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A little off-topic, but I've read on these pages people unequivocally supporting the use of "recreational" drugs (as distinguished from the "recreational use of drugs"), but how does that play out when people become addicted and lose the ability to act volitionally wrt drugs?

Is that any different than people who "loose the ability to act volitionally wrt alcohol, cigarettes, food, gambling, sex...?

Does morality end at the point of a needle, when that needle physically forces a person to act against his well being?

A needle is an inanimate object it does not can not and will not force anything. People make some pretty stupid mistakes with regard to many things (see my short list above) but that does not mean that the rest of us are responsible for stopping them or even that we have a right to stop them.

Are we ok with legalizing morphine,

Yes.

knowing that dealers will work diligently to get kids hooked and create a steady flow of sales?

Two things. 1. We do not KNOW that businessmen (there will be no dealers since it will be legal to sell) will try to "hook" kids and 2. A child is a minor and is guaranteed certain protection by law until the child is an adult and can make such decisions for himself. A "dealer" hooking a Child is acting with force and like a pedophile ought to be prosecuted.

Also, wrt to Thomas' other example, is there any good evidence that prostitution is not largely fed by pimps who use force/drugs to get young girls and boys into the street life?

LOL, in many European countries Prostitution is a business and the girls are unionized, protected from Johns and tested regularly to ensure the safety of the Johns and themselves. Some put themselves through university doing it. Only in North America is there such a puritanical hang-up about prostitution, and I've always wondered if the girls aren't worse off because of this societal pre-judgment.

Is partaking of prostitution moral if you know that your demand will support the further use of force against innocents?

No.

In other words, aren't there actions whose morality goes beyond a man's personal values, and which entail the support of the intrinsically immoral initiation of force against others, or one's self?

(edit: punct)

No the only moral prohibition is the use of force. As an adult you can do what you want and live with the consequences.

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A little off-topic, but I've read on these pages people unequivocally supporting the use of "recreational" drugs (as distinguished from the "recreational use of drugs"), but how does that play out when people become addicted and lose the ability to act volitionally wrt drugs? Does morality end at the point of a needle, when that needle physically forces a person to act against his well being? Are we ok with legalizing morphine, knowing that dealers will work diligently to get kids hooked and create a steady flow of sales?

There are currently laws against selling or marketing alcohol, cigarettes, etc.. to children. I don't see why drugs would be any different.

I recently heard the statistic that in the late 1800s or early 1900s, prior to the time when drugs like cocaine and opium were illegal, less than 2% of the population was addicted to hard drugs. 100+ years later, after spending hundreds of billions of dollars on prosecuting and imprisoning drug users and sellers (and ruining tens of thousands of lives in the process), a very similar percentage of people are addicted to hard drugs. Is this war on drugs really worth it?

If heroin or cocaine were made legal tomorrow, I wouldn't touch either and I think that's true for the vast, vast majority of responsible adults.

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I don't consider prostitution and taking drugs "recreationally" to be moral myself, though I realize that I have no moral authority to impose my views onto others. Most, if not all, of the "ills of society" stemming from the use of drugs and / or prostitution come from the fact that these are illegal, and therefore pimps and drug lords are necessary in order to defend themselves against those who would use force against them.

Look, it's the woman's body and if she wants to sell her ability to have sex, then the moral right to live your life as you choose takes precedent over anyone else's use of force to prevent you from doing that. As to drugs, some might not be any worse than having a beer, or so I'm told, since I haven't used any, but there are definitely some out there that are harmful in a permanent manner. If someone wants to cut off their emotions or their enjoyment of life from the achievement of values, they have a moral right to live that way.

However, I don't think we are going to sell capitalism to the American people by telling then that drugs and prostitution will be legalized -- they will be legalized that that is not the primary point of capitalism. The primary point of capitalism is the freedom to live by the best judgment of your own mind, because you have the moral right to live your own life as you judge best for you and your standards; but you also have to agree that this principle applies equally to everyone; which means that it also applies to drug sellers and prostitution houses.

The Libertarians also don't have a moral justification for capitalism when it comes to running a business. In their platform it mentions that capitalism(free markets) have the most diversity of products and services, but this is almost self evident. The real key is to assert the morality of making a profit for the individual running a business.

