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Tyranny: The greater evil behind the liberals...

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ooghost1oo
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You'll see my hatred for liberalism in a lot of the articles and various other things I post, but 'liberalism' (in the way I define it: socialist leftism), is really the symptom of a bigger problem, and a bigger enemy.

Supporters of Socialism are like naive activists--it's all about ideals to make humanity live in harmony with no one holding the low end of the stick. All those hippies, worshipers of of the murderer Che Guevara, brainwashed Obama Kool-aid drinkers, etc.; through their philosophically immature views on how the world should be, they open the gates for mankind's most terrible enemy:

Tyranny.

The antithesis to individual freedom (and radical capitalists, objectivists, and 'godless conservatives' like me) is the tyrant. The tyrant comes in many forms and different flavors, be it collective or fascist, but it all boils down to the same thing.

Power, through the threat of force, to violate the freedoms of the individual.

When I rail and fight against liberals, it's more to wake up the brainwashed sheep who just parrot the feel-good stuff they hear from the tyrants in power, than it is a battle against the liberals themselves. I've heard it said that this out-of-control government, to reach its desired level of power and conquer the people of this nation, is focused on dividing us and encouraging us to fight among ourselves. This is true.

Conservatives are guilty of not seeing the ploy of the larger enemy, and focusing their resistance and resources on liberals.

Liberals are guilty of being thoughtless tools with undeveloped, immature perspectives, who fight the conservatives with their silly bullshit and blindingly follow their powerful masters who control them with guilt to accomplish their sinister aims.

Liberals, themselves, are not really the enemy. They're a symptom of a bigger disease. The followers, anyway. The masses (no brain, but a million mouths) are mostly harmless, except for when their masters rile them up to do (vote on) their bidding. As individuals, liberals will either 'grow out' of their views the more they face reality, or become total douche-bags who blather about liberal bullshit and aren't really taken seriously by normal people.

The liberals in power, however--they are the real enemy. And not only the liberals. Many republicans and conservatives would cheerfully see this country turned into a police state. Bush proved to be an enemy to freedom with his 'war on terror' that allowed American citizens to be spied on without consent. Obama is an enemy to freedom because he's an idealistic collectivist, and he's doing as much as he can to make America a socialist nation.

It's been said that, under a Republican administration, America is creeping toward tyranny, and under a Democratic administration, it's GALLOPING. The true enemy is a rampant government, left unchecked with too much power over its people.

I've seen it said that conservative talk-show hosts (Hannity, Rush--I don't know about Glenn Beck) are boot-licking authority lovers. I love a lot of what they say to America, but I think that may be true. They unfailingly support the Republicans, even when Republicans try and steer the country to their own brand of tyranny.

And liberals are just retarded. I can't ever take them seriously. Anyone with an ounce of brains who studies the world to better understand reality, knows that collectivism (ANY form of socialism, no matter how slight) is counter-productive to the progress and betterment of mankind (on a large or individual level). Collectivism has always failed where-ever it has been tried, because it is fundamentally flawed and can never work. Where-ever (or if-ever) it succeeds, the result will not be idealized socialism, but instead, a society controlled by the corrupted elite in power. Which is not their ideal.

The problem is the corrupted elite in power. We should have never let the government get big enough to the point where it no longer feared the people. We'd better not let it get any worse.

Conservatives out there: you've got to realize where the real threat is. Pelosi, Obama, Clinton, Reid, all the other liberals in power ... Yes, you know how they're a problem and you're fighting it in whatever way you can (if you are), and that's a good thing. Did you know that Obama, since he realized he couldn't just 'take' away peoples' guns without sparking a serious conflict, is working on a way to let the United Nations have some legal power here in the US that would circumnavigate the Constitution and allow them to extradite people that refuse to obey their gun laws?

But, before you're so quick to follow and defend the Republicans, ask yourself if this law or that law or whatever they're doing is for or against your individual freedom? Consider no fear. No compromise. Does it violate your individual constitutional freedom or not? If so, then they are your enemy and not to be trusted.

