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DiscoveryJoy

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  1. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from softwareNerd in What are YOUR criticisms of Objectivism?   
    I never understood how sex can be a topic for philosophy to make such statements on in the first place.
    This is a highly concrete and specialized issue that depends on an individual's concrete values, psychology and physical constitution.
    Who is to make statements about what your own concrete and objective values are? What values to look for in another person? How abstract they are to be? And in order to fulfill which actual needs of interaction with them and to what extend?
    And knowing that Objectivism enters into this topic, I typically detect certain ideas surrounding and relating to it, that I find rather strange:
     
    A )
    Limitation of the need of "physical attraction" to a purely physical pleasure.
    No such thing in my opinion. Every physical feature you identify is an aspect of a conscious living being that perceives itself and this world through exactly those physical features of its body, and hence in that very form. And you know this, and only knowing this gives meaning to that attraction. Simple introspection tells you that.
    You like a particular form in which he or she exists as a perceptually conscious being (with certain implications even for some of its conceptual values). What you like is a form that physically best facilitates your contact to the reality of another human beings' existence. Of his or her existence as a conscious living entity.
    You cannot like "just his or her body", without demanding and knowing that it is the body of a conscious living being that you are liking. And you cannot like "just the aspect of his or her being alive and conscious" without it being so in a particular form that appeals to you. You are seeking some specific conceptual knowledge here, and you want it to manifest itself in a specific perceptual form. That's to a degree of 100% a mental, as well as of 100% a physical need, you cannot separate the two.
    Individuals may vary, but how one would exclude that this alone might form to certain individuals an indispensable prerequisite, possibly even a highly important value in and of itself, is incomprehensible to me. Just think of how you prefer watering certain plants only, and like to have certain animals as pets only. Now, how much more exciting is the case of a particular form of a human being?! It already starts with only wanting a particular sex to begin with. Not to talk about all the other physical features, of which there are numerous.
     
    B )
    Sex as valid only in romantic love celebrating achievement.
    Well, what about things like "puppy love" among human beings? Love driven by infatuation? I can conceive of it as being an immense pleasure and source of mental energy.  Certainly enough so, to be valuable. Something to want to keep living on for in order to enjoy. I find the idea of suppressing it repulsive, if not disgusting. Unless you can conceive of something more fulfilling. And assuming of course, the person in question is not harmful.
    I think I heard or red Ayn Rand say in some documentary that her sisters were into puppy love, while she was the only hero worshiper. And that she never really understood how that could be enough for them. Whether she outright condemned it, I don't know. But I'd rather doubt that she approved of it, given her demands for "appropriate sex".
     
    C )
    The frequent emphasis that your enjoyment needs to be about your achievement.
    I find this mind boggling. There can be a million things I could value without having achieved them. Many of them come naturally (like beautiful landscapes I see in nature). Others were built by other people (like the sight of impressive Skylines). I certainly would like to keep them in reality, whether achieved by me or not. In some cases, I might even not want to know in detail how they came about (You certainly wanna eat the steak, but that doesn't mean you wanna meat the cow ).
    Identifying the fact that me or other people had to - or didn't have to - achieve those things to put them into this world is not what makes my enjoyment of them possible or impossible. My enjoyment stems from my need to survive, which requires having certain experiences that make it worthwhile. Knowing that "I build this" can be a pleasurable add-on, though.
    Achievement is also not the psychological root of the motivation. In order for me to say "oh, there's something I want to achieve", I must first say "oh, there's something I want to enjoy".
    All this tells me that values (realized or not) are considered values independent of their achievement, but rather due to the valuing, the prospect of their enjoyment.
    But achievement is very often necessary to realize them - whether on my own or on other people's part. Since other people cannot be my slaves and shouldn't, I recognize the need to engage in a certain amount of my own achievement. While recognizing also, that I benefit from the achievements of all the other people as well. Together, we're all better off, plus the free riding. The rest is done by mother nature.
    And due to all those achievements, the amount of daily achievement necessary to maintain a desired degree of enjoyment becomes less and less. Nevertheless, you must always maintain some level of achievement, to keep your brain active so you can figure out how to best enjoy. Or to prepare yourself in case some new idea happens to come about some time on what next to realize.
    Psychologically, this means that achievement is a means to the end of enjoyment. But it needn't be focused on explicitly. It's simply an implicit part whenever it is required.
    I would rather separate the means from the end this way, while still recognizing they're both necessary.
     
