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Patrick N.

Harry Binswanger For Bush

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Not me!

A half war is probably winnable.  No war is a 100% loser.

And we can't afford to lose.

No kidding. A half-war isn't like a half-argument, where one concedes the fundamental point to ones adversary. Half-wars still kill terrorists and give them trouble. No war does nothing to them. We don't have time to sit around and do nothing in a Kerry administration with Iran on the cusp of becoming nuclear. Bush has said unequivocally that we won't allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, now if he lets such a disaster occur, he will pay dearly with all parties and people, his legacy as a president will be ruined. We have sold Israel long range refueling tankers and bunker busters, which are obviously meant to be used on Iran. Would Kerry have done this? I doubt it given what his stated policies on Iran have been.

MisterSwig says,

If you want to bicker over what exactly caused the downfall of communism, go ahead. But I'm not going to care, because that wasn't the focus of my example. The point was that we retreated from Vietnam and still managed to defeat communism down the road. We didn't fall apart. We didn't get taken over by the enemy. We survived.

Vietnam was an irrelevancy that never posed a threat to anyone except the Vietnamese. A third world country which no one cared about before and which no one cares about now. We went into Vietnam on the false assumption that Vietnam falling to communism would cause all Southeast Asia to fall and thus somehow be dangerous to us. The Iraq situation is much different. Iraq was actually waging agressive war against us for a decade, something Vietnam never did. Iraq actually supported international terrorism against us and our allies, mainly Israel. Iraq was actually a threat, Vietnam was not. Leaving Vietnam represented a win for the Vietnamese communists and was an insult to the 58,000 Americans who died there, but the effect didn't go beyond that area because the Soviet Union and China both knew that they weren't unimportant locations like Vietnam. We could still stand up to communism while failing in Vietnam.

How can we stand up to Iran when even our limited action against Islamists is greated with electoral defeat? When the opponent to Bush runs not on doing more, but doing less? The communists in Beijing and Moscow knew that our failure in Vietnam didn't mean they could do whatever they wanted. Our retreat and giving up in Iraq, along with the electoral rejection of doing something about it will be viewed by all the Islamists as a sign of victory. The proof of this is Somalia. To go along with your example, Somalia was even far less important than Iraq and when Clinton decided to retreat people like Bin Laden saw it as proof positive that the US military were "paper tigers." Leaving didn't keep the status quo ante-bellum, it made things worse, it showed the American people that the president was unwilling to do anything and it showed our enemies that we would do nothing, or if we did, it was unlikely in the extreme to involve ground troops because even a few casualties would force retreat. We're still dealing with this in Iraq, every single casualty is dwelled upon, effectively doing the job of the terrorists for them and encouraging them to commit more attacks. This has been a tactic of our enemies since the Filipino Insurrection and will continue to be into the future so long as the media helps them out.

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Actually there is already a thread on that bastion of reason (hpo) talking about how the leadership of ARI is in disarray, and about to collapse into chaos because they cannot agree .

One thing for sure -- the presidential debate among Objectivists will definitely shake out some True Believers.

As I wrote in Betsy's Guide to Ex-Objectivists (click here):

THE TRUE BELIEVER

Eric Hoffer wrote about the man who looks for a Great Cause to give

meaning to his otherwise meaningless life. It has to have an

Infallible Leader whom he can follow and who will shield him from

personal responsibility.

A True Believer can be the most dedicated and zealous Objectivist you

ever saw. He constantly defends US -- Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff,

ARI, etc. -- against THEM -- theists, libertarians, any Lost Lamb he

suspects of straying from the Objectivist fold, etc.

True Believers stick tenaciously until they discover, to their horror,

that their Infallible Leader may have made a MISTAKE. What did Ayn Rand

say about a woman President? Peikoff likes Beethoven? Objectivist

leaders are disagreeing with each other?

He doesn't know what to believe or who to follow, so he just gives up

and drops out. Great Causes are interchangeable, so you never know

where he'll turn up next.

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Binswanger for Bush. Peikoff for Kerry.

It raises the question as to who would be the real promoter of objectivism between the two.

However, my view is that capitalists have their reasons for voting for either man.

Bush is claiming that Kerry will raise taxes. That will get some capitalists to vote for Bush.

Other capitalists will vote for Kerry because they think Bush endangered America by:

1. Promoting faith-based objectives

2. Not being able to defend America's self-interests

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Why is it far, far worse? And what indication has Bush given you that he would go to war again? After he hands Iraq and Afghanistan over to the Islamic fundamentalists, who is he going to half-heartedly invade next?

Iran.

After the nuke plants are destroyed and "free elections" restored the fundamentalists clerics will assume positions in the Parliament of a "democracy" that America half-heartedly imposes upon Iran. :dough:

Sarcasm intended.