And liberals: just grow the fuck up. Read some Ayn Rand (one of the best-ever insights into Capitalism and philosophy). Study some history. Expand your mind, and pull your head out of the trees and the rosy emissions of your hybrid cars. Can you really have any respect for yourself if you rely on the efforts of anyone other than yourself? Respect reality, and get to know the nature of mankind--not what 'would be nice'. And grow a damned back-bone. Stop being so offended, and stop trying to be politically correct.

The only and best political system that will ever allow mankind thrive and be happy is Capitalism. Unrestricted Capitalism. That's why America came out on top and has been the best ever since this nation was born. Because enjoying our individual freedoms and being free to follow our own paths is the only way to truly live, and the only way we can reach our real individual potential.

Reality and logic will always point you in this way. The right way is always clear when you are honest with yourself. All you have to do is look, and allow yourself to see.

We are a country that stands alone. But, someone who enjoys real freedom will always have the wolves at their door trying to take it away.

And the wolves are all around us. The federal government is at the point now where it pretty-much does what it wants--and doesn't even care to hide it anymore. The pathetic thing is, though, what do we do about it? Watch? Talk? Pretend it isn't happening and play with our cell phones?

I fight liberalism because I believe collectivism is evil and sucks the life out of man. But the tyrant is the greater enemy, and the corrupt will sit on the top of the socialist pile of bodies and damn us all.

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Missed it by | | <- That much...

Why do the liberals do these things? What underlying motive makes them try to force us all into "how the world should be"...

What causes the conservative to try to push his morality onto the rest of us, the socialist to try and make us all equal?

What is that one thing that binds all these evil ideologies together?

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Missed it by | | <- That much...

Why do the liberals do these things? What underlying motive makes them try to force us all into "how the world should be"...

What causes the conservative to try to push his morality onto the rest of us, the socialist to try and make us all equal?

What is that one thing that binds all these evil ideologies together?

Um ... Power?

Insecurity?

Fear?

Surely you don't mean simply 'altruism'?

I think it's fear. The lack of confidence to stand by their own convictions and let others live and let live. The conservatives fear death and the unknown and require their faith in god (along with their legally-bound adherence to his 'principals') and can't stand by while people live outside of their code. The liberals/socialists are cowards and fear standing on their own without the support of their peers (legally mandated). They all fear standing alone, confident, among other free men who stand alone.

Even the evil tyrants on top do what they do out of fear, so afraid of everyone else or a reality that isn't the way they want it that they have to shape their sphere of control in a way that makes them more 'secure'.

Edited by ooghost1oo
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No

No

No

Yes

No. Their fear comes from living in a world in which nothing can be known, as dictated by their unknowable self-sacrificial (altruistic) god, and/or their inconsistent and contradictory altruistic political philosophies.

Trace it all back and it comes down to the enslavement of some for the benefit of others. Remember, as the lady said. "The man that talks to you sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters and intends to be the master."

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The whole 'chicken or the egg' thing, I think. Altruism was the obvious response--I was hoping you'd suggest something more and less cliche on an objectivist forum.

Of course Altruism breeds fear of a world that is incompatible with altruistic views. But does altruism precede the fear? I bet fear comes before altruism, else they wouldn't have gone off looking for the altruism (an excuse to be weak) in the first place.

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Altruism is the go-to evil for most Objectivist discussions. The Objective Standard has many insightful analysis that end up with the author pointing a finger and screaming "altruism!!!"

However, this is because it is a real threat and is the philosophical cause of many, many problems. Current governments are essentially powered by altruism. That it keeps coming up in most discussions is a sign of how intrusive it is as a philosophy, and make no mistake, it is a bad one.

Zip has nailed what (in the U.S.) liberals and conservatives are fundamentally trying to achieve. Ghost, you are right that altruism is not the underlying motive.

The driving force is the desire to see the world become a better place. (More or less cynical motives can be incorporated - profit, livelihood, the desire to reduce suffering, the desire to see the "evil" suffer, etc.) These desires are the driving force.

