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Hey guys, I have written a paper that I am going to submit to my school newspaper, and I would like to know what you guys think of it.

This is a very rough draft, so Criticisms, as well as grammatical corrections, are more than welcome.

The Objectivist Manifesto

There is a malignant cancer eating at the Human population. It is swift, subtle, and in many cases, alluring. This cancer is not from an outside force, it is no virus or alien contraption, this cancer is the product of the human mind (or lack thereof.) This cancer is forced altruism, the flawed reasoning that a good deed is measured by sacrifice. The danger is the idea that people must be coerced into being altruistic, that the state should have the power to enforce altruism. One must wonder if it is still a good deed if one is forced to do it! Altruism claims that sacrifice is a virtue, and that the more one sacrifices, the more virtuous the person. The physical manifestation of altruism is the dangerously subtle political governing system known as socialism.

Socialism has time and time again proven to be a disastrous failure. Mere empirical evidence is all that is necessary to prove this. Cuba and North Korea for example, are two of the most collectivist states in the world, yet they are also among the most impoverished nations in the world. In fact, Castro was forced to privatize part of his agriculture industry to simply keep his people from starving! Cuba is a place where red meat has been nationalized, of course Castro and his thugs claim that it is for the public good, although I very much doubt the Cubans eat as much red meat as the Americans and their evil private food economy. And what of Europe? Most European countries have attempted to combine capitalism and socialism in an attempt at being altruistic. Now they are reaping what they sow. All but 5 states of the United States have a higher per capital G.D.P than Germany, Italy, and France. America has one of the freest economies in the world, along with one of the highest living standards in the world. Even the poorest communities of America often have cars, color TVs, stereos, and decent housing. And yet, despite not having national health care, or a decent minimum wage rate, or overly extensive and elaborate pension plans, nor any nationalized industries, it remains the most prosperous place in the world. Immigrants are flocking to America not because they want a free meal or a free ride, but simply because they want to work, they want to make money, and they want to keep the fruits of their labor.

Though American capitalism, for all it’s marvel, is under attack, from the “left”, and from the so-called “right.” The Democratic party is a philosophically empty political party. They are worshipers of their whims, and their whims are founded on altruism. Their reasoning is that because some people are poor, those who aren’t should do the good deed and sacrifice for them, regardless if they want to or not. Democrats come in a wide variety of people, from Marxists to social liberals, one of their only uniting force is their hatred of the right, most notably, Bush. There are people who voted democrat not because of any philosophical convictions, but because they simply did not like Bush. This is an extremely dangerous mind set, when men cease to use their reasoning mind and resort to following whims, they become domesticated animals, only kept alive by the actions of others. The Republican party is not a party of whims. Their philosophical backing comes from mysticism, they resort to Christian faith rather than reason. Though some Republicans are fiscal conservatives, President Bush is anything but a fiscal conservative, as he has spent more money than even Clinton did (and that’s not including the new defense budget!) Many Republicans agree that welfare is sanctioned theft. But would those same Republicans who nodded their heads at that notion feel the same way about corporate welfare? Corporate welfare is something that the Republican party has been practicing for years, is that not sanctioned theft as well? It is still the government sanction of forcefully removing property (because if I don’t pay my taxes, the government comes with it’s guns and forces me into jail), but the only difference is that rather than some poor mother of 5 who gets my check, its some multi-billion dollar corporation. The Democratic and the Republican. parties are two sides of the same philosophical coin. And while the followers of the two parties get caught up in small issues like “under God” or the like, the larger issues go ignored.

One must wonder if there is anyone who is truly fighting for the side of Capitalism, and at first glance, the Libertarian party seems to be a prime candidate. They are free market capitalists as well as social liberals, which is precisely what the doctrines of capitalism call for. However, there are two fundamental flaws of Libertarianism as a concept that, unless accounted for, will ultimately doom the movement. Their first flaw is their off base philosophy, whose conclusion just so happens to coincide with the Capitalists. They argue under the same utilitarian principle of altruism, they merely believe that the most altruistic avenue of approach is a free market. This flaw brings me to their next flaw, the fact that they are fighting against the tide of the norm. They battle collectivism on it’s own philosophical turf, which is proving to be an uphill battle. If the Libertarians hope to succeed, they must alter their base philosophy from that of an altruistic one to that of a Capitalist one, which is a triumvirate of Reason, Ego, and Capitalism. Men must use their reason rather than whims, they must be proud of their own accomplishments rather than scornful of them, and they must refuse to either force others or be forced into sacrificing themselves.

