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The Thom Hartmann Show: ARI

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Does anyone else listen to the radio clips of ARI's interviews on The Thom Hartmann Show? I just started to check them out. This guy is really something. I'm having a hard time figuring out if he's trying to be some kind of devil's advocate or Bill O Reilley type, or if he's just an utter boob. Some of his conceptions of how the economy works are truly bizarre. It's almost funny listening to it at times because it's like the ARI guests almost have to sit down with him and explain everything literally, and just when you think he might get it he tosses out another package deal misconception.


Edited by IchorFigure
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I agree that he attempts to keep guests offbalance, but it makes for an interesting show. Some guests handle it better than others. Yaron Brook is unbelievably well-prepared for this type of show--his arguments are insightful and hit right on the money. No offense to Andrew Bernstein as I think he's a great lecturer, but he seems to have a little bit of trouble with this type of format; he seems unable to deal with the barrages that Hartmann puts out at times.

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Yes, I've heard him several times. What is transparent is that he can't contend with the ideas straight up, so he has to play games and try to keep guests off balance. Talk about being intellectually bankrupt.

lol Well it's strange because I feel kind of fascinated with him. He comes off much of the time like he's truly interested in the opinion of ARI, then he'll turn totally around and offer up some non-sequitor. The way he opens the show every, single, time that ARI somehow founded the libertarian and neo-conservative movement slays me. He also always seems to return to some odd ideas about how the community has rights, and that a "capitalist" is a separate type of person with different rights. It's truly weirdly interesting.

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The way he opens the show every, single, time that ARI somehow founded the libertarian and neo-conservative movement slays me.

He's a hardcore commie, so I guess even Hillary Clinton is a "right-winger" from his perspective. He thinks that the normal state of people is to be socialists, and any deviation to the right must be the result of the influence of some "bourgeois" ideology. He cannot conceive of ordinary people espousing "libertarian" ideas or advocating "Grover Norquist-type" policies simply because they like freedom; he thinks they must have been brainwashed by "corporate" propaganda in order to say something as crazy and outrageous as "I prefer lower taxes." He does get one thing right, though: that Ayn Rand and the Ayn Rand Institute have been the most consistent and outspoken sources of the ideas that may lead people away from the "true path" of socialism. He just way overestimates the extent to which people would follow that path in the absence of Objectivism.

He also always seems to return to some odd ideas about how the community has rights, and that a "capitalist" is a separate type of person with different rights.

Yes, he always recycles the same old garbage. And I think he will continue to do so, since the discussions mostly remain on the level of politics and very rarely touch the more fundamental questions of ethics, let alone epistemology or metaphysics. But all his fallacies are ultimately rooted in these more fundamental areas, so throwing Objectivist politics at them won't make them go away. For example, his routine of "Why don't WE THE PEOPLE get together and [insert thuggery related to topic of the day]" is answered by the concept of inalienable rights, and the speakers do mention that--but the concept of inalienable rights is based on the distinction of force vs. reason, and the fact of reason being man's primary means of survival; and that in turn is based on the distinction between man's conceptual faculty and an animal's perceptual-level consciousness; but to understand that, you need to know about the nature of concepts; and to understand the nature of concepts, you ultimately need to grasp and accept the Primacy of Existence. And the same fundamental issues show up in his premises when the topic is animal rights, or trying to reason with Iran, or going to war with entrepreneurs, and so on ... and obviously, they cannot be discussed in anywhere near the depth that would be required within the 10 to 20 minutes available on the show, especially if he keeps interrupting you with incessant appeals to emotion.

Edited by Capitalism Forever
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I still remember the time when Alex Epstein was on the Thom Hartmann show to discuss the issue of animal rights. Alex was saying something along the lines of how animals do not have the capability of understanding rights. However, Alex was unable to finish as Thom Hartmann interrupted him to say something along the lines of "what are you kidding? Squirrels recognize property rights. Look at how mad they get if you take away their acorns!"

I think even Alex was taken aback by this answer. I suppose it was inconceivable that even Thom Hartmann could be that idiotic! :lol:

Thom Hartmann's seemingly limitless capacity to evade reality has never ceased to astound me.

Edited by DarkWaters
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I listen to Hartmann every now and then on a local Progressive radio station here in the DC area. He's a complete clown for the most part. Last time I was listening he was going on a 15 minute diatribe about how obsessed with growth the human race is, and why can't we just be more like other animals.

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The one that really got me was about, I think it was, CEO pay. Yaron was talking about how a venture capitalist's create new jobs. He insisted that they don't. He went on to say how he had begun a business some years ago, and went off on another tangent. Yaron replied that him doing that created new jobs. He said, "no", and then continued talking about something about labor and the community.

P.S. This forum is in desperate need of an eye rolling emoticon.

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