all forms of payment.(!) If it's smart, why pass a law? And if we "need" a law (We don't, but still...), perhaps there's something we're missing. These points both come up even before we ask the following question: "By what right does the government force someone to accept any given form of payment?" One would imagine at least one of the sympathetic lefty reporters I'd read might appreciate the point: All dislike having to make payments in a certain way preferred by a businessman. And yet, I don't see any evidence that they do -- although I am sure none of these bloodhounds would appreciate being forced to receive their pay as cash. How hard is it to imagine that the businessman, a fellow human being, might likewise not appreciate being told what form of payment to accept? It is just as wrong for the government to tell a merchant he can't decide how he is to be paid as it would be for the government to tell all of us how to pay (or be paid), and for exactly the same reasons. -- CAV Link to Original
  21. I'm hoping you don't need an answer to that.
  22. Superficial yet also one of the day's deadliest issues. Is this a paradox or poor writing by Rand? No. Capitalism versus socialism is the more basic question because it can be answered by using the moral concept of individual rights and ethics is epistemically prior to politics. Nationalism versus internationalism can be such a deadly issue because of the possibility of ensnaring an entire nation into a international agreement or policy which will result in open warfare. This first sentence nicely dovetails with Hazony's Part I critique of liberals Hayek and von Mises supporting world governments. Here's the money quote: From this we have: the primacy of domestic affairs in a nation's interests; an affirmation that individual rights and individual interests can be the basis of defining a nation's interests; and that national interests are the basis of international cooperation. Rand here is endorsing the role of the nation-state in the international political order and definitely not envisioning a utopian future where all the states and their borders whither away.
  23. Not a bad point there, Miss Rand. Indeed, the nationalism vs. internationalism question is superficial and artificial. Nationalism has no virtues, nor does socialism, nor does internationalism per se. Only capitalism does, and international agreements only have virtue to the extent that they facilitate individuals' freedom to trade and move between states. P.S. You really should be more careful about the ghost of a dead individualist philosopher taking over you fingers and posting corrections to your collectivist book review, Grames. It's hurting the cause.
  24. Last week
  25. Salting the thread with some actual Rand content: From THE AYN RAND COLUMN
  26. LIG The album cover was made by me. I made all of the instrumentals on this album. I take full credit for all of the vocals on this album. There is an Objectivist-theme within my lyrics. I will post the links to my album at the bottom of this post. A few underlying references to Rand's philosophy on the album: "Dealing with matters of atom and matter, start at metaphysics . . . Existence is without a limit, keeping your principles rigid" - Vitality "Do not lose hold of your focus / mental stagnation is hopeless" - Vitality "Thought so persistent, calling it the intuition / Clarify all of this before nostalgia hits: mental cognition" - Vitality "A valuable lesson from reason, I mean it" - Zenith "I think that if you reinvent your mindset and become more rational you will be better off" - World Revolver "My soul is a vacuum / it's absorbing all my values" - Ravenous Soul "Maybe once the album dips, intellect activist" - Ravenous Soul "You have to remain devoted / to all the things you have rationally chosen" - Mural. Girl "Uplift the broke soul with conscious identity / entities develop mental integrity, it's a necessity" - Mural. Girl "I don't mean be snobbish, I mean use your logic / we are atomic(s) with options" - Mural. Girl "The root of achievement is becoming aware of things that you value in life" - Satellites "The proper extension of living so plentiful starts off with selfish expression" - Satellites "Explanations are too infinite; just like the universe that we are living in" - Satellites "Your rationality is a necessity . . . you can expand your awareness, no mental energy makes things careless" - Eudaimonia "If you use logic you will become broad" - Logical "I think I think every problem through" - Logical "By selling your soul, acting irrational just to get gold / depression once you get old, or happiness if you're bold" - Logical "I do not care about sadness / whatever happens will happen, study Atlantis" - Colosseum "Think about cognitive faculty . . . studying different creations will raise internal motivation, actually" - Galaxies "I do decide to not compromise" - Galaxies "Think about cognitive faculty, making sense of this morality" - Faculty "You should focus on reality, stop those calamities" - Faculty "Have a rendezvous with cognition / no point to sit while reminiscing / I just love all of this profound existence" - Piranha "Decades of pure rationality . . . someday this could be a masterpiece" - Piranha SoundCloud: Bandcamp: https://richardk.bandcamp.com/album/lig YouTube:
