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  1. Hey guys! I have a couple questions that I believe I have a fundamental understanding, but not an in-depth or grounded understanding of. If you guys could help, that would be appreciated. Also, I may not respond but that doesn't mean I haven't read responses, so don't be discouraged. In The Virtue of Selfishness on page 95 under the essay “Collectivized Ethics” Rand discusses Medicare. She was quoting the altruist’s claim that the rich “indulge in profligate material luxury on the premise of ‘price is no object’” then stated that “the social progress brought by today’s collectivized mentalities consists of indulging in altruistic political planning on the premise of “human lives no object.” She states that out of context, certain public goals sound good: the ends. But these advocates must keep a very foggy cloud around the means: human lives. She then goes on to state that Medicare is a perfect example of this. She states this fog “hides such facts as the enslavement and, therefore, the destruction of all medical science, the regimentation and disintegration of all medical practice, and the sacrifice of the professional integrity, the freedom, the careers, the ambitions, the happiness, the lives of the very men who are to provide that “desirable” goal- the doctors.” My question is: How does Medicare harm medical practice or doctors? My second question is why she stated how this impacted doctors instead of the taxpayers or the younger generation. Something that Ayn Rand must frequently argue is that any selfish man will not use force, meaning he will not destroy the man using reason to further his own and other’s lives, because without them we would all be dead. She argues that even a small breach of principles means the government can simply take advantage of the hole and expand it (How can we be sure 9-9-9 won’t turn into 15-15-15?), which I would probably have to agree with. However, it must be mentioned that most often this downward spiral happens slowly, not quickly. The farmer collecting subsidies may eventually have all of his property taken, since to collect a subsidy is to abandon property rights, but this need to confiscate property will probably come years down the road- probably even after he is dead. What is you guys’ take on this? Much, if not all, of Rand’s arguments stem from the value life. Rand reasons that because man does not have an automatic means of survival and because life is preserved and furthered through material possessions, man has the right to property and should be self-interested. However, a non-Objectivist could very likely argue that life is sustained and fathered because of society. While an Objectivist may point to a survival show as evidence of man’s use of reason to survive, his opponent may point to it as evidence of what happens when society disappears. My question is this: How would an Objectivist tackle someone using the social contract theory?
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