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Donald Trump

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8 minutes ago, Nicky said:

No. Neither does Bernie Sanders. The modern Left replaced the Marxist ideal of a society where all wealth is confiscated, and placed under the control of the collective, with a more pragmatic scheme involving the redistribution of wealth and limits on trade...towards the same goal of resolving purported class conflict in a capitalist economy.

And yes, Trump believes in wealth redistribution and limits on trade, on a massive scale.

The difference between Trump's tax plan and Sanders' is minuscule, compared to the difference between Trump's tax plan and the Objectivist stance against any forced taxation or any other form of wealth redistribution.

As for the difference between Trump's and Sanders' plans to limit trade, there isn't one. They both made rejecting free trade a central pillar of their campaigns.

My understanding of Trump's policies has it that he is trying to put America First. That would include eliminating unfair trade advantages held by foreign countries. 

http://time.com/4386335/donald-trump-trade-speech-transcript/

 

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1 minute ago, Skylark1 said:

My understanding of Trump's policies has it that he is trying to put America First. That would include eliminating unfair trade advantages held by foreign countries. 

http://time.com/4386335/donald-trump-trade-speech-transcript/

That is precisely what socialism stands for: restrictions on economic freedom, for the purpose of compensating for the purported inherent unfairness of unrestricted trade.

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1 minute ago, Nicky said:

That is precisely what socialism stands for: restrictions on economic freedom, for the purpose of compensating for the purported inherent unfairness of unrestricted trade.

Then why does Trump say that NAFTA is disastrous for the American people, or words to that effect?

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11 minutes ago, Skylark1 said:

So in truth, Trump's policy is America Last?

Think of it this way: if you knew someone who not only lies to you, but openly admits that he thinks lying to you is a good idea...would you say that person has a "Skylark1 First!" policy? Would you say he holds you in high esteem, and has your best interest at heart?

Edited by Nicky

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5 minutes ago, Nicky said:

Think of it this way: if you knew someone who not only lies to you, but openly admits that he thinks lying to you is a good idea...would you say that person has a "Skylark1 First!" policy? Would you say he holds you in high esteem, and has your best interest at heart?

Are you disappointed over a campaign promise that Trump didn't make real?

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17 minutes ago, Skylark1 said:

How do you distinguish a lie from simply being wrong in a statement?

A lie is intentional. Is this going somewhere?

Edited by Nicky

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3 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

Do you want Objectivism to be normalized? If so, I would start by drawing parallels between mainstream ideas and Objectivist ideas. A philosophy that comes across as wrong to people won't gain a lot of practitioners. 

A philosophy of Objectivism that distorts itself and compromises its principles for the sake of wider acceptance is not what I want.  Have children and raise them rationally, that is one method that can help gain some additional practitioners without compromising.

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2 hours ago, Nicky said:

You are deliberately equivocating on the term "invasion", to misrepresent Ayn Rand's views on the proper role of government.

You're welcome to be a nationalist and a racist. But, please, don't lie about Ayn Rand agreeing with you. Here's Rand's position on the issue, as stated in a 1973 Q&A:

She was asked: “What is your attitude toward immigration? Doesn’t open immigration have a negative effect on a country’s standard of living?” This is her answer:

You don’t know my conception of self-interest. No one has the right to pursue his self-interest by law or by force, which is what you’re suggesting. You want to forbid immigration on the grounds that it lowers your standard of living — which isn’t true, though if it were true, you’d still have no right to close the borders. You’re not entitled to any “self-interest” that injures others, especially when you can’t prove that open immigration affects your self-interest. You can’t claim that anything others may do — for example, simply through competition — is against your self-interest. But above all, aren’t you dropping a personal context? How could I advocate restricting immigration when I wouldn’t be alive today if our borders had been closed?

There were far stricter laws limiting immigration when Ayn Rand actually succeeded in immigrating into the U.S. than there are today.  A reversion of the modern immigration laws to the laws of that time would be reasonable then, by Rand's own experience.

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4 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

Trump referred to the idea of a surprise attack on Mosul. He doesn't like the way "losers" give away the element of surprise, and believes that such battles are political in nature. The Vietnam war is an known example of a war ("police action") that was fought by politicians and not by generals.

