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Dustin86

What if the "Big Atlas Catastrophe" Never Happens?

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11 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Embattled Qwest CEO resigns
Joseph Nacchio resigns at the request of the board, as continued financial problems plague the telecommunications company.

This is an example of gone Galt?

 

Not the initial resignation; the fact that he hasn't returned to business since they released him (as far as I remember).

I'm double-checking that presently.

 

---

 

"Ironically, since being freed from custody in September 2013, Nacchio has referred often to his alleged refusal while leading Qwest to cooperate with a National Security Agency surveillance program. "

-here

?

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Research

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12 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

"Ironically, since being freed from custody in September 2013, Nacchio has referred often to his alleged refusal while leading Qwest to cooperate with a National Security Agency surveillance program. "

This is a better than the Wikipedia reference.

Additionally, from the same article:

And Troy Eid — who succeeded Suthers as U.S. attorney for Colorado and is now in private practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP in Denver — has called Nacchio's denial of guilt "just another example of Mr. Nacchio refusing to accept responsibility" for his crimes.

I can see this as a refusal to accept unearned guilt. The controversy over the insider traders laws tend to muddle this as a clear-cut example though.

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Well, firstly:

On 9/4/2016 at 8:05 PM, Dustin86 said:

Ok but then that begs the question, if Subjectivists are supposedly living in denial of objective reality, which according to Objectivism they are, then a collapse of our society, which is Subjectivist according to Objectivists, would seem to be inevitable. If this collapse never happens, then doesn't that prove that Subjectivism is at least workable if not outright true.

In what sense?

 

Politically, a "good society" is not the same thing as "a society that doesn't collapse on itself", so whether or not a "Subjectivist" society would necessarily collapse doesn't really prove much. Some of the worst political systems in history were also the longest-lived.

I specify "politically", though, because it really seems like you're asking about the moral-practical dichotomy. In essence: do good things happen to good people (and bad things to bad people) or not?

 

The answer is: yes, if you look at it correctly. I can elaborate on that if it's pertinent.

 

Secondly:

On 9/4/2016 at 6:53 AM, Dustin86 said:

Also, the "doers" and "makers" according to Objectivism, such as Bill Gates, are not "Going Galt". I cannot even think of one single major entrepreneur who has "Gone Galt" because they're fed up with the "Subjectivist society" (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Nope.

 

---

 

Nice catch, DW.

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I still think you guys are missing the thrust of my point.

According to Ayn Rand (as I understand her position, please correct me if I'm wrong), no compromise can exist between Objectivism and Subjectivism, and any attempted compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism simply reduces to Subjectivism.

Also according to Rand, Subjectivism is ultimately unviable, and societies built upon Subjectivism will collapse. "The men of ability are being avenged. The avenger is reality", "gutted ruins and moans of agony", etc.

Therefore according to Randist logic,

Any Subjectivist society is bound to collapse, also any society that tries to follow a "middle road" between Objectivism and Subjectivism is bound to collapse.

If this collapse does not happen, it means that at least some forms of Subjectivism are viable, and/or a middle road of compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism is possible.

Edited by Dustin86

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1 hour ago, Dustin86 said:

Therefore according to Randist logic,

Any Subjectivist society is bound to collapse, also any society that tries to follow a "middle road" between Objectivism and Subjectivism is bound to collapse.

If this collapse does not happen, it means that at least some forms of Subjectivism are viable, and/or a middle road of compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism is possible.

Could you site your references supporting this assertion?

There really is no need to capitalize the term, "subjectivism." As I understand it, subjectivism is not so much a formally titled philosophy, but more along the lines of an implied tenet of various schools of thought: that our own mental activity is the only unquestionable fact of our experience.

