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Everything posted by 2046

  1. It's crucial to keep in mind that Rand's conception of life as the ultimate end is not a "thin" conception of life as just bare bones survival. It is her formulation ("man qua man") of the Greek conception of living a truly flourishing and self-perfected life. To make the most of your life, in short. To have such a full or "thick" conception of flourishing life may well include concern for posterity and leaving a legacy. Maybe even at the expense of, say, less important values to you, such as certain aspects of physical health. For example, in the movie The Wrestler, the main character pursued his happiness through his chosen career field and even though he had numerous health concerns such as a blown out knee or bad back, he thought it all worth it at the end and wouldn't have taken any of it back (except, tragically, to focus more on his family, etc.) For others, such a career field would be nonsense. The thing about living a fully expressed life of value pursuit is that it can't include a laundry list of values. It's not "X, Y, Z are henceforce decalre Official Objective Values!" Values are agent-relative and specific to your life and context. Of course there are generalized values such as reason, purpose, self-esteem, and food, shelter, relationships, etc. abstracted from general aspects of human nature, but there is no definitive list of ALL "official objective values." Rand's egoism is an individualist egoism. So things like posterity and so for certainly can be values to you, but must be integrated into the totality of living a self-perfected life. It wouldn't make sense to sacrifice your life, or your other needs and interests for one value. (For example, when Mickey Rourkes character pursued his career to the detriment of personal relationships and later regretted it.) The Greeks had a conception of the "unity of virtue" that you couldn't fully have all the virtues of you were deficient in one virtue. Life will of course involve making trade-offs, but the point is to develop an all around well being within the context of your life.
  2. Much has been made of Rand's personality and intransigence in dealing with challenges to her philosophy, and indeed it sometimes straddles the line between satisfying polemic with moral fire and vigor and a nasty hostility to criticism. Also how much of this is the people Rand mistakenly surrounded herself with, such as the Brandens, who by some accounts, tended to be the source of dogmatism and hostility, at least before their schism. All of this seems to have shot Rand's movement in the foot. However there is Rand's philosophy one one hand, and the objectivist organizations and institutions on the other. Much of the blame can also be placed at the hands of objectivist institutions, I think. They do a good job of getting Rand's novels into high school curriculums, which is the Lords work for sure, but aside from that, they have been a huge flop, even barrier to Rand scholarship. What would benefit Objectivism the most is making all of Rand's writings and writings of her students and commentators available online in one easily accessible place. There is no reason to have Rand's books hidden behind paywalls. There are tons of lecture series and other works associated, why are they not online in one place? Any institute dedicated to Rand scholarship should have an online Academy where professors can organize courses, charge per course, where anyone who wants to can easily sign up and learn about Objectivism, interacting with the teachers and staff via skype. There should be a website with daily publications and postings. The articles on ARI sites mostly suck and are pedantic. There should be scholarly journals publishing papers every few months. Where are the symposiums and calls for papers on all sorts of topics, Rand vs Nietzsche, Rand vs Spinoza, Rand vs analytic philosophy, egoism and rights, theories of freewill, theories of induction, Rand's epistemology and evolutionary psychology, Rand and feminism, etc. There should be money used to aid scholars in doing research, writing books, or in transcribing the vast archive of taped lecture series and CDs to book format. What about research for a theory of psychological abstractionism in early childhood? What about getting all of that stuff on tape into books, audiobooks, pdfs? What about research on Rand's college transcripts or what happened to her family, or things like that? There should be organized conferences and classes given a few times a year, where anyone can attend. I know there is OCON but that is mostly a flop. ARI campus has, what, around 20 courses and it's been around how long? That's pathetic! Luckily there are a lot of Rand scholars out there operating independently and there is the Ayn Rand Society and Atlas Society and other types of organizations, there's the Journal of AR Studies but they shot themselves in the foot too after putting themselves behind a paywall. There's plenty of ways to figure out how to make money while still offering free content. It would be nice if there was an effective organization that did more than fly Yaron Brook around to give talks (god bless him though.)
  3. Right-Wing Collectivism

    Jeffrey Tucker has a new book coming out that is intended to trace the origins of the alt-right in what he terms (following Mises) as right-Hegelians. There is a preview article up at FEE as well that I recommend to anyone interested: https://fee.org/articles/a-rogues-gallery-of-right-hegelians/ Also you can find Mises' study of Nazism Omnipotent Government online in PDF and as an audiobook up on YT, it makes a good companion piece to Ominous Parallels and DIM Hypothesis.