I agree with you, Mr. Swig.

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Binswanger for Bush.  Peikoff for Kerry.

It raises the question as to who would be the real promoter of objectivism between the two.

...

What do you mean by "objectivism"?

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What does he mean by "real"?

Why should a difference of opinion on who to endorse in a political race make one or the other unqualified to represent the philosophy of Ayn Rand? It's not as if they are disagreeing about some fundamental point of metaphysics or epistemology.

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Another thing about this "half-war, no war" dichotomy, which I obviously believe is false.

No leading politician is an Objectivist so a full war is not going to be fought in a proper, rational, and moral way as we would like it to be fought. In fact, going by historical precedent in the modern age when America fought total war we at the homefront have gotten screwed over. There will be rationing, economic organization boards, there will most certainly be an activation of the selective service, etc.

A "full-war" will not be a panacea to all of the current wars problems, in fact it will create a whole host of other problems that we have fortunately been spared thus far. The only good thing about it is that the war would not take as long, but I can't say there won't be more casualties since under a total war setting the media will be rigorously clamped down and casualty reporting will cease or become more broad, making the number of casualties less costly politically. Also the government is generally far more careless in total war situations since resources and soldiers are in overabundant supply. This is one of reasons the casualties in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II were so horrendously large.

SO in some sense, a half-war may be better than a full-war given that the full-war will be run, not by rational Objectivists, but by others who will rely more on what they can do legally and by historical precedent than by what is morally just as defined by a rational ethical code.

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Binswanger for Bush.  Peikoff for Kerry.

It raises the question as to who would be the real promoter of objectivism between the two.

I'm curious, was this question a sarcastic joke?

Both qualify as 'real' promoters of Objectivism, because the issue of who to vote for is not a philosophical one. It depends on the facts available to each individual. Using the same philosophy one can come to different conclusions if the facts that are available to you are different. Given Peikoff's frame of reference (the facts available to his mind), his application of Objectivism tells him that the danger of Bush's religiosity is a greater danger than Kerry's approach to Terrorism. Given Binswanger's frame of reference, his application of Objectivism tells him that the reverse is true.

Both are using the same Objectivism, departing only in its application. Non-omnicience leads to selectivity of which facts to focus on. Their perspective simply leads to a difference of emphasis that leads to a different conclusion. The question of who to vote for in this election does not have an obvious answer. There is a lot that has to be taken into account.

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Why should a difference of opinion on who to endorse in a political race make one or the other unqualified to represent the philosophy of Ayn Rand? It's not as if they are disagreeing about some fundamental point of metaphysics or epistemology.

I totally disagree.

Capitalism, with its foundation philosophy of Objectivism, is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is about individual rights.

Bush has shown himself to be totally alien to the purposes of capitalism during his shameless term in office. Anyone who calls himself an Objectivist and votes for Bush clearly isn't inderstanding the meaning of individual rights.

I read that article from Harry Binswanger.

Here is an excerpt of his shameless drivel:

The Bush doctrine, for all its timid, bumbling, and altruism-laced implementation, intends America to act, to use its military might offensively, even when half the world protests against it. Kerry's "instincts" are to negotiate, conciliate, and retreat

1. He offers no solid proof that Kerry really has this policy. If anything, Kerry has stated that Bush has no plan for the peace in Iraq.

2. He makes no representation as to why the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have gone awry. That's because, like his conservative peers, he apologizes for Bush's actions by crediting his "intent." Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are saying the same things. How is Binswanger any different than the garden-variety, modern day Conservative?

Actions speak louder than intentions. One has to look at Bush's actions in both wars to see what an abysmal failure he is. Regarding fighting a half-assed war vs. fighting no war at all, my response is that the Bush administration had no choice but to pursue retaliatory force against Afghanistan after the 9-11 attacks. For me, then, this is NOT the issue.

What is the issue is the pursuit of a policy.

Much as I disagree with Binswanger, he makes his points. But, to me, he represents himself as no different than the mainstream Conservative view.

My regrets that I even mentioned Binswanger as a purveyor of objectivism. I believe in calling a spade a spade.

Binswanger is a purveyor of conservatism.

Period.

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I'm curious, was this question a sarcastic joke?

Both qualify as 'real' promoters of Objectivism, because the issue of who to vote for is not a philosophical one.  It depends on the facts available to each individual.  Using the same philosophy one can come to different conclusions .........

Bull.

Conservatives have attempted to embrace capitalism for their own gains, for years.

Their embracing capitalism is with fault because of their insistence that faith and capitalism are somehow compatible.

Piekoff promote capitalism and Objectivism.

