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happiness

The American Flag--is it worth respecting?

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Posted (edited)

Though it may still be better than most other countries, as I hold the present-day United States in low esteem due to its rampant violations my rights. Does the U.S. flag mean anything anymore? Should one who has lost all respect for the U.S. as a political entity respect the flag and only detest the voters who have corrupted the government? Am I justified in not wanting to salute the flag or stand for the national anthem, and wanting to remove the flag from the front of my residence? 

Edited by happiness

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Hi there happiness

 

I think the US flag has meaning to many people, but its meaning has changed a lot. As an outsider from the US, when I see the flag, I do think of power and military might, not freedom. Perhaps that's just me, but I suspect not.

As for saluting the flag; how much do you agree with the ideas around the US? I cannot say, but I know that I don't agree with the core ideas of any country.

 

Shameless plug; this is by the way why I'm working on a project to build a community of rational individualists. Over time I think it's possible that we can gather up many smart people, and then we can over time gain economic and political independence.

Then we can maybe make a new flag, one that symbolizes the ideas of freedom, individualism and rationality.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts:

 

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8 hours ago, happiness said:

I hold the present-day United States in low esteem due to its rampant violations my rights.

If this were true, you'd be right. But "rampant violations" is exaggerated. By and large, the US protects rights.

Boydstun likes this

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8 hours ago, happiness said:

Am I justified in not wanting to salute the flag or stand for the national anthem, and wanting to remove the flag from the front of my residence? 

You're justified in removing the flag from your house...simply because you don't seem to have a reason to have it there. You're also justified in not saluting it...same reason.

But refusing to stand for the national anthem isn't just "not respecting the flag", it's a sign of disrespect for the people around you, who are there expressing their patriotism in a planned event. If you don't want to stand for the anthem, don't go to events where people do that. Don't show up just to be insulting.

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By the way, most of the people who show their patriotism don't do so because they think their country (whichever country it is) is perfect. They know it's not. But they still see the good in it, and that's what they celebrate by singing the anthem or raising the flag.

Do you see the good in your country? Do you think the US military for instance is a force for good in the world? Or that law enforcement, the court system, etc., does a lot of good? Or do you think it's all bad?

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"It's the emblem of the land I love..."-- George M Cohan

Home of the free and the brave? Well, sometimes I have to wonder. I think America's fighting forces are brave. I think people who exercise their right to speak their mind, even when their expressions are extremely unpopular are brave, even when they are wrong. The fact remains: Our American institutions protect individuals' rights to hold any belief, no matter how strange, and to express their beliefs, as long they don't violate the rights of someone else. 

The flag is a symbol, a representation not only of the government, but of the citizens. This is especially true of a democratic nation. 

18 hours ago, happiness said:

Though it may still be better than most other countries, as I hold the present-day United States in low esteem due to its rampant violations my rights. Does the U.S. flag mean anything anymore? Should one who has lost all respect for the U.S. as a political entity respect the flag and only detest the voters who have corrupted the government? Am I justified in not wanting to salute the flag or stand for the national anthem, and wanting to remove the flag from the front of my residence? 

Our present-day United States has undergone quite a transformation from its origins. And if you take the historic view, many Americans of past generations felt the same way as you. Their responses varied. For example: In 1861, eleven states seceded from the Union. The results were mixed: Roughly 620,000 Americas died in combat; many more gained their freedom, whereas before they were slaves. The flag also represents that episode in history, as well as the institution of slavery now relegated to the past. In each generation, some form of injustice is recognized by a small but significant group. Given enough outrage and publicity, reformer can correct those injustices over time. Sometimes the reformers get it absolutely wrong. Example: The Volstead Act, prohibiting the sale of alcohol.

 

17 hours ago, Mindborg said:

 ...when I see the flag, I do think of power and military might, not freedom. Perhaps that's just me, but I suspect not.

As for saluting the flag; how much do you agree with the ideas around the US? I cannot say, but I know that I don't agree with the core ideas of any country.