This is the manifesto of the philosophy for living on Earth. The philosopher Ayn Rand is credited with it’s creation, which she called “Objectivism.” The only moral way to live is to live for your own sake, and neither living for someone else, nor having someone else live for their own sake. A good deed is not characterized by its amount of sacrifice, nor does it remain a good deed if it is forced by the government. A good deed is something that is undertaken in your own rational self-interest. As Lao Tzu once wrote “give up all desire for the common good, and good becomes as common as the grass.”

I figure this oughta ruffle a few feathers, no?

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Confucius would say "man who throws pebbles at others must prepare to have head smashed by large stone".

And man are you throwing pebbles!!!

Most of your remarks have been countered already by collectivists and socialists. Cuba is under embargo from the US, Korean, Soviet and other socialisms are not socialism as Marx intended etc. Those may be lame arguments, but it's what leftist intellectuals will be throwing at you.

I don't understand why you say European countries combine socialism and capitalism. European countries have more state welfare plans, hence more taxes but otherwise we are capitalist. Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Jersy are in Europe, so a smart European capitalist probably has it easier to evade taxes than his US counterpart.

As for the politic parties of the US, your stance is everything that's not pure Objectivism is bad.

Finally don't forget egoism and altruism have a different meaning for non-Objectivists. They hear egoism, they think of a short-sighted hedonist, not someone who follows his rational self-interest.

You should devot more time giving exact definition of some basic Objectivist concepts and explain the basic tennets before attacking non-Objectivists.

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Hey guys, I have written a paper that I am going to submit to my school newspaper, and I would like to know what you guys think of it.

This is a very rough draft, so Criticisms, as well as grammatical corrections, are more than welcome.

The Objectivist Manifesto

There is a malignant cancer eating at the Human population. It is swift, subtle, and in many cases, alluring. This cancer is not from an outside force, it is no virus or alien contraption, this cancer is the product of the human mind (or lack thereof.) This cancer is forced altruism [...]

All aspiring writers -- whether in philosophy, business, science or other fields -- should closely study Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction, edited by Robert Mayhew. In particular, learn her technique of initially organizing an essay by specifying subject and theme. The subject is what you are going to talk about. The theme is what you are going to say about the subject. An example subject for an essay might be stamp collecting. The theme might be that it exercises the mind because it requires the mental skill of classification.

My major concern with your essay is that I don't understand either the subject or the theme. Is the subject, as the title would indicate, an Objectivist manifesto? Or is it the doctrine of "forced altruism"? Or is it an analysis of political parties today?

(Also, if this essay is itself a manifesto for Objectivism, how does yours differ from Ayn Rand's own manifesto: For the New Intellectual?)

Next, what is your theme? What one point are you trying to get across? "Forced altruism" is bad politically? (This leaves the reader thinking perhaps that unforced altruism is okay.) Or is your point that "The Objectivist Manifesto" is a prescription for changing U. S. politics?

A minor note: Be sure to use consistent and appropriate capitalization. Sometimes I see "Capitalism" and sometimes "capitalism." Check your other terms as well -- for example, "Democrats" and "democrats," "Human" and "human."

A point about format: Be sure, especially in an online forum, to leave an empty line between paragaphs, for easier reading.

Last, I would definitely not say merely that Ayn Rand is "credited" with creating Objectivism. That sounds like you have doubts about whether she deserved credit. Rather, simply tell your readers she created it. However, if your subject is forced altruism and your theme is that that idea is destructive, you don't need to talk about Ayn Rand, although you might mention her as the source of your view.

You have asked for criticisms. Receiving them sometimes can be unpleasant. I admire your initiative in writing this essay and your courage in asking for criticism. From qualified individuals, criticism can be helpful. It can save us a lot of time. This is part of the value we gain from trade in society.

My favorite example of an independent man gaining from criticism is Howard Roark ignoring Henry Cameron's abrasive manner while concentrating on his criticisms of Roark's early architectural drawings. Roark was independent enough to know he could selfishly gain from another man's criticisms.

Best to you in your school work and beyond,

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I don't understand why you say European countries combine socialism and capitalism. European countries have more state welfare plans, hence more taxes but otherwise we are capitalist. Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Jersy are in Europe, so a smart European capitalist probably has it easier to evade taxes than his US counterpart.

Does socialism (or more generally, statism) consist only of welfare programs and taxation?

Does Europe have no environmental regulations, no anti-trust legislation, no coercive support for unions, no restrictions on architectural construction, no governmental education, no laws against adult use of street drugs, no censorship, no government ownership of transportation and communication and mail delivery, and no prohibitions on owning and carrying firearms?

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Does socialism (or more generally, statism) consist only of welfare programs and taxation?

Does Europe have no environmental regulations, no anti-trust legislation, no coercive support for unions, no restrictions on architectural construction, no governmental education, no laws against adult use of street drugs, no censorship, no government ownership of transportation and communication and mail delivery, and no prohibitions on owning and carrying firearms?