  27. [warning: this is a long post] Chapter IX: The Foundations of Political Order Politics, Done Empirically [these bolded topic headings are my creations, the text of each chapter is a single smooth presentation] definition of politics: "the discipline or craft of influencing others so that they act to accomplish the goals one sees as necessary or desirable." [This is a good objective definition as opposed to a normative definition. ref: The Principle of Two Definitions It establishes a category of observable actions much broader than just 'the actions of or concerning governments'.] Individuals can obtain some values acting alone. Other values either require or are much easier to obtain by working with others. But others have their own values, and may be indifferent or hostile to our values. The fundamental problem of the individual living in a social context is the political problem of influencing others to act to gain or keep one's own values. [Translated into Objectivist jargon.] [Objectivism names one solution to the problem of influencing others: the trader principle. But that is a high level abstraction and a normative one at that. In the spirit of descriptive empirical investigation a lower, intermediate level of abstraction is appropriate. ] One solution to the problem of influencing others is establishing a group of like-minded people. Examples of standing bodies or collectives of individuals are: family, clan, tribe, nation, state, army, religious organization, business enterprise, and chess club. definition of institutions: human collectives that persist over time, keeping particular fixed purposes and forms (ex. the name, procedures for deciding and acting at the group level, facilities, etc...) An institution teaches, persuades, or coerces its members to abide by its own accepted general rules and procedures before action is needed so the collective can act reliably and promptly, rather than persuade or coerce individuals anew as each action is called for. Three Possible Motives for Individuals to Join Collectives [no claim this list is exhaustive] individuals will join if threatened with reprisal individuals will join if offered payment or other advantage individuals will join if they see the interests and aims of the institution as their own In the face of ongoing cost, effort or adversity the motive of payment creates the weakest institutions because of the possibility of withdrawing or defecting to a different institution based on a cost/benefit/risk analysis. Intimidation against individuals or their loved ones can produce more stable institutions but only so long as a credible threat can be maintained. The strongest institutions are those wherein the individual sees the interests and aims of the institution as their own. Example: Consider a soldier who takes up a rifle in the hope of establishing the independence of his people after a long history of persecution. Such individuals do not need to be coerced to fight, or to be well compensated for their services. The identification of the interests and aims of the collective as his own is what moves him to acts of bravery and self-sacrifice that no intimidation or promise of pay could elicit. Human individuals are capable of regarding the aims and interests of a collective or institution of which they are members as their own, and of acting upon these aims and interests even where such action will be detrimental to their lives and property. No convincing account of how strong human institutions are built can be made unless this capacity is at its center. Extension of the Sense of Self The human individual is by nature fiercely concerned to ensure the integrity of his or her own self. Self refers to the body which has a biological fight to flight reflex. The same fierceness also applies to the protectiveness over land or possessions, defense of one's reputation when accused or insulted, and the defense of loved ones. All of these—property, reputation, family—are all experienced as if they are also a part of him insofar as his consciousness has embraced them. [They are integrated to some degree into his self-concept, his sense of identity.] This capacity to regard others as part of one's identity is not restricted to kinsmen, but can include a friend, townsman, platoon member, or any other human being based on some possibly abstract grounds. [How much is Ayn Rand through her works part of our identities even for those of us who have never met her?] "What we see across the range of human activities and institutions, then, is that the self of the individual is by nature flexible in its extent, and is constantly being enlarged so that persons and things we might have supposed would be outside of him and alien to him are in fact regarded as if they were a part of himself." [Inserting endnote 2 here:] Loyalty definition of loyalty: the attachment that results when an individual includes a certain other within the purview of his or her self. definition of mutual loyalty: the bond established between two individuals when each has taken the other into his extended sense