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Everything posted by Sebastien

  1. Capitalism has proven throughout it's history to be an originator of abundance. How do we make sense of this in terms of the bible? Deuteronomy Chapter 28 begins with blessings for obedience, and ends with curses for disobedience. If capitalism produces abundance, that might be a sign that it is the correct system. If communism was a failure, and is not a source of abundance, that might be a sign that it is the incorrect system. If you are an Objectivist, you might not like the bible. However there is nothing wrong with finding truth in the bible even if you are a
  2. Hi friends, So does Laissez-Faire Capitalism work? I think it could, but what do you all think?
  3. Why is Ayn Rand right? Weak but interesting argument. Let us prove this with regard to her Epistemology. Many people begin with existence exists. But I'm going to start with measurement. Rand says that measurement requires a standard, but the standard of measurement is not the substance of the measurement. Consider if we were to make the measure of value of US coins based on substance (their relative copper and nickel content). Pennies would be worth more than dimes, because they weigh more. Half Dollars would be worth only a little bit more than a quarter.
  4. Furthermore, if money was silver, everyone would have more money, when compared to how much gold they would own. If $2500 can only buy you one gold coin, but can buy you 50 silver coins, if you have 50 silver coins, in terms of pure abundance, you have more money.
  5. Here I will argue that a silver standard is superior to a gold standard. Ayn Rand is silent regarding the gold standard. It is Greenspan who advocates gold as a protection of laissez-faire economics, in Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal. Both gold and silver serve the same purpose: to increase the soundness, stability, and confidence in the dollar. But given the current price of gold, and given the general range of prices of commodities, a little bit of gold goes a long way, but a little bit of money does not. Imagine if we had to pay for a Danielle Steel book using gold. We wo
  6. Yes, Strictly Logical, subjective pleasure and happiness are objective values. That is why Jefferson said we have a right to the pursuit of happiness. The objectification of happiness is the basis of this principle.
  7. I would probably agree with you, Strictly Logical. Actually, the idea of the primacy of consciousness is more important to Marxism than it is to Objectivism. If you are a Marxist, and you believe that consciousness is primary, this means that your consciousness can change reality, i.e. the world. This can be a disasterous mode of thinking. However, taken by itself, Hegel's account of the primacy of consciousness over the external world, doesn't need to be problematic. It might be incompatible with Objectivism, that much is possibly clear. However let us take into account quotations a
  8. So public ownership and public control are nebulous concepts. Every control that is designed to protect more than one individual is a public control. If there is no entity called the public, other than the totality of individual members of that public, then we cannot use the concept of the public to designate the difference between mixed economy and laissez-faire.
  9. Boydstun and Merjet, Public ownership and public control, neither of these concepts is what gives us the fundamental insight into the core differences between a mixed economy and a pure, laissez-faire capitalism. A pure laissez-faire capitalism would still have controls. For instance, under laissez-faire, risky business ventures would contract with insurance companies in order to guarantee some return on investment, instead of relying on bankruptsy protection and bailouts, because bankruptsy protection and bailouts are against the principle of a free market, in which every new v
  10. Marx says that the value of labour is measured by the amount of money necessary to produce the worker's subsistence. Rand says that the concept of value is dependent on the concept of life. If I work for ten hours and secure my subsistence living by working for ten hours, then the value of my labour is the life that it has given me. So I'm not being exploited. Marx argues that I'm being exploited if my labour contract says that I am compensated for 10 hours labour with $100, but I only needed to work 5 hours to produce enough commodities for sale to produce my day of s
  11. Boydstun As I understand it, both objective and subjective are part of the Objectivist Understanding, not the intrinsic. The intrinsic theory of value is exemplified by the Marxian school of thought, which says that labour-time is the substance of the value of a commodity, that commodities have intrinsic value because they are products of labour. Marx completely negates the possibility that the value of commodities has a subjective element. He says value does not come from circulation or consumption. Ms. Rand, on the other hand, recognizes that commodities are valuable beca
  12. Hi Boydstun, Thank you for your lengthy and interesting reply. I don't suggest that Rand and Hegel are in complete agreement. I agree with you that for Rand, existence has primacy over consciousness. But what if it is in my self-interest to only deal with parts of reality and existence that do align perfectly with my self? For instance, if I want to be a philosopher, and not a doctor, then I do not need to study medicine. I can simply trade my knowledge with someone willing to pay for it, and use my money to see a doctor when I need to. Or what if I study business
  13. Thank you for the exciting discussion, Strictly Logical and Eiuol. I think we are agreeing on the fundamentals.
  14. Dear Eiuol, Systematic racism is not the same as structural racism, and it is also not identical to all-pervasive racism. Systematic racism means that racism comes from the system itself. Structural racism means that there are social structures of oppression which operate independently of individual racists. All-pervasive racism means that all companies are discriminating. In theory, and also in practice, Capitalism actually provides incentive to not being racist, because if you produce for and sell to everyone, you will make more money. Rand would argue that if this i
  15. Hi Elliot, Nice to meet you. What are your favorite books by Ayn Rand?
  16. Hi Ali, Inspired by your story. If you haven't already, buy a copy of The Virtue of Selfishness and read the essay titled The Objectivist Ethics. It's a good guide to how to live.
  17. Hi Giemel, What you will find is that collectivist, selfless religion is actually not what the bible teaches. The scriptures that precept moral behavior are intended to be oriented to what is in your interest. Consider Deuteronomy 28, blessings for obedience. This chapter says that if you adhere to the law, you will be blessed with abundance. Clearly, this is a doctrine of self-interest. The reason that the United States is so wealthy is because the US is doing what is right. Capitalism is a good system, and it is based on the principle of justice. Selflessne
  18. I haven't done much reading in this forum (I have a learning impairment), but I have an argument. Capitalism cannot be inherently racist because Capitalism is not an individual person. We might invoke the concept of structural racism, as being a disembodied phenomenon. But in order to understand structural racism, we need to understand that every structure is constructed by individuals. Structural racism is a legacy of the work and actions of individuals. Capitalism is actually not conducive to racism, because the primary activities in Capitalism are production and cir
  19. Hi Felix, Definitely read The Objectivist Ethics from The Virtue of Selfishness, when you get a chance and buy a copy.
  20. Hi John, nice to meet you. What are your main interests in Ms. Rand's writing? Favorite books?
  21. Thanks Boydstun and William O. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit presents a progression of historical attempts to secure stable truth. What Hegel argues is that each historical attempt is unstable because it tries to secure an object of consciousness as object. When Hegel gets to absolute knowing, we discover that the Self (The I) is the only really stable object of knowledge. We find out that what we were trying to secure, an object of knowledge, is only stable when mediated by the self. It takes some skill to make this compatible with Objectivism, but here's my attempt.
  22. Hi Jonathan, Nice to meet you. I like your rational behind reading Ayn Rand. One thing you should focus on is Ayn Rand's cardinal values and cardinal virtues. Her cardinal values are Reason, Purpose Self-Esteem, and the corresponding virtues are Rationality, Productiveness, and Pride. This can be found on page 27 of The Virtue of Selfishness (50th anniversary edition). Ms. Rand says that we are beings of self-made wealth, but also self-made soul, and earn our right to hold ourselves as our highest values by achieving our own moral perfection. (Page 29). You're on
  23. Hello everyone, my name is Sebastien. I am well read in Ms. Rand's books, but I bring something new to her philosophy, which is a transition from Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit to The Objectivist Ethics. Let me know if you want to know how the two are connected. It's very exciting! Nice to be part of this forum! I wish everyone well. Sincerely, Sebastien
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