  4. Ayn Rand's official public notice

    I don't know, I wonder if the reception AS got had a great effect on her. Reading some biographical accounts, they seem to concur that she felt immensely betrayed by how she thought her peers would react versus how they did. And then the misrepresentation, for example, the Whittaker Chambers book review where he egregiously calls her basically a Nazi, this all infuriated her and, and perhaps made her quite jaded in her later years. I remember reading some statement from Peikoff I think, where he says he and some of the Rand circle members honestly thought that many Americans would covert to objectivism in the wake of the publication of AS. Now he tempers that by saying he was young and naive about a lot of things, but I wonder if Rand thought this would happen on a wider scale than it did, and that this effected her outlook too. In any event, I suppose she also viewed objectivism as her creation and her intellectual property, and didn't like anyone claiming it. At other times she seems to be okay with calling someone who broadly agrees with her an objectivist. For example, in her private letters. Anyways seems unlikely that the misrepresentations had no effect. Just a personal view here, but the more I read the history of philosophy, the stranger it seems to give your views a proper noun. Of course naming your ideas isn't weird, it's part of classyfing and identifying them, or providing a shorthand for them. But naming your ideas doesn't necessarily imply naming your whole philosophy one word. Delimiting them makes no sense. Words don't delimit them, reality and identity does. An interesting quip from Nietzsche, "there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross." (Something like that.) As for Spencer, I think that's a horrible misreading of him. There is much reason to believe he was a humane and liberal thinker. He was not a eugenicist or racialist as his views on evolution were not norms for social systems but just statements on how biology works. And his "law of equal freedom" smashes any notion that he was a collectivist. Here is an account by libertarian Richard Peters. But I will leave this for another thread.
  5. Ayn Rand's official public notice

    Hmm, she was very upset at being strawmanned and the refusal to engage with her actual ideas. I wonder how much this effected her outlook on the world. Interesting that Nietzsche and Spencer are almost always strawmanned anytime anyone reads anything about them also. I'm sure the same applies to Goldwater. The second part is an incredibly powerful argument for individualism and challenge. Those three points are so powerful. Interesting that she says she could almost rest the whole case for objectivism on that, or the attempts to deny that. I wonder though, why did she give her philosophy a name, and proclaim official sources. That just seems like a bad idea. There's what you say/wrote, and what you didn't. Isn't that enough/obvious? Just seems like it would've been much better for her to never have named it a proper noun and just responded to arguments as "here's what I believe/have written."
  6. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Indeed, I don't think it can be justified from an objectivist point of view to ever punch a political partisan, or club them with sticks, or suppress their speech or rallies, etc. There are still the concept of procedural rights, that proper procedures must be followed, even regarding the case of defense from immediate harm. The doctrine of self defense was developed through the common law process over centuries through application of principle to the particular milieu of various situations. Applying concepts of self defense outside of that process seems entirely subjective, with exceptions for civil disobedience in authoritarian states suppressing normal legal methods. I wonder if, then, in a republican state with a broadly objectivist/libertarian legal system, would Nazi and socialist parties be banned? Not banned from existing per se, as that would run afoul of private speech. But banned from participating in elections and holding parliamentary seats. (Of course so would interventionist parties like Rs and Ds by the same reasoning.) You might say, this is irrelevant to reality, but the Pinochet regime in Chile, for example, faced this exact historical question. The Allende regime was democratically elected and instituted a socialist planned economy. Industry was nationalized, private property seized, all entrepreneurs had to submit to the economic planning board. Mass unemployment and starvation resulted. Workers called a general strike and bread lines and riots followed. Allende promised a referendum on his policies, but when the date came no such election was held. Parliament then asked the military to step in. Pinochet, commander of the Army, removed the democratic socialist party, arresting all party leaders. Allende committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner. The socialist parties were banned and markets freed, prices restored, industry privatized. The "Chilean miracle" followed. Of course many human rights abuses were commited by Pinochet's regime as he went beyond arresting socialist party officials, and kidnapped intellectuals, artists, community organizers, scientists, just about anyone who expressed Marxist ideas. But aside from this overreach, is there really anything wrong with banning the socialists from participating in elections?
