Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    JASKN reacted to Boydstun in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    14 January 2021
    We will crush their violence enacted under their feast of self-delusion and contempt for our Constitutional rule of law. The republic will prevail. The citizens on both sides are armed if it should come to that, but I expect the organized force of the American government will succeed in defense and in bringing the violators to commensurate penalty.
    Tony: Indeed the American citizens overwhelmingly are not so stupid as to buy into Left-tarring of the bulk of Republicans as fascists and white-supremacist. And they are overwhelmingly not so stupid as to buy into the Right-tarring of the bulk of Democrats (and Biden/Harris) as socialists or communists.
    Many of my relatives and friends voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Most of them have detested his behaviors with regard to the election result. What they had in common with Trump voters who bought and sold the BIG LIE of a purported Trump/Pence win of this national election being STOLEN was only a preference for that ticket over the Democratic one. It is not the case that those who showed up for the fateful Trump rally are representative of the majority of citizens who voted for Mr. Trump.
    ~American Republic Forever~

  2. Like
    JASKN reacted to happiness in What is the best reply to this argument from anarchists?   
    Anarchy ignores the concept of government—a monopoly on the use of physical force. Whoever is an a position to weild physical force autonomously IS the governor. The “private physical force entity” in the anarchist thought experiment IS a government.
  3. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Riots break out over the country, zones were even created in some parts to accommodate rioters while apologists tried to veil it as free-speech and dismiss the looting as not directly injurious to the life of the looted. A riot breaks out in Washington DC and it is escalated to an insurrection.
  4. Like
    JASKN reacted to Easy Truth in National Conservatism   
    Yes, there are two side that are attacking individual rights.
    Many Objectivists I know find fault in Rand being against Reagan. In a world where authoritarianism is considered to be necessary, it's hard to distinguish which force is worse, the Socialist or the Fascist.
    One of the problems I am concerned about is the constantly shifting definitions. One day Socialist means one thing, another day it means being like Sweden. Similarly China is not considered communist one day and the next day it is. South Africa seems to have a communist constitution, yet is it communist?
    In one debate a prominent leftist (in fact he moderated a debate with Yaron and another person), said he believed that Marx and the Soviet union had nothing to do with each other, as Adam Smith and the US have nothing to do with each other. Well, we can't say nothing, but they may also not be identical.
    The problem is that it does not allow you to identify friend from foe when they change colors like that.
    Also, in the process, certain problems get confused in the public. One example is many Bernie people want Socialism simply because it means free education. Some of us get stuck in the idea that it is Socialist so it is wrong and never consider it.
    Meanwhile a free education has always been available, we've always had it. It's called a scholarship, or just go to the library. In fact the European model is more geared toward "merit based education" kind of like a scholarship. In this case free market alternatives do exits but lost in the debate because of the fear that it might give socialism good publicity. So we end up with a gridlock rather than knowing what really works best.
  5. Like
    JASKN reacted to Repairman in National Conservatism   
    The numbers suggest a trend of fewer people identifying themselves as religious in America. However, those with strong Christian faith (mainly Protestant), are reacting to the decline of Christianity. They are in rebellion. They have good reason to distrust the mainstream media. They are mostly white working families with children, longing for the security that their parents promised them, if only they would study hard in school and work hard. I share their sentiments, although I can be realistic enough to see that we are witnessing the decline of white Christian America. At the risk of seeming deterministic, I stop short of any fatalism.
    Mine was one of those towns that caught fire this past summer. Jacob Blake was shot less than two miles from my home. I've seen first hand the results of these "peaceful protests," the social justice warriors, chanting, "No Justice; No Peace!" Eleven million dollars of municipal property damage later, the only thing that's changed is that otherwise sensible local merchants have particleboard covering the windows of their businesses, adorned with "BLM," and other platitudes of "unity," (presumed unity with the marauders who pillaged and, in some cases, looted their livelihoods.) A life-long student of history, I had to wonder if the Jews would have adorned their broken windows with swastikas and posters of Hitler after the Kristal Nacht. Both Trump and Biden visited for photo-ops, as if that made any difference. But Biden struck me the most, by pandering to the delusional Left, clearly sympathizing with the mob, those "peaceful protesters," and a man wanted for sexual assault charges, shot seven times after the police failed to subdue him by other means. I talked with shop-owners who defended their property from behind the glass doors of their stores, bearing arms, while another evacuated his inventory of used cars to safe locations. If it can happen in my town, it can happen in any town in America. And the mainstream media will respond by promoting the idea that the answer is to "de-fund the police."
