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dream_weaver

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  1. If this means stepping in front of the juggernaut, prudence dictates otherwise. As was indicated earlier, not paying taxes, or more specifically, individuals or even a small community actively seeking to secede are used as examples to put on the 10:00 news, keeping the silent machine rolling seemingly relentlessly forward.
  2. I'm not so sure. Referencing "The God of the Machine" (Pg. 27): Men made the statutes; and it was understood that a statute might be inequitable or ill-advised, but a bad law reflected on the legislators; statutes were open to change, without impairing the majesty of the law in principle. The means of repeal or alteration were provided, without recourse to violence. Thus the idea of law answered to reason though it was superior to expediency. Not speaking for Don Athos and simultaneously addressing part of Eioul's point, it seems that descriptive law versus prescriptive law again rears with regard to taxation.
  3. According to the link you provided epistemologue: E. TAX & MILITARY OBLIGATIONS /NO ESCAPE FROM PROSECUTION Persons who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship should be aware of the fact that renunciation of U.S. citizenship may have no effect on their U.S. tax or military service obligations (contact the Internal Revenue Service or U.S. Selective Service for more information). In addition, the act of renouncing U.S. citizenship does not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States, or escape the repayment of financial obligations, including child support payments, previously incurred in the United States or incurred as United States citizens abroad. Continuing to work in the US after renunciation of citizenship may be more difficult, but I doubt it can be used as a dodge of future taxes if pursued here.
  4. From Rand's notes: [Toohey] is the great Nihilist of the spirit. Toohey understands human greatness and the motive-power of human greatness better than any other man in the story. Roark is great, but too unself-conscious to analyze or understand it—for a long time. Keating and Wynand seek greatness blindly. Toohey knows its roots. One other passage I found that comes across as relevant to myself is from OPAR Pg. 170 Of all the variants of emotionalism, nihilism is the ugliest. Working off your title question accordingly: All power-lusters are emotionalists. Some emotionalists are nihilists.
  5. Except that it isn't. If life is what you want, you must pay for it, by accepting and practicing a code of rational behavior. Morality, too, is a must—if; it is the price of the choice to live. That choice itself, therefore, is not a moral choice; it precedes morality; it is the decision of consciousness that underlies the need of morality. OPAR Pg. 245 Miss Rand addresses this with the exchange between Dagny Taggart and Hugh Akston in the valley: So long as men desire to live, I cannot lose my battle." "Do they?" said Hugh Akston softly. "Do they desire it?
  6. Living along in a small, detached home may save less money than living with roommates, but why does it necessitate attaching it to an ideal, or even right or wrong? I like strawberry rhubarb pie. You may not. Strawberry rhubarb pie may be a little more expensive than apple. Does this make the preference less than ideal, or right or wrong? In a world where prescriptive law (moral or otherwise) seems preferential to descriptive law, maybe the price differential holds more weight. I'm of the mindset that my taste buds set the objectivity of my preferences with regard to what I eat (obviously setting nutrition and other health related issues aside). In so far as preference goes, I'm willing to concede that you, objectively, may like apple pie more or value your pocketbook more than your taste-bud input, but in so far as matters of personal preference goes, this moves the matter out of of the realm of prescriptive morality at that point.
  7. Where would you draw the line between objective legal engineering and intrusive micromanaging? From what I can gather, the "invisible hand" relies on the virtue of the pawns.
  8. I used a particular protest, elements of which reminded me of Miss Rand's article. Both took place at Berkeley. Both were directed toward aspects disagreement with the policies of the administration. It would be quite the hasty generalization to go from two particulars being wrong to "violent resistances are always wrong." Patterson's consideration of old Seattle's speech characterized how an elder statesman of the Noble Savages viewed the young braves. I did not look for supporting documentation to find commentary about the recent Berkeley incident that might characterize the protesters in a similar vein. I'm enjoying re-reading Patterson's book. Seeing some of Miss Rand's comments in her review of the book points out Patterson's reliance on engineering terms creates the impression of a metaphorical discussion. And with metaphor in mind, some day Rand should reach the status of Pytheas, albeit without the loss of her books.
  9. I was using "children" as a pejorative. Since the age of reason, better reasoning has been available, just not availed to. In the case of the Indian braves, they were acting according to their traditions and upbringing. Patterson's passage on rights came later in the book, and the simple meaning, as she iterates, seems to have been forgotten or deliberately obscured. In this case it seems the "right" demanded by the protesters is veto power over the school's right to set the venue for a particular speaker.