of self. Persons experiencing mutual loyalty remain independent persons, and may experience competition, insult, jealousy, and quarrels as independent persons do that are spouses or siblings. But as soon as either of them faces adversity, the other suffers this hardship as if it were his own and in-progress disputes are suspended or forgotten. When the hardship is overcome, they experience a sense of relief and pleasure, of walking together in joy, each recognizing the happiness of the other as his own. These experiences of adversity and triumph establish a strong distinction between an inside and an outside: an inside, comprising the two individuals; and an outside, from which a challenge arises against them and in the face of which they experience a joint suffering and a joint success. Institutions that are Small and Strong Institutions constructed principally out of bonds of mutual loyalty are the most enduring and resilient institutions. The family is the strongest and most resilient of all small institutions known to human politics, precisely due to the existence of such ties of mutual loyalty between each member of the family and all of the others. Bonds of family loyalty can be either birth ties or adoptive ties (spouse to spouse and spouse to in-laws are adoptive and parent to child can be adoptive). The squad or section is the small scale military unit of about 10 men, led by a junior officer or sergeant. The capacity of this unit to function under extreme duress depends on its ties of mutual loyalty, founded upon each individual's personal acquaintance with all the others and extensive experience of relying upon them for support during training and combat. [Other examples include: small towns or villages, churches, local political factions and unions, and street gangs.] Political Order is Hierarchical Larger scale political institutions of every kind are built upon small institutions such as the family or the squad. Heads of families can be brought together in an association of mutual loyalty to one another, creating a clan. A clan may number in the hundreds or thousands and may be scattered over a considerable territory. Heads of clans can unite to form a tribe that may have tens of thousands of members. Heads of tribes can come together to form a nation whose members number in the millions. This process of consolidation is familiar from the Old Testament history of Israel and from the histories of the English, Dutch, Americans and many other nations. [Note that when consolidation happens the lower layers are not dissolved, they persist.] [Thus the four part hierarchy Hazony uses is: family, clan, tribe, nation. Settling on four is somewhat arbitrary, the scheme could be elaborated upon by distinguishing more layers but there is less room to remove layers. From endnote 7:] Transmission of Loyalty up the Hierarchy For a child raised within a clan it is not possible to directly develop a bond of mutual loyalty with most other individual members of the clan. But his parents, who have direct bonds of mutual loyalty to the other heads of families, experience the suffering and triumphs of the clan as if these were happening to themselves, and they give expression to these things. And so the child, who experiences the suffering and triumphs of his parents as if they were happening to him, is able to feel the suffering and the triumphs of the clan as his own as well. Thus even a very young child will feel the harm and shame when another member of his clan is harmed or shamed by members of a rival clan. In this way, the child’s self is extended to embrace the entire clan and all its members, even those whom he has never met. And because of this extension, he will be willing to set aside even bitter disputes with other members of his clan when a threat from the outside is experienced as a challenge to all. [also from endnote 7:] Like ties of loyalty to the clan, the bond of loyalty to one’s tribe or nation grows out of loyalty to one’s parents: The child experiences the suffering and triumphs of his tribe or nation as his own because he experiences the suffering and triumphs of his parents as his own, and the parents feel and give expression to the suffering and triumphs of the tribe or nation as these unfold. endnote 5 Cohesion definition of cohesion: the bonds of mutual loyalty that hold firmly in place an alliance of many individuals, each of whom shares in the suffering and triumphs of the others, including those they have never met. The concept of cohesion can be applied at any scale. endnote 6: The Limit of Consolidation Nation can develop attachments to other nations. The English-speaking nations are sometimes referred to as a "family of nations" due to both common descent from English influence and experience of common struggle against the Axis powers of WWII and then against the communist bloc of nations during the Cold War. The Hindu peoples of India have a similar relation to each other founded in common struggle against Islamic and English domination. What has never been seen is a genuine movement toward mutual loyalty of the entirety of the human population worldwide. That would require a worldwide common adversity as an impetus. [The