    As for the national conservative movement, their position of power in mainstream politics gives them an advantage, while their lack of authentic ideological argument erodes their "moral high-ground." So well stated in the article you presented, blind fealty to God and country have drown out any well-reasoned argument for reviving the founding values of liberty in America. I have no statistics to support the causes of right-wing mob violence, but it is evidently happening. I suspect that it's in part related to economic changes happening over the past forty years. Many have been stripped of their security, and someone has to be held to blame. When frightened ignorant people are desperate, the pitch-forks and torches come out. Trump used those pitch-forks and torches in an extremely cynical way, and told them, "We love you." I don't know who is included in his show of love, but it ain't me. I am among those caught in between the crossfire. I refuse to take sides with either irrational collectives, and remain steadfast to my individualism. Damn them all, and if I'm martyred for my isolated position, then, "give me liberty, or give me death." 
  6. Like
    JASKN reacted to Repairman in National Conservatism   
    I read the article. It's great. I've been witnessing this transition toward integrating Church and state for years. Back in the day, I was willing to ignore it. I considered the evil of a leftist/socialist agenda to be the greater threat to American prosperity and stability. The left-wing agenda continues to be a monstrous threat. In 1980 and 84, I cast my votes to Ronald Reagan, believing that his support from the Moral Majority would not escalate to the threat to individualism and reason that it is today. The radical Christian conservative agenda now stands as large and menacing as a rival monster, eye to eye with the mystic monster of the Left. For this reason, I have abandoned my support for nearly all Republicans who exploits Christian value voters. My rejection of Trump doesn't mean that I support Biden. I vote with my conscience, and any third party candidate that presents no threat to individual liberty is fine by me. I show up at the polls, the respectable candidates have not. The American crisis of confidence has only radicalized the semi-literate electorate, playing on their fear and other emotions. Obama was a perfect example. I think very important issues were addressed in the past four years; some of Trump's policies were helpful. Some of his suggestions, (particularly his muted criticism against revisionist history in public schools), may yet have long term positive results. But overall, the recklessness of his language and management, his open displays of intimidation, his preference for authoritarian world leaders, I think the good does not outweigh the bad. It's quite unfortunate. Some good might come from all of this. I can only wait and see.
  7. Like
    JASKN got a reaction from Yes in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    A silver lining is that this is an obvious example of what not to do for anyone who's actually interested in freedom and the legitimate rule of law.
  8. Like
    JASKN reacted to 2046 in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Also there's an argument to the effect that, well look, the representatives in Congress deserve this. While, strictly speaking, this is correct, it doesn't follow merely from that fact that this is the right thing to do. Every member of Congress deserves to be huddled in their home in fear, as they would have the rest of us do the past few months. But part of a virtuous action is that it is done in the right way, at the right time, for the right reason. 
    Consider someone performing some courageous act to impress an onlooker. Such an action isn't merely "doing the right thing for the wrong reason," it's literally not doing the right thing. This is an aspect of all agent-centered virtue ethics. The agent has to be in a certain state while performing the action. They cannot be counted as virtuous someone who does something by accident, in the same way consulting tea leaves and guessing the correct thing doesn't make some belief knowledge. See Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics II.4 for details.
    So it's possible to believe that the "demand side" if you will, the "getting what you deserve" might be good in some small way. I mean it certainly is funny to see the viking at Pelosi's desk. However, the "supply side" if you will, is people yearning for a dictatorship and indulging in epistemic vice. The "demand side" wasn't even substantial enough to change anything about lockdowns other than, people now screaming about "sedition" and "insurrection." Expect more bipartisan surveillance, policing, internet censorship.