So, the moral fight for capitalism based on man's nature as a rational animal is the only way to really fight for capitalism. Anything short of that will eventually lose out to the more consistent moral stance.

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I don't consider prostitution and taking drugs "recreationally" to be moral myself, though I realize that I have no moral authority to impose my views onto others. Most, if not all, of the "ills of society" stemming from the use of drugs and / or prostitution come from the fact that these are illegal, and therefore pimps and drug lords are necessary in order to defend themselves against those who would use force against them.

Look, it's the woman's body and if she wants to sell her ability to have sex, then the moral right to live your life as you choose takes precedent over anyone else's use of force to prevent you from doing that. As to drugs, some might not be any worse than having a beer, or so I'm told, since I haven't used any, but there are definitely some out there that are harmful in a permanent manner. If someone wants to cut off their emotions or their enjoyment of life from the achievement of values, they have a moral right to live that way.

However, I don't think we are going to sell capitalism to the American people by telling then that drugs and prostitution will be legalized -- they will be legalized that that is not the primary point of capitalism. The primary point of capitalism is the freedom to live by the best judgment of your own mind, because you have the moral right to live your own life as you judge best for you and your standards; but you also have to agree that this principle applies equally to everyone; which means that it also applies to drug sellers and prostitution houses.

The Libertarians also don't have a moral justification for capitalism when it comes to running a business. In their platform it mentions that capitalism(free markets) have the most diversity of products and services, but this is almost self evident. The real key is to assert the morality of making a profit for the individual running a business.

So, the moral fight for capitalism based on man's nature as a rational animal is the only way to really fight for capitalism. Anything short of that will eventually lose out to the more consistent moral stance.

Tom, thanks for your thoughts on their updated platform.

By the way - regarding laws against drugs, I listend to Ayn Rand's lecture 'Apollo and Dionysus' Friday night, as well as the Q&A afterwards. I believe it was during the Q&A where she stated that making drugs illegal was wrong, she did say that of course, except for selling to minor children. I was happy to hear that. I do agree that drugs should be legal, but have no issue with having laws making it legal to sell to minors. However, I digress....

Regarding moral justifications - is this the only real issue here? Because they don't go into detail issue by issue and go back to detailed explanations as to why woman should be allowed to have abortions, or why drugs shouldn't be illegal? Because they don't discuss in detail the philosophical reasons? I didn't really see this on the Republican or Dems website for their platforms - so why does this make Libertarians worse than those parties?

While hey I think it would be great if they did that - I don't see rejecting them as a political party or one of their candidates because they haven't done this.

Tom - perhaps you could email someone at the local Lib party level and make some suggestions. You never know!

Also - where one poster suggested getting Libertarians to support ARI. I found that interesting, because why would someone that didn't already support ARI who was a Libertarian really want to do that? I would think if they read what ARI writes about Libertarians that they would probably not be swayed to do that.

I am hoping that in the coming years that they can continue to improve their platform so that ARI will recognize that they are not an evil party. I understand the issues Ayn Rand had with them- she didn't like the anarchists (neither do I), but she also accused them of stealing her ideas constantly. I would be a bit upset with them if I were here and that was what I thought they had done as well.

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The Libertarians also don't have a moral justification for capitalism when it comes to running a business. In their platform it mentions that capitalism(free markets) have the most diversity of products and services, but this is almost self evident. The real key is to assert the morality of making a profit for the individual running a business.

So, the moral fight for capitalism based on man's nature as a rational animal is the only way to really fight for capitalism. Anything short of that will eventually lose out to the more consistent moral stance.

Which is why they need men like you Tom. They need people who can explain a moral basis for capitalism. Many of them are like Eddie Willlers, they seem to know the right right course of action but they don't know why its right. They are a party in need of philosophy.

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I'm not really interested in going into politics or reforming the Libertarian Party so that they have a better stance. It does look like over the years they have taken some constructive criticism and put that in their platform, which is good. It is true that even the Democrats and the Republicans don't make their view of man's nature and their moral justification explicit -- that is there is not an explicit philosophy presented their either -- but that only shows how most of them focus on politics in an ideological vacuum. Certainly Obama is making it more explicit that he considers the profit motive to be bad, as he has come right out and said that, but I don't see anyone except Objectivists stating that the profit motive is good.