  7. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Let me start from the point of view of moral parity. Objectivism holds that the apparatus of legal enforcement obtains its authority based on the rights of self defense of the governed. The government are agents with only delegated rights. They have no special privileges their agents don't have. Consequently, the criterion under which a government official committing a criminal act would apply the same as if the person committing that act were not a government official are the same. Being a government agent, in other words doesn't give you special immunity to commit what would otherwise be crimes, according to Rand. According to this ethics, any palpable threat of overt physical violence can be countered with self defense. There is also the legal conception of conspiracy that would apply if two or more persons made an agreement to commit some violent act in the future: "In criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime at some time in the future. Criminal law in some countries or for some conspiracies may require that at least one overt act must also have been undertaken in furtherance of that agreement, to constitute an offense."(I get this from Wikipedia.) If we prescribe to the moral parity theory, suppose a group of partisans held, say, that the production of milk should be severely restricted. Suppose a political party promised to enact legislation to bring this about, then they would on objectivist grounds be advocating criminal acts. Mere advocacy would be free speech. But suppose they ran in an election, won parliamentary seats, enacted legislation, brought about executive enforcement, and sent gendarmes to the milk factories to inspect output. Objectivists recognize this as criminal compulsion against business. But then at what point did they go beyond mere talk to criminal conspiracy? When can they be punched? Can the political partisans be punched by objectivists before the election or only after at some point? Only the actual office holders or the voters too? Or just the bureaucrats that enforce the law? Or just the milk inspectors or enforcers? Or nobody? Thoughts? (Administrative note: the foregoing is a thought experiment for the logical consequences of certain ethical postulates and apply only as deductions for the given postulates. I don't advocate punching anyone ever outside of the law.)
  8. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Then we should do well to define when does a Nazi or Communist or whatever, pass into the realm of objective physical threat, such that force would be warranted in self-defense? Republicans and Democrats both are in political power, and both are using actual force to violate natural rights. From an objectivist libertarian ethics perspective, is it okay to use force against Republicans and Democrats then? Most of us would likely say no. And yet, most of us would likely say that it's okay to assassinate Hitler at some point. Rand said that she only advocated guerilla warfare when speech was censored or when the country became a dictatorship. But speech turns to organizing, and organizing turns to political power, then political power turns to actual violent force at some point. Antifa members, at least from my personal interactions, seem to blur all of those stages into one singular whole. Advocating anything they don't agree with is itself an aggression worthy of violent response (the concept of "microaggression.") May we offer a rebuttal theory instead?
  9. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    The popular YouTuber Sargon of Akkad (don't know much about him, he claimed to be a "thinking man's alt-centrist," though many people consider him alt-right) has posted a video reading from extended passages of the Ominous Parralels. At the end he summarizes his takes and comes to the conclusion that any political movement embracing anti-reason and altruism has the capacity to become Nazilike. Ironically, looking from all the triggered Nazis the comments section, I'm almost more inclined to sympathize with the desire to punch Nazis. ("Jew book," etc.)
  10. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Of course it is basis for argument. The whole argument of the DIM Hypothesis is based on the idea that different philosophical belief systems shaping definite cultural patterns, which then lead to certain political arrangements. A nihilistic disintegration model will likely set the stage for a misintegrarion type model, then likely manifesting itself in the form of theocratic fascism, according to Peikoffs argument. One could substitute nationalist for theocratic. That is merely my point. There are some flaws of course with this theory, but I find it uncontroversial that those institutions in society are mainly dominated by groups of people with typically "left" cultural beliefs. It need not be monolithic, although I'm unclear as to what that may mean. Cultural Marxism is an actual belief system with actual theorists, whose work can be critiqued separately. As far as Soros, I think I said Nazi party member, this is incorrect, I should've said collaborationist. Isn't it of interest if Antifa is accepting funding from Soros? Isn't it of interest, in terms of journalism community, if a media organization is funded by one source, then does a sympathetic report on a subject which is also funded by the same parent source?