Altruism is the mechanism used. It is the philosophy that allows a person to take the step from "I think things would be better if..." to "People should be forced to...".

There is not a rational person on the planet who has not looked at the world and had that first thought. To never imagine "things would be better if..." would be a sad and literal existence limited by the facts of reality exactly as presented, with no hope for improvement or consideration of alternatives.

But without altruism, those imaginings cannot harm others. They can inspire innovation. Using the trader principle or one's own productive work, those thoughts can (in fact) improve the world. It is altruism that takes the desire to improve one's environment and turns it into a power for evil.

For a liberal example: the desire to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (Whether this is a worthy goal is a separate discussion.) Using the trader principle, a person can plant trees on their own property, can buy a small fuel-efficient car, and can buy land to preserve in the rain forest. The trader is free to create a donation-funded organization to do those things on a larger scale. If you disagree with the trader, you can ignore their activities.

An altruist has the government pass anti-industry laws that limit production, zoning laws that require builders to plant a certain number of trees in parking lots (!), force auto makers to make cars with high MPG ratings, and so on. This results in less employment, higher costs for customers, and malinvestment in production equipment for lightweight vehicles. If you disagree with the altruist, the government will use force to make you comply with their wishes.

The trader has made the world a better place and hurt nobody in the process. The altruist has harmed great many people, so much so that their net impact is negative. This is why we say altruism is the cause of evil.

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The whole 'chicken or the egg' thing, I think. Altruism was the obvious response--I was hoping you'd suggest something more and less cliche on an objectivist forum.

Of course Altruism breeds fear of a world that is incompatible with altruistic views. But does altruism precede the fear? I bet fear comes before altruism, else they wouldn't have gone off looking for the altruism (an excuse to be weak) in the first place.

Fear does indeed come before altruism. However, conquering the fear is accomplished through man's rational faculty. Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man’s relationship to existence. (Rand)

If something causes people to fear existence, that something is either the lack of philosophy or bad philosophy. We have plenty of philosophy, so it's definitely not the former. If you want to change the World, you need to replace bad philosophy with good philosophy. And you've come to the right place, since we are here to discuss philosophy.

However, in your quest to avoid "clichés", your long post above fails to contain any philosophical insight whatsoever. The tyrant is not the greater enemy, the source of the tyrant's power is the greater enemy. Ayn Rand identified the source of that power, and offered an alternative to it. All we have to do is understand that alternative, and practice it. In order to deem something a cliché, you at least need to understand it first, and the phrase above, where you pick an unessential symptom of the source of our problems (tyrants) as the ultimate enemy, proves that you don't yet understand Ayn Rand's philosophy, even though you read AS, or are well on your way to finishing it.

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Is it wrong that I hate liberals more than conservatives?

Hell no.

There are several things that come to mind here and they all point the same way.

Recently, both according to Boortz and repeating something Limbaugh said. As a rule of thumb, Republicans are happier than Democrats according to Pew Research and this cuts across socio-economic lines. Boortz attribute it to the character of the conservative vs that of the liberal. The conservative is not always seeing things as bad or evil

From my understanding this goes back to the late 1800's. What the modern liberal has morphed into over the last 40 years was originally call "Progressive". In the 1800's the originators of this movement was a pretty even mix of clergy, politicians and intellectuals. This is taken from the mid to late 1970's PBS multipart piece THE SECOND CENTURY or THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS. Now I interpret this in two ways. First what do we know about clergy, polititians and intellectals? They are either anti-world, unhappy malcontents (please note that they criticize any non-introvert as being "shallw") or thrive on unhappiness. My other interpretation is this, and it does not conflict with the first, Things are not static. Evolution, especially psychohistorical evolution takes place in stages. The United States, as a product of the Enlightenment, offered Man a choice in practical terms. That choice centered around Mysticism vs Reason. The Judeo-Christian complex had to either go one way or the other, or break. It broke with what we know as the present "conservative" Christian opting not to go down the road of mysticism any further and the liberal, that is most of the churches veering to port. Part of that was that religion itself was going through a crisis of confidence in God, see Kierkegaard and Heidigger, as it ceased to be of relevence to the world.

