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Everything posted by Faust

  1. Very much so in my humble opinion as a foreigner. The guy is obscenely against economic globalisation for a start with his whole protectionist appeal, if put into place his policies would be damaging to the global economy and they'd shift the position of 'world's most powerful trading hub' to China once and for all, which'd be incredibly dangerous for the future of liberal civilisation. Hes also got a Luddite streak, attacking other candidates (Rubio) for wanting to assist advanced technological Capitalism that could destroy old, dying manufacturing jobs that Trump thinks should be preserved for his voting base. Then theres his outright fascist and authoritarian proposal to form a database and public ID'ing system for American Muslims, which for me spells the beginning of a thorough, violent police state. Oh, hes also a manipulative liar whose opinions change with who hes talking to, shows classic examples of the authoritarian personality type, and his border wall costs just about as much as any Bernie Sanders free college plan. He also endorsed a wealth tax of 20%, so a Trump presidency will deliver you all the heavy-hitting taxes you want to pay for a useless wall.
  2. Considering its just been aired in its entirety yesterday, so im gonna be binge-watching it considering how phenomenal the first 2 episodes were, I thought it'd be interesting to ask around here if anyone else is watching. For those who dont know what it is, its an incredibly well-done alternate history thing where the Axis have won WW2, and IMO its one of the most pro-freedom shows made in a long time. There is an eerily well-done moment in the second episode where a father of a young boy explains how the old pre-Nazi America was degenerate and evil because of individualism and self-interestedness (using those words), and how a kid doing well in his class via unorthodox methods should be expelled for putting himself first. Just how well they portray the everyday thinking and working of a changed, totalitarian American society is brilliant.
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yangism Although swept aside into total obscurity along with a multitude of other schools of thought, I thought Objectivists might find this quite interesting. In the context of the entire history of Chinese philosophy its also a complete anomaly, such an extremely individualist, anti-government and egoistic philosophy has never popped up elsewhere. Chinese thought has been overwhelmingly anti-individual and collectivist.
  4. Overall we've been seeing a definite rise in the idea of Capitalism as a moral system IMO, its certainly progress. I'd attribute it with the rising popularity of the New Left once again, and its associated diatribes about how Capitalism is some inherently exploitative system we must constantly flagellate our entire civilisation and values for. A lot of people dont like that they're all being barraged constantly with how evil they are simply for selling their labour or goods. Also on-topic, one of the guys who runs Whole Foods has been pretty outspoken lately about Capitalism and free markets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rYPp4ofXAs
  5. I do confess to struggling with chronic depression most of my life, and I am on medication for it. It leads to a crippling lack of motivation, and I often self-sabotage. I was wondering if Objectivism has any specific take or advice on this kind of thing as a philosophy based on an individual's drive to achievement; truth be told im not particularly sure why im making this post, but I find philosophy can be therapeutic sometimes.
  6. What is the Objectivist stance on World War 2 and the Cold War? Do Objectivists see them as justified and noble struggles (or only one and not the other), or just a gross and violent orgy of state-directed destruction on behalf of the democratic world that was unnecessary? Personally I think World War 2 and the Cold War were some of the most clearly delineated battles between liberal-democratic Capitalist civilisation and the regressive totalitarian barbarism of Fascism and Communism. As a result of that, I believe firmly that Vietnam was a justified war, as were acts like the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I know Rand was opposed to Vietnam (why is unclear to me), but im unsure of her position on World War 2, and by extension, the entire Cold War and American foreign policy as a whole in that era.
  7. Ah, I see what you mean. So Objectivists would be willing to maintain a large military force and all that entails if necessary? My issue here is I completely fail to see how this can be funded without some form of general taxation that is not voluntary. But thats a discussion for another thread. Yes. I think a part of being a Neocon is definitely acknowledging that the state has a role in promoting general welfare, just not in standard liberal/left-wing ways of throwing money at things. I endorse the welfare state, but not in its current form per sei. I think huge portions of the whole tax system and its various breaks/exemptions need to be reviewed, preferably abolished, I also support a public healthcare system (as we have now in the UK via the NHS). As for education and pensions, im reviewing my stances. I like Friedman's idea of school vouchers but the degree to which its fundable is questionable, and as for pensions, theres the whole solvency problem. For standard welfare, I'd prefer we implemented a negative income tax alongside a stakeholder grant. I also think the state clearly has a duty to maintain a large and cohesive internal and external defense force. In regards to taxation, I am currently in favour of progressive taxation, but am willing to accept that tax cuts have in some circumstances been massively beneficial (I personally admire Ronald Reagan), and the purpose of higher tax brackets should be a 'earn more, pay more' basis and not a punishment for being wealthy, a mindset that increasingly infects the New Left. In regards to regulations and privatisation, the role of the state should be strictly limited to its general welfare via certain empowerment programs, law and defense purposes, and I'm no fan of heavy bureaucracy (red tape and price controls) or direct state-ownership at all. In the UK our socialist period (akin to Rand's mixed economy) was a disaster. Im with Friedman on monetary policy, government cant fiddle full employment without gross economic distortions and inflationary issues. I'd say that sums up my positions on those programs, and when it comes to Neocons in general, we tend to all hover around the centre on economic policy, and come at welfare issues from an aspect emphasising the individual and the family instead of vast, complex collective abstracts like those the New Left introduced that primarily created Neocons to begin with.