The thing is that we are not primarily in a political crises but rather a moral crises in that the individual living a rational life doesn't have an explicit philosophy to back him up. And these days he can only get that from Objectivism, not from the Libertarians. Real political freedom cannot come from merely people wanting to be free, since they need to take a moral stance (and all the way down to metaphysics) in order to have the moral fire to fight for their freedom. In other words, resentment against the government interfering in their lives using force against them is insufficient. It is good that this resentment exists, and shows that American's are still primarily individualists, but if they cannot justify it with a rational philosophy they cannot win the day or their freedom.

The problem is that when one talks about morality, most people think in terms of religious edicts, and on that basis one cannot justify political freedom -- I don't think it can be shown that the Bible or the Koran or any other religious stance is for capitalism, for example. So a new morality is needed, and that can only come from Objectivism.

With that said, however, it is possible to reach particular Libertarians, I just don't feel the altruistic motivation to spend my time doing that, except to present Objectivism to my friends who were once Libertarians. I'm more of a philosophic crusader than a political crusader, since I know that the right rational based philosophy will lead to freedom.

By the way, stating that someone has the moral right to live their lives as they see fit (excluding the initiation of force) is the bare minimum of being civilized; and it doesn't mean that I think they are making a moral choice if I think what they are doing is anti-life. The problem in the past has been that the Libertarians were too focused on supporting the freedom to be immoral by a rational standard. In other words, one can morally condemn the choice to live the life of a drug addict, while still recognizing that it is their life to live as they choose; but by focusing their efforts on supporting the immoral the Libertarians take away the fire to fight for freedom of the rational man who lives morally. The rational man and the producers need to be defended, and that is the primary call for freedom; and as a consequence one will also gain the freedom to live an immoral life, so long as one does not initiate force.

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A needle is an inanimate object it does not can not and will not force anything.

So's a gun

People make some pretty stupid mistakes with regard to many things (see my short list above) but that does not mean that the rest of us are responsible for stopping them or even that we have a right to stop them.

We do when those stupid mistakes entail the use of force against others, whether or not that use is voluntary.

Here's an assertion:

If a drug, used a single time, necessarily created an inability to act rationally wrt to others' rights, it would be necessary to ban that substance.

From that moral principle (assuming you agree with the assertion), it is a matter of degrees to decide if the use of certain substances, and the consequential inability to behave rationally, should be banned.

If you disagree with that, then please provide a solution for the problem of permanently morally-disabled drug addicts. Does that solution entail jails and asylums? -- who will pay for them? Does the solution involve killing the addicts? Who will fire the bullets, bury the bodies, pay for the process?

If an action is intrinsically (yes, intrinsically) immoral, that is, if it leads to involuntary behavior that impacts (with force) the lives of others, then government has the right and responsibility to restrict that action.

What am I missing?

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So's a gun

Good, so we agree. :)

We do when those stupid mistakes entail the use of force against others, whether or not that use is voluntary.
Again we are in agreement. As soon as force enters the equation then stopping that use of force becomes the job of government.

Here's an assertion:

If a drug, used a single time, necessarily created an inability to act rationally wrt to others' rights, it would be necessary to ban that substance.

Please lets try to keep this conversation in the realm of reality. I'm not talking about a magic evil drug that makes people violate rights I'm talking about the real world where drugs can be used for years without the user ever violating someone else's rights.

From that moral principle (assuming you agree with the assertion), it is a matter of degrees to decide if the use of certain substances, and the consequential inability to behave rationally, should be banned.

You can not draw a moral principal out of a fantastical hypothetical.

If you disagree with that, then please provide a solution for the problem of permanently morally-disabled drug addicts.

I don't have to provide a solution, the law is already in place. You violate a persons rights and get caught you get punished.

Does that solution entail jails and asylums?

Absolutely, the difference being that unlike today the jails will not be filled with a population who's only crime was to break the governments prohibition on drugs (80% if I recall the statistic correctly) and those adicts might actually get some real help for their problem.

-- who will pay for them?

Anyone who decides to contribute to them. I believe the justice system is a legitimate function of government is it not? Now the Jails would probably be privately owned and run, but that is another issue.

Does the solution involve killing the addicts? Who will fire the bullets, bury the bodies, pay for the process?

