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Jon Southall posted a topic in Political PhilosophyThe proper purpose of government is considered by some to be exercising a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force. The Government's use of force would be kept in check by a judicial system, which protects individual inalienable rights objectively. The judicial system exists to ensure the use of force by the government is always retaliatory in nature, and directed only at individuals who initiate force. The judicial system would also help to resolve contractural disputes. The government would otherwise remain separate from religion and the economy. Firstly, to what extent is the form of government so described consistent with Objectivism, philosophically speaking? Secondly, observing that there are no governments in the world that meet the above standard, do you think it is possible to introduce such a form of government? Would use of force to bring about regime change from within be legitimate, in order to have it? At the end of Atlas Shrugged, the Objectivists take back the collapsing US from the collectivists, killing them if necessary in order to do so. When would it be morally justified to do this in reality? Finally, how far would the claims of the government extend? Is the extent of the government within reach of everywhere its citizens are, and their property, or would it only apply within the territorial limits its military power can protect; a safe zone? Thanks for your thoughts.
What Does Freedom Mean To You?
Devil's Advocate posted a topic in Political PhilosophyWe all have an idea about what freedom is and we all argue about it. I think most people inherit some form of freedom and then spend the greater part of their lives trying to improve it for themselves and others. So I am curious, at this point in your lives, what freedom means to you. To get the ball rolling, and to offer some examples of the kind of statements I'm looking for, I've selected the following quotes from various sources... "What is the basic, the essential, the crucial principle that differentiates freedom from slavery? It is the principle of voluntary action versus physical coercion or compulsion." ~ Freedom, ARL "I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." ~ Robert A. Heinlein "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~ Malcom X "True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." ~ Abraham Lincoln "Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." ~ Pope John Paul II "Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you" ~ Jean-Paul Sartre "There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free." ~ Walter Cronkite -- Definition of FREEDOM ~ Merriam-Webster 1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care> d : ease, facility <spoke the language with freedom> e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken <answered with freedom> f : improper familiarity g : boldness of conception or execution h : unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home> 2 a : a political right b : franchise, privilege
SCOTUS Upholds Obamacare
Wotan posted a topic in Current EventsThe Supreme Court of the United States of Ameristan has evidently decided that the federal government enjoys unlimited power. Freedom is seemingly irrelevant and nonexistent, and thus here in the People's Republic of America, the government can unconstitutionally do as it wishes, without restriction by law or liberty.
Garshasp posted a topic in Current EventsOn this Memorial Day in America I salute -- not the brain-dead, unprincipled, cannon-fodder drones who perished in combat for the United States, but who just as easily would have fought and died for communist Russia, Nazi Germany, and ayatollic Iran -- but the intellectual fighters for liberty for America. I salute -- not the many, nameless, fallen soldiers -- but the handful of great philosophical freedom-fighters, like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Thomas Paine. I also salute those all-important thinkers who came before, such as John Locke, Adam Smith, Montesquieu, and Voltaire. And I tip my hat to the more recent intellectual battlers for liberty and justice, such as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand. I even pay my regards to such recent practical, political figures, and semi-libertarians, as Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Gary Johnson, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas. These intellectual battlers for the rights of man, and individual freedom, are the true heroes and noble warriors of this earth!
Who to Vote For
Wotan posted a topic in Political PhilosophyThrow your vote away. Always! Never be "practical" or "realistic." Never vote for evil or "the lesser of two evils." Never vote for tyranny. Vote for freedom 100% of the time. Find the most economically capitalist, socially libertarian, and politically pro-freedom candidate you can -- and then loudly, proudly, defiantly, aggressively vote for him! Cast your vote in steel! And be sure to spit in the voting monitor's eye when you do so! Your attitude and philosophy should be: no nonsense, no bullshit, no apology, no surrender, and no retreat. Take care that you don't regret your vote later on; take care that you don't have to rationalize, excuse, and explain it away. Don't ever politically advance and morally sanction slavery. Don't you dare! Always bear in mind that if you vote for the right-wing conservatives, or the left-wing progressives, then they will socio-economically prosper and politically strengthen. No-one will know or care that you secretly favor liberty. How could they? You're casting your vote for welfare statist totalitarianism! However, if you self-assertively vote for individual rights and freedom, everyone will know. The conservatives and progressives will both take note -- and then adjust themselves in a capitalist, libertarian, and freedomist direction. This will happen both after the current election, and during the next campaign. The powers-that-be will work for and actively court the liberty bloc. They'll tailor their positions and beliefs towards you. They'll noticeably alter and uplift their whole legislative behavior. So don't be a traitor to yourself and to mankind. Don't be a communist or fascist monster from hell. But if you do make the decision to perpetrate an act of political raw evil and vote for slavery -- in the pathetic belief that "It's just this one time" or "It's only because this election is so damn important," and you think your one pitiful impotent vote among millions will make a difference -- then recognize that as a result the freedom groups and parties will necessarily decline and the slavery folks will ascend. And who's fault will that be? Your fault! You need to vote for freedom now and forever and always! If not you, who? If not now, when? If you decide to walk into a voting booth, try not to be a complete and total scumbag and retarded monkey from hell. Try not to be a complete and total destroyer of yourself and the world.
