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Guide to Objectivism

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I haven't read it, but from a glance, he seems to be an anarchist libertarian tolerationist "objectivish" type.

Two random lines I saw: "Truth is sometimes so dangerous as to need a bodyguard of lies." and "There is no such thing as freedom."

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Two random lines I saw: "Truth is sometimes so dangerous as to need a bodyguard of lies."

Way to take that quote out of context. Here's what followed:

There are times when a lie is not only ethically justifiable but is actually morally obligatory. "What?! What?!" I hear you croak. "Is this guy out of his mind?" Well, let me explain. Imagine that you set out to go downtown, having in your left pocket $10 and in your right pocket $100. As you are trudging along the street a hoodlum snatches you into an alley, claps his revolver up against the side of your pretty little head and wheezes: "Allright, your money or your life!" So you, trembling in fear and terror, reach into the left pocket and produce the ten-spot. He gasps, "Izzis alla dough ya got, kid?" I maintain that at this point your answer not only COULD morally be "yes," but that it actually SHOULD be "yes" and that if you answer "no" you are behaving in an immoral, self-destructive fashion.

Under ordinary circumstances a lie is an attempt to coerce someone--that is, an attempt to separate him (without his consent) from some rightfully achieved value. In the context of my little story, the lie is not a coercion. Your money is not the hoodlum's rightfully achieved value, and you have NO ethical obligation toward him. Your only moral obligation is to extricate yourself from the situation in the least self-destructive manner possible. Thus we see that a lie can be a perfectly proper act to protect a value against an injustice; not a desire to gain a value by faking reality,

but a fully contextual recognition of the relevant facts of reality.

That's why a lie is always legitimate in dealing with tyrants, because HE is dealing in coercion, not reason.

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Yes, but that does not detract from the fact that the guy is an anarchist libertarian tolerationist pseudo-objectivist.

DON'T READ MY BOOK

if you are a Conservative, a Randite, or a Statist.

But if you want a consistent and principled presentation of Objectivism

give it a peek.

Randism vs. Objectivism

Rand's personal statist views
Rand's failure to distinguish between politics and economics

Need I continue?

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I don't think I need to read all of Mein Kampf before I start criticizing Hitler's ideology.

I read parts of the book out of curiosity though, and what I read confirmed the conclusions I had arrived at after seeing the front page. The author is an anarchist who agrees with certain portions of Ayn Rand's philosophy and disagrees with others--and calls his, rather than Ayn Rand's, philosophy Objectivism. In other words, he attempts to steal the name "Objectivism."

Chapter 13 is the most revealing one. The author himself admits that Ayn Rand never advocated the kind of "shrugging" he wants us to do. Miss Rand called her novel Atlas Shrugged for a reason: you need to become an Atlas before you can do an "Atlas Shrugged" on anyone. Nobody cares much when an insignificant person "shrugs" by adopting an "alternative lifestyle." "Shrugging" only makes sense when they need you more than you need them.

In Atlas Shrugged, the idea is to obtain the full plenitude of our freedom to make money by taking the lack of it to its logical conclusion. In Chapter 13 of this anarchist's book, the idea is "let's all be poor together." In addition to seeing my initial conclusions confirmed, from Chapter 13 I obtained new information about the author's ideology: not only is he an anarchist, he's also an environmentalist and someone who condemns the "moneylenders" for allowing people to borrow money for buying a home!

Some Objectivist.

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The thing about this guy's philosophy, Objectivism or not, is that each chapter builds on the next, like Objectivism, and you can't understand one chapter w/o reading the previous chapters. Like it's easy to denouce him as an anarchist libertarian, but I'd like to see criticisms of his arguments in context. Just curious, has anyone actually read the entire book besides myself?

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you can't understand one chapter w/o reading the previous chapters.  Like it's easy to denouce him as an anarchist libertarian, but I'd like to see criticisms of his arguments in context.  Just curious, has anyone actually read the entire book besides myself?

You mean I completely misunderstood Chapter 13? King has no problem with investors who lend people money to buy a home and charge interest for it? He doesn't advocate living in an automobile just to "escape from the moneylenders" ? He doesn't think that the wisest way to invest your earnings is to "acquire a lifetime supply of" socks and cans of beans etc. ?

IF Chapter 13 was written in English, then King DOES believe and advocate all these things. And I don't think he defines a whole new language in the previous chapters that looks just like English but has a different meaning.

Like it's easy to denouce him as an anarchist libertarian, but I'd like to see criticisms of his arguments in context.