  2. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from DonAthos in What are YOUR criticisms of Objectivism?   
    I never understood how sex can be a topic for philosophy to make such statements on in the first place.
    This is a highly concrete and specialized issue that depends on an individual's concrete values, psychology and physical constitution.
    Who is to make statements about what your own concrete and objective values are? What values to look for in another person? How abstract they are to be? And in order to fulfill which actual needs of interaction with them and to what extend?
    And knowing that Objectivism enters into this topic, I typically detect certain ideas surrounding and relating to it, that I find rather strange:
     
    A )
    Limitation of the need of "physical attraction" to a purely physical pleasure.
    No such thing in my opinion. Every physical feature you identify is an aspect of a conscious living being that perceives itself and this world through exactly those physical features of its body, and hence in that very form. And you know this, and only knowing this gives meaning to that attraction. Simple introspection tells you that.
    You like a particular form in which he or she exists as a perceptually conscious being (with certain implications even for some of its conceptual values). What you like is a form that physically best facilitates your contact to the reality of another human beings' existence. Of his or her existence as a conscious living entity.
    You cannot like "just his or her body", without demanding and knowing that it is the body of a conscious living being that you are liking. And you cannot like "just the aspect of his or her being alive and conscious" without it being so in a particular form that appeals to you. You are seeking some specific conceptual knowledge here, and you want it to manifest itself in a specific perceptual form. That's to a degree of 100% a mental, as well as of 100% a physical need, you cannot separate the two.
    Individuals may vary, but how one would exclude that this alone might form to certain individuals an indispensable prerequisite, possibly even a highly important value in and of itself, is incomprehensible to me. Just think of how you prefer watering certain plants only, and like to have certain animals as pets only. Now, how much more exciting is the case of a particular form of a human being?! It already starts with only wanting a particular sex to begin with. Not to talk about all the other physical features, of which there are numerous.
     
    B )
    Sex as valid only in romantic love celebrating achievement.
    Well, what about things like "puppy love" among human beings? Love driven by infatuation? I can conceive of it as being an immense pleasure and source of mental energy.  Certainly enough so, to be valuable. Something to want to keep living on for in order to enjoy. I find the idea of suppressing it repulsive, if not disgusting. Unless you can conceive of something more fulfilling. And assuming of course, the person in question is not harmful.
    I think I heard or red Ayn Rand say in some documentary that her sisters were into puppy love, while she was the only hero worshiper. And that she never really understood how that could be enough for them. Whether she outright condemned it, I don't know. But I'd rather doubt that she approved of it, given her demands for "appropriate sex".
     
    C )
    The frequent emphasis that your enjoyment needs to be about your achievement.
    I find this mind boggling. There can be a million things I could value without having achieved them. Many of them come naturally (like beautiful landscapes I see in nature). Others were built by other people (like the sight of impressive Skylines). I certainly would like to keep them in reality, whether achieved by me or not. In some cases, I might even not want to know in detail how they came about (You certainly wanna eat the steak, but that doesn't mean you wanna meat the cow ).
    Identifying the fact that me or other people had to - or didn't have to - achieve those things to put them into this world is not what makes my enjoyment of them possible or impossible. My enjoyment stems from my need to survive, which requires having certain experiences that make it worthwhile. Knowing that "I build this" can be a pleasurable add-on, though.
    Achievement is also not the psychological root of the motivation. In order for me to say "oh, there's something I want to achieve", I must first say "oh, there's something I want to enjoy".
    All this tells me that values (realized or not) are considered values independent of their achievement, but rather due to the valuing, the prospect of their enjoyment.
    But achievement is very often necessary to realize them - whether on my own or on other people's part. Since other people cannot be my slaves and shouldn't, I recognize the need to engage in a certain amount of my own achievement. While recognizing also, that I benefit from the achievements of all the other people as well. Together, we're all better off, plus the free riding. The rest is done by mother nature.
    And due to all those achievements, the amount of daily achievement necessary to maintain a desired degree of enjoyment becomes less and less. Nevertheless, you must always maintain some level of achievement, to keep your brain active so you can figure out how to best enjoy. Or to prepare yourself in case some new idea happens to come about some time on what next to realize.
    Psychologically, this means that achievement is a means to the end of enjoyment. But it needn't be focused on explicitly. It's simply an implicit part whenever it is required.
    I would rather separate the means from the end this way, while still recognizing they're both necessary.
     
