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What do you feel when you talk to collectivists?

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How can you feel anything for someone who has, by their own choice, rendered themselves into the equivalent of a sponge?

Well that definitely is feeling something towards them. :lol: It sounds like you pity them. (Even if you don't dwell on it for very long or it's in your subconcious, it sounds like you feel something.)

I suppose that if you're a really excessively benevolent person that *really* likes other people, you might think "geez, what a waste of human potential!". If you make the mistake of trying to argue with them...

I don't have to argue with someone to feel something, and I don't feel I'm excessively benevolent, but just hearing what they have to say evokes something, even if they just say hello and smile at me. I dunno, maybe I'm weird.

Otherwise, my emotional connection with these subhumans is the same as the one I have with scunge that grows on the toilet. I don't get mad about it, I just scrub it off and flush.

Well no one said you had to get mad and let them ruin your day, but you must feel something in order to come to the conclusion that you will "scrub it off and flush." Right? <_<

I don't feel for them. I'm not an altruist. I don't care about what other people believe in, as long as they don't infringe upon my liberty... or have political pull.

So I'm an altruist when I feel for someone? Are you suggesting Howard Roark was an altruist for feeling pity for Peter Keating when Peter shows Howard his paintings?

And they are infringing upon your liberties! Jeez, take a look at your 1040.

:confused:

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Well no one said you had to get mad and let them ruin your day, but you must feel something in order to come to the conclusion that you will "scrub it off and flush." Right? :)

No, because it's an intellectual conclusion that they don't deserve any emotional involvement. I don't--and don't have to--feel an emotional reaction to everything all the time. I don't care about most people one way or the other, and I don't expect them to care about me.

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So I'm an altruist when I feel for someone? Are you suggesting Howard Roark was an altruist for feeling pity for Peter Keating when Peter shows Howard his paintings?

Why should you care about someone who is your intellectual opposite? What do you have to gain from continuing a conversation with him? How are you not an altruist by making yourself care? Or in other words why should Howard Roark care about Toohey? The title of the post is what should someone feel when they are talking to collectivists, not "someone" in general.

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No, because it's an intellectual conclusion that they don't deserve any emotional involvement. I don't--and don't have to--feel an emotional reaction to everything all the time. I don't care about most people one way or the other, and I don't expect them to care about me.

I still find this puzzling. I can understand brushing off, or even subconsciously dismissing the emotion quickly, but I can't imagine feeling nothing. I hope I'm never that way. I agree that we should evaluate our emotions and not get carried away with them, but to not feel seems unhealthy. What am I missing here?

Why should you care about someone who is your intellectual opposite?

I don't recall saying you should care about the person. This thread is about what you feel towards them.

What do you have to gain from continuing a conversation with him?

If I feel there is nothing to gain, I will probably discontinue the conversation. Again, the thread is about what you feel when conversing with them, not whether you should or shouldn't. (Most of us have had a conversation with these types, whether ill-conceived or not.)

How are you not an altruist by making yourself care?

If someone is a value to me, I care about them. If someone is threatening my life, I care about them. If someone is threatening my ability to flourish in life, I care about them. (And by "care" I assume you mean I have an interest in them of some sort.) How is that altruism?

Or in other words why should Howard Roark care about Toohey? The title of the post is what should someone feel when they are talking to collectivists, not "someone" in general.

I'm not sure that I understand what you're talking about. I used Roark and Keating in my example/question, which you never responded to. (If you're talking about the part where Toohey asks what Roark thinks about him, Roark replies that he doesn't think about him. They weren't talking about feelings.) I also think my responses were directly related to the subject of the thread.

I don't feel for them. I'm not an altruist.

For you to say it's altruistic to experience feelings towards a collectivist seems odd, so I'm just trying to get clarification as to whether or not that's what you're actually saying. I thought that part of The Fountainhead (the pity Roark feels for Keating) was particularly interesting because it helped me identify what it is I feel for my ex husband. For you to say that's altruism, was strange to me.

Edited by K-Mac
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I still find this puzzling. I can understand brushing off, or even subconsciously dismissing the emotion quickly, but I can't imagine feeling nothing. I hope I'm never that way. I agree that we should evaluate our emotions and not get carried away with them, but to not feel seems unhealthy. What am I missing here?

I *think*, and take this with a grain of salt because I'm not 100% sure, that this is something people arrive at after a significantly long period of time--the instantaneous dismissal becomes automatized, like anything else that you do habitually, and you don't even experience feeling an emotion.

I've experienced this in other areas, when I was really, really furious at someone who treated me unjustly--every time I thought about them I'd feel angry and have to remind myself that there was no use in getting angry all over again. Over time, that "there's no point" became automatized to an increasing degree. It's harder for me when the injustice is more personal, so I, hah, still occasionally get mad at my parents over things that happened years ago. But I was never that personally involved with the abstract injustices perpetuated by collectivism apologists, so the automatic dismissal has taken a lot more thoroughly.