Again, what possible context can the following quote from Chapter 6 be interpreted in as anything but anarchism?

Clancy's writing is an unparalleled example of a devout statist who is

totally self-blinded to the fundamental identicality of terrorism and

government.

(emphasis mine)

These are King's own words; he isn't quoting anyone in disapproval. He thinks that terrorism and government are identical. So EITHER he thinks that government is just as evil as terrorism, and therefore he thinks government is evil, and is therefore an anarchist--OR he doesn't think terrorism is evil, and is therefore an anarchist.

A little below the previous sentence is the following paragraph, which is again King's own words:

The only way out of this statist situation is for people someday to

realize that governments are NOT necessary for civilization--that in fact

governments are an impediment to civilization. When the day comes that

enough people are disillusioned with government, government will simply

cease to exist. It will go the way of Alchemy, Phrenology, the Flat Earth,

and other similar errors that were eventually discarded as being useless.

This is why I do not think anarchism to be utopian. Today it is only a

dream, a dream that will not soon come true, but if the idea is preserved it

will be used in the future.

Government is an impediment; anarchism is a "dream"--something you yearn for--and it isn't utopian. Again, what context can there possibly be that makes the author of such a paragraph a non-anarchist?

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You make good points. I was hoping for arguments not like "he advocates anarchism and as we all know that is obviously wrong therefore he is clearly wrong." I was hoping for arguments like "in chapter X section Y he is making a case for anarchism and here are the flaws in his argument."

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I'm curious to see which of his arguments you found stimulating. ;)

If the passages you post are ones where he agrees with Objectivism (= Ayn Rand's philosophy), expect me to just say that I don't disagree with those. OTOH, if you post his punkish rantings, I and my fellow posters will rip them to shreds within minutes.

("Minutes" not to be taken literally, of course.)

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I've read the whole thing myself. His quotes from Ayn Rand re: the Vietnam draft seem particularly damning. Does anyone have a transcript or recording of the Ford Hall forum in question, so they can confirm/dispute that quote? (a Google search reveals nothing but more mirrors of King's Guide)

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Yes, but that does not detract from the fact that the guy is an anarchist libertarian tolerationist pseudo-objectivist.

Wow, you really piled on those Bad Guy adjectives. I'll agree with all of those labels, but his identity is not the issue in question. What I would ask you to answer is his specific arguments that anarchy is the inexorable derivative of Ayn Rand's basic philosophical tenets, rather than Rand's own form of minarchist statism.

he's also ... someone who condemns the "moneylenders" for allowing people to borrow money for buying a home!

I'd be interested to hear the passage where he "condemns" the moneylenders. All I read was a man making the free choice to not do business with an agency whose terms he finds unsatisfactory, and advising others to do the same.

In other words, he attempts to steal the name "Objectivism."

A) I wasn't aware one could copyright or trademark a philosophy.

B) Such an claim is absolutely asinine when you consider that the word "objectivism" had been used in philosophy for some time before Rand to describe a general metaphysical principle.

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Wow, you really piled on those Bad Guy adjectives.
The point is that his claims are typical anarchist nonsense and have been refuted long ago. See "anarchism as a form of statism" - OPAR p371.

the word "objectivism" had been used in philosophy for some time before Rand to describe a general metaphysical principle.

Perhaps, but the word "Objectivism" refers to a particular philosophy, as presented by a particular individual. It is intellectually dishonest to either represent Ayn Rand's ideas as your own, or your own ideas as hers.

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One thing that I take issue with his book is his view that Rand was wrong to use the word "selfish" in the manner that she did. I disagree with him of course. David King's "book" is the kind of stuff I need to fuel the fire in my fireplace.

SELF'ISH, a. Regarding one's own interest chiefly or soley; influenced in actions by a view to private advantage.

The word selfish does not necessarily imply that one would a parasite or a second-hander. It simply means that one would act in one's own self-interest and according to Objectivism one would do so in a rational manner.

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His quotes from Ayn Rand re: the Vietnam draft seem particularly damning.

I can't confirm it for sure, but it sounds familiar.

I'd have to think it through further, but Rand makes an interesting case. Notice that she didn't say that draft dodgers shouldn't be granted amnesty -- just that they shouldn't be promised amnesty until the war is over. (And that it's inappropriate to discuss it when they're over there dying.) Now, remember Rand's general position on Vietnam. She said that we shouldn't have gone in, but that since we were in, we had to finish the job. Her biggest criticism of the way the war was carried out was that there was not enough support given to the troops. Basically, we put a bunch of Americans out in the jungle and left them to die. Now what effect would promising amnesty to draft dodgers have, while the other people who could not avoid the draft stayed in Vietnam and died? It would just compound the problem.