  3. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from dream_weaver in Is Objectivism Still Relevant Today?   
    Well, Dustin, check this out:
     

  4. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to Harrison Danneskjold in Resolving seeming contradictions in Objectivism   
    It is.
     
    Ayn Rand described "whim-worship" as acting on urges and feelings, without knowing their cause. And that can be very destructive (such as in substance addiction).
    However, if I eat some Cheetos, I do so because I want to. Why? Because I enjoy them. Why? ...
     
    I've come to the conclusion that certain evaluations are self-evident; physical pleasure and pain. And trying to psychoanalyze the roots of such feelings does no more good than questioning our senses, themselves.
     
    So, just as every concept is ultimately rooted in perceptions, I believe that so is every desire. Which isn't to say that you should do whatever the Hell you feel like and anything goes - only that it isn't necessary to try to dissect exactly why you might happen to like Cheetos.
     
    Edit:
     
    So, yes, I think the "broadest perspective" definition is absolutely right.
  5. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from William O in Is there a word to describe this type of thinking?   
    I thought it's called multiculturalism. Although I don't think that most people really understand what that officially means.
    Usually, when we think of culture, we think of everything but abstract ideas. We think of concrete customs, aesthetics, ethnicity and the like. The look and feel of it.
    For example, if you think of Italian culture, you think of Pizza, you think of Pasta, you think of Opera Music, you think of predominantly European men and women with dark hair, you think of typical old Italian Roman-style houses with thick roofing tiles surrounded by Mediterranean cypresses, you think of Italian language, and on and on.
    I think that's why most people are just completely flabbergasted and offended when you tell them that some cultures are superior to others. You can easily come across as a racist, because we usually think of and identify a culture on the perceptual level I described. So to most people, you appear to be saying, e.g., that British Eggs and Bacon should be considered something objectively "better" than Pizza. Or that English should be objectively "better" than Italian. Hence they just brush you off as stupid.
    For the same reason, it is often said by most people that Americans have "no culture", "no cultural identity", just a hodgepodge of elements borrowed from "real cultures", and otherwise just "commercial stuff" from Coca Cola to Nike in a landscape dominated by public advertising and super malls.
    Its mostly intellectuals who really identify a culture on the abstract philosophical level of individualism versus collectivism, science versus faith, capitalism versus socialism etc.
    It took me a while, too, to get what certain people really mean, when they talk about the "culture" of a country.
    So I think its most important to get the terms straight before starting a discussion with people about culture. You could otherwise easily be talking at cross-purposes with people. So you might misidentify their thinking, just as they might do yours.
  6. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from softwareNerd in Are we on the edge of the Peter Schiff dollar collapse?   
    I'm not an economist, but there was a time shortly after the financial crisis where I used to follow everything by Peter Schiff, Jim Rogers etc., really thinking that they're up to something. Meanwhile I'm more sceptical about such people's ability to predict such things in the short term. In the long run, they're right of course, but in the short run, a lot of other things have the power of delaying things:
    Wealth is very elastic. Once you've created a certain oversupply, you can go on for decades before really paying the full price for your mistakes, never actually feeling that something is deteriorating. Just look at socialist Europe, how they can make socialism look like a recipe for success. Look at Dubai, where they just live off of stolen wealth, until one day the material resources will be used up. As Peter Schiff himself said, it takes two to Tango. China doesn't seem to have the self-confidence and/or the right system of their own - real capitalism - in order to shrug off the US. Just like other "imminent Doomsday" apostle's like LarouchePAC etc., Peter Schiff, too, seems to have a disproportionate focus on the material economy as measurable in factory output, food production, or generally, energy density. Wealth creation isn't just manufacturing and farming, it's primarily originating ideas, inventions, patents and providing services. Virtually anything that people want to buy, care about, value must be considered wealth. And economists often don't even measure all the mental energy that goes into those products. Just because e.g. the iPhone gets built in China doesn't mean they created it. Its created by brilliant minds like Steve Jobs and his successors. Add Google, Microsoft and the many tech-companies with enormous wealth creation in Silicon valley, and you get much closer to reality.
  7. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to Plasmatic in Relationship between Object and Percept in perceptions   
    Discovery asked:

