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Does Egoism Lead Ultimately to Socialism?

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2 hours ago, Ariel said:

Socialism can only be justified in a poor man's mind. And if you are poor then probably you have a poor mind also.

There are far more reasons than that. You can even justify it by thinking it is the right thing to do, or hating oneself, or form of self-defense to satisfy others. Your sentence was confusing, but I think you mean that only a poor person could think it's the right thing to do. It suggests that you are being uncreative about the many possibilities that are in fact realistic.

You could let the government take your stuff because you care about others. It actually wouldn't be taking really, because you would be basically volunteering that stuff. And it could easily stay that way. 

In any case, altruism could have a lot to do with that process. Altruism, as in focusing on others as a measure of moral worth and moral action. Focusing on what others have, focusing on the social status that goes with acting like others. As long as you have that mentality, you could be a consistent socialist. Rich and poor people could adopt this mentality.

But after reading more, you seem to think that the religion and/or class one is born into determines the mentality they will have. The "Jewishness" of Marx really has nothing to do with his developing Communism, though. The conclusions he drew about capitalism then determine what kind of mentality he had. Same with a poor person. Being born poor doesn't give one a "poor mind". Rather, a person's philosophy in life can cause them to be poor (but not all poor people will have a bad philosophy). 

Your "light" anti-Semitism, tribalistic psychological beliefs ("Jewish mind" and categorizing one's psychology by class), and mentioning a quote on the Bible as support for your belief that socialism could work and be good if something could make decisions better than individuals, makes me think you are probably a white nationalist. In which case, you're not welcome around here, and I don't know what you would get out of interacting with any of us here anyway.

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20 hours ago, Ariel said:

The unity you are talking about is the one imposed by the government. Nationalism is actually a thing despised by communists. And if you come to think of it, communism was devised by a Jewish mind and they don't like nations either. This is a thing that should be analysed in a deeper way: the relation between nationalism and communism. If you have a nationalised socialism then what you get is actually Nazism.

Come to think of it, Objectivism was devised by a Jewish mind.

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19 hours ago, Eiuol said:

There are far more reasons than that. You can even justify it by thinking it is the right thing to do, or hating oneself, or form of self-defense to satisfy others. Your sentence was confusing, but I think you mean that only a poor person could think it's the right thing to do. It suggests that you are being uncreative about the many possibilities that are in fact realistic.

You could let the government take your stuff because you care about others. It actually wouldn't be taking really, because you would be basically volunteering that stuff. And it could easily stay that way. 

In any case, altruism could have a lot to do with that process. Altruism, as in focusing on others as a measure of moral worth and moral action. Focusing on what others have, focusing on the social status that goes with acting like others. As long as you have that mentality, you could be a consistent socialist. Rich and poor people could adopt this mentality.

But after reading more, you seem to think that the religion and/or class one is born into determines the mentality they will have. The "Jewishness" of Marx really has nothing to do with his developing Communism, though. The conclusions he drew about capitalism then determine what kind of mentality he had. Same with a poor person. Being born poor doesn't give one a "poor mind". Rather, a person's philosophy in life can cause them to be poor (but not all poor people will have a bad philosophy). 

Your "light" anti-Semitism, tribalistic psychological beliefs ("Jewish mind" and categorizing one's psychology by class), and mentioning a quote on the Bible as support for your belief that socialism could work and be good if something could make decisions better than individuals, makes me think you are probably a white nationalist. In which case, you're not welcome around here, and I don't know what you would get out of interacting with any of us here anyway.

If you want to be altruistic because you have a lot of resources then you shouldn't trust the government of distributing them, you should create your own philanthropic association like Bill Gates did. It would certainly be more effective at helping people than the government.

As you can see being altruistic has nothing to do with socialism. I think the main emotion involved in socialism as it has been put forth in the last century is envy and the feeling of justice for the poor, but in fact exactly the opposite occurs as poor people are the ones that suffer most from the consequences of socialism. I know it because I grew up in post-socialist Romania.

It is difficult to determine the link between one's ancestors, his philosophy of life and the outcome on one's personal wealth during his life, but I think I can safely say that there is a link between the theory of socialism and Marx's Jewish origins as I have proven to you that his famous quote "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" is in fact derived from the Old Testament based on the Tanakh.

I am not anti-semitic, I am simply stating my thoughts and trying to link them to facts. If you can't openly debate with someone without throwing accusations like "You're a racist/anti-semite/nazi/white nationalist/..." and think you can simply discredit and discharge argumentation like that then you are not objective and undemocratic.

Actually my political views aren't fixed and I really think that the form of government most appropriate in one case depends on the nature of the society and on the individuals that form it.

1 hour ago, Repairman said:

Come to think of it, Objectivism was devised by a Jewish mind.

Yes. Actually we owe the development of modern western society to three main things: the ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire and the Jewish mind. They gave us democracy, Christianity and the basic human rights.

Edited by Ariel

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Egoism doesn't lead to socialism because socialism isn't in anyone's self interest. An example would be Stalin's Russia: The people who joined the Communist party to become officers probably thought that they were "getting theirs," but in fact those people were among the most likely to die in the purges. It's in everyone's self interest to preserve the principle of individual rights.

