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1 hour ago, DonAthos said:

"Interference by other men" is precisely what you propose. A man in Tijuana wants to work in construction in San Diego, the construction foreman agrees, and you wish to interfere, to stand in their way (of working! building buildings!). His right to move to San Diego imposes no obligation on you, neighbor, except to abstain from violating his rights.

But it does impose an obligation. We don't live in an objectivist society yet, we live in this one. And in this one, his mere presence imposes several obligations on me.

1. He can sign up and collect welfare, paid for with my tax dollars. Same with public education, roads, and other things which the tax burden increases with the number of people here, particularly on middle class people like me.
2. He can vote for socialism for more of the same.
3. The Orwellian-named Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of among other catagories: race, religion, or national origin. If I own a business in San Diego, I am prohibited from refusing to do business with this person. Men with guns would show up and force me to act as a slave essentially.

Remove those obligations and then we'll talk. Until then, increasing immigration is a non-starter for me, because of my rational self-interest in preserving my own freedom.

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That you do not know whether a prospective immigrant has initiated force against anyone (subject to vetting) does not give you justification to use force against him, to impede his travel.

Do I have the right to rent a 747 and fly it around above Manhattan? If I indeed have the freedom of travel, I should be able, if I have the money, to go rent whatever plane I like and fly it wherever I like. Of course I could also choose to crash it into a building, but you have no right to stop me since you do not know whether I will initiate force against anyone.

Obviously we'd get 9/11 many times over without any restrictions on flight in place, but if the right to travel does indeed exist, I suppose that's the price we'll have to pay for freedom.

Edited by CartsBeforeHorses

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11 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

That one's tricky, maybe worth a topic on its own? The original question was in regards to 20-year-olds and beer, and there is no reason why the age for beer should be higher than that of military service.

Yes, but I pose it that way because if you think the government can restrict a sale to some age (let's say 10 years old), then you could phrase that as"nobody has the right to buy anything freely", when the more accurate description is that "anyone over 10 can buy anything freely, but anyone else -- where not reasonably evident -- can be asked to prove they're over 10."

11 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

Okay, but if you accept that there are certain restrictions which can be applied against immigrants at the border, then you implicitly accept that there is no right for anybody to move here in the first place. See my response to DonAthos above.

Actually, lots of foreigners have the right to immigrate. See the 10-year old example above.

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5 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

But it does impose an obligation.

I'd thought we'd reached a temporary point of impasse, but this is worth a response.

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We don't live in an objectivist society yet, we live in this one. And in this one, his mere presence imposes several obligations on me.

1. He can sign up and collect welfare, paid for with my tax dollars. Same with public education, roads, and other things which the tax burden increases with the number of people here, particularly on middle class people like me.
2. He can vote for socialism for more of the same.
3. The Orwellian-named Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of among other catagories: race, religion, or national origin. If I own a business in San Diego, I am prohibited from refusing to do business with this person. Men with guns would show up and force me to act as a slave essentially.

Remove those obligations and then we'll talk. Until then, increasing immigration is a non-starter for me, because of my rational self-interest in preserving my own freedom.

Of course I agree that we should work to remove welfare (and other socialist programs), amend the Constitution so that socialism cannot (easily) be re-introduced, and repeal such anti-discrimination legislation as you mention; but do you remember when we'd agreed that "the moral is the practical"? In this case, the common root of the problems you identify is that they are violations of individual rights. The moral and practical way to fight against them is to uphold the protection of individual rights as the sole and only power of government; and we cannot do that on the one hand, while calling for the further violation of individual rights on the other.

That concedes the very thing we fight for.

I understand that you perhaps remain unconvinced whether what we've described as "the right to travel" is a right, but this is, in part, what I meant by referring to Pandora's box. By proposing to prevent a man from Tijuana from working in construction in San Diego, it is a surrender of the most basic idea of the Objectivist Politics, that "no man may initiate the use of physical force against others."

