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whYNOT

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Everything posted by whYNOT

  1. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    After repeated attempts, have you not understood Rand's premise? A man must not be disallowed what he morally earns. Period. See my last post for one example (by the IRS). That has not the slightest bearing on opening doors, etc. etc. but, somehow, you try to conflate the two. One has to appreciate that living a full and selfish life means contact, engagement , awareness and enjoyment of other humans if only in the moment, and always, for some, the potential of becoming future values to one's life (implicit, when not explicit, in Rand's extended writings). If all you see of rational egoism (misreading Rand) is blocking oneself from perceiving others' values (and their dis-values) to the extent of never volunteering to lend a hand on occasions, THAT is a secluded, self-constricted view of egoism a rational egoist would want no part of. If anything, I am sure the "mindful", rational person is more highly aware than anyone. "Rational" is the predominant part and prerequisite of rational egoism. To say again, a "breach", which worries you, is what is forced upon one - by others, altruists. Also it surely doesn't need repeating that one functions on many levels, in a team, in a community, in a family, in work, and so on - all of which should be rewarding, none of which is self-sacrificial, unless or until it is.
  2. Grames, I for one, and several others I'm sure would like to read your thinking on dualism - etc. The relationship of dualism to rationalism - and - of reductive materialism to empiricism and skepticism, for that matter. Can I prevail upon you to open a thread?
  3. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    merjet, I think it's always possible to read too many "implications" into e.g. this statement by Rand. It can happen one takes the complicated route and will over-analyze a proposition when all one needs do is take her at face value ("literally"). This is not, I think, to be read from the perspective of an imperative which rules a rational egoist's acts, instead, from the perspective of strong opposition to any who'd sacrifice some to others - at cost to the egoist and non-rational egoist alike, generally. If one were to say to a staunch laissez-faire, anti-statist-welfarist, self-supporting, professional, working individual, who has known financial struggles and knows he is never totally secure from more in future - that it is a moral injustice that a portion of his/her income 'must' be deducted by edict of the state in order to be 'redistributed' to support those who don't or won't think, work and take responsibility for their own values as he has done--he (and you, I'm sure) would readily agree. To add too, that his consent has been removed from even helping those people whom he would prefer to charitably aid by choice, indiscriminately favoring any and all 'others'. He (the moral "actor") is being 'breached' from some of his due earnings/values, to sustain "immoral" "nonactors", and so cannot be the full "beneficiary" of them. That is simply all that Rand opposes, above: "The Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action". This will most often be a financial sacrifice, commonly to the state and the IRS, but there are many more subtle, insidious ways by which altruism separates actor and beneficiary, and not always monetary. (The early part of her statement in isolation, it's interesting, does not distinguish a rational egoist from the broad society: it is for and applies to them all, "the sacrifice of some men to others", whether or not most in society concur with coercive taxation),
  4. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    There are two relevant sentences, a paragraph apart: "...and that man must be the beneficiary of his own moral actions." "The Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action and that man must act for his own *rational* self-interest". Yes, "beneficiary" is singular. Standing for all beneficiaries and all individuals. What of it, and what is it that Rand considered of supreme importance here? This is a high level abstract principle, not a 'how to' guide. I think to carry away the implication that "man" or the individual must never open a door for some frail person, slow down his car to let another driver pull out into the traffic ahead of him--or any action of which he is not the obvious , single "beneficiary"--trivializes what is rational self-interest - and too, what is altruism. I can only see the consequences of this approach, enacted in the many incidents in daily life, heading one into a narrow and self-conflicted irrational and subjective selfishness, when, conversely, the import of Rand is rational egoism's expansiveness and liberation to act for oneself without anxiety and guilt of others' needs and demands. (Context: if one is in a hurry to take one's sick child to hospital, one will and must act according to one's value-hierarchy, disregarding all else). There should be no self-conflict about such temporary, minor matters of considerate assistance to others (without a self-sacrifice of time, etc.), which Rand apparently thought self-evident enough. (Like good manners - or the recognition of others' ends in themselves lives). It would be ludicrous to worry that such actions are 'altruist' or in any way contra-egoistical. Paradox-seeming, at first, the capability to identify/evaluate situations and perform such minor acts for others is, instead, a confident affirmation of one's rational egoism.
