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  1. “ON THE OFFICIAL ESTABLISHMENT OF UNITED STATES SPACE TERRITORY” What new fact will scientists discover about the universe that is as rich as Benjamin Franklin’s discoveries about the nature of electricity? What will be the next invention as rich as Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press? How will such advancements drastically enhance human life? When will humans finally explore, colonize, and terraform Mars and beyond? When will more Americans value exploration, discovery and invention? Once they do, the value of human existence will increase, and as a result we will enjoy a richer economy. Unfortunately communists are in an ideological war against exploration, discovery, and invention. Their tactic is deceptive and relies on lying about the nature of such acts; that they are not individualistic in effort, and thus, no private property exists as a result; only uncooperative, disruptive claims of private property. Everything, the communists claim, exists for the sake of the collective; even your thoughts, for if your thoughts disrupt society’s hypnotic state you are to be condemned and shunned. So long as an individual is altruistic, nothing he or she thinks and produces can be more valuable than anything anyone else thinks and produces. This means a communist economy is mediocre by nature. Note that even the Chinese government knows that pure communism makes for a disastrous economy and thus mixes their economy with a public and private sector. Among the facts which the Chinese government is yet to discover is that a mixed economy is likewise disastrous, and is still communist in nature, and preserves its control of the economy by hypocritical means. If you think the Chinese economy is booming, that is only in contrast to the declining, communizing, American economy which is psychotically obliterating itself with debt (some of which it owes to China). If the American economy was more capitalistic, and more Americans were pioneers, the mediocrity of the Chinese economy would be much more obvious to the superficial observer. Communists know that communist economies are mediocre. They believe in a mediocre economy; they just won’t use the word “mediocre”. Instead, they say they believe in an economy most suitable for the “average worker”; or in Karl Marx’s words: “the proletariat”. President Obama has so fierce a hatred for the individual, and private property, that he led an attempt to force every American to purchase health insurance. His hope was that by forcing everyone to purchase health insurance, they would think there was no time to waste searching for the best possible insurance policy, and would instead rush to a government sponsored policy, which would then cause the price of private insurance policies to skyrocket and repel consumers. He wants Americans to surrender their self-determination, their individuality, and their private property. Obama is even attempting to force Christian institutions to provide birth control as part of their health insurance policies despite their religious opposition to doing so and their first amendment right to act on that opposition. Ultimately, the president is attempting to force us to produce and consume what he wants us to produce and consume. The fact that he has been somewhat successful in his evil ambitions indicates that pioneering, i.e., discovering and/or inventing, in America has declined drastically. Despite what some people may say, the American economy is, in Herman Cain’s words “on life support”. This life support is made possible by the few unrelenting capitalists who vocally and actively oppose communism. Although this life support gives me confidence, so long as there exists a gang of communists supporting president Obama, we are being enslaved, and our economy will weaken. The best solution to this problem is communicating not only the ethical justification of capitalism; it also requires capitalistic action, specifically, actual pioneering, and articulating the value of pioneering and that which is pioneered. If enough people do this, our culture will thrive. In order to pioneer, one must have a rich, ethical value hierarchy. This requires the possession of rational principles, understanding the relationship between principles and values, and understanding the nature of values. The pioneer rationally evaluates his/her surroundings, and then introspects, based on his/her logical hopes and personal ideals, in search of something rational and new to produce. The pioneer is either a scientist or an inventor. The basic source of pioneering is an individual’s logical hopes. A logical hope is a logical, and passionate wish. Unfortunately logical hopes tend to be condemned by the apathetics. Apathetics not only condemn the logical hopes of pioneers, they condemn their own logical hopes. This is evident by how rare logical hope is. That is because logic itself is so widely condemned and incorrectly defined. