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  1. For Objectivism, the fundamental political starting point is: individual rights. (I know you asked about the moral and political, and this is the political aspect: i.e. what should be okay, legally) Rights are rights to action (in a generic sense that includes the choice not to act). One can get into debates about what actions cross the line where you go from having a right to act, to violating someone else's right by acting. (e.g. swinging your arms in exercise, versus swinging your arm and punching someone in the face). In your example, I can't imagine what argument one could use to say that a person does not have the right to intervene.
  2. No, a government should not stop someone from such an act, as such. [The devil would be in the details of what you saw, what a reasonable could properly assume, and then the actual details of what you did: e.g. too much force.] Do you have some specific example in mind, that makes you think that this should be illegal?
  3. Welcome to the forum.
  4. What's typical round-trip from the U.S. to Tahiti?
  5. I'm interested in your opinion: not sure why we'd have a forum otherwise.
  6. Apart from whether the OP made the case: Is it your best guess that it happened because of or in spite of the political system it was in?
  7. Their international outlook was actually one of the few positives of the commies. In their case, the ideological motivation was not "equality of all cultures" (aka multiculturalism). A lot of philosophers have taken the view that all human beings are essentially the same at their core; that aristocracies and castes and nationalisites as layered on top of that human essence are "add-ons". You see this in Christianity, and Buddhism. You can even see this in Islam: indeed it is this universalist message (rather than violence) that resulted in Islamic conversion in some parts of the world. Of course, believers -- religious or communist -- routinely justify violent conversion: from "all humans are equal and our movement is open to all", they sometimes morph into "and they're evil if they do not join our ideology". (Sometimes, even with a generally universalist outlook, an ideology will exclude certain specific groups.) Multicultural equating of cultures is wrong, and perhaps some people see it as globalist. In fact, it is the opposite of universalism: it breaks people into tribes rather than and tells them they're essentially different, even though their tribe and its ways are just as good as every other.
  8. What are the specifics of this arrogance? BTW... Did Rand say one should try to be "successful"? A quote would be useful to understand the context. The word carries little moral direction: successful at stealing? successful at becoming rich, no matter what it takes? Is Trump successful, since he has a lot of money and is President of the U.S.?
  9. So, Macron's party outperformed expectations in the legislative elections. Does this mean France is committing to the "middle"? I see no better solution, even in the U.S. Both "left" and "right" are pretty bad at their extremes. So, "gridlock" has been one possible solution. However, in the U.S., power has moved toward the executive branch; so, that party has a bit too much power. Also, no agreement can be reached on some important things: when a group of Democrats and Republicans suggested reforms to Social Security, those were dead in the water because there isn't a wide appetite for compromise. Can "middle parties" offer a solution? It is hard to be "militantly middle-of-road": it is almost a contradiction. So, can such parties last, or will the two other parties tweak their messages just enough to pull voters back? The world is going to look at France, to see how things turn out. Bonne chance!
  10. Fair enough, if your primary aim is getting out of the U.S. and starting your own country. That is very different from a primary aim of living and working among fellow Objectivists. The latter is the only kind of value I'd personally find attractive; though, in fairness, probably not attractive enough even to move to Florida I'm never giving up my U.S. citizenship, and so will pay U.S. taxes wherever I live. Anyhow, taxes are not really that fundamental.
  11. It becomes the false dichotomy where we are asked to choose if we want to be the soccer hooligan, violently attacking the other team's fans, or the wishy-washy parents who want both sides to win and every child to be an MVP.
  12. I was reading the introduction to the Kama-Sutra (really the only part of the book worth reading). Since the author is about to present a book about sex, he feels obliged to present a philosophy of sex, and explain why sex is an important value. In doing so, he tackles the mind-body dichotomy and says: reject it Within this introduction was a quote that reminded me of Rand's view of male and female. In a sense, this book is anticipating her by centuries, but of course there have been echoes forever. So, here's the quote, as an interesting, related tid-bit.
  13. The part that Rand misses -- probably because of a lack of experience -- is that so many people will adopt Objectivist ideas dogmatically, just as they adopt other ideas dogmatically. And, that most will not be die-hard dogmatists, but a mix. And while one might argue that these people have rejected Objectivism, it does not mean they explicitly reject it. It's likely that they think they still accept it, and think they are right in interpreting it in whatever way they do. nothing stops these people from self-identifying as Objectivists -- since this is how they genuinely think of themselves.
  14. It is hard when something is mixed. Sometimes one's immediate feeling toward it comes from whatever side of it you're seeing that day. A couple of years ago, I was in a small mid-western resort town on July 4th and thousands of tourists (mostly from elsewhere in the state) had turned out to see the fireworks. Trucks streamed in from all the nearby little towns and farms. The atmosphere was festive. There was benevolence all around. The red-white-and blue was respected, not as a symbol of something above us on an altar, but as a symbol of who we are. Not on a pedestal to be saluted -- though that too -- but, in casual clothing, in funny head-dress, in flashing lights to be worn for the evening. All around was a feeling of family and of sharing a value. Very few cops in sight, and yet the thousands self-organizing in very orderly ways. If you asked those people, in that moment, if freedom was their top value, if the individual is important, if we should recognize the individual's right to his own life and happiness...you'd probably find lots of agreement. It's all good, but it is mostly emotional. As you peel away and understand the intellectual roots, contradictions appear. I won't say the emotions are unfounded, that there is no "there there". When Hollywood makes a movie of a maverick going up against the world and winning, huge audiences love the theme. It is who they are: sometimes, on some topics, and in some emotional states. Nationalism is dangerous when it goes beyond a general benevolent celebration of sharing good values like freedom and individualism. It usually does, and we have a good person like Robert E. Lee rejecting Lincoln's attempt to get him to lead a Union Army, even though he could "anticipate no greater calamity for the country than dissolution" and thought "secession is nothing but revolution". Why? For "honor" -- which really translates to honoring a convention where you are loyal to your home state. Throw in ideas about the role of government in helping people in all sorts of situations. Thrown in ideas about inequality being caused by oppression. And faulty ideas about economics. And suspicions about bankers running the world. Add back the occasional cheering of the maverick who defies authority; but also add back the desire to control other people's behavior: if they're gay, or marrying someone of another race, or smoking pot, or even having a beer when they're 20 years and 11 months! That is the contradiction that is America. Still, you should feel free to choose what emotions you wish to invest in symbols like the flag. You do not have to salute a flag and think you're saluting a tortured contradiction that is eating itself from the inside out . You can salute it for the right reasons, or for what you think it once stood for.
  15. Why not do this in the U.S.: say the Florida Keys, or some nice beach-town in the Carolinas? Of all the aspects of your plan, the one the seems of most value in "this life" is: having a bunch of friends nearby, and perhaps working with some of them. This can be done in some U.S. cities with a bit of organizing, where nobody has to move. If you want to try something more ambitious, but still "agile" small steps: congregate in some small town where you can set up way more easily. That seems to be the agile way to test the waters. In fact, why even choose a small town. You could choose a decent-sized city and group there: more cool stuff to do, and more job-prospects. (As for living on the moon! Why would anyone want to do that: seems like the most boring thing to do. To each his own, but I doubt you'll find that a popular idea with customers, so you're right to reject it.)