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Grames last won the day on November 14

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  1. Chapter I Two Visions of World Order I. Definition of nation: a number of tribes with a common language or religion, and a past history of acting as a body for the common defense and other large-scale enterprises. II. Empire definition of empire: "an order of peoples united under a single regime of law, promulgated and maintained by a single supranational authority." motive: put a final end to war, starvation and disease by winning the last battle. “None hungered in my years or thirsted in them,” Pharaoh Amenemhet I wrote a few centuries before Abraham. “Men dwelled in peace through that which I wrought.” To “bring the four quarters of the world to obedience” was the task of Babylonian king Hammurabi and other imperial rulers. These were not idle boasts, the empires did bring peace and prosperity to millions for as long as each lasted. A succession of empires in antiquity (Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia, etc) form the context in which Isreal's prophets lived and learned to oppose imperialism. III. Nationalism definition of nationalism: a political order based on the independence of a nation living within limited borders alongside other independent nations. Nationalism has its origin in Israelite prophets' complaints against empire. [an extensively endnoted claim] The complaints against empire are the bloodshed of conquest, the imperious manner of governing, slavery, expropriation of women and property. Empire is idolatrous in its focus on extending its power and maximizing its grain storage. City-states did not form a viable alternative to empire. Once the first city-state succeeded in conquering another it could run the table against all the others on the Mesopotamian plain. They were also vulnerable to imperial armies from abroad (Egypt, Persia). [City-states were somewhat more defensible in Greece against each other, but imperial Roman might from beyond Greece eventually conquered them.] The plan as promoted in the Bible [footnotes mostly to Deuteronomy] features members should regard one another as brothers Mosaic law would effectively be the constitution of a nation-state in modern jargon the king would be drawn "from among your brothers" the prophets and priests would be drawn "from among your brothers" priests were to teach the laws to the king so that he would not lift himself or his thoughts above his brothers Moses sets the boundaries of Israel, and forbids conquering the neighboring tribes individuals from other, non-Israelite tribes can join so long as they accept Isreal's God and laws Summary quotation: Chapter I has 15 endnotes.
  2. Well, as a gentle reminder, the notion of international law and international treaties logically presumes nations to exist before they can agree to things between them. Internationalism requires nations. "Full nationalism" sounds like the caricature of individualism that is "atomistic individualism" that the individual must go be a hermit because "participating in civilization requires interacting with other people but that is against the principle of individualism".
  3. Do you write that because you think collective freedom and individual liberty are opposed or contradictory ideas? Individual liberty and business freedom tend to be found together. Yet a business is merely a collective activity. I am glad the lesson that Ayn Rand wished to teach, that "collectivism is bad", has made such a deep impression upon you. However if you think collectivism is bad because collectives are bad, or in the other direction that the possibility of collectivism taints all collective action, you have not actually understood the lesson.
