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Robert Baratheon

Banishing the Progressive Golem

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Three of the most successful social movements in American history have been the women's rights movement of the early 20th century, the civil rights movement of the mid-20th century, and the gay rights movement of the late-20th and early-21st centuries. Each movement brought with it a mixed bag of equal protections under the law and expansions of the nanny state, and as a result, liberty advocates have often fallen into a limbo of qualified support and justified hesitation.

Setting aside whether the positives outweighed the negatives in each case, the pressing matter today is what to do when the machinery of a movement has outlived its usefulness. At the outset, there might have been the implicit assumption that operations would naturally cease or scale back once objectives had been achieved. But through a combination of mission creep and basic human reluctance to relinquish power, organizations like the National Organization for Women, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, national labor unions, and even Mothers Against Drunk Driving have persisted long after achieving their once noble goals. Worse, many of these groups, in their attempts to hold sway and relevance, now actively undermine the causes of equal opportunity and social harmony they once sought to promote.

In many ways, social movements are like the Prague golem of Jewish/European mythology, brought to life to protect its creators from harm at the hands of vile oppressors. After completing its duties, the golem became uncontrollable in many accounts, even harming those it was once sworn to protect. Only by scratching the word "truth" off the golem's forehead were the townspeople able to crumble the golem back into the earth from which it was formed. If the analogy holds to its conclusion, only by standing up to our golems armeds with the courageous truth when they are no longer necessary can we prevent them from becoming the monsters of legend.

Source: The New Versailles

http://wp.me/p4yevN-8H

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A nice analogy.  I had to look up the Prague golem.

 

I can concur with the origins of NOW and NAACP, but would take contention with the labor unions and MADD as both undermined liberty, albeit not head on, the labor unions by attacking the property rights of the business owner, MADD, shifting the crime from the actual infliction of harm on another to an activity which sometimes, but not always leads to the infliction of harm on another. So often the original charter of these organization actually obscures the ability to realize that the mission is causing harm. The belief that one is helping so often gets in the way of seeing the damage that is being inflicted.

Edited by dream_weaver

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I don't think labor unions are inherently bad, and they have done a lot of good throughout American history. The problem is when they are mandatory and enjoy all manner of special protections from government. MADD brought a lot of awareness to the drunk driving problem, but now they have morphed into more of an anti-alcohol campaign and their demands have become unreasonable.

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Educating employees to recognize the value they bring to an organization is one thing, Violating the rights of the employer should not be sanctioned, I would support the right of the employees to form associations that further their understanding of their roles played in the economy. That support stops for organizations that seek to violate the rights of others.

 

The advancement of liberty cannot be accomplished by implementing the denial of liberty; the tactic often used by labor unions to have their demands met.

 

[edit]

Additionally, a government that stands by while such a violation of rights takes place, is, by its inaction, placing its stamp of approval on the curtailing of liberty.

[/edit]

Edited by dream_weaver

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There is nothing about collective bargaining that inherently violates the rights of employers, anymore than I would be violating the right of my employer by unilaterally asking for a raise. However, unions have been very successful in lobbying the government to limit the free speech and property rights of employers and employees in other ways, and this is what makes the "golem" so dangerous.

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Are you telling me that collective bargaining is just a matter of chosing a representative to go in and ask for a raise?

If the employer says no, they are just going to walk back to the workers and tell them, sorry, boss says no, go back to work. They're not going to go on strike, or prevent hiring replacements from providing the work they are unwilling to do under the current terms?

 

Failure to identify what is at the heart of the matters is akin to being a failure to remove "truth" from the forehead of the golem.

 

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There is nothing inherently wrong with striking either. The problems arise when force begins to be used. I think these distinctions are worth making to avoid the progressive argument libertarians and Objectivists are against free association.

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I misread the beginning of that sentence. Viva la making the distinctions. Please allow me to retract that question.

 

If I get the chance to look up some specifics, I'll add to my concerns with their inclusion.

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The golem is altruism. Progressivism is just its little devil kid, who gets all its life energy from its parent. Even if you banish progressivism, altruism is just gonna make another kid. Probably an even more oppressive (religious/nationalist/fascist) one.

Edited by Nicky

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Nicky,

 

I can't help but be struck by the similarity of pronunciation of J.R. Tolkien's  Gollum to this idiom.

You suggest: "The golem is altruism."

Miss Rand mentions that altruism has never been alive. She reckons it as a slow poison in "Faith and Force", if memory serves correctly.

 

Can you help bridge the span by which golem is connected to altruism here? Is it along the lines that the "golem" altruistically serves those who called it forth to fight on their behalf?

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