    The category possible.
    Oism holds that the categories of evidence are possible, probable and certain. The arbitrary is not an evidentiary status but the lack of one.
  8. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Selling weapons to known Terrorism-sponsoring countries   
    There's no point smart-arsing about "terrorism" vs "Islamic Fundamentalism" vs "Jihad" here as if they were unrelated. Terrorism is already implicit in Islamic Fundamentalism and Jihad (let's not start now with "inner" vs "outer" Jihad on top of all this, we all know what version applies in this context) as the means to achieve the end. If someone supports one of the latter two, he automatically supports the former implicitly. It bears no relevance which one you support first as a state, the existential end result is terrorist attacks, i.e. the same.
     
    But if you love hairsplitting so much (which I clearly don't understand why), I can give you "Wahhabi Islam", "Radical Islam", "Islamic extremism", "Totalitarian Islam" and you name it    Don't see how such non-essentials in difference would undermine the inescapable faith-force nexus common to all of them. You need to start finding the one in the many, as opposed to being concrete-bound about such things.
  9. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to softwareNerd in Selling weapons to known Terrorism-sponsoring countries   
    I think there are two main ideological trends that have laid the groundwork for Islamic terrorism and groups like ISIS:
    the growth of a more primitive strain of Islam (where one would have expected growing modernization instead), and post-colonial nationalism and quest for identity  Most middle-eastern leaders used the establishment of Israel as an excuse to create a national enemy (vital for dictators). If violence against Israel was not promoted, it was condoned as understandable. The ideology was mostly nationalist, but also religious.
     
    When the Soviets occupied Afghanistan, it became acceptable in the middle-east to encourage a religious crusade to save an Islamic country. (The U.S. supported the fight even if it never supported the ideology.) The ideology shifted to being religious, and explicitly universal-ist (actually, supra-nationalist across Islamic countries, rather than nationalist).
     
    The Saudi government played a role in the anti-Israel battle and in the anti-Soviet crusade. Meanwhile, it used its wealth to fund fund mosques and schools all over the world. Unfortunately, of the main schools of jurisprudence within Sunni Islam, the Hanbali is the most anti-reason. This is the school prevalent in Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi-Islam. So, I think the Saudi's as a government have played a significant role in the growth of the more primitive strains of Islam. 
     
    The Saudi government did not encourage Bin Laden's attack against the U.S., and they see ISIS as an enemy. In private, some  Saudi elites will say that they have a tiger by the tail: they try to keep the most violent streams ion check, but they also "have" to support a fairly primitive form of Islam or else they would lose power. However, one cannot control the evil ideologies one supports. More exactly: if you support an evil ideology, it is difficult to stop some people taking it to its next step on the rungs of evil. 
     
  10. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to andie holland in Economic Freedom in the United States vs the British Empire from 1776   
    What was then defined as 'The British System' were the ideas of A.Smith in 'Wealth of Nations' as seized upon by 'free-market' advocates. 
     
    Paramount among these were the notions that the market-value of free labor would be higher than any (pre-existing) subsidy that the government might devise--the so-called 'Poor Laws' kept people poor.
     
    Likewise, The Crown should not have a monopoly on trade and direct banking.
     
    As for the first, the Townsend acts of 1834 a repealed Spreenhamland's subsidies of 1795. Yet by 1836, Parliament was forced to admit that 'free labor' actually emmiserated the working class--and was therefore repealed. Smith was wrong.
     
    Free trade existed until the Sepoy Revolt in India, in 1855, when England discovered what Hamilton had said to be true: there is no foreign trade without political and military oversight.
     
