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Repairman last won the day on May 1

Repairman had the most liked content!

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About Repairman

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    Advanced Member

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    Southeastern Wisconsin
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    History, economic theory, psychology, films, custom cars and motorcycles. I actively write for the purpose of creating my own graphic illustrated stories. Also, I hold title to two investment properties as a proud capitalist.

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    United States
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    Of course I would be interested in meeting a woman with Objectivist views. Appearances do matter.
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  • Biography/Intro
    b.1959, SE Wisconsin. I have always had a deep attraction to comic/professional illustration, and often used my time in school to develop my own style. This got me into lots of trouble. At age 18, I lived independently, working factory jobs, until, at age 23, I supported myself through 2yrs of college. My choice allowed me to work in radio for 3 yrs. At age 26, I became a father. The State dictated the terms of my obligations, demanding 17 percent of my gross earnings for child support; my son's mother relocated to her original home, in a more affordable state hundreds of miles away. While I made every effort within reason to maintain contact with my son, financial obligations remained non-negotiable. This period of my life is difficult to explain, other than to say my choices included going to jail, or making more money. I chose the latter over the former. Eventually, I attained a career as a maintenance mechanic, and returned to factories. It is honest work, although it does not fulfill my aspirations. My obligations to others have been made whole, but my life remains an object under my continuous efforts to repair.
  • Experience with Objectivism
    I discovered the works of Ayn Rand late in life, however, many of my own life-long observations were so nearly identical to Rand's that I was immediately convinced of her genius. Since 2008, I have read Virtue of Selfishness; Capitalism: Unknown Ideal; The Fountainhead; Anthem; We the Living; and Atlas Shrugged. I have For the New Intellectual on CD. I have recently read Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, The DIM Hypothesis, both by L.Peikoff.. I have reviewed multitudes of YouTube videos, interviews, and anything about Rand, including many critical commentaries. I have also attempted to converse with others about Objectivism, but so far, my experience has been that most people are opposed to rational ideas.
  • School or University
    Associate Degree in Radio Broadcasting
  • Occupation
    Maintenance mechanic/ landlord / illustrator

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  1. Wayne, Welcome to the forum. "If you want to help them, you will not be stopped." How can this statement be interpreted to mean anything other than giving approval for you to use your own judgement and free will? The word, "selfishness," will carry a pejorative definition to most as long as they remain unaware of the antithesis of selfishness: selflessness. If one were to find the the dictionary definition of "selfish," they would find: self-interest. I made this discovery at an early age, and understood the truth of the matter that anyone who does not admit to taking an interest in one's self is a hypocrite. It was not until quite late in life that I read Ayn Rand, and discover the pejorative definition of selflessness, altruism, and sacrifice. It occurred to me at that point that a great many people world-wide and throughout history are not merely content to "save" other people, but to save those other people from themselves. The selfless altruist must oversee the lives of not merely the unfortunate ones who are victims through no fault of their own, but must make it the obligation of others to sacrifice on their behalf. Through the sacrifice of their leadership, the altruist concerns him/herself with the duty of "saving the world." Or on a smaller scale, the altruist must impress upon others their duty to the family, not from a selfish sense of compassion for those that are loved, but from a selfless sense of guilt. Compassion is a perfectly normal human trait, one that no doubt helped in the survival of mankind since the earliest days of his existence. Ensuring the survival of those you love, of those upon whom you rely for your own survival, be that in a material or an emotional sense, is no sacrifice. And if your compassion motivates you to lending assistance to those who have value, those whom you judge to be worthy of your assistance regardless of your familiarity, then, by all means act upon your selfish and rational judgment, and volunteer your support. True charity can never be an act of coercion; it is an act of selfishness.
  2. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Boydstun, I would disagree with this statement, only because more people of the United States, (and for that matter, the world) need to understand the complexity of Americas' past where race and slavery are involved. Specifically, Robert E. Lee was both a slave owner and aware of the evils of slavery, (or so I've read). That being said, there was a period shortly after the war, when brandishing the Confederate flag was illegal. That period passed into an period of reconciliation, rather than reconstruction, a period when the healing nation embraced the Southern white man for his valor, and the federal government abandoned the cause of leading the freedmen to full citizenship. Too many Euro-Americans are completely ignorant to the injustice of the Jim Crow Era, or they minimize the long-term effects. The erection of statues to Confederate war "heroes" and the revival of their flag were errors made out of a near-sighted attempt to pander to Southern nationalism, in spite of the obvious nature of the lost-cause of the South, i.e. the defense of race-based slavery as an institution. We are now in an era that may be understood only from a distance, just as those pre-Civil Rights years are better understood now. It would be right that those monuments, even the ugliest reminders of the KKK, and other relics of the post-Civil War Era be put on display in a museum, where they can be studied in their proper context, rather than as celebrated symbols of honor. And the Jim Crow Era might be better understood with its complexities. I honestly don't know the exact details of the "white-nationalist" protesters, but one thing is clear. That is, this nation, with all of the progress made toward liberty and justice, is degenerating deeper into tribalism. If these legally licensed demonstrator were allowed to make their statements without interference, we might better understand their grievances, or perhaps we would not have had such a tragic escalation of violence. Most likely, many would have been offended, but would anyone have been physically hurt? We'll never know. I expect this won't be the last such incident of this sort. Obviously, more restraint of personal feelings, a better understanding of history, and a moderated forum would help to create a more rational climate for debate.
  3. Novels to read before you die

