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NotCrazyDan
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Sure. The job market is extremely precarious, the people are usually vacuous and pretentious. The youth are vehemently hardcore liberal. There are more Muslims of the Palestinian supporting variety than any freedom loving person would care for. The political system is an absolute joke. Everything is expensive. The intellectuals have always and always will support the likes of Marx and Immanuel Kant. Poltical correctness in its grotesque anti-success and anti-free speech form is the norm. The Law is generally unintelligible and 84% of it is not even decided within my own country. People are routinely called racists for stating there opinions on immigration and the war on ideas, and put in the same category as the BNP. Taxation has crept above the 50% mark for most and is looking to rise further. Most people are genuinely selfless and act for the most part like mindless sheep, bowing to the ethical bromides espoused by the intellectual elite. The health care system is completely inadequate and unethical. The welfare state is breeding an ever-growing subculture of anti-western civilisationism (I like that word, and yes, I made it up). I mean seriously the list could go on and on.

Would you want to live in a country (world) which was not only unsupportive of, but completely opposed to every idea and value you hold dear?

Socialist England had sunk pretty low by the 1960s and then Margaret Thatcher came on the scene in the mid 1970s. Are there any new "Thatchers" who might burst onto the political stage?

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Socialist England had sunk pretty low by the 1960s and then Margaret Thatcher came on the scene in the mid 1970s. Are there any new "Thatchers" who might burst onto the political stage?

Daniel Hannan is the only Conservative politician who has any integrity (not that's Thatcher had any before). He is an MEPfor South West England. I'm very fond of his Youtube videos but it is very unlikely he would get into a position of power in this country.

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The War wasn't part of America's culture, so you can't pin that on us. In fact, at that time we had the moral certainty to actually fight the bad guys and completely defeat them! Today we grovel and bow before them. The important thing here is the nature of American culture then and now. The sad fact is that Americans are not as good today as they were then. We live in a more nihilistic, low-brow, anti-freedom society than ever.

As Anne Wortham said, in the battle between John Wayne and Jane Fonda, Jane Fonda has won.

I'm not completely pessimistic, I'm just pointing out the way things are.

Weighing the benefits and costs of the culture, I am not sure. It was a much more religious, racist, misogynistic culture that also hailed FDR and his New Deal. Remember that we voted him in four times, and the opposition to FDR were pretty much Nazi sympathizers.

This is foreign to me. Could you two explain what it is about the country that makes you feel that way?

Speaking for myself, it was just hyperbole.

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I know of no greater time to be alive than now.

No shit! But lets be realistic. There are positives and negatives. It could be much better and it's getting worse.

I think Objectivists are probably the only ones who have the power to make any significant difference.

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Weighing the benefits and costs of the culture, I am not sure. It was a much more religious, racist, misogynistic culture that also hailed FDR and his New Deal. Remember that we voted him in four times, and the opposition to FDR were pretty much Nazi sympathizers.

I think you have a very distorted picture of America.

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A few other things strike me. In the 1930s we weren't nationalizing industries, working to confirm subjectivist/racist judges, promulgating an extremely anti-American foreign policy, and pushing anti-man environmentalism. Furthermore, let us not forget things like faith-based initiatives and creationism.

I think you'd better read your history, and I would suggest The Forgotten Man, by Shlaes, as a starting point. U.S. effectively nationalized the electrical power industry under FDR, just as one example. FDR tried to increase the number of SCOTUS justices from 9 to 15, in order to push through his New Deal. It failed, but he ended up replacing eight justices, who (you guessed it) backed the New Deal. FDR backed the Soviet Union against Germany, and ended up relinquishing more European territory to Communism than we ostensibly were trying to save from Nazism, and, his inner circle was packed with communists, communist sympathizers and friends of the Soviet Union. The Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program, is regarded as the progenitor of the American environmental movement.

So the threats we face today that we didn't in the 1930's boil down to faith-based initiatives and creationism?

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I think you'd better read your history, and I would suggest The Forgotten Man, by Shlaes, as a starting point. U.S. effectively nationalized the electrical power industry under FDR, just as one example. FDR tried to increase the number of SCOTUS justices from 9 to 15, in order to push through his New Deal. It failed, but he ended up replacing eight justices, who (you guessed it) backed the New Deal. FDR backed the Soviet Union against Germany, and ended up relinquishing more European territory to Communism than we ostensibly were trying to save from Nazism, and, his inner circle was packed with communists, communist sympathizers and friends of the Soviet Union. The Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program, is regarded as the progenitor of the American environmental movement.

So the threats we face today that we didn't in the 1930's boil down to faith-based initiatives and creationism?