A surprise attack on Mosul is pure spin. Pop lore says that  D-day was a surprise attack, but the Germans pretty much knew an attack was coming. The only surprise is the Army-level tactical one. Nobody was telegraphing that about the Mosul attack. Only someone like Trump -- who is ignorant about such things and seems to live in a make-believe world -- would think that a surprise attack on Mosul was possible: i.e. in the sense his followers lapped up his spiel. 

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I'd have to say you have

3 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

Do you want Objectivism to be normalized? If so, I would start by drawing parallels between mainstream ideas and Objectivist ideas. A philosophy that comes across as wrong to people won't gain a lot of practitioners. 

I'd have to say you address why your premises are problematic in the opening of the following response.

2 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

The mainstream's stance toward being principled on principle is, I think, to characterize it as naive and impractical, closed-minded and dogmatic. Beyond that, I'm not seeing being principled on principle as being taken seriously. Those who pursue such a lifestyle are sometimes punished for it by losing their jobs or being stripped of financial support. It is the nature of Statism, although in some countries you will simply be executed for your principles.

As to a philosophy coming across as wrong to people, then it would behoove such people not to become practitioners.

2 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

However, I don't believe all historical schools of philosophy are being considered in Objectivist thought. Focusing on Pragmatism as the dominant philosophy is simply based on locating some philosophy that has the opposite approach to Objectivism. A Christian, for example, would probably say that our culture is dominated by Hedonistic practices. So whatever the cultural guiding principle is to you depends on your philosophy life. I haven't seen Objectivism deal with the Hedonistic aspects of our culture.

Objectivism doesn't advocate Hedonism.

2 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

A Christian is, in a way, a very selfish person, because the goal of Christianity is for everybody to go to Heaven, and to exist in a spiritual paradise for eternity. The idea is still to enjoy the fruits of your labors, as it is with Objectivism. So that is a parallel, although with Christianity eternal bliss in the after-life is the goal, while Objectivism's concern is with finding happiness or bliss on the Earth.

Do you have an issue with those who dismiss seeking an "eternal bliss in the after-life" for finding happiness or bliss on the Earth, or can you stay focused on enjoying the fruits of your labors whilst still here on Earth?

I found that posting the following on my Facebook account

Man's life is the standard of morality, but your own life is its purpose. If existence on earth is your goal, you must choose your actions and values by the standard of that which is proper to man—for the purpose of preserving, fulfilling and enjoying the irreplaceable value which is your life.

Since life requires a specific course of action, any other course will destroy it. A being who does not hold his own life as the motive and goal of his actions, is [not] acting on the motive and standard of [life].

—Atlas Shrugged

garnished the response

What is the standard of life and where does it come from? Moral standards have to come from without, some one has to set the standards or there are no standards. In my mind, the lady who wrote the book 'Atlas Shrugged', is denying the existence of God and making each man his own god.

This is going far afield of your initial inquiry regarding Donald Trump. I suspect it is a blind alley, and not merely a cul-de-sac.

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18 hours ago, Skylark1 said:

Let's use an example. A normal or mainstream map of the world has the northern hemisphere at the top, for whatever reason - probably because those in the northern hemisphere considered themselves to be more important than those in the southern hemisphere. But what if Objectivism were to constantly present a view of the Earth with the southern hemisphere at the top? Most people would think Objectivism is just plain weird and dismiss it outright.

Give me an example of how to mainstream Objectivism.  What would you do?

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18 hours ago, Grames said:

There were far stricter laws limiting immigration when Ayn Rand actually succeeded in immigrating into the U.S. than there are today.  A reversion of the modern immigration laws to the laws of that time would be reasonable then, by Rand's own experience.

I'm not sure what that sentence means. I hope it's not an attempt to speak for Ayn Rand. If it is, all I can say is, read the quote again. She was against initiation of force to keep economic migrants out of the country. Makes absolutely no difference how "strict" or "loose" the initiation of force is.

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There were far stricter laws limiting immigration when Ayn Rand actually succeeded in immigrating into the U.S.

 

That's not true. On the surface, immigration laws introduced in the 1920s were racist, giving preferential treatment to Western Europeans, sure. ON THE SURFACE, they banned all Asians, and severely limited Eastern Europeans like Ayn Rand. That is why Rand herself emigrated to the US illegally (using the same method most illegal immigrants use today: she came in on a visitor/tourist visa, and never left).

However, that's not the full story. That was only the 100% legal immigration side of things. However, unlike today, illegal immigrants like Miss Rand weren't rounded up, imprisoned, and eventually shipped back to the misery they left behind.  Instead, they had a path to citizenship. That's why, by 1932, she was a US citizen.