 

Shameless plug; this is by the way why I'm working on a project to build a community of rational individualists. Over time I think it's possible that we can gather up many smart people, and then we can over time gain economic and political independence.

Then we can maybe make a new flag, one that symbolizes the ideas of freedom, individualism and rationality.

It required many generations of building institutions and infrastructure to create the sort of nation in which people enjoy as much comfort and security as is found in the United States. If you thinks it's easy, go right ahead and try it. You may find that you too may need a defensive force. I would be interested to know what the "core ideas" of this country are, of which you don't agree. If you wish to build a country worthy of your respect, what would be its core ideas? The problems for Americans in our present day are not that different from any other time in our past; the question is, "what is the good, and what is the role of government in ensuring the good." What is it from which you wish to be free? What is it that you would do if you were free to do it? Are you brave enough to speak out when it really matter? And most importantly, are you sure you're right?

As I see it, I'm free to salute the flag or burn it. But I won't persuade very many people if I trash the country or its symbols that allows me to voice my protects respectfully.

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1 hour ago, Repairman said:

It required many generations of building institutions and infrastructure to create the sort of nation in which people enjoy as much comfort and security as is found in the United States. If you thinks it's easy, go right ahead and try it.

You are probably right. Still. Amazon have done amazing things in 20 years. Uber and AirBnB has done staggering things in 10 years.

It will probably not work. I don't think it's easy. But the potential value of creating a place better aligned with rational individualism and making money in the process is too enticing.

 

1 hour ago, Repairman said:

I would be interested to know what the "core ideas" of this country are, of which you don't agree.

I think the constitution and large parts of the legal system is based on individualism, which I totally agree with. Much of the morality of the US was imported from Europe, and Europe back in the days (and still today) has a much more collectivist outlook. Those ideas has had a big impact on the culture of the US, and it's strong individualism has been watered down with more and more collectivist ideas. From my perspective those are becoming more of the core of the US, and I expect this process to increase dramatically in speed in the next economic downturn. I think the US in 10 years is going to feel very different than it is today, just like if you see movies from 1980's they reflect a very different US than today.

 

1 hour ago, Repairman said:

What is it from which you wish to be free? What is it that you would do if you were free to do it? Are you brave enough to speak out when it really matter? And most importantly, are you sure you're right?

- I wish to be free to build some projects I have without paying taxes. I don't accept being punished for doing good. I live for my own sake and my own happiness, not for the sake of everyone around me who I don't care about. I want to be free to trade with individuals without having to pay all those who stand around watching and bringing me no value.

- I am quite free to build what I want. It's up to me to try to achieve this society that I imagine. Probably it's just a figment of my imagination, but as a software engineer I think so many things in society can be done much better now that we have computers.

When that society is built by me, or more probably someone more skilled than me, I wish to build a moon company without having to answer to slow moving laws designed 50 years ago. I want to move fast and break things, and see what awesome things can be built.

- Bravery; I don't believe in speaking out very much when it comes to politics, I have not seen it bring much long term results. For those with a public profile it seems to work, but I'm an introvert engineer with little desire to be an activist. I believe that I can take action and position myself so that good things strike me and bad things dodge me. I optimize for what works.

- Am I right? Probably not. But I much rather make a mistake and learn from it than follow other people's judgement. My judgement says I have perhaps a 20% chance of small success, and a tiny lottery-chance of a huge payoff where the whole world becomes dramatically better.

2 hours ago, Repairman said:

As I see it, I'm free to salute the flag or burn it. But I won't persuade very many people if I trash the country or its symbols that allows me to voice my protects respectfully.

It's very interesting that you seem to feel so strongly about the flag and country. I have not experienced that before. Would you care to explain more?

My loyalty is to my own life and my values. I protect myself, and when I don't, then I get hurt. I get hurt a lot, and I learn a lot. I don't put my trust in any one country, I put my trust in my mental abilities.

 

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13 hours ago, Mindborg said:

- Bravery; I don't believe in speaking out very much when it comes to politics, I have not seen it bring much long term results. For those with a public profile it seems to work, but I'm an introvert engineer with little desire to be an activist. I believe that I can take action and position myself so that good things strike me and bad things dodge me. I optimize for what works.

