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Posts posted by tadmjones

  1. Their list they made initially when they struck, was premeditated in who they were going to get, who'd be the hardest was Dagny. The policies and directives made later on made it so much easier for them to collapse the structure since the weight kept shifting to certain pillars, and Galt was able to pull them in with hiskind by getting them to join himhim. So that definitely worked to his advantage big time.

    But by using the device of a strike wasn't she commenting on the actions of a group aligned by a common cause.? On acting on principles they chose who to ask to strike based on the individuals that most examplified the attributes worth saving. A purge would seem to connote choosing on a more personal level, not necessarily a political one.
  2. Appareantly he is the guy that prompted what I hope to be a memorable and oft quoted remark of Sec. Hillary's "At this point what difference does it make??!!"

    And just from reading the wiki entry , being from Jersey and concerning current senatorial issues I think I wouldn't mind a senator from Wisconsin.

  3. The term 'words' and 'concepts' are not exactly interchangable, the idea that they are seems to be the premise on which this line of reasoning is based. Etymology is to words as epistemology is to concepts is , I think, an apt analogy. Words 'mean' their definitions, but concepts 'mean' their actual referents.

  4. To "underlie" in this case, refers to a philosophy which forms the basis for the understanding of another philosophy. Political philosophy refers to the use of collectivized force, and is therefore necesarily dependent upon ethics, which refers to how an individual lives his life. As I illustrated, multiple forms of ethics, even contradictory ones, can underlie a common political principle. On the other hand, one can build an ethical system without relation to a political system, because politics is not a requirement for ethics. The two should be integrated, but one comes before the other. As Ayn Rand expressed, her herierarchy goes as follows - metaphysics to epistemology to ethics to politics

    Politics is then ethics in a societal context, yes? So the answer to the op's original question would still be a no, based on the idea that there are various and sometimes contradictory ethical principles 'underliing' libertarian political philosophy, no?
  5. From the same source (Ayn Rand responding to a reader):

    "I have the impression that you are a follower of Thomas Aquinas, whose position, in essence, is that since reason is a gift of God, man must use it. I regard this as the best of all the attempts to reconcile reason and religion - but it is only an attempt, which cannot succeed. It may work in a limited way in a given individuals life, but it cannot be validated philosophically. However, I regard Aquinas as the greatest philosopher next to Aristotle, in the purely philosophical, not theological. aspects of his work. If you are a Thomist, we may have a great deal in common, but we would still have an irreconcilable basic conflict which is, primarily. an epistemological conflict."

    Responding to this topic, compatible doesn't mean identical. Atheism isn't compatible with Christianity (or Theism) on the issue of God, however Objectivism is certainly compatible with Christian values in a number of areas. It hardly matters if not murdering or not stealing is attributed to God, the Spaghetti Monster, or Ayn Rand; both Objectivists and Christians can agree that murder and theft are morally wrong. Religious freedom in America includes the freedom to reject religion entirely. That has little to do with the compatibility of those who define themselves as Objectivist or Christian on various political and ethical issues facing all Americans.

  6. I define a "libertarian philosopher" as an individual who holds the political philosophy of libertarianism, and then attempts to justify it by fleshing out its foundations (ie. ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, deontology, etc.) regardless of the order of discovery. By this standard, Rand is a libertarian philosopher. As are Mises, Nozick, Hayek, Rothbard, and others to varying degrees. I agree that there is no single libertarian philosophy, like there is a single Objectivist philosophy. Rather, libertarian philosophy is a field of study. For instance, John Locke is probably the first libertarian philosopher (depending on how loosely you define, "libertarian"). He first theorized the case for homestead based private property. From there, other enlightenment philosophers like Thomas Jefferson to modern philosophers like Rand refined his view point. This is a progression of libertarian philosophy.

    Johnathan's main point is that Objectivsts often dismiss libertarianism as shallow and baseless while ignoring the long hisotry of foundational development for the political philosophy.

    So your answer to the topic question is then, no, correct?
  7. DonAthos said

    After all, what gives a "monopoly government" its legitimacy? How does one man, or group of men, decide that they are capable and authorized to enact justice, and no other? Is it the first to claim that "he is the government"? Is it that act which grants him moral leave to initiate force against any other man who would make a similar claim? I suspect that historically this is so, in combination with the size of his rock or club -- the very "might makes right" which perhaps (hopefully) you would decry.