If someone I know and am personally involved with in some way (as a gaming buddy, maybe) starts spouting this stuff in my face, I'm likely to get furious, but that's not because of the collectivism so much as the fact that this person IS IN MY FREAKIN' HOUSE. Then, it's tempting to spray them with disinfectant before they get their stupid all over the furniture.

Personally, I think it's a good thing because becoming emotionally overwrought when confronted by the opposition does your cause no favors. I am also of the opinion that displaying definite emotion to your, um, "peeps" is not a bad thing, but this is because I can't STAND people who are so hysterically insecure that they can't handle someone displaying strong feelings. It's not like I'm going to punch them, but dammit, I'm entitled to get mad and frustrated just like everyone else! Instead, I've found that the ONLY thing you need to do is, as I said earlier, disagree vocally and rationally. You'd be shocked at how much this encourages the people who didn't want to speak up against an orgy of smug collectivist back-patting and derails those collectivists' attempts to dominate the discussion.

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In order:

The creeps

The desire to meet this creature in a dark alley with my knife or beeter yet a baseball bat and my knife so I can do it really slowly. first breaking the ankles, then the knees, the smashing the feet, hamds and working up from there but leaving it alive at the end with a slit gut.

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My response to collectivists depends on whether I am faced with a collectivist who is fully versed in all of the ideology at an intellectual level (the Tooheys and Floyd Ferrises of the world) and pursues the collectivist agenda purposefully; or someone who simply absorbed collectivism by default (a typical product of public schools and leftist media) and simply runs with the herd.

The only collectivists I have encountered are of the latter variety.

I'd also venture that age plays an important part in how I feel as well. I can tangle a collectivist of my own age in his own contradictions without effort. It's extremely pathetic because of lack of thought involved on their part.

Or I want smack them upside the head in an attempt to get some neurons firing. Like how if you hit a tv, sometimes the reception gets better.

That, too.

On the other hand, I feel contempt and disgust for those older than me, who claim to enjoy this type of debate for the sake of "exercising one's brain", yet attempt to conceal his nonexistent defense behind patronizations of me being naive, compassionless, and he being older/wiser/more skilled at this thing called life. I recently spent the larger portion of a lecture discussing this with one of my professors, only to have it boil down to me being a heartless human being.

Anyhow.

Edited by Georgia
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This may not exactly be on topic, but this makes me think of a conversation I had on the phone with my mom a few weeks ago, and I forget how we got to talking about politics but we did, and I said something about how it was nothing more than pure unvarnished force how the government was trying to right the economy by taking from some and giving to others, and she didn't disagree with me, and I asked her how it is that she can possibly defend the many enslaving the few, and she said pretty much direct quote that it was OK as long as it was the weak restraining the strong. It was at that point that we both decided it was better that we just not talk about it, after I started to respond that anyone who thought they would get in my way or hold me down was in for a nasty surprise. I was a little angry at my mom, especially considering that she has me as a daughter, but mostly I was just very, very sad because I know there are some ways in which we'll never understand each other.

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[...] and I asked her how it is that she can possibly defend the many enslaving the few, and she said pretty much direct quote that it was OK as long as it was the weak restraining the strong.

I can understand that you don't want to aggravate your relationship with your mother with a discussion about why this is wrong, but you could (IMO) ask her how it would be even possible for the weak to restrain the strong. Wouldn't that, by definition, reverse the roles and thus the morality?

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I can understand that you don't want to aggravate your relationship with your mother with a discussion about why this is wrong, but you could (IMO) ask her how it would be even possible for the weak to restrain the strong. Wouldn't that, by definition, reverse the roles and thus the morality?

No, I know what she meant. She meant those who would be "weaker" on a one-on-one level get together and gang up on the "stronger" folks with regulation and law and such.

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Your mother sounds like she is still in a cocoon, like mine, not philosophically aware. Such people are shock full of unconsciously held, inherited and malformed ideas.

It's pointless to debate such things as rights, freedom, force etc. with them since they have no standard to refer to. In a way it's as if a professor of theoretical physics tried to argue with a 5-year old about cutting edge mathematical problems. The potential in the latter might be there someday - if they so choose - but before and unless that's the case, it is of no use trying to get anywhere with them.

Edited by L-C
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Your mother sounds like she is still in a cocoon, like mine, not philosophically aware. Such people are shock full of unconsciously held, inherited and malformed ideas.

It's pointless to debate such things as rights, freedom, force etc. with them since they have no standard to refer to. In a way it's as if a professor of theoretical physics tried to argue with a 5-year old about cutting edge mathematical problems. The potential in the latter might be there someday - if they so choose - but before and unless that's the case, it is of no use trying to get anywhere with them.

Nah, my mom's pretty sophisticated actually. It's more that she's a full-out mystic, which is strange for such an intelligent woman who has spent so much of her life using her rational mind in academic and professional pursuits - I think it's a reaction to the stress and pain she perceives as associated with a life of achievement and striving and the deep-seated fear that ultimately she just can't do it. Mental illness and lack of coping are common refrains in my mom's mind and I think this is her way of coping, by becoming "spiritual" and selectively evading certain facts. I don't like it but she is my mother and I love her a lot, and we have a great relationship now whereas before we didn't used to, so my mom is valuable enough to me that while it hurts me that she is a mystic, I won't value her less because of it.