  10. I'm not clear on your position here. Are you implying that the protesters that vandalized and set fire to the buildings had a well reasoned case forming the basis for their protest that was not being listened to?
  11. This has to be re-stated, for the simple meaning of the statement that the right to life and liberty are inalienable has been forgotten or deliberately obscured. Persons unaccustomed to attach exact meanings to words will say that the fact that a man may be unjustly executed or imprisoned negates this proposition. It does not. The right is with the victim none the less; and very literally it cannot be alienated, for alienated means passing into the possession of another. One man cannot enjoy either the life or liberty of another. If he kills ten men he will not thereby live ten lives or ten times as long; nor is he more free if he puts another man in prison. Rights are by definition inalienable; only privileges can be transferred. Even the right to own property cannot be alienated or transferred; though a given item of property can be. If one man's rights are infringed, no other man obtains them; on the contrary, all men are thereby threatened with a similar injury. pg. 89 She goes on from here to take Jeremy Bentham's "the greatest good of the greatest number" to task. Meanwhile, Mark Scott's line, "If you don't know your rights, you don't have any" is brought back into clear focus through this passage.
  12. This was put on record by a famous chief, old Seattle, who had been instrumental in uniting a number of Pacific Coast tribes. When the white men came, he saw that his people were done for. In a valedictory oration, acceding to a treaty, he explained, recapitulating the function of the chief simply as matter of fact: "Youth is impulsive. . . ." Early American's had viewed the Indian tribes as being without government. From where they came from, and what they had been taught, the Indians lived in a way was not supposed to be possible. it was a profound shock to discover that crime was rather less prevalent among savages with no government than in a society with authoritarian government minutely applied. The savages practiced most of the lay virtues: courage, hospitality, truthfulness, loyalty, perhaps even chastity. True that they made war and were sometimes cruel, but Europeans made war and legalized torture. pg. 64 The young Indian men were moved by vengeance rather than the ideal that was gathering heat in the hearts of the colonists. The old Indian men and women saw otherwise because they held to the ways of tradition passed down for as long as they could remember. Yes, the ire of the young men could not be held in sway by the council of the elders, generating a force which could not be contained nor directed by the councils frame of reference. The protesters are like the young Indian men, in that they are moved by the emotion of the moment, brought about by the teaching they have been exposed to. In this way, the violence of the protest is a regression to a more primitive form of conflict resolution. This is why I characterized it as the "triumphant release" or perhaps the advance "of the primordial brute."
  13. I would say epistemolgue is expounding on the following: Determinism is the theory that everything that happens in the universe—including every thought, feeling, and action of man—is necessitated by previous factors, so that nothing could ever have happened differently from the way it did, and everything in the future is already pre-set and inevitable. Every aspect of man’s life and character, on this view, is merely a product of factors that are ultimately outside his control. Objectivism rejects this theory. The facts that man can create computers and develop programming languages and write programs that emulate playing chess that can "beat" a chess Grandmaster is further evidence for the rejection of the theory of determinism.
  14. You missed the gist of my post.
  15. Providing a little context (from page 13): What the past shows, by overwhelming evidence, is that the imponderables outweigh every material article in the scales of human endeavor. Nations are not powerful because they possess wide lands, safe ports, large navies, huge armies, fortifications, stores, money, and credit. They acquire those advantages because they are powerful, having devised on correct principles the political structure which allows the flow of energy to take its proper course. The question is, how; for the generator and the possible transmission lines and available outlets to either benefit or destruction are always the same. The only difference between past and present in respect of energy is quantitative, a higher potential available at a higher flow, which makes a wrong hook-up more appalling in its effect by the given ratio, becoming apparent literally in a world explosion. The principles of the conversion of energy and of its appropriate mechanism for human use cannot change; these are universals. Isolating this element: The question is, how; for the generator and the possible transmission lines and available outlets to either benefit or destruction are always the same. One can take the liberty to derive: Human beings, in conjunction with the philosophy of their culture, can only serve towards benefit or destruction. This is always the same. Taking one further point from this excerpt: The principles of the conversion of energy and of its appropriate mechanism for human use cannot change; these are universals. Consider modifying "of its appropriate mechanism" to "of its appropriate or inappropriate mechanism." If the right questions lead to the right answers, where do the wrong questions lead? It should follow then, that the right answers lead to the appropriate mechanisms, whilst the wrong answers lead to the inappropriate mechanisms. — just sayin'. The final consideration on this excerpt is: The only difference between past and present in respect of energy is quantitative. The relationship between "quantitative" and "measurement" is the "what" that is being counted. With regard to "energy", the "what" is, as far as I know, yet philosophically ambiguous.