  9. Like
    JASKN reacted to Yes in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    As America prepares to certify our next President, a large band of hooligans have taken upon themselves to storm the Capitol.  This in the name of Freedom?  Are these hooligans striving to look for their Fuhrer?  As a footnote, something like this happened in fiction- in Atlas Shrugged.
  10. Like
    JASKN reacted to Boydstun in Intentionally Changing Sexual Orientation to Straight?   
    Yes, sounds sensible, James.
    I would like to add one point about sexual orientations. When it comes to sexual orientation in the context of romantic love, and all the more in long-term romantic relationships, it is the whole person of the other, not only their sexual allures, that is paramount; and the relationship is above all a relationship of persons. Embodied, sexual, to be sure. But persons. That is shown in relationships, whatever the sexual orientation abiding in them, in the way couples continue to be in love and take care of each other years and decades after the sexual aspect has gone away due to sexual declines in the body. The persons continue in their special, towering love.
    In the early ’90’s Allan Gotthelf wrote to me concerning my new philosophy journal Objectivity, and he inquired whether he perhaps knew me. I wrote to him and recounted what had transpired between us in ’78 and how things had gone on to Jerry’s death. I mentioned to him that in Jerry’s hospital room in the last hours and through his last heartbeat, I was alone with Jerry. And I wrote to Allan, “that is the way it was and that is how it ought to have been.” To have loved and been loved in that total way is a terribly fortunate thing, and it is a universe in which there is only you two persons.
  11. Like
    JASKN reacted to happiness in How many masks do you wear?   
    I wear one when required, out of respect for the fact that a private business is required to enforce the mandate. I never decided on a consistent policy to use in situations where I have a choice. I go for walks in a public park and don't wear one, even though it's required as far as I know, because no one is around to enforce. I'm not interested in wearing one without having a good medical reason to believe they actually work. If this premise were somehow proven, and this was communicated through a source I respect, I would be more interested in wearing one, but right now I feel like this is subjugation with unproven quackery at the hands of health authoritarians. 
  12. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    Defiant Michigan UP cafe owner told to shut down after serving indoor diners
    Since November, bars and restaurants in Michigan have been limited to carry-out service or outdoor dining in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
    Who is mandating the limitation (and by what means)?
    Who's rights are being violated? Is it the people who chose not to frequent this establishment for CoViD-19 concerns? Is it the owner and voluntary workers at a restaurant violating a mandate to only fulfill carry out orders?
    A patient checks into a hospital and the diagnosis turns out to be CoViD-19. How did the patient acquire it? Was the patient get infected at a restaurant, a gym, a grocery store, Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner with friends and/or family, the local hardware store, the local mall while buying christmas gifts? Assume the patient was wearing a mask, as mandated by most states and counties-townships-cities-etc., and second-handedly requested by most establishments not quashed by law to allow customers to frequent.
    Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list. It is only intended to illustrative of another passage that comes to mind from Atlas Shrugged:
    "You propose to establish a social order based on the following tenets: that you're incompetent to run your own life, but competent to run the lives of others—that you're unfit to exist in freedom, but fit to become an omnipotent ruler—that you're unable to earn your living by the use of your own intelligence, but able to judge politicians and to vote them into jobs of total power over arts you have never seen, over sciences you have never studied, over achievements of which you have no knowledge, over the gigantic industries where you, by your own definition of your capacity, would be unable successfully to fill the job of assistant greaser." Yes, social order can come into play, but not by means of folk that harbor a vision of man as incapable of acting rationally when a new virus is discovered. 
    While a majority may serve as a deciding factor in a democracy, the morally decisive response requires a knowledge of what is the right recourse. Absent that, each individual should be granted the freedom to act according to their independent judgement, providing it does not infringe on anyone else acting according to their independent judgement.
  13. Like
    JASKN reacted to whYNOT in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    Allowed by whom? The "requirement" as you put it, is a straw man. If it were only that simple, only one's choice, such behavior is easy to follow, good hygiene and simple good manners (I've said).
