Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Patrick N.

Harry Binswanger For Bush

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

All I can say is the disagreement among Objectivists stems primarily from the following:

    [*] Determining which issue is fundamental to this election (I believe LP thinks it's the threat to liberty posed by the religious right whereas HB thinks it's America's moral right to defend itself)

    [*] Weighing the threats to freedom posed by either candidate to see which is greater and more immediate (I believe that both LP and HB agree that religious right is the greater threat.  But LP thinks it is an IMMEDIATE threat whereas HB thinks it is a LONG-TERM threat)

I don't agree with your characterization of Dr. Peikoff's views here, but since I cannot speak for him, I'll speak for myself (as someone who sent in a vote for Kerry the other day). Concerning your first point, I think it is crucial that America assert its moral right to defend itself, but I do not think Bush's policies contribute towards this end. This has been covered elsewhere.

Concerning your second point, I do not think the religious right is an immediate threat. It is a long-term threat, and it is precisely because I am considering the long-term that I voted for Kerry. Sure, Bush might have tied up the terrorists for a few years with his petty battles and tough talk. But the problem is that the long-term threat from militant Islam abroad and of a drift, however small, towards theocracy at home remains a concern, and both of those will be unaddressed under Bush.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

And that's where you are wrong. He had all kinds of choices. He could have threatened to pursue the matter through the court system exclusively. He could have lobbed a couple of cruise missiles at them. He could have apologized for our being an evil Satan in the world, and admitted that the attack was entirely our fault. He could have asked France what to do.

What choice would John Kerry have made? I think he would have gone the criminal prosecution rout, while begging for the advice of France, and simultaneously apologizing for our evil existence--- and he would not have gone to war with anyone. And those are some of the many reasons he won't be getting my vote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Sir, I think I love you! Your post gave me the best belly-laugh I've had in a week. Thanks.

Now, do you clean up after yourself? -- 'cause my screen is a mess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

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.

I'm curious, are you voting for Kerry? For you say that Bush is "totally alien to the purposes of capitalism," but is Kerry better in this regard? I've come to expect a total lack of knowledge of capitalism and general disregard for individual rights from American politicians, especially those running for President, for otherwise they wouldn't have been nominated because a candidate who did understand these things would have to promise the abolition of the welfare state and would be crushed in a 538-0 electoral college blowout. However I don't see how Kerry is any better in this regard, in fact Kerry has been out front (along with John McCain) with this forcing high school kids to do public service before they can graduate or in exchange for getting their parents money back in the form of student loans.

Shameless drivel? Harry Binswanger isn't a "garden-variety, modern day Conservative" because he's an Objectivist and everything that entails. Do you think Leonard Peikoff would let a "garden-variety, modern day Conservative" have any prominence in Objectivism at all? Yet Binswanger is featured prominently in the Ayn Rand Bookstore catalogue, which is issued by the Ayn Rand Institute, for his many great lectures and courses on many aspects of Objectivism. Your outlandish comments can only be chalked up to ignorance, or you are so emotionally invested in getting Kerry elected you're willing to besmirch any Objectivist who doesn't agree with you. I don't agree with Dr. Lewis, Dr. Peikoff, Mr. Swig, you, etc, but I'm not going out and calling you guys names or questioning whether or not you're really Objectivists. I don't compare Dr. Peikoff and Dr. Lewis to Michael Moore, Maureen Dowd, and Al Franken because they all are supporting Kerry (or in the case of Dr.s Peikoff and Lewis, opposing Bush). Comparing a man like Binswanger to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter is a shameless ad hominem and a refusal to counter what you see as an incorrect argument with another argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't agree with your characterization of Dr. Peikoff's views here, but since I cannot speak for him, I'll speak for myself (as someone who sent in a vote for Kerry the other day). Concerning your first point, I think it is crucial that America assert its moral right to defend itself, but I do not think Bush's policies contribute towards this end. This has been covered elsewhere.

Concerning your second point, I do not think the religious right is an immediate threat. It is a long-term threat, and it is precisely because I am considering the long-term that I voted for Kerry. Sure, Bush might have tied up the terrorists for a few years with his petty battles and tough talk. But the problem is that the long-term threat from militant Islam abroad and of a drift, however small, towards theocracy at home remains a concern, and both of those will be unaddressed under Bush.

And neither will they be addressed by Kerry, who in many ways will be powerless to stop the rising influence of the religious right.

