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  1. -You cherry picked evidence too, your evidence is only a 10 year abberration, and crime since 2003 has gone slightly up. Constantly dropping means that the rate will go down continuously, presumably until it reaches near zero, as a RESULT of stable government. Stable government doesn't continuously reduce crime. Do you honestly think crime will be cut in half again over the next 20 years ONLY because we have "stable" government? This is global warming graph logic. -Funding a war through stealing loot could theoretically fund a war b/c profit is a motive, but it is simply tantamount to large-scale theft. In a completely free society, war would be costly and aggressors risk alienating other people. Besides looting, there is no way to profit from a war, so war bond investors take impractical risks (by the way, the WW2 war bonds were paid off by tax dollars anyway). While conflict always occurs, I doubt any private investors can raise enough money to bomb Iran and risk retribution at the same time. -Terrorists groups become states themselves when they win. Wikipedia describes it pretty well: "War is reciprocated armed conflict between political units aimed at a desired political end-state." Also, I said "violence is a tool of the state", not "violence is only a tool of the state", so don't misinterpret my quote.
  2. "Constantly dropping"? Crime in Mexico is exploding because of drug cartels. If you were a police chief, can you come up with a 5 year plan to stop all criminals? No. Also, here in the U.S, probably only half of all murders and rapists and less than 20% of all thieves and burglars are caught (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_01/01crime3.pdf). So I think its fundamentally wrong to assume that government action is the way to reduce crime. Regardless of how much crime actually exists, I am trying to argue about why free market defense services do better than government. Market anarchy is where all people choose to pay different defense agencies for protection. Government is where defense is only provided by the government. Free market defense agencies can be corrupt, but so can government. In a pure free market, the people act as a "check" toward defense agencies by not boycotting them if they are ineffective. In government, nobody checks the police's power if they are using their money inefficiently or corrupting their power: I cannot choose a different police agency if my own is doing a bad job at catching or trying criminals. In government, I simply pay for this inefficient service using my tax money whether I like it or not. If you think free market defense leads to gang warfare, you also must show why a monopolist government can prevent it. Theoretically, a free market defense agency can extort me out of my money. Theoretically, so can government. Any argument against free market defense is also an argument against government-supplied defense, so free market defense can do no worse. I do not see any "false claim" I making. Its only that you assume that there is no objective law in anarchy, when in reality the law is clear: don't commit an act against another person or his property, and if you do, you will need to compensate the victim and be punished to the same extent you wronged the victim. Again, I have yet to hear a clear, definite response from war hawk objectivists to how you can bomb Iran without using taxation. If you want to start a bomb Iran donation fund, fine. But if you war hawk Objectivists become president and take over congress, don't use any of my extorted tax money to kill people. Use your own. There is no way you can fund a war without using taxation. War and violence is a tool of the state, and taxation is its life blood
  3. Government cannot establish complete order. Look at the Bloods/Crips in LA or the Zetas/Sinaloa drug cartels in Mexico. No matter how much time and money the gov't pours in, the gangs get worse. The problem with a Constitution-style minarchy is if you grant people "right to a fair trial", "due process of law", and "protection from unreasonable searches and seizures" criminals can get away with crimes easily. If you deny people the right from being searched and seized, you end up with a police state and potential corruption. In anarchy, people will form their own organizations to protect themselves from criminals and can abandon these organizations if they are not doing a good job. The defense market is just like the insurance market: the point is to keep you safe. Everyone has a pretty clear idea of what is legal and not legal: killing is wrong, rape is wrong, etc., but the tenuous process of crime investigation and bringing suspects to trial requires effficient, specialized institutions (such as private investigation companies and arbitrators seen today). If you defend government enforced police, you must defend government enforced taxation. If you believe government is more efficient in supplying defense than the free market, then why can't the FDA supply medicine safely by establishing "objective" health safety standards? The problem with government its inability to account for unintended consequences: if a business fails, it loses all its money, if a government fails, it uses force to remain in power. I do not see why military services on an economic level are somehow more public of a good than say roads or insurance.