  5. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    As an aside I recall now, I like this passage from (I think) her book on ethics, by Tara Smith: "As long as egoism is portrayed as materialistic, hedonistic, emotion-driven, or predatory, we can sympathize with those looking elsewhere for guidance". Thanks. Very important what you observe there about "aware and mindful". An individual's mind-full-ness is the central characteristic of Objectivism, I think, from the senses to evaluations to high abstractions. With that expanding knowledge, simply, the more one knows, the more that one finds value and the more one cares about all things. The more, then, that has to be protected by one. These volitional acts and contents of a consciousness equally justify rational egoism, and make it a crucial necessity.
  6. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Merjet, It would be helpful if you made clear your interpretation, and what is your objection to that. Or else I must continue guessing that you read in there by Rand that any action one performs for others (e.g. considering aiding the old person cross a busy street) as: What's in it for me? What will I get out of it? If no gain is likely, the act must not be made. Please tell me if that's correct? If so, I maintain still, this is a narrow and most eccentric reading of Rand's statement - which I think is aimed against altruism and altruists, not FOR rational egoism. i.e. they who'd lay claim to any benefits resulting from the actor's "moral" actions. If you are correct and such is Rand's case, then would be understandable the need to make corrections and adjustments to rational egoism. Obviously I do not believe so.
  7. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    "Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?" (there's a little more I put in my argument). But of course that's my own interpretation, then and now.
  8. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Hi merjet, I apparently have read a different interpretation and grasped other implications to you. Foremost for me is that Rand delivered the injunction solely against and for the attention of sacrificial altruists and not for the egoist and the totality of all the minor acts he may execute in a lifetime. In effect: Nobody may take away from nor interfere with, nor separate from the actor's "moral" actions the benefits he worked for. Thus, actor=beneficiary. This is made clear by the fuller context, in which she inveighs against the injustice of "the sacrifice of some men to others, of the actors to non-actors, of the immoral to the moral". Just previously, she wrote: "...and that man must be the beneficiary of his own *moral* actions". Specially note "moral". Are the simple and occasional acts of kindness and assistance which a rational egoist might choose to carry out - "moral"? As in an old example - Is to guide an elderly stranger across a road -- moral? Not in Objectivist ethics. Like donating to one's chosen charity, the acts have no "moral" weight (while not being immoral, either). You will agree, I think, that what are "moral" actions to Rand is what someone performs directly for one's own objective good through one's reason, integrity, and productiveness - and therefore - whatever should accrue to one financially, intellectually or psychologically must not be obstructed by anyone. At stake is the moral individual's values, so his life, which some others will try to endanger in the name of sacrifice. "Yet, that is the meaning of altruism [man's life is evil] implicit in such examples as the equation of an industrialist with a robber". VoS. You will know too that Rand somewhere pointed out a truth we well notice, that altruism is what eventually makes kindness or benevolence among men impossible. I infer from this that she took as a given that outside of an altruist dominated society, human kindness is normal and 'natural'. And not even remarkable.
  9. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Eiuol, Right, and excuse me for butting in. I persisted on the topic because I think it is an error to take Rand in her statement as proclaiming some sort of imperative directed at a rational egoist - and so one must be sure to *always be* the beneficiary of *every* act... Rather, it seems to me that hers is a generalized 'categorical injunction' (if I may call it) - to any readers - that it is an immorality to divide the beneficiary from actor, to take from him the fruits of his effort. Is it proper to assist another person, say - someone physically struggling, or give words of advice - etc.etc. - when and if one is aware, nearby and able? Insert the countless incidents you know of. With no expectation of benefit or reward, and not accepted, if offered? Of course it is. One's many non-self sacrificial actions involving others didn't have to be specified by Rand, they're a given. There are innumerable occasions of simple human contact when you may unknowingly have given someone a sort of spiritual boost, with only a word or two, a smile, or simply your presence. Times, others do the same for you. I think this is a form of trade and with no clear beneficiary and no gauge to measure the effects. Way I see it, to adhere to one's rational egoism is and should be, an expansive and liberating life-experience, never a cramped or proscribed one. It's plain this object must have been Rand's purpose, far more than having concerns about whether this action might be "self-sacrifice". Similar to living in the freedom to act which individual rights brings, the overriding question at any stage for the consciously aware, volitional and thinking egoist (rational) is: What should I do (for my good)? And not: what may I not do - what am I permitted to do? Cheers.
