Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
  • °

    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    Taxing The Income Taxers

    Collectivist
    By Collectivist,
      Taxing The Income Taxers Understanding The Nature ofTaxes!
    The view that a government any government ( or any administration for that matter) has the right of unlimited power over its citizens is called by various names, (most often referred to as republicanism, fascism, communism, totalitarianism and other particular unlimited ism’s) but it is mostly and widely referred to as  statism. The difference between all these are only in their form and nature of its forced and self appointed legal absolutism over its citizens. Statism denotes an all powerful political expression of joined collectivism or more simply as a “welfare guardian” of the individual. Under both a moderate or strict statist government, an individual has no choice but to do what the state demands, no if's and’s or but’s. The most obvious and simple example of this is taxation (from here on in I will refer to as government as referring to all forms of ism’s as indicated above). Taxation can be defined as a government practice over a city’s, town’s, state’s and/or nation’s control over a particular economic area. It’s income is a demand over its entire populace as a piece of pie out of every single paycheck. There can be no resistance and no choice or recourse. To withhold a government's entitlement is to invite danger or worse. To a government withholding of its just “deserts” is always considered a crime. But what, you may ask, is the nature of this crime? And does that mean that every person which producers (works) and therefore contributes to the sum total of a government’s income is a potential criminal? Would you be surprised if the answer was a resounding “Yes!” The first and foremost role of government is to prevent the initiation of the use of force and to protect those who are directly threatened by such. This we can all agree. But the initiation of force is exactly what the government does by collecting taxes from a given paycheck out of every individual within its jurisdiction. The fundamental principle here is that no government should be invested with the legal right or power to the use of physical force against any individual ('s) to act contrary to their voluntary choice (s). But again it is just what the government does by initiating the coercive action of taxation. “Coercive action” can be made by threat, legal action, property expropriation, imprisonment or in extreme cases death! Refuse or resist to pay what a government “feels” is their right of a “stated amount” of your income and these things may fast become a reality. Here is where you may be criminalized even if your intent is but fundamentally disagree in what is your “fair share”. If the government says it isn’t enough, then brother you better head for the hills! What then is the answer? You say you must pay your taxes or you may find yourself in jail, separated from your family and marked for life or worse! Not so! In a truly free society (granted our country has not yet gained this obvious objective), taxes would be paid voluntary without compulsion or coercion! No one would or could tell you what to pay or how much. What? Who would want to pay anything out of their pockets freely and to an entity or entities they may not agree with? Everyone-here’s why. Imagine one afternoon you arrive home from a family outing and you find your home has been burglarized, you reach for your phone but there is no police to call. You stand outside watching your house burn down one afternoon but firehouses do not exist. A loved one is having a health difficulty but EMT is nowhere to be found. Your water faucet ceases to work because of a main pipe break down the road but “public works” has yet to be created. Roads are full of potholes but who will administer to their repair? These and a host of other problems will arise if no one steps up or believes in voluntary funding of necessary government administration. But the question remains how to administer voluntary government funding in all the possible situations that can arrive in the course in a day, month or year (s)? That question can only be answered by rational individuals who see the necessity of such funding. Can we do this now, today? Yes, if we see the true nature of individuals living to further life-sustaining, and life furthering actions and take responsibility for themselves. One, therefore, should be willing (and want) to pay for an administration of public and national defense, public utility repairs and such and so on. The final question remains how much one should voluntary pay? Immediately a second related question should be asked-how much is my life worth and am I willing to take responsibility for it? The exact amount cannot be calculated by any one person. If that was the case a person would have to spend endless hours going over budgets, manpower needs, compitent hiring practices etc. and have no time to live his life. So this question is hard to answer and at this time may not be answerable until individuals reach a point of cooperation that exceeds government coercion but one thing would be sure, if voluntary funding of government was possible then waste, low productivity, career and corrupt politicians all all the other evils that go along with today’s coercive type of taxation would cease immediately-and wouldn’t that be nice!

    The Anti-Concept of Anti-Reference; Paradox

    SpookyKitty
    By SpookyKitty,
    Consider the following: What this proof shows is that the concept of "anti-reference", i.e., the non-meaning of a concept is an anti-concept since it always leads to a contradiction. It seems therefore that we cannot always tell what a concept does not refer to even if we can always tell to what it does refer to.