One example of subjectivism is mysticism. Allow me to explain through historical example. While I had originally intended to offer you an extended summation of European history in medieval times, that won't be necessary. Suffice it to say that stagnation and bloody chaos typified the Middle Ages, for roughly a thousand years. It was not until after a century or more of the reintroduction of Aristotelian logic that the West regained preeminence over rival cultures. Roughly beginning 1650, a new school of Aristotelian logic, i.e. objective truth, very gradually emerged, led by the writings of such notables as Isaac Newton, Edmund Halley, Tycho Brahe, Copernicus, Galileo, and many others who either struggled or flourished in the Age of Discovery. We owe a great deal to those who embraced Aristotelian logic, even if they continued to hold religious beliefs. The degree to which they struggled or flourished depended largely on the degree of human freedom they were granted by their governments. Western Europe gradually threw off the oppressive dominance of Catholic dogma, and embraced human ability as the means of solving problems. Unfortunately, the secular philosophy widely embraced was based on the subjectivism of Rene Descartes, Immanuel Kant, and other Idealists, leading to Hegel and Marx. (As I am not a philosophy major, anyone who is may correct me on these matters.) To the point, the outcome of Western Europe's turn toward secular socialism was every bit as disastrous as the centuries of Catholic domination, that outcome being two world wars, followed by the Cold War. In the Muslim East, discoveries in the fields of science and medicine flourished under theocratic rulers more tolerant of Aristotelian logic. Centuries latter, after lagging behind the West, it should be fairly obvious that submission of "a higher power" is resulting in disaster. Whether it is the religious dictatorship or the statist dictatorship exemplified historically, it is only a matter of time before standards gravitate into bloody chaos. However, there is no reason humanity should ever reach that depth again, unless humanity suppresses reason. 

The collapse of Western Civilization is not inevitable; Ayn Rand often pointed out that she rejected determinism. We may never know how many men of the mind struggled and suffered under the centuries of subjective forms of governance, be they religious or secular forms of governance. We do know that they thrived under freedom within, and modeled after, the American paradigm of governance, i.e. a standard of governance recognizing individual human rights. This paradigm was never before attempted in the entirety of human history. So long as our liberty is secured, no "collapse" need happen. There is strong evidence to suggesting that greater prosperity usually accompanies greater freedom of man's thought. Certainly, men of ability existed in times when it was understood that punishment would follow any dissenting public expressions. But with every new court ruling and law ramming religion and socialism down our throats, how far are we, the United States, from establishing a dictatorship in one form or another? I hold to the notion that Western nations are still free enough to recognize the danger of limiting man's natural rights, and expressing dissent when needed. We have not hit the proverbial bottom, not yet at least, and I believe we are far from it. And until we degenerate to that level, individuals will enjoy the freedom to choose their own personal means of integrating knowledge, whether subjective or objective. To that, we can coexist in a society of diverse schools of thought. Ayn Rand postulated that our survival and revival would depend on how soon and how many of us embrace objective truth over subjective assertions. The popularity of mysticism, collectivism, and altruism has not served society well, as it has not served the individual very well.

So, back to you, Dustin86: If the collapse of Western Civilization never happens, what difference does it make? Do you believe that, because X, therefore Y? Because no predicted collapse happens, therefore Ayn Rand was a cracked-pot? Where did you get this idea? 

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5 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

According to Ayn Rand (as I understand her position, please correct me if I'm wrong), no compromise can exist between Objectivism and Subjectivism,... 

I'd be slightly interested in a specific quote too; also, is that what you think? Are you trying to defend some Ayn Rand quote?

Anyhow, more important... if I take it as-is, as written, I don't know how you are interpreting it ...


What does this mean, in concrete terms? If you take the quote literally, then Objectivism and Subjectivism are philosophies. They are not human actors. They can't get in a room and "compromise". So, do you think this means that:

  1. a particular person cannot be slightly Objectivist and slightly Subjectivist at a particular point in time?
  2. a particular person cannot remain slightly Objectivist and slightly Subjectivist for very long?
  3. a particular Objectivist person cannot work and deal with (i.e. "compromise with") another person if that other is Subjectivist?
  4. a society cannot have some Objectivists and some Subjectivists at any particular point?
  5. a society cannot have some Objectivists and some Subjectivists for very long?

I assume you will agree that all those 5 concrete interpretations are false. So, in what sense do you think "there can be no compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism" ? What does this mean in real, day-to-day terms? Explain like I'm 5!