    I'll second the motion for Heinlein's, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and having recently finishing Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, I'll cast a vote for it. In addition, anyone interested in Objectivism ought to read the two great novels by George Orwell's, Animal Farm, and 1984.
  4. Objectivism and me

    Welcome to the forum, Zack Gines. Have you read much of Ayn Rand's non-fiction? I'm looking forward to your contributions.
  5. Are you suggesting that there are no absolutes? As for the concept of individuals taking responsibility for their own lives, I suppose that couldn't possibly be taken seriously? Don't you suppose it's the responsibility of the individual as to whether or not they choose to poison themselves with heroin or meth? But again, these are straw-men and the real problem is how to convince others as to just what is meant by rational self-interest. Fifty years ago, people would never have taken you seriously if you advocated homosexual marriages or an African-American president.
  6. Szapalski, Check your premise. Your claim that Objectivism is somehow flawed has not been supported with substantive argument. This is because you have no argument. From everything I've read so far, your argument is as follows: 1) Objectivism does not specifically address the shortcomings of the welfare-state, it does not offer statistics supported with exploratory data. For example your rationale: or... This rhetorical listing of random libertarian policies is coupled with an acceptable generalization that, 2) these policies are unpopular. 1) Objectivism is a philosophy, not a registered political party. If you wish to debate the pros and cons of taxation or Medicaid, there are other threads addressing specific policies. Specific to your primary concern, 2) What difference does it make if an idea is popular or not, as long as it's right? Being popular is for politicians, not philosophy. Speaking for myself, I'd much rather be right than be popular. It's even better when I have the strongest argument. If I needed to persuade (for the sake of my personal satisfaction), I might switch tactics to meet the understanding level of my interlocutor. Whether I persuade them or not, it's not my fault that some people are incurable altruists or some other reality-denier. So, go ahead and reject Objectivism, but you'll be struggling for a long time trying to prove that its flawed.
  7. And yet, you expend a great deal your creative energy (and time) making a pointless argument. Obviously, you hold metaphysical convictions that conflict with Objectivism. Ayn Rand did not contradict herself. If you watch the Tom Snyder interview to the end, she uses a religious reference in closing: "God bless America." Immediately prior to that statement, she clarifies her use of the term, God, as meaning: all that is good. Clearly, she did not always express herself literally, although she seems to be very conscientious of her choice of words. There is no "perhaps" in regard to Ayn Rand's convictions. As a person of independent thought, you may interpret information, perceptions, sensations, or the random fulfillment of wishes any way you so desire, but that does not make your interpretations matters of fact. Selling a house or making a financial contract may very well be creative, but it is not art. Not by Objectivist definition. You could say that there is an art to installing PVC piping, or landing an airplane, or folding your laundry. You could say that there is an art to picking pockets, or picking up a one-night-stand date, or stacking a deck of cards. The creative process is certainly applied to all of these examples. Some require human intuition. But it's not art. And you can say that it is, just as you could say: A is non-A. But merely saying so doesn't make it a matter of fact. So, in response to your statement: "you do not perceive creating and reality the same way I do," you are certainly correct. Objectivists require facts and evidence to support their interpretations. The distinction between your perception of reality, from the Objectivist understanding of reality, is defined as: the Primacy of Consciousness, versus, the Primacy of Existence. If you have any further interest in the works of Ayn Rand, you may do your own research. But it seems to me that that would be as much a waste of your time, as you have stated that you believe in a multitude of "existences" and that all metaphysical interpretations are mere speculation. Score one for Immanuel Kant.
  8. "Blessed are the children for they shall inherit the national debt."--Chinese fortune cookie

    1. dream_weaver


      Sounds like a recipe for a Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times."