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Usually when I try to avoid arguing with them, I get called "coward". I know that getting into a discussion is an error from my part, but this gets me a little irritated, so I do it anyways. Especially when they say that objectivists don't debate; they preach, which makes me think if this is true. I usually end up really frustrated and exhausted trying to prove them wrong. This is when I talk to solipsists, which I think is a really hard thing to do.

Edited by 0096 2251 2110 8105
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Usually when I try to avoid arguing with them, I get called "coward". I know that getting into a discussion is an error from my part, but this gets me a little irritated, so I do it anyways. Especially when they say that objectivists don't debate; they preach

Objectivists have already dealt with most of their altruism and collectivism in their very process of becoming Objectivists to begin with. Their subsequent dismissal of arguments is then interpreted as cowardice, adherence to dogma or frailty of conviction.

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What are your opinions and how do you feel?

When I meet an intellectual lefty who knows the implications of what they advocate, I feel rage. I wanna fight. I know what their philosophy means and if they want my stuff, then come and get it.

99% of the collectivists I meet are Useful Idiots. I guess I feel contempt at them. Contempt because "you, with all your brain power came to that conclusion on your own on how I should live my life?!"... Then I feel rage :P

However, this doesn't translate into me initiating any action. My emotions don't show. I will needle lefties as the situation permits and try to see just how far they want to take it. I've challenged a couple of people to attempt to empty my wallet by force as that's the correct course of action when a moral imperative is breached.

Collectivism is an AWESOME moral code for ants, not for people.

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I used to be a Borg. It was no fun. Now I don't bother discussing anything relevant with collectivists when I have to talk to them. I don't get angry when they spew poison as I just remind myself that I'm not talking to a 'real' person with Independent thoughts. They nullify their own consciousness so why should I grant them a humanity that they don't even grant themselves? I used to get pissed of with collectivists. :) .

These days I mostly act like Aristotle's version of God pleasantly entertain myself in thought as their inane platitudes and bromides echo in the vacuity of their sentiments.

Its hard sometimes though.

Most of my family are deeply collectivist.

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I used to be a Borg. It was no fun. Now I don't bother discussing anything relevant with collectivists when I have to talk to them. I don't get angry when they spew poison as I just remind myself that I'm not talking to a 'real' person with Independent thoughts.
I think you are simplifying collectivists unrealistically.

There are two types of collectivists: those who think or have thought about it, like a student, and those who have accepted the premises implicitly, like a "red-neck" (for lack of a better description). If you are talking about the latter, then yes, they are vacuous, and probably will not change their minds, ever, because they are not capable of strong, independent thought. They are not really worth your "intellectual time," but it doesn't matter much anyway, because those people won't make a big difference one way or another.

But you are talking about the former, that person who has thought about the ideas behind collectivism, and for some reason, lack of a good counter-argument or whatever, has accepted them. There is a good chance that the acceptance is only for the time being. Just take yourself for example. And in all of those cases, it is not realistic to call them vacuous and lacking independent thought. They did think independently, but they were mistaken. They are the type of people whose minds you could change. Once they agreed with you, would you continue to call them "vacuous"? You are going to poison their taste for you before you even have a chance to present your ideas. I think it is rude and presumptuous, and does nothing for your goal, which is getting more people to lead a reasoned life.

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I think you are simplifying collectivists unrealistically.

There are two types of collectivists: those who think or have thought about it, like a student, and those who have accepted the premises implicitly, like a "red-neck" (for lack of a better description). If you are talking about the latter, then yes, they are vacuous, and probably will not change their minds, ever, because they are not capable of strong, independent thought. They are not really worth your "intellectual time," but it doesn't matter much anyway, because those people won't make a big difference one way or another.

But you are talking about the former, that person who has thought about the ideas behind collectivism, and for some reason, lack of a good counter-argument or whatever, has accepted them. There is a good chance that the acceptance is only for the time being. Just take yourself for example. And in all of those cases, it is not realistic to call them vacuous and lacking independent thought. They did think independently, but they were mistaken. They are the type of people whose minds you could change. Once they agreed with you, would you continue to call them "vacuous"? You are going to poison their taste for you before you even have a chance to present your ideas. I think it is rude and presumptuous, and does nothing for your goal, which is getting more people to lead a reasoned life.

Well, I'm not on any crusade, and I think you are right to some extent. But its not in my best interest at the moment to go on a mission to recruit collectivists to my way of thinking. Also I think you have forgotten about the third kind of collectivist, those who have thought about the ideas, know what they mean and what the result of that thought is, and accept the ideas anyway. This kind of collectivist, who hates man, is much more prevalent than one might think.

Edited by Axiomatic
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