  4. Table of Contents [my comments are in square brackets] Part I Nationalism and Western Freedom I: Two Visions of World Order The history of western civilization is succession of rising and falling empires. Nationalism as an idea makes its first appearance in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament as a state with defined borders living in peace with its neighbors because it disavows expansion by conquest. Nation defined. II: The Roman Church and Its Vision of Empire When Christianity established itself as the official state religion of Rome it adopted the Roman dream of empire. "Catholic" means universal. Protestantism brought back to life long neglected chapters of the Bible and was embraced by peoples chafing against rule by foreigners. III: The Protestant Construction of the West The period between the English Act of Supremacy and the Westphalia treaties gave a new, Protestant construction to the West based upon two principles found in the Old Testament: First the idea of a moral minimum for a legitimate government and secondly "right of national self-determination" [would be more accurate if negatively stated as a "no foreign rulers" principle rather than cast as a right]. IV: John Locke and the Liberal Construction Since the end of World War Two the Protestant Construction has been being pushed aside. The liberal construction of the West assumes that there is only one principle at the base of legitimate political order: individual freedom. The most influential impetus for this new principle overtaking the West is Locke's Second Treatise of Government (1689). Locke critiqued. von Mises and Hayek both quoted as sympathetic to a world government. V: Nationalism Discredited World War Two was a conflict of imperialist ideologies. Communist world revolution, the Third Reich, The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and the remnants of the colonial British Empire were all imperialist projects to strip sovereignty from other nations. Self-serving commenters blamed nationalism because they would not give up on their imperialist dreams. VI: Liberalism as Imperialism Much like the pharaohs and the Babylonian kings, the Roman emperors and the Roman Catholic Church until well into the modern period, as well as the Marxists of the last century, liberals, too, have their grand theory about how they are going to bring peace and economic prosperity to the world by pulling down all the borders and uniting mankind under their own universal rule. But unity and diversity are incompatible principles. VII: Nationalist Alternatives to Imperialism There are three anti-liberal camps based upon whether one or the other or both principles underlying nationalism are wielded. These are described as neo-Catholic, neo-nationalist (or just statist), and conservative (or traditionalist). Conservative is used because preserving the Protestant Construction is conservation. Part II The Case for the National State VIII: Two Types of Political Philosophy Philosophy of government is distinguished from philosophy of political order. Political order precedes establishment of government and makes it possible. Whatever is assumed without argument comes to be regarded as self-evident, whether it is true or false. IX: The Foundations of Political Order Politics as practiced by an individual is the art or craft of influencing others to act to accomplish goals seen as necessary or desirable. People join together in collectives to take more effective action for common goals than an individual can accomplish alone. Various motives exist, with various results. X: How Are States Really Born? Hobbes, Locke or Rousseau are invoked to tell the story 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. This is compared to a fairy tale. The real story is told, based upon the foundations of political order discovered in chapter 9. XI: Business and Family Business is contrasted with family to further expose the weakness of analyzing politics as the calculations of consenting individuals maximizing their property. XII: Empire and Anarchy A continuum of possible forms of political order is laid out, from anarchy to empire. The difference is not mere scale but the ordering normative principle each enacts. XIII: National Freedom as an Ordering Principle Empire and Anarchy are the horns of a dilemma; Nationalism resolves the dilemma by retaining what is valuable and discarding what is dangerous from each. XIV: The Virtues of the National State Violence banished to the periphery of the state; citizens do not war upon each other. Disdain for imperial conquest as against the interest of one's own nation. Collective freedom is maximized, as the disorder of anarchy and the despotism of empire are avoided. The resulting political order is analogized to a peaceful market competition. Individual liberty is maximized compared to anarchy and empire. XV: The Myth of the Federal Solution There can be no compromise between [food and poison] nationalism and imperialism. Proposed international dispute resolution mechanisms are either voluntary or compulsory. Voluntary participation respects the sovereignty of nations but compulsory participation and enforcement actions destroy sovereignty and are identical to the imperial state model. XVI: The Myth of the Neutral State A state without an underlying nation/culture can only continue to exist with coercion and repression as a protection racket and inevitably fall into civil war. XVII: A Right to National Independence? There can be no universal right to national independence and self-determination. National independence and self-determination are good things but no one can be obligated to provide them. Furthermore dividing up humanity into units smaller than nations is regression back to tribal and clan political