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Found 9 results

  1. I was having a conversation with an Objectivist lately about the tenets of Objectivism, and I was directed toward this forum section to try to get answers. Part of Objectivist philosophy is egoism, but as far as I can see, egoism leads to socialism when it is adopted on a societal scale. Here is how I see it: Egotistical people, almost by definition, care greatly about "getting theirs". When there is a critical mass of egotistical people in any society and they aren't "getting theirs", they band together and begin using socialism to take from "the rich" who "already have theirs". And that's how they "get theirs". This is especially true when said society is an electoral democracy where the masses of people, for better or worse, have the authority to choose who governs on the basis of the greatest number of votes. In other words, they clearly turn to socialism as a mechanism to service their egoism. To use an Atlas Shrugged example: Fred Kinnan is an apt example of what most people would consider an egoist. He's a fatcat union boss who blatantly leverages socialism in the service of his egoism. The vast majority of socialists are just like Fred Kinnan. They hate it when they are called on that, but that's what they are.
  2. In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt swore that he would "stop the motor of the world". In Venezuela, as the country drifts farther and farther towards communism, factories are closing down, the country's GDP is falling fast, businesses are closing, and oil in many fields is ceasing to be produced. In Venezuela, is Atlas Shrugged coming true?
  3. Let's stipulate that free markets are the optimal economic arrangement and that taxation is theft and regulation oppression. Still, it has always disturbed me how those who favor free markets have framed the issue. If people were rational, they would choose a free market economy. They aren't so the choose socialism, in one form or another, instead. Socialism is as natural as any other human vice. And while it may not have always been called "socialism", the essential elements of it stretch back throughout human history. I suppose you might quibble about the moral self-justification that socialists claim but when has anyone ever not justied their most horrible actions? One need only note the self-satisfaction of the Nazis to see that. As much as I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged, as one critic of AS2 recently noted, it has a utopian thread running through it as if to believe that the right combination of events would cause people to finally see the light and truth and realize the errors of their ways. Socialism is a diesase of the human soul, one to be endured like natural disease and natural disasters. There is no cure. Death and taxes. Discuss?
  4. As a student, I often find myself arguing with socialists. I have organised many debates with socialists, and am holding conferences in Austrian economics. Doing everything I can with my knowledge, in order to persuade socialists to understand economics, capitalism and rights... I am still young however, so I'm sure there are better methods than I have used to convince people. (i.e. YouTube videos of Friedman, Sowell and Rand) Which tools and methodology (i.e praxeology, natural rights &etc) would you recommend to undertake this task? Thanks for all suggestions, Samuel Marks
  5. What explains the recent radical increase in income inequality in America and the West over the past few generations? Why is the middle class shrinking so rapidly? Why is the upper class becoming so superrich? Why does the upper 2% own the majority of the private wealth in America? What is the standard and accepted Objectivist explanation for all of this? My reading of history indicates that ever since the advent of the nation-state 5000 years ago, about 95% of the populace has been lower class peasants, with maybe 3% middle class tradesmen and skilled laborers, and maybe 2% upper class political and religious leaders who mostly got their money via economic monopoly, inheritance, land seizure, general theft, dictatorship, etc. But once freedom, capitalism, and the Industrial Revolution began in the mid-1700s, the middle class burgeoned in Western Civiliation. Wealth accumulated and grew radically in the middle class for two centuries -- seemingly a social good. (But is it?) And yet, starting in about the 1960s, wealth began to accumulate in the upper class, while the absolute size of the middle class shrank from maybe 80% to 65%, and while the relative wealth of the middle class also declined. The lower class also increased in size, and their relative share of the national wealth also declined. Now, this is a quick summary of Western economics, but I think I'm being fair and accurate. (If not, someone please correct me!) So... Why is all this happening? Why is this new social evil upon us (if it is, based on Thomas Sowell's "cosmic justice") which is so inimical to freedom, and which lends itself so well to pro-Big Brother rhetoric and ideology? Why is the standard nonsensical socialist/communist claim of "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer" suddenly true? Clearly this has something to do with the radical expansion of the welfare state from WWI to the 1960s. But what is the detailed and insightful explanation for this? What is the current best libertarian or Objectivist explanation for it?
  6. Last night (August 28, 2012) New Jersey governor Chris Christie gave the Keynote Address to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Gov. Christie didn't mention or praise: freedom, liberty, individual rights, justice, capitalism, libertarianism, laissez-faire, free enterprise, or free trade. So too: Ayn Rand, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Locke, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, Milton Friedman, Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises, or Friedrich Hayek. He also didn't mention or condemn: slavery, tyranny, totalitarianism, authoritarianism, communism, socialism, fascism, welfare statism, Big Gov't, or Big Brother. So too: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, John Maynard Keynes, John Kenneth Galbraith, Saul Alinsky, Joseph Stiglitz, or Paul Krugman. He did, however, praise his mother for saying people have to "choose between being loved and being respected." And he noted that you the voter should "fight for your principles." His best line was about the need for America to "cut federal spending and reduce the size of gov't." But Christie also praised New Jerseyians who "shared in the sacrifice"; and he condemned those who were "selfish," and believed in "every man for himself," and who think "self-interest will always trump common sense." What an advocate of self-sacrifice, and what enemy of political liberty! People who vote for Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan and the Republicans this year are truly attackers of freedom and destroyers of America!
  7. Wotan

