Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Markoso

  1. To be brief, seeing as they were in bootcamp, this really can't be qualified as a punishment, though it could be construed as a bit favoritist (though it's more likely just a case of there not being an alternate event for those who were Muslim/etc). When I did basic, we had absolutely no freetime, except for Sundays, which were church day. You had the option of either attending a service (there were services for a reasonable number of faiths) or hanging out back at the barracks. Of course, in basic, you're never JUST hanging out, so that actually translated to waxing floors/polishing boots. It being a highly structured environment, they can't really let you sit around and do whatever you want.
  2. Honestly, while I am first and foremost inclined to call BS on this type of provision, I am forced to wonder if this is even enforceable. I mean, jeez, what would the burden of proof even be? Edit: Took a bit of time to educate myself on the matter, and Odden is probably right in that nothing is functionally changed. The only (probable) difference is that now, if you happen to get auditted for "substance over form" abuses, it'll include additional? criminal penalties.
  3. Honestly, my personal recommendation is to just pick a school and start chugging through individual authors. I honestly don't know of any books that give a good thorough treatment to western philosophy as a whole, at least no moreso than you would acquire from reading through wikipedia. Though it can be daunting, between Empiricism, Pragmatism (Philosophical context, not as described in the lexicon), Rationalism, and a whole host of others I'm probably forgetting, you have much to choose from, and a lot of places your investigations can take you. Right now I'm inclined to give special treatment to the stuff that was being written/read right around the time of the enlightenment, so Locke, Mill, Dewey, etc. Not to mention more recent writings, such as Nietzsche, Camus, Eco (I do believe his academic writings fit the bill), and a few others. And of course, there's investigating the stuff Rand gives special mention to, such as Aristotle, Kant (haha), o Mises (it's good stuff, and crosses far enoguh into the domain of philosophy IMO).
  4. Though I am admittedly biased against walmart, this article honestly put a smile on my face. Good stuff.
  5. Though I've seen some hate for "Mises the philosopher" here, I'd say he addresses it quite succicintly in "Human Action". I'd have to hunt out the exact quote though.
  6. This is for Jake really, as I think this is a question that has be asked here to ascertain just where you stand. Would you disagree with me saying that mass civil disobedience is an attack on the rule of law? Edit: There was a quote in here too, but I quoted the wrong person
  7. Thank you for taking the time to write a summation of the arguements spinning around here. I assure you that your work does not go unappreciated
  8. I'm pretty much in agreeance with the points made here. However, Mexico's current situation is a precarious one, and that precarious situation extends to all states currently on its border. The question is, whether the situation surrounding Mexico, the border, and the cartels hopping back and forth across the borders justifies the type of action that Arizona has taken. As both QuoVadis and I have touched on, there are some serious happenings going on in that area far beyond the normal shenanigans associated with the welfare state. Serious enough to warrant some type of action IMO, even though(if) this isn't the right one.
  9. To bring us a bit more ontopic, after reading the threadnaught this has become, I'm seeing a distinct pattern forming, with those such as Maximus and QuoVadis referencing a problem they perceive with things as they are now, and a great many quoting portions of the relevant principles at them (however, though the principles are relevant, they don't quite provide guidance through this particular problem). So first and foremost, I propose we try and define what/if there is a central problem here, specifically, in the concrete example of Arizona. I think by concentrating here, our application/determination of principles will be far more.....efficacious. Moving along, I'd say I can identify a handful of distinct problems. First and foremost, there is the problem of procedures/standards for immigration being violated. Clearly free men should be allowed to deal with free men, nor are we mere wards of the state (a position that leads to something ala East Germany). However, this doesn't preclude some method for documenting/accepting/inprocessing folks from existing, and I do believe there is some text in the Lexicon to support this. Pages back, I was under the understanding that at least some of us had concurred that in some situations it is well within objectivst principles for a country to designate checkpoints/fortify its border, for the purpose of protecting the property rights of the citizenry. Secondly, there is the problem of the pervasive crime in Arizona atm (the crime that prompted the creation of this particular law in fact). At the moment, between kidnappings and cross border crime (coupled with corruption amongst mexican authorities, a situation that could lead someone to classify them as an "uncooperative" neighbor, as far as our sovereignty is concerned), this is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Though I personally believe I see some "they took our jobs" styled rhetoric in Maximus' posts, this is still an issue to be explored, and the central issue I see QuoVadis getting at. The question propose is simply: "Where do our principles guide us as far as resolving this issue is concerned?" Lastly....well, I forgot while writing the rest of this. For now however, I think this is sufficient to return us to a more productive form of debate. Cheers. Edit: Just a quick note to Maximus. I think a reason your position is catching the most flak is because of the rationale you have. There are a great multitude of reasons to avoid falling into "they took our jobs" type mentality, which appears to be what you are communicating to us, which in turn is causing some to decry you as a pragmatist (though my analysis may be incorrect. Do correct me if so).