  10. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I think that consideration of "exchange" is a red herring which is confusing things. Her statement does not specify other agents - and not, whether or not anyone else should benefit or gain (or not) in 'a trade'. There isn't trade with others at this stage, only the actor and who benefits from his actions. It simply and generally states a principle, that what one puts in, in "moral" effort, is what one should get out. Action - > benefit, without interference or sacrifice. At this stage there isn't "an other" implicit or explicit, only the rational selfishness of ("moral") productive work and the advantages one earns from it. The foundation for one's pursuance of life and happiness: "SINCE all values have to be gained and or kept by men's moral actions, any breach"... (and so on)... therefore, and because of this, whatever resources or benefits etc. you earn from your work is yours to keep--in order to gain and keep your values (which I've said include also your human values). "As a man sows, so shall he reap". Apt and accurate.
  11. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    "...that *concern with his own interests* is the essence of a moral existence, and that *man must be the beneficiary of his own moral actions*." "Since all values have to be gained and/or kept by men's actions...etc" The lead-in from the previous paragraph is (I think) the proper context, by which Rand contrasts a moral existence with sacrificial altruism. Simply, men must not be separated by others from the benefits (of any kind) of their moral acts. She is opposing the individual's sacrifice here, primarily. If you want that, you must do this. If you want to sustain your supreme value, life, you must act (and benefit from the acts). If you want to gain other values that enrich your life, the same. If you want to keep your intimate human values, ditto. I can't see a problem of inconsistency with Rand, in proposing "sub-beneficiary" for those human/spiritual values which one has to act to gain and/or keep, such as raising one's child, tending to a sick spouse, helping a struggling friend. [And too, one's emotional responses (to one's value-judgments). E.g. seeing someone in trouble or suffering, perceiving the disvalue, and helping them financially or physically to 'get back on their feet' to regain their independence, will contain for one - we know from our experiences and as Rand put it - the beneficial element of "pleasure" (without guilt and moral duty)]. All these acts above and a multitude of others presuppose that the actor and the beneficiary are one and the same, causally and morally, without "breach". The 'resources' (esp. money, but not exclusively) one gains this way are alone those which enable one's gaining and/or keeping of - anything. Those fine emotions, the prerequisite of happiness, particularly. Anyone limiting or cutting into your resources commits your sacrifice.
  12. whYNOT

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Hi merjet, I have always argued for this statement at its most simplistic, literal and 'transactional' level. You earn and deserve the fruits of your endeavors. In justice, there must be no interloper or interruption between what you do and what you gain. After which -- the proceeds of the "transaction" will *then* be one's choice of how to disperse towards one's objectively selfish values - and given that one's values encompass the material-> spiritual range - first will be one's own life and its furtherance while to certainly include and benefit all others whom one values, finds worth in, likes, etc. (hierarchically, from our highest love -value, to donating support without deriving material benefit for a stranger). I can't find any contradiction in this with Rand's other writings (or actually, in real experience and consideration). To my mind, this is no more than a pretty basic precept of hers, a moral warning to those men who'd sacrifice other men. The actor, the base of thought, virtue, work and effort is "you", inseparable from your value-choices, so "you" must be the initial, while not only and final, beneficiary. My opinion in passing... (that may well have been covered within this long thread)
  13. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    To "have no sense of reality" ... not within them, but somewhere in that space which divides one human body from another" - might be taken metaphorically, until one finds that such people actually exist. I've had the feeling of someone who is 'there', but not "there", who functions superficially as, and says and does all the normal, human things, but displays a hollowness, I take as a lack of self. This is the person I think who is often a-conceptual ("anti-conceptual"). What Rand doesn't indicate here about second-handers, is their absence of "self-value", which he has dissipated into others, along with reality. The (volitional conceptual/reasoning consciousness, then, evidently from Rand, is the absolute prerequisite for rational selfishness. One is "centred" by one's conceptual formation, while equally being "grounded" in reality (when one's concepts are). In short, the second-hander hasn't a "sense of reality", by his failure to conceptualize reality, and he hasn't a valued 'centre', as result. There is also the second-hander's link to altruism. "Somewhere in that space between..." could be prescient about cyberspace, concerning internet communication and information - 'reality', being 'out there', in amongst 'the mass consciousness', or "collective mind". An absorbing question for me, is if the power of Internet, requiring people's integration, evaluation and conceptualism more than ever before - is also furthering second-handers/altruists/collectivists at a higher rate?