  4. 1. Japan was a democracy during world war, hamas was democratically elected. Many democratic countries have been ineffective and usurped by dictatorships (Republic of China 1911-49, Weimar Germany, etc). 2. Congo does have a transitional government. Civil war is not anarchy, but polystatism. If you truly believe rights are inherent and "unalienable", you don't need government. People simply have rights. The distinction between a private enforcement agency and a government is that you cannot commit a crime "against society", only against other people or their property. In a government, who will protect us from the government's aggression? What prevents a policeman from brutalizing or robbing a common person? And if there is something that prevents a policeman from doing so, why can't the same mechanism be used in free-market defense production? In a pure free market, enforcement will be forced to respect each other's life and property because of retribution. Basically this is an eternal regression "Who created God" issue. If governments enforce objective standards, what will make sure the government will not be corrupt? We cannot construct a perfect system of government that will solve all problems, so why not let the people via the free market choose? Back to the topic of privately funding wars against Iran, I would like to note that originally, experts thought the Iraq war would cost only $50 billion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_B._Lindsey#The_Iraq_controversy), when it is actually $500 billion plus several trillion worth of unquantifiable economic damage. Thinking that all the businessman and hedge fund managers would pay for a war in Iran that would cost and still expect to make a profit is hogwash. Go start a cookie sale for bombing Iran. You can't be a hawk with being pro-tax. And taxation is clearly against the non-aggression principle. Warmongering Objectivists only appear to defend individual rights and rationality by hawking against a broad, vague entity like "Islamic totalitarianism" (That label could actually apply to every single middle eastern country). My opinion is that Objectivism lies in individual interests, not national interests.
  5. Hi, I'm currently a college student studying Economics, because it was my interest, though I am being taught the traditional neo-classical methodology. I consider myself an Objectivist because I agree with the core tenants of Objectivism. I used to be a far left liberal (not quite reaching Nader but still John Kerry supporting), then a Catoite-libertarian, then an Objectivist after being exposed to Ayn Rand, and then a Rothbardian Natural Law anarchocapitalist. I'm currently in the process of reading Rand's non-fiction books, having read Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism the Unknown Ideal, and hope to get to fountainhead and atlas shrugged. I guess the reason I was so hooked onto anarchocapitalism is bcause mises.org provided so many books for free. While my ideas are not entirely clear now, I'm hoping to form some synthesis between Objectivism and natural-law Anarchocapitalism. Basically I think altruism and collectivism are inseparable from government, and the only just and beneficial system for people to live under is a decentralized, free-market with a common agreement to the non-aggression principle and a simple urge find, manage, and delegate labor and resources. The only real consistent philosophy I have is that of individualism and ethical egoism. I also think there is an important distinction between the "objectivism" of knowledge and values, and subjectivity of economic value and the ability for a man to act and reassess values on an ongoing basis. Hope to get some substantiative discussion while I am here.
  6. FieldMarshal


    I honesty don't understand how you pro-war Objectivists think. When you bomb a country, you kill people. Would you be willing to go up to an Iranian military base and personally shoot a random soldier in the head? For doing nothing except standing there? How is this not aggression? Keep shooting people until they "submit" to a free market republic? The problem is war and nationalism is that ordinary people fight and die for ideas and nations that are not their own. Before I met ARI, purely from reading Rand, I thought Objectivism was simply about forming your own, voluntary society. Yet you hawks want to nuke millions of innocent people. Terrorism is an individual crime, and only the people who actually initiated violence should be punished. Yet you want to turn 9/11 into some rallying cry against the entire middle east. If you think two million Iranians should die because Iran won't budge with its nuclear energy policy, you are a sick animal. You can't use some mathematical formula for determining how practical an invasion is based on money vs. people killed. Military intervention is like socialist economic planning, you can't achieve your desired results because your policy can never adapt to the complexity of the market. Trying to spread freedom by killing people is an inherent contradiction. As an anarchocapitalist, I've always toiled over the "in anarchy, warlords will take over" question. But now I realize that this is exactly what happens in international relations. If one country feels another is threatening, bomb it. Tax the people against their will to pay for it. Peikoffian Objectivists miss one key insight over the nature of collectivism: nationalism itself is collectivism. It taxes people for causes they don't want. It kills people who fight for the wrong cause, yet don't really deserve to die. People's reason is subjugated to national interest. Unless there is no government, there is no way to insure no innocent people will die in war. Unless power is decentralized, we will continue to have the collective blame for what our country does, and all other nations theirs.