  10. Upon this point I agree It's simply a matter of limiting the requirements to those that directly relate to a Governments proper function in protecting the rights of it's citizenry (and the corollary of actually enforcing those laws, amongst them cases in which offenders would seek to escape punishment by crossing borders, etc).
  11. I would based up this say then that QuoVadis erred in calling that particular scenario intervention. I would have characterized it as a right and proper defensive action (building of fortifications). In any case, as fun as arguing semantics are (though precision is quite paramount), with that particular distinction made, would you classify those activities as a defensive action, as I have?
  12. I assure you, I am well aware of this particular definition of borders (I'm not exactly new to Objectivism here, so when I say an open border, I assure you I mean it in the most benign possible sense). What I suppose I am is in some level of disagreement with this stance, as there are a great many situations where countries are placed next to incredibly hostile neighbors (not to say the concrete situation of America is such, but we're debating principles as so many have already stated). I assume we're all familiar with the idea that a country that doesn't respect the rights of it's people is unlikely to respect the rights of it's neighboring countries. So moving from that potentiality, it in my mind seems pretty clear that some type of border zone enforcement, whether that be fencing, a checkpoint, or whatever level of security is deemed "necessary" is quite well justified philisophically, and SHOULD include some kind of screening, theoretically justifiable as being within the perview of the governments necessity for a military force. We don't live in a world of rational people, and we can't accurately predict when or if a neighboring country will suddenly turn belligerent, or if some other well documented hostile attempts to gain access (ala Operation Pastorius) I am purposefully limiting my analysis to these types of scenarios. As far as who should be let in, well, I'm pretty much in line with the typical Objectivist viewpoint, and do believe more people should be let in legally. However, those who are already here, do need to be properly screened/documented/brought up to speed to eliminate a large number of instances of identity theft (usually SSNs). Further, I think a lot of people skirt the issue of how to tackle problems that exist in our current mixed economy/cluster of public&private ownership. It's incredibly obvious to me what the ideal situation is (it's in the lexicon!), but as was stated earlier, how do we get there. So I suppose I am left having to ask a series of questions now: 1. Would some of you say things like border patrol and the like are within the domain of government action? I would say this is one of many parts of the protection of a citizenry's rights (though done at a higher level than the local governments), however I'm sure some here will disagree. 2. Though a border is a representation of a given nation's jurisdiction, I would say this doesn't preclude a number of the activities the US currently performs as far as border enforcement goes. If you disagree and believe such institutions should be dismantled in their entirety, what then do you do about cross border crime? A cooperative neighbor it is easy, but what of an uncooperative neighbor? Or perhaps openly belligerent and supporting these actions; do we build a fence then, unilateral rendition, or if the scenario is pervasive enough, maybe some other action? (I do believe Rand alludes to such a scenario in one of her essays) 3. A broader question not entirely related to the specifics of immigration, but one that some responses are making me wonder. What, if anything, would you define as an incursion upon a sovereign nation's territory?