  9. Marxism

    If by coercion, you mean to apply military force, I would disagree; it would only be necessary to prevent a Marxist nation from taking the offensive and expanding. This was the doctrine of the Cold War, and for the most part, it worked. If we're talking about North Korea, my understanding is that this is a very different animal from other Communist countries. While I have not read the literature you've alluded to, I view the PDRK as having a unique ideological mysticism that drives its actions and confounds the world. I am not an expert on either North or South Korea, but from the little I've learned about the North, their national economic policies include counterfeiting, kidnapping, assassination, extortion, and a great deal of slave-labor. I am not aware of any part of Marx's plan that directly calls for these practices in the creation of the workers' utopia. Their arms-sales must be capitalistic enough to compromise with free-market principles. As you said, they have compromised their Marxist purity. I would argue that they've compromised it beyond anything resembling Marxism, and into something more along the lines of an organized crime superpower. Only to the degree that their government has had some success at re-inventing humanity into their collectivist ideal, I don't think it's reasonable to equate North Korea with Marxism. Perhaps a nuclear-armed cult would be more apt. Whether or not they prove to be a suicidal cult is yet to be seen. But they are not driving toward independence. They are very dependent on the production of wealth produced by other nations, as a parasite feeds on its host. But I would agree that there is method to their madness: klepto-capitalism writ large is working for now, but only because the nations of the more sane world have no plan to counter their policies. Marxist individuals are on average intellectual. They can be engaged to some pragmatic outcome, and their success, however marginal, relies on compromise with their opponents on the side of objective truth. Some nations are rouge-states. They cannot be engaged for any constructive outcome. For these reasons, I engage in debate with altruists (for lack of encountering very many Marxists) as individuals, and leave those on the world stage to debate the national and academic leaders of communist/socialist persuasion. So far, I have not heard of many public spokespersons advocating or even defending laissez faire capitalism. Is there any reason to wonder why the North Koreans are as successful as they are?
  10. Marxism

    William O, It may very well be a complete waste of time arguing with anyone about anything. Unless it's a matter of business, there is no profit in argument. However, I occasionally engage in argument as a matter of entertainment; i.e. I may not necessarily wish to change anyone's mind. I like to develop my persuasive powers, and I like to be right by objective standards. You are quite correct to emphasize reason as the fundamental means of validating one's convictions. And I think we can agree that it is reasonable to assume that some people could never be persuaded to change their minds about their opinion. In fact, most people are perfectly happy to make an irrational statement no matter how it fails to stand up to facts and sound judgement. Generally, I won't waste much time arguing with such people. Many Marxist/altruists meet this criterion. They will always hold to their convictions regardless of rational argument. If one doesn't wish to engage in argument for whatever reason, then don't. On the other hand, if I were to engage someone who recognizes the contradictions of their Marxist or altruistic orientation, I may find the process of persuasion enjoyable. It is an intellectual contest. Dealing with one individual may have no gain of anything other than a mutually gratifying conversation. I wouldn't be changing the world, but I might earn the respect of someone I might or might not otherwise consider to be my ideological adversary. I might even make a new friend. And a new friend has value. Then, I would not have wasted my time.
  11. Heirs to dictatorships