 

Edited by softwareNerd

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Ayn Rand's more prominent position was to resist such a collapse.  The fictional twist in Atlas Shrugged was that rational doers could be persuaded to send us back to the dark ages intentionally.  There's no historical record of this kind of rational sabotage (that I'm aware of) and there's no evidence of it occurring today.  Such an effort would in fact be irrational, which is why a Galt led coalition of saboteurs will not occur, and why the absence of such a collapse has nothing to do with qualifying subjectivism.

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On 10/13/2016 at 7:01 PM, Dustin86 said:
Quote

"Justice does exist in the world, whether people choose to practice it or not. The men of ability are being avenged. The avenger is reality. Its weapon is slow, silent, invisible, and men perceive it only by its consequences—by the gutted ruins and the moans of agony it leaves in its wake. The name of the weapon is: inflation." (Emphasis mine - Dustin)

Let's say that this is the nearest to an exact quote from Objectivist literature, then I'm willing to respond to it. Monetary inflation is the form of taxation under which everyone suffers. However, the people at the lowest economic levels suffer more than anyone, while the wealthy are able to afford the inflated cost of living to a greater extent. I found the exact reference in Philosophy: Who Needs It. Ayn Rand addresses the matter of economic blow-back resulting in the devaluation of US currency, resulting in the rampant inflation of the 1970s. 

Dustin86,

if you were to analyze the economic issues of the 1970s, as well as the theories of Milton Freidman, you'd find that Ayn Rand was correct. Inflation has a way of getting out of control. The policies that came to be called, "Reaganomics," reigned in the ill-effect of well-intended but disastrous federal economic planning.

Otherwise, there appears to be no such plan for gutted ruins and moans of agony, only the unintended consequences of state planning.

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31 minutes ago, Repairman said:

Let's say that this is the nearest to an exact quote from Objectivist literature

Just to set the record straight, this is not "the nearest to an exact quote from Objectivist literature", it is an exact quote from Objectivist literature. It is from Ayn Rand's Philosophy: Who Needs It? 

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1 hour ago, Dustin86 said:

Just to set the record straight, this is not "the nearest to an exact quote from Objectivist literature", it is an exact quote from Objectivist literature. It is from Ayn Rand's Philosophy: Who Needs It? 

Yes, of course it is; if it were not, I would have corrected you. Nonetheless, it does not support anything you've said about Objectivism.

I'm still waiting for something that supports your odd point of view of Objectivism.

9 hours ago, Repairman said:

So, back to you, Dustin86: If the collapse of Western Civilization never happens, what difference does it make? Do you believe that, because X, therefore Y? Because no predicted collapse happens, therefore Ayn Rand was a cracked-pot? Where did you get this idea? 

And while you're at it, would you please address softwareNerd's questions.

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On 10/16/2016 at 4:05 AM, Dustin86 said:

If this collapse does not happen, it means that at least some forms of Subjectivism are viable, and/or a middle road of compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism is possible.

The point isn't that only a capitalist society could last. What counts is that capitalism provides flourishing.

So, if there is no collapse, there are more possibilities than you suggest. One is that the system is not ideal, and works "okay" or even decently. It fails in regard to at least a few areas, and that's where there is at least a start to collapse of some sort. Another possibility is that it is in fact superior and not irrational/altruistic.

Predicting total collapse is not even in the quote. It tells only that irrationality has negative consequences by nature of reality and life-based morality.

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On 10/17/2016 at 2:48 PM, Eiuol said:

The point isn't that only a capitalist society could last. What counts is that capitalism provides flourishing.

So, if there is no collapse, there are more possibilities than you suggest. One is that the system is not ideal, and works "okay" or even decently. It fails in regard to at least a few areas, and that's where there is at least a start to collapse of some sort. Another possibility is that it is in fact superior and not irrational/altruistic.

Predicting total collapse is not even in the quote. It tells only that irrationality has negative consequences by nature of reality and life-based morality.

Louie, I think your answer makes sense.

The thing that sort of befuddles me though is that Ayn Rand seemed very disdainful of any kind of compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism. I point you to the following quote, taken from John Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged:

Quote

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.

Ayn Rand, if I am not mistaken, regarded Objectivism as "good" and Subjectivism as "evil", Objectivism as "food" and Subjectivism as "poison", Objectivists as "thinkers" and Subjectivists as "fools". This would seem to indicate that according to her, there can be no compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism, just as there can be no compromise between food and poison.