Where did this piece of nonsense come from? B)

If an action is intrinsically (yes, intrinsically) immoral, that is, if it leads to involuntary behavior that impacts (with force) the lives of others, then government has the right and responsibility to restrict that action.

What am I missing?

You're missing the fact that drugs do not ALWAYS lead to force. There is no law of the universe that says it is and must be so!

Your also making the government the arbiter of morality. Morality has nothing to do with government, or more correctly the government does not set the bar for what we are to consider to be moral. That is the kind of thinking that brought us such great ideas as prohibition (on alcohol), sodomy between consenting adults as a crime, the war on drugs... the list goes on and on.

Government aught to be concerned with one thing... protecting individual rights. Not from possible action but from actual action.

Your comment on guns at the beginning of your post is quite telling. The old saying is true you know. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

To make that saying applicable you might say Drugs don't kill people, people kill themselves... and therein lies the truth of this matter. People kill themselves in all sorts of ways every day are you going to outlaw alcohol, gambling, fatty foods, teen drivers, riding a bicycle without a helmet?

Edited by Zip
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What am I missing?

You can not draw a moral principal out of a fantastical hypothetical.

Zip zeroed in on the error well enough with that response it suffices as a response to the entire post. A morality appropriate to the world of the Resident Evil series of games and films (where T-virus turns people into monsters) does not apply to real life.

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You can not draw a moral principal out of a fantastical hypothetical.

I drew an uptight guidance counselor over a urinal once in junior high...

Is it really a principle of Objectivism that hypotheticals are unusable in the exploration of principles? (leaving aside the "fantastical" label)

To bring it down to a non-fantastical hypothetical that I'm [almost] sure you will accept as likely, suppose a person becomes addicted to a drug, and under the influence of that drug, commits a series of crimes. Would you find it immoral to set, as a condition of his release into society (following the length of incarceration prescribed for the specific crimes he committed), a drug test to ensure that the drug whose use caused him to commit the crimes was not present in his blood?

Should such a person be allowed to choose whether to use that drug, knowing the effect it has on him?

Or do you reject the concept that a person's use of drugs might render him incapable of acting rationally?

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I drew an uptight guidance counselor over a urinal once in junior high...

Doh! I blame Zip.

Is it really a principle of Objectivism that hypotheticals are unusable in the exploration of principles? (leaving aside the "fantastical" label)

To bring it down to a non-fantastical hypothetical that I'm [almost] sure you will accept as likely, suppose a person becomes addicted to a drug, and under the influence of that drug, commits a series of crimes. Would you find it immoral to set, as a condition of his release into society (following the length of incarceration prescribed for the specific crimes he committed), a drug test to ensure that the drug whose use caused him to commit the crimes was not present in his blood?

Should such a person be allowed to choose whether to use that drug, knowing the effect it has on him?

Or do you reject the concept that a person's use of drugs might render him incapable of acting rationally?

Exploration is fine. Recall Rand's robot. Establishment is not.

Criminal justice is about retribution for crimes. A condition for release sets up an indefinite amount of retribution for the crimes for which he was convicted. That would be nonobjective, and nonobjective law is immoral.

Drugs do not cause people to commit crimes. A person need not be under the influence of a drug to act irrationally. Crimes are based on violations of rights, but it can be within one's rights to act irrationally. If it is not a crime to be irrational, it can't be a crime to take a drug that causes irrationality. The justification for DUI laws is that drivers are responsible for their decision to drink and drive. Without the driving aspect of the law it would be a simple rights-violating prohibition, just like Prohibition.

One could have laws that penalize drug using in conjunction with crimes. That would be objective law.

As for allowing a person to make choices, a person who is prevented from making choices is in prison. Outside of prison, it is his right to act and reap the consequences.

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I drew an uptight guidance counselor over a urinal once in junior high...

LOL

To bring it down to a non-fantastical hypothetical that I'm [almost] sure you will accept as likely, suppose a person becomes addicted to a drug, and under the influence of that drug, commits a series of crimes. Would you find it immoral to set, as a condition of his release into society (following the length of incarceration prescribed for the specific crimes he committed), a drug test to ensure that the drug whose use caused him to commit the crimes was not present in his blood?

Should such a person be allowed to choose whether to use that drug, knowing the effect it has on him?

