Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by moralist

  1. (My apologies for posting before seeing this section... ) My introduction to the ideas and ideals of Ayn Rand were through reading Atlas Shrugged over 30 years ago.. I laughed, I cried, I stayed up all night unable to put it down... and every few years I pick it back up and read it again to keep alive the inspiration and motivation of her words. It's best to let everyone here know up front that I'm a Christian but not a churchgoer, and more of a behaviorist than a dogmatist. And while I'm the farthest thing from an ideologically pure objectivist, I am an American Capitalist businessman who uses Atlas Shrugged as a Practical Business Operations Manual. It's genuinely entertaining to read and to discuss ideas and how our views differ from each other. The personal interaction of forums is a pleasant alternative to the inert passivity of watching TV, which is why I'm visiting here typing on a keyboard instead of pressing buttons a remote control. I hope that you'll enjoy my input here as much as I'm enjoying sharing it with you. Greg
  2. I see, that's what you mean. You took it to mean a specific candidate while I was referring a generic "good guy" who could never be more than a hypothetical as long as there aren't enough Americans to actually elect one.
  3. Can you offer any specific examples of political activism to which you are referring? That's generally true... as the advocates for those items you listed tend to belong more to the left than to the right.
  4. Are you addressing someone else even though you quoted me? For I don't believe I referred to any "good guy that America refused to vote for. In fact I had said that there is no such thing as an ideologically pure candidate. And the political majority demanded that other people pay their bills, so they voted to create a government that makes others pay their bills.
  5. Many of our members live by religious moral values as I do, but they understand that the American ideal is a secular government which serves those moral values, because the American form of government only works for decent people. You can accurately track the growth of government with peoples' own failure to govern themselves. Could you offer some examples to clarify what you mean by political action? Activism is usually more identified with the left, as they have so much more of their lives dependently invested in what the government does. Glad to share. My relatively frivolous reason for participating in the Tea Party isn't the same reason as others, it's just for me. Because by adopting the business principles described in Atlas Shrugged I learned how to consistently prosper and to live a happy productive life regardless of economic and political cycles.
  6. But imagining isn't reality. No one I know has ever done that. Then there is no need to imagine they do. The only way anyone can genuinely support individual liberty is by how they live their life. I can only aspire to live by the ideals which I personally hold as being worthy. No group is homogenous, nor can any group ever be ideologically pure. So I choose whatever group is closest to my values and participate with the tacit understanding that no group perfectly represents the values by which I live. Yes. Humans are social creatures who enjoy the company of others who share their values. No. Every adult has already chosen their view... and short of a genuine life threatening or life altering event, they will take what they chose and all of its just and deserved consequences with them to their grave.
  7. Well, that is where we differ in our views. As I see it, simply living in America does not make anyone an American. Living by American values is what makes people Americans. Obama does not live by American values. You raised an excellent point. There is no such thing as an ideologically pure candidate. And things with which I don't agree like government education and government student loans (which by the way just crossed the one trillion dollar mark eclipsing the total credit card debt of this nation) others need and want. The political majority wants others to pay their bills, so they create the the government they deserve in their own image. Stephen Colbert is likely a television personality, but since we don't have a broadcast connection I haven't seen him. And I'm ok with being mocked, and have had more than a few people driving by flip us off. That's just goes along with living in this world.
  8. Yes... And I understand how childish and unsophisticated just waving a flag sounds, but I was totally suprized how such a simple real world experience could be so personally satisfying and inspiring to see other happy Americans honking their horns and waving back. It just feels good to do something affirmative and positive. The Tea Party provides the public setting in which to wave the flag.
  9. A bad system is the only possible outcome when people choose to entrust their own personal risk to a collective regulated by a bureaucracy.
  10. All of the candidates we supported lost, because there simply aren't enough Americans in America to elect them.
  11. I asked the same question... and found my answer in the experience of waving an American flag.
  12. Could you offer an example of someone who figured out a new moral truth?
  13. The smaller and more personal the business interaction, the greater the requirement to cultivate good will, because the consequences of failing to do so are swift and sure. I do business primarily in a small local community, and earning a good reputation is literally worth it's weight in gold. In fact, I view Capitalism as an artform where beautiful moral ideals can be freely expressed in useful practical forms. The existence of that darkness you described only makes those with integrity shine even more. Each seeks out its own kind with whom to do business, and each kind knows which is which. You hit upon another principle when you mentioned a third partner. There is a system which operates in America which I call the third party payer system. It is antithetical to Capitalism. It can be identified whenever the cost of goods and services received are not paid directly by the end user, but are paid for by third parties, with their payment being processed through bureaucracies. The third party payer system has infested the sectors of: Government, Credit, Insurance, Debt, Education, Law, Healthcare, Unions, and the Arts. So the proper approach is to avoid trading with "them". This selective process unfolds naturally on its own as each person refines their own life. Ok.