- Am I right? Probably not. But I much rather make a mistake and learn from it than follow other people's judgement. My judgement says I have perhaps a 20% chance of small success, and a tiny lottery-chance of a huge payoff where the whole world becomes dramatically better.

 

Before I forget, Welcome to the forum. You are well ahead of most, if you are aspiring to develop something in the IT field. And if politics is a subject less familiar, don't underestimate your understanding or your ability to make an argument. One of the lesser objectives of Objectivism is to advocate Ayn Rand's philosophy, especially among those who choose a career in business, i.e. the philosophic businessman. I have no idea as to your level of understanding about Objectivism, but you seem to have the basics. To be sure, I reserve my Objectivist rhetoric at work and among business associates for practical reasons.

 

13 hours ago, Mindborg said:

It's very interesting that you seem to feel so strongly about the flag and country. I have not experienced that before. Would you care to explain more?

My loyalty is to my own life and my values. I protect myself, and when I don't, then I get hurt. I get hurt a lot, and I learn a lot. I don't put my trust in any one country, I put my trust in my mental abilities.

Allow me to explain: I am not a statist; I am not an American nationalist. I value the liberty my country permits me, and hold in contempt those who seek to destroy that liberty. Many of them are in government, many more are our cultural elite and professional intellectuals. I share concerns with those who recognize the erosion of liberty in the United States, although my approach to defending that which I see as my birthright of liberty is somewhat different, and often unpopular, from the mainstream pessimists. I do not venerate symbols. The flag is a symbol of the concept of the United States; this concept includes our borders, culture, language, history, people, and, last and least, our government. That history includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. I hold in high esteem the core concepts that the Founders conceived when they laid the foundation for preservation of the United States. For this reason if none other, I show no disrespect to the Stars and Stripes. You don't have to look too long to see some folks who hold an opposing concept of the United States; they fly the Stars and Bars, the flag of Dixie. While this may sound like a separate topic, it is related. The Confederacy was a perfect example of holding the wrong argument. This is the reason why I emphasize the importance of being right. Flags do not illustrate distinctions between right and wrong, they merely represent a concept. So long as my country allows me to speak my mind in a public forum, and to the other rights protected under the Bill of Rights, I recognize and respect the symbols, the visual representations of the concept of my country. If the United States represented tyranny, I might take a different position.

 

13 hours ago, Mindborg said:

I think the constitution and large parts of the legal system is based on individualism, which I totally agree with. Much of the morality of the US was imported from Europe, and Europe back in the days (and still today) has a much more collectivist outlook. Those ideas has had a big impact on the culture of the US, and it's strong individualism has been watered down with more and more collectivist ideas. From my perspective those are becoming more of the core of the US, and I expect this process to increase dramatically in speed in the next economic downturn. I think the US in 10 years is going to feel very different than it is today, just like if you see movies from 1980's they reflect a very different US than today.

Freedom is a relatively recent concept in the many thousands of years of civilization. I agree with your assessment of current trends in popular culture and politics. But I would dispute the idea that collectivism is a core idea of America. True, our religious traditions are a carryover from the Old World, baggage I wish my ancestors had left behind. The more modern ideas of collectivism and socialism have been popularized in roughly the past one hundred years. Moreover, these ideas are popular among the academic community, more than the general public. The core ideas that I see in action are the ones that motivate people to hustle up the next opportunity to score some money. Liberty is the core idea that built America. Unfortunately, the welfare-state is undermining true and honest motivation. So, taxation is not so much a core idea as it is a fact of reality.

13 hours ago, Mindborg said:

- I am quite free to build what I want. It's up to me to try to achieve this society that I imagine. Probably it's just a figment of my imagination, but as a software engineer I think so many things in society can be done much better now that we have computers.

When that society is built by me, or more probably someone more skilled than me, I wish to build a moon company without having to answer to slow moving laws designed 50 years ago. I want to move fast and break things, and see what awesome things can be built.

