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Objectivism Online Forum


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Everything posted by Com

  1. "Anyone who follows Ayn Rand slavishly or sets her up as a goddess is being a very bad Objectivist." Yes. That is all I am saying. As with any search for truth, we should be prepared to change and grow. "Just what does this mean?" If one is a democrat before being an objectivist (or any other philosophy), then all well and good. If one seeks to install their philosophy at any cost (at whichever extreme), it is a problem - and necessitates the bypassing of democracy. There may come a time when objectivism is central and generally accepted, but (in my humble opinion) there are too many problems for this ever to become likely. It looks very much to me that there are philosophies on the left and on the right which are self-contained and true within their own truths and axioms. They can never meet each other in the middle, and are irresolvable (even nonsensical) when imported into each others' frames of reference. I also wonder how those without land or capital can gain access to these, under a strictly objectivist regime. I also wonder how power can be controlled without democratic oversight. Power doesn't vanish, it moves, whack-a-mole style, so instead of the state (the electors within a democracy) holding the power, power makes its move into the hands of those with wealth. And (to me) very importantly, how can those who want all learners to have access to all ideas in order to arrive at their own conclusions be sure that they can - in particular within the state-run education system (or whatever should come to succeed it)?
  2. As a fellow NZer I would say don't go following any one school of thought slavishly or go acquiring new gods or goddesses for yourself - read and listen to everything and everyone across the spectrum, and form your own ideas and critiques of all you hear. Personally I have tarried with Ayn Rand-type ideas (especially in the 90s during the Douglas/Richardson era as finance ministers), but they don't really gel with me now - in particular their implications for/with democracy. I have (I suppose) moved in towards the left and find agonism is what makes the most sense to me for the time being.
  3. I'm sure they are relatively vague and indefinable, but hard-core neoliberalism would be one aspect Neoliberalism - Wikipedia Not logically connected (though you might understand how they evolved a hand-in-hand 'pairing-off') is social conservatism. I'm pretty sure we would agree that certain baggage often (though not exclusively) associated with right wing parties, such as conservatism on social issues (religion, sexuality, etc), is not desirable. Education and awareness tends to exorcise that kind of busy-bodying from the wider community, and indeed from people who are otherwise bent on 'freedoms' - as it takes their fancy to be. One issue that I think is rather ridiculous but seems to emanate from one element of the political right wing is on gender - that science (suddenly!) dictates how we must present ourselves socially. Now, suddenly, if I have male genitalia or even if I'm chromosomally male, I cannot put on make up or wear a dress and be a woman, if I chose to. Not that I have an inclination to do this, but I just cannot understand why anyone would be so hung up on anyone else's freedom to do so - unless, of course, they had an agenda to push. Personally, I find it kind of sexy when people enjoy being who they truly feel they are on the inside - which would be the nearest thing to an agenda I would have on this issue.
  4. "I mean what would you mean somewhat specifically for outcomes to count as improvements?" I think that the more politically aware and engaged folk are the better it is for democracy. Irrespective of their political views - and how they might transform. I also think that the interplay between education and democracy across the centuries (particularly in Europe) seems to show that. With reference to more recent events, when people's noses are kept pushed into the grindstone, they barely have time for anything else, including the deeper reflection (education by any other name) needed to be politically engaged in a meaningful way (and instead bringing about manipulative and unsavory characters like Trump and Boris Johnson). I'm pretty much centre-left in my views, and would want neither the hard right or the hard left in either extreme manifestation to be in power. However I am a democrat way before I am a socialist. I also think multi-party electoral systems are preferable (such as New Zealand or Germany). I don't think of an improvement as being an approach toward the pure right (or necessarily, for that matter, toward the pure left). I think of an improvement as when people have a better picture of what they are voting for or against, and the electoral outcome is a reflection of this. Part of the problem is that (with the loss of jobs - due to AI among other factors) the political centre is moving leftward, and classic right-wing parties (Republicans in the US and Conservatives in the UK) are resisting the leftward shuffle by manipulating those who Hilary Clinton might have referred to as 'the deplorables', and manufacturing a distorted world view for them to buy into. Just my take on things.
  5. "I do understand that man's destiny and fate are to be ruled by nothing but his own choices" The difficulty with this brand of thinking is that there is a lot in a person's life that is not chosen. "the cruel reality is that the "rule of the majority" has proved overwhelmingly irrational and immoral throughout the ages. Reality and reason are not the standards of the democratic political system." There seems to be a relationship between education and reason - and the downstream effect on democracy. People need to become better educated in order for democratic outcomes to improve. Access to education, thus, is is key. "Truth, in the democratic sense, is discovered by the number of men in support, and when has Rand ever believed morality to be something as subjective as that?" Democracy doesn't presume to invariably deliver upon cast-iron truths. Rather, within the sovereign framework that must persist, it delivers the outcome that best approximates the collective (summated) wills of individuals. Hence, they need for citizens to be highly educated and no all the 'on this hand but on the other hand' aspects of every issue as they cast their ballot. "Following the democratic train of logic, why don't all citizens vote on all court cases? Forget an intelligent, rational judge needed to interpret and decide justice." So long as the democracy is at the very top of the chain, the framework of every level of decision-making all the way down from there at any number of points (or indeed all) do not need to be democratic, but does need to be justifiable. A qualified judge being given the responsibility to discover truth is justifiable. "Why are the leaders of a country in charge of executing these laws subjected to the whims and demands of the majority? Is that objective? Is that rational? Is that right?" It isn't perfect but it is the least undesirable. The electoral system has a large part to play. A parliamentary majority is required to install a government and un-install one. From election to election the majority coalition will change and shift. Better the whims of an (educated) majority than a self-appointed clique of people who think they know best. As Joe Stalin might know now, this only invites dissent. You might guess, I'm no fan of Ayn Rand.
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