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Gabriel

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  1. Here are a few of Nietzsche's quotes. Tell me if he remind you of someone. - "The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - "All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses." - "All sciences are now under the obligation to prepare the ground for the future task of the philosopher, which is to solve the problem of value, to determine the true hierarchy of values." -
  2. First of all, I must say that I decided I was wrong in my earlier posts on mixed economics. My error was that I was generalizing the problems of transitions to the entire system. I now realize that the problems I was thinking of aren't of capitalism itself, but rather the side-effect of switching from a mixed/communist economy to capitalism. What do you think to be the minimum percentage of the population supporting a capitalist economy before it can be enacted? Can a small group of 'founding fathers' put forward a capitalist constitution and then back it up with the force of the millit
  3. By reading the replies to one of my previous threads, I started thinking about the proper role of charisma and other non-verbal form of communication. You could say that it's a matter of sense-of-life applied to mood, demeanor and language. For people holding happiness and their highest purpose, Objectivists project a distinct 'aura' of unhappiness and discontent, largely through non-verbal cues. (we're already discussing verbal/explicit attitudes in the other thread) I remember that the most succesful teachers in school (both succesful in teaching their students and in gaining the full
  4. It's a matter of form AND content, not form VS content. You're fighting a double battle: one, a battle for concepts, and another battle so that people accept those concepts in YOUR language. As far as I understand, if a person starts evaluating the world through an objectivist perspective, a re-evaluation of language is a natural result, therefore there should be more ephasis on the message and less on the package. For instance, there are very few objectivist comedians, because Ayn Rand said that one must be serious when discussing philosophical or political issues. This even though hum
  5. There are certain words, such as 'morality', 'moral/immoral', 'evil', etc. that have a powerful unconscious negative/discomfort 'load', due to their miss-use and tarnishing by different religious groups or otherwise sadistic weirdos. These words have become extremly caricaturized in contemporany society. For example, if I listen to a speech of dr. Peikoff and he frequently uses these words that create psychological discomfort for the audience, some of his message gets lost, and some people might even end up disliking him (or rather disliking his presence, not his ideas). These words have
  6. In my discussions with varied people I find that all of them claim to be rational, in other words that they are both logical and in harmony with the facts of reality (that their logic is 100% attached to reality). Out of the more extreme cases, I've seen Marxists calling themselves 'rational', Christians doing it too and many weirder ones. What would be a good word to describe Objectivism's view on rationality? And to keep this concept on a metaphysical/epistemological level? I mean, I could make refference to capitalism, and so forth, but what I'm looking for is a word that means 'rational
  7. I am familiar with Ayn Rand's ethics and other branches of philosophy. I don't agree with her on certain issues, such as the universal, self-imposed ban on force. I'm trying to discuss and clarify these issues, therefore I post here. If board moderators consider my questions to be unappropriate, for one reason or another, I can always be banned, so please let's try discussing the issue and not my motivation for bringing it up. Let me clarify my point, succintelly: - Different people have different skills and therefore will choose different paths to obtain that which they desire. -
  8. I think we all agree that the focus of the lives of most people is the procurement of desired goods and services. In practice, goods can be obtained through production or trade. Professional politicians, the kind you meet in all western states today, are, from this perspective, traders of popularity and pull. They trade popularity because that's the main capital/raw material of their trade. It is their main concern to appeal to the most people, ideally to the most powerful, and to do so in way that is safe from the perspective of their life-long carrer in politics. Therefore, the chief ai
  9. Lately, I've been considering the role of the state. I'd like to share with you a scenario I've been examining: Let's say that CountryA starts subsidizes 55% of the cost of producing cars, therefore car manufacturers in CountryA can afford to cut prices with up to 50% Let us also supose, for clarity, that CountryA only exports cars to CountryB. CountryB is also a manufacturers of cars. There are 2 likely scenarios: 1) According to laissez-faire economics, the state of CountryB has no business intervening in import/export matters, therefore it will let the market realign itself: Car
  10. We've previously discussed my disgust for today's politics, and their root in the mob-rule nature of decision-making. The thread was Sick Republics but no one could come up with an alternative which won't jeapardise individual rights even more. A few days ago I was thinking that if I were ever to apply for citizenship in any country, I'd most likely be taking a citizenship test and I'd have to have been living 5+ years in that country. This struck me as both a good measure, and a double standard. Children born on the teritory og one nation are instantly considered citizen of that country,
  11. I'm really happy with the arguments put forward on my previous thread, on the spartans. A very important character in history, which has a very bad reputation these days, is Napoleon. I think that he is one of the most rational rulers of europe during that century. Even though he use nationalism extensively, mostly for propaganda, I think that his most important legacy is his commitment to the entablishment of constitutions. He is also a good example of individual achievement, especially in a day and age when religion, nationality and royalty were extremly important. His rise to power a
  12. All "democracies" today are actually republics... citizens don't choose on particular issue, but rather they choose representatives to choose for them, every 4 years or so. Here in Romania, we have parliamentary, local and presidential elections comming up, and I'm sickened by the whoring of the candidates to each and every group or faction or power broker. The debate is free from any actual ideological content, being just about a random bunch of floating opinions on concrete issues: if I were mayor, I would first repave the 5th street, etc. (Road quality is a major issue here, so inste
  13. I'd tought that it would be interestring to reevaluate historical events and characters through an Objectivist perspective. I really think that this brings into concrete focus many of the issues of ethics and politics we discuss, sometimes, at a very abstract level. I'd like to start with the Battle of Thermopylae, of 480BC. Mostly, I'm interested in your evaluation of Sparta and spartan behaviour, the paradox of fierce warriors whose entire value system was a form of social-metaphysics. Contemporany historians categorize Thermopylae as a classic example of self-sacrifice and collectivis
  14. As a foreign english speaker, I always suspected that I'm somewhat missing some of the "texture" of certain texts. Even if Ayn Rand was herself a non-native speaker, she took time to explore and experiment with english constructs. What does "Who is John Galt?" mean to me? I'd have to say that he's as expression of man's archetype-like image of the productive, rational, life-affirming hero. When people used it in Atlas Shrugged, they doubted their own productivity, rationality, etc. John Galt is different from the rest of the characters in that he's more of a wisedom guide, he's an exam
  15. Well, if you're thinking about something, you ARE thinking about it, so you should try to keep your toughts true to reality. Most of the time, you'll be thinking about other things than your current behaviour (driving, doing repetitive work, etc.) So, during that time you're not thinking about your behaviour. You could call that irrational behaviour. If you're asking if there are certain topics or issues one shouldn't reason about, then the answer is no, as far as I'm concerned. Once you are thinking about something, you ought to do it rationally. On the other hand, you must understan
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