  8. I think out of all the answers here this one explained it best. I'd say my question has been thoroughly answered. So if im not mistaken: ones contributions and productivity are valued on what others value in them, and if they are striving to the best of their ability at them as individuals. Electrician A and Electrician B can both strive to be amazing electricians, producing and contributing as much as they can, even if one produces less than the other. Of course, this is productivity and improvement in the context of being electricians.
  9. False consciousness or Cognitive Dissonance? I guess? I imagine you were referring to me. I actually have a fair amount of other issues with Objectivism that i'd like to tackle elsewhere, so im far from the converted, but right now i'd like to knock down a few misconceptions I may or may not have (and in this case, it was indeed a misconception apparently). Im also just interested in understanding Objectivism as a philosophy overall.
  10. First off thanks for the warm welcome everybody! This is interesting. I haven't heard this take before, so Objectivists would be willing to have a 'larger government' if they deemed it necessary for the preservation and protection of individual rights? So if it was deemed necessary the government could extend beyond just police, courts and military? How far does this extend the purpose of government in the mind of an Objectivist in an extreme case? I may be misreading this. Im familiar with the classic Trotskyite connection. Its worth saying that this is a little bit of a misconception. Firstly, Neoconservatism's big intellectual predecessors were the Cold War liberals, Senator Henry Jackson, the Committee on the Present Danger and Admiral Elmo Zumwalt. Their views effectively amounted to that it was the role of the United States to enforce and uphold democracy abroad, with pure human compassion underneath and not specific philosophical ideas. The more philosophical element came in with men like Irving Kristol and Leo Strauss (who coined the term Neocon) when they drifted away from the left, concluding Communism was a disastrous, totalitarian nightmare, and by extension liberalism had become a self-flagellating mess with the advent of the New Left (which contaminates the left to this day). A guy called Max Shactmann who was also a Trotskyist reached a similar conclusion, but then remained a Marxist. In an oddly unique way, he then used Marxist analysis to demonstrate (in his mind) that it was Capitalist democracy, not Communism, that was the final, most advanced stage in human history, and that 'Capitalist democratic revolutions' must be promoted and spread around the globe instead of Communist ones. Shactmann's ideas then led the Trotskyists fed up with Communism's obvious failure into the Neoconservative movement. So thats primarily where that whole schtick comes from. Ultimately, I think Neoconservatism is a foreign policy position of strong-armed interventionism combined with a general disdain for moral relativism and postmodern cultural movements like the New Left focused on flagellating and self-hate of liberal democracy. Plus: there're the so-called 'Neolibertarians', a guy called Larry Elder is their figurehead, who advocate libertarian domestic/economic policies but support and advocate expansion of the War on Terror abroad.
  11. I mean, a variety of factors could affect this: how many people go to both in that time of year, where are the geographical positions of the electricians that could affect their customer base, did one have a wider friend circle or advertising network, etc. Setting aside that and sticking to the pure theoretical, while I can see what you're getting at, I dont mean equal in terms of ability or productivity, in fact I dont think this is even really a question of equality but how one can actually quantify ones 'overall worth' effectively. The electrician that only wires 25 homes, if he were not there, would not have wired those 25 homes, and everyone would be at a disadvantage. If we were to eject a handful of electricians from the market, then people lose out, and so on. What I mean is why should I not value the electrician on the same level as the businessman? Both are individuals engaged in productive activities in different sectors of the economy, and without one the other doesn't function as well/at all. Of course, we're talking about a productive electrician here, not one that doesn't sit around and do nothing. What ultimately raised this question for me was the electrician (whose name escapes me) in The Fountainhead, who Rand seems to praise for his enterprising nature driving around the country on his own, taking up odd jobs, angry at conniving depersonalised architects unfamiliar and uncaring about their own projects. Was this intentional levelling on her behalf or am I reading that wrong?
  12. Case in point, Rand focuses on 'great men', namely businessmen, CEOs, etc a lot. But what of average workers and people? I know the stereotype of Objectivism is that these people are useless moochers, but I doubt this is so, they're individuals too. How is their role in society viewed by Objectivists? Are they equally as important in their individual endeavours as the richest and most powerful? Or are they beneath them/worth less? This is something I cant wrap my head around, as I see an electrician as, in his own way, contributing as much as a businessman. Without the electricians of the world in their places, the rest of things dont work.
  13. 19 year old Psychology student whose recently taken an interest to Libertarianism and by association, Objectivism as a philosophy/school of thought. Primarily came to the ideology by way of Psychology (specifically Erich Fromm and his emphasis on the control-freedom dichotomy of society), which has made me more appreciating of individualism over the years and skeptical of the ability of government to throw money at things and achieve magical results. I'd say that as it stands im a Neoconservative (scream inducing to vast portions of humanity) with a more small government bent on domestic policy. Basically im here to talk with Objectivists and learn about the ideology, albeit not being one myself. I imagine most can put up with me around here.
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