 

Out of curiosity, have you ever read, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein? If not, I recommend it. And best of luck with all of your endeavors. Anyone willing to take big risks in business is as brave as the best of them.

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On 6/13/2017 at 11:38 AM, Mindborg said:

As an outsider from the US, when I see the flag, I do think of power and military might, not freedom.

Well they go hand in hand. You can't have freedom without military might.

Are you planning on building this "Atlantis" of yours without a military? Because that's a fatal flaw right there.

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Repairman said:

Before I forget, Welcome to the forum. You are well ahead of most, if you are aspiring to develop something in the IT field.

 

Thank you Repairman, those are kind words.

I'm a businessman and I'm somewhat familiar with objectivism, though I've not read all the books. I've read Atlas and Fountainhead about 25 times each, I find it to be some of the best art there is. Too bad there's not a lot more like it, so I just have to read the same ones over and over.

I'm also familiar with some of Nathaniel Brandens work, as well as one book by Peikoff.

6 hours ago, Repairman said:

 I value the liberty my country permits me, and hold in contempt those who seek to destroy that liberty. Many of them are in government, many more are our cultural elite and professional intellectuals. I share concerns with those who recognize the erosion of liberty in the United States

Yep, I agree. As sad as it is, I think they are winning. The beast that Roark and Steven Mallory (the sculpture artist) is talking about when discussing Ellsworth Tui; the drooling monster of apathy, I think it's winning in the US. I don't like it one bit, but that's how I see it. And just like Galt, I'd rather start something fresh and new, and spend my life building the new instead of trying to patch up existing structures. There's a reason why nature has selected for new babies to be born every generation. The old structures just cannot cope with the changes needed. The young and fresh can adapt faster.

 

6 hours ago, Repairman said:

I hold in high esteem the core concepts that the Founders conceived when they laid the foundation for preservation of the United States. For this reason if none other, I show no disrespect to the Stars and Stripes.

OK, if you consider the ideas of the constitution, individual liberty and the pursuit of happiness to be the core of the US, then I can see why you hold it in high esteem. I do the same, I live for those values, and every waking and sleeping hour is spent thinking about and working on making those values win on a massive scale.

My issue is that I think the probability of a big permanent win for liberty in the US is down at the low single digit percentages, and that's me being completely stone on optimism. I just don't see how it can happen. Ron Paul was the best shot for a very long time, but he didn't stand a chance. When people hate personal responsibility, how can you possibly sell them on the benefits of having no safety net? I don't think it can be done, unless there's some startup that figures out a way to do it with technology.

6 hours ago, Repairman said:

 Liberty is the core idea that built America. Unfortunately, the welfare-state is undermining true and honest motivation. So, taxation is not so much a core idea as it is a fact of reality.

Yeah, liberty built America and made it great, and now more and more are getting comfortable with welfare, government health care, basic income, taxing the successful and all the other ideas that comes along with low self-esteem. It's happening very many places in the west. I see friends who had a little ambitions when younger, and then they go on welfare and their lives are just a complete mess.

I don't see this changing unless there's some new tech startup that does that. And I don't see any tech startups being that ambitious.

I would love to hear if you think it's possible for the US to return to individualism?

If so, how could it be done?

 

6 hours ago, Repairman said:

Out of curiosity, have you ever read, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein? If not, I recommend it. And best of luck with all of your endeavors. Anyone willing to take big risks in business is as brave as the best of them.

Yes, I've read that. While good, it's not the kind of society I imagine on the moon. I think that private industry will make possible many new societies, just like seasteading will. I want to build the new stuff, starting from scratch, just like they did in Atlas.

How do you think it's possible to start a society from scratch and succeed?

Edited by Mindborg
More on Heinlen novel

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4 hours ago, Nicky said:

Well they go hand in hand. You can't have freedom without military might.

Are you planning on building this "Atlantis" of yours without a military? Because that's a fatal flaw right there.

Thank you for pointing that out, I want to be made aware of weaknesses as soon as possible.