  14. whYNOT

    Why follow reason?

    Definitely. The means exist - the O'ist epistemology - the (rewarding)work needs to follow. When one succeeds in creating concepts "from scratch" from one's senses, after to become comfortable applying/implementing the resulting principles back to real things, then one fully owns them and has earned them. This is not a philosophy to learn by rote, nor exclusively by theory, I think.
  15. whYNOT

    Here I Stand

    What an outstanding, deep article by Ghate, Stephen. Yes, individual existence: the ultimate value. Each, the capability to find value and to create value (and to be valued) - by reasoned choice, not command. Each a single state to and from whom all blessings arrive and flow. For all their mysticism, God worship, obedience, dualist-conflict - and periods of brutality or interference, I am unsure if secularists (often, 'neo-mystics')will hold civilisation together as long as did the religious who at least placed absolute worth in the Immortal Soul of an individual. When the bother of the Soul was dispensed with by reductive materialists - severing it along with the conscious mind, the "self" - I ask, wasn't it one step forward and half a step backwards for man?
  16. Right. I getcha. You mean the common or garden 'selfish' cynic, who in our terms is subjectivist, egotistical, predatory. And sure, valueless. One way I have of seeing "the Donald" is of the poacher turned gamekeeper. On balance, I'd say, good -- while a-principled. Again, he openly admitted to "being part of the problem", so I view that as honesty. I didn't believe he originated the phrase, btw. Add: I looked it up in my ancient Concise Oxford: 1. Of, characteristic of, the Cynic philosophers; 2. philosopher of sect founded by Antisthenes, marked by ostentatious contempt for pleasure; 3. Sneering fault finder. Interesting how the word has completely been adapted into a modern connotation. I'll still go with the insight of Oscar Wilde...
  17. Hi DA, That's not a definition of cynicism I know of (or understand), much better is the account of a cynic in Wilde's words: a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Rational "self-interest" or rational selfishness, has everything to do with (objective) value, of course, so I don't get the connection. I'm more in favour of the "draining the swamp" metaphor for your president's actions.
  18. Keith, I am a little confused about which paragraph of mine you meant to highlight and discuss...? Individual rights not requiring an Objectivist society - or the qualities needed, or not, from a leader? The position I maintain, simply, is that a leader is the result of millions of value-choices by individual people, their implicit or explicit identifications, self-identities and evaluations - which means a huge aggregate of mixed people's beliefs, morals, aspirations and purposes, (etc.) right down to their personal fears and hopes. A good leader today may identify and purportedly try to answer to some of that, but he is ultimately the elected official. AR: "To be free, a man must be free from his brother" (all they who 'democratically' elect a particular Party and a leader, so dictating everyone's futures). Democracy per se, "rule by the majority", is inherently flawed because a majority are often wrong; it generalizes ('averages out') into a mass that which is individual, and will favor some groups over others. The best that I think can be said for democracy is - Presidents come and Presidents and parties go. Of course, Rand's individual rights and the view of mankind by the Framers of the US Constitution transcends the flaws. Who the President would be under a future dispensation, declines altogether in significance; then, the individual thinks for himself and looks for his own just desserts according to his rationality and efforts. Saying that, and what you already you know about the faults of democracy, how possibly could the "Constitutional Republic" have devolved to "a Democracy" for many Americans, and further descend to a "Social Democracy", the goal for some of them? Reminded here by what I read of Barack Obama's speech he made yesterday at some function. Very correctly he bemoaned "values ... not being upheld". Rightfully he pointed to "facts" avoided. Sounds good. But which "values" can he mean - and what "facts" ... when he referred a couple of times to the USA as "our democracy"? That's "a fact" I object to, especially by an ex-president. I've often taken exception to anyone forgetting or degrading the USA's identity of Constitutional Republic, equating it with every pretender to "Democracy" in the world. Finding common ground, one remark of yours took me aback. President Trump , "a national-socialist"?! A Nazi, you say?! Surely not...
