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Puppy Dog

is Objectivism just class warfare?

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...and do free markets lead to their own destruction?

Going out on a limb here a bit to try and make a point...

What if I come up with nanotechnology enabled Utility Fog, ie - nanite production manufacturing which can create absolutely anything from raw materials at practically no cost. Overnight i've just created a disruptive technology that unemploys everybody in the field of manufacturing ANYTHING, because my new machine can create absolutely anything. The shocks and social unrest to be borne by society, the profit to be taken exclusively by me.

Or a computer AI system, that is smarter than a person, and can be trained to deal with all the current areas people do consulting work. No more lawyers, no more accountants, no more receptionists, nothing. Everyone is now able to have their contribution replaced by an AI program which I license out at 5 cents an hour, undercutting even third world prison and slave labor.

In an objectivist society it seems one of two things happen. Either 1) the socially destroying technology is allowed to exist and the police force represses people until most of them die off since they are no longer necessary. Or 2) the people decide they no longer want to live in an objectivist society, now that they are the ones being unemployed en masse, and turn against and loot the creator of the AI/nanobot system. Objectivism seems to imply #1 is the only right choice, social darwinism and common sense seems to imply #2 is more likely. People will not support an "ideal" which destroys their own ability to survive, they only go along with a system they feel is benefitting them. (see my argument on why 'communism' can be rational, at least to those following it)

Is this just class warfare by another name, that as long as people perceive themself to be on the upper crust, they support it regardless of the consequences to those below? Would they still support the system if they couldn't hack it or survive, or an objectivist world had no more need for them?

I do not think this is unrealistic, just that it is a few years off yet like maybe 20 for the AI part. The rush towards technological singularity with super-empower a handful of John Galt's and ruin everything for anybody else. The argument Ayn Rand makes about having absolutely no duty to one's fellow man anywhere even would say such a society-destroying outcome is ethical. If people wont pay a bit more at the mom'n'pop store where the money recirculates in the local economy and instead shop at Walmart where it goes elsewhere, then someone with an uber-technology that could undercut everyone else, and come up with a de facto monopoly due to ridiculously low costs of production will eventually get to the world that doesn't need humans anymore. Then what happens? Everyone dies in a police state or from mass starvation?

I've noticed that many objectivists i've talked to have a "meanness" about them to the lower classes whose crime is just not being either genetically able due to bad parentage, culturally able due to a poor society, or psychologically able due to trauma to compete in a dog-eat-dog ruthless world. (and I dont exempt myself from this either, a lifetime of me being exploited by lessers has given me a similar attitude) A "who cares what happens to the poor", even if the poor are then driven to crime (the last equal opportunity employer when all else fails) and looting to stay alive and perhaps causing cases where a society without governmental safety nets might actually have more crime instead of less because instead of being fed, living in the projects and watching TV, theyre starving in the street with nothing to lose. (perhaps this argues for a mandatory "social security" system as a social cost to prevent this, just like mandatory health and safety standards, but others would argue against this on the grounds of it not being a free choice and being a de facto redistribution of wealth via tax, even if not income tax, from those who dont need it/the producers to those who are being bribed to not hold the society hostage by rioting)

One could argue that without men of the mind, certain breakthroughs in production will never happen in the first place, therefore they are entitled to all the wealth they create. One could also argue that nobody exists in a bubble, that although one person can put all the ideas together and it wouldn't come to fruition without him, that there are many other contributors to an idea, normally uncompensated and looted from, without whom something would not have happened either. Did John Galt create the infinite energy motor exclusively from his own mind? Would he have still produced it without a lifetime of cultural education and enriching experiences provided to him by society, none of the cultural richness which he was demanded to pay for as a free rider which he could not be denied as a member of that society, without which he never would have been led to come to the breakthroughs? Perhaps this justifies society taking some share of excess wealth for itself.

(caveat: I do not necessarily believe or want to believe this, I am making arguments for the purposes of discussion, dont assume i'm irrational just because I argue devils advocate well :) I could probably debunk my own posting to some degree, I just want to see if others can too or if they have different angles I haven't thought of.)