  7. I apologize for the comparision. I referred to "national selfishness" was tantamount to nazism, to show that Hitler's references to national self determination (e.g. in Triumph of the Will) were actually collectivist. Objectivism as a consistent philosophy is not. However, ARI, supposedly the voice of Objectivism today, supports such a position. You can't have wars without forceful taxation to fund wars. Killing civilians in wars is an undue initiation of force against an innocent bystander. Under this logic any statist, militarist policy can be justified, especially since a lot of the time, states lie about what foreign power really is a threat. And if forceful taxation can be justified in cases of war, the government "perceived" threats to national security such as iran or russia or the ongoing occupation of Iraq, the government can be involved endless war, at the expense of its citizens. For an Objectivist to support this leaves a fuzzy logic gap under which militarism and non militarism can be supported. Objectivists should strongly condemn the War and Terror, the Bush Doctrine, and hawkish foreign policy. They should not advocate invading iran, supporting the war in Iraq, or any hawishness in general. For ARI to support it, as well many objectivists on this forum and other places on the web, gives the impression that this is an official objectivist position. A taxpayer-funded, pre-emptive war in a foreign to protect civil liberties is an oxymoron in itself.
  8. Reading the Onkar Ghate piece (link), he mangles the concept of "defense" with invading Iraq. America had been bombing Iraq ever since the Gulf War and crippling its economy with sanctions, killing thousands of Iraqi children. Iraq couldn't even shoot down a single American plane in the no-fly zone, yet Bush was convinced that Iraq had WMDs and was a threat. Even if they did, it would be pointless to attack the USA because of it would lead to their own destruction. In all instances, Bush didn't exhaust all efforts of diplomacy, and because of the war, Americans have to pay $500 billion to fund it, a far cry from the original $50-60 billion Rumsfeld predicted. My proposal is this: if America wants to start another Iraq like invasion, fine. But the taxpayers have to voluntarily come up with the funding. Pro-war politicians are free to use whatever propoganda and fear tactics they want, but average Americans have to chip in in a voluntary attempt to defend their security. If pro-war logic is correct, people will donate in billions because they want to protect their freedom. You can't tax people who don't want to go to war if their judgement of the situation is different. How do we know who is correct? The only situation in which your philosophy would work is if you were a belgian in 1940 fighting against Nazi Germany, or some other situation. "National self-defense" via the War on Terror is a misnomer. Iraq was 100% about creating a new Iraqi government at the expense of American taxpayers. If taxpayers want to overthrow Iran because they are convinced it will eminently threaten them, they must fund the invasion themselves.
  9. 1) http://www.usafa.af.mil/core-value/service-before-self.html There is no such thing as collective freedom, only individual freedom. But my point is, to be truly selfish, a war like the one in Iraq must be funded completely voluntarily, fought by volunteers, and thoroughly planned accomplish our nation's goals. To have $80 billion in taxpayer money pay for the war annually, out of the pockets of many of whom disaprove of the war, is travesty. 2) Medals are symbolic of the achievements a soldier makes and "distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States" (MOH citation). Usually, walking away is the most practical solution because retaliation might encourage more violence. Since we don't know what caused the random act of violence, it'd be wrong to suggest whether retaliation would encourage, discourage, or not affect at all what type of behavior the person exhibits (though the latter is more possible). The "Objectivist" principles of Leonard Peikoff and Peter Schwarz of bombing Iran, disregard for civilian casualties, and war at the involuntary expense of taxpayers can hardly be considered "the philosophy of Reason". You can't support such positions if you didn't believe in the collective right of the state to tax citizens in order to pre-emptively attack anyone who appears to be a threat, and expect such actions to create lasting peace. An ARI foreign policy would lead to worldwide hated of the USA, Even the Christian Just War Theory is more selfish than ARI's pre-emptionism. At least it takes into account the cost in lives, trauma, and money war causes, and seeks less harmful options first. Objectivist kind of "national selfishness" is no different than Hitler's philosophy of individualism for the german race. In reality, it is collectivist because "germany" and "america" are both arbitrarily constructed groups.
