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Oil spill off Louisiana coast

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You know, individuals other than those involved in the oil spill and the initial explosion are harmed. Those whose livelihoods depend on the animals and/or plants killed by the oil and those with beachfront property are harmed. Furthermore BP has hired government thugs to illegalize free speech when it comes to filming the oil, because since the oil is BP's the intellectual property to all footage of the oil and the mention of the oil keeps the media from doing their job. Which is stupid because in no way whatsoever are the intellectual property claims valid.

This is enough to make me want to help a boycott against BP and anyone with whom they do business, as any person who believes in property rights would do.

However, the environmental claims are bunk, particularly when it involves the killing of living beings merely because they are part of the environment and not because people use them, or when their "use" is being defined simply as "making the global environment better" (to be fair, the idea that biological entities contribute to the global environment is probable, but the totality of the mechanisms are far from well understood, and there has yet to be a system invented which makes abstract environmental features a direct asset, such as some sort of environmental property rights) and not because some industry depends on their control and utilization.

Edited by TuringAI
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I'm not an environmentalist and I imagine that neither are any of you. But I'm having trouble accepting the conservative idea that the oil spill will just "clean itself up." Of course, I'm not implying that that's the way Objectivists feel. That's the reason I started this post, to see how others felt. But I can't help thinking that environmentalists have a point. Now, I'm not talking about global warming. I'm referring to protecting the environment we choose to use, especially certain ecosytems. As long as it doesn't interfere with anyone's rights, of course. The oil spill in the Gulf isn't a good thing. It's a terrible thing, not because it's destroying nature, but because it's destroying nature that people could potentially use. Yes we should use the earth as we see fit, but what if there's nothing for us to use because we've destroyed it? What about all the fish that could have been caught, bought, sold, and consumed for our pleasure, that have died from the spill? I'm not advocating regulation, or saying that BP should be legally liable for any of the potential profits that anyone is missing out on, but I do think that we should take care of what we have if we intend to keep it. Again, I don't believe that the government should have any say in what we can and can't do to the environment, but don't you think we should take care of it? For our sake?

After rereading this post it seems a little silly. As long as the government isn't trying to interfere and say that you must help the environment, what Objectivist (or person for that matter) would be against maintaining it and keeping it for further use?

You're not going to find a complete consensus here. For reference to some of the topics about the oil spill, here is another thread on the subject. I don't think you are too far from the truth when you identify conservatives as being a little slower to react to the situation. The only ones I know that are in a hurry and motivated to get this spill contained are those conservatives in the region affected by the spill itself. I'm not an environmentalist, yet I understand, or at least perceive much more of a threat from the oil than other non-environmentalists, maybe because I'm from the Gulf and still travel there every year. Additionally, I do think that the government does have the responsibility to force BP to clean up all those areas, like the barrier islands and marsh lands, that are not owned by anyone.

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That's good enough for me. I just wanted to see an "objectivist" actually admit that a large corporation can do harm through some misdeed or oversight, which should in all rationality be remedied by the one causing such action.

After all, I was half-expecting some justification that BP was simply pursuing its rational self-interest and that no other consideration should be given to this incident, aside from its ability to earn money and produce for its shareholders.

I wondered what the Atlus Shrugged mentality would have to say about the BP oil spill. A great case is made for the stifling of free enterprise by government that want to "make things more comforable for the little guy." But what about when big businesses destroy the livelihood of others and their businesses, through their own actions?

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That's good enough for me. I just wanted to see an "objectivist" actually admit that a large corporation can do harm through some misdeed or oversight, which should in all rationality be remedied by the one causing such action.

After all, I was half-expecting some justification that BP was simply pursuing its rational self-interest and that no other consideration should be given to this incident, aside from its ability to earn money and produce for its shareholders.

I wondered what the Atlus Shrugged mentality would have to say about the BP oil spill. A great case is made for the stifling of free enterprise by government that want to "make things more comforable for the little guy." But what about when big businesses destroy the livelihood of others and their businesses, through their own actions?

You are guilty of misrepresentation. Just where in Objectivism did you read that anyone who aggresses against the property of others aren't held responsible and are not under the forced obligation to pay restitution for those damages?

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I wondered what the Atlus Shrugged mentality would have to say about the BP oil spill. A great case is made for the stifling of free enterprise by government that want to "make things more comforable for the little guy." But what about when big businesses destroy the livelihood of others and their businesses, through their own actions?