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10 hours ago, Ariel said:

As you can see being altruistic has nothing to do with socialism.

"Nothing to do with" doesn't make sense. You gave one explanation of someone being altruistic who isn't strictly a socialist. I didn't suggest that all altruists are socialists, only that socialism as a viewpoint is altruistic in nature. Psychologically, there can be many reasons one chooses to be a socialist, but I'm pointing out that at the very least, it isn't egoistic. 

10 hours ago, Ariel said:

there is a link between the theory of socialism and Marx's Jewish origins as I have proven to you that his famous quote "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" is in fact derived from the Old Testament based on the Tanakh.

Well, no, not from a guy who said religion is the opiate of the masses. You could argue that Communism in its moral sense stems from Judeo-Christian morality (which is altruistic), but it's far different to say a "Jewish mind" came up with it. You're missing everything about his Hegelianism... You're not simply stating a fact - you're asserting a viewpoint that Jewish people by nature have a specific type of mind, and that one's ancestors have a causal impact on one's philosophy of life. 

So, sure, Marx has Jewish origins, but so what? Rand also does. You are using a fact of no particular consequence here, then using it as justification that there is a "Jewish mind". The interpretation is anti-Semitic, and tribalistic. I'm not saying that as a matter of poisoning the well. I'm saying that you are using poor reasoning, and categorize minds by some intrinsic category and psychologizing. And I said white nationalism to suggest that I've had enough of these discussions that I don't particularly feel interested in discussing it further. 

I don't see that as being sidetracked either. Whether there is a such thing as a "poor" or "Jewish" mind would determine if your viewpoint on socialism is right. Rand's argument would be that socialism is altruistic, therefore immoral, but not related to any ethnic, class, or racial background. 

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I let government take from me because if I resist, they'll take it anyway, but they'll take more.  If I resist hard enough, they may damage my property, throw me in jail, or even kill me.

Most people haven't thought this through and would have trouble saying why they submit.  Many people believe government has a right to take, but they are wrong.

If it weren't for government's control over physical force, there wouldn't be much tendency to submit. 

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4 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

I let government take from me because if I resist, they'll take it anyway, but they'll take more.  If I resist hard enough, they may damage my property, throw me in jail, or even kill me.

Most people haven't thought this through and would have trouble saying why they submit.  Many people believe government has a right to take, but they are wrong. 

If it weren't for government's control over physical force, there wouldn't be much tendency to submit. 

I like to tell people this story about the origin of taxation. Originally, the ruler of a given area could not trust people to remain loyal to him when he was not around, so he had to travel from city to city with his entire army. There wasn't "taxation" back then - the king's men would just show up at your house and take stuff from you. Later, people developed a more reliable system of communication that could work across an entire empire, and that's when taxation started. Instead of walking up to your house and taking your stuff, people would send off the amount of money required to the king.

In a way I wish they still just showed up and took stuff, because then it might be easier for people to see why the practice is morally wrong. Sending off X% of your income makes the issue kind of abstract. If a guy in a uniform broke into your house and stole your TV at a certain time every year, that would make the issue clearer.

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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

"Nothing to do with" doesn't make sense. You gave one explanation of someone being altruistic who isn't strictly a socialist. I didn't suggest that all altruists are socialists, only that socialism as a viewpoint is altruistic in nature. Psychologically, there can be many reasons one chooses to be a socialist, but I'm pointing out that at the very least, it isn't egoistic.

Well, I agree. There may be correlation but I don't think there is causation. There's nothing altruistic in allowing the government to take away (or steal) resources from people and then redistribute them according to some criteria which may not be very clear. As I told you, I think the main emotions behind socialism is envy towards those who have attained wealth and the feeling of justice in the redistribution of wealth.

11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Well, no, not from a guy who said religion is the opiate of the masses. You could argue that Communism in its moral sense stems from Judeo-Christian morality (which is altruistic), but it's far different to say a "Jewish mind" came up with it. You're missing everything about his Hegelianism... You're not simply stating a fact - you're asserting a viewpoint that Jewish people by nature have a specific type of mind, and that one's ancestors have a causal impact on one's philosophy of life. 

So, sure, Marx has Jewish origins, but so what? Rand also does. You are using a fact of no particular consequence here, then using it as justification that there is a "Jewish mind". The interpretation is anti-Semitic, and tribalistic. I'm not saying that as a matter of poisoning the well. I'm saying that you are using poor reasoning, and categorize minds by some intrinsic category and psychologizing. And I said white nationalism to suggest that I've had enough of these discussions that I don't particularly feel interested in discussing it further. 

I don't see that as being sidetracked either. Whether there is a such thing as a "poor" or "Jewish" mind would determine if your viewpoint on socialism is right. Rand's argument would be that socialism is altruistic, therefore immoral, but not related to any ethnic, class, or racial background. 

