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Everything posted by khaight

  1. Isn't there a website for that sort of thing?
  2. Er, she actually was aware of Chomsky's political views. In the very same article you reference, Rand wrote: "There are many other notable passages in that review. But its author is Noam Chomsky who, philosophically, is a Cartesian linguist advocating a theory to the effect that man's mental processes are determined by innate ideas--and who, politically, belongs to the New Left."
  3. Yes, Rand was influenced by Nietzsche in her earlier years. This is very obvious if one reads her journals, particularly the notes for her project "The Little Street". She acknowledges the influence - and it's limits - in the introduction to the 25th anniversary edition of "The Fountainhead". But you have to keep those limits in mind. Rand was attracted to Nietzsche in her youth because he was one of the very few seeming defenders of the individual she had found in the western intellectual tradition. But as she matured intellectually she found his philosophy fundamentally flawed and she rejected it. What she 'took' from Nietzsche was his poetic reverence for the potential of man. What she rejected were the mystical and irrationalist ideas on which he based that reverence. Rand found a better basis in Aristotle, and built on that.
  4. I disagree. Many Christians are so committed to faith that they will simply reject rational arguments out-of-hand when they conflict with dogma. You can't persuade a person like that with logic and evidence, because they've already decided to go with faith when they sense a conflict. Some Christians are more honest than that, but that doesn't mean a church social is a good hunting ground. It can hurt, if the time and energy you spend doing it would have produced better results applied in some other way. Everybody's time is limited, and each of us has to decide how best to spend it in advancing our own values. I certainly introduce philosophical ideas into personal conversations when and as appropriate. Beats me. I'm not particularly creative that way. Sometimes I wish I were. One thought would be a series of videos that connect various concrete policies that people find absurd or offensive with the abstract ideas stated by various statist intellectuals and politicians, with the tagline "Brother, you asked for it!" The goal would be to show people that the concretes they reject are the logical consequence of the abstract ideas they accept.
  5. In general I agree with this principle. On purely practical grounds it would always be more difficult for a government business to succeed. Consider that if it were run with equal efficiency to its private competitors, the private companies would always be better able to fund expansion and the hiring of top-quality employees because they wouldn't have their profits skimmed off to fund unrelated government operations. Because of that, over the long run one would expect the government operations to be driven out of business.
  6. Objectivists reject Libertarianism as an ideology, because as an ideology it reject the need for a philosophical grounding of liberty. Some individual libertarians reject the need for a philosophical grounding of liberty, and Objectivists reject them too. Other individual libertarians are simply confused, or haven't considered the issue deeply, and are sometimes possible to convince. There's a difference between someone who simply doesn't have a proper grounding for his ideas and someone who explicitly rejects the need for such a grounding. The Tea Party doesn't really have a coherent ideology. It's a popular movement based on a sense-of-life rejection of the recent massive growth of statism and a grab-bag of concrete-bound policy proposals, some good and some bad. Many of the individuals in the Tea Party movement, or who attend rallies, are actively looking for ideas to help explain recent events and to chart a better course for the future. Some are the kind of explicit subjectivists or religious nutcases we don't want to support. If we don't work to present our ideas to those seeking to understand, the subjectivists and religionists will present theirs and win by default.
  7. I want to know two things. First, which one of us is the walrus? Second, which one is Spartacus?
  8. I should probably have put a smiley on my reply. I'm not affronted by the question, although I am going to decline to go into further details. Apologies for the miscommunication; that one's on me.
  9. No problem. Frankly, I think some of the other participants in the thread are jumping to conclusions utterly unwarranted by the facts as presented so far. Much turns on how the girl acts going forward, now that the issue is explicitly 'on the table'.

    Good luck.

