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Epistemology, Metaphysics and Ethics trumps Politics: vote Obama

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Smart and logical? From the party of "chians"? How about the greater evil we already know in Obama:

  • I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.”
  • “What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gain to the benefit of all. This is the Government’s obligation”.
  • "It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation."
  • "Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness."
  • "You didn't build that."

Edited by Spiral Architect

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It sounds like there are only two possibilities-or teaching of Objectivist philosophy from some philosophical ivory tower, or establishment of revolutionary movement. But this is a false dichotomy. All great revolutions started on the grass root level fueled by dissatisfaction of the current affairs. A philosopher is only a person who gives to this implicit feeling a clear explicit expression. People regardless their explicit philosophy have basic existential objective needs-shelter, food, security, health etc... They also know from the first-hand experience that government not only failed to provide all these, but also government intervention is detrimental in achieving of these goals. So people try to avoid government services, they subscribe with private security, use more and more private health services, private education, private banking and even private money. 40% of Americans work in informal sector, from home, using internet and other social electronic media. These people are natural implicit Objectivists, no matter what is their explicit philosophy, religion, or how they vote. They keep the flame of American sense of life, individualism and self-fulfillment. I think that Tea Party movement is only a tip of iceberg and the transformation of society is already on the way on the grass root level. Of course, reading of "Atlas Shrugged" and "Fountainhead" could help. But reality is a best teacher.

Edited by Leonid

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Smart and logical?

The point is, I think, that Democrats are more reasonable, and smarter because they actually have premises to reason from, as opposed to populist emotionalism. There is some meat to their ideas, at least to the extent there is some caring about ideas, as opposed to many Republicans. Is populism of Republicans worse than elitism of Democrats? I think so.

Populism by nature can't be intelligent in a political system of voting, because no one is even in charge to think, since action is whatever the collective feels is right. That Obama needs to show his birth certificate feels right. Lower taxes, Obama simply hates America and will destroy it at all costs, abortion is bad, these all feel right. Truthiness is the prevailing Republican trend. Now, they may not say that explicitly, but I can't say there is much thinking going on, and Fox News is probably good evidence. There is minimal to no intellectual foundation for the vast majority of Republicans that I have seen. Before anyone says Paul Ryan, he's out, because he rejects the best part about Objectivism - the epistemology - and who knows if he actually knows anything about Aquinas.

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There is minimal to no intellectual foundation for the vast majority of Republicans that I have seen.
How about the neo-con intellectuals? A lot of them have a left-wing Trotskyist intellectual grounding which has a reality-based metaphysics and epistemology.

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The point is, I think, that Democrats are more reasonable, and smarter because they actually have premises to reason from

Don't mistake fanaticism with rationality. Democrats believe in something that's wrong. Republicans do to, but with less conviction, because they at least recognize that some aspects of what Democrats believe in are wrong. At least they have the ability to look at the Soviet Union and admit that the root cause of its evil was its socialist, anti-individualist ideology.

I don't understand how that could ever possibly be less rational or reasonable than being an elitist lunatic who built a complex philosophical foundation for his ideas on evasion of reality.

Populism by nature can't be intelligent in a political system of voting, because no one is even in charge to think, since action is whatever the collective feels is right.

Who says a nation can't be intelligent?

Populism is driven by whatever the majority of people believe is right (as opposed to whatever the "collective feels" - a nonsensical phrase- is right).

And it can be exactly as intelligent as the people who are doing the believing. In this case, not very intelligent or right, but still by magnitudes better than what leftist intellectuals or their political devotees will do.

Edited by Nicky

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The point is, I think, that Democrats are more reasonable, and smarter

In what way? The most essential element of the Democrat party's platform is the expansion of the welfare state, seemingly at all costs. Objectivism rejects the very premise that makes the welfare state possible. How do you get around this?

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I think Peikoff's 2010 voting advice is relevant here.

http://www.peikoff.c...an-in-november/

I disagreed with the position he's here reversing, but his comments on Obama are worth considering. I heard in one of his more recent podcasts material that I interpreted as a continuation of the view in the linked podcast. He even claimed that he never supported Obama, and that he preferred Hillary in 2008. I think Hillary would have been just as bad, but be that as it may. I do recall him critiquing Obama's connection to the loony Chicago preacher (name escapes me).