More importantly, they weren't prevented from gaining lawful employment, like they are today. That's why Miss Rand was able to build a life for herself, after she arrived in the US, instead of being reduced to a serf in the black market economy, the way many immigrants are today.

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4 hours ago, Craig24 said:

Give me an example of how to mainstream Objectivism.  What would you do?

The way to mainstream Objectivism is NOT to dilute its ideas. In the battle between food and poison, poison always wins.

Instead, the way to mainstream Objectivism is by stating objectivist principles in plain language with whomever you speak. Most people do not grasp philosophically-stated concepts easily, but they do grasp plain language if it appeals to them. To spread the philosophy further requires judicious use of the internet as a tool for spreading information. If our ideas are truly correct, they should resonate with people, particularly in the West where enlightenment philosophy, reason, and capitalism are still at least somewhat celebrated.

That's the purpose of my YouTube channel, of which I will be uploading several videos in the next few weeks. To spread Objectivist ideas to the masses. To turn the cafeteria philosophy available to most non-philosophers into a buffet where there are good ideas to choose from. Not bad ideas like socialist conceptions of duty to the state and to your fellow man who cannot produce for himself, or the idea of money as the root of all evil, or the idea that free will doesn't exist because "Science" says so (so listen to your betters, is always the implication of that).

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19 hours ago, Grames said:

A philosophy of Objectivism that distorts itself and compromises its principles for the sake of wider acceptance is not what I want.  Have children and raise them rationally, that is one method that can help gain some additional practitioners without compromising.

Also spreading ideas through the internet with uncompromising messages. In small, plain-language formats which are easy for people to understand. For instance, I am currently working on a video which outlines the Objectivist conception of free will, in a five minute video which incorporates plain language, humor, and optimism.

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1 minute ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

The way to mainstream Objectivism is NOT to dilute its ideas.

Such as the idea that all people possess the same inalienable rights? Not just Americans, ALL PEOPLE? Will you be spreading that idea on your youtube channel?

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On 10/10/2017 at 7:59 PM, Eiuol said:

I see conflating illegal with thug and/or parasite and a baseless claim based on them being foreigners (refuse to assimilate based on what).

I don't conflate anything. Many, many illegal immigrants are on welfare and they commit crimes at a higher rate than non-citizens. For that matter, so do many legal Third World immigrants.

Refusing to assimilate based on culture. The US culture is based on the Enlightenment. Third World culture is based on primitive savagery, socialism, and anti-reason. Hence why their living conditions are so wretched. Ayn Rand would never endorse importing such savagery into a country that she loved.

There is no distinction between the moral and the practical. Most Third World immigrants, even legal ones, vote socialist at about 70% Democrat. While the Republicans are far from perfect, their economic policy is superior, as is their stance on individual rights such as gun ownership and freedom of speech. How is it practical that we have to let in 200 million Chinese if they want to come here, and we have to let them vote for socialism as is practiced in China?

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I see conspiratorial accusations against Mexico (ads in the streets which would be unprovable) and Mexico's intent to "invade" the US.

I can't do your research for you, no more than I can think for you or digest your food for you. But here is just one example. Mexico produces pamphlets and hands them out to their citizens, which contain advice on how to cross the desert or the rivers, and how to keep a low profile in the US.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/06/world/americas/a-mexican-manual-for-illegal-migrants-upsets-some-in-us.html

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I see a desire to protect rights of only citizens (meaning that protecting a person in your own country depends on their immigration status).

The government has only the responsibility to protect its own citizens and people who are lawfully in the country, i.e. visitors on a temporary visa, or diplomats. If the government had the responsibility to protect the rights of absolutely anybody within its borders, what about invading armies? What about criminals from Mexico?

Further, if the US has the responsibility to protect the rights of all people, legal resident, citizen, or not... then why does this obligation only stop at US borders? Frankly, why not invade Mexico and force their narco-terrorist government to respect the rights of its citizens?

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Then you went as far as saying most of us don't think for ourselves, and link HandyHandle of all people!

Most "organized" objectivists who follow the Ayn Rand Institute do not think for themselves, they view Ayn Rand as a prophet and Peikoff/Brook as ayatollahs. By that I mean that they subject their own happiness and their own self-interest to the words of an intellectual prodigal son and an Israel-worshipper who does not have America's best interests at heart.