Or do you reject the concept that a person's use of drugs might render him incapable of acting rationally?

Certainly under objective law the punishment would fit the crime but I would think in a real prison there ought to be no way for a prisoner to get drugs. So by the time his punishment for his crimes is done the criminal should not have any drugs in his system regardless.

Once a person has done his time for his crime and is released he is no longer guilty of that crime so he has the same freedom of choice as any other person. This does lead me to an interesting question for the Law forum though.

I don't reject that it is a possibility that drug use might cause someone to act irrationally, but right up to the point where that person actually does something to violate individual rights a proper non-invasive society must give him the freedom to prove he is capable of making a different decision. This is the right way to behave toward all men, drugged, sober, smart or stupid that have not violated another persons rights.

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Criminal justice is about retribution for crimes. A condition for release sets up an indefinite amount of retribution for the crimes for which he was convicted. That would be nonobjective, and nonobjective law is immoral.

Objective laws also prevent crimes from happening - for instance, drunk driving laws. Would you consider them pre-emptive, indefinite retribution for killing innocent motorists?

Or do you consider the act of driving drunk, absent any damage to other motorists, immoral?

Drugs do not cause people to commit crimes.

No, but they can prevent people from making rational decisions which would keep them from committing crimes.

A person need not be under the influence of a drug to act irrationally.

logic: A yellow fruit need not be a lemon, but that does not dispute the yellowness of lemons.

Crimes are based on violations of rights, but it can be within one's rights to act irrationally.

You're referring to the rights of the drug-user. I'm referring only to the rights of those he would violate in his irrational state of drug use.

If it is not a crime to be irrational, it can't be a crime to take a drug that causes irrationality.

That's the crux of the discussion. Rights imply rationality. We can't go around deeming people irrational without turning into thought police, but we can set standards of rationality based on presence/absence of chemicals known to impair rationality. That is the core justification for drunk driving and drunk in public laws, and it could be equally valid for drug use. The combination of the chemically-induced irrationality and the chemical dependence that can override rationality even when the user is down, provide a justification for preventative proscription of such drugs, at least for individuals who have shown that they are unable to act rationally after choosing to use the drug. Once such a person makes that one decision, he has abrogated his rationality, and therefore his rights. The final leap in this logical chain is to decide that that decision should therefore be illegal.

As for allowing a person to make choices, a person who is prevented from making choices is in prison. Outside of prison, it is his right to act and reap the consequences.

There are plenty of choices people who are not prison are "prevented" from making. Even in a proper society, that would be the case, and they would be prevented by objective laws. Outside of prison they are prevented by threat of force, rather than actual force, which is the case for inmates.

Drunk driving is a good wedge into this issue, because I believe most of us agree that those are good, objective laws (at least in principle). They are based on a loss of rationality in the context of an act which can easily lead to violation of others' rights. Drug use laws are based on the same principle, but because the threat of violation of others' rights is not as clear cut, there is some dispute as to whether drug laws are moral. Would we justify anti-heroin laws on the basis that 10% of heroin users (including, presumably one-timers) become addicted, and have a very low rate of recovery? If we could show that the percentage of heroin users who commit crimes against others is similar to the percentage of drunk drivers who violate others' rights, would that justify such a law? Objective laws can be based on probabilities, right? Else any preventative law would be immoral.

I guess that last point is the one I'm really getting at. Is drunk driving a non-objective, and therefore immoral law?

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I guess that last point is the one I'm really getting at. Is drunk driving a non-objective, and therefore immoral law?

State control of the roads creates the power to set the terms of use of the roads. A simple drug prohibition is based on an assumed state power to set the terms of life. I object.

As you say "We can't go around deeming people irrational without turning into thought police." This is a fatal problem for simple drug prohibitions. While using a drug that leaves traces is a behavior that is objective enough to craft a law around, it is not criminal. The scope of the law must be limited to defending rights and being reactive to actual acts. If the law can, in the absence of any special jurisdiction, preemptively coerce behavior that might lead to violation of rights, there is no limit to the scope of the law.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think the drug is a bad example, doesn't acting irrationally only means something if that person is capable of acting rationally at the time?

Jumping of a roof pretty much makes any decision made while falling down moot, but if your falling body breaks the neck of someone who breaks your fall that still make you guilty.