The initial claim was that Europe is significantly more socialist/statist than America. Every single thing you have listed also apply to the US, as well as many things you havent listed such as bans on pornography, gay marriage, and stem cell research. If Germany and Britain qualify as socialist/statist countries, then America certainly does too.

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The initial claim was that Europe is significantly more socialist/statist than America. Every single thing you have listed also apply to the US, as well as many things you havent listed such as bans on pornography, gay marriage, and stem cell research. If Germany and Britain qualify as socialist/statist countries, then America certainly does too.

Exactly. Europe, as a whole, and the U. S. are statist -- to a degree. Both are mixed economically and in other areas of rights. Neither is totalitarian. Neither is laissez-faire.

P. S. The claim I was addressing is in Post 2: "I don't understand why you say European countries combine socialism and capitalism. European countries have more state welfare plans, hence more taxes but otherwise we are capitalist." The "otherwise we are capitalist" was not an accurate statement.

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I don't think an essay of the form "America is better than everyone else" is really the way to go. There are serious problems in America, and this is becoming increasingly apparent to everyone. The point of the essay is to make Objectivism an avenue for improvement of American society. The comparison to the rest of the world is distracting from this.

To a student population I'd bring out the fact that Objectivism has a critique of the currently existing American economy. Things like:

1. corporate welfare is wrong (as you mentioned) and Objectivists oppose this

2. corruption should be strictly opposed in application of law (addressing Enron, WorldCom, etc.)

3. other things about the current Republican party Objectivism opposes (religion, moral regulation etc.)

Then bring out critiques of liberal policies (i.e. we dont agree with Republicans totally and we don't agree with Democrats either)

1. emphasizing groups over individuals

2. popular welfare is wrong

3. unnecessary regulation is wrong

etc. It would also be good to address environmental issues (this is an obvious issue today) and give an Objectivist solution to these problems.

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Hal,

There aren't any bans against stem cell research. The government simply isn't going to fund embryonic stem cell research (other tem cell research is OK), but that doesn't keep private companies from doing so: they're welcome to it. Since it's hardly the government's job to be in this business to begin with, why would you object even if there were a ban?

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Hey guys, I have written a paper that I am going to submit to my school newspaper, and I would like to know what you guys think of it.

I think you should initially devote more space to explaining why egoism is the proper moral system. You essentially assert this idea in the final paragraph, yet you provide no support for it. Why not discuss how the nature of man's very life demands that he act in a certain way to survive? In order to survive man must be primarily concerned with his own well-being, etc.

If you want to draw a contrast between altruism and egoism, I think you need to focus more on the moral arguments, and less on politics. Once you've laid the foundation for understanding the true value of egoism and the true evil of altruism, then you might provide some social or political examples, to concretize the moral contrast.

P.S. You do a decent job of showing how socialism repeatedly fails. But socialism is not wrong simply because it fails. It is wrong (and it has to fail) because it contradicts the nature of man. But to prove that you need to address the Objectivist position on the nature of man and the requirements of his life.

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2.  popular welfare is wrong

3.  unnecessary regulation is wrong

I am unsure what you mean by popular welfare. Could you explain? Do you mean as opposed to corporate welfare?

Also, what do you mean by unnecessary regulation? What would be an example of a necessary regulation?

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I am unsure what you mean by popular welfare. Could you explain? Do you mean as opposed to corporate welfare?

Also, what do you mean by unnecessary regulation? What would be an example of a necessary regulation?

You are right, I intended "popular welfare" and a counterpart to "corporate welfare". So "popular welfare" refer to government handouts to individuals, and "corporate welfare" refers to government handouts to businesses.

As for "unnecessary regulations", I suppose there is probably some semantic difference between "laws" and "regulations" that I am unaware of. What I had in mind there is that there has to exist some body of criminal law to protect individuals, and property etc.. In my mind that is a regulation of conduct so a "regulation".

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The essay needs one topic and one point to make.

Perhaps one of these, which surfaced in the essay:

Altruism vs collectivism in economics

Comparative country analysis

Political party comparative analysis.

If it's an introduction to Objectivism, it's better to introduce it for what it's for than what it's against.

I strongly caution against using Laotze as a buttress for any Objectivist argument. Taoism does not genuinely advocate reason or egoism, but rather revels in contradictions.

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Hal,

There aren't any bans against stem cell research. The government simply isn't going to fund embryonic stem cell research (other tem cell research is OK), but that doesn't keep private companies from doing so: they're welcome to it.

My mistake, thanks for correcting me - I thought it was banned. I'm unsure where I got this impression - I think the withdrawal of funding, in addition to the US trying to get the UN to ban it globally, caused me to assume that it was prohibited in the US.