Then came the 1970's and the first wave of Environmentalism. This caused the conservatives to lean more toward reason if only in reaction to the fact that the New Left had co-opted the liberal end of things. The true liberal of the 1960's was not the wild-eyed radical of Jane Fonda or the Chicago 7, We were more of a technocratic, rational, if flawed bent. The 1960's conservative was a bit on the Neanderthal side with the possible esception of thsoe under the sponsorship of William F Buckley who started adding an intellectual component. The 1970 eco's were more like the 1950's conservatives "Things was all right until they started puttin' up them there consarn satellite things". By 1978 there was a functioning alliance between conservatives and Objectivists and in 1977 I commented that "All our liberals have become conservatives and the damn conservatives have become liberals". The Right had grown to include both Objectivists and Libertarians and religion had almost vanished from the debate

Now the reason that liberals, more self-defining as Progressives (see above), are so dislikeable is mostly a matter of poisonality, being in character, a mixture of a Masachussetts social worker, a fire-and -brimstone preacher, a prophet of doom and a whining bitch: what's not to dislike about that? I asked a fellow Rightist about 6 years ago "Did we stop being liberals or have liberals stopped being us?". It was liberals of an elder day who were the champions of progress and industry, It was liberals who led the real civil rights movement and it was liberals who fought for a more open society, in short, it was liberals who were the champions of Reason. Of the liberals Rand wrote in the middle 1970's "Though they were wrong, I envied them their methodology. Today they are in no such danger".

It must also be realized that this is an abstraction of a very subtle thing and over 130 years running so it would not be readily apparent.

However, the conservatives are not without fault and this may only be temporary:

http://cockpit.spacepatrol.us/endof.html

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Fear does indeed come before altruism. However, conquering the fear is accomplished through man's rational faculty. Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man’s relationship to existence. (Rand)

If something causes people to fear existence, that something is either the lack of philosophy or bad philosophy. We have plenty of philosophy, so it's definitely not the former. If you want to change the World, you need to replace bad philosophy with good philosophy. And you've come to the right place, since we are here to discuss philosophy.

I think your second paragraph contradicts your first. Fear has to stem from some conceptual content, as it cannot be a causeless primary. I agree with your second paragraph that the fear of existence stems from either the lack of philosophy or bad philosophy, and I would hold that altruistic premises (the conceptual content) gives rise to that seemingly ubiquitous fear. In what seems like the "chicken and egg" scenario, I think that the premises or content, such as altruism, is more fundamental.

MichaelH says a similar thing about "desires" or "emotions" being the primary when he states:

The driving force is the desire to see the world become a better place. (More or less cynical motives can be incorporated - profit, livelihood, the desire to reduce suffering, the desire to see the "evil" suffer, etc.) These desires are the driving force.

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand demonstrated how morality (more broadly, philosophy) was man's motive force; these desires or emotions are in no way primaries. Hence why "Altruism [tends to be] the go-to evil for most Objectivist discussions."

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In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand demonstrated how morality (more broadly, philosophy) was man's motive force; these desires or emotions are in no way primaries.

What is or is not a primary is decided by the person who accepts something as a primary. That decision may be right or wrong but since nobody can think for anyone else then the choice of primary rests with the chooser. Add to that the fact that Man is a creature of "self-made soul" then that chosen primary IS the primary.

Did not Rand note that "the fundamental evil is the man without a purpose" and did she not include "whim-worship" as a characteristic of not having a purpose? In "Kant Vs Sullivan" did she not show that the greatest fundamental act was making the essential connection between consciousness and the external world, saying that the consciousness should be focust outward [to the external world]?