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. The distinguishing characteristic of the concept “logic” is “non-contradiction”, i.e., identifying facts. Wikipedia, which exists to completely obliterate human intelligence, (and given its popularity is quite successful in doing so) has a disturbing article on logic. Wikipedia defines logic as “the philosophical study of valid reasoning”. What is valid reasoning? Blank out. Eventually the term “non-contradiction” appears but it is not mentioned as a fact. The law of non-contradiction, says Wikipedia, is ambiguous. There is nothing ambiguous about the fact that existence exists and a=a. So long as people surrender their reason to the evil of Wikipedia, logic and its psychological manifestation, logical hope, will remain rare. Actively feeling intense logical hope is the first indication that one is thriving or is on one’s way to thriving. It is one of the best emotional experiences one can have. Twelve years ago I read a novel entitled The Cage, by Ruth Minsky Sender, which is about Sender’s experience in Auschwitz. In the novel, she often repeated to herself, a very valuable mantra: “if there is life, there is hope”. It is worth noting that she survived Auschwitz. I should like to add to that: if there is logical hope, there is indeed a logical way to get that which is hoped for. When you have a logical hope, you constantly think about and discuss it. This does two things: 1) since you reiterate your logical hope to your subconscious at a higher frequency, you increase the efficiency of your consciousness getting you what you logically hope for. 2) You share your logical hopes with other people, and even if those among you are completely irrational, so long as they are conscious, regardless of whether or not they are receptive to what you suggest to them, their subconscious’s are at least open to your suggestion, i.e., it records your suggestion. If you make the same suggestion persistently enough, people persistently have to reject or accept your suggestion. The postmodern communists understand this and that is why they dominate the media: so they can reiterate the same evil suggestions over, and over, and over again, to an audience ill equipped to reject and refute their suggestions. But if truth, and evidence of truth is communicated more persistently, the postmodern communists will be incapable of countering all of it and will eventually have to either concede and face reality or attempt to evade it so consumingly that their ideological movement will become greatly weakened, if not obsolete. For example, the segregationists of the 1960’s were defeated, and speaking of the 1960’s, today far less people smoke now than they did then. The best illustration of this point is the fact that so many people use technology, i.e., they accept its high value. Why? Because those who promote the use of technology do so more persistently than those who do not. If scientists, i.e., people who believe in reason, are more persistent in arguing in favor of their beliefs than the postmodern communists, it will stimulate the culture and eventually incite a Renaissance. Consider a rational culture of scientists. People would be more productive not only in the sense that they will be busier but in the sense that they will be producing things which they live for, and which are of high value- this as opposed to resentfully producing junk exclusively for the sake of “paying the bills”. This means: a booming economy: everyone producing and consuming out of love for ingenuity. But currently, postmodern communism is the predominant ideology world-wide and continues to gain more traction. As communistic as the country has been throughout the decades, we were actually heading closer towards more capitalism than more communism courtesy of the technological boom that reached its prime and began declining in the early 2000’s. The technological boom was capitalism’s best defense. The technological boom said to all humans, “look what a human can do when a human is free to produce whatever he or she wants and keep his or her profit!”. Even despite the fact that tax rates were higher during the communistic Clinton administration, the 1990’s saw a stunning and beautiful technological boom. That is because the beauty of new technology still trumped the culture’s frustration with unethical high tax rates. Innovation took priority. I am so grateful to have witnessed, as a child, the contrast of life before and after the internet gained popularity and sophistication. The essence of that contrast was representative of the economy in general, which saw a massive leap in human ability, technological advancement and thus a new, rich, stimulating, life enhancing marketplace which included digital cameras, cellphones, websites, laptops, DVDs, video game systems, Viagra, iPods, digital cable with movies on demand, the International Space Station, et cetera. The innovators, however, despite their capitalistic tendencies, clearly had no understanding of complete metaphysical objectivity and thus surrendered their minds to the postmodern communists. I submit to you, lyrics of a song by a top selling music group which indicates the passionate irrationality of top selling producers, and the passionate irrationality of most consumers: “Science has failed our world Science has failed our mother Earth Science fails to recognize the single most potent element of human existence Letting the reigns go to the unfolding Is faith, faith, faith, faith… Spirit-moves-through-all-things” (“Science”; System of a Down; Doran Malakian, Serj Tankian, Shavo Odadjian, John Dolmayan) Each person who has bought that song or that belief is indeed part of a system bring down civilization. Science has not failed our