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    MisterSwig
    By MisterSwig,
    In the November 1966 issue of The Objectivist, Ayn Rand wrote: It might be said that fifty years ago nominalists self-identified as "non-binary definitionists." True and false pertained to propositions, but not definitions. A proposition suggests mere possibility, but a definition suggests actual certainty. And certainty implies knowledge of reality. If the goal is to enslave people's minds, then you certainly don't want to encourage them to pursue knowledge of reality. Fast forward fifty years to today, and the nominalists' appetite for slavery has turned to the social-political realm. Now they self-identify as "non-binary genderists." Male and female pertain to propositions, but not definitions; the mind, which possibly reflects reality, but not the body, which certainly reflects reality. If the goal is to enslave people's bodies, then you certainly don't want to encourage them to pursue knowledge of reality. Slavery is about controlling people's minds and bodies. Nominalism is a philosophy of slavery. A nominalist wants to be a master, a ruler of humans. And so he places himself above normal humans, both mentally and physically. Mentally he is a "non-binary" word-maker, whose speech must not be questioned. And physically he is a "non-binary" entity, whose very identity must not be questioned. When he says he is this or that, then he is this or that. And if he orders you to call him she or they, then your duty is to call him she or they. For he is the master, and you are the slave. He is a member of the "non-binary" royal family. And you are part of the lowly, unenlightened "binary" or "cisgender" class. If Rand were alive, she might say that nominalism has managed to reach an even deeper depth than anyone ever imagined possible. Verbal and sexual aberrants are being crowned as intellectual and moral superiors. And we, the normal ones, are the tolerated clown jesters of the circus kingdom. Drag queens and miladyboys. Bow down to your new rulers!  