I'll also observe that your argument here need not solely be aimed against "immigration," but (as 2046 identified earlier) against more people. Other people (including US citizens) having children potentially means more welfare, education, roads, etc.; these new citizens can vote for socialism; and they are as "protected" by anti-discrimination legislation.

I'm not saying that you're making any direct arguments against others having children -- of course that's not what you intend -- but I am saying that the argument you've adopted above could be used equally to argue that the state should have the right to limit the children people have ("because of our rational self-interest in preserving our own freedom"). The argument against that heinous proposition, of course, comes down to individual rights... and so does the argument against restricting immigration.

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Do I have the right to rent a 747 and fly it around above Manhattan? If I indeed have the freedom of travel, I should be able, if I have the money, to go rent whatever plane I like and fly it wherever I like. Of course I could also choose to crash it into a building, but you have no right to stop me since you do not know whether I will initiate force against anyone.

Obviously we'd get 9/11 many times over without any restrictions on flight in place, but if the right to travel does indeed exist, I suppose that's the price we'll have to pay for freedom.

I expect that to discuss this fully would take us far afield -- so my apologies if I give it short shrift. Essentially, I would argue that what you've described is considering a 747 as a potential weapon, and I agree (as with your example of 9/11) that this is sensible. I don't have a full opinion on this worked out, and I expect it would be a contentious subject for its own thread, but I believe that weapons are rightly subject to some form of reasonable regulation.

Perhaps your follow-up line of argument might be that "immigrants are a weapon," but... well, I guess I'll wait to see whether you judge such an argument as a reasonable extension of your beliefs, before deciding whether to respond to it any further.

Edited by DonAthos

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16 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

The worst-case scenario is already upon us. Socialist candidates like Hillary Clinton would never stand a chance without immigration.

When you call someone like Hillary a Socialist rather than a neoliberal, you don't know that much about the political landscape. Americans DO vote mostly Democrat as it is, but you seem to resist the idea that most Americans are for welfare statism. Been that way a long time. You didn't even provide native-born voting stats, or that somehow immigrants fail to assimilate. Your idea seems to be that it must be the IMMIGRANTS must've taken us away from liberty. There is no causal story. I don't care about your position per se - I  care that your view is seeing the worst around you, blaming outsiders, assuming the worst of people especially immigrants. On top of that, you didn't even talk about real immigrants and why I'd want to believe you that they usually fail to assimilate. Stats are correlations, not causal evidence.

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On 10/28/2017 at 6:36 AM, 2046 said:

If you get between me and an immigrant/foreigner who I want to trade/associate with on my property, you can just plain fuck off. I don't care what philosophy or "objectivism" you think you've modeled, your "right" to force me can go to hell.

Language! Still, darn well put :)

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On 10/29/2017 at 6:16 PM, Grames said:

Donald Trump has a wide appeal.

TgShTok.jpg

There was a story the other day about a Mexican family who supported him. They took him at his word that he's only after criminals...changed their minds after the father was deported.

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It would be nice if Onkar Ghate's words [from ARI published an anti-Trump opinion] turn out to be prescient:

Sales [of Atlas Shrugged] should be soaring again — because the book is not primarily about economic collapse, but about cultural and intellectual bankruptcy.

As he reminisces about the Reagan/Carter run with:

“There is a limit,” she told them, “to the notion of voting for the lesser of two evils.”

We haven't reached that limit yet, but I think the credit card is close to being maxed out, and that the mortgage on the future does have a "Due on Sale" clause written in its fine print (albeit I haven't read whole contract yet.)

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1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

I strongly suspect there is a blindness to the power of ideas at play. Where Dr. Binswanger says—

I thought, “Jesus! This is not just theory. It’s really true that philosophy rules history.

—I find myself thinking, as of late, that the "language of the gods" is philosophy. As metaphoric as that may be, it has been necessary to take several steps back and try to re-frame the approach—keeping the larger picture in perspective, while simultaneously not being overwhelmed by all of the incessant details.