    Utopia and Paradise

    The utopians Plato (The Republic), Thomas Moore (Utopia), Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan), and Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto) all lead to the Leftist tyranny of socialism. The "paradisists" Moses (Jewish bible), Jesus (Christian bible), Muhammad (Islamic bible), and Joseph Smith (Mormon bible) all lead to the Rightist tyranny of religion. Both groups of irrational idealists hope to deliver us all to a kind of ultimate end place -- a perfect society or Xanadu -- which is never going to happen. Their belief-systems are deeply foolish, naive, and ignorant. And their ideologies are also depraved, since even if you could visit their unreal utopia or paradise, you wouldn't ultimately want to live there. It would be a kind of living hell, unfit for normal, healthy, individualistic, struggling, ambitious, achieving, flawed, mortal, human beings. The utopians above cause physical slavery to the state, while the paradisians above cause mental slavery to "god." One false ideal results in a kind of vast social coercion and destruction of society. The other false ideal results in a kind of vast personal coercion and destruction of the individual. Both mistaken hopes and dreams result in universal self-sacrifice and self-destruction. Their false and evil moral code should probably be described as "the religio-socialist ethic" (not "the Judeo-Christian ethic"). Both families and categories of belief constitute nonsensicality and philosophy gone badly wrong. These massively untrue and immoral groups of ideologies need to be defeated thru the assiduous application of healthy, sound, proper philosophy. A philosophy which provides the hungry, needy Holy Individual with meaning, purpose, pleasure, exhilaration, and personal greatness in his life. And these two related, mistaken categories of ideology need to be defeated thru the Western liberal ideals of reason, individualism, and freedom. Reason will defeat monotheistic paradisism, freedom will defeat communist utopianism, and individualism will defeat both. Unfortunately, so far the champions of reason and philosophy haven't fully done their job. They haven't provided a guide to life with enough rich satisfaction and deep fulfillment to successfully defeat the utopians and paradisists.
  8. “Because you do not absorb your enemies...” http://nealcormier.wordpress.com/ http://www.VesperHelioTropic.com © Copyright Vesper Heliotropic 2011 All Rights Reserved Vesper Heliotropic Book I. CRYSTAL TURBINES by Neal Aaron Cormier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
  9. kowalskil

    Trying to understand Stalin

    How did Stalin manage to outmaneuver so many After reading an interesting, and rather unique, book about Stalin, I just posted a very short review of it, at the Amazon’s website. Here it is, for those who might be interested: I agree with those who wrote that Montefiore's voluminous "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" is not always easy reading. But it is certainly worthwhile for the light it sheds on relations between Stalin and his close subordinates, those whom he liquidated and those who survived him. Stalin's methods of domination--both brutal and ideological--are skillfully described. The same applies to personal relations between communist leaders. The Soviet Union was the first country in which the idea of proletarian dictatorship, formulated by Marx, was implemented. That is why all aspects of Soviet history are worth studying. Be aware that the number of characters is unusually large. Fortunately, Stalin's family tree and the introductory section entitled "List of Characters" should help readers to deal with this problem. Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia) .
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