    You must have seen that the governments are strenuously enforcing masking and social distancing. With the threat underlying that if they so decide, we will return to a level of lock down, with large fines and possible arrests, therefore police powers. (Which has been enforced today by the South African Gvt. - drunk on power - because of slight new outbreaks at coastal vacation regions). You people didn't behave, so now the whole country must be punished.
    Additionally, the social pressure to conform isn't pleasant, by those who are enshrining helpless victims, as is their favorite narrative, against the 'selfish' oppressors (The Granny killers). Those who rationally and selfishly want to live and work.
    With these together, by fear of force and social intimidation/shaming, fewer people venture out, economic life is far from recovery and businesses are still failing around the world. More people are suffering further.
  14. Like
    JASKN reacted to tadmjones in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    Interacting with people in public without any symptoms of disease or infection isn’t dangerous to the public.
    The masks worn by the majority of the public have little or no medical efficacy. The majority of the public isn’t at risk of dying due to an infection.
    Face diapers say you care for people who for whatever reason believe or act as if covid is an actual reoccurrence of the Black Death.
  15. Like
    JASKN got a reaction from Tenderlysharp in How many masks do you wear?   
    This mask (etc...) debacle has ironically made me friendlier to the general populace. I wear a mask begrudgingly only as required by businesses, but I find myself being nicer and smiling genuinely more to people, whether they're wearing the muzzles themselves or not. I think friendliness is very important right now. However, I have no tolerance or sympathy for tattlers or do-gooders, and if they stop me they get a sharp dismissive reply.
  16. Like
    JASKN reacted to tadmjones in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    Properly fitted n95 and higher rated filtration devices could help prevent casual spread. Cloth mask efficacy doesn’t even come close. Any medical protection they provide against aerosolized virus particles is negligible.
    Just as the article in the OP states, their efficacy is the political statement they convey.
    There is very little that can be done in a practical way to stop viral spread, aside from physical isolation which is by definition impractical. Modalities that ensure air circulation to decrease viral load in the ambient environment would have more efficacy against spread. Regardless , concentrating energies on therapeutics and care for the medical consequences of infection should be the only political concern.
    Virtue signally won’t get you any closer to the futile goal of stopping the spread .
    It would be instructive to see how many cases of hospitalizations to treat pneumonia are currently from bacterial infections.Though given the level of trust I currently have in ‘official’ reports coming from our ‘institutions’, my confirmation bias will probably win out, lol.
    I wear a cloth mask where it is required for entry or participation, but not because I think that action has much medical significance, just because it is required.
  17. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    Wearing a mask is a basic health precaution that should be done anyway, regardless of CoViD-19? (rhetorical)
    Near as I could tell, prior to mid-March 2020, masks were commonplace by surgeons in operating theatres, people working in areas where particles such as asbestos and other hazardous dust particles were present.
    Currently, many businesses here are posting that masks are expected to be worn by patrons in compliance with state/county expectations. As a patron, I comply with the request of the company managements choice to comply with the guidelines, or go elsewhere, (not that much 'elsewhere' exists in the current culture.)
    In addition to the article whYNOT provided in full, there have been several other independent assessments of a similar nature.
    When laws, edict, or regulations on behalf of the state(s) are not uniform and objective, they are capricious. When the law givers and regulators engage in 'do as we say, not as we do' policies, how is that not a form of the irrational?
    "Some people measure the risk much higher than you, and I think it's good to respect that and wear a mask."
    Mathematics is the science of measurement. When you think it is good to respect that a risk has been declared to be measured as higher and wear a mask, is that a low evaluation of your mathematical ability paying homage to a result of a declared risk elevation, or do you have something that can definitively set aside my observations of most people virtue signalling by the wearing of masks while the reporting testifies to its ineffectiveness?
  18. Like
    JASKN reacted to tadmjones in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    So it was the fault of civil disobedience coupled with a fundamental lack of understanding of how masks work among the infectious disease experts?