Edited by dream_weaver
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1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

Lol, "The Anti-Intellectuality of Donald Trump".  Same thing could be said of nearly every politician and every modern president.  It is routinely trotted out against republicans for example Reagan and both Bushes.  I am not sure why that particular feature is even notable given the quality of what passes for an intellectual.  The corruptness of Hillary Clinton is not a less venal character trait, and in a president is more so in my opinion.  I will again take this opportunity to remind all the readers here that Ayn Rand endorsed Richard Nixon, of all people, simple because she was that much against McGovern.     

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17 hours ago, softwareNerd said:
16 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

I strongly suspect there is a blindness to the power of ideas at play. Where Dr. Binswanger says—

I thought, “Jesus! This is not just theory. It’s really true that philosophy rules history.

Alright, I'm going to riff this piece, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. The piece is enough of a joke, might as well joke about it.

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No one can speak for the dead.

Except for Odd Thomas, and the ARI.

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But as an expert on Ayn Rand’s philosophy,

lol

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I’m often asked what Rand would have thought of President Trump, especially now, on the one-year anniversary of his election and in light of stories in the Washington Post and elsewhere trying to link Trump to Rand.

Well obviously, Trump loves Russia and Rand was from Russia. Makes total sense to the fake news mindset.

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My wager is that were Ayn Rand alive today, she would condemn the whole Trump phenomenon.

Whole, as in "all." Quite a wager considering that Trump agrees with Objectivism on quite a few key political goals... preserving the 2A, repealing regulations, repealing Obamacare, standing up to the Global Warming fraud, destroying radical Islam instead of making excuses for it, etc.

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Far from seeing him or his administration’s actions as even partially influenced by her ideas, she would see Donald Trump as the kind of political figure whose rise she had foreseen and warned us against.

So what does our prophetess have to say exactly, Mr. Ghate?

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To appreciate why, we need to know something about her view of the country’s state. From the publication of Atlas Shrugged in 1957 to her death in 1982, a constant theme in her writings is that we as a nation were in a state of intellectual and cultural bankruptcy.

She obviously didn't foresee the rise of the Internet.

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The Democrats, liberals and political left had abandoned the intellect. Marx, although evil, was, Rand thought, the last intellectual voice worth confronting. When the Marxists entrenched in academia gave way or morphed into the likes of B. F. Skinner, John Rawls, Herbert Marcuse, and a sundry list of postmodernists preaching ethnic determinism, “back to nature,” the impossibility of objectivity and other anti-Enlightenment doctrines, their pretense to intellectuality was up.

This created an opening for the true heirs of the Enlightenment, the advocates of freedom and capitalism, to pick up the discarded banner of the intellect. They refused.

Except for Ron Paul, a far more intellectual and principled candidate than Trump, which the ARI opposed because... uh, why exactly?

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A few months before her death, Rand told an audience of her fans, no doubt to the surprise of many, that she didn’t vote for Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter, whom she regarded as a small-town power luster. “There is a limit,” she told them, “to the notion of voting for the lesser of two evils.”

A limit which apparently led for her to vote for Nixon, a far worse candidate than Trump, over McGovern, a far better candidate than Hillary.

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Rand did welcome Reagan’s strong language toward Soviet Russia and his promises to cut spending and taxes. But she warned that his invitation of the so-called Moral Majority to the halls of power would be a long-range disaster. By tying the (supposed) advocacy of freedom and capitalism to, in Rand’s words, the anti-intellectuality of “militant mystics,” who proclaim that aborting an embryo is murder and creationism is science,

and who channel a dead woman... oh wait, that's the ARI.

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Reagan’s presidency would discredit the intellectual case for freedom and capitalism and embolden the anti-intellectual, authoritarian mentalities in the country.

Enter Donald Trump.

Yes, the first candidate in 30 years to not thank God in his acceptance speech, and who says that he has "nothing to be forgiven for" is a "mystic." He might as well be a closet atheist who pays lip-service to religion because politics and votes.

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Trump’s salient characteristic as a political figure is anti-intellectuality. Because Rand saw this mentality as on the rise (she called it the anti-conceptual mentality), she had a lot to say about it, and it’s illuminating how much of it fits Trump.