Also, I qualified my charaterization of LP's views with "I believe" because I wasn't entirely certain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr. Peikoff says to vote for John Kerry, and Mr. Binswanger says to vote for George Bush. Both men hold the same principles and they can't both be right, so which one actually is right?

I think you are demanding omniscience between these two men. Just because they are rational does not mean that they know everything. As Godless Capitalist pointed out, they do not know the future-and thus can only make an educated assertion via reason. You must learn however that reason is not omniscience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And neither will they be addressed by Kerry, who in many ways will be powerless to stop the rising influence of the religious right.

Also, I qualified my charaterization of LP's views with "I believe" because I wasn't entirely certain.

I would say that not only will Kerry be powerless to stop the rising influence of the religious right, but his nihlist, subjectivist, valueless, socialistic, multicultural, multilateral, UN loving, base (and himself) will do nothing other than to fuel their growth.

Only a movement of Reason can stop (or at least check) the rise of religious domination, the subjectist/relativist axis is merely the fuel that keeps the religionists in business. If men of reason cannot stop religious fundamentalism in this country, nothing at all will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And neither will they be addressed by Kerry, who in many ways will be powerless to stop the rising influence of the religious right.

You're missing the point. Bush is implementing theocratic policies and promoting theocratic politicians and judges. Kerry is explicitly against this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

I’ve asked MisterSwig to change his attitude on the forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you guys are missing the point.

Yes, Bush is a theocrat at heart. Yes, in the longrun he and the conservative right will run the country into the ground. But if Kerry and his ilk succeed in the presidency, there will be no country to run into the ground. There will be a nuclear cloud where NY is right now, and a crater in the middle of Washington. Say goodbye to your Statue of Liberty, the Capitol Hill, the Sears Tower, the lights of Las Vegas (certainly the seat of Western perversion), and the LA palm trees. It will all be annihilated, unless you accept the help of crazed Christians in fighting off crazed Muslims.

Look at Kerry's record if you doubt what I say. He was one of the few to vote against the first Gulf War, the most half-hearted and meek attempt at a war the West has seen in decades. It was the nicest war in the world, where the enemy was at the verge of submission, but was politely patted on the shoulder and sent off to stand in the corner. And Kerry voted against it, citing confidence that it would become another Vietnam, with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers dead and the country embroiled in a hopeless war of despair.

The same thing was said about Afghanistan.

The same thing was said about Iraq.

1,100 soldiers dead in Iraq. Boo hoo! What has the world come to, if a giant super power feels threatened by 1000 dead soldiers?

That is the only thing I could not understand about Dr. Peikoff's lecture in favor of Kerry. How could he miss the small little fact that we're in a war?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're missing the point. Bush is implementing theocratic policies and promoting theocratic politicians and judges. Kerry is explicitly against this.

Now YOU are missing the point. I NEVER denied that Kerry is explicitly against this. I said "he will...be powerless to stop the rising influence of the religious right."

If the religious right continues its growth that it has had for the past two decades, they will soon win a veto-proof Congress and many more of the state legislatures. Kerry as President CANNOT stop this or even slow it down considerably to where it would make a difference between him as president and Bush as president.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you are demanding omniscience between these two men.  Just because they are rational does not mean that they know everything.  As Godless Capitalist pointed out, they do not know the future-and thus can only make an educated assertion via reason.  You must learn however that reason is not omniscience.

I think that there may be other reasons for disagreement than differences of knowledge. I would not deny that differences of knowledge may be playing a part in this disagreement, but the context of *individual* self-interest is also important. I know that it is important for me.

In a free society, men's interests are in harmony. But in a choice between two presidential candidates *both* of whom promise to initiate force against me in different ways, I must choose the one who is less likely to kill me. And that choice may be different for different men.

For me, the one difference that is most likely to make a difference to *my life* is whether in 20-30 years, when I am most likely to need organ replacement to remain alive (I am 58 now) the technology for making those organs will be available to me. The only technology that is likely to become available for this purpose in the relevant time frame, and that would provide organs not susceptible to immune rejection, is human therapeutic cloning. Bush pressed Congress to prohibit cloning, and Bush would certainly veto any attempt to repeal his legislation. The United states still accounts for close to 80% of all medical research in the world. To date, Bush has caused at minimum a 3-year delay in the development of therapeutic cloning technology. His re-election, if it takes place, would result in a total delay of about 7 years. If I were to need organ replacement 20-30 years from now, and cloning technology were 1-7 years short of availability for this purpose - as is likely with an actuarial probability between 25-30% - then I will have been murdered by the re-election of George W. Bush. In comparison, the chances of my being killed by terrorists, under a future administration by either candidate, are less than 1%. That is the basis of my decision to vote for Kerry.