FDR was awful, but we're a lot further along a downward spiral than we were then. Environmentalism wasn't around back then, anyway. Yes, there was conservation, and a few fringe anti-civilization types, but not the full blown postmodernist movement we have today. Another thing to look at is the entertainment culture then and now.

I think a fuller picture needs to be painted here. You are looking, rightly, at the bad elements, but what about the good elements? I think few would disagree that America was much freer, for example, in the 1950s, and freer still in the late 1800s.

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I think you have a very distorted picture of America.

Do you deny America had an even strong religious bent in those days? It was thankfully not as relevant in politics with exceptions like Woodrow Wilson until probably Reagan, but the country itself was still very much religious.

Do you deny that it was often a very patriarchal society? I don't want to come off sounding like a feminist here or anything, but until the 60s it was perfectly legal for a husband to rape his wife. They were not encouraged at all to earn their own income.

I think the prevalence of racism in 40s and 50s America is just too evident to even bother commenting on it.

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Do you deny America had an even strong religious bent in those days? It was thankfully not as relevant in politics with exceptions like Woodrow Wilson until probably Reagan, but the country itself was still very much religious. Do you deny that it was often a very patriarchal society? I don't want to come off sounding like a feminist here or anything, but until the 60s it was perfectly legal for a husband to rape his wife. They were not encouraged at all to earn their own income. I think the prevalence of racism in 40s and 50s America is just too evident to even bother commenting on it.

It's not so much that I disagree with your specific points, so much as I disagree with how you emphasize them. Most people were living their lives, producing goods or services, and treating each other with the utmost respect. Somehow that's all lost in your assessment.

For example, look at what Ayn Rand achieved from the 1930s onward. She was definitely a woman, and she said once "When it comes to feminism, I'm a mail chauvinist, proudly", or words to that effect.

How free a society is says a lot about how good the people in the society are.

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I think the thing that's being lost sight of in this minor back and forth is that yes, there are aspects of American society that were probably better in the 40s\50s (off the top of my head, I'd say the work ethic of the general populace was one of them), and yes, there were others....that were less exemplary. The thing is to acknowledge both, and integrate them into the big picture. Personally, I believe that the relevant question isn't whether America is more or less free than it was 50 or 100 years ago (the answer to that depends upon your nationality and gender unfortunately), but instead, what are the trends compared to then and now. In other words, it's less about where we are at any given point, but more about where we're going. Looking at the 50s, things were on the rise, as the war was over, racial tolerance and integration was moving onwards, eventually racist legislature was removed, and so forth.

The trends of today, however, are more bleak. The military campaign in the middle east has no end in sight. The government is arguably incompetent and pushing us ever closer to bankruptcy, and lawmakers are finding ever more inventive ways to violate our rights as citizenry. Not to mention the troublesome ideological trend of today, the idea that they can get something for nothing. Of course, it isn't true, but there are a great many people who believe it is\should be, and the actions they undertake with this belief are rarely for the best.

P.S. A minor sidenote, but I think the distinction should be made between religious, and fundamentalist movements when examining any given era. Post enlightenment religion is alright by me (ala Thomas Aquinas). It's another thing entirely when faith trumps rational thought, and people seek to drag us back to the dark ages in terms of knowledge and advancement.

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My oath is to the Constitution, I take that oath extremely seriously, and the Constitution has been warped out of all similarity from the original intent of the founders, and the only hope of re-establishing the constitution is for individual States to re-establish their sovereignty. Read that sentence however you want, can't say exactly what I'd like to since I'm active duty.

By the way it's true that we have objectivism now and we didn't back then, but the sad fact is that most people have never heard of objectivism, and people who actually identify themselves as objectivists are in the extreme minority. I myself am Roman Catholic, although I've read everything that Ayn Rand ever wrote, and she's done a great deal to shape my personal worldview.

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FDR was awful, but we're a lot further along a downward spiral than we were then. Environmentalism wasn't around back then, anyway. Yes, there was conservation, and a few fringe anti-civilization types, but not the full blown postmodernist movement we have today. Another thing to look at is the entertainment culture then and now.
Correct. 1930's America didn't have the benefit of hindsight that we have either. We now know the real causes of the Depression and that FDR's actions only lengthened it. Despite that, we seem willing to repeat the same mistakes today. Plus, we were a producer nation back then and a consumer nation now; we were a creditor nation back then and a debtor nation now. We still have all FDR's programs hanging around our necks as well as those of LBJ's Great Society and everything since.

There is a big difference, I think, between the first nail in the coffin and the last.

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Do you deny America had an even strong religious bent in those days? It was thankfully not as relevant in politics with exceptions like Woodrow Wilson until probably Reagan, but the country itself was still very much religious.