No, what's illuminating is your attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole.

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In Rand’s terms, to be intellectual is to sustain through life the conviction that ideas matter. This means that knowledge, abstract principles, justice

You mean like government-sanctioned torture, or the Waco raid? That sort of justice?

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and truth are of personal importance to you, embedded in everything you value and informing your every action. “To take ideas seriously,” Rand says, “means that you intend to live by, to practice, any idea you accept as true.”

This is a demanding responsibility. To be intellectual requires real independence of judgment and enduring honesty and integrity.

None of which are evident in Trump's decades of honest business dealings, Mr. Ghate would assert. If he had been a Madoff-like crook, surely evidence for it would have arisen by now.

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It’s not just that Trump lacks these virtues; in comparison to, say, Jefferson, Washington or Madison, most of today’s politicians do. It’s that Trump projects disdain for these virtues.

Apparently calling out fake news represents "disdain for the truth."

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On cable news, it’s now a regular feature for reporters like CNN’s Anderson Cooper to catalog Trump’s latest lies.

Ah, Anderson Cooper, a bastion of journalistic integrity.

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But to call them lies misses the point.

A liar retains some respect for the truth: he tries to conceal his lies, weave a web of deception and make it difficult for his victims to discover the facts. Trump does none of this.

Because he's not a liar.

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He states, for instance, that his inauguration crowd was the largest ever — when photos of his and past inaugurations are easily accessible.

Apparently YouTube viewers don't count.

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He declares to a national audience that “nobody has more respect for women than I do, nobody” — when the Billy Bush tape of him boasting that he grabs women “by the pussy” is fresh in everyone’s mind.

Apparently respect for women involves denying one's own sexuality and the beauty of the female form.

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In defense of his Saturday Charlottesville statement, he says that unlike others he waits for the facts to come in before making judgments — when his Twitter outbursts are read by millions.

Ghate would have us equate spur-of-the-moment tweets with Trump's considered opinion.

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Trump makes no distinction between truth and falsity, between statements backed by evidence and statements unsupported by any evidence. This is why you can’t catch him in a lie. He doesn’t care.

No, it's because none of the things you just mentioned were lies.

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Rand puts it like this: to an anti-intellectual mentality words are not instruments of knowledge but tools of manipulation. Trump’s description of how he came to use the phrase “Drain the swamp” captures this kind of attitude perfectly.

Actually it captures basic marketing principles. The defenders of capitalism sure don't know much about how business works.

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The phrase, of course, in this context is hollow. By his own admission, Trump was part of the swamp, a master at playing every side of a corrupt political system. To drain the swamp would be to get rid of people like him — not elect them to the presidency.

Says the ARI, an organization which hired Carl Barney, former Scientology church owner and current college swindler, and takes his dirty money. Obviously they would assert that they only hired him because people can change. Well then, we had objective evidence that Trump no longer desired to be part of the swamp and only had to be in order to run his business effectively.

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But somebody suggested to Trump that he use the phrase. “I said, ‘Oh, that’s so hokey. That is so terrible.’ I said, ‘All right, I’ll try it.’ So, like, a month ago I said, ‘Drain the swamp.’ The place went crazy. I said, ‘Whoa, watch this.’ Then I said [it] again. Then I started saying it like I meant it, right? And then I said it, I started loving it.”

Apparently concepts like slogans and the process for choosing them to reach mass appeal are alien to the ARI. No wonder there are so few objectivists.

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Closely connected to this disdain for the truth is a complete amoralism. “The normal pattern of self-appraisal,” Rand observes, “requires reference to some abstract value or virtue,” such as “I am good because I am rational” or “I am good because I am honest.”

And apparently unless you constantly repeat those things, your own inherent goodness means nothing.

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But the entire realm of abstract principles and standards is unknown to an anti-intellectual mentality. The phenomenon of judging himself by such standards, therefore, is alien. Instead, Rand argues, the “implicit pattern of all his estimates is: ‘It’s good because I like it’ — ‘It’s right because I did it’ — ‘It’s true because I want it to be true.’”