    Though the constitution of the United States is not a 'perfect' document, it is the closest mankind has gotten to founding a government of laws and not men. That the current society/culture has allowed those principles to be at the least corrupted or even blatantly ignored does not then mean that the idea of a constitutional republic vested with the monopoly use of justified force, that which is needed to protect all individuals within a society, is essentially flawed. By needed , I mean the idea that all are equal before the law means that those who break the law are accountable to the "law", which would be the government( aside from the ideas of seperating specific jurisdictions eg states , federal, local municipalites, which should all ultimately comform to the principles of a constitutional republic, so in that sense it can be described as a 'monopoly' government).

  8. What are libertarian philosophers, is there a group that states this is libertarianism and based on its core principles and tenets...? Objectivism is recognized as distinct self contained philosophy, yes? I would agree that individuals can misunderstand what Rand was saying(and or purposely misrepresent), but that just makes them wrong about a particular philosophy. It seems libertarian philosophy is understood as a loose amalgemation of various views , or am I mistaken? If thought that is the case, then couldn't someone say that it has no philosophic basis, or at least no one such basis?

  9. My position is this: If a firm which consists of owners and managers and workers decides to make every one an owner (of some percent of the value of the assets of the firm) and give workers a voice in the management of the firm, I so nothing really objectionable provided it is done voluntarily. I am not sure I would be comfortable sharing a firm I founded with the workers but I surely would like to hear what they have to say, after all the workers whom I employ are (if we are successful) helping to make me rich. I cannot be so obtuse that I would not acknowledge the fact.


    Who is John Galt?
  10. What would a 'private court' be?

    And how would the existence of such a system of justice not be operational only by the principle of might makes right, as opposed to the idea of a government of laws and not men?

    And why to be mora,l do free men need incentives?(begs the question of incentives provided by...?)

    Alot of the reasoning behind the defense of the idea of a free market of legalism, at least coming from 2046, seems to be predicated on the idea of 'incentives',is this like the choice betrween the carrot and the stick? If so, who in reality gets to wield them? What is the rational way to determine who 'gets to' hold that power?

  11. Is it immoral to buy government bonds - to make a profit off tax payers and to help fund government's immoral actions?

    Do you mean is it immoral to buy the bonds issued by the US fed govt in 2012-13 , or is it immoral to buy government bonds , by whatever that term means?

  12. I appreciate it of course, but I don't want to run afoul of the forum rules, so I don't open a new thread. However, I trust responding to or analyzing various arguments presented falls under the category of "honest questions about such subjects." I think the links in #18 are definitely worth reading in regards how a free market legal order could work, and historical examples are discussed. A good starting point for understanding how law without a state is possible is books like Bruno Leoni, Freedom and the Law, Edward P. Stringham (Editor), Anarchy and the Law, Bruce Benson, The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State.

    I didn't read, nor do I think I shall ,any of the source material you posted. The reason I won't is contained in your statement "..a good starting point for understanding how law without a state is possible.." , if the materail suggested are sources to find justifications for this and like assertions are ridiculous on face.

    As to why should we have a free market legal order, the foundations are the same as the argument for a laissez-faire capitalist society. The question of what kind of constitutional structure we should have goes along with the question of what our goals are. So you have articulated philosophical principles on the one hand, and the question of political structure on the other hand. We get conclusions like, we should have a society that respects the non-initiation of force principle, we should have restraints on the use of retalitatory force, so we should have objective law, etc. So then what kind of system will produce objective law and will have the best incentive structure for maintaining respect for individual rights. So what is objective law? What are its requirements? Can a state satisfy these requirements, or does objective law require a free market? I mean, you could imagine a dictator that only wanted objective law, but that kind of system would have a terrible incentive structure, so you wouldn't want it. You would want a constitutional structure incorporating checks and balances, separation of powers, etc. So where Rand stopped short and supported representative democracy, I think if we analyze her arguments, you will find defficiencies, and I think that the incentive structure of the free market provides the best constitution for a free society.