order i.e. anarchy. XVIII: Some Principles of the Order of National States Reminder that the idea of "international law" originated in the Protestant political order of nation states. Political independence is for nations strong enough and cohesive enough to secure it. Non-interference in the internal affairs of other nation states. Government monopoly of organized coercive force within the state. [Here Objectivists would use "retaliatory force"] Maintenance of multiple centers of power to prevent the imperial temptation from taking root in a super-power. Parsimony in the establishment of states. [Hazony's Razor?] Protections of minority nations and tribes by the national government. Non-transference of powers of government to universal institutions. Part Three ANTI-NATIONALISM AND HATE XIX: Is Hatred an Argument Against Nationalism? No. Or rather, it fails as an argument. Imperialists also hate. Tribes and clans can be consumed with petty feuds. XX: The Shaming Campaigns Against Israel Using Thomas Kuhn's framework, the paradigm shift away from the Protestant order of independent nations toward imperialist projects makes nationalist Isreal appear to be a throwback to a more primitive era. XXI: Immanuel Kant and the Anti-Nationalist Paradigm Nationalism was an early modern [oddly close the Enlightenment time period] political theory that recognized the freedom of nations to assert and defend their independence against the predations of international empires. Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (Kant, 1795) is Kant's manifesto attacking national states. [You don't want to be on the same side as Kant, do you?] XXII: Two Lessons of Auschwitz One lesson is that the defense of a nation, such as for example the jews, cannot be left to others because they did nothing. Following this lesson, Isreal is the answer to Aushwitz. Another lesson is that neither Germany nor any other nation should be permitted to go to war on its own behalf. Following this second lesson the answer to Aushwitz is the EU. XXIII: Why the Enormities of the Third World and Islam Go Unprotested Because Kant said a world-spanning imperial super-state is the progressive inevitability, but not everyone in every place will join at the same time. It is important that the leading nations join the world government first so the savages can join later when they are less savage. It is the racism of low expectations. XXIV: Britain, America, and Other Deplorable Nations The imperialist perspective is that any nation that is European or descended from a European settlement is expected to obey Kant in renouncing national self-interest and unilateral action. But primitive brown people don't know any better, so will never be described as deplorable. XXV: Why Imperialists Hate Historically, every imperial theory with which we are familiar—whether Egyptian or Assyrian, Greek or Roman, Christian or Muslim, liberal or Marxist—has offered an ideology of universal salvation and peace. And each such imperialist ideology, as soon as it collides with a determined rejection of the salvation it offers, responds to this rejection with an intense and abiding hatred. The universal hates the particular, is appalled and disgusted by it. Conclusion: THE VIRTUE OF NATIONALISM Nationalism is not a form of Utopianism. What is wrong with imperialism is that it is. Such a large and splendid Utopian dream can excuse a host of crimes to bring it about. [That is the only practical application Utopian dreams have ever had, to excuse crimes and warmongering.] At level of personal character everyone who embraces universal salvation doctrines and the empires they call into being participates in being a destroyer of what is not universal. Clansmen and tribesmen esteem loyalty above all. A nationalist knows that there is great truth and beauty in his own national traditions and in his own loyalty to them; and yet he also knows that they are not the sum of human knowledge, for there is also truth and beauty to be found elsewhere, which his own nation does not possess, cannot possess, and has no desire to destroy.
  5. Consciousness and the contents of consciousness are also existing within Existence ('reality'). But the contents of a particular person's consciousness are most definitely not independent of that person's consciousness. Contents of consciousness refers to many things and includes the first person experience a.k.a. the subjective perspective. Premise 1 is not self-contradictory just wrong. Re: the transporter sidebar; thats just the "Ship of Theseus" problem again where every last plank and furnishing has been replaced and all at once rather than a piece at a time. This paradox attempts to create a dichotomy between matter and form, substance and structure, and people reveal something about themselves when they favor one or the other as the essence of identity. Paraphrasing Aristotle, there is no form without matter and no matter exists without form so there should be no dichotomy. In my resolution, the transported is not identical with the transportee. But ships, rivers and people are all always changing their parts over time even without transporters and we still use the same names for them. Names are the way to bring a conceptual consciousness to bear on concrete particulars, and our concepts for particular ships, rivers and people allow for and encompass non-essential variation. A transporter duplicates the traveler with no measurable variation so of course the name should stay the same. After the practical matter of the name has been settled it is pointless to dwell further on the abstract degree of identity between the before and after versions of the traveler. Pointless, because the transported person should not be treated any different than if he had not used the transporter.