"It's true because I want it to be true" actually perfectly captures the tone of this hit piece.

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Trump’s co-author on The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, said that in the eighteen months he worked with Trump “the word ‘moral’ never came up . . . that was not part of his vocabulary.”

I'd rather have a man who acts moral but never talks about it, than a man who never acts moral but preaches how moral he is.

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Other commentators have noted that, no matter how shameful his actions, like his whitewashing of the neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, which in Trump’s telling contained some “very fine people,” it’s impossible to shame Trump. This is the reason.

Fine people want to preserve their history for the sake of remembering, not tear it down for the sake of nothing. Not every person defending the confederate statue at that rally was a neo-Nazi.

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The self-centeredness that an amoralist exhibits, Rand holds, is centered on self-doubt; he therefore exhibits a constant and pathetic need to be loved, to be seen as a big shot and as the greatest ever. Observe Trump’s steady refrain that he’s accomplishing feats no other president has or could,

No other president actually stood up to North Korea and forced China to play nice. I'd call that quite an accomplishment. In addition to the hundreds of regulations that Trump has repealed. If Ghate and Brook had their way, Hillary would be president and these would still be on the books.

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Washington, Madison and Lincoln included.

Don't forget about Jesus and Buddha while you're making your fake list of people who Trump never said that he's better than.

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One suspects that the fake Time magazine with him on the cover hanging in Mar-a-Lago was as much to assuage Trump’s anxieties as to impress the gullible and sycophantic among his guests.

Or, you know, it was a joke.

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The place that loyalty to abstract standards occupies in a moral person’s mind, Rand argues, is typically replaced in an anti-intellectual mentality by “loyalty to the group.” Observe Trump’s special focus on this.

Yes, how dare he be loyal to America first instead of globalists.

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Loyalty is desirable — if it has been earned.

I guess that Trump's business achievements count for nothing.

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But Trump demands [loyalty] up-front.

As opposed to the objective thing to do, which would be to hire men who would betray him.

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As former FBI Director James Comey and others have remarked, a pledge of loyalty was among the first things Trump asked of them.

As it should be, given Comey's lack of fidelity to justice in the case of Clinton.

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The wider phenomenon this demand for loyalty represents is a profound tribalism, a world divided into the loyal and the disloyal, insiders and outsiders, us versus them. To get a flavor, listen to any Trump rally.

What you're hearing is patriotism towards America, not tribalism. I know, it's hard to recognize for a member of an organization like the ARI that puts Israel above America.

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Rand argued that in a period of intellectual and cultural bankruptcy, if the anti-intellectual mentality is on the rise, tribalism will be ascending culturally and, politically, a country will drift toward authoritarianism and ultimately dictatorship.

And Hillary apparently would've played no part in this drift.

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Political authoritarians rely on scapegoats, who are said to be responsible for all the country’s troubles.

Political hucksters rely on strawmen, such as saying that Trump blamed "all" the country's problems on any particular group.

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The Communists demonized the bourgeoisie, the Nazis demonized the Jews, and the Socialists demonized the owners of private property. Hand us the reins of power, they said, and we’ll get rid of these undesirables.

By this logic we should never elect a county sheriff who pledges to crack down on criminals. That would be tribalism, apparently.

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One of the most disturbing elements of the 2016 presidential campaign was the vitriol directed by the candidates not at their political opponents, which we expect, but at large segments of the public.

You mean like Hillary calling half the country "deplorables?"

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Sanders and Trump, the two candidates with the most enthusiastic followings, excelled at this. Sanders demonized financiers, drug companies, bankers, Wall Street and the so-called one percent.

Oh look, a nugget of truth!

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Trump demonized Hispanics, immigrants, journalists, free traders and elites.

You're forgetting some qualifying adjectives. Illegal immigrants, dishonest journalists, globalist "free" traders, and corrupt elites. Trump opposed none of those things intrinsically.