Here's another point -- the more important one. If you read Rand's comments on civil disobedience, you'll see that she thought it was only proper when it one intended to go to court and challenge the law in question. So the civil disobedience in the civil rights movement was, at least for the most part, completely proper: it indicated a respect for the legislative and judicial process. You can't just reject a part of the legal system; to do so is to put yourself up as a higher legal authority, which is to reject the concept of government entirely and become an anarchist. (You can, of course, reject the whole thing; but that's only appropriate in a revolutionary context, and as bad as the U.S. may be in some respects, it's not revolution time.) So if a person is against the draft on principle and is willing to fight his way through the judiciary, he can rightly dodge the draft and then submit himself to to legal proceedings. What he can't do is say "I disagree with this law, so I want to be given permission to be above the law."

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One thing that I take issue with his book is his view that Rand was wrong to use the word "selfish" in the manner that she did. I disagree with him of course. David King's "book" is the kind of stuff I need to fuel the fire in my fireplace.

The word selfish does not necessarily imply that one would a parasite or a second-hander. It simply means that one would act in one's own self-interest and according to Objectivism one would do so in a rational manner.

While there are some wrong portions of his book, as a whole the book is an excellent presentation of some right Objectivist fundamentals. I would definitely recommend Objectivists read this book, gain some new insight on some right ideas, and feel free to reject the wrong ones. I'm sure anyone who reads his book in its entirety would agree w/ me.

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The point is that his claims are typical anarchist nonsense and have been refuted long ago. See "anarchism as a form of statism" - OPAR p371.

Perhaps, but the word "Objectivism" refers to a particular philosophy, as presented by a particular individual. It is intellectually dishonest to either represent Ayn Rand's ideas as your own, or your own ideas as hers.

Would you mind analyzing and criticizing HIS arguments for anarchism in context? I would greatly appreciate it ;)

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Wow, you really piled on those Bad Guy adjectives. I'll agree with all of those labels, but his identity is not the issue in question.

I think it is very important to evaluate the kind of person we are dealing with. Evil often puts on an appearance of good in order to lure unsuspecting people to itself. Remember that "liberalism" used to be a positive term in the 18th century; it meant the love of liberty. But by now it has been completely hijacked and perverted by people who appear to care for liberty but in fact hate it and want to destroy it.

We wouldn't want the same to happen to Objectivism.

What I would ask you to answer is his specific arguments that anarchy is the inexorable derivative of Ayn Rand's basic philosophical tenets, rather than Rand's own form of minarchist statism.
The need for a government to protect the rights of individuals is an inexorable derivative of Ayn Rand's basic philosophical tenets, and the derivation can be found in OPAR and in Ayn Rand's works.

King's entire case for anarchism is based on the assertion that the establishment of government necessarily involves the initiation of force against innocents. The premise underlying this assertion is that a number of innocent (i.e. moral, rational) people will necessarily be against the proposed government, even if the proposed government is one that will fully respect and protect the rights of all innocent individuals. I hope I needn't elaborate on why this is an utterly cynical contradiction.

I'd be interested to hear the passage where he "condemns" the moneylenders. All I read was a man making the free choice to not do business with an agency whose terms he finds unsatisfactory, and advising others to do the same.

He wants to "escape" from them. As I see it, that term pretty much implies condemnation.

But if that isn't evidence enough, consider that this "escape" is an essential part of what he calls "shrugging." In AS, that term refers to getting rid of the parasites who immorally drain you and live off you!

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One thing that I take issue with his book is his view that Rand was wrong to use the word "selfish" in the manner that she did.

Yeah--he thinks one should be "self-interested" but "also consider the social context" etc. Typical liberal obfuscation.

His trichotomy of "selfless" (bad) / "self-interested" (good) / "too selfish" (bad) is also a cunning trick to negate the Objectivist approach. (Either that, or he simply doesn't get it.) Objectivism recognizes that being dishonest is self-destructive, and therefore the pursuit of honor is a selfish act, so there is no trichotomy, just a dichotomy between rational self-interest and the lack thereof.

King's trichotomy implies that you forgo something by being honest, and as all such "you must forgo this-n-that" philosophies, has the effect of making people secretly wish to get that which they forgo by their "moral" behavior. The results of such suppressed secret wishes can be disastrous.

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