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whYNOT last won the day on December 23 2019

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  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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!).
  4. 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.
  5. 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"?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. When and if concrete-bound (in the moment) and although concretely aware of facts, but of disconnected (- "discrete", I believe is the philosophy-speak -) facts which one doesn't conceptualize, that's not rationality. Then, one is at the mercy of random ideas at large, as per Rand. Rationality orientates one towards reality AND reasoning. Nathaniel Branden (Honoring the Self) defined: "Rationality is our unreserved commitment to perceive reality to the best of our ability, a commitment to being conscious--an acceptance of reason as the ultimate arbiter and guide in matters of knowledge, values, and action". I maintain that there are some of modest intelligence and not much education who are rational - in their perceptions - and "naturally" conceptual to a degree - while completely unversed in "epistemology". I.e. they have independent ideas/minds taken from observed facts. Many educated intellectuals do not. I've known such individuals broadly from both camps.
  12. I didn't level that at you personally. You recalled a thought I've had often. (The meme of the predetermined, almost, "creative genius"). There's reality which one has to refer to first, foremost, during and after. I'm also in favor of presenting the highs and low points of human endeavor, the extreme of rationality, reason, individualism - against the extreme of people who explicitly oppose those virtues/values. Contrast makes these things clearer for thought and discussion. The hallmark of Rand's romantic realism is the essentialization of fictional characters. Her readers may take out the essential ideas of the individuals and their subsequent acts and triumphs (or overthrow) as reference points, which we can hold in common. "Dagny" instantly brings her specific qualities and so on, to mind. A 'Toohey" represents the lowest. Elsewhere, lie the "Eddies" whom Rand didn't overlook, and treated sympathetically if briefly - they simply weren't important enough in her creative, philosophical scheme of things - the extremes. In actuality, the thinking/valuing Eddies make up the majority of good people we know of. However in real life, very few of us will run their own railroad, discover a new atomic particle, become a world-famed artist - etc.etc. Which brings up a main point: rationality is a top virtue, one shouldn't forget. Therefore instrumental to one's chosen, rationally selfish ends - whatever they are. One's rationality and reason do not serve 'a greater purpose', although evidently they sometimes have great, secondary effects upon mankind. Those we recognize after the fact, as "creative genius". What one's "purpose" in life is, comes in a very large potential array, to the extent of one's capabilities and ambitions. Wishing e.g. to discover the atomic particle without all that that entails (a supreme capacity for and education in physics, for one), is going to destine one to frustration and disappointment. What one ~can~ do exactly matching what one ~wants~ to do, rather, is a strong recipe for "success" (personal achievement, I prefer to think of it). And there, one would apply the highest standards and aims possible. Adding value to the values others found and made. Again, as with fiction and art, referencing the best of those individuals' creative achievements can help set one's standards and motivation. It's not one's duty to "shape history", certainly not to live for the non-specific 'others' (outside of one's sphere of value), but without pressing one's purpose to its maximum, you'll never know how much one could influence an individual here or there, or many, even bearing upon the future course of events.
  13. The identical motive was maintaining, forcing, *the purity* of the relevant ideology. A capitalist and religionist was seen, equally, to be a "heretic" to the communists as to the inquisitors. One minor distinction was that Catholics believed they were saving one's immortal soul. Not believing in this, the Soviets punished and executed (mortal) men and women, and removed their contaminating heresy from society.
  14. That "average person" was as much responsible for his regime. Viewing the past simplistically, there's often comes up this untenable and magical idea of "the dictator" who sorta rounds up and takes "the people" unwillingly to their doom - or willingly to the sacrifice of others. This presumes on omnipotent power and ultimate stupidity/unconsciousness by the people. They aren't so innocent, they knew what they were doing. I also question the usual "creative genius" narrative - if and when he's considered the only truly rational individual who exists or existed. This limitation to a few, and anyway studying their lives reveals their inconsistency, contradicts the meaning and ramifications of "rationality". Anyone who recognizes its importance can "be" rational - with choice and ongoing commitment. Always forgotten are the great numbers of individuals who quietly lived rational or mostly rational lives. If one hasn't gleaned that by interacting widely with people, you need only to look around you: a multitude of things are being done, being made and have been built - excellently - by individuals who had to apply a rational mind (even for less creative tasks, to the limits of their ability. Even by those not, er, genius). They ~add value~ in thousands of ways to the more visible accomplishments initiated by the pathfinders, and clearly find personal value, self-esteem in doing so. It's close to arguing that, except for several towering figures, scientists etc. who's names we often refer to, rationality barely occurred. Or believing that the heyday of free enterprise in America and Europe was due to "rational" capitalists -- therefore, who'd be secularists and atheists, by necessity. But of course the early businessmen/industrialists mostly were religious, as almost everyone was then. Right, displaying inconsistent rationality. Rather related to this, I think there's a pitfall by any suggestion of O'ists to be "elitists" - an untrue, objectionable and second-handed word. An "everyman" philosophy is this.
  15. Especially not fixed in individuals. Some get more rational, exampled by this young lady.
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