The fight for religious freedomThe fight for religious freedom in America This PBS video, broadcasted yesterday, is worth watching and thinking about. http://video.pbs.org/video/2315729403 It is full of topics worth debating, either here or elsewhere. Please share the link with those who might also be interested. Best wishes to all, Ludwik Kowalski http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html .
Communist and Fascist America
Wotan posted a topic in Current EventsThe United States is a massively communist and fascist nation. Some of America's main political establishments are: (1) Social Security -- which is communism, (2) Medicare -- which is communism, (3) Medicaid -- which is communism, (4) unemployment insurance, food stamps, housing subsidies, and multitudinous other types of government charity -- which is communism, (5) government roads -- which is communism, and (6) government schools -- which is communism. In addition to these individual-attacking, freedom-destroying, economic schemes and scams, America also has: (7) drug criminalization -- which is fascism, (8) prostitution criminalization -- which is fascism, (9) many types of gambling criminalization -- which is fascism, and (10) censorship of broadcast obscenity on radio and t'v' -- which is fascism. Now, the United States admittedly does enjoy some political liberty -- does have some capitalist and libertarian elements. In economics, America has private, non-government industries like oil, gas, coal, farming, ranching, cars and trucks, most of personal housing, most of business buildings, restaurants, clubs, bars, clothing, shoes, movies, sports, almost all radio, almost all t'v', computer hardware, computer software, etc. So the capitalist sector of America -- albeit hideously regulated, stunted, and demented -- still lives in America. Moreover, in American social and personal lives, much behavior is freely-chosen and private. The people of the United States are politically free to choose their own job, housing, transportation, entertainment, friends, lovers, philosophy, religion, politics, food, dress, music, art, exercise, manners, attitude, clubs, groups, parties, sexuality, and speech. So the libertarian sector of America -- albeit hideously regulated, stunted, and demented -- still lives in America. And yet, the ten evil institutions listed above are central to the American nation and its way of life. These tyrannical aspects of the people and government degrade America's quality of life considerably. The level of popular energy, dynamism, satisfaction, happiness, greatness, hope, and spirit is very inferior to what it could be. And it's worth noting that most of these totalitarian programs and laws did not exist a century ago. As for those that did -- such as collectivist roads and schools, and restrictions on prostitution and gambling -- they cost far less than today, and had far less influence on American lifestyles. In the end, the Stalinist and Hitlerian political institutions cited above pervert the society, debauch the culture, and ravage the American civilization. They need to be terminated immediately. America today is a massively communist and fascist nation -- and that needs to change.
Gwen posted a topic in Political PhilosophyIn my country smoking is banned in many public places by the government. This leads me to wonder if there is such a thing as "a right to fresh air and not to suffer from the consequences of second hand smoke". If this is a valid right, then does this not conflict with the right of some others to smoke in public? If it is right to ban smoking, isn't the government doing something for the greater good and isn't it based on a collectivist premise? Can it be also viewed that giving man freedom is also for the ''greater good'' as this promotes affluence and optimal functioning for many people? Am I misapplying some concepts? My governement also fines people for littering.Is it right to say that it is not the government's role to fine people or to ban activities like littering? Do people have rights to a clean environment? Also in my country, there was a recent furor over how some people living in apartments had conflict over a neighbour's pungent cooking, the other party not liking the smell and demanding that the neighbour only cook that dish on days when that party was not at home. Is there a conflict of rights here? Is there such a thing as a right to a ''neutral environment" where there is no cigarette smoke, litter or offensive smell? Is it a right to not be made to suffer harmful or unpleasant consequences of other people's choices?