Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Zoso

Tsunami, Salami, Boloni

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

You have to keep in mind that such buildings are far more costly.  Complying with government regulations costs hundreds of billions of dollars per year; the only reason it doesn't instantly destroy the US economy (along with many other highly regulated EU economies) is that we are rich enough to afford such high costs without major deprivation (relatively speaking).  The case is radically different in impoverished countries like Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia, where wealth is scarce and must be used to meet the most pressing needs--among the least of which are strong buildings because that area of the world is rarely hit but such natural disasters.

It goes beyond compliance with government regulations- and you should know better than to throw such a straw man argument out like that. If I were a corporation who wanted to finance and insure a new building in a third world country, I would have insisted that such building meet minimum code standards as stipulated in any number of building codes- which, by the way, were drafted by private concerns.

It is important to understand that Building Codes and Standards are not just adopted by governments. They are adopted also by insurance companies and financial institutions who finance and underwrite building projects.

Tenancy would cost too high for most people there, whose income are far too low to afford such high-standard housing.  The only way these people can radically increase their ability to deal with such natural disasters is to industrialize, and thereby accumulate the capital needed to implement high-tech instruments to detect imminent natural disasters, build high-standard buildings and infrastructure to withstand them, and establish efficient emergency-relief response systems to deal with them.

I certainly agree with the industrialization part of your response. Their governments need to re-invent themselves in such a manner as to allow, encourage, and ultimately protect such industrialization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It goes beyond compliance with government regulations- and you should know better than to throw such a  straw man argument out like that.  If I were a corporation who wanted to finance and insure a new building in a third world country, I would have insisted that such building meet minimum code standards as stipulated in any number of building codes- which, by the way, were drafted by private concerns.

It is important to understand that Building Codes and Standards are not just adopted by governments.  They are adopted also by insurance companies and financial institutions who finance and underwrite building projects.

Is not the Asian tsunami disaster the context of this topic? And is it not true that the overwhelming majority of the buildings destroyed were built BY and FOR the poor inhabitants of the said countries, not by multi-national corporations and financial institutions who can afford to demand high-standard buildings? So I don't see how my discussion about government building regulations in the impoverished countries is a "straw-man", because whether government or private building codes, those people simply cannot afford it without major deprivation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is not the Asian tsunami disaster the context of this topic?  And is it not true that the overwhelming majority of the buildings destroyed were built BY and FOR the poor inhabitants of the said countries, not by multi-national corporations and financial institutions who can afford to demand high-standard buildings?  So I don't see how my discussion about government building regulations in the impoverished countries is a "straw-man", because whether government or private building codes, those people simply cannot afford it without major deprivation.

Entire resorts were heavily damaged or destroyed by this tsunami.

You are right in saying that the overwhelming majority of buildings destroyed were built for and by the poor. That accounted for the vast majority of casualities.

In no way did I ever intend to change the context of this topic. It's your blatant misinterpretation of my post, which was right on topic, and blamed slipshod construction practices for the catastrophic loss of life and property there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take offence at the title of this thread. Disagreement with US government policy is one thing. But mockery of a devastating natural disaster in which millions of human beings have suffered and tens of thousands have die is just disgusting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am against the forced transfer of my money to anyone else, even if they suffered through a devastating tsunami. The government shouldn't be sending tax money to foreign nations.

With that said, I would be less upset with the millions of tax dollars being spent on the tsunami victims, if we weren't at war. Any "extra" resources and money that this nation accumulates should be used on the war effort, not on saving foreigners from natural disasters.

This is merely another example of how uninterested this nation is in winning the war.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I don't think the USA got any financial help during 9-11 or during the 5 hurricanes that blasted us this Summer.

2. I don't like how people are saying its the USA's fault for the Tsunami as if we could have an impact on the earths plate tectonics

3. While I feel bad for the victims of the Tsunami and any individual that wants to help should, I don't think the USA should be "obligated" to send taxpayer money as AID.

