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whYNOT last won the day on December 23 2019

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  1. Another from Merion West I haven't fully read yet, but seems agreeable: https://merionwest.com/2020/03/24/balance-is-needed-in-the-fight-against-the-coronavirus/
  2. Take a look "From the left", "disaster capitalism" and how anti-capitalists, in effect, "not let a good crisis go to waste". A reasonable question I ask: is this coronavirus a godsend to the far left? https://merionwest.com/2020/03/23/slavoj-zizeks-end-of-capitalism-and-the-coronavirus/
  3. I like to use the motoring analogy. We get into our cars every day implicitly knowing the risks. When 1.25 million get killed on the roads every year - I didn't look at serious injuries (many more) - why hasn't WHO declared that a pandemic? Banned autos, for example? It's a risk (maybe 2 per cent and more over one's lifetime?) I take and as does everyone, knowing that their livelihoods, pleasure and mobility depends on cars. As does the economy. (But you drive well, and defensively, anticipating danger, avoid being too close to other cars, watch weather and road surfaces, concern yourself with not causing damage and injury to other people, as you primarily protect yourself, and keep you car in good condition - identical with precautions you'd take in this pandemic).
  4. You don't want to catch the virus, you don't want to pass it on (if you have). This basic principle is well covered by one's rational self-interest. Self-responsibility, consciousness, self-awareness and mindfulness of others' lives. Implicitly, most people know this. Except, universal panic has taken hold. What we are seeing pronounced by media and governments is a drive, that already built steam prior to the pandemic, to collectivism and self-sacrifice. Your life is not as important as others. "Together" we will defeat the invisible enemy. We owe the other. In part this explains why previous epidemics/pandemics like the Swine flu only a decade ago, didn't get anywhere near the same hysterical attention as now, although deadly to hundreds of thousands. One hopes not this time round. Life carried on, almost regardlessly. I think we've passed the balancing point to where the cure is worse than the disease, and on a scale of major values we are moving into perpetual sacrifice. i.e. given up a value for a lesser or non-value. The value is everyone's freedom to act, the lesser is eternal security. The disruption and losses to billions of lives will not be easily recovered for the survivors. Many people will die, anyway. On Sky (another channel dedicating 24/7 coverage, as if nothing else matters and nobody else is suffering and dying) a prediction today that the UK shutdown will have to be extended, perhaps until "June at least". Bad enough for Britain, that will permanently cripple weak economies like mine here, since we are sure to mimic the UK's policies. Then what? Poverty, business and industry collapse, (further) shortages of water and power, civil disobedience, riots, police and army force Better (with a little hindsight) that home self-isolation had been voluntary - for a citizen himself to self-assess. Particularly, those elderly, and those with existing respiratory, cardiac, etc. health risks - and of course for those who have symptoms or know they've contracted the virus. This combined with ongoing government advisement to take all the well-publicized precautions, hygiene, "distancing", etc. for personal safety, and providing many more testing stations. The virus would run its course among the healthier in a population, preserving the continuity and energy vital to life and enterprise. Too late now of course. A brighter note, the confidence that "man's mind" will prevail.
  5. A quick scan of the general topic in multiple threads raised, couldn't do justice to some searching thinking going on, that I've seen. Excuse me if this has been covered, but my first thought is there aren't any O'ist categorical imperatives. One is "given" life. Fine, what next? Ought one to act to keep it? (isn't that what's meant by "a pre-moral choice"?). If one deems life as good - next: good for whom and for what purpose? (Objectivist response: me and my purpose). Fine, once answered, and one chooses life, then one ought to live it by the standard of man's nature; the hypothetical imperative IF - then... Just having a pulse doesn't suffice, it is man's life (qua man) that is the objective standard of value. Given this, could there be any Objectivist justification for suicide - one in which giving up life is not a self-sacrifice? Very broadly, and I've seen and heard examples of the sort of debilitation, tragedy, loss of freedom and suffering, i.e. the loss of values with no prospect of recovery - of re-establishing value in living - I believe there is. The kind of unremitting pain which blocks a once highly rational person's mental processes, is way up there as an example of spiritual pain. Shades of "rather die on your feet than live on your knees", living proper to man. To be clear, the distinction must be made among the value systems, raised partly here. I am not speaking of subjectivist disvalue (the sad, unnecessary cause of most suicides in the general community, imo) or (I agree with ET above) intrinsic value (suffer on: you owe your life to God, or some other entity or men, it's not yours to take since who can know his/their continuing purpose for you?) which bedevils most people. The objective value one becomes finely cognizant of would definitely preclude suicide in anything but the most radically extreme circumstances for Objectivists, I'd think. Simply, one knows intimately that as long as one has life there is always further value to be found (made, etc.) The "source" of value lives to 'fight' another day.
  6. Robert Nozick is interesting. A suggestion: His form of "intrinsic" value - plus - his "instrumental" value, approach very closely objective value as O'ists know it. Goes almost without saying, "the other" and their life is his-her highest objective value in themselves, and one's recognition of this fact (and that she-he knows that and responds to your own) is what makes for the best of romantic love (and friendship).
  7. The "rift" will crack apart quite soon after the next election. Too wide an ideological spread under one roof, and the moderate Democrats are unhappy with all the extremists as fellow passengers. After all, they are all sticking together only to "get Trump" - and when that doesn't work ... Much better. Let the socialists/Democratic Socialists go their own way into their own party, and there could be some return to politics as normal, if not total normalcy.