  13. As I am currently strapped for time, I'll have to defer a longer reply for now. But from a principled standpoint, I was under the impression that a sovereign nation can and should define its borders. If those advocating the most open interpretation of open borders would be willing to comment on the implications for the borders of sovereign nations, I would vastly appreciate it. Now then, as to the specifics of immigration, I understand it that a person should be free to move to any country of their choosing, as this is their personal prerogative. However, this freedom doesn't extend to casually ignoring the procedures setup by the sovereign nation to which you intend to move. If America wants you to check in at Ellis Island upon entry, I would say that it's a personal responsibility to respect the law as such. However, and this is key, this respect for law doesn't apply in other cases, such as those that existed in Rand's time, as there were communist regimes that instituted laws making it illegal to escape (and of course, occasionally building a wall or two to accomplish such). I perceive there to be a great distinction between cases of the two types, though there may be those who disagree with me. Honestly, from just the above I'd imagine there is plenty of fodder for discussion, without even beginning to get into the specifics of denying entry to those who have previously and continue to engage in violent crime, the other folk who cross borders to escape prosecution, and everything inbetween. Edit: And a quick edit for you Kainscallia, while I too don't agree with Maxmimus' rationale in this case, I do believe it would be prudent for you to tone down the "holier than thou" attitude. Berating someone in that tone is not at all conducive to rational debate. I'd imagine most of us are here to engage in the sharing and critical analysis of ideas, not to make someone feel small for having a viewpoint we've judged to be erroneous. Thanks :|
  14. I assure you, there's still some thinking going on around here. Perhaps be a tad less....polemic less time. In any case, I wouldn't say the fundamental philosophy contradicts the principles of objectivism (at least not as I interpret this bill). For more, see the far superior post above this one.
  15. Well, as to the first of your questions, I'm sure we can agree that there is a duty on the part of the police forces to protect the citizenry. From there, while I would never venture to say that all illegal immigrants are criminals in disguise, I WOULD be so bold as to venture that there are enough instances of criminality to warrant some type of action. Further, while it's easy to dismiss certain...accusations as fearmongering (it usually is fearmongering tbh), there are kernels of truth to be found within a lot of what's said. There IS cross border gang violence: http://www.ticklethewire.com/2010/04/04/cr...illing-machine/ I have some good friends who are first/second generation migrants, who've told me stories about this kinda stuff going on in SoCal and Texas (I almost put New Mexico, but I can't remember the instance in detail, and to give you a brief rundown of crimes involved, intimidation, homicide, theft, possibly racketeering). There is a problem, and while I wouldn't say this particular bill is the way to go, I am at least willing to recognize that this less than perfect piece of legislation is an attempt at finding a solution.
  16. To play a bit of devil's advocate here, while the language of the law is clearly out of line, the intent goes beyond mere restriction of immigration. Clearly, Arizona does at minimum have a right to ensure that those people who come to reside there are of a law-abiding nature, or to narrow our focus, are not perpetrators of previous crimes of a violent nature. While this particular statement is clearly in danger of painting everyone with a broad brush, the reality is that a great many of these states near the border have had an influx of such people from across the Mexican border, and when they enter the country illegally (or, if you're against "illegal" immigration as such, how about through unofficial channels), you have no means by which to compare them against lists compiled by authorities of their originating nation. So while I'm against anything that evokes memories of gestapos demanding papers and such, I temper that with the knowledge that the people in those states bordering Mexico are dealing with instances of hightened crime (no, I don't have statistics for Arizona, but some neighboring states have incredibly well docomented instances i.e. Texas) caused by unsavory characters who, even in a world with largely free borders, probably wouldn't make the cut.
  17. I'd say it is important not to paint them all with a very broad brush. Even though Kant and Hume came out of those two camps, fellows like Locke and Leibniz were also amongst them, and there are some useful observations to be found by the careful reader.
  18. You assume that voting republican is somehow a short-term preservation. Honestly speaking (and probably being a bit more base than is customary for these forums), Palin is a moron, and having her running around waving the capitalism flag while doing the exact opposite of well....anything capitalist would be incredibly problematic in the long term (look at the legacy of Bush jr). At this stage, if I'm choosing the lesser of two evils, I'm more inclined to vote for the honest socialist rather than the socialist who masquerades as a bible thumping capitalist.