  6. Touch is inherently 3-D, and the awareness of your own body is 3-D. Whatever the concept "space" refers to that may make it a higher than first level concept in physics or geometry, we don't need that to know height, width and depth all exist at the same time as attributes of the same entities (ourselves, the things we touch, and the things we see). In Kelley's The Evidence of the Senses he did have to allow that perceiving can include acquired skill in discrimination. Certainly it is the case that infants require time and practice before they can learn to focus their eyes and reliably gauge whether something is within their reach or not by visual inspection alone. Still greater skill is required to be professional athlete throwing or catching balls or to be skilled with a firearm. That skill includes so-called eye-hand coordination where control of one's own body (not just hands) is automatized through practice to a high degree. What is the epistemological given is product of the senses, that means the final product after the full causal chain of the senses has acted upon the stimuli given to it including those actions of relatively sophisticated integration incorporating acquired skill that result in (for this example) depth perception. So long as what went on was automatic, meaning beyond the control of conceptual consciousness, it is taken as external to conceptual consciousness. What is external to conceptual consciousness is the given. What was given was both the percepts and the means of perceiving. Yes, those two images and the carefully calibrated differences between them are the cause of the 3-D effect. So that is what is really there, it is not a case of perceiving something not there. Identity and causality are responsible for the 3-D effect. Yes (see my first paragraph), and it is both metaphysically given and via the senses epistemologically given. Not everything that is metaphysically given is epistemologically given; for example atomic theory (even Democritus' version) requires a conceptual framework. Knowing that things move is given; no theory of motion is a given. For what its worth I offer this: Don't get hung up on vision as your only sense modality for thinking about space. Remember that non-human consciousnesses such as bats navigate through three dimensional spaces (sometimes the very same three dimensional spaces where humans are present) largely depending on their hearing. There is no misperceiving, only misidentifying. You can be certain something caused your percept if you have a conceptual grasp of identity and causality. But you don't necessarily know what caused your percept. There is such a thing as a "normal range" within which the senses are most effective, which is daylight on the surface of planet Earth. If the prevailing conditions for perceiving are unusual (dim light, monochromatic color source, dipping your arm in an ice bucket then a different bucket, etc...) then seeing or even feeling is not believing.
  7. Eyes can't be deceived because eyes are just organic mechanisms. The technology of 3D presentation is based upon understanding the cues that cause the perception of three dimensionality in vision (mainly stereoscopic perspective) and then replicating those cues 'well enough'. The eyes are relaying to your brain what is presented to them. This is just another type of illusion, not a special case. Your issue is very much similar to debating if a thing is truly red or merely painted red. The appearance of redness is genuine in either case, and so is the appearance of three dimensionality in your example where the 3-Dness is 'painted on'. That appearances can be deceiving is long known.