This is a pretty big disaster but what if there were several large ones in a row. Must we bankrupt ourselves to help others out or would it be wiser to save for when disasters strike us, like they do all the time. We have floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, etc all the time here at home to deal with. While the death toll is large for this incident that is because these 3d world gov'ts did not warn anyone. If Florida had no warning before all the hurricanes that hit this Summer I'm sure lots more people have died here too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am against the forced transfer of my money to anyone else, even if they suffered through a devastating tsunami. The government shouldn't be sending tax money to foreign nations.

With that said, I would be less upset with the millions of tax dollars being spent on the tsunami victims, if we weren't at war. Any "extra" resources and money that this nation accumulates should be used on the war effort, not on saving foreigners from natural disasters.

This is merely another example of how uninterested this nation is in winning the war.

I totally agree with you Swig.

What is the responsibility of these governments to provide their citizens with the resources needed to cope with the many natural disasters that afflict these nations?

None of these governments advocate free trade and capitalism, thus the profound poverty, the lack of technology to supply warning systems and good communications, the lack of the ability to construct houses according to codes and standards that ensure the safety of property......

U. N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland's initial comments regarding the stinginess of nations to provide relief are nothing short of shameful and fallacious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I take offence at the title of this thread.

Context is everything. If you only read the title and not many of the posts, then you might come to your conclusion. However, if you read many of the posts, you will realize that the mockery is of the attempt to 'guilt' the US out of money and resources by way of natural disaster. The mockery is not of the disaster itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your comments raise several questions:

Question 1: There was much devastation to entities hostile to the US. As I concluded in my closing remarks this incident can advance America's interests in this world war. The tourists from 'advanced' countries all too often are those who consider Americans crassly materialistic. As to the 'rational' adults who perished or lost money in this catastrophe I mourn for them as profoundly as I do for the rational adults who perished in the Allied bombings of Essen, Cologne, and Hiroshima. If some thug destroyed the Taj Mahal I would mourn as I do for the WTC.

Question 2: As I indicated in a previous reply this is a dangerous business. The 'multiple personalities' are a security device. As much as I'd like further discussion of it such would not be wise.

Question 3: Ooohh! I dealt the nakedness card in the pejorative spirit of Ayn Rand's 1974 essay, Eagalitarianism and Inflation. '...-and comes back, a while later, bringing his entire naked, barefoot tribe along.' I thought you, of all people, could have seen that connection.

Question 4: Of course not.

We find your questions stimulating. That's why your reaction to 'Let's Abolish Democrats' would be important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The mockery is not of the disaster itself.

RationalCop,

Thanks for straighten that out! I myself have experienced a rather devastating earthquake and know how much the victims would appreciate any help from anyone. I've always thought that US (which comes down to the people of US) has acted rather noble offering aids to various International causes, especially considering how little appreciation US usually gets. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The events in Asia and this thread remind me of an essay written by Amartya Sen called "Democracy as a Universal Value" written back in 1999.

He writes that "democratic governance has now achieved the status of being taken to be generally right". By democracy, I don't think he means "mob rule", but like most political scientists he probably means liberal democracy or republican democracy. But, that's beside the point.

Sen notes that "In the terrible history of famines in the world, no substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent and democratic country with a relatively free press." He goes on to list China, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Soviet Union. Governments that are unchallenged by opposition parties, the press and any other entities are less likely to have in incentive to respond to the peoples' needs. I understand that this isn't what an Objectivist would say, but I still find it of value.

We can then take the Bam earthquake in Iran last year which killed about forty-thousand people. A similar earthquake in San Francisco kills less than two hundred (I am indebted to a writer that brought this point up and I cannot locate the article). Iran, a theocratic, authoritarian regime cannot serve the needs of the people in an emergency, while the United States can.

So, should countries have an incentive to modernize, embrace free-market capitalism and form governments that respect and protect individual rights before we give aid to them? Why should the United States, the most free of the major mixed-economies, pay charity to states that will not embrace markets or republican democracy? I cannot find a rational reason why, except to build up "soft power" in the global arena.