Then they should be liable. Simple as that. One problem we have is that our legal system is currently stacked in favor of defendants with reams of corporate lawyers at their disposal to delay and drag things on indefinitely, expending the resources of their opponents. Legal reform would help this. The legal system getting more used to adjudicating environmental issues based on property damage would also help this. Another issue is that frequently government is complicit in the damage. For example, in Love Canal in New York, it was Hooker Chemical that put the dioxin in the ground, but it was the municipal government that bought it and put a school on it.

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That's good enough for me. I just wanted to see an "objectivist" actually admit that a large corporation can do harm through some misdeed or oversight, which should in all rationality be remedied by the one causing such action.

After all, I was half-expecting some justification that BP was simply pursuing its rational self-interest and that no other consideration should be given to this incident, aside from its ability to earn money and produce for its shareholders.

I wondered what the Atlus Shrugged mentality would have to say about the BP oil spill. A great case is made for the stifling of free enterprise by government that want to "make things more comforable for the little guy." But what about when big businesses destroy the livelihood of others and their businesses, through their own actions?

You clearly have a very distorted, Left-wing view of capitalism and Objectivism, however, from your post, I will trust that you have come here in good faith to learn about the Objectivist view of the situation.

Of course BP has done harm which must be remedied by them, they have to pay compensation to all of those who have been affected by their negligence. What else would you possibly expect us to say? Individual property rights are sacrosanct, people whose property and livelihood has been affected by oil spilling out of BP property into common and private areas have a right to demand compensation from BP. Under capitalism, you are able to pursue your own interests, but not at the expense of another's property rights. "Do what you want and the rest of the world be damned" is a Left-wing caricature of Objectivism/capitalism, it bears no relation to the reality. You are able to do what you want, what is in your interests, up to the point at which that inflicts on someone else's property rights.

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So, BP will soon be bankrupt, right, after paying up to settle the claims of all & sundry. Lots of people out of work, an important producer of oil no longer producing, and likely few people understanding the real causes of the catastrophe: the environmental movement.

How fair is it to lay ALL the blame on this occasion at BP's door? Given the insane hysteria of the environmentalists, who lobbied against oil drilling on land or closer to shore, shouldn't a good deal of blame be laid at their door too?

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BP will soon be bankrupt, right, after paying up to settle the claims of all & sundry. Lots of people out of work, an important producer of oil no longer producing,

These comments worry me (as they are valid) as I am wondering if the government will try to take BP over after this is all over. They are already trying to pull some shit with the news industry:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/...--95196309.html

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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How fair is it to lay ALL the blame on this occasion at BP's door? Given the insane hysteria of the environmentalists, who lobbied against oil drilling on land or closer to shore, shouldn't a good deal of blame be laid at their door too?

People need to be convinced that pushing BP to the depths of the Gulf to protect Alaskan caribou and the ocean view of a Californian sunbather is the wrong thing to do. So, It'd be unjust to lay ALL the blame on BP's door. Environmental hysteria deserves a fraction of the blame. But environmentalists shouldn't be pressed into the clean-up effort, that's BP's problem. And I don't think that bankrupting them will help either. Perhaps a portion of their profits could go to pay for clean-up efforts for the next ten to twenty years?

These comments worry me (as they are valid) as I am wondering if the government will try to take BP over after this is all over.

I don't think US regulators have the gall to attempt a takeover of one of Britain's largest companies.

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We need to find a way to get rid of the ocean completely or get rid of it somewhere. You can't spill into one then. Or we could figure out a way to create strong whirlpools above the well. Just start throwing rocks or some kind of sealant into it to plug things up.

:rolleyes:

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You clearly have a very distorted, Left-wing view of capitalism and Objectivism, however, from your post, I will trust that you have come here in good faith to learn about the Objectivist view of the situation.

Of course BP has done harm which must be remedied by them, they have to pay compensation to all of those who have been affected by their negligence. What else would you possibly expect us to say? Individual property rights are sacrosanct, people whose property and livelihood has been affected by oil spilling out of BP property into common and private areas have a right to demand compensation from BP. Under capitalism, you are able to pursue your own interests, but not at the expense of another's property rights. "Do what you want and the rest of the world be damned" is a Left-wing caricature of Objectivism/capitalism, it bears no relation to the reality. You are able to do what you want, what is in your interests, up to the point at which that inflicts on someone else's property rights.