world. Science tells you not to eat a poisonous berry and that if you do you will die. Science made possible the technology used by “System of a Down” to produce and sell that unethical song. Science reveals that the single most potent element of human existence is reason. Without reason “System of a Down” would not have words, i.e., names of concepts, to scream out. System of a Down is nothing but a group of psychotics screaming in a psychological mix of extreme anger and deep, thorough confusion; i.e., they are a bunch of men throwing a very disruptive tantrum. (It should not surprise you, by the way, that “System of a Down” is the psychological result of long term Soviet communism. Even though Russia is no longer “officially” a communist country, and Armenia -where the members of “System of a Down” come from- is no longer part of Russia, the psychological ramifications of living under the tyranny of complete communism do not disappear out of thin air.) This hatred of science is extremely dangerous to every aspect of human existence. When a large number of people pay brats to throw tantrums and throw tantrums with them, there is no question that the economy is in a crisis. We need a return to science. Do you notice that science does not make many news headlines today? There is a reason why. Because science is good for the economy and the communists do not want a thriving economy. If the economy is thriving nobody would cling to them for sustenance. Because science is capitalistic by nature, because if the people in the media reported on scientific discoveries, they could only give you the facts and rational commentary, which they do not want to do. Science must return to the news headlines. And by science I do not mean subjective speculations and bogus hypotheses. I mean logically proven facts and following the leads of the timeless pioneers; pioneers such as Aristotle, Johannes Guttenberg, Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Iassac Newton, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, John Locke, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John D. Rockefeller, Anne Sullivan, Maria Montessori Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Ayn Rand, Steve Jobs, Robert Zubrin, et cetera. We must study them, their curiosities, their methods, their efforts, and their ideals. You will note that even despite their ideological disparities, despite sometimes only being selectively rational, they were all, to extreme degrees, scientific. They were cultural leaders, and the amassers of tremendous wealth. A major consequence of the widespread rejection of science is the widespread belief in the lie that we have somehow drained all of our resources, or that we are severely limited in resources. Even if they do not say it, the fact that our economy is so poor is evidence that they believe it. Scientists and inventors know there are more resources in the universe than each of us could evaluate in a lifetime. There is only one basic resource and only one basic tool in existence: the universe, and reason. The universe is the domain of existence. That means anything that exists, exists in the universe. The nature of the universe is slightly comparable to how mystics regarded their mythological “God” in that it is to be worshipped however, worship is not engagement in a passive state of oblivious awe. To the contrary: to worship is to understand and optimize the use of. To worship the universe we must explore it, study it, and use it for the sake of thriving. Our knowledge of the universe is primitive. We do not know its magnitude. Many people speculate but they do so with a microscopic speck of evidence that is far too limiting. Given how ignorant we are about the universe, and how little of it we have had a glance at, it is illogical to assume that there are no useful resources hidden in rare Earth-like oases. It is furthermore, irrational not to at least search for them. Likewise, it is irrational to assume aliens do not exist, and even if they do not, it is irrational not to search for them, and then rationally conclude that Earth is the only planet in the universe which hosts life. If we explore, understand, and optimize the universe for human use, we will continually thrive, which is our ultimate value; our chief purpose. How do we know this? Our basic tool, reason, confirms it. For a brief elaboration on reason, I shall quote John Galt from Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged: “Man cannot survive except by gaining knowledge and reason is his only means to gain it. Reason is the faculty that perceives, identifies, and integrates the material provided by his senses. The task of his senses is to give him the evidence of existence, but the task of identifying it belongs to his reason; his senses tell him only that something is, but what it is must be learned by his mind. All thinking is a process of identification and integration. Man perceives a blob of color; by integrating the evidence of his sight and his touch, he learns to identify it as a solid object, he learns to identify the object as a table; he learns that the table is made of wood; he learns that the wood consists of cells; that the cells consist of molecules, and that the molecules consist of atoms. All through this process, the work of his mind consists of answers to a single question: what is it? His means to establish the truth of his answers is logic and logic rests on the axiom that existence exists. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict one’s self from the realm of reality. “Reality is that which exists. The unreal does not exist; the unreal is merely that negation of existence which is the content of a human consciousness when it attempts to abandon reason; reason, man’s only means of knowledge, is his only standard of truth”. (p. 930) One of the universe’s basic properties is space, and it is within space which all aspects of the universe exist. There are three major types of space: outer space, mind, and media. Outer space is obviously the primary type of space. It is physical space, and consists of matter and energy. It is therefore, the content of human consciousness. Just like lungs need oxygen in order for a human to breathe, the mind needs to perceive physical space in order to think. The mind cannot advance if we do not further explore outer space. Instead, it will atrophy via depreciation. The mind consists of consciousness and subconsciousness. It operates via thought. A thought navigates the mind’s attention and the body’s actions. In order for one’s mind, and moreover, one’s self to thrive it must rationally evaluate outer space. Since no human is omniscient, in order to maximize one’s intelligence, one must trade evaluations via media. Media is published space, and consists of information. (I say information as opposed to knowledge because not everything in the media, in fact, much of the media, is not true. Information is distinct from knowledge or fact because information can be true or false and thus is defined as communicated, published thought.) The internet is the ultimate form of media since it is the most efficient network of mass communication. It is by evaluating contemporary media that we may evaluate our culture. Since most of contemporary media evades science it is extremely impoverished. Unless people rationally reevaluate outer space- the subject of science- their minds, and thus our media will continually atrophy. People must invest- in whatever way rationally suits themselves- more thought, action, and money in outer space. Specifically, the time has come to revive space exploration and begin space colonization and terraforming. To do this, we need a vision for the future. In the words of Robert Zubrin, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (The Case For Mars ;p. xvi) Robert Zubrin’s vision of the future takes us all the way to Mars! A terraformed Mars! He writes, “There are real and vital reasons why we should venture to Mars. It is the key to unlocking the secret life of the universe. It is the challenge to adventure that will inspire millions of young people to enter science and engineering, and whose acceptance will reaffirm the nature of our society as a society of pioneers. It is the door to an open future, a new frontier on a new world, a planet that can be settled, the beginning of humanity’s career as space faring species with no limits to its resources or aspirations as it continues to push outward into the infinite universe beyond.” (p.xvi) While Robert Zubrin sees a path to Mars, he does not, in his book The Case For Mars, identify how the United States government should be involved in the matter. He proposes several ways the government could be involved, however he is not committed to any single proposal. Furthermore, he makes no mention of property rights.... (to read the rest of the essay, visit http://seanoconnorliterature.com/2012/06/04/on-the-official-establishment-of-u-s-space-territory/ )
  2. I want to open a discussion among the members of this forum about international relations. The Peikoff.com podcasts have a category for foreign policy, but it is currently empty. Aside from the published work of John David Lewis in the Objective Standard, I have not seen much about an approach to international relations that reflects the philosophy of Objectivism. Rand elaborated on some current events of the time, and her general attitude toward the UN (similar to her approach to the Libertarian Party, her critique being their philosophically groundless nature) is evident. (A separate forum for "international politics" has more to do with events in other countries than with theory of how a country's government should act in the international system). Most of the contemporary theory I've seen, including that of Lewis, has almost always to do with the right that our government has to protect its citizens or defend it from foreign invasion or attack (an extrapolation, it seems, from the individual's right to self-defense). I am interested, however, as a student of IR, in the other ways in which nations can interact. It seems that an Objectivist theory would be nearer to Liberalism than anything else, although I would like to see this developed further. Thus I would like to incorporate or see incorporated the philosophical grounding of Objectivism in international affairs and diplomacy between nations (by nations, I of course mean governments). In order to do this, I have tried to apply the more fundamental branch of ethics, and have only found a way to do so by comparing countries' governments to relations between individuals. So the central question of this thread is, is it proper to extrapolate relations between individuals to relations between governments?