  14. I'm not very good at that as all I have is anecdotal personal experience. And my aim is not to try to intellectually convince others, but rather to see if anyone else finds that it rings true from their own experience. From my own "forensic" observations of business transactions both my own as well as those of others, I've yet to see a violation. ...and they have their own kind with whom they deserve to do business. Capitalism does call up the best in us to make it work, and its success is proportional to our own aspirations toward the horizon of it's ideals. And those for whom Capitalism does not work are not Americans in the first place, because it is uniquely an American value. Capitalism has become supplanted by an antithetical system which I call Creditism. Under this system, debt is fradulently regarded to be money, when in reality it is only the lack of money. This is an unsustainable system because it is not reality based. Economic depressions are the inevitable return to reality of capital. While many people may be too corrupt to be deserving of enjoying the rewards of Capitalism, that fact does not prevent Americans from rightfully harvesting the fruits of their own honest.labors. For each finds their own kind. I see Capitalism as resting upon these 5 pillars: Decency Responsibility Productivity Solvency Frugality Take any one pillar away... and it topples.
  15. Exactly... and conversely... "The easiest man to con is a con man." Yes. That's truly beautiful in its goodwill when the trustworthy uphold the trust of others. Capitalism does succeed on an individual level, because people's behavior is similar to electrons, in that the less there are the less likely their actions can be predicted. Whereas mobs of people are easily controlled because their actions are highly predictable and intentions are telegraphed long before they come to expression. On a macro scale, you are correct... but on a micro personal level, Capitalism is alive and well.
  16. When going down the road you described... it's always good to keep in mind that the grey is just a shade of black.
  17. Yes it is. And I used the term decency to steer the idea more towards a business setting. For example consider the Madhoff incident. The indecency of needing to feel safe and secure combined with the greed of wanting an unrealistic rate of return on investment made people perfectly matched prey to the opportunistic expressions of Madhoff's predatory nature. Or in short... "The fish always matches the bait." While that's excellent advice to live by, I was focusing more on the idea that it is people's own predatory greedy nature that renders them the prey of their own kind. That for a swindle to take place, there first needs to be matching indecency in both the cheater and the cheated. There is talk that Capitalism has failed, when it is only the failure of people who don't live up to the ethical code of behavior which is absolutely necessary for Capitalism to work.
  18. While I'm the farthest thing from an ideologically pure objectivist. I can share an offbeat view that insurance is the expectation that other people will pay your bills. No system works when everyone expects someone else to pay their bills... however, the present insurance industry would have made Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi proud had he been alive to see it. You +1'd this publicly. Undo
  19. The wisdom of your positive statement is a striking contrast to the negativity of impotent complaints. My focus of attention has been similar to yours... on the ways which I can render the role of government inconsequential to the quality of my life. Or more broadly... how to live a good life in an evil world. Each person's experience of government varies widely and is largely dependent on how they live. This puts the responsibility on us, rather than on the government. Someone I know said that it's more important what you do in your house than what they do in the White House.
  20. As much as I would like to see a good guy win for a change, there simply aren't enough Americans in America to elect one. The person who was elected accurately represents the values the political majority live by. The Tea Party Patriots has a flaw. There are almost no young people in it, because it offers nothing to them. And there is no prospect of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free capitalist markets ever appealing to young folks living off of their parents and attending government subsidized Marxist medrasas on government student loans. Political groups are generally motivated by moral outrage. If four more years like the last four doesn't generate enough to wake people up, nothing will. By the way, I'm an active participant in our local Tea Party Patriots group. Greg
  21. If you can describe what you don't understand, I'll be happy to clarify the idea. You're right. An unfounded conclusion may be a more accurate descriptor, as the only evidence I have is anecdotal observation from decades of doing business. And rather than arguing the case as if that would convince others, I was more interested anyone here either found it to hold true as I did, or if their own experience proved to them that it is false.
  22. Many others face your same deliemma where one choice offers more security while the other offers more risk. Which one each of us chooses has much to do with our own personal comfort level, for there are good and bad points to both. At one time I "worked for the government" by being in the military, and saw the transition from government employee to private sector employee as being riddled with risk pits. However, the situation was resolved by a third option of starting a business, which proved to be even riskier but yielded greater rewards.
  23. I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on this ethical theory, as to whether or not in your own experience it has validity: "Other people will treat you as decently as you are, and even if they are not, they will treat you as if they were."
  • Create New...