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    I'm an 18-year-old guy who's going to college in September. I'm very interested in politics, history, philosophy, and just social science in general.
  • Experience with Objectivism
    I read Atlas Shrugged two years ago, and Ayn Rand completely converted me to laissez-faire capitalism. I also read half of The Fountainhead and I read Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. I plan to read more books by Rand in the future. I'm not sure I'd call myself an objectivist, because I do have some problems grasping some concepts of her philosophy and even some of her political beliefs. I am here to learn more about Objectivism and connect with others with similar beliefs.
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    Northeastern University
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MJM58's Achievements


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  1. Thanks. Admittedly, I didn't search for the corporations question, but I did search for a few of my other questions and couldn't find any answers. But then what would happen if someone was polluting your property, and you don't have enough money to sue them? Would you simply have to accept that your property has been polluted and that you don't have the money required to sue the aggressor? Or would this scenario not occur in an Objectivist society? You're right. Having lived in a very rich town in the US for all of my life, I admittedly have never come face-to-face with poverty before. Still though, company towns sound like horrible places. You even admit that they exist with thinly veiled serfdom. How can this possibly be good? Would these company towns exist in an Objectivist society? I'm not sure how you can justify this.
  2. I really appreciate the replies I've been receiving my other threads, the ones about Canada & Australia's responses to the financial crisis and about America's Gilded Age. I just have so many questions though. I figured that it'd be more practical just to make one thread with my questions, rather than many different threads. I really appreciate the answers you all give me; I don't know where else I'd be able to get most of them, except out of Rand's books, which I'm slowly but surely reading. My questions to you are: 1a. It is commonly asserted by Objectivists that in an Objectivist society, disputes about, say, pollution or fraud would be handled by litigation, not by regulation. That instead of the government imposing fossil fuel limits or checking every product to make sure it does what it says it does, if there is a dispute, then the victim must sue the aggressor and the court system will handle it. How can we do this though, when suing someone, especially a big corporation, is so unaffordable to many people? I mean, I guess if a corporation is screwing over one person, chances are it's screwing over many people, and there's monetary power in numbers. But what if the dispute only involves one person, and that person can't afford to sue his aggressor? 1b. On the same subject... What about companies that are effectively sue-proof? For instance, a company like Disney, which deals with personal injury and wrongful death suits by having very good lawyers and by employing a large amount of people in the towns so that it's impossible to get a neutral jury. 2. I firmly believe, as you all do, that coercive monopolies only form as a result of government interference in the market. But I am frequently asked where the evidence for this is. Since there has never been a true laissez-faire society, is there any evidence for this? 3. Doesn't the early American auto industry blow this theory of monopolies to smithereens? For instance, GM used its monetary power to buy out Oakland and many other car companies. Wasn't the early American auto industry almost totally unregulated? If so, how could three (later two) car companies consolidate so much power? 4. Do corporations have the same rights as individuals? If so, isn't this a problem since corporations have limited liability and diffused responsibility and accountability? 5. How would you react to the claim that economic depressions are chiefly caused by "financial markets breaking down"? 6. If the housing bust occurred because the American government decided everyone needed to own a home and used the Fed to artificially lower interest rates, then why did housing bubbles burst in other countries? Were their governments doing the same things as the American government? 7. In terms of the economy, was 19th-century America better than today's America? Or worse? If it was worse, then how can we defend laissez-faire capitalism, since that is the closest we've ever come to laissez-faire capitalism? 8. What about company towns? By company towns, I mean when a company owns all the land in a town and controls who works and lives there. Usually, it was a mining company that set up a town in the middle of nowhere and took steps to make sure that their workers made just enough money not to starve, or gave them the option to earn more but go into debt while doing so. Aren't these a problematic byproduct of unregulated capitalism? I apologize for all the questions. Sometimes, I'm just terrible confused. I greatly appreciate any and all replies!
