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Belle24

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  1. I really appreciate all the thought and time you all have been putting into responding to and discussing my video. When I referred to meritocracy I was referring to people getting what they deserve, not political rule by the meritorious. I apologize for any confusion I may have caused regarding that. I am arguing that discussing the results when applied in real life is vital to a discussion of economic systems (or any kind of societal structure). An idea that sounds good in theory but doesn't work in reality isn't particularly useful. In other words, a discussion about philosophy needs to involve how it would work in real life. And when considering how an idea applies to real life, the tag "if someone is moral," isn't particularly useful; wishing that people were moral doesn't make them moral. As almost everyone has pointed out, Rand's philosophy is about individual freedom. Rand defines this as the freedom to trade and produce-- to live your life as you'd like-- not the freedom to use force. Freedom is having control over your own destiny. If you have no control over your own destiny you don't have freedom. So, I am arguing that Rand's philosophy is about having control over your own fate. I think everyone here can also agree that capitalism is at the heart of Rand's philosophy. Capitalism uses a very specific measure of merit-- productive ability. In Francisco's money speech, he describes this: "When men live by trade-- with reason, not force, as their final arbiter-- it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability-- and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward." In the ideal form of capitalism, if you are able, work hard, and have good judgment you will rise in society. As you have control, at least, over how hard you work, in a capitalist society, you have at least certain amount of control over your destiny. My video's critique is that certain factors, such as discrimination, can cause a meritorious individual to fail through no fault of his or her own. This takes away an individual's control of their own destiny-- taking away their freedom. This happens even though no one is using force against them. My critique of objectivism is that it does not come up with a practical solution to problems such as discrimination, which deprive individuals of their ability to control their own fate, and therefore deprive them of their freedom.
  2. I recently read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and greatly enjoyed both. However, I had several questions about how Objectivism applies to real life. I summarized my questions in this video ( ), using the book The Meritocracy Myth, by Stephen J. McNamee and Robert K. Miller Jr. as a counterexample. Could anyone give me feedback on how Objectivism addresses these issues? Thanks,
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