    As for banking, no one seemed to follow Smith except the Americans. While all European nations continue with the model that Hamilton saw and advocated, The American system seems half-and -half with a semi independent Federal reserve.
  11. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to Nicky in Economic Freedom in the United States vs the British Empire from 1776   
    The Heritage list seems aimed more at helping people decide where to live and where to invest NOW. Education certainly has an effect on economic freedom over generations, but it doesn't speak to what that level of freedom IS, NOW. 
     
    And they update their list every year, to make sure it stays current.
  12. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Selling weapons to known Terrorism-sponsoring countries   
    How do you maintain the moral status of Western countries not playing an active role in supporting Islamic Fundamentalist activities today?
     
    I mean, if you are selling weapons to a country like Saudi Arabia, of whom you claim to know from secret intelligence that it is supporting terrorist activities behind your back, what makes you less of a cause for terrorist attacks than the regime itself?
     
    In other words: If Saudi Arabia could be bombed for sponsoring terrorists, why couldn't the U.S. be bombed for supporting Saudi Arabia?
     
    We are not even talking about supporting a lesser enemy to fight a bigger one here, but about directly supporting the main one.
  13. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from tadmjones in Selling weapons to known Terrorism-sponsoring countries   
    I see that such - at least seeming contradictions - cause confusion about how to interpret Rand. Not being a reader of all these her works to know the full context of her statements, I must rely on her appointed intellectual heirs to know the right interpretation.
     
    But in any case, it does not seem to me that we have a disagreement on principle here. Or that there is one between you and the ARI. It's merely a factual one.
     
    As you have agreed in one of your previous posts, you, too, think that killing of innocents is moral if there is really no alternative between the killing of innocents while stopping force that came from an aggressor and saving your life versus not killing innocents and dying from the force by the aggressor. You merely seem to think those kinds of situations don't really exist or never existed. But they actually do, namely in every war, since any war normally involves beating, i.e. breaking the will, of a commander in chief in control of his armed forces ruling over a people he is fighting for. If that commander is a die-hard lunatic that never wants to accept defeat, he either commits suicide (which actually is the breaking of will) or he is assassinated by some of his own people so that a will-broken and more sane commander that replaces him surrenders for him.
     
     
    Since you like to take it down to the individual level - I think that's actually very important to look at and the key to this:
     
    First of all, statements by the military officials you gave in the link don't really change the need to throw the Atom bomb, since they are largely merely concerned with or give vague statements about the fact that the war was already about to be won or that Japan was already somehow "trying" or "ready" to surrender, but not exactly about how and when. Well, had they already surrendered? No. Was the Japanese Emperor just on his way to his office to call all his generals to stop or to the podium or whatever public place to go to, in order to announce that surrender and demand the immediate cease fire of all Japanese troops everywhere? Obviously not. Because that's trying to surrender! And it happened only after those bombs.
     
    It may be true that Japan was already loosing and that America would have won soon anyway. And that some kind of blockade could gradually have brought the Japanese to surrender soon. The point is not just to win the war "soon", but to win it as quickly as possible with the absolute minimum of American casualties. That's best immediately and with not a single further American dying. Just one more Japanese Kamikadze bomber that kills one more American soldier because of one more hour of unnecessary fighting is one more American soldier too much! As is one more Japanese Kamikadze bomber that still has one more ounce of hope because there is one more chance that maybe American might isn't that overwhelming, so there might still be reason for something to fight for, causing him to kill one more American!
     
    If all you really care about as a government is saving American lives, you really do have to make this purely rational calculation.
     
    So to get back to the individual level: Every single American on a plane, or on a ship awaiting his next mission or its cancellation, or in the middle of a battle that could go on for another 30 Minutes that could mean his death or be ended the next moment with his life saved because of enemy surrender faces these very two alternatives. If survival is his interest then the only thing that must be desirable to him rationally is that the whole thing that makes his mission necessary, i.e. the war with the Japanese still fighting, is cancelled immediately so he doesn't have to risk dying. He cannot care about how many million Japanese have to die right now to make this happen. It's his life against theirs. He must want this war to stop, to be over, to end now. This is what every single American in battle faces. And he has delegated the power to make decisions with only this his interest at heart to his government. The government is just an agent acting on his behalf. And the government has the responsibility of fulfilling this task for each and every one of the American citizens. Every single American for which it has neglected this duty is an act of treason.
     