  8. Well, there are those many who group around core cultures, religions or traditions, and they have the right to do so if they interfere with no-one else . With the religious, we know broadly what they uphold and find their identity in, roughly: family, community, church, nation, God. How much these cultural/traditional values can impact upon the state, to become a country's nationalist values, is the key question. For all that, my impression is that in nearly all western countries, the religious (Christians, particularly) have become mostly accepting of Church-State separation. I believe they've understood that when they get involved in the government, the gvment can equally get involved with their religion and them, and that they don't want. Having said that I understand that they indeed put pressure on the government in America on a handful of issues they deem important. But really, the "predominant" idea/s is what defines a nation's culture and identity (and religion and Christianity doesn't define the USA, last I looked!).
  9. The crux of the matter, and your later "...had a metaphysical root of their thought that was God..." Belaboring the known here, again. The genius of the US Founding Fathers was their metaphysical identification of the nature of man, "created" equal--and to be protected equally with individual rights before the Law. No less and no more, that is all there can be to equality and should be. (My simple take out). In between the poles, man's nature and the law, the implication is to me, one is as free also to be ... 'un-equal'. While holding respect for the other's life and rights. Your life, your ethics, your thinking, your choices, your happiness. The conception is entirely secular, conceived by men's minds for man's life, however deist or theist or agnostic they may have been overtly. The secularists on the left subvert the concept, "equality", for their purposes. (Asking: But morally you have to accept equality for the people - how can you not?! To which many will and do accede in confusion). It seems the religious conservatives consider the Constitution written by great men although inspired directly by God? By revelation? Whatever the document's origins to them, brought about by that false metaphysics, the results were objectively valid and good.
  10. So what's the alternative? All very well Brook&Co. rather smugly taking apart a bad video presentation, like shooting fish in a barrel - but: what do they and other Objectivists offer as replacement for the nation state? I.e., "nationalism"?
  11. Thanks, I'll watch that. ANYwheres, not everywheres as I recalled it. But a useful tool to understand the relative psycho-epistemology of their adherents imo.
  12. Recently read of, an interesting meme. I didn't note the writer who originated it. The "somewhere's" and the "everywhere's". Those are people who in my understanding, are 1. strongly attached to a physical place, and those who 2. consider themselves above any place in particular. Evidently, the ideas of the latter are powerfully driven by ready access to Internet communication and the quasi-reality of cyberspace. For the conceptualist, I'd think that is very much a false alternative: i.e. one can be based in and find value in a location and nation (and the technology) and, equally "universal"- in the abstract (also physically in 'other places' on occasions). The meme does point, at least in part, to the cause of the growing divide of nationalism and 'globalism', with the latter wishing to make manifest non-nations and border-less countries, to accommodate their preconceived "everywhere" ideas. One may see intrinsicism against subjectivism/skepticism in there - with their corresponding value systems.
  13. A "proxy" army seems a convenient ploy for a belligerent state to sometimes wash its hands of its orchestrated empire building and terrorist aims and acts. Journo spotted it right: many treat this in a series of "disconnected crises". It is only the usual concretism, determinism and appeasement by the West's media that has glossed over and aided Iran's aggressive expansionism. Quite under the radar, their "proxy" army has been getting away with increasing military and civilian powers in those other countries listed above. (Revealing that Iran's role in propping up Assad in Syria, amid many of his civilian atrocities which appalled westerners, went quite uncriticized and unreported by the msm). Everybody tacitly knows Iran's overall objective, and that it considers Western freedoms a block on its goals, but prefers to evade the fact. Comes a time, in long term self-interest, someone and some nation and (far preferably) some alliance of nations has to make a stand against a rogue state, to thwart much worse down the road. Not - to cater to the causal confusion and 'victimhood' of "were we the West to blame?" "who did what to whom, first?". Nor: Is this going to justify an Iranian response? Nor: "is this a wise strategy?" They create paralysis which only strengthens a foe's morale. Far wiser is a (limited, unpredictable and occasional) strong response which *might* give potential enemies pause for thought. A full out conflict has to be avoided, but not at all costs, making for future insecurity and worse wars, I think. Journo : 'Americans should face the real character and conduct..." Not only them - France, Germany, and the EU too have been largely responsible for allowing free rein by Iran and pretending it means no harm.. Iran's "character" was openly exposed by their decades-long "conduct". We know them by what their leaders do and what they keep repeating they want to do. They must be believed.
  14. Iran has (for too long) been conducting Quds "proxy" operations in several regions: The Quds Force (Persian: سپاه قدس‎ sepāh-e qods)[4] is a unit in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) specializing in unconventional warfare andmilitary intelligence operations. Responsible for extraterritorial operations,[5] the Quds Force supports non-state actors in many countries, including Lebanese Hezbollah,Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, YemeniHouthis, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.[5] Analysts estimate the Quds has 10,000–20,000 members.[6] The Quds Force reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei.[7][8] It was commanded by Major General Qasem Soleimani until he was killed by a U.S. drone strike atBaghdad International Airport on 3 January 2020.[9][10][11] Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani was appointed as commander of the Quds Force on the same day.[12] Wiki
  15. Who is making an attack on anyone's rationality here? No name -calling that I see - though true, it's counter-productive to do so, often unjust and a poor substitute for argument. Whew. That's all you took away from Branden?! Not attacking anyone's self-esteem? Only one take-out, evidenced in the quote, was his advocacy for living a first-handed life.
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