I think the deeper issue though is - what if BP cannot afford to pay full compensation? Or even a fraction of compensation for damages? Because then you wonder should such activity that might cause catastrophic environmental damage be legal. And then you wonder, if it were illegal, what would we be missing out on. That's what I'd like to see discussion about.

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The news, ad nauseum, has let us know the dire environmental impact upon persons and property of this disaster that, in my opinion, could have been avoided by sound construction practices.

Be that as it may, I see the "tea party" advocates taking full political advantage of this dour situation and attacking the Obama administration for any which reason they please. Already, a poll shows that 62% of Americans polled disapprove of the way the Obama administration has handled this problem. The poll further mentions that this disapproval rating is higher than that suffered by the Bush administration for its handling of Hurricane Katrina.

I expect the Tea Party hippies of the right to really run roughshod with this one.

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Yeah I really don't understand why supposed "small government" conservatives are jumping all over Obama for his "slow response" to the oil spill, as if Barack is going to wade into the water and pop a cork into the pipe. If the government can stop the oil aggression onto private property with its resources available then it should do so (obviously it can't in this situation), otherwise the only place for the government is investigators, detectives, and courts, everything else from stopping the oil to the clean up should take place at private initiative, with BP under the obligation to pay for it.

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If the government can stop the oil aggression onto private property with its resources available then it should do so [...] [emphasis added]

I believe this is the second time I've seen this word used here in reference to this accident, and maybe you mean something other than its actual meaning, but I think this is an unfortunate and inaccurate word to use.

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I believe this is the second time I've seen this word used here in reference to this accident, and maybe you mean something other than its actual meaning, but I think this is an unfortunate and inaccurate word to use.

It does constitute a form of aggression as soon as it uninvitedly lands on my property and causes damage, that's why it is actionable in accordance with the liability of BP. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how I see it anyway.

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That's good enough for me. I just wanted to see an "objectivist" actually admit that a large corporation can do harm through some misdeed or oversight, which should in all rationality be remedied by the one causing such action.

Do you usually rush in, guns-blazing and spew things about which you obviously have no knowledge whatsoever? If you knew anything about objectivism, you would have already known that Objectivists recognize individual rights and that whatever harm is caused by the spill upon individuals is the responsibility of the company, regardless of whether it was an accidental spill or one caused by negligence. Objectivism sees the harming of others for profit as unethical and against an individual's rational self-interest.

Actually, where the hell were you during the Bernie Madoff scandal, that you didn't see just about every objectivist on earth denouncing him as the dishonest thief that he was? I guess probably hiding out under a rock and doing your best to ignore anything that might somehow contradict your secondhanded word-of-mouth image of Objectivism. It's always so easy to let your mouth do the thinking when you never have to worry about the little things, such as knowledge.

Here's some food for your noodle

BP Would Be Toast in a Truly Free Market

Environmentalism is Responsible for the Gulf Oil Spill

Edited by kainscalia
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It does constitute a form of aggression as soon as it uninvitedly lands on my property and causes damage, that's why it is actionable in accordance with the liability of BP. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how I see it anyway.

To me "aggression" implies intent. I usually reserve the word for intentionally evil acts. If accidents count as aggression, then I should think you would be justified in beating someone unconscious after a car accident to subdue them until the police arrived.

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Yeah I really don't understand why supposed "small government" conservatives are jumping all over Obama for his "slow response" to the oil spill, as if Barack is going to wade into the water and pop a cork into the pipe. If the government can stop the oil aggression onto private property with its resources available then it should do so (obviously it can't in this situation), otherwise the only place for the government is investigators, detectives, and courts, everything else from stopping the oil to the clean up should take place at private initiative, with BP under the obligation to pay for it.

I totally agree. About all Obama and the government can do is what most governments in this situation would do, and that is hem, haw, threaten, and make it seem like they are "concerned." The only ones who can stop this leak would be engineers retained by BP who are obvious experts in this.

The whole scenario here reminds me of the novel Atlas Shrugged. There are numerous scenes in that book where, in the face of disaster, politicos show their true colors. This Article has a good take on this.