  11. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Yes I do think you have a point there. The Nazi creed of violence is a much more important long range threat, I think. It is full of mystical blatherings that subsume the nation into the God-state. The left wing street agitators are authoritarian, and maybe I overestimated the degree to which many of them would be open to individualism or principled in some way. However, they are full of opportunists and hipsters. They are a short range threat because they are shutting down speech on campus and because the cultural left currently controls academia, the media, and government, but they ultimately rely on nihilism. What happens when that melts away? Anyone who hasn't read the Ominous Parralells or the DIM Hypothesis I would highly recommend that now.
  12. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I'm not so sure about this distinction. One can differentiate between authoritarianism in centralized government and non-governmental forms. One can also differentiate between support for centralized violence in the form of "people's committees" and "workers councils" as versus single-party states. However, if using violence to suppress dissenting views is one core aspect of authoritarianism, then it makes a strong case for those anarchists that do not support robust free speech to be roundly condemned as authoritarians. I do believe it falls upon us to do that.
  13. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Thoughts? ESPN pulls Asian-American sportscaster Robert Lee from covering University of Virginia football game because he has virtually the same name as Confederate general Virginia Cavaliers will be playing their home opener in Charlottesville
  14. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I'm not really following. Granted my look was more anecdotal in nature, wouldn't a thoroughgoing analysis include things like looking at organizational structure and outside funding sources? Wouldn't it be of interest if one of those sources was a billionaire former Nazi party member who promoted various left wing organizations targeting the idea of free speech?
  15. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    I do happen to believe they are the same, morally speaking. I had some experience with some Antifa groups, both online and at some protests. I naively thought they could be open to libertarian and individualist ideas, much in the way that objectivists hoped to influence the tea party groups in this way. After my interactions with them, I find them very similar to neo-Nazi types. Let me first explain a bit of history. Antifa, at least in so far as they claim, has its history in the KDP, the communist party of Germany during the Weimar years. Most of you are probably familiar with the stories of red shirts fighting brown shirts in the streets, which originated as the Sparticist Leage, and is basically a Bolshevik group that wants a communist dictatorship. The party is banned in Germany to this day. This is the intellectual heritage they claim and logos they use. It was resurrected in the 1980s by punk rock types and leftist agitators to fight against anything right wing using violence. It is not a singular organized group with a single goal or philosophy, much like the occupy movement, but are a disparate group of loosely networking individuals that get together for protests. I was drawn to them for the protest aspect. Many objectivists, I find, either put too much stock in voting and democratic politics, or are just too intellectual to be involved in practical action. I am interested in agorism and building alternative institutions, so naturally a group claiming to be about anti fascist action sounded promising. Objectivists, I still do believe, should be the real Antifa. They are also anti racism, anti sexism, anti bigotry, what are we if not all of those things? So I thought they were about using private, voluntary, and non-state means to fight these things through protests, boycotts, social pressure, doxing, etc, which sounded great. I thought, like many left-liberals dissatisfied with the Democratic Party establishment, they would be young, intellectual, and interested in fighting oppression and injustice, and I could influence them towards liberty and individualism. I knew many of them were left-libertarians or left-anarchists, but I had success in the past interacting with them. What I found was a group of extreme, violent anti-liberal racial collectivists who are basically social misfits and losers. Many of them are, in fact, extremely racists, much like the BLM folks I interacted with. Events such as "white people stay home day" on campus were endorsed. Yaron mentions this in his podcast, and I can confirm, yes violent leftist agitators were roaming around looking for white people to club. During a protest in California, there was a targeting of anyone who was white in a certain area because it was assumed they were pro-Trump. Many of them believe in some sort of reparation scheme, whereby all whites, regardless of their position in society, must be expropriated to repay for historical oppression. And, this is anecdotal, but I was interacting with an Antifa member who felt comfortable confiding in me, lamentably, that they couldn't openly support extermination of whites. When pushed on this, he circled and said he meant through promoting interracial marriage (except not marriage cause that's oppressive), which is a common thing you hear, that all whites would be technically gone and that would be a good thing. They are also virulently anti-Israel, and to such a point that