  19. It'd probably be easier to just let them keep the word selfish as a negative pejorative (if only because of how rediculously entrenched it is), and within our own circles just start using rationally self interested for any cases where we are avoiding the typical negative connotation.
  20. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...ml?hpid=topnews http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/world/mi...07yemen.html?hp These are the articles from which the Salon story is drawn, just for clarification (as far as veracity goes). As far as commentary is concerned, I'm completely in agreement with your thoughts on the subject, and it really does boggle my mind that this particular story has hit as quietly as it has. It really does give me reason for pause to think of what other eras would've been like had this level of power been appropriated. Imagine what McCarthyism really could've been with this level of executive power being brandished against you.
  21. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_gr...ions/index.html Honestly, I'm not sure where to even begin on this one. At minimum, I guess we can say due process his finally all of the way out the door.
  22. I've recently been acquainting myself with Edward Bernay's early work (Crystallizing Public Opinion specifically), and upon reading it, I really started thinking about what it was that made Gail Wynand a second hander. In Bernay's eyes, a newspaper is a mirror reflecting the mind of the "public", while at the same time influencing and reinforcing the ideas commonly held by those members of the general public. Comparing that to Wynand, that is essentially what his paper was doing (the masses give dirt and in return receive mud), and making a tidy sum doing so. However, my essential question is whether this is the essence of his second handed-ness; his willingness to simply pander to the public and simply give them what they desire (in most cases, an outlet for base commentary/reinforcement of ideas already held). Now that I've been exposed to Bernay's theories (especially his thoughts on factual arguements vs. the unwilling mind), while I'm inclined to think it runs afoul of the Objectivist thoughts on comprimise, would it have been an ethical error on Wynand's part to preside over his empire of yellow journalism whilst slowly attempting to open the minds of his readers, or at the very least, dedicating resources to getting the "good" news out to those who could appreciate it, whether through a subsidiary paper, or what have you. I just feel like, in Wynand's scenario, it makes a lot of sense to slowly (perhaps very slowly), wean the public away from their more....irrational thoughts and proclamations. Or, for another example of what I'm trying to get at; if someone Youth in historical times is about to be burned alive for witchcraft, and the majority of the populace believes in the existence of witchcraft, do you simply proclaim the fact of witchcraft's nonexistence, or do you pander to their understanding of reality a bit, maybe telling them that satan has conspired to sully the name of an innocent youth or some such (and possibly raising the chances of succeeding at saving the youth's life). That may be a terrible example, but that's the kind of situation I feel Wynand was in as far as his integrity as a journalist was concerned. Also, forgive me if my recollection of The Fountainheads events are a bit out of date, it's been a few years since I read it.
  23. Call me crazy, but that sounds like the makings of a Supreme Court case. It's most certainly a broader interpretation than what has been the status quo for....the last decade or so (may be wrong on the timetable there). edit: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/0...for_a_supr.html Huzzah for sanity checks.
  24. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...id=aYUeBnitz7nU Pulled straight off of digg, and though I havne't done any additional research, it's looking like we may very well be on track to have some harrowing years ahead. I doubt we're even close to the stage Greece is at, but I am more than a little worried about how our long-term fiscal situation will be resolved. Unfortunately, the two most likely scenarios are that we'll try and inflate it away (I came across some economist articles detailing a growing movement to change the ideal nflation rate closer to 4%, from 2%), or blame the creditors for lending us the money in the first place. Of course, there's always the comedy/atlast shrugged outcome: A national address detailing the moral obligation of creditors to lend to the U.S. at no interest, lest they be persecuted as democracy hating heathens.
  25. As far as arrest goes, something just seems off to me about the language of the bill. I mean, seriously speaking, is there a chance to challenge the current form on constitutional grounds? To my understanding, the government cannot mandate me to buy product x, y, or z under penalty of imprisonment. It's one thing to impose a tax and enact single payer, it's quite another to tell me what to purchase.
  • Create New...