More religious than the 1850's? The 1750's? I doubt it. Somehow Christianity and Capitalism co-existed just fine throughout the freest most productive years of US history. It is the secular left that seeks to enslave us, not the Christian right.

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... ...so I see what people do and there's just no way for me not to violently react against the stupid. I never have been very good at accepting things LOL

I get that! I have never been good at accepting things.
I understand what the two of you are saying. Of course it is frustrating to see stupidity, etc. At the same time, you don't want to create a situation where ignorance is bliss.

Imagine someone who is pursuing similar values to you -- a similar career etc. -- but is "blissfully" unaware of the crappy aspects of the world.... has shrugged off the fields of philosophy and politics and adopted some type of "common sense" approach, mainly ignoring the daily news, and going about his primary value-pursuit. You don;t want your own frustration at the negatives you see in the world place you in a situation where you are envious of that other person's ignorance.

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The American sense of life was MUCH stronger in the 1930s. We've decayed a great deal since then. On a positive note, the one thing we have going for us now that we didn't then is Objectivism.

Actually, it's more like the 1970's. In the 30's the American people hadn't been polluted culturally as they have now. The culture or instant gratification to the point of essential indebtedness, which just led to the intensification of the "rat race" with the rats now having a 3 length lead. The media are feeding the fires by focusing on what they want to be the predominant scenarios to condition the mood of the nation. Notice how the image is changing to one of economic recovery now that the 'crats are in the drivers seat. Also notice the almost oppressive omnipresence of the media in the form of music everywhere to condition the people to background "buzz". Also notice the constant celibrity buzz, most of which is some disfunctional, degenerate or other sleaze-framed image. This is a full-court press since they believe their ends are in sight. However, to cheat fools, give them that for which they ask. Maybe the Economy Fairy will accommodate them: She owes me a favor for explaing Galbraith to her. If the system can go into crisis "prematurely", it will be salvageble and be so apparent that it will be the demise of the left. The '70's did end well with Reagan who provided a two decade respite, albeit incomplete and relatively shallow in depth of understanding. His big appeal was to the American sense of life; i.e. "Morning in America" Read Ayn Rand's "Don't Let it Go" where she said "...whether this will be a sunset or a dawn, I don't know..." or like that.

One thing we have to bear i mind is that China is preparing to back their currency with gold. Do you know what that will do to the dollar as a "reserve" currency?

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What are the negatives of being alive?

I believe adrock is referring to "suicide". I thought throwing that word in was gratuitous. The idea is to live, not to die.

My statement meant more than just decrying the income tax. The Constitution can be, and was even in it's original formation, very flawed.

I think you need to break that one down some more, because it's not exactly an obvious point.

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I understand what the two of you are saying. Of course it is frustrating to see stupidity, etc. At the same time, you don't want to create a situation where ignorance is bliss.

Imagine someone who is pursuing similar values to you -- a similar career etc. -- but is "blissfully" unaware of the crappy aspects of the world.... has shrugged off the fields of philosophy and politics and adopted some type of "common sense" approach, mainly ignoring the daily news, and going about his primary value-pursuit. You don;t want your own frustration at the negatives you see in the world place you in a situation where you are envious of that other person's ignorance.

Why would I be envious of a pragmatist?

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I understand what the two of you are saying. Of course it is frustrating to see stupidity, etc. At the same time, you don't want to create a situation where ignorance is bliss.

Imagine someone who is pursuing similar values to you -- a similar career etc. -- but is "blissfully" unaware of the crappy aspects of the world.... has shrugged off the fields of philosophy and politics and adopted some type of "common sense" approach, mainly ignoring the daily news, and going about his primary value-pursuit. You don;t want your own frustration at the negatives you see in the world place you in a situation where you are envious of that other person's ignorance.

Actually I don't have to imagine it. I know such a person. It was very frustrating to me to see her shrug off things like that except occasionally and on a few topics. I didn't consider it blissful at all. It leads her to have a libertarian outlook that borders on anarchist and it didn't prevent her from living more or less as a hedonist for awhile. But for a time it seemed we were pursuing similar values, being in related fields and having what I thought for a long time were compatible goals. I think she's come around somewhat since then but I know she still does not keep up with the "outside world" and makes a point of that.

I never consider ignorance blissful. I'd rather know everything even if it makes me miserable. I guess I'm weird like that.

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I never consider ignorance blissful. I'd rather know everything even if it makes me miserable.
Nothing wrong with that, except if that sense of misery becomes a norm in one's life to the point where one is contemplating suicide every few days... which was the suggestion that started this sub-topic.
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