Binswanger promotes conservatism.

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" If you can't tell the difference between an analogy and an example, that is not my fault. I'm not going to defend a position I didn't take."

I see. You brought up Vietnam. But you did NOT present it as comparable to the situation in Iran. You did NOT think there were similarities which made one relevant to the other. NO comparison, NO similarities, NO analogy - NO reason for mentioning it in relationship it Iraq whatsoever. You just threw it out to throw it out.

LOL!!!

I cannot tell if that is an example of extreme ignorance or extreme dishonesty. But - either way - you have made it QUITE clear that it is POINTLESS to argue with you.

If anyone else did NOT understand why I claim Swig's analogy is FLAWED - if anyone else disagrees, and believes it is NOT flawed - I will be HAPPY to discuss it with you. I refuse to waste any FURTHER time with a man who - besides claiming his statement about vietnam was NOT a comparison or analogy to Iraq - claims it is mere "bickering" to point out that the argument he makes to JUSTIFY his current position - to JUSTIFY widthdrawl from Iraq - is COMPLETELY ERRONEOUS. WITHOUT that justification, there is absolutely NO reason to engage in his suggested action. One simply has his UNSUPPORTED assertion - NOTHING else.

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My regrets that I even mentioned Binswanger as a purveyor of objectivism.  I believe in calling a spade a spade.

To the entity that calls itself "Yes" --

Earlier I asked what you meant by "objectivism." You haven't answered the question.

Here is another opportunity. What do you mean by "objectivism" rather than "Objectivism"?

P. S. -- Dr. Peikoff's name is spelled P-E-I-koff.

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Period.

I see people frequently end their statements or points like this. Is it supposed to bolster the credibility of your statement? Does it actually mean something to end a statement with "Period." or is it just posturing? It sounds as though you have established something factual that crushes any further disagreement which I'm not sure that you have acheived.

Question mark.

VES

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Piekoff promote capitalism and Objectivism.

Binswanger promotes conservatism.

I have to disagree with you here, Yes. Nothing I have said about Dr. Binswanger should be taken as anything but good-willed criticism. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Dr. Binswanger. And I do not consider his voting for Bush as a vote for or promotion of conservatism.

I think it is well understood that Objectivists are having to make a difficult choice between two evil people, and two evil movements.

With that said, I appreciate your general vote of agreement with my take on the election.

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"It IS pointless to ARGUE with ME. So, STOP doing IT."

This is the response from a MODERATOR on a board dedicated to Objectivism? By itself, such a comment certainly raises a question about what STANDARDS are being used for that position. Combined with the previous posts in this thread, it throws such standards into SERIOUS question. It also raises questions about the intellectual standards of the forum itself as well.

I have pm'ed GC concerning this behavior and attitude. I suggest anyone else who sees a problem with such an approach to do the same.

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"It IS pointless to ARGUE with ME. So, STOP doing IT."

This is the response from a MODERATOR on a board dedicated to Objectivism?  By itself, such a comment certainly raises a question about what STANDARDS are being used for that position.  Combined with the previous posts in this thread, it throws such standards into SERIOUS question.  It also raises questions about the intellectual standards of the forum itself as well.

I have pm'ed GC concerning this behavior and attitude.  I suggest anyone else who sees a problem with such an approach to do the same.

Clearly you have a fundamental issue with this forum. I'll let you and GC settle that.

But I do want to say that I went through the effort to clarify my previous statements for you, but you completely ignored my points, while others addressed them, you got all emotional and you simply kept repeating your initial claim, and then you casually suggested that I was either "extremely ignorant" or "extremely dishonest."

What kind of way is that to argue? Your ad hominems and straw men will not work on me.

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LP - Since I had already declared I was not going to pursue the issue with him further (BECAUSE he was either being intellectually dishonest or ignorant), if your supposition were accurate, his post would STILL be inappropriate - especially for a moderator. It would be simply a personal swipe/attack/resort to ridicule.

Put simply, no matter how you 'interpret' his post, it is NOT one a moderator on this forum should have made. Combined with his previous posts to me, it (as I have already stated) calls into question the standards for moderators and moderating on this forum.

Concerning Swig's newest post, I will simply point out that his characterization of my position and behavior are outright lies. I present my posts from this point:

http://tinyurl.com/6booh

as proof of his lies. At this time I request Administrator intervention to prevent further libel against me by a REPRESENTATIVE of this forum. In addition, I request REDRESS against these current slanderous statements.

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Morally they are both "right" since they reached their conclusions through objective reason. Now, as to which one is the "winner" (if that is what was meant by "right")? Well, for that we have to wait and see. But in my opinion, in this election we are all losers no matter which candidate wins.

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