That said, I think this project can be started without a military. Luxembourg is doing quite well, and I don't think they have much of a military. They do have armed men though. David Freedman has been discussing how you can have a military without taxation. But those are long term concerns.

In the short term I find it highly implausible that we'll be attacked for being productive people. Less than 10 people building a community in Tahiti? Why would anyone attack? In Tahiti people are very peaceful, I've talked with several of them. They are very friendly and very willing to take money.  What will they conquer if they do attack? Nothing but some floating houses. The political cost is going to be much to high; tourism is the biggest industry there. Attacking tourists is not the way to personal gains.

If you're doing seasteads outside of Somalia, sure, these are worries. But in Tahiti this is not a big worry.

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On 6/13/2017 at 9:29 AM, Nicky said:

But refusing to stand for the national anthem isn't just "not respecting the flag", it's a sign of disrespect for the people around you,

 

The issue is really just as simple as this.

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15 hours ago, Mindborg said:

I would love to hear if you think it's possible for the US to return to individualism?

I believe it is possible. One must keep hope alive. How? The process of would likely be gradual. Among the first institutions to be challenged would be the public educational system. Of course, this would require the creation of privately owned and operated schools, and a significant percentage of parental consent. I haven't given the project much more thought than this, but it is the only process that can be arranged by individual consent and free market principles. I am intrigued with your proposal for creating a modern Atlantis, as problematic as it may be. I may make a statement on the other thread you created.

 

15 hours ago, Mindborg said:

When people hate personal responsibility, how can you possibly sell them on the benefits of having no safety net? I don't think it can be done, unless there's some startup that figures out a way to do it with technology.

This too is an intriguing suggestion. But technology does not guide philosophy; philosophy guides technology. Certainly, technology can radically change the means of expanding ideas and ideology. The men who framed the US Constitution did not devise a comprehensive philosophy. Libertarian politics offer no comprehensive philosophy. Without a philosophy based on axiomatic reason, no technology, no military, nor any democratic mob action will guarantee a social order of just laws and institutions enforced with the consent of the governed. Philosophy guides ideology. Lack of such a philosophy is the primary explanation for American individualism gone adrift. The truth of a philosophy must be self-evident. Advancing the truth of Objectivism is our first best hope.

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Mindborg said:

That said, I think this project can be started without a military. Luxembourg is doing quite well, and I don't think they have much of a military.

If you study the history of Luxembourg, you'll find that it was founded by a very powerful family (the House of Luxembourg), in close alliance with the Catholic Church (also extremely powerful at the time) and various other centers of European power. Members of the House of Luxembourg served as Holy Roman Emperors, a position second only to the Pope, in Western Europe, at the time.

After the rulers of Luxembourg lost their influence (due to shifting alliances, the Reformation, etc.), Luxembourg was left at the mercy of surrounding states, and exchanged hands many times over the course of the centuries (depending on who had the most power in the region, at any given time).

Just in the past 100 years, Luxembourg was taken over twice (by Germany, in both World Wars), and they would still be under Nazi control if the militaries of Russia, the United States, Britain, Canada, etc. hadn't liberated it. After WW2 they became members of NATO (the largest military alliance in the world), the Benelux alliance, and, eventually, the EU.

So they clearly don't stand on their own, without a powerful military. They are protected by the greatest military force in the history of mankind, and, as an EU country, they are subject to EU laws.

Is that the kind of state you wish to form? One that's sitting at the center of European power, and mooching off the US military for its' protection? Doesn't seem very Objectivist. There's nothing wrong with a country founded by Objectivists entering into an alliance with the United States (or Europe, or the UK, or even China), but surely, Objectivists wouldn't want that alliance to be one sided. We would want to contribute our fair share, and have a strong military that's ready to fight if any of the members of the alliance are attacked (the way the US was attacked on 9/11, for instance), no?

Quote

In the short term I find it highly implausible that we'll be attacked for being productive people.

Isn't the entire reason for trying to form your own country that productive people are subject to legal theft, in existing countries?

How is it implausible that, if you can't defend what you have, someone will want to take it from you?