Now, I don't know whether or not HB's or LP's decisions are based on differences in knowledge, or differences in their evaluations of their separate interests, or some combination of the two. But in any case, the assumption that their different recommendations are based *only* on differences in knowledge is not justified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fact about Bush's policy that some might find useful: They are building about a dozen long term military bases in Iraq. These bases would be a great strategic asset as either bargaining weight, or for launching a future war on Iran or Syria.

Kerry promised that under his presidency he will make sure these will NEVER be long term. He wants these bases gone within the next few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the subjectist/relativist axis is merely the fuel that keeps the religionists in business.

Another good point from Thoyd Loki. The more the left/subjectivist/nihilists are given power, the more the right has the excuse to seize it and to "do something." Whereas if they are given center stage in a non-ideological-crisis, they will have to be a lot more careful of what they do. Of course that goes both ways, but we're hardly living in a theocracy. We are most certainly living in a leftist-dream of a mixed economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now, I don't know whether or not HB's or LP's decisions are based on differences in knowledge, or differences in their evaluations of their separate interests, or some combination of the two.  But in any case, the assumption that their different recommendations are based *only* on differences in knowledge is not justified.

I see your point, but I think it is a safe assumption nonetheless that HB's and LP's decisions are not based on purely personal concerns. I can't prove that of course, but I think if it were true they would say so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For me, the one difference that is most likely to make a difference to *my life* is whether in 20-30 years, when I am most likely to need organ replacement to remain alive (I am 58 now) the technology for making those organs will be available to me.  The only technology  that is likely to become available for this purpose in the relevant time frame, and that would provide organs not susceptible to immune rejection, is human therapeutic cloning.

It's hard for to understand this point of view. Does anyone else besides me remember that there are still bullets whizzing and frothing fanatics stampeding for the door?

The only way I could conceivably understand this is if I imagine that people don't think we're in a real war. That's the only conceivable way someone could judge this upcoming presidency on such things as cloning and theocratic takeover of America.

You know it's funny, when 9/11 happened, it was such a unifying event, that it appeared as if the paper tiger America suddenly bloomed into an indomitable marble colossus of unrestricted rage and endless bloody justice. The vengeful unity was so strong that, despite all the intellectual problems the country had before 9/11, I had doubts if we'd ever bicker amongst ourselves again. I was asking myself if the people would ever lose this resolve... it seemed hypothetically feasible, but nearly impossible to imagine, in that aftermath. I couldn't imagine a complacent America anymore, not after it has been struck at the heart, and left limping.

Well, the complacency has set in. That's been the bane of all democratic societies I suppose, from the earliest times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think that there may be other reasons for disagreement than differences of knowledge. I would not deny that differences of knowledge may be playing a part in this disagreement, but the context of *individual* self-interest is also important. I know that it is important for me.

I also see this issue in terms of *my life*. If I am killed in a terrorist attack, I won't be around to care if religion takes over in the long run - because I'll be dead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but the context of *individual* self-interest is also important

But of course-this was implied within my post. Rational men tend to make rational decisions based upon the information they have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps it's time that a few facts are considered.

1. Bush has had four years to implement his Faith Based Initiative. It hasn't made it out of committee.

2. The Senate has stalled on every major judicial appointment. The judges I've researched appear to be constitutionalists, as opposed to liberal activist judges who make law from the bench.

4. Bush did not outlaw all stem-cell research. He didn't even outlaw all embryonic stem-cell research. He outlawed government funding of NEW embryonic stem-cell research.

3. As bad as it's gotten since the rise of the New Left, they still haven't been able to completely take over -- the Right has still been able to put up a fight. This is because of our system of government; ragged and torn as it is, the constitution still protects us. What makes anyone think that the Religious Right can simply waltz in during the next four years and declare a theocracy? Both systems of thought are dangerous. Both are entrenched. The ideological Left has burned out (thus the rising violence from that quarter). The Religious Right is on the rise, but they do not yet own the Republican party and there is little agreement among them even on abortion. The things they do agree on are frivolous gestures, such as the Ten Commandmants, prayer in school, the Pledge, etc. (I grew up with all of these things and it hasn't stopped me from becoming an Objectivist.) While these are dangerous precursors, they are not dangerous the way other ideas coming from that bunch are. They aren't even as dangerous as the ten thousand commandmants coming from the liberals.