Edited by Ninth Doctor

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I think Peikoff's 2010 voting advice is relevant here.

http://www.peikoff.c...an-in-november/

I disagreed with the position he's here reversing, but his comments on Obama are worth considering. I heard in one of his more recent podcasts material that I interpreted as a continuation of the view in the linked podcast. He even claimed that he never supported Obama, and that he preferred Hillary in 2008. I think Hillary would have been just as bad, but be that as it may. I do recall him critiquing Obama's connection to the loony Chicago preacher (name escapes me).

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

[/media]

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The Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

I think my subconscious worked hard behind the scenes for years to help me forget that name. Thanks for undoing all that effort.

Here's a bit from the Reverend Ike, who Ayn Rand praised in the clip posted here:

http://forum.objecti...37

Doesn't sound like Obama's kind of preacher, huh?

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This response is mostly directed at the points Nicky/Craig24/sNerd raised towards me.

In what way? The most essential element of the Democrat party's platform is the expansion of the welfare state, seemingly at all costs. Objectivism rejects the very premise that makes the welfare state possible. How do you get around this?

And the most essential element of the Republican platform appears to be nothing but impulsive emotionalism by my estimation. If this is not the case, name some Republican intellectuals (if any such exist) that at least attempt to present a reasoned case with reasoned premises. Naming names matters, because I imagine you agree that political ideas flow from writers or actual politicians. Obama hates America or Obama is really a communist is the most intellectualism I've seen really, without much to say other than it's obvious. Sure Objectivism rejects the premise that makes a welfare state possible - but the worst part is, I can't even name what the type of government the Republicans other than whatever people "feel" is right, which may include various feelings like "abortion ought to be illegal". All I can say is that at least a welfare state is manageable. A populist government? Even if it is incidentally correct on some issues, the course of the future isn't tempered by anything and open to explosive political events. I emphasize, though, that my reasoning is based on how I see no intellectual guidance whatsoever in the Republican party.

By populism, I mean a group of people where whatever the collective feels drives what happens, implicitly. I especially imagine the American variety of the 1890s. That's the kind I'm refering to, which it typically involves "common people" against the "elite", otherwise you would simply call it democracy. Then some people are viewed as a paragon of the common people, despite not knowing anything beyond common sense. Sarah Palin is an example of this. Fortunately, her fame has died down. Still, that doesn't mean rampant populism isn't waiting on the horizon.

Republicans do to, but with less conviction, because they at least recognize that some aspects of what Democrats believe in are wrong.

How do Republicans figure out what is wrong? Again, belief that Republicans are considerably worse than Democrats rests on the premise that there are no intellectual leaders in the Republican party who even give the illusion of caring about reason.

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... ... name some Republican intellectuals (if any such exist) that at least attempt to present a reasoned case with reasoned premises. Naming names matters, because I imagine you agree that political ideas flow from writers or actual politicians.
Charles Krauthammer is one popular example (popular in the sense that he appears regularly in the mainstream media). I'd say he's as intellectual as any Democrat. Among politicians, I'd say Newt Gingrich is more intellectual than most. It's true that he can pander and slander like a street-fighter, but he does have an intellectual side as well.

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Clearly we have to look at the overall picture, not anecdotal samples.

The dominant voice of the Republicans these days is Fox News.

The VP candidate for the Republican party is a bald-faced liar who once made his staff read AR and now says his interest in her is an "urban legend".

Their presidential candidate was recently featured on the cover of The Economist with the question, "who are you?", alluding to the fact that he basically has no past that he will stand upon.

On Fox News we regularly hear speakers conflating Obama's support of Regan's programs as, "communism" all they while they tell the dumb dumbs who watch that crap that lowering taxes on the rich will make poor truck drivers like themselves oh-so-much-more rich sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, the constant drone of the Democrats seems to be, "okay, so you want a welfare state, let's actually make it mathematically work". Crazy stuff.

I feel like many people here simply refuse to believe the indisputable fact that every one of those geriatric t-party followers are on Social Security like all old people are, and when push comes to shove they aren't going to vote themselves a pay cut. They are there because somebody at Fox News told them that 94% of the Federal budget is actually spent on homosexual atheist art specials on PBS and if they just get rid of the Democrats we can cut those and balance the budget.

Af for reality, Paul Krugman (!) said it best: the US government is an insurance company with an army.

Given the premises and the political realities for the next, say, 25 years, we're going to spend what we're spending on our Army and social safety net, and we're going to have to pay for it somehow. Our choices therefore are either deficit spending or higher taxes. Period. One party acknowledges this, and one party lies about this.