    So you could have a situation with a single American live saved and a million Japanese dying. That doesn't matter in the eyes of the government, because it doesn't matter in the eyes of the single American who wants to survive. That single American still has to consider his own life more valuable than those of that million Japanese. Since the American government is merely a representative of that single American, it has the right - in the name of that single American - to accept the killing of the million Japanese to save the one American whom it is actually responsible for - and not the other way round. That's as serious as it can get. And brutal as this is, that's why war better not be started!
     
    This kind of thinking - this kind of government responsibility - clearly just doesn't allow for any kind of guessing games about how the war might be won differently, as long as only a single American live is put as risk.
     
     
    And by the way, it's not my military forces.
  14. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to abott1776 in Economic Freedom in the United States vs the British Empire from 1776   
    Interesting topic. From what I know about history in general, not a detailed analysis of each nations economic history, the British Empire changed from a mercantile system to a more free-market, free-trade economy (not systematically but generally). The mercantile policies before and during the American Revolution (or as I like to call it The Second English Civil War) was what driven the American Revolutionaries to rebel. They saw it, and rightly so, as hindering their prosperity. Mercantile policies viewed wealth as basically static, if one nation gained, another lost as opposed to the free-market idea of you know "let's grow the pie, not bicker over what slice everybody gets". The Americans intuitively saw what Adam Smith later made an official theory. After the American Revolution the Liberals gained power for most of the nineteenth century, changing the way the Empire viewed trade and economics. The revolution was figuratively a slap in the face to wake them up, that their policies weren't working, they just pissed a whole lot of people off. Even in England, smuggling was viewed by a lot of people as a just robinhoodesque action, read Edward Cline's Sparrowhawk series, it will give you a very good representation of the opposing views of economics in the Anglo-American sphere at that time. In America after the revolution, there were two opposing sides, the Federalists and the Republican. The Fed's wanted that American System, big national banks, monetarily support industry (two examples that come to mind, steamboats and railroads were subsidized disastrously), the Rep wanted to basically leave everyone alone, but they gave us that distrust for national banks, and they sought to restrict by closing banks from interstate finance.
     
    Overall after the war the Anglo-American sphere as a whole grew increasingly more free culminating in the late nineteenth century, with America I think having an edge over the British in terms of culture (individualism, entrepreneurship, drive to strive better). There were specific delimited things the American government(s) did such as subsidizing this or that business, nothing like the all-encompassing attitude today that business is inherently corrupt, that it needs to be constantly regulated, that people needed to be guided in what they do, massive government redistribution programs.
  15. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to Nicky in Economic Freedom in the United States vs the British Empire from 1776   
    Heritage quantifies 10 freedoms, and then weighs them equally to produce a final score for its index.Here they are, grouped into 4 categories:
    1. Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption);
    2. Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending);
    3. Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and
    4. Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom).

    Here's a sortable table with all the countries and all the individual scores: http://www.heritage.org/index/explore

    It's not too hard to go over the list, and come up with a rough estimate for the score of 19th century developing nations like the US, Britain, France, Germany, maybe even Japan, etc. I'll focus on the US with my score keeping:

    1. I would score both about the same as current free countries (averages out at around 90). Feel free to bring evidence to the contrary.

    2. Should earn near perfect scores, because they are better than even the first two modern countries on the Heritage list (and those countries get around 90 out of 100). Let's go with 98... I don't see how it could be any lower than that. Taxes and gov. spending were both very low back then.

    3. Labor freedom was 100, business freedom near 100 (I'm not aware of any limits on starting a business, in the 19th century US at least). Monetary freedom was curbed to some extent, but nowhere near to where it is now in even the most free countries. Modern Japan leads this category with 87 (because they haven't had much inflation, I assume), let's give the old US a 90. I'm not sure about the European countries' monetary policies.