    Eiuol, Please consider that this hypothetical situation began with three distinct options: If X-Prince were Hitler's son, option three may be the best choice. National-Socialism was deeply ingrained in the minds of the German people, and socialism remains to this day. Empires destabilize for reasons other than civil war. Economic crisis often precedes the gradual decline and fall of empires, even massive empires. Had the Third Reich succeeded, I believe the global economy would have struggled with a severe depression resulting from trade restrictions with Europe. The prospects of the Third Reich collapsing within 100 of its proposed 1000 years would have been very high, just as the Bolshevik state crumbled from a weak economy and immoral foundation. But let's go with your scenario. If all that X-Prince could do is to set into motion a civil war within Nazi Germany/Europe, there would be no certain outcome; the chaos could last indefinitely. There would be absolutely no guarantee that any single group, rebel or otherwise, would take the advantage. Our enlightened X-Prince may leave his once-mighty empire a mere rump of its former glory, but the legend of empire lives on. In the aftermath, the prospect of prolonged misery would far outweigh the prospects of an enlightened and prosperous nation emerging. Germany's external enemies would certainly conquer it much more easily than they did in 1944-45. Or it could be left to collapse internally, without an external invasion, as was the case of the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991. With no external invasion, no alternative ideology would displace the traditional beliefs. X-Prince would be branded as a traitor. In a similar fashion, Germany was left to sort out its mess in 1919, they branded the liberal politicians as traitors; the results were not very good. Without the good fortune of an outside nation of more sound ideology occupying the former-Third Reich, West Germany would likely never have risen above the standard of the Wiemar Republic. Likewise, the former Soviet Union languished in chaos for nearly a decade before its ubermensch arose from the ranks of the KGB. Anarchy is not a very good prerequisite for good government in any situation; it is perfectly reasonable, even desirable to expect a strongman-dictator to rise from the ashes. Nazi attitudes would survive with or without an empire. If X-Prince could not turn public attitudes from racism, altruism, collectivism, and mysticism, the generational cycle of preparing for a return to empire would be every bit as likely as Vladimir Putin "making Russia great, again." While ideology is not exactly the same as religion, for an unreconstructed-former empire, nationalism and militarism would endure with the tenacity of an ancient and sacred belief. Assuming that X-Prince wishes to remake his nation in the form of an enlightened, prosperous, and self-sustaining state, he would need to address the ignorance, irrationality, and evasive attitudes of his citizens. (Incidentally, many historians and some Germans I've met hold to the notion that the Third Reich may have been more successful had it not been that many of its military leaders intentionally undermined the Nazi mission, after they realized the dishonorable character of Der Fuhrer, and his murderous plans. This melds with your scenario somewhat.) In a nation that has always relied on strong leadership, the character of the new-style leader must be unimpeachable. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of educating the descendants surviving former dictatorships, fictional or real. Beginning with a direct and honest assault on the worst characteristics of the dysfunctional society, one can only hope that the new (Objectivist) ideas would bear long-term results, in spite of the lessons of history to the contrary. If I may digress slightly: Look at how long it took to reconstruct the norms of the Southern Confederacy, and you'll still occasionally hear echoes of the past. "Ole times there are not forgotten." We are witnessing the echoes of Nazism in the streets of Germany even today, this after years of peace and pacifism. I am not by any means advocating a brainwashing program. I am advocating awareness of the irrational ideas that result in irrational violence even within our own borders. In our not-so-hypothetical society, we will not see the appearance of a hereditary dictatorship, (not likely.) But in the event that we continue to falter from the effects of a politically controlled economy and a lack of rational philosophy, on one dark day, future generations of Americans may find themselves desperate for one.
  12. Heirs to dictatorships

    Indeed, our hypothetical philosopher-king would never enjoy the luxury of taking both eyes off of his potential enemies. If we're talking about someone with the "moral character of John Galt," intentionally destabilizing your own nation to the breaking point, resulting in factions of rebel groups, would seem a bit out of moral character. Wars of any sort are messy. The end results seldom turn out as planned. The use of force would be restricted only to the just cause of self-preservation. Sending people to fight for or against causes they don't understand would make him no different than the old guard. Here, I'd like to take the liberty of creating a convenient identity for the reluctant ruler, that is, our hypothetical John Galt-like-dictator-philosopher-king does not intend to be a dictator nor a king; so may I refer to him as X-Prince? It's easier to use. Broadcasting the truth to the people would be essential. If X-Prince's means are deception, the ends will be that of a nation that regards deception as a legitimate means to they own greedy ends. When people have survived by living lies and sneaking about, they don't abandon their ways in a single generation. The lives of such people are well-documented throughout history. No one said it would be easy, but being honest to the people is critical to the nation's sustainability. Perhaps you're talking about concealing the intentions of reform until X-Prince holds the power to make his reforms. If that is the case, he would be rather tight-lipped until the day after his coronation. Having absolute power by law would allow him to change the law by legal right. But systemic justice can't be instituted in a single generation. In fact, it may never come, but the task of free people is to try to establish justice, or deliver it as close as possible. If people have never had justice defined to them, you can be certain it will never arrive. Indeed, our Objectivist X-Prince would need to be extremely careful, balancing both Machiavellian and Randian philosophies. No one said it would be easy.
  13. Heirs to dictatorships