Ayn Rand did not write what she wrote so her ideas could be used as a floating abstraction. People need to get real. I always thought that one of the most misunderstood things she ever wrote was the following: "those who fight for the future live in it today". Correctly interpreted that was a great guide for living your life and doing what you can/should to change things for the better. It is often misused, however, as a psychological enabler for the crack pipe of rationalization.

You imagine a world that could be and ought to be. You live in the world that is.

Edited by CrowEpistemologist

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CrowEpistemologist, you said Democrats are smart and logical. I asked for a few names of smart and logical Democrats. Whenever you're ready.

I never said that. I said the Republican side is in opposition to intelligence and logic--in an official, top-line capacity.

But sure, compare Paul Krugman or Jon Stewart to Fox News if you like. Wrong premises, sure, but at least they make a strong attempt to be internally consistent. Their demeanor is that of smart people trying to use facts and they don't make use of out-right lies as is the norm for the Republican side of today. (Note how this entire situation has flipped in the last 20 years...).

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I'm talking about what is becoming an "secret handshake" of unlogic being required of Republicans. That you have to believe that Obama's Obamacare is socialism yet Romney's Obamacare was not. Or that the Republicans will somehow cut the deficit, cut taxes and retain all major programs. That tax cuts for the rich will help poor people (not "long term" mind you, right now). Or that Sarah Palin would make a great VP. Etc. Etc. They are basically asking the American voters to suspend disbelief on simple, surface-level math and logic. The Republicans are pursing a mindless, populist strategy today just as the Demos did in the 70s. The tables have been turned and now it's the Democrats who are the smart, "elitist", logical ones. (And yes, I'm generalizing, and there are examples on the Demo side of mindless populism too but I have yet to find a counter-example on the R side).

This is exactly the same kind of thing that Democrats have been doing when they turn a blind eye to every time that Obama has continued one of Bush's policies that the Democrats heavily criticized him for. Suddenly Obama gets into office, and all the interventionist foreign policy is cool now. Nevermind that he raids medical marijuana dispensaries, or extends executive power through executive orders, or rewrites and reinterprets laws after they've been passed, or that his administration warps economic statistics like unemployment to make it look like he's doing better than he is. Democrats and liberals in the media are reticent to comment on such issues, because of the exact same thing you're criticizing the Republicans for, which is party loyalty. Both sides have it, and it makes them say stupid things, defend things they shouldn't, and remain silent when they should speak up. It's a problem with politics on both sides.

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The tables have been turned and now it's the Democrats who are the smart, "elitist", logical ones.

CrowEpistemologist, you said Democrats are smart and logical. I asked for a few names of smart and logical Democrats. Whenever you're ready.

I never said that.

Fair enough. I'm thinking it's best if I stop bothering you, at this point. You're right, buddy, the government is one big insurance company, and the Democrats are its smart, consistent CEO. And, more importantly, that viewpoint is entirely in accordance with Ayn Rand's philosophy.

I don't know what any of these stolen concept, floating abstraction idiots keep objecting to.

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Fair enough. I'm thinking it's best if I stop bothering you, at this point. You're right, buddy, the government is one big insurance company, and the Democrats are its smart, consistent CEO. And, more importantly, that viewpoint is entirely in accordance with Ayn Rand's philosophy.

I don't know what any of these stolen concept, floating abstraction idiots keep objecting to.

Thanks again for your participation.

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The issue here isn't whether the current Republican non-leaders are an actual intellectual movement worthy of support. This is no different then Rand's support of Nixon actually. She did it to oppose McGovern. Same principle here - Obama needs to be fired. He is the greater evil at work here exactly because he is acting on defined principles; very bad ones.

As far as I’m concerned the U.S. is quickly approaching Titanic levels and while I’d agree the Mittens of the world are poor captains that will drive the ship in wrong waters they can be fought a lot easier than someone like Obama who has demonstrated his desire to replace the current ship with a new state sponsored ship of the line. I suppose the good news is that we won’t be forced into state exchanges to buy a boarding pass because the Supreme Court will call the travel arrangements a tax.

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I never said that. I said the Republican side is in opposition to intelligence and logic--in an official, top-line capacity.

But sure, compare Paul Krugman or Jon Stewart to Fox News if you like. Wrong premises, sure, but at least they make a strong attempt to be internally consistent. Their demeanor is that of smart people trying to use facts and they don't make use of out-right lies as is the norm for the Republican side of today. (Note how this entire situation has flipped in the last 20 years...).

