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About JohnGalt

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  1. Context dropping... At whose expense are these "social needs" to be met? Environmental protection has a cost. Rebuilding infrastructure has a cost. Rebuilding cities requires capital and manpower, in addition to cultural adjustments. Who is going to force these changes upon whom else? Despite people's best efforts, and sometimes their not-so-best efforts, companies go bankrupt. Upon whom is it incumbent to reimburse those that lose their retirement savings? What about the fact that those people were so careless as to bet their entire retirement savings on a single company? Why should w
  2. Greedy Capitalist: You make some good points, and one can probably read into this movie whatever interpretation one wants. If you're disposed to looking for socialist themes in Disney's movies, you'll find them. (For the record, I don't think Disney has any creative control over Pixar, they just distribute Pixar's movies.) Disney, of late, tends to be very "green", thematically. The last Disney (non-Pixar) movie I saw was Fantasia 2000, and it was no exception. Getting back to A Bug's Life, I didn't view the ants and the grasshoppers as the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Rather, I
  3. There are a couple of problems in your reasoning that are leading to your diffculty with this question. Yes, our minds evolved out a series of random mutations. The process of evolution, however, is not a random process. Let me explain this a bit more clearly. The indivdual mutations that are part of the process of evolution arise randomly. The corrollary part of evolution that you're overlooking, and which is not random at all but is driven by causality, is the process of natural selection. Objective reality serves as judge, jury and executioner over which mutations are beneficial to
  4. So, anyway, I was watching A Bug's Life last night. (No, I don't have any kids. I just like the movie. What of it?) I noticed a number of objectivist themes in the story and in some specific events. For those unfamiliar with the movie, it's essentially Seven Samurai (or The Magnificent Seven) translated into an ant colony fighting off a gang of thieving grasshoppers, who demand a portion of the ants' harvest of food each year. The protagonist of the film, an ant named Flick, is an ant of ideas. In a society that seems to prize conformity, he is an individual. He's constantly coming u
  5. With regard to Roark, I think he makes a fundamental mistake about Roark's motivation and method for building. He never built anything that was contrary to the desires of a client. He built precisely what they wanted. What he wouldn't do was sacrifice his own judgment to the irrational whims of potential clients. He wouldn't work for a client whose desires were irrational. With regard to Atlas Shrugged, he faults Rand for portraying businessmen (and women) as "true believers" when in fact they are simply interested in "money making by whatever means." This is the mentality of the paras
  6. I think you're confusing the rational with the ordered and the irrational with the chaotic. These concepts are not identical. Order does not require reason, in the sense of a single consciousness performing a rational thought process. There is such a thing as spontaneous order. The free market system is an excellent example of this, but there are others. I recall hearing of an experiment performed in a robotics laboratory: a number of simple robots were placed in an area in which were scattered a number of square blocks. The robots' programming followed this algorithm: move until you f
  7. You think slavery is a state appropriate to man? And as for my being a slave, all I can say is, it's not total. For all its faults, America still recognizes property rights to a greater extent than most any other country. Does the fact that it's incomplete make slavery okay? Of course not! A little bit of evil is still evil. How much better could I be doing if the government wasn't expropriating a chunk of what I produce, either to give it to someone who's done nothing to earn it except to be incapable of earning it, or to spend it on some pet project (which, incidentally, amounts to the
  8. Gabriel's assertion that free will is a product of a rational process is interesting, but I think backwards. If true, and if one managed entirely to eradicate thought from one's life, which for most people would require a great deal of chemical assistance, then free will would be impossible, since thought would be impossible. However, since rational thought is a volitional process, free will is a prerequisite of rational thought, not its product. As others have stated, one always, so long as one is alive and conscious, has the alternative of rational thought or irrationality.
  9. Newbie here. (I can't believe nobody had registered as JohnGalt yet.) It's my understanding that the purpose here is to convince 'One Shot Wonder' that property rights have some basis in reality, that they're not merely a human convention. (Ownership is the concretization of an abstract, of property rights. Or another way, ownership is the practice or exercise of property rights, requiring a specific owner and specific property. Since ownership depends on property rights, the task is to demonstrate the existence of property rights, or rather their grounding in reality.) Here's my att
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