As just a few examples, Leonard Peikoff ran a podcast in which many "objectivists" seemingly asked him for permission to enjoy their lives. "Can I enjoy a roller coaster ride, even though it's a purely perceptual experience?" or "Can I engage in masturbation if I have no hope of romantic prospects?" I highly suspect that the reason that my post on fantasy went over like a lead balloon is precisely because many Objectivists view their own happiness as something that they need explicit permission from Objectivist writings to enjoy.

Speaking HandyHandle's name as if it's mud is not an argument; it's an ad hominem assault. If you really want to refute his dozens of well-researched articles on immigration and the Ayn Rand Institute's moral and fiscal corruption, you really should refute his argument, not the man himself.

Quote

Carts before horses indeed.

Which is a handle that I've had for years... where am I "putting the cart before the horse" in this argument? Where have I reversed causality?

Edited by CartsBeforeHorses

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19 minutes ago, Nicky said:

Such as the idea that all people possess the same inalienable rights? Not just Americans, ALL PEOPLE? Will you be spreading that idea on your youtube channel?

When did I ever posit that all people don't possess the same inalienable rights? Yes, all individuals possess the same inalienable rights. Yes, I will be spreading this idea on my YouTube channel.

People are best positioned to spread ideas in their own culture, not in others. A person from Mexico who was truly an advocate of freedom would fight to make Mexico a good, moral country... so that millions of people wouldn't want to leave it. Evil only exists because of the sanction of the victim.

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22 hours ago, Nicky said:

You are deliberately equivocating on the term "invasion", to misrepresent Ayn Rand's views on the proper role of government.

If 30 million people present inside of our borders against our laws is not an invasion by Objectivist standards, then what is? At what point would you agree with me that Mexico has committed an act of invasion against America and the invaders should be expelled?

22 hours ago, Nicky said:

You're welcome to be a nationalist and a racist.

I am a nationalist in the sense that Rand herself was a nationalist. The United States is the only moral country on earth, the only one founded on Englightenment principles of reason and individual liberty.

I am not a racist, and simply calling me one will not make me snap into line and agree with you. You are like the Left, that throws around the word "Racist" at anybody who criticizes Obama or any of their leftist policies. You hope that by calling me, essentially, the worst thing that you can call somebody nowadays, will make me shut up. I refuse.

22 hours ago, Nicky said:

 

But, please, don't lie about Ayn Rand agreeing with you. Here's Rand's position on the issue, as stated in a 1973 Q&A:

She was asked: “What is your attitude toward immigration? Doesn’t open immigration have a negative effect on a country’s standard of living?” This is her answer:

You don’t know my conception of self-interest. No one has the right to pursue his self-interest by law or by force, which is what you’re suggesting. You want to forbid immigration on the grounds that it lowers your standard of living — which isn’t true, though if it were true, you’d still have no right to close the borders. You’re not entitled to any “self-interest” that injures others, especially when you can’t prove that open immigration affects your self-interest. You can’t claim that anything others may do — for example, simply through competition — is against your self-interest. But above all, aren’t you dropping a personal context? How could I advocate restricting immigration when I wouldn’t be alive today if our borders had been closed?

Ayn Rand was answering a question based on its premises. Preservation of a standard of living is not grounds by itself, for excluding immigrants, I agree. However, preservation of the West's Enlightenment culture is a valid reason, and this was never mentioned in the Q&A. As Ayn Rand never wrote on this topic, and never answered another question on it to which there is a record, we are left to extrapolate based on her other, written views.

Ayn Rand did not view the Third World highly. She called them "savages" and "backwards, anti-reason." There was never any enlightenment in South America, Africa, or Asia. Russia had a small taste of it under Peter and Catherine, but not enough to forestall the eventual rise of Communism... which eventually failed due to the Russian respect for education and the mind which communism could not extinguish from their national psyche. Even today, Russia remains more educated than America (the quality of such education notwithstanding). Ayn Rand recognized this factor as not a valid reason to exclude immigrants from her own home country. Russia was a European country, and assimilation by Russian immigrants into America was possible due to their European cultural background. However, the rest of the world which remained in total darkness, Ayn Rand never once advocated for allowing to flood America to the tune of 30 million people. I can't read her mind, but I would bet you $1,000 that she would have considered Mexico's actions to be an invasion.

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