Jon Stewart, the comedian, really? How often do you watch his show? Did you see his interview with Marco Rubio?

How about Peter Schiff for the republican side? Or is he just stupid and illogical too?

Edited by Matt Giannelli

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But sure, compare Paul Krugman or Jon Stewart to Fox News if you like. Wrong premises, sure, but at least they make a strong attempt to be internally consistent. Their demeanor is that of smart people trying to use facts and they don't make use of out-right lies as is the norm for the Republican side of today. (Note how this entire situation has flipped in the last 20 years...).
What you say is not true of either of these commentators. Krugman is over-rated. Yes, he's a Nobel prize winner and so on, but there other economists who are just as lucid and many who are far more lucid without the clearly ideological slant that is generally present in Krugman's pieces.

As for Jon Stewart, he is far worse. The comedic slant of his show means that he can always claim he's using hyperbole, or that he is simply joking.

These two are hazardous to one's epidemiological well-being. At least someone like Hannity (puke) is so obviously partisan that his junk has no chance of entering the mind of a sensible Objectivist. OTOH, Krugman and Stewart wear a cloak borrowed from Aristotle to try smuggling their mush into people's minds.

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These two are hazardous to one's epidemiological well-being. At least someone like Hannity (puke) is so obviously partisan that his junk has no chance of entering the mind of a sensible Objectivist. OTOH, Krugman and Stewart wear a cloak borrowed from Aristotle to try smuggling their mush into people's minds.

Well, I'm glad you seem to see my point even if you don't agree with my conclusion.

To be clear, I personally don't see any major change occurring, one way or another, in the next 20 years. I'm just not seeing the unbelievable evil of Obama, only a middle-of-the-road politician who is bending with the currently slightly-right-flowing winds. We all know that neither side is going to change things fundamentally (even "slightly fundamentally") at all and the only real difference is around personality and presentation.

Hence my focus is around personality and presentation. I'm voting for the guys with the cloak borrowed from Aristotle. At least they still see some reason to wear that cloak. The other side attacks the cloak not the thing behind it. They call Democrats "elitist" (which is what Democrats used to call Republicans back in the day of Barry Goldwater and WF Buckley). The word "elitist" is code for "intelligent and rational".

Forget politics folks--it's pissing in the ocean at this point and time. The real battle is culture, logic and rationality. Vote pro-elitist, not pro-moronic truck driver.

(BTW, in watching JS or reading PK... I don't find myself turning into a closet socialist. I don't swing that way, I just don't. I'm comfortable with my... rationality. :-) ).

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Well, I'm glad you seem to see my point even if you don't agree with my conclusion.
Nicely done :)

But, no, while I "see your point" if it comes to Krugman vs. Hannity, that's a biased sample.

I'm voting for the guys with the cloak borrowed from Aristotle...
You're not really voting for Krugman. Of the two candidates, from their histories, Romney is far more rational and practical than Obama.

(BTW, in watching JS or reading PK... I don't find myself turning into a closet socialist. I don't swing that way, I just don't. I'm comfortable with my... rationality. :-) ).
I didn't mean to imply anything like this. Mis-spelling aside, I meant they're epistemologically harmful, not that they would change your mind on politics [i reckon it would take someone a little smarter than Krugman ;) ]

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You're not really voting for Krugman. Of the two candidates, from their histories, Romney is far more rational and practical than Obama.

But that doesn't matter.* What matters is how they are being sold--what they are a symbol of. Obama is the "elitist" these days, and Romney is the opposite...

[*That said, you do recall that Romney is a freakin' Mormon right? You know, with the hat and the gold bars and dum dum dum dum dum dum...?].

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[*That said, you do recall that Romney is a freakin' Mormon right? You know, with the hat and the gold bars and dum dum dum dum dum dum...?].

That's quite the smart, logical analysis you've got there. Did you learn that from the smart and logical Jon Stewart by any chance?

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But that doesn't matter.* What matters is how they are being sold--what they are a symbol of. Obama is the "elitist" these days, and Romney is the opposite.

Oh no, I think it matters. I think having a superiority complex that's being expressed in stupid, childish ways * is very different from either actually being superior or even just being perceived as superior.

I think, for instance, that everyone in the country except his most hardened fans can easily tell that Jon Stewart is a moron.

[*That said, you do recall that Romney is a freakin' Mormon right? You know, with the hat and the gold bars and dum dum dum dum dum dum...?].

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