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Found 6 results

  1. Try as I might, I still do not know what laws and theorems in formal logic such as "A is A" have to do with government. To me, it makes as much sense if she started talking about dinosaurs and tried to connect that to how the government should be run. The two seem to have nothing to do with each other.
  2. The proper purpose of government is considered by some to be exercising a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force. The Government's use of force would be kept in check by a judicial system, which protects individual inalienable rights objectively. The judicial system exists to ensure the use of force by the government is always retaliatory in nature, and directed only at individuals who initiate force. The judicial system would also help to resolve contractural disputes. The government would otherwise remain separate from religion and the economy. Firstly, to what extent is the form of government so described consistent with Objectivism, philosophically speaking? Secondly, observing that there are no governments in the world that meet the above standard, do you think it is possible to introduce such a form of government? Would use of force to bring about regime change from within be legitimate, in order to have it? At the end of Atlas Shrugged, the Objectivists take back the collapsing US from the collectivists, killing them if necessary in order to do so. When would it be morally justified to do this in reality? Finally, how far would the claims of the government extend? Is the extent of the government within reach of everywhere its citizens are, and their property, or would it only apply within the territorial limits its military power can protect; a safe zone? Thanks for your thoughts.
  3. 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?
  4. I have frequently argued with my non-objectivist, collectivist colleagues, that the larger the power you give a government over matters that are not their proper responsibility, the worse the culture of bribes get. If you need to ask the government permission to act (say, to open a business, to get a license, to build a house, to get a certificate, etc) the likelihood of dealing with bureaucrats who ask you for money will increase substantially. By the same token, if you don't need to ask bureaucrats permissions to live and excercise your rights, bribes will be minimal. The whole issue makes minimal government appealing, specially in a country like my country, where bribing is so widespread. But then, when thinking about this, I realize I might be thinking as a determinist. My argument seems to go in this direction: "The larger the chance to cheat and get away with it, the worse the person will behave". In other words, persons are cheaters awaiting their chance to cheat. Free will seems to have little to do here. Given a certain array of circumstances, bureaucrats will act as a thieves. This is certainly in contradiction with Objectivist view of man. On the other hand, suppose the argument goes in this direction "It is not circumstances which creat thieves out of good people. Thieves and cheaters exist in equal proportion in a big government or in a minimal government. What happens is that in the big government, already existing cheaters would have more chances to excercise their cheating skills". If that is the argument, then we could conclude that police would accept as many bribes in a free country as in a totalitarian country. If the proportion of cheaters is the more or less the same within any given group of policemen, it is irrelevant whether the goverment restricts itself to its proper functions or not. What is wrong in my position about relating minimal government with minimal bribes?
  5. The United States is a massively communist and fascist nation. Some of America's main political establishments are: (1) Social Security -- which is communism, (2) Medicare -- which is communism, (3) Medicaid -- which is communism, (4) unemployment insurance, food stamps, housing subsidies, and multitudinous other types of government charity -- which is communism, (5) government roads -- which is communism, and (6) government schools -- which is communism. In addition to these individual-attacking, freedom-destroying, economic schemes and scams, America also has: (7) drug criminalization -- which is fascism, (8) prostitution criminalization -- which is fascism, (9) many types of gambling criminalization -- which is fascism, and (10) censorship of broadcast obscenity on radio and t'v' -- which is fascism. Now, the United States admittedly does enjoy some political liberty -- does have some capitalist and libertarian elements. In economics, America has private, non-government industries like oil, gas, coal, farming, ranching, cars and trucks, most of personal housing, most of business buildings, restaurants, clubs, bars, clothing, shoes, movies, sports, almost all radio, almost all t'v', computer hardware, computer software, etc. So the capitalist sector of America -- albeit hideously regulated, stunted, and demented -- still lives in America. Moreover, in American social and personal lives, much behavior is freely-chosen and private. The people of the United States are politically free to choose their own job, housing, transportation, entertainment, friends, lovers, philosophy, religion, politics, food, dress, music, art, exercise, manners, attitude, clubs, groups, parties, sexuality, and speech. So the libertarian sector of America -- albeit hideously regulated, stunted, and demented -- still lives in America. And yet, the ten evil institutions listed above are central to the American nation and its way of life. These tyrannical aspects of the people and government degrade America's quality of life considerably. The level of popular energy, dynamism, satisfaction, happiness, greatness, hope, and spirit is very inferior to what it could be. And it's worth noting that most of these totalitarian programs and laws did not exist a century ago. As for those that did -- such as collectivist roads and schools, and restrictions on prostitution and gambling -- they cost far less than today, and had far less influence on American lifestyles. In the end, the Stalinist and Hitlerian political institutions cited above pervert the society, debauch the culture, and ravage the American civilization. They need to be terminated immediately. America today is a massively communist and fascist nation -- and that needs to change.
  6. Bryan Phillips who blogs at LiveOaks has published a book called Individual Rights and Government Wrongs. Check it out at his book's page here: http://individualrig...mentwrongs.com/