Well, for the whim-worshipper, whose defining characteristic is that he hasn't made that connection, the emotions are the primaries, or rather the feelings of the moment are the primaries because, of these, he is immediately aware. One of Rush Limbaugh's templates is that , for the liberals, emotions, or rather feelings trump reason. Of course he goes and wets himself on an interstellar scale when he bemoans the "fact" that "liberals laugh at people who believe what can't be proved". Isn't believing what can't be proven feeling trumping reason by putting the focus of consciousness inward ("Proof destroys faith": Urban VIII to Gallileo). Integrity anyone!?

Hence why "Altruism [tends to be] the go-to evil for most Objectivist discussions."

Well, doesn't the altruist look upon selfishness as the go-to evil, usually mis-defining it? What it tells me is tha, at this stage of societal evolution, ethics is the battleground.

Acutally good and evil are set by Metaphysics. I tend to think that centering the "go-to" on ethics is a function of age and experience and mostly the latter, I had this down when I was 30.

Ethics is not an irreducible primary, therefore, not a fundamental. Before you can determine how to discern the good, you need two things, the world and how it goes, which is Metaphyisics and Man and how he goes, which is... Rand has said "Philosphy is mostly epistemology". Which goes back to the fact that the only choice open to Man is the choice to think or not to think which sets the choice of primaries. The altruist tries to run the show on the basis of guilt, which is a feeling. We should be trying to run the show on the basis of reason. This points back to the first part of this post where the whim-worhipper looks inside to find "the answers" and the properly functioning adult builds on the basis of the objective, Existence exists prinacy of the external world.

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I think your second paragraph contradicts your first. Fear has to stem from some conceptual content, as it cannot be a causeless primary. I agree with your second paragraph that the fear of existence stems from either the lack of philosophy or bad philosophy, and I would hold that altruistic premises (the conceptual content) gives rise to that seemingly ubiquitous fear. In what seems like the "chicken and egg" scenario, I think that the premises or content, such as altruism, is more fundamental.

MichaelH says a similar thing about "desires" or "emotions" being the primary when he states:

In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand demonstrated how morality (more broadly, philosophy) was man's motive force; these desires or emotions are in no way primaries. Hence why "Altruism [tends to be] the go-to evil for most Objectivist discussions."

I disagree. So some readers do not confuse my view with official Objectivist philosophy, I will mention I am not yet an Objectivist; I just agree with Objectivists on many points.

Philosophy cannot be man's motive force. Babies act without the benefit of philosophy. Animals do the same. Animals, even rational animals, are fundamentally driven to meet certain needs like hunger and sex. In OPAR, Peikoff describes an invulnerable robot that has no physical needs or dangers. The robot has no reason to act as it has no values to lose. In relation to man, we would say it has no drives it must satisfy.

People can get their philosophy so confused that they act against their life; see the "Why choose death?" thread in this forum. However, even if they do the wrong thing, they are fundamentally trying to meet needs.

Philosophy (epistemology) shows us how to understand the world around us. Philosophy (ethics) shows us how to rank and align our desires to achieve a happy, purposeful life. Philosophy does not tell us the source of our desires; as I understand it, that is properly the function of science (biology and psychology).

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I disagree. So some readers do not confuse my view with official Objectivist philosophy, I will mention I am not yet an Objectivist; I just agree with Objectivists on many points.

Philosophy cannot be man's motive force. Babies act without the benefit of philosophy. Animals do the same. Animals, even rational animals, are fundamentally driven to meet certain needs like hunger and sex. In OPAR, Peikoff describes an invulnerable robot that has no physical needs or dangers. The robot has no reason to act as it has no values to lose. In relation to man, we would say it has no drives it must satisfy.

People can get their philosophy so confused that they act against their life; see the "Why choose death?" thread in this forum. However, even if they do the wrong thing, they are fundamentally trying to meet needs.

Philosophy (epistemology) shows us how to understand the world around us. Philosophy (ethics) shows us how to rank and align our desires to achieve a happy, purposeful life. Philosophy does not tell us the source of our desires; as I understand it, that is properly the function of science (biology and psychology).