I'm not saying that all Jewish people have the same mind-set. I'm saying that the socialist theory originated from a Jewish mind and in saying this I mean that it has incorporated in it a very international imprint. In fact this is the main difference between communist countries and nazi-fascist countries: nationalism and racism. Do you really think that the socialist theory could have originated from a Romanian mind-set or a German mind-set or even a French mind-set as they are heavily nationalistic? I believe not. In fact, nationalism is a very important element that can turn the outcome of the application of socialism. Look at what Israel has turned into when they started putting the nationalistic element into their socialist country.

Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses. I say that communism is the heroin of the masses: it materially impoverishes you, it starves you and when you are hooked to it you just can't let it go.

9 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

I let government take from me because if I resist, they'll take it anyway, but they'll take more.  If I resist hard enough, they may damage my property, throw me in jail, or even kill me.

Most people haven't thought this through and would have trouble saying why they submit.  Many people believe government has a right to take, but they are wrong.

If it weren't for government's control over physical force, there wouldn't be much tendency to submit. 

I agree. Most of us are cowards. But some are brave enough to sacrifice their lives in order to fight the injustice of such a system. For example in Eastern Europe we had outlaws called haiduci which attacked the rich oppressors. They were the equivalent of Robin Hood. Some of them were captured and executed but there were always people that were brave enough to risk their lives and fight the unjust. They became almost legendary and remind us that it's better to risk dying for freedom than to live as a slave and see your country and your people brought to its knees.

4 hours ago, William O said:

In a way I wish they still just showed up and took stuff, because then it might be easier for people to see why the practice is morally wrong. Sending off X% of your income makes the issue kind of abstract. If a guy in a uniform broke into your house and stole your TV at a certain time every year, that would make the issue clearer.

You are right. Here in Italy where I live they automatically tax your work each month and you can't do anything about it. Taxes are really high and the economy is going to shit as productivity is hampered and competence isn't really valued as much as it should be. An engineer at the beginning of his career and for many years can earn almost as much as a street-sweeper. It would be outrageous for Americans a thing like this but Italians have acquired the mind-set of slaves from so many years of simile socialism.

I'm only happy that I don't have student debt after finishing my bachelor's degree.

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4 hours ago, Ariel said:

Do you really think that the socialist theory could have originated from a Romanian mind-set or a German mind-set or even a French mind-set as they are heavily nationalistic?

Engels and Marx are German...

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8 hours ago, Ariel said:

I agree. Most of us are cowards. But some are brave enough to sacrifice their lives in order to fight the injustice of such a system. For example in Eastern Europe we had outlaws called haiduci which attacked the rich oppressors. They were the equivalent of Robin Hood. Some of them were captured and executed but there were always people that were brave enough to risk their lives and fight the unjust. They became almost legendary and remind us that it's better to risk dying for freedom than to live as a slave and see your country and your people brought to its knees.

Inasmuch as this is a thread under the title, Does Egoism Lead Ultimately to Socialism, I'm going to keep my comment in that context. And, if possible, offer up some clarity with regard your ideas and their differences to Objectivism. Ayn Rand abhorred Robin Hood and his ilk. Those brave enough to sacrifice their lives in order to fight the injustice of such a system were little more than marauders, dying for nothing, unless their acts of theft were successful, in which cases, they remain little more than thieves. You might consider me to be a "coward," if I joined the mob looting the "rich oppressors," but I would argue that I am presently fighting back with the most effective remaining weapons at my disposal: my mind, my freedom to use it, and my freedom to speak out against an idea, an idea we both consider dangerous, i.e, socialism. As a victim currently sanctioning the flaws of our democracy, I see no reason at this point to resort to armed conflict in any class-struggle, such as you seemed to characterizing as "brave." My retaliation of free speech may indeed be futile, but cowardly, I think not.

On 6/24/2018 at 4:37 AM, Ariel said:

I've just started reading Atlas Shrugged a bunch of weeks ago but the arguments that Ayn writes about have always been of my concern.

Aside from your reading of Atlas Shrugged, how much of Ayn Rand's other works are you familiar with? By numerous inferences, you seem to indicate a gross misunderstanding of her works, or perhaps your political leanings are not fully formed, and you're looking for answers. Obviously, you are opposed to socialism, and you can identify historical examples of failed states once led under socialist banners. But I cannot discern any support for laissez faire capitalism from your comments. And, it seems odd that anyone would credit the ideas of two extremely opposing views, such as those of Ayn Rand and Karl Marx, to the fact that they were Jewish.

On 6/28/2018 at 5:41 AM, Ariel said:

Yes. Actually we owe the development of modern western society to three main things: the ancient Greeks, the Roman Empire and the Jewish mind. They gave us democracy, Christianity and the basic human rights.

I very much wish to point out that Athenian democracy ended in disaster within a relatively short time-span, the Romes were the earliest and most effective statists, not to mention, slave-holders, and life in medieval Europe under Catholicism was as brutal a period as any. As for the philosophic theories that emerged from any era, they much be measured for their worth on their merit, rather than on the ancestry or racial heritage of the philosopher or theologian. But to say that, a certain period, or a certain collection of people gave us the right to use our own minds independent of church or state, is simply wrong. The right to use one's mind is a natural right, one defended by reason. The fact that I have a life is all the reason I need to have an ego.

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