  19. Indeed, "President Galt", at a time the American people are ready for - and deserving - of him, will exist and he'll step forward for the job. Cause and effect must be observed. The dog wags his tail, horse draws the cart, etc., and Americans who by vast majority demand their individual self-responsibility, neither desiring to 'own' other people's bodies -nor their minds, and blocking government interference in their lives, can bring about reduced government, individual rights, and so on. I keep emphasizing self-responsibility, since this quality alone is well-known to Americans and already acceptable and necessary to many, as the pathway to that end and I theorize, its fastest means of implementation. A simple but critical point to clear up for newer O'ists - I think - an Objectivist society, as such, will not have to be the prerequisite for that outcome. While of course it will be Influenced strongly by Objectivist ideas. Clearly all through Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, a general society, not exclusively Objectivist, was envisaged by Rand I concede that an exceptional leader has some power to change opinion within a populace, but I think the most objectively principled president, who ~somehow~manages to come to power in today's climate, still can't lead where his supporters and opponents won't follow. Your thoughts of world "emulation" are true, but it carries both the bad - and the good. One needs to see and know 'concrete' moral exemplars of e.g. freedom, individualism, reason - if one is rational. But too, I am seeing here, in RSA, the vaguely-held, notional ideologies of Socialism and neo-Marxism on the rise, fed by power hungry politicians, miscomprehending average people - and the immoral intellectuals (who do understand the ideas). Those essential altruists, who blindly and dependently copycat social -economic, and political trends in Europe, Africa or Latin America, have to be shown (yet again) how they don't work, but spell disaster for people and nations. Beating back the bad ideas in western nations might change the perceptions in other countries. In this important respect you there are an example to us. If the section - mainly represented by 18 - 30 year olds, I read somewhere - which is the extreme Socialist Left in the US gradually gains ground, that will sanction Leftism in many other places. Sort of, "America(!) condones this, why can't we?"
  20. whYNOT

    Jumping into the fray

    Tenderlysharp, Quite a journey. I concur with Ninth, you have a special writing/thinking expressiveness which (I think) you should keep building upon. I experience too that mind-shift from verbalizing to visualizing when I take up the camera after a while, it feels like almost a physical effort at first, before engaging that important visual clarity and fluidity again. (As aside, you must know of the neuroscience findings of "neuroplasticity", a brain self-consciously directing, establishing, re-establishing - and creating - new neural pathways, which bears out our minds' volition, the "self-made soul" . The scientists have lately begun to catch up with the philosopher and the artist-creator who has always known or sensed this phenomenon...!) May I add: I realize you must satisfy your own standards, but you don't need to be too unforgiving on yourself. It may not be so clear at the time, but one develops even in 'failure', as one pushes at the boundaries of existence and one's mind to bring them together.
  21. Yes, but my problem is that Obama did recognize a principle, the principle of American exceptionalism - it is just that in the same breath he praised other countries' 'exceptionalism', too! In other words, he negated the concept. Not everyone can be equally exceptionalist, by definition. In that, he exposed his basic relativist, egalitarian principles, I think. Whereas, Trump (by intuition, some might say) does have a clear idea of what exceptionalism looks like, or has looked like. Not trying to be too down on Obama - except for his terrible foreign policies - in retrospect it is too easy to criticize a presidency and I was fairly favorable to him in the beginning. But I was puzzled back then by the "Yes, we can!" slogan. We can --what? I believe it has emerged that means "we can ... be just like everyone else". (i.e. Europeans, and so on). This narrative is what the Obama supporters responded to. We Americans aren't so special, after all. To some, anything but.
  22. Eioul, In reply to your last, I won't attempt an answer. On US history where my knowledge is sketchy, I'll be better informed by well-versed opinions from you and others. (I should explain, my partial understanding of 'things American' has been from about 50 years of "cultural" intake - in all fields: its popular culture, scientific, business, politics, arts, etc. etc. and knowing some Americans, - and by reading at least a thousand American novels, in every variety - any good or great fiction is a useful inductive source of material I feel, about the places, activities, prominent ideas, events, conflicts, types of people and created individuals. Capped of course, from Rand where I learned comprehensively to appreciate the abstract guiding principles of the US). Clearly, in this discussion it emerges that I have a lower expectation from leaders than do others here. I am opposed to and wary of "leaders" anyway, intellectual or not, and think their Executive powers, everywhere in the world are excessive. (Even in the USA and its superior system of government). My low expectation is best summed up by that adage that the right man/woman for the job of President wouldn't want or take it. (Being a little facetious, can you imagine a President Galt...?) While I'm exploring pure theory for a moment, I'll take the opportunity to insert a reminder of Rand's words which struck me very early on: "Under a proper social system, a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally *forbidden*; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally *permitted*." (CUI: Appendix) Back in reality, you are nowhere near there yet, and I'm never going to see it here. However, that statement is the standard to hold in mind, I think, of what a severely delimited government actually is. In it the president is not required to be "intellectual", as such, in fact that could be a detraction from his job. His task as chief Civil Servant is simply protectionist of the rights of all the citizens of a country.