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You clearly have a very distorted, Left-wing view of capitalism and Objectivism, however, from your post, I will trust that you have come here in good faith to learn about the Objectivist view of the situation.

Of course BP has done harm which must be remedied by them, they have to pay compensation to all of those who have been affected by their negligence. What else would you possibly expect us to say? Individual property rights are sacrosanct, people whose property and livelihood has been affected by oil spilling out of BP property into common and private areas have a right to demand compensation from BP. Under capitalism, you are able to pursue your own interests, but not at the expense of another's property rights. "Do what you want and the rest of the world be damned" is a Left-wing caricature of Objectivism/capitalism, it bears no relation to the reality. You are able to do what you want, what is in your interests, up to the point at which that inflicts on someone else's property rights.

Thanks RebelConservative. That was actually what I was looking for. ScarlettCatherwood's first post was really fair-minded, and spoke to the angle I was hoping to see addressed. I'm actually not left wing or liberal, aside from holding a pro-choice stance on abortion. I'm in Richmond, VA, and I'm considered the most right-wing conservative no matter where I am. I'm against almost all forms of welfare and quota-based affirmative action. I usually vote straight-ticket Republican, save the 06 midterm elections where many Republicans/conservatives broke.

One conservative view I've taken exception too is our own local conservative talk radio host who portrays the plans to repeal the 75m liability cap as like the greatest

travesty and piece of unjus government intervention in history.

A-is-A's response though, was what really set me off.

"Once the spill is halted, the ocean will eventually reabsorb virtually all the oil.. . . Which environment? I do not fish in the gulf, do not use the water from the gulf, and do not swim in the gulf. So, I have not chosen to use the environment. I may have eaten some fish from there, but I can get fish from somewhere else. I did take a cruise to Jamaica a couple of years ago, but I have no future plans to return there."

Rebelconservative, I understand that the "rest of the world be damned" view is more of a cariacature, but this post seemed to fit it pretty closely.

Well I have vacationed in the gulf, and intend to return at some point. Even if I hadn't, and didn't, I still wouldn't want it turned into an oil/tar wasteland because of an industrial accident.

There is simply something about this cold reducing and disecting of how the world should be viewed and interacted with into simple cash transactions between interested parties, with no other consideration given that is unsettling and disturbing to me. Obviously, most would view the attitude/mentality that "Well, the gulf can rot for all I care, I'll never personally see it again and it doesn't impact me." as nothing short of insane.

I believe another poster took issue with a response by A-is-A as well, citing the perceived irrelevance of the the fact that our environment and ecosystem sustains our lives (oxygen). The credibility of the claim that that much oil will simply be reabsorbed was also called into question.

I just finished Atlas Shrugged, per the recommendation of a friend, and had trouble seeing how the BP oil spill would fit in in such a Randyan universe, where everyone is so neatly pigeonholed into "Large business-owning hero", "Looter" or "Villain."

When one wants to learn about objectivism, many people say that they are instructed: "Read Atlus Shrugged." I read somewhere that Ayn Rand actually began recommending that people read it as a replacement to her personal elaboration or description of the philosophy.

I don't want to mix issues here, but, while it's true, I can see quite a few parrallells that could be drawn between that world and the direction the US government is headed, I can't see how anyone could have a weakness, disability, or even just plain lack of opportunities that many have as being anything other than wretched or crooked in this type of world.

Those who are weak are automatically evil looters who are damned solely for their weakness.

As for those of the 10% in our country who are laid off, constantly looking for employment, to no avail; it would simply be their own fault.

This book paints an extremely grim picture of humanity, insisting that most people demand a livelyhood, not a job (ie Rearden's brother) I would say most people want to work! People who are unemployed don't want to barely survive off of government subsistance and handouts; they want to work, and get ahead. This book makes it look like anyone who is or ever was at a disavantage is demanding some sort of entitlement because of that disadvantage. I thought one of the principles of Objectivism is that man is good by nature...?...

Forgive me if I got a little off track. I just wanted to illustrate a little further, where I'm coming from.

I like the possibility of property rights being used as the remedy for much, however.

Kainscalia, I actually remembered quite a few hard-line conservatives remaining very grudgingly quiet on the Madoff scandal. Maybe they weren't Objectivists; maybe they had a dog in that fight, in some way.

Edited by Rob-H
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