Edited by Dustin86

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Where, Dustin86, other than in your implications, does Miss Rand state subjectivism as "evil"?

Edited by dream_weaver

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On 10/16/2016 at 3:57 AM, Repairman said:

Western Europe gradually threw off the oppressive dominance of Catholic dogma,

Catholic dogma WAS Aristotelianism/Thomism.

It wasn't until this Scholastic, deductive-logic approach to science was "thrown-off" [largely by the British Protestants/Puritans associated with the Royal Society, and the School known as Empiricism (Bacon, Hooke, Boyle, Newton, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, etc.)] that major strides in science were even possible.

There is a difference between "Aristotelian Logic" and being "logical".

Edited by New Buddha
Repairman likes this

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4 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

This would seem to indicate that according to her, there can be no compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism, just as there can be no compromise between food and poison.

You keep saying this, but I don't think you know what it means. How can two inanimate abstractions reach some type of compromise?

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2 hours ago, New Buddha said:

Catholic dogma WAS Aristotelianism/Thomism.

It wasn't until this Scholastic, deductive-logic approach to science was "thrown-off" [largely by the British Protestants/Puritans associated with the Royal Society, and the School known as Empiricism (Bacon, Hooke, Boyle, Newton, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, etc.)] that major strides in science were even possible.

There is a difference between "Aristotelian Logic" and being "logical".

New Budda,

Perhaps my use of the term, "dogma" was misplaced. Either way, my point that Protestantism, with its emphasis on human ability, displaced the influence of rigid Catholic dominance. Even in predominantly Catholic nations in Western Europe, church attendance is dwindling.

Dustin86,

It hardly matters that some people will always hold to subjective systems of understanding reality. The hazard lies in the predominant philosophical belief that people have no right to live other than for the lives of others. Whether one arrives at this understanding through contemplating deep philosophical studies, or through a common understanding among members of a society. Individualism and capitalism are widely accepted in American society, although few people ever stop to think of the reasons for their behavior. Objectivism points to the underlying philosophical premise of religious and altruistic beliefs. Historic record points out the hazards of nations in submission to religious and/or altruistic beliefs. Objectivism offers the logical alternative. Objectivism does not seek to punish those who evade truth. Evasion provides its own consequences.

4 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

 

4 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

Ayn Rand, if I am not mistaken, regarded Objectivism as "good" and Subjectivism as "evil", Objectivism as "food" and Subjectivism as "poison", Objectivists as "thinkers" and Subjectivists as "fools". This would seem to indicate that according to her, there can be no compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism, just as there can be no compromise between food and poison.

 You seem concerned about some sort of conflict between Objectivist and "subjectivist" forces. The conflict is an individual conflict, one in which an individual chooses his/her own direction in life. If there is widespread popular appeal of Objectivism, the transition to a laissez-faire economic model will likely be democratic, and non-violent.

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4 hours ago, Dustin86 said:

Ayn Rand, if I am not mistaken, regarded Objectivism ...

Indeed, you are mistaken on many things regarding Objectivism. But we all make mistakes.

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On 10/18/2016 at 6:11 PM, Dustin86 said:

Ayn Rand, if I am not mistaken, regarded Objectivism as "good" and Subjectivism as "evil", Objectivism as "food" and Subjectivism as "poison", Objectivists as "thinkers" and Subjectivists as "fools". This would seem to indicate that according to her, there can be no compromise between Objectivism and Subjectivism, just as there can be no compromise between food and poison.

You're right. That is, people who willfully seek a subjective outlook are acting towards self-destruction. Subjectivism is poison to the mind, as it prevents acting towards one's flourishing. It is not possible to be virtuous and flourish by ALSO saying there is a "truth" between objective and subjective. It would reduce to meaninglessness.

That isn't to say subjective standards lead to immediate death. A person could, say, go to church and be a hardcore believer, but other days they're rational about their job. This would counteract their irrationality. It's more like bouncing between rational and irrational. It'd be a constant internal conflict that worsens over time, or somehow hit an "equilibrium". Worse would be to maintain subjectivity and objectivity at the same time in regard to the same ideas.

 

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