4. A president who can't get the backing of Congress is powerless to do a damn thing. He may advocate certain policies, but if the public screams loudly enough, Congress won't budge. A president is also limited where war is concerned: he must have the "advice and consent" of Congress to go to war in a big way, even when he stops short of declaring a formal war. He has the power to conduct the war as he sees fit, but even here, as we have seen, Congress retains the power to fund the war. From what I've read in all the various threads discussing the upcoming election, I get the idea that some of you have forgotten what the powers of the presidency actually are.

What I haven't seen in these threads is any real discussion of the most important internal danger to our liberty -- the blatant attack on political speech. All three branches of the government, both political parties, and the mainstream media have been complicit in the fundamental abrogation of this most important political right. If we do nothing about the overt attack on free speech, we can forget arguing about who is more dangerous -- except secretly in back rooms, or in criminalized protests that will send us to jail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you are demanding omniscience between these two men.  Just because they are rational does not mean that they know everything.  As Godless Capitalist pointed out, they do not know the future-and thus can only make an educated assertion via reason.  You must learn however that reason is not omniscience.

Of course reason isn't omniscience. But if two people have the same principles and they come to a different conclusion on the same issue, one's facts are wrong. Someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong because the facts are the facts. Who has done the best job of discovering them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...  if two people have the same principles and they come to a different conclusion on the same issue, one's facts are wrong. Someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong because the facts are the facts.

James,

You have not been paying attention. Even when the facts are identical, different men make their decisions in their different, individual contexts. After all, Objectivism is NOT intrincisism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But if two people have the same principles and they come to a different conclusion on the same issue, one's facts are wrong. Someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong because the facts are the facts.

What?

They both are using the same facts. They are not disagreeing with each others arguments. Their conclusions are different because of what they think "a president"(Bush or Kerry) can do to effect things happening in a culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Of course reason isn't omniscience. But if two people have the same principles and they come to a different conclusion on the same issue, one's facts are wrong. Someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong because the facts are the facts. Who has done the best job of discovering them?

You can "do a good job" and still be wrong.

You are talking about JUDGING PEOPLE and their future actions and, because we cannot read minds, the most important causal facts -- the person's actual thoughts and values -- are unavailable to us. We must make our judgements, as best we can, based on incomplete information and inference.

As a result, judging people is the most difficult and inherently error-prone intellectual task there is. I am not at all surprised that a person can be seriously mistaken when judging yet honestly and rationally mistaken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can "do a good job" and still be wrong.

You are talking about JUDGING PEOPLE and their future actions and, because we cannot read minds, the most important causal facts -- the person's actual thoughts and values -- are unavailable to us.  We must make our judgements, as best we can, based on incomplete information and inference.

As a result, judging people is the most difficult and inherently error-prone intellectual task there is.  I am not at all surprised that a person can be seriously mistaken when judging yet honestly and rationally mistaken.

No kidding. The only way we could ever come close to judging Kerry or Bush's character or any other person very accurately would be if they were our close friends or relatives. But even then, we could still make a lot mistakes. Even close friends and family members make mistakes in determining each others characters, feelings and thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What I haven't seen in these threads is any real discussion of the most important internal danger to our liberty -- the blatant attack on political speech. All three branches of the government, both political parties, and the mainstream media have been complicit in the fundamental abrogation of this most important political right. If we do nothing about the overt attack on free speech, we can forget arguing about who is more dangerous -- except secretly in back rooms, or in criminalized protests that will send us to jail.
Great point, Janet. The so-called Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform (BCFR) is a disaster and a terrible precedent. It needs repealing.

The First Amendment Restoration Act has been introduced in Congress as Senate Resolution S.2702.IS and in the House as HR 3801.IH. The Act does not repeal the entire BCFR law. However, Senator Chambliss, who introduced the Senate version, has assured me that this legislation removes the limitations on speech imposed by the BCRA. After reading the Act and the relevant sections of 2 U.S.C 441b, I believe him.

We should pressure our Congressional representatives to pass this bill ASAP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...