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I would never support the Lib party of any country that I know they exist in (ie pretty much all the Western nations), nor do I think any Objectivist should work them in any capacity. They do not seem to have changed fundamentally since Ayn Rands day or since Peter Schwartz wrote his article "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty".

The main issue I beleive Ayn Rand (which Schwartz points out quite clearly) is that the party is devoid of the requisite philosophical/idealogical underpinnings required. At best, some of the members seem not to realize that a fully philosophical defense of freedom, freedom can never be restored/established. I do not know if so many of the Libs are anti-idealogical these days, however I suspect so... (especially as they describe themselves as they describe their approach "people-centered approach to politics", instead of a philosophically centered approach) in which case supporting the Libs would be a monstrous thing to do.

If anyone has anything to support that they DO actually have some sort of philsophical basing to their ideas that would be great, but I doubt much will be forthcoming.

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I've always found it odd that Objectivist will on occasion support the Democrats or the Republicans but never the Libertarians. Of the three only one supports free market capitalism, individual right, and the separation between church and state. There are many in the LP that arrive to these conclusions in a different way than Objectivist, however discrediting the whole lot because of a few seems like tossing out the baby with the bath water. Like it or not the LP has huge ties to Ayn Rand and Objectivism. It would be like discrediting Objectivism because of the actions and words of David Kelly and his group.

The LP needs Objectivism, they already are arriving to the right conclusions but we could help them discover why they are right.

In answer to your question here is a sample of Objectivism influencing the LP:

Ayn Rand: The missing Libertarian Ingredient, the secret Ron Paul ingredient

http://www.nolanchart.com/article5521.html

My very first exposure to libertarianism was provided by Ayn Rand

http://www.fff.org/comment/com0502a.asp

http://www.theadvocates.org/celebrities/ayn-rand.html

Also the LP has recently awarded John Alison The "Free Market Hero" title.

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Democratic senator Mike Gravel joined the Libertarian party in 2008, and placed fourth in their shitty presidential convention despite having strong socialist leanings. What does that tell you about them?

However, I do like most of the Ron Paul crowd, if you consider them libertarians.

Edited by cliveandrews
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I've always found it odd that Objectivist will on occasion support the Democrats or the Republicans but never the Libertarians.

Because while Democrats/Republicans are an enemy that can be fought, Libertarianism could replace the proper concept of Capitalism so that there is nothing for, and with which to fight.

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Because while Democrats/Republicans are an enemy that can be fought, Libertarianism could replace the proper concept of Capitalism so that there is nothing for, and with which to fight.

On the contrary. I've found that most Libertarians do not have a deeper understanding of Capitalism other than it gives more freedom to the individual and is the most efficient means of distribution.

The LP is not a Philosophy, its a political party meant to achieve political means. So long as their political means are in tandem with mine I will continue to support them. Many in the LP understand what's right, they just don't know why its right. Under your assessment Eddie Willers would be the most dangerous person in Atlas Shrugged.

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Isn't supporting the Libertarian Party instead of the Democrats/Republicans something of an ad hoc group? I'm simply supporting the free market and individual rights. I would also expect to get more Libertarians to consider Objectivism than Democrats or Republicans, as I was a Libertarian before I was an Objectivist. When I was a Libertarian, I still held some valid ideals, which I attempted to back up with morality/philosophy, but I still had trouble working out my altruistic wrinkles. I was introduced to Objectivism through my interest in philosophy and capitalism, and I know two friends who followed the same path. Although, both of them are still under contruction, as it were.

I think backing the Libertarian Party would get the Objectivist message out there better than backing the other parties, as a growing free market/individual right message would expose more people to Ayn Rand.

Edited by Gramlich
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It is because they are wrong about Capitalism that they could further the wrong idea about it.

I wouldn't say they are wrong about Capitalism they just don't fully understand it. However, they recognize the benefits of such a system. They want individual freedom. You think everyone that fought in the revolution understood Thomas Pain?

There will never be a political party were every member completely understands Philosophy. However, if they continue uphold individual freedom and values that are based on Objective morality I see no reason why you wouldn't join them. These are the qualities that I look for in a political party. The day they no longer hold these values I will withdraw my support. How the others choose to live their individual lives makes no difference to me.

