Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Proper to throw out a government to put up an Objectivist "dictato

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Force and mind are opposites.

In order to cause people to change at a philosophical level, such as is required in order to achieve a society able to understand and employ reason and Objectivist Philosophical principles, you intend to force them to think?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A. No. “Proper” refers to means that are suitable for achieving the ends chosen. Only a Gandhi-style strategy will work because lasting change can only come from the bottom up through cultural-philosophical change, and cannot be imposed from the top down.

B. The first thing an “Objectivist dictator” would do is resign. See Atlas Shrugged for details.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would it be proper for, for example, throwing out the current administration using force and, in its place, have a non-elected Objectivist "dictator" that would not violate the rights of anyone?

This scenario is nonsensical. A non-elected leader has already violated rights; if he was not elected, I assume you mean he took power by force. And why would an Objectivist want to be a dictator? As 2046 said, the system of government itself would contradict his political principles. Anyway, we are not yet at the stage where it is proper to throw out the current government by force; however, that may be proper at some later stage if it develops into a full dictatorship where it is literally impossible to live a rational life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This actually was the strategy of the first classical liberals in the 18th century, such as the Burgundy Circle, and the French Physiocrats. In the 17th century, anti-absolutist rebels such as the “Fronde” movement tried to overthrow the monarchy by civil wars and had been put down brutally. The liberals then decided the only strategy was to try to have a laissez-faire king. Their strategy consisted of converting members of the nobility and court to liberalism, and eventually influence the king himself to adopt laissez-faire (by getting liberals into the court education system, who would then raise the heir apparent as a liberal from childhood.) In other words, their plan was to impose freedom from the top down. But obviously, there are a number of flaws with this approach, all stemming from the fact that it still retains absolute power in one man, and relies on him not to use it. Power that relies on someone's good graces not to use it merely reduces to living by permission, not by right, and so is a means incompatible with its own stated ends, as Zip points out above.

The only proper strategy is the “new intellectual” strategy Rand envisioned, which is basically a bottom up approach by spreading intellectual opposition far and wide through the culture. Even if the country collapsed into dictatorship and we had to fight a war of revolution, in the long run it still requires the bulk of the population to be against the regime (which means to be for liberty and its philosophic basis) in order to bring any lasting effect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there are two issues, one is revolution and the other is the issue of how to maintain a good government (which collective decision making tools are the best).

The revolution idea has been dealt with. So for achieving a society with rights protection we have three decision making tools.

Monarchy or Oligarchy - We have an organization that is above everyone who acts as the executor and creator of law. Since they collect revenue or profits from doing their job, the organization has a long term incentive to maintain their countries. Monarchy has numerous problems.

Monopoly - Although a rational dictator (one who knew that rights = prosperity for everyone) has an incentive to maintain law and order, he doesn't have as much as an incentive as if he had (through markets or elections) competitors.

Succession -Even if the state was good at first there is the issue of choosing the organization choosing the next leaders. This is a huge problem for hereditary monarchs because their children are often completely unfit. It may be that the organization is not based in heredity, but it still can suffer from nepotism. There isn't enough internal meritocracy.

Democracy - Democracy, representative or direct, could work. Some may fear a tyranny of a majority, but in reality a rights respecting society needs to have most people being in favor of respecting rights (like at least 75%). "People are stupid" is not an argument against democracy. Democracy does suffer from some fundamental problems though.

Rational Ignorance - Because a man only has one vote, there is a cap to how much they can be incentivized to care and invest in an issue. Compared to markets where a someone who has a lot of money (like corporations) think very carefully about who they are going to buy from (they even hire people analyze for them). Also, as more and more people enter into the democratic system, one's decision making power is lessened, and therefor the opportunity for investment.

Technocracy - Democracy doesn't take into mind that some people probably shouldn't be voting on decisions that they are not qualified to make decisions about. Imagine people voting on the decisions of a oil corporation (where to drill, who to sell for etc), the workers in that corporation do not know how to make those decisions and probably do not even know who is qualified to make those decisions.

For instance there is a woman at my work that I really do not like personally. She has bad manners. However I have no idea if she does her jobs well or not. Imagine if there was an election to see if she could stay or not, if I hadn't recognized my own ignorance I might have to fire here based on my negative but unrelated experience with her.

How the hell would I know if someone is going to make a good commander in chief? To control the military, police, and intelligence agencies in such a way that they protect our lives? I am not some industry expert from a human resources department who can make this decision, all I see are smiles, big talk, polished "resumes" (ads).

Markets/Polycentric Law - So markets, they do lots of things well. Essentially markets are just people interacting under a certain set of rules (trade, no force or fraud).

Concept stealing - Markets can not handle government because markets require government. Markets are people interacting under a certain set of rules, non-coercion, can markets enforce the very rules that they are dependent upon?

Choice isn't always good - Maybe specializing and personalizing law isn't a good thing. The societies that did exist with Polycentric law had debt-slavery and other injustices. They didn't exactly look like libertarian societies.

Another aspect of this is that it is difficult for law to be Objective in a society where laws are formed by "markets". They won't be consistent, and some will be contradicting within the same geography. I would not assume that any of the big laws would contradict one another (such as murder), but procedural issues and military actions.

Essentially the problem is that the production of law and security is an industry that requires a monopoly. It is just the nature of the industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would it be proper for, for example, throwing out the current administration using force and, in its place, have a non-elected Objectivist "dictator" that would not violate the rights of anyone?

Are we being baited by the FBI or something? What a strange question that any member of the forum would say no to...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...