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Falafel
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It's interesting you mention the Middle East. Just a couple of days ago, I read an article written in October 2001 where the author (who is not an Objectivist, but has pretty rational views most of the time) thinks the problem is exactly that the Middle East wasn't colonized the way other parts of the world were:

http://www.steynonline.com/index2.cfm?edit_id=35

Of course, if colonialism means a brutal subjugation and enslavement of the people of some primitive land, then it's not a good thing. European nations--in the stricter sense of "European," i.e. excluding Britain--were often guilty of this immoral sort of colonialism.

But this should be distinguished from another kind of colonization. A "colony" is a settlement established by a group of people coming from a distant nation. There is nothing wrong with settling on unowned land, cultivating it, building homes, cities, and factories, creating wealth, establishing the rule of law--in other words, civilizing that part of the world. This is what the British mostly did, and this is what Israel is doing. This is definitely moral.

And this is what should have been done in the rest of the Middle East.

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The colonization you are talking off seems more like umm, immigration - a group of people immigrate from one territory to another, to start over, start a new life, what have you. I see nothing wrong with that. However, it is when those immigrants start to impose their new laws on the local populace, or even other 'immigrants' is where it gets murky.

As far as the middle east not being colonised....where have you been? Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq were colonised by the British, with Syria, Lebanon, and Algeria to the French.

I do not know too much about colonial history, but I seriously doubt British colonization was really just all that much umm 'nice' as you have put it.

My real question rests on the following though: Admittantly, the European powers used Imperialism to 'subjugate and enslave' local populace, this happened all over.

But I am suprised as to why you consider this immoral. Afterall, those subjugated peoples - they were all primitives, with no nation of their own - they had no human rights. So why do you consider it be immoral to brutally subjugate them as the European powers did to many parts of Africa, and Middle east?

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But I am suprised as to why you consider this immoral. Afterall, those subjugated peoples - they were all primitives, with no nation of their own - they had no human rights. So why do you consider it be immoral to brutally subjugate them as the European powers did to many parts of Africa, and Middle east?

Man has rights qua human being, not qua citizen of a western or civilized nation.

But by your use of the term "brutally subjugate," you're clearly aware of that, right?

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The colonization you are talking off

I looked it up in the dictionary before I wrote my definition.

seems more like umm, immigration
Immigration is when you go into a foreign nation. Emigration is when you go away from your country. Colonization involves both emigration (from your homeland) and immigration (into the colony). You can emigrate and immigrate alone or in groups, but you can't colonize alone--the definition a colony implies the presence of several people.

However, it is when those immigrants start to impose their new laws on the local populace, or even other 'immigrants' is where it gets murky.

It is wrong to initate force against innocent people. An innocent person is somebody who respects the rights of other individuals. When you violate the rights of an innocent person--be it by killing him, stealing from him, taxing him, or "imposing new laws" on him--you have committed a crime. It's not just something "murky," it's a crime.

As far as the middle east not being colonised....where have you been? Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq were colonised by the British, with Syria, Lebanon, and Algeria to the French.
Falafel, I don't like it when people debate with me without paying attention to what I say. This is what I wrote:

It's interesting you mention the Middle East. Just a couple of days ago, I read an article written in October 2001 where the author (who is not an Objectivist, but has pretty rational views most of the time) thinks the problem is exactly that the Middle East wasn't colonized the way other parts of the world were

(Emphasis added.)

"Not being colonized the way other parts of the world were" is different from "not being colonized."

If you are interested in how the colonization of the Middle East was different from the that of the rest of the world, and why the latter is preferable, just read the article I linked to above.

I do not know too much about colonial history, but I seriously doubt British colonization was really just all that much umm 'nice' as you have put it.
Britain brought individual rights and the rule of law to places where collectivism, slavery, and the law of the jungle had reigned. The modern-day enemies of freedom--the liberals--consider this a terrible crime, which one should be ashamed of; that's why you often hear it described as such in the media. Don't believe them.

Remember, you wouldn't be using the Internet now if America hadn't been colonized by the British. You would be toiling in the fields throughout your life, in the blistering heat and in the biting frost, just to get some food so you wouldn't starve. You would be lucky if you lived to be 45 years old. You look young on your picture--but you might well be past the zenith of your life if it weren't for modern medicine. All the good things in life you enjoy today wouldn't be possible if it hadn't been for those "mean" colonists.