Edited by Nicky

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6 hours ago, Repairman said:

I believe it is possible. One must keep hope alive. How? The process of would likely be gradual. Among the first institutions to be challenged would be the public educational system. Of course, this would require the creation of privately owned and operated schools, and a significant percentage of parental consent. I haven't given the project much more thought than this, but it is the only process that can be arranged by individual consent and free market principles. I am intrigued with your proposal for creating a modern Atlantis, as problematic as it may be. I may make a statement on the other thread you created.

Gradual process: The gradual change I'm seeing is going fast, and it's downhill. Government is growing and fast. Entitlements are growing.

What actions can you take today to change the direction of the US towards a society of objectivism? That is difficult no?

I can tell you exactly what tasks I'm going to complete over the next week or more to move my project towards reality:

1) Work on creating a pdf or website explaining the vision, what steps are involved, and how customers can participate.

2) See what venues I can gain some traction. I'm thinking google adwords, so if people search for Ayn Rand, objectivism etc then my ad comes up.

3) See if I can get customers to pay for example 100 dollars. For that price they get some benefit when going there. My guess is that 0 people are willing to put up 100 dollars.

4) Then I expect to pay someone to give me feedback; "what would it take for you to put up 100 dollars for this vision?"

5) Iterate multiple times until I get 2-3 customers to sign up, paying 100 dollars.

6) (this one will take some months) Build a first version of the facilities in Tahiti. Then invite the first customers to go there. Iterate and get feedback, then get more objectivists to come there.

 

What would it take for you Repairman to put up 100 dollars? If I gave you 1 month free rent in Tahiti on a simple but functional platform with free internet, power, shower, bathroom, bedroom and a promise that you can have discussions with an investor and a builder who loves reason and philosophy, would that be attractive? If I tell you that you have a >0% chance of becoming a founding father of a new America, would that be attractive?

If not, what would I have to do to get your attention enough for you to say "shut up and take my money"?

I don't expect to be profitable for many years, maybe 10+ years. I just want feedback from potential customers that there's some value here.

I think America itself is a very good sample of a startup. They started almost from scratch, and could therefore establish the new country based on experiences gained from a badly functioning Europe. They could learn from the mistakes of Europe. They did, and created in the process the most successful country so far in history. They made an awesome product, but not a perfect one. Perfection doesn't exist I think, there will always be room for improvements. Maybe starting anew with a solid philosophy is an order of magnitude improvement.

 

7 hours ago, Repairman said:

This too is an intriguing suggestion. But technology does not guide philosophy; philosophy guides technology. Certainly, technology can radically change the means of expanding ideas and ideology. The men who framed the US Constitution did not devise a comprehensive philosophy. Libertarian politics offer no comprehensive philosophy. Without a philosophy based on axiomatic reason, no technology, no military, nor any democratic mob action will guarantee a social order of just laws and institutions enforced with the consent of the governed. Philosophy guides ideology. Lack of such a philosophy is the primary explanation for American individualism gone adrift. The truth of a philosophy must be self-evident. Advancing the truth of Objectivism is our first best hope.

I agree to a very large extent. Without a clear philosophy it's difficult to direct your life, your business and the same goes for a society. This is why I want to start fresh and to attract first one and two, then 10 or 20, then 100 or 200 people of those who love this world. When things start working we can use growth lessons from Silicon Valley to grow this venture.

It's a long shot, and so are all ventures in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley have the highest output of massive success anywhere in the world, and it's a lot because they believe that 1% chance of massive success is worth taking.

This venture will probably fail, but I think the chance of at least some success is north of 20%.

A small experiment like Hong Kong changed how China is working today. Maybe if we can demonstrate how objectivism works in a small community of a few hundred people long term, people will change their minds about individualism and philosophy.

People want products, not theories. We have a badass philosophy for those who want to live. If we can transmute objectivism into a usable product, I think people will love it.

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Nicky said:

So they clearly don't stand on their own, without a powerful military. They are protected by the greatest military force in the history of mankind, and, as an EU country, they are subject to EU laws.