  10. Actually, the core value of the military is "service before self". Without this, no soldier would willing risk his life or kill other soldiers without hesitation. In the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the guruanteed way to win a Medal of Honor is for a soldier to throw himself onto a grenade to save his comrades. This encourages soldiers to sacrifice themselves, when they might've saved themselves too if they had just yelled "grenade" and jumped away from the grenade. The current war in Iraq is not in the interest of protecting one's rights, but simply to overthrow Saddam. In a video by cropperb on Youtube, a self-described Objectivist, he claims that it didn't matter if Saddam had WMDs or not, and the simple fact that he was a brutal dictator demanded that America remove him with military force just because it was capable of doing so. To disregard the costs of war, both in cost and mortality, and to remove dictators without a clear path to stability can only lead to more violence. Lastly, if your reasoning is correct, it applies the same to enemy soldiers of tyrannical regimes. Was it noble for german soldiers in ww2 to fight to the last man to defend the evil Nazi regime against the allies invading their homeland and carpet bombing their cities? War itself can never be justified, because it will always result in people mindlessly sacrificing themselves to a higher ideal. A perfect, peaceful world would still take generations to achieve, but recognizing the inherent brutality and irrationality of war is neccessary.
  11. Hello, I have been extremely disapointed by the attitude towards foreign policy expressed by the Ayn Rand Instutite (http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=media_topic_foreign_policy) as well as many of the members here at objectivism online. I do not think they are in-line with the philosophy of objectivism, which advocating non-aggression and indiviudalism. Instead, they offer a sort of national egoism substituting America's interest over the interests of the american citizen as an individual, and the dictators of foreign nations for the citizens of their countries. But most importantly, war requires taxes, and for these pro-war objectivists to pay for their invasions of Iran, it would require taxpayer money. And since involuntary taxation is an initiation of force and thus immoral, there can be no way for objectivists to hold pro-war policies of preemption and be complete, consistent advocates of laissez-faire advocates. These are some of the common views advocated: 1) Islam is a backwards philosophy that advocates violence and collectivism to one's religion that hates the rational, secular, western values and wants to destroy America. The precise reason for the mideast's hatred of America and terrorism is not religious, but political, concerning America's presence in Saudi Arabia, intervention in Iraq, support of Israel, among other things. If America was completely non-interventionist, they would have no reason to attack us. Islam does have some war-like propoganda, because Mohammed himself was a warrior, but not anything significantly more than how the Judeo-Christian God acted like a brutal dictator. If the west rose out of the Catholic chruch moral domination of the middle ages to launch the scientific revolution, so can muslim countries. Take Malayasia and Singapore for example. 2) War should be carried out without regard to civilian casualties because they are willing participants in their countries' infrastructure. Bush has blundered because he has not been more brutal, and doing so will crush the enemy's resolve. http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=New...ws_iv_ctrl=1063 A person who happended to be born in a corrupt dicatorship is not evil. He has no choice but to live a normal life or be a refugee. Civilian casualties are the driving the propoganda main of radical terrorists. Without US intervention in their lives, most normal people in the mideast wouldn't be radical. It was the American-supported coup of 1953 in Iran that created the 1979. The mosque bombing in Iraq in 2005 triggered civil war. 3) America's soldiers are defending our individual rights, and freedom by fighting in the current wars in the mideast http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=New...ws_iv_ctrl=1063 There is no such thing as "collective rights". If an average american wanted to protect his own life and values, he would benefit much more by caring for his own safety and communal activism. Joining the military puts him in a more dangerous situation, and thus is not "rationally selfish". Objectivism contradicts the military's ethics of honor, duty, and sacrifice. A war could not be funded by taxes, only by private efforts. If everyone in american where rationally selfish, no one would volunteer to be on the front lines for his country's war. Finally, for defenders of Peikoff and Schwarz's foreign policy (that which represents the modern face of Objectivism), I'd like to see some writing of Ayn Rand defending taxation in cases of "national interest" and disregard for civilians of enemy combatants. While Rand hated communism and totalitarianism, I doubt she would approve of stealing money from the american taxpayer to fund operations to overthrow these regimes. For Peikoff and co. to use Objectivism to support the War on Terror (actually a war on any mideast dicatatorship is contradictory to the basic tenets of Objectivism. America's national interest can never replaced an individual's interest if it means taxes will fund the war. And if civilians are killed, it is an act of aggresion against the attacker. Peikoff and Schwartz are adovcating the same philosophy that justified Osama bin Laden's attack on 9/11: bombing indiscriminately. All Objectivists who adovocate bombing iran should first ask: who will pay for the bombs?
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