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Capitalism Forever

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Everything posted by Capitalism Forever

  1. This is a nice example of the primacy of consumption fallacy. Their premise is that there is a certain amount that each of us wants to consume, and we'll work just hard enough to get the amount we want. In reality, people aim at maximizing their wealth, and everybody will produce as much as he can (especially if production is not taxed); the factor that constrains the size of the economy is not how much people desire to consume, but how much they are able to produce.
  2. Feather, is it something like the "Marxist professor" analogy that you have in mind? I.e., that if somebody just preaches an anti-freedom ideology but doesn't act on it, the government should leave him alone to do so?
  3. You are still trying to apply principles of criminal law enforcement to warfare.
  4. I said I did not not think the construction of the mosque was an act of war in itself. You seem to be implying that only the enemy's military infrastructure is a legitimate target in a war--that "peaceful" "civilian" infrastructure must be kept safe. Dr. Brook has explained in many of his speeches why this is not the case.
  5. That is like asking whether the Germans building a particular bridge over the Rhine was an act of war. In itself, not--but it was part of a larger process that constituted war against the United States. I certainly would.
  6. Certainly--but when people act on the idea, you may have to defend yourself with bombs. The problem is that it is often not easy to tell the two apart. If a person makes it clear that he is opposed to totalitarian Islam, I have no problem with him performing Islamic rituals and building mosques on his property etc., just as I would have had no problem during WWII with a person from Germany or Japan who has given some solid evidence that he is opposed to the regime of his country and wishes to be a free American citizen. But note that in this situation, it is up to him to remove any doubt as to where his allegiance lies; due to his association with the enemy, involuntary as it may be, we cannot presume his innocence, and no "neutrality" is possible to him--he has to be either with us or against us. This is the difference between fighting crime and fighting a war: if we are at war with your country (or other organized group), then the default position is that you are a target. As I said, I don't know much about the details of this proposed mosque, but given that they just "happen" to be building it right next to Ground Zero and just "happen" to want to start construction exactly on September 11--well, I just "happen" to have a hunch that they are not exactly pro-American. (And here's some background on them, BTW.)
  7. Swine, you still seem to be confusing war with crime. You fight criminals as individuals, but you cannot fight a war that way. And don't call your view "the Objectivist one" ; doing so doesn't convince any rational person of anything, and it is not up to you to decide what is Objectivist and what is not.
  8. What am I implying? The implication may be obvious to you, but it isn't to me. What is all too obvious, though, is the implications of the contrary view, i.e. that people should be free to act on any commandment of murder as long as it comes from a religion. It is quite true that most religious people don't take everything in their holy books seriously, and if a religion is actually peaceful in spite of what its books say, then people should be free to practice its ceremonies and quote from the books etc. But Islam is anything but peaceful at this point in history.
  9. We need to do a lot more than that. I am not familiar with the specifics of the situation, but as a general principle, if somebody has started a war against you, then you use all the force it takes to defend yourself against whomever is associated with the enemy. Whether the person happens to be on U.S. soil or abroad at the moment is a non-essential. Whether a particular building is claimed as a religious place by the enemy is also irrelevant; you are free to exercise any religion in the U.S. as long as you respect the rights of others, but if your religion asks you to kill infidels, then you are not free to exercise that. Besides, from the limited information that I do have on the matter, it strikes me as dishonest to say that Pamela "wants to use the power of the state to prevent the mosque from being built" in the first place. It's not like she is advocating some new kind of government power, she's only asking the bureaucrats to wield the power they already have in a way that favors us rather than the enemy.
  10. Because we need to do X in order to defend ourselves effectively, but we don't need to do more than X.
  11. Don't you see a little ... um, tension, between wanting to kill him on the one hand, and demanding respect for his property rights on the other?
  12. "Descent" is quite a broad continuum, but let's look at the relevant extreme: Suppose it's 1942 and a guy who has just immigrated from Japan walks into a gun store and wants to buy a dozen automatic rifles. That OK with you?
  13. Should we respect the property rights of people who build mosques in Iran? If the same people want to build a mosque in NYC, isn't that even worse ? When we bombed Dresden, did we look for evidence of criminal activity of the people living in each house before releasing every single bomb? Don't confuse war with crime.
  14. Not a very original idea, in that Aristotle already said something similar 2000 years earlier ("Friendship is one soul dwelling in two bodies"), except I guess Hegel deserves credit for managing to turn it into the corniest-sounding statement of solipsism that anyone has probably ever uttered. The good thing about friendship is precisely that you find somebody else who is like you; Hegel makes it sound like all you can ever be friends with is yourself. I am not the type who very much minds being alone, but I would hate to live in that kind of a lonely world! Another unoriginal idea. Louis XVI said something very similar when he saw the revolutionaries outside his palace!
  15. Jeez, if that is how you try to learn a language, you'll never get anywhere near fluency! You have to map words to concepts, not to English words. You have to learn to think of the actual thing you do at your job every day whenever you hear "trabajo" the same way as you do when you hear "I work."
  16. Methinks if religion were his fundamental characteristic, he would do anything BUT recommend any book by Ayn Rand.
  17. That is, IMO, the premise to check. Beck may be religious, but is it his fundamental characteristic?
  18. What is it that makes it nice, though? I guess I'm not helping the OP here, but I never understood this. I can see the merits of both extremes, but what are you getting in the middle? I can (sort of) relate to having sex with whomever you find hot, I can certainly relate to having sex with the one woman you love the most, but I could never do this "you're good for now, but it isn't forever" thing. I mean, the two values you can derive from sleeping with a woman are 1, having a great sexual experience and 2, consummating a romantic relationship. If you are focusing on #1, the way to gain the greatest amount of value is to sleep with as many attractive women as you find. If you are going for #2 (which comes with #1 included, of course), then it has to be a real romantic relationship, with a woman you're in love with, not just some temporary "like you but don't quite really love you" kind of arrangement.
  19. If the word "modern" is all you have a quibble with, though, then the point about tribal societies being anything but free remains uncontested.
  20. I use an HTC Hero running Android and I agree, it's a great operating system. (I happen to be posting from my phone right now. )
  21. I don't think there's any disagreement about what he intended, only about how the actual end product should be interpreted.
  22. "Political" ? I am objecting to the movie's metaphysics.
  23. I think I do have a somewhat clear picture of your position now; I guess the main difference is that, at least when the symbolism is so blatant as in Avatar, I cannot help but interpret the actual content in light of the director's intentions.
  24. If they mean that you need more experience to understand something, then it can be legitimate; for example, a three-year old indeed does not understand what falling in love means as well as a thirty-year old does. But all too often, the people who say this do not refer to the experience that can be gained with age, but rather to motives for evasion that they have picked up over the years. As a young child, you might not "understand" why one should believe that a God exists if there is no evidence for it, but to a person who has just turned fifty and realizes that he has squandered his most productive years without realizing any of his dreams, the idea of an eternal afterlife suddenly starts to "make a lot of sense."
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