A better way to put that would be "philosphy provides a guidence system" From Rand "Philosphy will not tell you if you are in Zanzibar but it will tell you how to find out". The purpose of philosphy is to provide a coherent (internally consistent), correspndent (matches reality) means to address the world at the highest (over-arching) level.

http://dancona.spacepatrol.us/crap.html

The implicit irreducuble primary here is "grownup human". Philosophy is not germaine to animals and babies since they have not the physical capacity for it. Children byond a certain age, about 5 are equipped with a kind of philosophy stand-in called "sense of life". A sense of life i "...a preconceptyally, emotionally integrated equivalent of philosphy; specifically metaphysics." and even this is because children aren't equipped physically to access full out philosophy. This is a matter of the Law of Identit. To bring in babies, animals and children is to stretch the discussion beyond it's rational bounds, like bringinging oranges when the discussion is about apples.

As far as persons acting against their interests or life, There is no guarantee that a person will get it right or wishes to continue living under the existing circumstances with such being immutable. In fact most persons function under a mixed system of ideas and principles learned in a haphazared manner or contradictory principles indoctrinated into them before they reach the level of dealing in principles.

Edited by Space Patroller
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What is or is not a primary is decided by the person who accepts something as a primary. That decision may be right or wrong but since nobody can think for anyone else then the choice of primary rests with the chooser. Add to that the fact that Man is a creature of "self-made soul" then that chosen primary IS the primary.

Did not Rand note that "the fundamental evil is the man without a purpose" and did she not include "whim-worship" as a characteristic of not having a purpose? In "Kant Vs Sullivan" did she not show that the greatest fundamental act was making the essential connection between consciousness and the external world, saying that the consciousness should be focust outward [to the external world]?

Ethics is not an irreducible primary, therefore, not a fundamental. Before you can determine how to discern the good, you need two things, the world and how it goes, which is Metaphyisics and Man and how he goes, which is... Rand has said "Philosphy is mostly epistemology". Which goes back to the fact that the only choice open to Man is the choice to think or not to think which sets the choice of primaries. The altruist tries to run the show on the basis of guilt, which is a feeling. We should be trying to run the show on the basis of reason. This points back to the first part of this post where the whim-worhipper looks inside to find "the answers" and the properly functioning adult builds on the basis of the objective, Existence exists prinacy of the external world.

I tried to wade through your post, and the best that I can discern is that you think that "primaries" or "fundamentals" are subjective, or at least that's what your opening statements put forth. Your opening paragraph completely subverts the idea of the role of hierarchy in concepts, much less objectivity. If your statement that "What is or is not a primary is decided by the person who accepts something as a primary" were true, then there'd be no such thing as the fallacy of the stolen concept, to say the least.

To be honest, I skimmed the rest of your post and I lost interest.

Philosophy cannot be man's motive force. Babies act without the benefit of philosophy. Animals do the same. Animals, even rational animals, are fundamentally driven to meet certain needs like hunger and sex. In OPAR, Peikoff describes an invulnerable robot that has no physical needs or dangers. The robot has no reason to act as it has no values to lose. In relation to man, we would say it has no drives it must satisfy.

SP is right in the sense that we aren't talking about non-human animals or babies. We're talking about full-grown, conceptual-level adults.

Philosophy (epistemology) shows us how to understand the world around us. Philosophy (ethics) shows us how to rank and align our desires to achieve a happy, purposeful life. Philosophy does not tell us the source of our desires; as I understand it, that is properly the function of science (biology and psychology).

It is specifically the field of motivation within psychology that gets at the source of our desires, but philosophy guides that process, in addition to establishing the proper hierarchy of concepts within it.

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The implicit irreducuble primary here is "grownup human". Philosophy is not germaine to animals and babies since they have not the physical capacity for it. Children byond a certain age, about 5 are equipped with a kind of philosophy stand-in called "sense of life". A sense of life i "...a preconceptyally, emotionally integrated equivalent of philosphy; specifically metaphysics." and even this is because children aren't equipped physically to access full out philosophy. This is a matter of the Law of Identit. To bring in babies, animals and children is to stretch the discussion beyond it's rational bounds, like bringinging oranges when the discussion is about apples.