  19. Like
    JASKN got a reaction from Boydstun in Art Songs and Arias   
    Un’aura amorosa (Così fan tutte)
    Josh Lovell
  20. Haha
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in The Bobulinski angle on Biden   
  21. Like
    JASKN reacted to Reidy in Reblogged:No Clear Mandate, and Uber Survives (For Now)   
    Several of the California ballot propositions, not just 22, turned out well - racial quotas, tax increases and new dialysis regulations among them: https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/11/good-news-for-conservatives-from-california/. Oregon voted for a big drug decriminalization.
  22. Like
    JASKN reacted to merjet in Biden is our only hope, says Yaron Brook   
    I don’t agree with this. Explaining why requires two distinctions.
    - Dictatorial about government policy versus dictatorial to the USA’s people in general.
    - A dictator personally versus a dictator institutionally.
    Trump shows a strong desire to control government policy. However, his desire to control people in general doesn’t seem strong to me. Indeed, a prime counter-instance is the health insurance mandate. Obamacare made the mandate – that people in general (with a high enough income) must purchase health insurance, and they will be penalized (“taxed”) if they don’t. Trump got rid of the mandate, calling it the worst part of Obamacare.
    Joe Biden shows little desire to be a dictator personally. However, it seems he has little reservation about having in his orbit others who are very dictatorial, e.g. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, AOC, Kamala Harris. If elected, his cabinet appointments will be very revealing. Another reason I say this is his persistent desire for higher taxes, even more spending, and more regulations. Implicitly or explicitly, he views a better world coming from government activism. Trump does not.
    On the campaign trail, he has touted the “public option” regarding health insurance. If elected, I would not be a bit surprised to see him flip-flop to backing some form of Medicare for All (advocated by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris when they pursued the presidential nomination). Biden explicitly proposes to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Of course, the transition will be forced via government intervention – regulations and subsidies.
    How often have you heard Biden praise private industry or advocate individual liberty?

  23. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in 2020 election   
    I like one of the points Onkar Ghate made in his Study of Galt's Speech. The patience exercised on the behalf of the strikers. Consider the passages leading up to what Hugh Akston told Dagny: "
    "Consider the reasons which make us certain that we are right," said Hugh Akston, "but not the fact that we are certain. If you are not convinced, ignore our certainty. Don't be tempted to substitute our judgment for your own."
    If someone does not agree with me, and I am right, why does the other guy have to have abandoned reason, or even be irrational. In fact, my being right (or anyone else's for that matter) does not depend on others agreeing with my conclusion. What should matter is what is right, and, if needed, why is it right.
    Self-esteem comes from the reliance on one's ability to think. Did Hugh Akston or any of the others in Galt's Gulch consider Dagny irrational for not agreeing with them? Did they think she had abandoned reason to return to New York? While it was many in the world that had abandoned reason, Galt's broadcast was to those who had not.
  24. Like
    JASKN reacted to dream_weaver in 2020 election   
    Elections are a reminder that we have the power of choice. When the focus is on how bad the 'choices' are (Trump/Biden), instead of seeking to discover why election after election provides 'the lesser of two evils', the focus usually boils down to analyzing down to the minutia of what is right/wrong with this or that particular candidate. 
    Lately, as I've listened and re-listened to Galt's Speech while cutting the grass or working out at the gym, I've noticed her emphasis, when directed toward such, is not so much on the irrational as it is honed in on identifying those who have abandoned reason. 
    The canons of Objectivism champion reason. An admirable objective might be to not get sucked into the games those who have abandoned reason generate in order to attract others seeking to cut corners that ought be left intact. (Please pardon the poetic license.)
  25. Like
    JASKN reacted to Boydstun in 2020 election   
    Tony, this horse we children would ride out in the country belonged to that man I spoke of who went to school only through the third grade. He was the second husband of our mother. He was a cattle rancher; paratrooper and aircraft mechanic in North Africa and Italy during WWII; he knew his Catholic catechism. He read newspapers and did his own thinking. He did not need any advice in discerning a con man or discerning human depravity or goodness or in determining who would get his vote. Neither did the children on that horse in their adulthood.

  • Create New...