they want to see it destroyed, and it's not hard to see how that turns into a general hatred of Jews. I think there's also a psychological aspect here and the analysis isn't complete without that. As many have pointed out, the type of person drawn to violent political extremism tends to be someone who is an outcast, is socially awkward or ignored in some way, people who just enjoy being edgy and contrarian, thumb their noses at established norms, and people who have psychopathic personality types. We can probably understand how easy it is, for some young people to be disasstisfied with mainstream conservatism, for example, and join the alt right or patriot type movements, only to be disgusted with them, then read Richard Spencer or something and become a full blown Nazi. Without a principled philosophy, this person is just drifting toward a cult or gang like group until they are embraced by the worst. The same thing happens on the left. Many were disgusted at the betrayal of the Bernie Sanders movement and looked for a better home that would embrace their psychopathic and nihilistic personalities. And the types I found numerous times. I saw a young girl pepper spray an elderly woman who she supposed was a Trump supporter. I saw kids, disabled people, women, moms and dads, random bystanders, etc. attacked with batons or sticks, or hit with projectiles. When I asked her if this was morally okay to her, I got the usual anti-conceptual "revolution isn't pretty" type response and was told this many times. "Break some eggs, if you want to make an omelette" slogan was repeated to me. I saw the group full of these punk rocker types and various social misfits that had no problem hitting women or elderly people. To the extent that I found anyone receptive to ethical egoism, I only found support of the egoism of Max Stirner, who believed that morality and law were artificial and limiting constructs, and supported a subjectivist and emotionalist type of egoism. But in generally, I found them to be anti-intellectual and not interested in ideas. Evaluation of whether something is threatening to me isn't a numerical comparison of sins, such that I would go "Antifa: socialists, Nazis: socialists + racists" that's two sins versus one, so Nazis are more immoral. Based on the foregoing, I do put Antifa in the same category as the Klan or Nazi type groups. Both involve bringing in people with nutjob views, dysfunctional personality types, social awkwardness, etc into the cultlike embrace of the group, and derive enjoyment from transgressing established norms of society. Both are racialist and both want socialist dictatorships. Both are perfectly fine with using violence to achieve that goal. Both are, in my view, one step removed from being domestic terrorist groups. Both are a danger to themselves and to me and to society as a whole. Im not sure how much political power they have, but Hilary Clinton was opposed by the Sanders movement, incredibly popular with young people. Many of those people moved on to Antifa and BLM groups. They have a way of infiltrating any leftist gathering and scouting for new recruits. I believe they are Soros funded and their actions whitewashed by the media. That's how we see things like mainstream liberal types who just think we need more peace and love protesting right next to a hardened left agitator with a hammer and sickle flag and nobody questions it. But everyone immediately knows Nazis are bad. One thing is certain, don't let your kids or friends join these groups, and don't go to these protests. Just stay away.
  16. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Yes let's debate about the statue. I kinda don't get all this "let's dismantle all statues that represent bad things" mentality. The cultural left is making a concerted effort recently to attack all Confederate symbols, the flags and parks and monuments, and have them removed from public places. I am completely unsympathetic to the Confederacy and consider myself a left-libertarian, I was originally sympathetic to the Antifa side and got involved with them until I learned they were violent and hated free speech. But I still don't get it. I don't feel a huge need to take down Confederate monuments. I feel like that's their (southern whites?) history. I don't know, doesn't bother me, but I can't explain it. RE Lee doesn't even seem like all that bad of a guy to me. Maybe it's all the problems in American inner cities. Educational system is a failure and everyone knows it. Black illegitimacy and the black family is in shambles. Welfarism is rampant and black on black crime is shockingly high. Baltimore can't even get no one to murder during "nobody murder anyone" weekend. The drug war, welfare state, socialized housing, gentrification, is wrecking the inner city, but hey let's go tear down a statue. If anything, I feel like the one semi-legitimate grievance the Nazis had was protesting "they're erasing our culture and heritage!" If they could've stuck to that instead of the whole killing all Jews thing, might've been better for them. I get the argument that it represents bad things, but as many have pointed out, most historical statues do. I guess we have to pave over the Spanish steps because Roman culture was oppressive? We should dismantle the Parthenon and "put it in a musem"? We must destroy Native American artifacts too, Chinese, Muslim (good luck!) and generally side with ISIS in wiping out all historical culture that doesn't conform to current PC beliefs? Whose beliefs? Who decides? What about the statue of Lenin in Seattle? Who decides and on what basis? It's impossible. Ah but intent. Most people want to draw a line and say historical representations are okay, but if the government intends it as honor, then we have to remove it. But I haven't seen anyone argue for that from foundational principles. I don't get it either. Who can make an argument? I'll try to start out with something like this: 1. From a strict libertarian point of view the problem would be solved by private property. All statues would be privately owned and displayed on private property and thus avoid conflicts over their use. 2. Since the above isn't going to happen and governments insist on funding public statues with public money, we can at least say that decisions over which statues should be displayed should be the decisions of local communities and councils, not outsiders. Non residents should get no say in the matter. 