You're correct about philosophy as it applies to children. As to it not being germane to the discussion, my point is that philosophy is not a primary motivator. I believe that point still applies, but I have no problem restricting the issue to adults from here forward.

So we're clear, I'm responding to Zip's post:

Why do the liberals do these things? What underlying motive makes them try to force us all into "how the world should be"...

What causes the conservative to try to push his morality onto the rest of us, the socialist to try and make us all equal?

What is that one thing that binds all these evil ideologies together?

We agree that the ideologies are both based on altruism. However, I believe that answer stops too soon. It explains the "what" but not the "why". The underlying question is: what is the causes people to act to pursue values?

Philosophy explains how to act to pursue values. Philosophy can help define values. Philosophy does not provide, however, the impetus to actually move.

Humans have specific needs which they are driven to meet. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs enumerates them roughly in the order they emerge. What drives liberals and conservatives properly moves into a discussion of psychology.

I've created a new thread for discussion of the psychological aspects. I'll be happy to continue the debate here as to whether psychology or philosophy is the primary.

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Humans have specific needs which they are driven to meet. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs enumerates them roughly in the order they emerge. What drives liberals and conservatives properly moves into a discussion of psychology.

Typically I lose interest in discussion once someone brings up Maslow's "Hierarchy," but okay, I'll bite. By what objective standard are you judging the order in which the hierarchy should occur? Further, by what process?

At best, Maslow's "Hierarchy" (scare quotes intended) is a gross oversimplification. How exactly acceptance from the tribe is more fundamental than self-esteem or acceptance of the facts of reality is beyond me.

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Typically I lose interest in discussion once someone brings up Maslow's "Hierarchy," but okay, I'll bite. By what objective standard are you judging the order in which the hierarchy should occur? Further, by what process?

At best, Maslow's "Hierarchy" (scare quotes intended) is a gross oversimplification. How exactly acceptance from the tribe is more fundamental than self-esteem or acceptance of the facts of reality is beyond me.

A complete analysis of human drives and needs has not, to my knowledge, been completed. You are absolutely correct that the "hierarchy" does not have an Objective basis. My statement that they are listed in the order they emerge was incorrect.

However, would you argue that humans do not have these needs? We can observe the damaged manner in which people lacking self-esteem, or food, or friendship behave.

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A complete analysis of human drives and needs has not, to my knowledge, been completed. You are absolutely correct that the "hierarchy" does not have an Objective basis. My statement that they are listed in the order they emerge was incorrect.

However, would you argue that humans do not have these needs? We can observe the damaged manner in which people lacking self-esteem, or food, or friendship behave.

Absolutely, I do think it loosely lists needs that humans have; the problem is that it isn't exhaustive (which it doesn't necessarily need to be, it just seems like he picked possible 'needs' out of a hat) and further, it has no concept of actual hierarchy because it doesn't establish an objective standard by which one would judge needs to be more fundamental or less fundamental. Further, it would need to establish a range. We don't live day to day without having some concept of the longer-range. By looking at Maslow's hierarchy, it's hard to tell what he defines "needs" as. Does he mean "needs" to flourish qua man, to live until the next day, or what?

In Peikoff's lecture on 'The Role of Philosophy and Psychology in History', he states that there is a bit of a 'chicken vs. the egg' scenario, as one can go in circles asking, "Why did this man act such and such a way? Because he held the premise of X. Why did he hold that premise? Because when he was X years old, he saw someone do such and such and he thought that it was the right thing to do. Why did he think it was the right thing to do? Because he held premise Y at the time, and it made sense to him. Why did he hold premise Y?" and it goes on and on. At some point, we have to come to volition. Why did someone do something? At root, because he chose to, based on all of his previous thoughts, choices and actions, which include an intermingling of philosophy and psychology.

The reason why I said that philosophy is more fundamental is because it deals with the fundamental questions that give rise to and inform the more specialized or derivative questions (and thus you have the specialized sciences such as psychology that deal with more specific aspects). You cannot act without some code of values (even if one is merely an eclectic), and by a specific means, and on this basis, philosophy sets the terms and standards.