    What Sonic The Hedgehog Shows Us About Evil

    CartsBeforeHorses
    By CartsBeforeHorses,
    As I've mentioned elsewhere, I am making a YouTube video about Sonic The Hedgehog and why the character remains so popular, despite decades of declining game sales. I tie this in to the Objectivist conception of good vs. evil, and how that is such a powerful idea conveyed by Sonic and how he acts within the world of his games. Most Sonic fans understand this conception at a subconscious level, as this conception resonates deeply with them, but it has never been stated outright on the internet in these terms. My script for the video is available below; please provide any feedback that you think might make it better. ===== Why Is Sonic the Hedgehog Such a Popular Character? Sonic the Hedgehog has always been one of my favorite fictional characters, and I’m not alone. Sonic has maintained a persistent popularity among internet fans, especially compared to long-time rival Mario. Look at the number of fanfics that have been written about Sonic the Hedgehog on Fanfiction.net. Absolutely dwarfs Mario, with 38k Sonic fanfics compared to 9k for Mario. The number of Sonic deviations is over 2 and 1/2 times as many as Mario deviations on DeviantArt. Sonic AMVs on YouTube are 1.5 million strong, almost neck and neck with Mario AMVs, which number 1.51 million. This is despite decades of declining game sales. No Sonic game has sold more than five million copies since 1994. Compare this to Mario, Sonic’s longtime rival, during the same time period. Mario games still sell like hotcakes, with New Super Mario Bros. Wii selling 30 million copies in 2009, one of the best-selling games of all time. And he’s still going strong to this day. Despite declining game sales, Sonic fans still love him as a character. Something about Sonic as a character is so appealing that his fans are inspired to create thousands and thousands of works of the mind that Mario fans simply don't make. Something about Sonic strikes his fans at a much deeper level than Mario strikes his fans. Maybe it's Sonic's coolness. Sonic is fast, he’s got attitude, he’s like a living sports car. That makes Sonic cool, right? Well, to answer that question, we must first establish what “coolness” is. Coolness is an admiration that people have for a person or object, based upon certain traits which they celebrate as superior to other traits. Cool is relative, and can only exist in a certain context. Smoking used to be cool back in the 1950’s. It was sleek, glamorous, and cigarettes tasted smooth. Society saw models and actors who smoked as better than ones who didn’t. But then the health consequences of smoking were discovered, and over the next few decades, smoking’s perception among the public changed. Smoking went from being a cool, sexy, and badass habit to a nasty, stinky, and dirty habit. I still smoke, though. Sorry Sonic, I know you told me not to. In the same way as cigarettes were once seen as cool, Sonic might have been seen by the gaming public as cool back in the 1990’s. But cool doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and the declining game quality in Sonic is legendary. In this decade? He’s unfortunately gone from being cool, to being an internet joke. Fans of Sonic don’t seem to care, though. Despite Sonic and his fandom being ridiculed online, they continue to produce creative works praising their beloved mascot. He might not be cool to the internet or to most gamers anymore, but he’s still cool to the fandom. Why? Does the answer lie in-universe? Is Sonic cool within the context of his own games, comics, and shows? Admittedly I haven’t seen every piece of Sonic media, or played every Sonic games, and I’ll leave the deeper nuances for YouTube commenters who might know a little more to answer this question than I do. Even if I did know more, Sonic is often portrayed differently depending on the games, the plots of which often are incomprehensible even to diehard Sonic fans. Nevertheless, I believe I have enough of a basis to answer the cool-in-universe question…. let’s begin. Cool is relative, so we must judge Sonic’s coolness in his own universe by comparing him to other characters in universe. Sonic is always the fastest character in the games, enabling him to enhance his powers with rings and chaos emeralds. His self-proclaimed “girlfriend” Amy is attracted to his power and speed. Sonic is orders more powerful than the defenseless woodland creatures or clueless humans that he saves from destruction in the games. Sonic also has attitude, but never in a condescending way like his friend Knuckles often has. His attitude arises from his confidence in himself, his abilities, and his smarts... compare that to the insecure Tails who looks up to Sonic. Sonic isn’t a genius like Tails, but he’s certainly on the smart end, and I would say has more common sense than most of his friends, who look to him in a leadership role. The Sonic games all reward inquisitiveness and exploration, and many of them reward the ability to solve puzzles… or just the ability to try out “self-evident” solutions. Most importantly, though, Sonic is a good guy. He pursues his own ends and goals as a good guy should, never using underhanded methods to get them like Dr. Eggman does. Sonic is also friendly, and inspires loyalty among his friends because they all have each others’ backs. Sonic always rescues his friends when they’re in a bind, and they come to his aid when he needs them. Sonic’s friendships, from his point of view, are based on mutual exchange of value. I won’t get into all of Sonic’s friends, but suffice it to say that Sonic is a confident and capable ring leader. Heh. For all of these reasons, I think it’s safe to say that Sonic is cool within universe. Is being cool and having a large cast of friends enough to inspire such loyalty amongst Sonic fans? Not by itself, no. Sonic is not just cool, he’s also a heroic character. Sonic is fast, smart, and has a can-do attitude. Compare that to his evil nemesis, the slow, lumbering, incompetent Eggman, or Robotnik as he was once known. While Sonic inspires loyalty and friendship, Dr. Eggman can inspire nothing. His goal of “roboticizing” everything by force and bringing about “Eggtopia” are laughable. Thus, Eggman must resort to enslaving small woodland creatures to fight for him. Eggman’s own creations like Metal Sonic often rebel against him and his bizarre goals, as do many of his former partners including Knuckles and the Deadly Six. For these reasons, Eggman has come to hate Sonic over the years… solely because he’s the good guy, and Eggman’s obsession over destroying Sonic often leads to his own defeat. Sonic, though, has no similar hate towards Eggman. If anything, he views him as a minor nuisance.  As the good guy, Sonic realizes how competent and excellent he is, and how weak and pathetic Eggman is. Defeating Eggman is still challenging for him (and the player), but it’s a challenge that he always knows that he can win, and his confidence and indomitable spirit takes him and you, the player, to eventual victory. Sonic knows that, if he’s ever in a bind, he can count on his friends like Tails and Knuckles—to name just a few. In the original trilogy at least, Sonic fights Eggman not to rescue some princess like Mario. Not blindly guided by prophecy like Link. Not for unearned gain like the evil GTA “protagonists.” Sonic feels no cumbersome duty to fight Eggman… he fights Eggman because it’s fun for him! Sonic is such a powerful figure because he teaches us something about life in a way that other video games simply don’t. This giant contrast in the Sonic games between good’s competence and evil’s impotence strikes the hearts of fans more than anything else. Most fans might only grasp this at a subconscious level, and a lot of Sonic fans don't even know why they like Sonic. But the contrast resonates with them because it’s true to life. Sonic’s can-do attitude demonstrates that no matter what evil you observe in your surroundings, you must never accept it as normal or permanent. You’ve got to fight against whatever evil you find in your life. We don’t have super speed like Sonic. We can’t turn invincible and fly. What we do have is the internet, which enables us to spread our good ideas at lightspeed around the world. Your mind matters. Your reason matters. Your ideas matter. Your words matter. Many governments and religious fanatics around the world have a vested interest in suppressing your speech. Corrupt, evil politicians hide their theft and graft in the darkest of corners; they hide their evil plans to trample, enslave, and replace their own people, to terrorize them. They jail, tax, and even kill those who speak out against them. Standing up to them is not, and will not be easy. But just like Sonic, our ideas are true, our motives are pure, and we will win. All Sonic needs is one ring to survive, and so long as he keeps picking it up, he’s invincible. All freedom needs is one person who refuses to accept evil’s dominance, and he can spread his ideas far faster than censorship or oppression can contain him. We need Sonic as a culture, because he condenses this long speech I just gave into a simple idea. A powerful good guy against a bad guy who at first seems intimidating, but in the end is revealed for the paper tiger he always was… that all evil men are. Once you know that, fighting evil can become as fun for you as it is for Sonic and the players of the Sonic games. I leave you all with one of my favorite songs in the world… the song “Sonic Boom” by Pastiche and Spenser Nielsen. These four didn’t care or know about Sonic before being commissioned by Sega to write this song. They were probably just told to write a song expressing the triumph of good over evil, how fighting evil is fun once good guys realize their own power. In that, they succeeded. ===== So, what does Objectivism Online think? Have I clearly enough tied the concept of the impotence of evil, and its subconscious adoption by Sonic fans, to his disproportionately large popularity as a character? Does this strike you as a reasonable explanation, or have I missed something? Eager to hear everybody's thoughts.

Portal by DevFuse · Based on IP.Board Portal by IPS
×