Is that the kind of state you wish to form? One that's sitting at the center of European power, and mooching off the US military for its' protection? Doesn't seem very Objectivist. There's nothing wrong with a country founded by Objectivists entering into an alliance with the United States (or Europe, or the UK, or even China), but surely, Objectivists wouldn't want that alliance to be one sided. We would want to contribute our fair share, and have a strong military that's ready to fight if any of the members of the alliance are attacked (the way the US was attacked on 9/11, for instance), no?

Isn't the entire reason for trying to form your own country that productive people are subject to legal theft, in existing countries?

How is it implausible that, if you can't defend what you have, someone will want to take it from you?

Thank you for that history lesson Nicky, I stand corrected.

I don't know how to do all these things. I think it's safe to say that when we're 10 people there, living in Tahiti, nobody is going to attack.

I doubt anyone is going to attack when we are 100 people and living out in the oceans. How are politicians going to sell attacking 100 or 1000 people living peacefully far out at sea? I think it's very difficult. The internet has made it much easier to communicate, and we'll be able to say that we just want to be left alone out there. The germans used the excuse of "lebensraum" for attacking countries around them. That's difficult to defend when we're in the middle of the sea. Also, we won't be encroaching on anyone's territory.

Hong Kong transformed China. They were tiny compared to China, just a rounding error in the population numbers. Still, Hong Kong is doing very well, and was not flattened by China.

If we cannot protect it (and I think we can very rapidly defend ourselves with the tools of internet, diplomacy and potentially new weapons) we can as a last resort sink our country if someone tries to take it over, just like Hank Rearden abandoned his steel mills. It's impossible once these ideas infect people's mind to control people. If people want to be free, they will find a way. I have found a way for myself to be very free even in today's world. There are ways, we just need to make it easier for more people to exit the current systems.

Remember Ragnar Danneskjöld? Let man with the club try to attack the man who uses weapons and reason. Reason is magnitudes stronger than weapons.

Longer term my goal is to establish a base on the moon and beyond, but to most people seasteading is too far fetched, so not to loose too much credibility I'm not going into how the moon can be done with a very low budget. There is however a low probability but viable path to permanent escape from violence and collectivism.

Maybe I'll be killed when going to Tahiti and doing this. I have been in Tahiti already, and I just don't think it's going to happen. Can it happen? Perhaps. But life is not without risk, and this to me looks like a plausible path to freedom and a society based on a reasonable philosophy.  A 0.1% chance of dying if some collectivist country is attacking is a risk I'm willing to take.

My values are worth living for, and as a last resort, to die for.

 

Edited by Mindborg
More on territory

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On 6/13/2017 at 9:29 AM, Nicky said:

But refusing to stand for the national anthem isn't just "not respecting the flag", it's a sign of disrespect for the people around you, who are there expressing their patriotism in a planned event. If you don't want to stand for the anthem, don't go to events where people do that. Don't show up just to be insulting.

Are you saying that you, personally, feel "disrespected" or "insulted" when others choose not to stand for the anthem? Or are you speaking on behalf of others?

I went to a baseball game last night. I stood for the anthem (or anthems in this case, as we were playing a Canadian team). I'm sure there were people in the stadium who weren't standing -- there always are -- but I can't imagine caring about their choice to do so, or taking any umbrage at it.

So you're telling happiness to stand -- why? So as to not hurt other peoples' feelings? Why should other people care whether happiness stands or not when a song is sung? And why should happiness care if their feelings are hurt over this supposed slight?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, DonAthos said:

Are you saying that you, personally, feel "disrespected" or "insulted" when others choose not to stand for the anthem? Or are you speaking on behalf of others?

Here's what I took away from Nicky's post.

We do lots of things as "signs" of respect towards others.  We wear the appropriate clothing for work or a social event.  We hold open doors for others. We keep our voices down in restaurants.  If we move into a neighborhood we mow the lawn, rake the leaves.  When in public we don't just throw trash on the ground, we put it in garbage cans.  We shake hands when we meet with strangers.  We respect others religious beliefs.