Edited by West
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I think your second paragraph contradicts your first. Fear has to stem from some conceptual content, as it cannot be a causeless primary. I agree with your second paragraph that the fear of existence stems from either the lack of philosophy or bad philosophy, and I would hold that altruistic premises (the conceptual content) gives rise to that seemingly ubiquitous fear. In what seems like the "chicken and egg" scenario, I think that the premises or content, such as altruism, is more fundamental.

I just meant that people were afraid of the mysterious world around them before altruism. Can't there be "bad philosophy" without the premise that man is a sacrificial being (altruism)? By "bad philosophy" I mean any concepts that man's imagination creates, that are not in accordance with reality. (like a vindictive god or creature which sent that lightning storm to punish some transgression)

I think that the premises or content, such as altruism, is more fundamental.

Agreed.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I just meant that people were afraid of the mysterious world around them before altruism. Can't there be "bad philosophy" without the premise that man is a sacrificial being (altruism)? By "bad philosophy" I mean any concepts that man's imagination creates, that are not in accordance with reality. (like a vindictive God or creature which sent that lightning storm to punish some transgression)

Yes, you're right. I definitely agree. I didn't mean to imply that altruism was a necessary (vs. sufficient etc.) cause or premise, which is an error in my original post. I just mean that it is generally a go-to evil for Objectivists because of the fact that it is seemingly ubiquitous.

edit: grammar and clarification.

Edited by West
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We agree that the ideologies are both based on altruism. However, I believe that answer stops too soon. It explains the "what" but not the "why". The underlying question is: what is the causes people to act to pursue values?

Thanx for the wake-up call.

I've held for years that ideologies are part of the branch of philosphy known as Politics. Then when I see someone else doing that same kind of analysis it almost gets by me. I had to go deep in the hole at short to get it.

Now here's the kicker. If you told both the cons and libs that their systmes incorporated altruism. They would freely agree and in spades seeing nothing wrong with that

In the overwhelming number of cases. altruism is used synonymously with benevolence rather than in the real meaning as propounded by Compte which is literally the imolation of the individual for the sake of the group

One of the articles from THE OBJECTIVIST NEWSLETTER that did not show up in tVoS was "Benevolence Versus Altrusim" That would have been a vital part of understanding what altruism really is.

Repressive states need altruism since it does a dictator no good to have independent subjects so he sure's hell don't want to touch egoism with a 39-1/2' pole. and altrusim necessarily sends the political system inot a repressive state

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've always seen the root of tyranny in the conservatives & liberals as a matter of greed.

Not greed as it's been maligned to be, not objectivist rational self interest.

Greed is what? We all have our own definitions but I've always seen it as wanting an end your means can't produce.

Someone who by their work and their mind produces extreme wealth is not greedy. Not even if they never give to or help anybody their whole lives.

Somebody who does not work or produce yet expects a single dime be given them is greedy.

Both liberal and conservative leaders are in the business of brainwashing slaves to take from the productive what they cannot or will not produce for themselves.

But this begs a question that a politician would ask (but never publicly)... "my mobs and my masses are my employees, they are employeed at the job of bringing political weight to my claims against your property".

I disagree with the notion of altruism as the beginning. It all started with religion which came long before politics. Somewhere long, long ago someone very smart but very lazy decided that going on the hunt was too risky and started inventing superstitions to which only they "knew" the protections for. So you had your shamans & your witch doctors and your mystics creating nothing but supported by the tribe out of fear.

As time went on sometimes these mystics would be dislodged if they stepped too far out of line with the strong and productive of the pack. So they started "sharing the wealth" a little to get followers that obeyed the superstition above the good of the individuals in the pack... and so on and so on...

So I would say the root was "greed", the contagion that spread it was "fear" and what makes it palatable to today's sheeple is the false cloak of "altruism".

I hope this comes off as coherent.. new to objective forums and eager to learn.

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