  23. "Principles". Well, call me crazy, but I prefer a president who implicitly recognizes: "You did build that!" That is principled. I was early in naming Trump a pragmatist, but have been rethinking this - he shows an inconsistency about ideas, admittedly. I am well aware of the nature of cynics, as leaders or otherwise, and I have yet to notice a Putinish level of cynicism in Trump, regarding the USA, anyway. He displays a grasp of values ("American exceptionalism", barely understood by Barack Obama, going on his remarks). Perhaps call him a "seat-of-his-pants", and even a "sense of life" president - just save me from leader-"intellectuals" of a certain sort. "Principles" are properly the preserve of free citizens, less of their leaders. I really don't believe you have seen how the USA has lately slipped in many outsiders' perceptions. (Not the Left, obviously). It makes sense to me, if you view that building it back to its former status, peacefully making its moral presence known to the world again, is "raising your country over others". Besides, I take it you are for rational selfishness.
  24. Reasoner, Well said, especially on Mystics/neo mystics. From my following and understanding of the USA (and Europe) I believe you are largely right. While I think Peikoff's book is otherwise very good, he (and Yaron's comment, lately, which I hadn't heard) has got Christianity/the religious right all wrong - it is mostly in disarray, while the extreme right is relatively minor, "impotent", as you say, but always gaining excessive media attention (of course). What I've noticed growing over decades, and to me the imminent danger to America, is the Left, known variously as postmodernism, cultural Marxism, Progressivism. This movement is a complex ball of wax to unwind, and none better in my reading than the Objectivist philosopher, Prof. Stephen Hicks, to place it in philosophical, moral, historical and political context with his in-depth and sweeping book 'Understanding Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault'. The usual suspects, Kant, Marx etc., with special attention to the mid-20c French philosophers who were greatly influential in the US, are all in there. He uncovers and forsees the ultimate nihilism of this "pomo" movement. I recommend his website highly: stephenhicks.org What was it Rand wrote about (roughly) the religious wanting your bodies but the Left wanting your minds? I've observed this principle broadly apply multiple times and places. I always say, with the separation of Church/State generally established I don't fear inroads from Christianity; however, there was no such careful separation made for the secular Left -- as we know, the State IS their Church...
  25. Economic policies and individual rights -- yes, but are they in any worse shape than with previous incumbents? Not so I've noticed, Nicky. How about returning to the fundamental approach? Proper rights, capitalism, politics can only be consequences of a sea-change in a culture's ethics. Never possibly by unilateral implementation by any president. Trump apparently refers more to and holds in esteem the model of your Constitution - and further - is effectively, in deed and word, announcing that it is right and good for America and Americans to place her and their own self-interests above whoever makes claim upon them. He doesn't have to be an intellectual to see what has worked best, i.e. individual self-responsibility. If he did no more than bring his influence to bear on this, it would be plenty, and a move to individual rights, etc.. Trump's resistance against the seeping Progressivism presuming upon the US's sacrifice and duty, which other countries (and some American citizens) have long taken for granted, comes in the nick of time. A tipping point is arriving, I think. I hope I'm not being overdramatic in my opinion that the semi-free world depends on what happens there within a short time span. Although not enjoying the lack of independent standards by other countries, too reliant on the USA, as you may be too. (You could be wishing like me that everyone minded their own business, but that ship has sailed). But every supporter or opponent of freedom knows, at least tacitly, that the USA and its vast successes are uniquely the product of moral ideas. Many governments and intellectuals will be given a boost to see those ideas appear to fail, and are gloating at your divisions.
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