    Well, if you consider waging war over three continents "non-violent", we may have very different standards of semantics. But enough about Napoleon or Lorenzo Medici, I understood this to be a thread about a hypothetical heir of a hypothetical dictatorship. More specifically, an heir that more than likely does not share the same ideas as his predecessor(s). The application of some degree of ruthlessness and guile would be necessary as means of survival for such "prince." Call it what you like. Inasmuch as we have not outlined any specifics of this dictatorship scenario, there are only a few generalizations that apply. 1) Power is concentrated at the top, perhaps shared by a few other elements, but not necessarily so. 2) We could assume that the common masses have been treated as children, or subjects to their sovereign leader, perhaps cowered into submission, but not necessarily so. Herein lies the complexity: How to transition power from absolutism to rule of proper law, when so many powerful and corrupt elements would take advantage the situation. And the people kept ignorant for generations would have no idea as to how to conduct their lives as free man and women. It would make a Shakespearean epic, but having only read a little Shakespeare, I suppose I may prepare for a correction for my use of the term. Or it could be a very short story of abdication, the prince preferring to go fishing in a friendly country, rather than risk his neck. But I would like to think that someone with the genius and sense of purpose as John Galt would figure out a way to lead his people out of darkness, and establish the necessary institutes for a free-market economy and an intellectually free people. Call me an incurable but cautious optimist. I appreciate StrictlyLogical's ideals, but we are talking about a dictatorship after all.
  14. Heirs to dictatorships

    And yet it happens frequently. The dictators of the Age of Antiquity and Middle Ages were mostly followed by an heir. In modern times, Fidel Castro successfully transferred power to his brother, Hafez Al-Assad's son rules; Napoleon, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak were not so successful at establishing dynastic powers, although it was their intent. Quasi-monarchical traditions are quire common among tyrants. Yeah, I read The Prince a few years ago. Is this a thread about Niccolo Machiavelli?
  15. Heirs to dictatorships

    There's a great deal of truth to this. Being born into a dictatorship poses a bit of conundrum for everyone under its influence, from the highest to the lowest. Generally, dictatorships lack the institutions of justice and liberty of which we in Western nations take for granted. Corruption is often the norm, institutionalized from the highest to the lowest. Vendettas are common. Machiavellian politics would likely result in usurpers overthrowing any leader appearing weak and sympathetic to liberal reforms. Stability is the primary objective for any nation with a history of violent factional or tribal conflict. What to do if one were an enlightened man born to rule such a nation? If it were me, I would do everything possible to secure my own preservation. A loyal ally among the security forces, one willing to accept the ideological changes, would be absolutely necessary. And it wouldn't hurt to have a backup plan for living in exile. 2. As an sort of philosopher-king, I would need to do a great deal of philosophizing in the language of both the higher and lower economic classes. Routine public addresses would be more effective than one three hour long "I am John Galt" speech, public addresses that relate to conditions specific to the nation. I would also need to allow the freedom for public rebuttal. 3. I would begin with a drastic reform of stripping the oligarchs of their monopolistic powers to privatization. I would need to know just how backward this hypothetical nation is in order to know how to proceed. Perhaps the nation has industrial capability, maybe better than any other nation. If so, it would be easier to liberalize institutions. If it were a nation of primitive savages, the process of allowing market forces to "do their magic" would be hindered by the fact that there would be very little wealth to take to market. Privatization brings enemies from all levels. Many Brits from the coal miners union have never forgiven Margret Thatcher. 4. The most difficult task of transitioning from absolute rule to rule of law is to institutionalize reason, purpose, and self-esteem. It would take generations of educational reform to reverse the effects of a church or state monopolized school system, and it would be made clear that that school system would not be public forever. On this point, there will be the old and unreconstructed who will always tell their children and grandchildren how much better it was under the old regime. I wouldn't expect my "revolution" to be successful beyond my life, but if my works and words survive me in the memories of others, it could be the genesis of something to come. I might be "air-brushed" out of my nation's history books, but I would die satisfied knowing I tried.