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You have asked for criticisms. Receiving them sometimes can be unpleasant. I admire your initiative in writing this essay and your courage in asking for criticism. From qualified individuals, criticism can be helpful. It can save us a lot of time. This is part of the value we gain from trade in society.

I do not consider it unpleasant. In fact, I am rather gracious of everyone's response. Better I get it in here than get it out there.

I'll try for a re-write sometime before the weekend's end. Thanks for the criticisms guys!

My favorite example of an independent man gaining from criticism is Howard Roark ignoring Henry Cameron's abrasive manner while concentrating on his criticisms of Roark's early architectural drawings. Roark was independent enough to know he could selfishly gain from another man's criticisms.

This was exactly what was going through my mind :nuke: It's part of what made Howard Roark so real. He wasn't perfect, but he was willing to take the strides towards perfection, even the difficult strides.

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It's part of what made Howard Roark so real. He wasn't perfect, but he was willing to take the strides towards perfection, even the difficult strides.

I disagree. Howard Roark is perfect -- in the pagan sense of the idea (complete), though not in the monotheistic sense (error free).

Howard Roark is complete because he has everything he needs -- physically, mentally, and philosophically -- to live successfully. He is the ideal man. He has the right values and all the virtues.

Making errors -- as Ayn Rand showed him doing, especially at the beginning of his career -- does not mean imperfection except by an impossible -- and therefore irrational -- standard of omniscience.

P. S. -- I have long been puzzled by your screen name. It seems so demeaning for one who is enthusiastic and ambitious. Why do you use it?

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Yes I have a comment:

There is a malignant cancer eating at the Human population.

Why so vicious? Made me not want to read the rest of the essay.

Also, "Objectivist Manifesto" - that's rather ambitious, don't you think?

Sorry, you said criticism was very welcome. :)

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More presumptuous than ambitious in my view. I think the Objectivist Manifesto was already written by Ayn Rand in the form of Atlas Shrugged.

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More presumptuous than ambitious in my view. I think the Objectivist Manifesto was already written by Ayn Rand in the form of Atlas Shrugged.

Ayn Rand, on the second (unnumbered) page of the Preface to For the New Intellectual, hardbound edition, says:

"Until I complete the presentation of my philosophy in a fully detailed form, this present book may serve as an outline or a program or a manifesto."

However, she also says, on the same page, but earlier, that she had defined her full philosophy before she wrote Atlas Shrugged and "Galt's Speech is its briefest summary."

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Its rather hard to reproduce either of two copyrighted books, or a very large excerpt (Galt's speech) in a student newspaper.

The point is to get the crucial ideas out to a larger audience, and a well-crafted article in such a newspaper would be a fine vehicle for this.

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Hal,

This is off topic, but I did want to comment on your post: I believe it's a ban on cloning that the US is seeking globally.

As for where you got your impression: I'm sure the Democrats had something to do with that. Kerry and Edwards made it sound as if the adminstration was against ALL stem-cell research, and deliberately made no distinction between embryonic and other stem cells.

But of course it's not banned---California just voted to have the taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research. It's just federal funding that has been denied for any new lines obtained from embryos. I don't think this is the government's business to be in anyhow, so I don't have a problem with this restriction. I also think that the taxpayers of California got suckered: the results from embryonic stem cell research have NOT been promising at all. The advances have come from adult stem cell and cord blood research. The companies involved probably couldn't get their own investors on board because of the dismal success with embryonic stem cells, so they turned to the state government. And lots of people bought it hook, line, and sinker because of some hope for cures.

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Its rather hard to reproduce either of two copyrighted books, or a very large excerpt (Galt's speech) in a student newspaper.

Was someone in this forum advocating doing so?

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I disagree. Howard Roark is perfect -- in the pagan sense of the idea (complete), though not in the monotheistic sense (error free).

"What he aspired to was totality; he strove against separation of reason, sensuality, feeling, will

(--preached in the most horrible scholasticism by Kant, the antipode of Goethe); he disciplined himself to the whole, he created himself...."

-Nietzsche praising the romantic writer Goethe

Sorry if that is childsplay for most of you but I just think it shows an awesome connection. On the totality and completeness of a human "perfect" ideal:

Nietzsche-->Zarathustra-->Ayn Rand-->Roark

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"What he aspired to was totality; he strove against separation of reason, sensuality, feeling, will

(--preached in the most horrible scholasticism by Kant, the antipode of Goethe); he disciplined himself to the whole, he created himself...."

-Nietzsche praising the romantic writer Goethe

Sorry if that is childsplay for most of you but I just think it shows an awesome connection.  On the totality and completeness of a human "perfect" ideal:

Nietzsche-->Zarathustra-->Ayn Rand-->Roark

I have no idea what you are trying to say. Could you explain your subject and theme? Specifically, in the last line, what do the arrows mean?

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