  8. The Virtue of Nationalism is a new book in political philosophy by Yoram Hazony. Hazony here operates at the level of philosophy because he works with wide abstractions, has a sharp critique of Locke's Second Treatise on Government, provides an alternative to that tradition of rationalist political philosophy, and uses that conceptual framework to integrate a variety of current disparate controversies into coherent view of fronts where two different political philosophies are conflicting. Here in this topic I plan to go over the book chapter by chapter and provide a review in outline form of what he claims as I've done with other works listed in my signature block. Since those other works were all by Objectivists and this one is not I will also provide comments of my own relating the points made to the Objectivist perspective. Others are welcome to post comments or questions as well in between my content posts because I won't catch everything there may be to say or question and my focus here is not as much on presentation and continuity as when I covered a lecture series. I'll just plunge in and get started by paraphrasing his introduction. Introduction Britain voted for Brexit. America voted for Trump. Oh no, this is reversion to warmongering and racism. But wait a minute. Until a few decades ago nationalism was associated with broad-mindedness and generosity. Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteeen Points" and Churchill/Roosevelt's Atlantic Charter were progressive because independence and national self-determination for enslaved and colonized people around the globe were good things. Statesmen from Mahatma Ghandi to David Ben-Gurion led nationalist political movements. Why was nationalism thought to be a good thing then but not now? I, Yoram Hazony, a Jewish Israeli Zionist (a type of nationalism) have some insight into the question. My family moved to Jewish Palestine in the 1920's and 1930's as aspiring nationalists and Israel has been governed continually by nationalists since then. Nationalism is not a forgotten and now alarming idea in Israel but familiar and normal. Nationalism is the principle that the world is governed best when nations are free to cultivate their own traditions and pursue their own interests without outside interference. Opposed to that is the principle of Imperialism which holds that the world would be peaceful and prosperous if united under a single political structure. Pros and cons of each will be considered in turn but note here these principles are contradictory. One must choose to be one or the other. Nationalism vs Imperialism contest gained new life with fall of Berlin Wall in '89. After that, two new Imperialist great projects commenced: the European Union and the American "world order". EU is the Austro-Hungarian Empire restored. Charles Krauthammer advocated for an American "Universal Dominion" to establish a new pax Americana just like the pax Romana of old. Both projects involve suppressing the sovereignty of existing nations and are thus identified as imperialist. Open debate and discussion of Nationalism vs. Imperialism has been muted and seemingly deliberately avoided. The following list of euphemisms have been employed to conceal the imperialist agenda: "new world order," "ever closer union," "openness," "globalization," "global governance," "pooled sovereignty," "rules-based order," "universal jurisdiction," "international community," “liberal internationalism,” “transnationalism,” “American leadership,” “American century,” “unipolar world,” “indispensable nation,” “hegemon,” “subsidiarity,” “play by the rules,” “the right side of history,” “the end of history,” etc. [footnote 6 of intro notes an uptick in more explicit calls for an American Empire after 9/11/2001]. The time for clear unambiguous reasoned debate on principles is now. This book is a statement of reasons to be a nationalist. For clarity "globalism" will be taken as a version of the old imperialism. Also for clarity, "patriotism" will be avoided as a synonym for nationalism because it merely refers to the love or loyalty of an individual for his own nation but not the wider context of a position within political philosophy. The argument will be as folllows: Part One “Nationalism and Western Freedom” will be the basic historical framework for understanding the confrontation between imperialism and nationalism as it has developed among the Western nations. The aftermath of Hitler is the narrative that "nationalism caused two world wars and the Holocaust.” It is this narrative that is responsible for nationalism being regarded as unnecessary and even morally suspect. The new imperialism takes liberal theories of the rule of law, the market economy, and individual rights—all of which evolved in the domestic context of national states such as Britain, the Netherlands, and America—to be regarded as universal truths and considered the appropriate basis for an international regime. Supporters of imperialism have not described nationalism correctly. Part Two “The Case for the National State”. Three alternatives of political order are described: the order of tribes and clans found in every pre-state society, the international order under an imperialist state, and an order of independent national states. The admitted economic and security advantages of an unified legal regime for the entire world is a narrow and inadequate basis for the imperialist state because the fundamental political relations at the level of family, tribe, clan and nation are not universal and cannot be made so. The advantages of an order of independent national states are: provides greatest possibility for collective self-determination; a logical aversion to campaigns of foreign conquest and a de facto tolerance of diverse ways of life ; productive peaceful competition among nations; powerful mutual loyalties are the only known basis for free institutions and individual liberties. Not every stateless people can have its own independent state so what then? Part Three "Anti-Nationalism and Hate". The Universalist ideologies that underlie and justify imperial regimes encourage hate toward all who won't cooperate with the imperialist program. Examples: medieval Catholicism vs the Jews; Islam vs the world; Marxism vs the productive independent; The EU vs Poland, Hungary et al ; globalists vs Israel; etc. Racism and hate can also be found in nationalist movements and expressed in national rivalries. Hate is a feature of politics or human nature in general and is not a deciding factor in Nationalism vs. Imperialism. Part Four "The Virtue of Nationalism” The conclusion. Some brief remarks on the relationship between nationalism and positive personal character traits.