I'm trying to view objectivism as something above either just class warfare or taking sides in a conflict for which there is not and never will be a right or even fully moral side with all the points stacked on one side of the scale. Although i'm choosing to follow Objectivist principles, because I believe I can produce and want to choose to dispense of my production however I see fit, some of the moral justifications for superiority seem a bit hollow to me because i've been on the other side of the fence and i'm just as capable of returning to that other perception of the world.

Perhaps some of the things I argue in my topics are deemed unlikely, or without historical precedent, but that doesnt mean that they cant or wont happen either, or that we arent heading towards a world where they are more likely to happen. To simply quote Rand that no company has ever monopolized in the past doesnt mean that it can never happen in the future, and that the risk of it happening would not be catastrophic or lead to mass social unrest and the rejection by the majority of the population of objectivist principles if they still had a survival instinct left.

This is really no different than the past. Social rules were written, some businessmen attained an unexpected position of power which others found threatening, possibly used the economic influence to attain political coercive influence (or perhaps just had people afraid that they would) and scared people reacted thinking they had to protect themself using the tool of government. Despite the wrongs inflicted upon businessmen taking the product of their wealth, there are probably cases in the history of statecraft where society would have collapsed had it not taken actions to protect itself. I'm noting in one set of threads certain objectivists are telling me society would still have laws to protect itself or act in the national defense but what about when the free actions of business (or free individuals) come into conflict with that causing social unrest and put the entire nation at risk?

Edited by Puppy Dog

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You tend to write a lot of text for the few arguments you make.

What if I come up with nanotechnology enabled Utility Fog, ie - nanite production manufacturing which can create absolutely anything from raw materials at practically no cost. Overnight i've just created a disruptive technology that unemploys everybody in the field of manufacturing ANYTHING, because my new machine can create absolutely anything. The shocks and social unrest to be borne by society, the profit to be taken exclusively by me.

Or a computer AI system, that is smarter than a person, and can be trained to deal with all the current areas people do consulting work. No more lawyers, no more accountants, no more receptionists, nothing. Everyone is now able to have their contribution replaced by an AI program which I license out at 5 cents an hour, undercutting even third world prison and slave labor.

Three problems with those examples:

1.) In both cases you still need energy to create goods and mine or reap and transport raw materials.

2.) To whom will you sell your goods if nobody has anything to offer to you?

3.) Before people starve they could maybe start producing food.

So your examples are inconsistent and the conclusions you draw from them are pure fantasy.

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Class warfare is socialist/communist/Marxist rhetoric. No Objectivist imagines any individual as born into fixed class of human being. Further, an Objectivist society would not have any laws that prohibit the use of any individual's own mind, nor any rights respecting action derived from that use. Remember, John Galt was a "worker".

The rest of your whole premise in this question ignores the concept of progress as well as the nature of a free market. For example, if it only cost 5 cents to consult with you perfect consulting machine, then an out of work lawyer could use it to find out how to exploit his skills to maximize his happiness and profit in life... and if your machine tell's him "you're hopeless", then I will be happy to charge him $1.50 for the use of my, better, advice giving machine.

It is a bit odd to imagine a society progressing to create (why?) a "socially destroying technology," and then immediately halting all progress and allowing itself to be destroyed.

I've noticed that most lines of argument against an Objectivist society expose the arguer's flawed assumption that unanswered questions can *only* be solved through force of government.

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Class warfare is socialist/communist/Marxist rhetoric.

Yep, just like "economic justice" he used on another thread. Obviously still in University.

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The application of reason to the problem of production/survival.

Aside from the 'profit to be taken by me' portion - for what would you require 'profit' when anything you can conceive of is yours for the fabrication by your fantastic machine.

A device that could transform the raw materials into the values desired/required by man for his survival/enjoyment. (Raw materials, persumably from where the device sits, rather than purchase and fed into it? i.e.: the 'next to nothing cost of production'.)

1. Have the device replicate itself. With enough of them, the 'problem of survival' goes away for anyone.

As soon as you give one of these devices to a friend, who ends up making one for one or two of his friends . . .

2. With the problem of survival resolved, the necessity for productive work goes away - who would need/want a 'job'.

3. Rename earth - Fantasy Planet.

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