conclusion from this point is that a world government is compatible and possible with an imperialist political order, but a nationalist political order will not have impetus to organize itself beyond international agreements among groups of nations.] Biological Kinship Not Essential to Mutual Loyalty Long years of joint hardship and success are essential to establishing ties of mutual loyalty, not kinship. The husband-wife bond is adoptive, families can adopt children, clans can adopt families, tribes adopt clans and nations, tribes. An isolated individual, having been cut off from his own family due to war or disease will invariably attach himself to a new family or a new clan, lending his strength to theirs and gaining their protection. The constant regeneration of bonds of mutual loyalty implies that there can be no society whose member individuals are without loyalty to anyone other than themselves. Even in modern society, where the traditional order of clans and tribes is weakened or supplanted by formal state structures, collectives built from bonds of mutual loyalty are visible everywhere: there are still churches, political chapters, schools, and other community organizations equivalent to the clan level. On a national scale, powerful religious, ethnic, sectoral, and professional associations vie with one another as if they were tribes. The attraction of individuals, even under the modern state, to ally themselves to collectives is a constant. [I would call it a facet of human nature, an attribute of the identity of humans.] [Anecdotal evidence from an entirely different perspective: the progression of American situational comedies from family situations (Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Brady Bunch, All in the Family, etc...) to modern "found family" situations (of Friends, Seinfeld, Cheers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Big Bang Theory, etc... ) The depiction of mutual loyalty remains the same and is necessary to the format which seems to work as well even without depicting kinship.] Health and Prosperity of a Collective Words such as 'brotherhood' 'health' and 'prosperity' when applied to collectives are metaphors drawn from the life of the individual, but the underlying referent of the usage is real. "Health and Prosperity of the Family" refers to at least three things: physical and material flourishing - health and property and their increase strong internal integrity - the bonds of mutual loyalty, honoring differences in age or status, minimizing discord the extent and quality of the cultural inheritance that is transmitted by the parents and grandparents to the children (3 is a significant means of accomplishing 1 and 2) The individual at all times experiences the strengthening or weakening of his family as something that is happening to himself. And because this is the case, he is constantly moved to take action to defend and build up the family in its material prosperity, in its internal integrity, and in its capacity to transmit an appropriate cultural inheritance to the children. Thus parents will take employment not to their liking in order to feed their family, spouses humble themselves for the sake of peace in the home, the older devote long hours teaching children even though the children have a limited ability recognize the value of what they are taught. All of this happens not out of altruistic impulse to help a stranger, but because strengthening the family is experienced as strengthening themselves. In principle the health and prosperity of every human collective can be measured in much the same way as that of the family. When individuals take into their own hands the task of strengthening the tribe or nation, they do so not out of altruism, but because strengthening the tribe or nation is experienced as strengthening themselves. No universal ideology—not Christianity or Islam, not liberalism or Marxism—has succeeded in eliminating or even weakening this intense desire to protect and strengthen the [particular] collectives to which an individual also belongs. As that desire is derived from the individual desire to defend his own life and improve his material circumstances it cannot be and should not be diminished. The devotion of individuals to particular non-universal collectives creates persistent division among mankind. But division is necessary for diversity, innovation and advancement. The separate nations of mankind are as validly viewed as walled gardens as fortresses, where what is original and different is given a space of its own to be tested. The figurative walls of language and culture provide both a means to nurture beneficial innovations in laws, morals and industry as well as means to inhibit the spread of what is destructive and misguided. [I put in all these endnotes to show that Hazony does not coin neologisms nor invent the definitions he uses. ] [endnotes 1-17 , the endnotes of part two are their own series]
  28. Eiuol

    Fred Miller

    This looks wonderful! I found a translation by Joe Sachs which is pretty precise, but I felt it was lacking in terms of going for the flow of ideas. Thanks for sharing.
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