3. The city council of Charlottesville had voted to remove the statue. The vast majority of the protestors and counter protestors were outsiders. 4. Since the statue is public property and on a public park, the city council was wrong to deny a permit to protest the removal. Another issue private property would have solved. 5. The park and the statue could have been placed on the market for an open bid. The proceeds then donated to a scholarship fund for promising young black students or entrepreneurs, for example. Or the city taxpayers could have been given direct ownership shares in the park as a publicly held corporation. The new owners as shareholders could then decide internally on what to do with it and would not be required to issue a permit or accommodate Nazis. There were so many more creative ways of dealing with this. The market is capable of finding so many other mutually beneficial solutions, to demand one single government monopoly solution in every government statue case, as if the authoritarian left is going to go around and purge all the statues, a la ISIS, is stunting creativity and an intellectually lazy response.
  17. Immigration as related to loyalty

    Also: The great 26 page thread Immigration Law in Arizona In short: In a free society you have a right to private property. To exclude immigrants if you want on yours, but not to prevent newcomers from me on mine. But maybe we can keep this thread for Charlottesville and discuss immigration in a different one?
  18. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    Nobody said that. Of course "America First" is a great term and a great anti-imperialist political tradition. I was excited by his use of it, at first. But that is decidedly not the tradition Trump is placing himself in. Insofar as nationalism goes, if you are reducing it so simple preference of the near over the far, then you've sufficiently defanged it. But that is decidedly not what the Nazis and alt-right mean by it. Mises often distinguished between more peaceful and liberal types of nationalism aiming at self-determination, localism, and subsidiarity, for example, and nationalism aiming protectionism, aggressive war, bigotry and race struggle, redistribution and socialism, and a new American ceasarism. In short, the strain of nationalism embraced by the alt-right and neo-Nazis is not exactly the same thing Ayn Rand believed when speaking in support of the America First Comittee pre-WW2.
  19. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    To be fair though, what this has to do with blaming Trump, is vis-a-vis the political narrative in the fallout of the event. Just like after a presidential debate is over, no matter what happened and what the facts are, all participants and their spokesmen will retire to the "spin room" to try and mold perception in their favor. As we are in the midst of a kulturkampf, the characterization of the events during and after the rally is being used to score political punches in the wake of the event, I agree with Grames on that at least.
  20. White Supremacist Protest Violence

  21. White Supremacist Protest Violence

    It does appear, at least from a cursory glance at accounts, that this is a somewhat correct sequence of events: 1. VA government wants to take down government statue of government employee in government park. 2. Nazis organize to protest, apply for necessary permits to do so. 3. Permits are rejected, Nazis, with help of ACLU take government to court and win. 4. Nazis march along preplanned route to park. 5. Counter protests organized with mostly angry normal people with a healthy contingent of Commies (BLM, Antifa, etc.) 6. Commies confront Nazis along their route, trying to physically block them, disrupt them, fight them ("punch a nazi"), pepper spray them, throw things, etc. and tried to block them from rallying around the statue, as they were legally permitted to do, and violence ensues. Again, we must also mention the Nazi motorist that appears to have intentionally ran over a bunch of Commies. Even if BLM and Antifa are at fault for the street fights, and the Nazis wanted a peaceful protest, they still do want to kill all the Jews and for the government to forcefully remove all non-whites. In the words of Ludwig von Mises, "You're all a bunch of socialists."
  22. Individual Rights Timeline

    To help fill your gap between the natural law theologians and Locke, try researching the jurists Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf. Both were hugely influential to Locke and Paine and quoted by both.
  23. Yeah are you not familiar with the entire western liberal philosophic tradition? Basically one giant "No" to the pessimistic view of human nature expressed by Hobbes in which the authoritarian right has adopted wholeheartedly.