The idea that a person would not vote for laissez-faire capitalism because not everyone who supports it understands laissez-faire therefore throwing in their towel with the socialist makes absolutely no sense to me.

Edited by Rearden_Steel
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I think backing the Libertarian Party would get the Objectivist message out there better than backing the other parties, as a growing free market/individual right message would expose more people to Ayn Rand.

I just had a quick browse around the LP website, and on every issue they take the same kind of perverse stance that statism is bad because the statists measures are counter-productive. That welfare is bad because it doesnt actually help the poor, that foreign aid is bad because it doesnt actually help the africans, that enviromental restrictions are bad because the government itself pollutes etc. etc. It is clear from reading their stance on issues, that if they have any underlying morality, it is altruism, just with different kinds of policies as other altruists.

I mean, see for yourself:

http://www.lp.org/issues/foreign-policy

But there is little evidence that any of these programs has significantly improved the lives of the people in countries receiving this aid. Instead, foreign aid has typically slowed economic development and created dependence.

There are many reasons for the failure of foreign aid. First, foreign aid has a widespread record of waste, fraud, and abuse. U.S. aid programs have built tennis courts in Rwanda, sent sewing machines to areas without electricity, and constructed hospitals in cities where a dozen similar facilities already sat half empty.

Frequently, the aid is stolen by corrupt foreign leaders. The Agency for International Development admitted in 1993 that "much of the investment financed by AID between 1960 and 1980 has disappeared without a trace."

Even when aid reaches its intended beneficiaries, the results are often counterproductive. Just as domestic welfare prevents Americans from becoming self-sufficient, foreign aid keeps entire nations dependent. According to one internal AID audit, "Long-term feeding programs . . . have great potential for creating disincentives for food production."

If Americans truly want to help other countries, they can best do so not through failed foreign aid programs, but by improving the U.S. economy, so that U.S. businesses have funds to invest abroad, and pursuing free trade policies. As the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted, "Critics rightly argue that the broad policies of the major Western countries -- trade policies, budget deficits, growth rates, and the like -- generally exert greater [positive] influence on the economies of developing countries than does aid."

Nowhere in this article, that the Party has chosen as the one to introduce their stance on Foreign Policy??, do they even remotely touch the actual reason why foreign aid is wrong: Theft. They harp on about foreign aid not helping the poor in foreign countries, never questioning whether that is even a valid topic, and they just focus on the inefficiencies of the program.

On the topic of Poverty and Welfare: http://www.lp.org/issues/poverty-and-welfare

Nowhere in the article do they talk about the immorality of stealing other peoples production, and they just go on about how the welfare programs dont actually help the poor. But the absolute worst part is this:

2. Establish a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to private charity

If the federal government's attempt at charity has been a dismal failure, private efforts have been much more successful. America is the most generous nation on earth. We already contribute more than $125 billion annually to charity. However, as we phase out inefficient government welfare, private charities must be able to step up and fill the void.

To help facilitate this transfer of responsibility from government welfare to private charity, the federal government should offer a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to private charities that provide social-welfare services. That is to say, if an individual gives a dollar to charity, he should be able to reduce his tax liability by a dollar.

After this, no one can say that the LP isnt by definition altruists. Their opposition to current welfare programs is clearly

just about their perceived wrongs of the poor actually getting the help, but they cling on to the fact that helping the poor should be encouraged. I mean, what they are proposing there, is a "selfishness tax", which you can avoid by donating your money away.

What about taxes then: http://www.lp.org/issues/taxes

The LP talks only about "cutting" taxes, and never about repealing forced taxation altogether. Even if you may say that the difference is small, philosophically it is huge. It is like a person in the early 19th century, not supporting ending slavery, and instead supporting a "Be nicer to your slave"-act. The difference between just a little theft and no theft is 100000000x bigger than the difference between just a little theft, and a lot of theft.

The argument that government programs dont actually help the poor should be made, if at all, as a footnote on page 96 of your political program, not as the main argument!

I really dont see why i should be interested in promoting the Libertarian Party because they share the same conclusions as me on many things. Im not supporting the KKK because they share the opposition of affirmative action with me either. The discussion can be had whether libertarianism as such is altruistic, but it is evident to everyone that the Libertarian Party is.

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