But, the Muslim dominated Indonesia was quick to dismiss the 150 soldiers that Israel was willing to send to the region in order to help with relief efforts which was a total act of altruism on Israel's part since they have no interest in the region; this was only because they are Jewish and from a Jewish state, even though they are willing to sacrifice (rightly or wrongly) for a suffering people. The United States may have a possible motive: to impede growing Chinese influence in the region that has been steadily growing in the last decade (mainly in the implanting of Chinese influence in universities throughout Asia). Possibly aid should have strings attached, but the Left would cry "American hegemony" and "Empire" while thousands die of sickness and water-borne illness in the streets of Sri Lanka. How is this "compassionate" or have respect for "human rights"?

As in any tragedy, whether it be war, hurricane or tsunami, a free nation has nothing to gain. The nation with the most power is the hegemonic stabilizer, the nation of last resort. The UN and the pillagers of mankind will crawl to the steps of Washington DC demanding aid or military assistance in the aftermath of a tragedy that was an act of nature. Yet, they stomp their feet calling America an Empire when she is merely acting in self-interest. They rattle their sabers claiming America has an ulterior motive like stealing oil or implanting fascistic, puppet regimes that will steal the oil for them.

America has nothing to gain either way. Washington DC can give all of our wealth to the victims of this "act of God" and it will never appease those who hate America. We can restrict aid or tie it to a liberal reform package and the Left will cry that America is raping the natural resources of foreign lands and forcing democracy on a people who enjoy living in squalor because that's how their ancestors lived. How dare we feel superior to another culture! the Left would scream.

I know there will be criticism of this post, and I respect that. First, there will be those who don't appreciate my usage of the word "democracy" as Sen and most others use the term. I also do not mention the Right since I haven't read much reaction from them. A Christian fundamentalist on another forum claimed that God was striking down upon the Muslim nations for their crimes against mankind (I quickly replied that the Vatican would be sunk into Hell if this "God" was just).

Edit: Would help if forums had a built-in spell check :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Comments on Indonesia...

Considering Indonesia has comitted a genocide in East Timor for the last two decades, and as recently as 1999, aiding that government is anything but good. Jemaah Islamiyah is responsible for the Bali bombings is comprised of Islamic terrorists from Indonesia, but it may be the governments ineptitude that leaves them existing.

I use the word "genocide" in the context of Suharto's invasions of East Timor, because up to 250,000 people of the small population of that island died on the first invasion--brutally. East Timor was not merely a conquest of land for his government; he wasn't even there for greed of plunder, since large amounts of the population were slaughtered and mass immigrations of Indonesian Islamics came.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Question 2: As I indicated in a previous reply this is a dangerous business. The 'multiple personalities' are a security device. As much as I'd like further discussion of it such would not be wise.

Thank you for your full response. Please tell me where your "previous reply" is so that I can read it. What thread and post number?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with DrDriveby on this one. Allow me to explain:

When I heard there was a tsunami, I thought, like most anyone, "Gee, that's a pity." I mean, nobody likes senseless mass death. But I don't know anyone who was hurt or killed and I have problems of my own, plus it happened in a primitive (by choice) nation so I didn't particularly care one way or the other.

But then, the ALTRUISM started pouring in. I heard news report after news report about how America is "stingy" and how we don't give "our fair share" (actual words, there!). That made me really, really angry. The idea that any random beggar can shove his sores in my face and demand, by right, that I give up the money that I spent precious and irreplacable years of my life creating is one that fills me with rage.

THEN I heard that my government was going to DO JUST THAT, and by FORCE as well, since it was tax money.

The thought has crossed my mind that it would be nice if someone dropped a big bomb on Indonesia to finish the job and to eliminate the "need" for MY rights to be violated.

This is a handy demonstration of one of the more common accomplishments of Altruism. In a world where my rights were intact, I would likely have plenty of compassion, but here and now ALTRUISM has used up any that I might have had and has made me bitter and hostile to boot. (and I am not ashamed of being bitter or hostile, in this context)

Oh, and DrDriveby, I totally got what you were alluding to. Allow me to present another relevant quote:

"It is to the Mohammedans, the Buddhists, and the cannibals (the literal cannibals, this time) --to the under-developed, the undeveloped, and the not-to-be-developed cultures---that the Capitalist United States of America is asked to apologize for her skyscrapers, her automobiles, her plumbing, and her smiling, confident, untortured, un-skinnned-alive, un-eaten young men!"

-Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

AND not only apologize for them, but also sacrifice them; give them up to the afrementioned savages and irrationalists. It makes me sick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm with DrDriveby on this one. Allow me to explain:

---

The thought has crossed my mind that it would be nice if someone dropped a big bomb on Indonesia to finish the job and to eliminate the "need" for MY rights to be violated.

---

AND not only apologize for them, but also sacrifice them; give them up to the aforementioned savages and irrationalists. It makes me sick.

I cannot agree with that any more. Although i would cheer long and hard if we actually dropped bombs on them and ended the problem, the screaming left would have a flaming cow over that. Besides Bush is to much of a softy to do that anyway.

But what i would love to see is this: Oh you don't like us? We give too little? We owe you? Well piss off, the tap is closed, you get nothing.

Give them nothing, no foreign aid, no hardship this, not famine that. Nothing.

When they stop being royal b*tches to us then maybe they get a little back.

If i had my way then everybody who is receiving a free ride would find themselves with no more funds. That includes the people in this country that expect it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for your full response. Please tell me where your "previous reply" is so that I can read it. What thread and post number?

I'm very far from mastering the system here. I can't even figure out what a 'thread' is. Guess that accounts for drdriveby being outgunned in Zoso's traffic jam. It was, however, fun.

The 'previous reply' is located somewhere in Free Capitalist's -Peterson trial mess.

Thanks for your interest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take Sri Lanka, for example. Haven't they been embroiled in religious civil war/strife for years? We don't owe them anything.

Maybe the Christians feel a moral obligation to help them. Then let the Christians get together and help them in support of their faith. The Christians should not expect the United States government to subsidize their faith through forced taxation. Perhaps certain other individuals or groups of individuals may offer aid from the selfish standpoint of not wanting to watch suffering caused by natural dissaster. This is their right.

If the United States government offers aid, it should be offered in exchange for something of value. It should not be offered in response to the needs of those who hate the source that produced the aid i.e. reason, capitalism, and greed channeled through exchanging value for value.

The people of faith in that part of the world think it is there moral obligation to kill anyone who disagrees with that faith. Presently, American soldiers are dying on the battlefield because of this. Given this, aid to these countries may be looked at as a form of aiding and abetting the enemy during a time of war. i. e. treason.

Just as those who are afraid to face us cut off people's heads on worldwide television if their demands are not met, we should attach demands to any aid that we send them. These demands should take the form of requiring them to establish free governments and capitalistic systems to protect their citizens from each other and to produce enough wealth to make life bearable. (One good thing is: Given the amount of material wealth in some of these countries, the damage can be measured in the tens of dollars.) If these nations will not accept our conditional aid, then they should be left to their unconditional faith in their omnipotent and all-loving god.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I cannot agree with that any more.  Although i would cheer long and hard if we actually dropped bombs on them and ended the problem, the screaming left would have a flaming cow over that.  Besides Bush is to much of a softy to do that anyway.

Well, obviously I was using hyperbole, but I am glad you agree. The "beggar who makes demands" just angers me on a very, very deep level.

But what i would love to see is this:  Oh you don't like us?  We give too little?  We owe you?  Well piss off, the tap is closed, you get nothing. Give them nothing, no foreign aid, no hardship this, not famine that.  Nothing. When they stop being royal b*tches to us then maybe they get a little back.
Very well said. We need to, as a nation, do just that; and be double sure that it is known exactly why we are doing it.

That includes the people in this country that expect it.

Agreed. I've seen the same kind of attitude domestically and it has the same moral status on an individual scale as it does on a national one. It would be VERY satisfying to cut those people off. ESPECIALLY public aid patients; those ones make me FURIOUS. Something like this:

"Leeches:

It's high time you learned a valuable lesson. Our wealth is not yours by right. Your disease is not a claim on our lives. We producers are generous to a fault and we helped you because we thought you too much like us. We could not concieve that a human being would want to live like you do. We assumed you would show gratitude and would improve your lives. You have done neither.

