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     Objectivism Is the Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"

    Taxation is not theft

    epistemologue
    By epistemologue,
    The normal, dictionary definition of "taxation" is "the practice of a government collecting money from its citizens to pay for public services." "compulsory" is not in the definition. There's absolutely no necessity for it to be compulsory, in fact it should not be, as that contradicts the entire concept of a government based on the consent of the governed. Taxation is, properly, a contractual payment due. A proper government should have an explicit contract with its citizens, and allow them to leave the contract at any time. In the case of a rights-respecting government, the payment that is "demanded" by the government is demanded contractually. The contract between citizens and government is special for a lot of reasons, that's why we have a special word for the collecting of funds. The term only applies to the funds collected by the government from its citizens, and can only take a certain form. Donations or lotteries are not a tax, and it's not just a generic "fee" of any kind. Taxation is legally defined policy of government funding that you agree to pay on an ongoing basis. Of course a voluntary contract can be revoked at any time, when the citizen terminates their agreement with the government that's called renouncing one's citizenship, and no further taxes are due. "citizenship" is a term indicating the special relationship between the citizen and the government, which properly should be a voluntary one, based on contract. It is not an arbitrary designation. In the US you are opted-in automatically by birth, and there are fees and restrictions associated with renouncing one's citizenship. I disagree with these policies, I think they are improper, and to some extent definitely unjust. Citizenship should be a written contract that every individual has to qualify for and agree to in writing, and someone should be able to leave at any time without onerous fees or restrictions. But that doesn't change the fact that the US is essentially a government based on the consent of the governed, despite its flaws. One can condemn the individual instances of injustice and work to resolve any ongoing issues within the system without having to "surmise that America is currently in a state of anarchy", or "dedicate one's life to abolishing our wicked 'government' and to exposing those Satanic politicians". In summary, compulsion is not essential to the definition of taxation; there can be such a thing as a government based on the consent of the governed, where citizens are citizens of the government by voluntary, contractual agreement, and the taxes that the government levies (and the penalties applied for not paying them), are agreed to in advance by the citizen, who can terminate the contract at any time. Taxation is not theft, it is consensual. If Netflix is charging your credit card every month and you want them to stop, you can't just declare "I don't consent!", you have to actually go in and unsubscribe. Netflix will stop charging your credit card, and you will no longer be a member who has access to their services. The same principle applies here. If you don't want to pay taxes then renounce your citizenship, and you will no longer be protected by the government. Nobody is forcing you to be a citizen.

    Reblogged:Too Much Golf, or Too Little Thought?

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    A piecein USA Today considers the fact that our Presidents' political opponents have, over the past few decades, been reliable complainers about those Presidents daring to partake of leisure activities:
    Indeed it is, and I have openly wished for Obama to play golf much more often.

    Windsor Mann starts with the fact that a President you oppose who plays golf has less time to do political damage to your cause, and that's true enough. But he continues with the following interesting observation:
    I don't know Mann's political persuasion, but he's right: It is not the President's job to be some kind of national father. Indeed, if our government were properly limited, our Presidents would probably have far more leisure time. But back to the issue of caring. Mann reminds me of a profound point about such critics that conservative blogger Walter Hudson once made in defense of one of Obama's vacations:
    The best you can possibly say about such criticism is that it is poorly thought-through. Mann is absolutely correct to say, "The dumbest criticism of any president is that he plays too much golf."

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Are all powerlusters nihilists?

    Severinian
    By Severinian,
    In The Fountainhead, I got the impression that Gail was supposed to be a semi-good, life-loving person who simply made a philosophical mistake, and this made him crave power. 

    However, in Galt's speech, it seemed like Rand's position was that all powerlust came from subconscious nihilism? (I.e. hatred of the good for being the good)   

    You should choose to live

    epistemologue
    By epistemologue,
    Man's life is the standard of moral value, and his own life is his moral purpose. So morally speaking, choosing to live is the most basic moral choice, that is the most basic thing that you should do. Anyone who chooses not to is abdicating their moral values, and contradicting their moral purpose.

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