  9. When there are people around you starting to feel a little squeamish about the amount of blood being shed, you remind them that the end justifies the means. Then raise your eyebrow at them.
  10. I agree. There is a thread here discussing Consequentialism as the category of moral theories holding that morality lies in the ends not the means. Deonotological moral theories hold that morality lies in taking certain actions, i.e. the means not the ends. The two together form a category of Intrinsicist moral theories. As intrinsicism is entirely false, ends versus means is a false dichotomy. Recapitulating what user gio reminded us of in that thread : Morality guides action, and actions are means. Thus in Objectivism morality is about means and so cannot be characterized as Consequentialist or compatible with Consequentialism. But Objectivism does not tell us what actions to take. No actions are intrinsically good in Objectivism because Objectivist ethics are not Deontological (or intrinsicist of any type). Objectivism is based on identity and causality, thus the appropriate actions to take are the ones that cause the consequences desired. The full appreciation of the problem of morality is that multiple actions may bring about the desired consequence, and each action will have multiple consequences in addition to the desired consequence. It's just too much to deal with, it's an epistemological overload. Objectivist ethics then, goes on at length about values and codes of values and the standard of value in order to deal with the epistemological problem of morality.
  11. Grames

    Emotions vs Objectivism

    This place is for Objectivism (capitalized, proper noun, the philosophy of Ayn Rand) not objectivism (lower case) the name used by contemporary philosophers to denote the position that moral judgements can be true or false as opposed to mere opinion. In the usage you presume objectivism is merely taken to be the contrary position to moral relativism. Rand posited a three-way ethical (and epistemological) divide: the subjective, the intrinsic and the objective. TL;DR : We can't help you here.
  12. This framing of the question is itself misleading and presumptuous. The question implicitly posits some existent above or beneath or prior to its attributes which then acts by possessing its attributes. It can be challenging process to break a prior habit of mind in favor of a new one, and this is one example of how "existence is identity" is a notion so fundamental that it challenges how one even tries to frame the questions. The idea of an existent or entity with no attributes is essentially Idealist/Platonic/mystical. "Existence is identity" is Rand's coined phrase but is essentially Aristotelian, who was and is the metaphysical opponent to Platonism and other more modern versions of Idealism. To add one more thing. I am a "full plenum" guy myself. All you need to be "a full plenum guy" was taught by Parmenides. I do not see why you felt a need to do any philosophizing to enable a full plenum ontology viable. Moving from metaphysics to physics, Quantum Field Theory is also a full plenum theory.
  13. Many things exist. Everything that exists interacts with every other thing that exists, and no matter how small or attenuated that interaction may be it is not zero. For an existent to be somehow isolated fully from every aspect of existence it would effectively be in its own separate universe, unknowable and epistemologically out-of-bounds as an object of valid thought. Identity which does not involve a relational aspect with other identities is just unknowable. So it can't be discussed. Metaphysics and epistemology go together because the limits of what can can be claimed to exist coincide with the limits of what is knowable. No one can justifiably confirm or deny either the existence or nonexistence of what is outside of the Universe. Any justification that one might discover to such an isolated unknown would also be a casual link that would rope that existent into inclusion in what the concept Universe refers to which is the entirety of existence. Existence is Identity is Casuality.
  14. Agreed, and for this topic the variation "Any CLAIM to an "unknowable" NON-existent is arbitrary, invalid and meaningless."
  15. Ok then. You had once posted and later deleted material about the actual and potential that would be controversial (in my opinion). Glad to see you've reconsidered. I never got around to writing any specific response on that point nor did I save any of that text.