  3. I'm currently in a debate with someone else, and he was making a lot of arguments that laissez-faire capitalist is a bad economic system and that the Gilded Age in America demonstrates this. He references the monopolies, the economic instability, the Panics of 1873 and 1893, J. P. Morgan's bailout, and income inequality. My main question that I'd love to hear opinions on is why was the economy so unstable back then? In the debate, he referenced this graph (link), and he is right, it was more unstable during the Gilded Age. I also note that there was greater growth, but still, it was less stable. Why is this? That's really mostly what I'd like to hear your opinions on, but I searched and couldn't find a discussion on the Gilded Age and how statists claim that the Gilded Age proves that unregulated capitalism is a failure. So, I wonder... What about the monopolies? I was under the impression that even the Gilded Age wasn't pure laissez-faire capitalism, although it came close. I was under the impression that this was also the birth of corporate welfare and subsidies, and that this is what allowed monopolies to develop, because coercive monopolies can only arise with government interference in the markets. What's the deal with the Panics of 1873 and 1893? Admittedly, I don't know much about them. What caused them? I don't see anything inherently wrong with J. P. Morgan's bailout. After all, it was his money, he can do what he wants with it, right? But why was it necessary, as my opponent says, for him to bailout? And what about the income inequality? Although, I don't understand why this is a bad thing. Some people are better at making money than others are, so isn't it natural that there'd be income inequality? Or is it a bad thing? Was it perpetuated by government? I'm sorry if I sound so confused. The only things I learned in high school about all this was that the evil industrialists stole from the American middle class and made the economy terrible for their own selfish benefit, and that that's why we need to regulate them to make sure they don't ever do this again. I would really appreciate it if you all could shed some light on this subject for me. I understand it was not pure laissez-faire capitalism back then, but shouldn't things be better with minimal regulations than with the amount of regulations we have today?
  4. So, I was debating someone, and he said that Canada and Australia were relatively OK with the financial crisis, compared to the US. He said that the reasons for this are that there were tighter banking laws and enforcement, which kept banks from running up ridiculous liabilities: asset rations that left other countries' banks exposed to the bubble. What would be an Objectivist response to this? I, admittedly, am rather stupid when it comes to some aspects of economics and am baffled as to how to answer this.
  5. Other than my introduction post, this is my first thread on this forum. I've been reading a lot, and I still feel very drawn to the Objectivist philosophy, especially as it relates to politics. However, every now and then, I come across a news story that makes me question how an Objectivism-based government would deal with certain issues, if it would deal with them at all, and what the consequences of that dealing (or lack thereof) would be. The following is one of those stories: Doral school awards dubious diplomas Basically, a private school in Florida put out an ad saying that you can get a high school diploma for $399 and showing up at school for eight days. Obviously, this is not a reliable measure of intellectual prowess, and I'd go as far to say that it's essentially fraud if the school doesn't say how the student obtained the diploma (i.e. $399 and eight days in class). Now, I understand that in an Objectivist society, education would be entirely privatized and unregulated, and having spent the last twelve years of my life in a public school that was absolutely rampant with hypocrisy and incompetence, this is something that I've been a strong proponent of. But stories like this make me question whether education would become meaningless in a privatized system. So, my question to the members of this forum is: under a privatized, unregulated education system (the kind of system that Objectivism advocates), how would we deal with instances like the above story documents? Would we even deal with them, and if we wouldn't, then what would the consequences of that be?
  6. Hello! My name is Mike, and I'm an 18-year-old currently living in New Jersey, although I am going to college in Massachusetts next year. I consider myself an Objectivist-leaning Libertarian or laissez-faire capitalist. I've had an interest in politics from a young age (although I was a socialist before I first read Ayn Rand two years ago--what can I say? I was young). Anyway, I'm here mostly to connect with others who have similar beliefs, talk about politics and philosophy, and hopefully find answers to a few of my own troubling questions about Objectivism.
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