  10. Thank you for your input...it has been truly helpful.

  11. Wait, being an Objectivist is fashionable now? When did that happen?
  12. This is a good point, and one that many otherwise rational people don't grasp. There is nothing morally wrong with expressing romantic interest in someone who is already in a relationship as long as you are willing to take "no" for an answer.
  13. The game is afoot, the door is ajar, and I am a toaster!
  14. 100% agree. Making a choice in a situation like this can be difficult, but you'll learn a lot about her based on how she responds. If she takes the bull by the horns, faces up to the facts and makes a decision, that speaks well of her -- even if she makes what you think is the wrong choice. If she tries to have it both ways by refusing to decide, acting as though the situation will resolve itself 'somehow', that says something else -- something bad. If she turns out to be that kind of person I suspect your desire for her will fade relatively quickly, because that kind of evasion would come out in many other aspects of your hypothetical relationship.
  15. There's no way to educate a person who doesn't want to know. If a person isn't interested, trying to push ideas on them will just make them hostile and resentful. You can't force a mind. Back in the 1980's there were a number of "Capitalism vs. Socialism" debates between Objectivists and socialists at various university campuses. People had to choose to go to those too, you know. ARI intellectuals regularly engage in panel discussions on current events topics. I know Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate have engaged in debates on just war theory and Objectivism. Etc. Missionaries? You mean like going door-to-door and asking people to accept John Galt into their lives? On a purely practical level there aren't enough Objectivists for such an approach to be workable. I also doubt its effectiveness -- knocking on random doors is not a good way to find people interested in ideas. Getting involved in local Tea Party activism seems like it would give much better return on effort. Political campaigns are expensive, and the culture isn't ready for an overt Objectivist political candidate to be elected. (Some have run, without success.) I know Yaron Brook gave an address to the Virginia GOP a year or two ago, so there is some engagement on an intellectual level. I know one person in Florida put up a billboard advertising his local community group. In the end it's a question of resources, and how to most effectively employ them given that we don't have the time, money or people to do everything. I think you lack perspective. I've been studying Objectivism for 23 years now, and I'm actually quite impressed by how much the movement has grown -- particularly in the last decade. The level of energy and professionalism has improved by leaps and bounds. That said, more is always possible. I'd like to see a greater penetration of Objectivist-influenced product into non-intellectual areas of the culture. How about a series of satirical viral YouTube videos?
  16. With all due respect I have to disagree with this response. Particularly when strong emotions are involved it is possible even for rational people to drop context or be confused about where their moral obligations lie. My wife and I fell in love over a period of about six months, while she still considered herself to be engaged to her then-current boyfriend. Our situation was quite similar to the one Ben described -- she was more attracted to me, but felt an obligation to her fiance; sex was involved, etc. Ultimately she decided to break up with him and we got married a couple of years later -- and still are, 14 years later, quite happily. You don't have enough information about this girl and the situation to pass such a sweeping judgment on her character. My suggestion to Ben is to help her see that she should pursue her own happiness. Staying in a relationship with a man she doesn't love out of a sense of obligation is just going to make both of them miserable. But she has to decide herself. You can make your interest clear, but she has to decide how best to pursue her own happiness. If she decides, in the fullness of time, that she doesn't want to be with you, accept it and move on. You should not enable her to believe that she can have both you and her current relationship by postponing the decision indefinitely. You want an exclusive relationship with her; you aren't willing to settle for less, and you shouldn't have to. That's your choice.
  17. I question whether debate is the best way to spread ideas. Changing the mind of a direct opponent is a vanishingly rare occurance. Knowledgeable Objectivists do work to spread ideas through the culture in a variety of ways. Are you familiar with the work done by the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights? The Anthem Foundation? FIRM? The various members of Diana Hsieh's OActivist list? Objectivists speak at Tea Party rallies, publish op-eds, write magazine articles and letters to the editor, record podcasts, give television and radio interviews... the list goes on and on. I'm actually a bit baffled by your question. Is there some specific thing you think Objectivists could be doing to better spread their ideas that they aren't doing?
  18. My understanding is that the electronic distribution rights were only acquired by the CD's creator for a limited time period and that period has expired. For reasons to which I am not privy the rights were not renewed.
  19. Yes. Angelo Codevilla has written an essay that is generating a lot of buzz in a certain segment of the online right intelligentsia. He identifies a split between what he calls the 'ruling class' and the bulk of the American people. The Democrats are wholly the party of the ruling class, and the bulk of the establishment Republicans are what one might call 'ruling class junior'. The Tea Parties are an expression of popular discontent against the ruling class, which is why they are highly critical of both Democrats and Republicans. The main political battle right now is the attempt by the Tea Parties to wrest control of the Republican party away from its ruling class leadership. The ruling class elements in the Republican party want Tea Party candidates to fail, and if they succeed they will attempt to co-opt them. They've said so explicitly. I haven't had time yet to read the entirety of Codevilla's essay, and given that he is a religious conservative (albeit of an unusual bent) I'm sure it has a number of flaws. Still, what I've seen and heard of it sounds like an interesting analysis. It's worth looking up, if only because it is influencing the terms of discussion elsewhere on the right.
  20. I like what I've heard of Christie, simply because he's willing to take on the left in terms both uncompromising and moral. That's incredibly rare for a Republican politician. Even so, attacking the left as immoral is not the same as defending the good. 2012 is also too soon for Christie. He really needs to finish his work in New Jersey before moving on to national office. I'd say 2016 at the earliest. What do people here think of Mitch Daniels? He seems to have a solid fiscal conservative record and I really liked his advocacy of a "truce" on the social conservative issues while we get our fiscal house back in order. That's about as much push-back against the religious right as one can hope for in the current Republican party.
  21. I'm now skeptical of Paul Ryan, mainly on grounds of his strong connections to the neoconservatives. Brad Thompson's book on the neocons made it clear just how dangerous these people are. I strongly recommend reading it before deciding to support any candidate they back.
  22. This is a side-note, but this formulation is a bit odd. We don't reduce facts to principles -- quite the opposite. Part of validating a principle is reducing it to facts. Once validated, new facts can be assimilated underneath principles. But the facts are fundamental; principles are integrations of facts.
  23. This isn't the relevant distinction. Mathematics is a subject, and subjects are not closed. Philosophy is also a subject, and qua subject it is not closed. (I've been listening to Peikoff's lectures on unity, and in the Q&A of the second lecture he says explicitly that "philosophy is not a closed system".) But we must distinguish between a subject and a specific work inside that subject. Objectivism is not a synonym for "true philosophy". It is a specific integrated system of principles, validated in a specific way, and it either stands or falls as such.
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