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During the 2007–8 financial crisis, sales of Atlas Shrugged soared, in part because people wondered how Rand could have foreseen America’s economic collapse. Sales should be soaring again — because the book is not primarily about economic collapse, but about cultural and intellectual bankruptcy.

Sales should be soaring, but the ARI fails at marketing so they're not.

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At the novel’s start, we witness a crumbling world, with posturing intellectuals who have long ago abandoned the intellect

With funny names like Floyd Ferris, Wesely Mouch, and Onkar Ghate.

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but who continue to preach irrational, shopworn ideas, which everyone mouths but no one fully believes — or dares challenge. Part of the point of the story is that these pseudo-intellectuals will eventually be replaced by their progeny: people who more openly dispense with the intellect and who are more explicitly boorish, brutish and tribal, i.e., by anti-intellectual mentalities.

You mean like how Leonard Peikoff squandered Ayn Rand's intellectual heritage? That sort of progeny?

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This is best symbolized by the appearance on the political scene, late in the novel, of Cuffy Meigs. Although I suspect we are only at the beginnings of a similar political descent, the parallels, unfortunately, exist. Meigs is a short-range amoralist uninterested in arguments or reasons or facts, who carries a gun in one pocket and a rabbit’s foot in the other. President Trump carries the nuclear codes in one pocket and Infowars in the other.

I'd trust a snake oil salesman like Alex Jones before I'd trust Anderson Cooper or wherever Mr. Ghate gets his "news."

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The only way to prevent this kind of political and cultural disintegration, Rand thought, was to challenge the irrationalism, tribalism, determinism and identity politics at the heart of our intellectual life, propagated by the so-called left and right and by too many others as well.

And by letting in the entire Third World into America all at once. She also advocated that, apparently.

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We need to realize that whether the appeal is to ethnicity or gender or faith or family or genes as the shaper of one’s soul and whether the demand is to sacrifice the rich to the poor, the poor to the rich, the able to the needy,

America to Israel, America to globalists... just kidding, he doesn't say that.

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whites to blacks, blacks to whites, individuals to the nation or sinners to God, all of it is corrupt. We are rational beings, who are capable of choosing a logical course in life and who should be pursing our own individual happiness.

So this is what makes you happy? Writing baseless schlock about the president?

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Unless we are ready to radically rethink our culture’s fundamental ideas, with the same intensity of thought our Founding Fathers exerted in rethinking government, our long-term trajectory is set and will play out. But the choice is ours — this is the message of Atlas Shrugged.

What about the Convention of States? Oh wait, the ARI hates states' rights.

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Thus I think Rand would have said that a President Trump is a predictable outcome, but not an inevitable one.

I mean, I think that she would have said that too, but not in the way that you mean. After all that bloviating, this is the best you could come up with that Rand might have said?

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20 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

I strongly suspect there is a blindness to the power of ideas at play. Where Dr. Binswanger says—

I thought, “Jesus! This is not just theory. It’s really true that philosophy rules history.

—I find myself thinking, as of late, that the "language of the gods" is philosophy. As metaphoric as that may be, it has been necessary to take several steps back and try to re-frame the approach—keeping the larger picture in perspective, while simultaneously not being overwhelmed by all of the incessant details.

In other words,  Trump has that in common with the people Binswanger used as examples in his essay that you linked.  But those what are called "normal people", non-intellectual ordinary Americans whom we know Rand was a great fan of because of their "sense of life" as she put it.  Rand was frustrated by America's non-intellectuality but she didn't disapprove of the country because of it.  Trump as president  is like the common man as president, and her opinions of the common (American) man are probably the most relevant to Trump.

I haven't seen much commentary on Trump's sense of life, but that is really what got him elected.  His optimism, his vivaciousness, his high energy, his guilt free enjoyment of life and his immensely entertaining Twitter taunts all make him tremendously appealing.   But these are non-intellectual factors and incomprehensible to someone committed to rationalism as a professional duty.  That would be many ARI people and often Binswanger.