    4. These are the categories that really drag the modern US down. Trade freedom is OK at 86, I guess tariffs are not that high compared to other countries. I seriously doubt that they are lower than they were in the 19th century, but if someone has evidence to the contrary, we'll recalculate. Meanwhile, leave it at 86. Restriction on investments and financial transactions are mostly a 20th century development, as far as I know, so, again, on limited evidence, I'll settle for a 90 for both, at least until we have more facts. (in modern US, they're both way down to 70, for obvious reasons)

    With those numbers, the final score comes in at 93.2 . That's much better than the 90.1 the current most free country, Hong Kong, gets.
    The British Crown had most of those too.
    If you're gonna lead with "their own vocabulary", direct quotes should follow.
    Anyway, I don't see this supposed big difference in economic freedom, between the US and the British Empire. Feel free to correct my scoring above but, as it stands, there's not much room above 93.2, for Britain to be significantly more free.

    But the score isn't what's important here, since that's just an educated guess anyway. What matters is the list of categories Heritage uses. If you want to make an argument for Britain being more free, just specify the categories, and the specific differences within those categories, that make Britain more free.
  16. Like
    DiscoveryJoy reacted to softwareNerd in Selling weapons to known Terrorism-sponsoring countries   
    I think the term "indiscriminate killing" should be thrown out as being so vague as to be worthless. When a truly crazy persons goes on a rampage, we might describe it as "indiscriminate killing", but when a group like (say) ISIS goes through a town and slaughters every Shia in sight it would not strictly qualify as "indiscriminate", even though we might use the term loosely. If they are discriminating in avoiding the killing of Sunni, and only kill Shia, it would not strictly be "indiscriminate".
    Morally, we should ask: what is the correct criteria that we should use to discriminate?
  17. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from softwareNerd in Economic Freedom in the United States vs the British Empire from 1776   
    Hello guys,
     
    unfortunately, I so far have not seen anything like an Index of Ecnomic freedom for the time period in my topic's title to at least get a compact glimpse at what was actually going on.
     
    But it shocks me into disbelief time and again how much economic freedom was actually lacking even in so-called "capitalist" America right from day one. My image of at least early till 19th century America used to be that of a Free Markets loving, pro Free Trade, Banks-Can-Do-Anything, Railroads-where-built-by-Rockefeller-alone America, since that was the impression that we got from school and through the media.
     
    I didn't know that, in spite of everything, there was such a bad understanding of what freedom actually means that even a Founding Father like Hamilton actually was such an opponent of economic freedom, as expressed by the so-called "American System": National Banking, limits on inter-state banking, protectionism, heavy subsidies in industry and science etc. In its proponents' own vocabulary, the "American System" was intended to protect America from what was explicitly seen as the British System, i.e. Free Trade and Laissez-Faire, or in other words, from economic freedom.
     
    I didn't know that it was actually the British that really originated and represented economic freedom, and that the mixed economy, i.e. the opposite of economic freedom - was actually THE "American" idea in politics.
     
    So what really makes so many free-market liberals claim that America used to be economically freer than any other country in history, if they where actually counteracting essential pillars of such freedom against a country that did represent them, i.e. the British Empire (or at least those Dominions or Colonies of the Empire whose internal economic policies Britain controlled)?
  18. Like
    DiscoveryJoy got a reaction from softwareNerd in Ukraine   
    Hey guys,
     
    thanks for your replies.
     
    I'm sorry for not having answered earlier, but after looking more closely at the practical situation in Russia and having better identified some core criteria by which to evaluate the legitimacy of a country, it seems to me that - given Russia's absence of free speech - Ukraine has a stronger legitimacy - at least for the time being.
     
    I say for the time being, because, looking at things like these (start - if you like at the 19th/20th minute)
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbDn-srzGIA
     
    make me rather skeptical about Ukraine's status in the future. Given - again - the fact that such activities or movements as in the video would be dealt with completely differently in Western Europe, the fact that there isn't more resistance against it in the Ukraine , I find it hard to classify Ukraine as "good" in a way that equals any Western European country.
     
    Now I'm not saying that the woman in the video is right about her conspiracist views about the situation - after all this LPAC organisation that published the video is full of unprovable conspiracies and completely wrong with its socialist agenda - but there seems to be some truth to the impact or potential of the fascist element in the Ukraine.
     
    But - as for my question, as I have said - the Ukrainian state still has more legitimacy than Russia, hence a Russian takeover of Crimea was illegitimate.
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