Instead, you have grown fat and complacent. You have DEMANDED our charity as if it were yours by right. Well now we are making it clear: you are in no position to make demands. From this day forward you are cut off.

'What will happen to us?' you ask?

There was a time when we might have cared. But you wiped that caring out of us with your demands. You have sucked all the compassion and generosity out of us; YOU did it. YOU are to blame for your fate. Good bye."

(Ah, it appears that I'm channeling a little Atlas there. Felt good :nerd: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Entire resorts were heavily damaged or destroyed by this tsunami. 

You  are right in saying that the overwhelming majority of buildings destroyed were built for and by the poor.  That accounted for the vast majority of casualities.

In no way did I ever intend to change the context of this topic.  It's your blatant misinterpretation of my post, which was right on topic, and blamed slipshod construction practices for the catastrophic loss of life and property there.

What I responded to in your post was your citing "slipshop construction practices" as the primary cause of the catastrophe.

I merely stated that such "slipshop construction practices" could not have been avoided, given their widespread and persistent poverty, no matter what the insurance companies or multi-national corporations demanded.

In fact, had the governments enforced such high-standard building codes, it would probably have produced even more deaths. Such codes would have forbidden the "slipshod" construction of more cheap housing--which is the only kind of housing these people can afford--and thereby cause a shortage of cheap housing, forcing the already crowded houses and buildings to contain more people than before.

It's akin to the housing shortages we have in the US in some cities, where there is rent control and very strict building codes that force builders to ensure certain dimensions and features of housing units, which make them more costly than what poor people would be willing or able to pay for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nobody likes senseless mass death.

The thought has crossed my mind that it would be nice if someone dropped a big bomb on Indonesia to finish the job and to eliminate the "need" for MY rights to be violated.'

Please accept my thanks for your graciously sage reply. Unfortunately this pivotal war requires rationally implemented mass death. Civilisation has been challenged by a far more extensible virulence than nazism. Compromise means death.

I can't quote properly. How might I achieve this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is an excerpt of a post I wrote at another forum:

In order to be "humane" a country would never extort money from it's citizens for a charitable act. Fundraising is a job for places like the Red Cross, and other disaster relief funds. Especially in a case like this, where nature acted against the people, and not their own governments which grow on their philosophies, it is a particularly good and benevolent act to value human life and prevent suffering if it is within your means. A government bleeding the money from it's citizens takes all the benevolence from the act and makes it immoral.

Call Western civilization hypocritical, it's the thing to do when there are problems in the world largely resulting because the inferior countries didn't adopt Western ideas. Do you think 150,000 people would die if this hit civilized countries? A earthquake in LA kills in the 50's, an earthquake in Bam, Iran kills 35,000.

Where is widespread death in this natural disaster? Sri Lanka; A primitive government full of racist savages fighting ethnic wars for decades (a cease-fire was recently signed). Why do they live in straw huts and not have concrete foundation, water purification, and canned food? It's not because of the "geography" of their region that prevents them from civilizing. It is specifically the culture, the evil culture and bad ideas which are widely held.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please accept my thanks for your graciously sage reply. Unfortunately this pivotal war requires rationally implemented mass death. Civilisation has been challenged by a far more extensible virulence than nazism. Compromise means death.

I can't quote properly. How might I achieve this?

Rationally motivated and implemented mass death is definitely required, I agree. Nobody likes senseless mass death, but senseful mass death is something the world could use right now.

To quote properly, end your quotes with a [ /quote] (remove the space before the "/")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You people are horrible.

In this and similar discussions (in and outside of the Objectivist movement), I see a trichotomy of approaches to the threat by Islamofascists:

1. The pacifistic (and passive) approach: Do nothing destructive, but hope for "understanding" and reconciliation.

2. The berserker approach: Engage in mass slaughter with little or no attention to the targets, their relevance to the threat, and the consequences.

3. The objective approach: Examine the facts of the threat long-term and the costs and effectiveness of a range of solutions.

The last is subject to debate by honest people. The exact solution could range anywhere from small unit tactics, in some situations, to an exemplary nuclear attack on other targets in the right circumstances.

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...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...