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48 minutes ago, Grames said:

I haven't seen much commentary on Trump's sense of life, but that is really what got him elected.  His optimism, his vivaciousness, his high energy, his guilt free enjoyment of life and his immensely entertaining Twitter taunts all make him tremendously appealing.   

And I took you as more of a cynic! ;)

Edited by JASKN

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1 hour ago, Grames said:

I haven't seen much commentary on Trump's sense of life, but that is really what got him elected.  His optimism, his vivaciousness, his high energy, his guilt free enjoyment of life and his immensely entertaining Twitter taunts all make him tremendously appealing.   But these are non-intellectual factors and incomprehensible to someone committed to rationalism as a professional duty.  That would be many ARI people and often Binswanger.

Hence my assertion that orthodox Objectivism has a problem with fun. They don't know how to have it, and they don't recognize it in others.

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17 minutes ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

Hence my assertion that orthodox Objectivism has a problem with fun. They don't know how to have it, and they don't recognize it in others.

We should nominate someone like Howard Stern for president. He's the epitome of fun. In fact, fun should be a cardinal virtue and we should all aspire to be as fun as Donald Trump and Howard Stern. 

The added benefit is that since Hitler was no fun, nobody will confuse us fun people for neo-Nazis.

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3 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

We should nominate someone like Howard Stern for president. He's the epitome of fun. In fact, fun should be a cardinal virtue and we should all aspire to be as fun as Donald Trump and Howard Stern. 

The added benefit is that since Hitler was no fun, nobody will confuse us fun people for neo-Nazis.

It's almost like fun isn't a prime virtue, and I never said it was. 😉

 

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1 hour ago, Grames said:

In other words,  Trump has that in common with the people Binswanger used as examples in his essay that you linked.  But those what are called "normal people", non-intellectual ordinary Americans whom we know Rand was a great fan of because of their "sense of life" as she put it.  Rand was frustrated by America's non-intellectuality but she didn't disapprove of the country because of it.  Trump as president  is like the common man as president, and her opinions of the common (American) man are probably the most relevant to Trump.

I haven't seen much commentary on Trump's sense of life, but that is really what got him elected.  His optimism, his vivaciousness, his high energy, his guilt free enjoyment of life and his immensely entertaining Twitter taunts all make him tremendously appealing.   But these are non-intellectual factors and incomprehensible to someone committed to rationalism as a professional duty.  That would be many ARI people and often Binswanger.

The sense of life of the American people is her basis of hope for this country's future. The concept of hope carries in it some of the seeds of wishes. I grew up hearing "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." To avoid putting the proverbial cart before the horse, the driver of the cart is often portrayed either holding the reins or not holding them. The first image projects being in control, whether racing to make a delivery in time, or eluding the bad guys in a heart racing scene of rushing over nearly untraversable terrain. The latter image conjures up horses pulling the cart toward the precipice, or seeing the cart flipped and/or destroyed by an uncontrolled animal.

Trump decidedly appeals to the emotional element out there. Love him or hate him, it is done passionately. I would have to ask: Is that passion properly seated? and: To what are the passions of 'the many ARI people' or Binswanger hitched to?

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Donald Trump is backing a ban of abortions that are 20 weeks or more.

It was bad enough that George Bush and his GOP buddies managed to ban some abortions by concocting the term "partial birth abortions" and spinning it to seem that late term abortions are about "irresponsible women " (in their hazy Christian eyes) using them as birth-control.

Trump is not religious, but he's pragmatic enough to know that he has to appease the right, and he does not even have the moral compassion that some Christians feel when they temper their brethren on such bills. Instead, he wants to double down on the evil.

Here's a late-term abortion story to combat any rationalism one might feel on the topic.

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1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

Donald Trump is backing a ban of abortions that are 20 weeks or more.

I fear the religious conservatives will win the abortion debate because only Objectivists have a reasonable defense, and the Left doesn't listen to us. That means there is absolutely nothing for us on the Left anymore. They are absolutely worthless in the fight against the Right.

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