    If the foundations of a free market legal are the same as a LFC society, how do they not incorporate a monolopy of the use of just force vested in the state?(ignoring any grammatical errors they may lead to differing interpretations of meaning)

    So the question boils down to what kind of constitution should a free nation have? In trying to answer that question we immediately think in terms of a Bill of Rights, restrictions on governmental power, and so forth. And any constitution worth having would certainly include those things. Usually Objectivists answer "well we should have a written constitution," and that would solve a lot of the structural problems. But mere paper constitutions are neither necessary (look at Britain) nor sufficient (look at Soviet Russia) for actually operative restraints. What matters is a nation's constitution in the original sense of the actual institutions, practices, and incentive structures that are in place.

    In the context of a discussion on politics from a philosophic perspective, who believes a constitution is but the mere words(text) printed on paper? What do you mean here?

    So a constitution has no existence independent of the actual behaviour and interactions of actual human beings.Things like "separations and divisions of powers, and checks and balances," are not structures that exist as external limitations on society, as if they are being imposed from without. But in fact those structures exist only insofar as they are continually maintained in existence by human agents acting in certain systematic ways. A constitution is not some impersonal, miraculously self-enforcing robot. It's an ongoing pattern of behaviour, and it persists only so long as human agents continue to conform to that pattern in their actions.

    What? Are you saying that concepts like legality, rights , justice and capitalism only exist in the actions of concrete indiviual humans and that unless they act in manners consistent with those concepts , the very idea of such things would be impossible?

    So if a constitution is to be more than a wish list, it must also specify the political structure necessary to ensure that people have an incentive to keep acting in a manner consistent with the articulated philosophical principles that you're attempted to put in place. And so the incentive structure you put in place must encourage people to act in a manner consistent with individual rights, to produce objective law, to encouraging social cooperation, persuasion instead of force, and peace. So in discussing whether a government or the market is the best for this, you have to look at the incentives of each strucutres, and I think there are problems with coerced monopoly, and I think the opponent of competition has some considerations to surmount before they can prove their case.

    Perhaps just a semantic difference(though I doubt it), but in organizing the proper structure for a civilized society incorporating rational principles into the idea of a state and its mechanics is not the same as trying to put in place philosophic principles. Rational principles are what they are , there is no choice or competition between principles as to their respective rationality.

  13. Grames in post 11 said

    The appeal of this theory is that the underlying existent treats all of the many paths the same without weighting the classical ones more heavily than paths that violate conservation of energy, the least distance principle, or what have you. The underlying existent does not somehow have built into it a priori knowledge of what it is supposed to do, rather much of what we recognize as laws of physics simply falls out of the constructive and destructive summation of all the paths

    How here do you mean "the underlying existent treats..."?

    I understand this theory in more laymens' terminology as " a canonball will travel every possible trajectory including the one observed, because String Theory somehow postulates multiverses and since infinity can happen an infinite amount of times , basically you saw one of them."

    How is what you are, postulating, or quoting, essentially different or is it the same thing ?

  14. Mea culpa deprived/depraved (thanks btw)


    Yes. My point is that it's for our own good that we have the ability to choose to act contrary to our thoughts. And that ability to override thought arises from the fact that we can observe thoughts from the point of view as if we are not the thinker of those thoughts.

    By' for our own good', do you mean to suggest that it(volition) is beneficial to humanity by some purpose, or design?

  15. Right but arguing the second sentence doesn't commit you to the first sentence. You can say that my position might be that rule of objective law is possible (or even necessary) on the free market, but that that position is wrong and would lead to there being no stable rule of law. But then we are owed an argument for that, not self-evident assertions.

    One can only argue from the stand point of the conditions necessary for a market, you can not start with a market system. On the premise that traders must know in advance that their rights would be recognized and protected, by some entity or agency, prior to trading. If trading value for vlaue were contingent on nothing other than force, who but those that can wield the most force would even think of entering any type of 'market' activity. It seems to go against human nature to purposely put oneself in that position, the position of being at somones mercy that a trade will in fact occur.

  16. That doesn't make any more sense than saying than asking if the Internet can operate without objective rules to its operation. The Internet has protocols and all that without a central, monopolized agency. In some sense there is a market, but little deviation exists precisely because no one would get along.

    Yeah Google does what they do(and Ebay) regardless of knowing they have a civil court system to protect their "internet" property, hey they must be anarcho-capitalists.

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