There are a host of social customs that make a healthy society work.   In some ways, these tiny and seemingly inconsequential "signs" are fundamentally more important to the health of a society than one's specific ideological or political views.

When basic manners and decorum break down, a society is in trouble.  These non-verbal means of communication are basic to every known civilization and culture throughout history.

In many ways, the above "customs" or "signs" are related to Aesthetics, which is, of course, a branch of Philosophy.

Whenever the locals rub blue mud in their navels, I rub blue mud in mine just as solemnly. 
--Lazurus Long, Time Enough For Love, pg 461. Robert Heinlein.

Edited by New Buddha

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4 hours ago, New Buddha said:

We do lots of things as "signs" of respect towards others.  We wear the appropriate clothing for work or a social event.  We hold open doors for others. We keep our voices down in restaurants.  If we move into a neighborhood we mow the lawn, rake the leaves.  When in public we don't just throw trash on the ground, we put it in garbage cans.  We shake hands when we meet with strangers.  We respect others religious beliefs.

There are a host of social customs that make a healthy society work.   In some ways, these tiny and seemingly inconsequential "signs" are fundamentally more important to the health of a society than one's specific ideological or political views.

When basic manners and decorum break down, a society is in trouble.

If one wishes to wear a suit and tie to some event, as a matter of convention or custom, then I would agree that -- generally speaking -- there's no further need to justify it. "When in Rome" covers a great deal of action, and saves much time and thought/energy. But this is a far cry from saying that one has some moral (or... aesthetic?) duty to act in conventional manners for the sake of "society's health."

If one is sick, it makes great sense to refrain from shaking hands. If one's tie is choking, it makes sense to loosen or remove it. And if one has some qualms about the actions of the United States, or paying homage to the symbols which represent her, then one has no moral requirement to act against one's inclination for the sake of convention, or to preserve the fabric of society, or to spare other peoples' feelings.

I will add that convention changes over time, and this is in part due to individual people acting in unconventional or indecorous manners because it suits them, individually, to do so, even against the pearl clutching of conservative minds.

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Posted (edited)

23 hours ago, Mindborg said:

I think it's safe to say that when we're 10 people there, living in Tahiti, nobody is going to attack.

I already addressed this point. If you're going to just keep repeating yourself, you're welcome to it. Just don't expect a response.

Quote

The germans used the excuse of "lebensraum" for attacking countries around them. That's difficult to defend when we're in the middle of the sea.

You're clinging to a preconception in the face of the obvious. "lebensraum" means livings space (literally, living room...it's only a few letters off). Makes absolutely no distinction between living on land and living in the middle of the sea. Wherever you're living, that's where the collectivists want to expand their control to, to make you live the way they want you to.

You could be on Pluto, and nothing would change. You'd still need to be able to defend your way of life.

Edited by Nicky

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12 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Are you saying that you, personally, feel "disrespected" or "insulted" when others choose not to stand for the anthem?  Or are you speaking on behalf of others?

Neither.

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, DonAthos said:

But this is a far cry from saying that one has some moral (or... aesthetic?) duty to act in conventional manners for the sake of "society's health."

It's a "far cry" for you to state that I said that it's a duty, lol.

Edited by New Buddha

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Posted (edited)

54 minutes ago, Nicky said:

Wherever you're living, that's where the collectivists want to expand their control to, to make you live the way they want you to.

You could be on Pluto, and nothing would change. You'd still need to be able to defend your way of life.

Thank you for the comment. You might be very correct that we need to defend no matter where we go. Currently we expect to be under the roof of France. Long term I imagine our own defense, but the specifics is just too difficult to predict. We have to build, and accept that we cannot know everything.

It's the best path I can currently see. Nothing in life is risk free, but to me this looks like an acceptable level of risk.

Edited by Mindborg
Changed wording significantly

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10 hours ago, New Buddha said:

The way it's done.

I haven't seen that one before. It's very good.

After having lived in strange cultures, I do realize that imposing my culture on others is not very effective. If I want to effectively get my things done, then it's just a matter of fact that it's often better done following the other culture.

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