But I am suprised as to why you consider this immoral. Afterall, those subjugated peoples - they were all primitives, with no nation of their own - they had no human rights. So why do you consider it be immoral to brutally subjugate them as the European powers did to many parts of Africa, and Middle east?

LOL You meant this as a joke, right? Either way, it's funny... B)

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So its like a group immigration.

In my experience with people of your ilk, it has come to my attention that they do not consider for example the ancient indians to possess rights, since they were all savages. Same would go for the rest of the local populaces who were colonised. Right?

Then when you say "oh but natural law", they go "intrincist!". So Im confused. Yes, I have read the essays on rights, but to no avail. I thought you guys consider people who live in a free society as having rights, as opposed to say people ina dictatorship.

Correct me if Im wrong.

Apologies about the colonisation bit.

-Falafel

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So its like a group immigration.

Something like that, yes. The typical dictionary definition does not mention one important aspect, though: That the place where the colonists arrive is usually uninhabited, or inhabited by nomadic people--at any rate, ungoverned. When people hear the word "immigration," they usually think of a procedure where the INS, or another government organization, decides whether the immigrants are allowed in; where the immigrants get a visa, show their passports, etc.--so the word "immigration" is normally associated with entry into a civilized, governed nation.

Colonization, on the other hand, involves the establishment of a government in a theretofore ungoverned place; the establishment of a civilization in a theretofore uncivilized territory.

In my experience with people of your ilk
LOL I've been called a Nazi, an elitist, a Texan ... but this is the first time anybody calls me "ilk" ! I am proudly adding this new title to my collection. :)

it has come to my attention that they do not consider for example the ancient indians to possess rights, since they were all savages.

All men have equal and unalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. However, when somebody disrespects the rights of other people, he forfeits his own rights. For example, if Jack murders Joe, Jack has forfeited his right to life, and the government may rightfully execute him. If he doesn't respect the rights of others, he shouldn't expect others to respect his rights.

In uncivilized societies, individual rights are not recognized. These societies are ruled by the "law of the jungle," not laws based on justice. It is preposterous to claim that bringing just laws to such a society is an act of injustice.

Then when you say "oh but natural law", they go "intrincist!".
It's intrinsicist. ;)

I thought you guys consider people who live in a free society as having rights, as opposed to say people ina dictatorship.

There is a difference between having rights and having your rights respected. Every innocent person has rights, but the rights may be violated. For example, even if somebody steals your laptop, you continue to be the laptop's rightful owner. The thief doesn't become the rightful owner by the act of theft. When the police give the laptop back to you, they don't steal it from the thief; rather, they give it back to its rightful owner. The idea is that you couldn't have your rights violated if you didn't have those rights in the first place.

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Actually the British (and French) possessions in the middle east were "Mandates" of the League of Nations and not formally part of the Empire. They were definitely not colonies.

Undoubtedly Britain did some questionable things (for instance, using aircraft to machine gun Iraqi tribesmen - plus ca change se neme change - er not sure if I've spelt that correctly, I possibly shouldn't use French phrases so much). Britain freed the Arab nations from the Turks (for which they were profoundly, dare I even say pathetically grateful) then betrayed their trust and imposed corrupt monarchies upon them and kept those regimes in place to suit British interests.

Britain encouraged, by means of the Balfour declaration, Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people and encouraged immigration, while at the same giving guarantees about land rights to the Palestinian arabs, and then lost interest in the territory when no oil was discovered. Hypocrisy is a profound element of the British character (ie the British can "hold two conflicting ideas at the same time and still function").

British imperial history is often contradictory. It is an irony of history that the British empire, in seeking to exploit vast areas of the world for British interests, created a system of government that was better than the "exploited" populations enjoyed before they were "colonised". In the case of some fo the African territories, I could even say they were better off under British rule than they are now (very provocative statement!).

It is also an irony that the British (actually English) feudalistic and out-moded monarchy has guaranteed the longest-running, most enlightened and successful democracy the world has ever seen (another provocative statement).

History is full of these ironies.

A couple of factual points:

The British Empire was huge, and was organised on many levels:

Colonies - which were intended for British settlement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Rhodesia etc)

Protectorates - where the interests of the indigenous population were meant to be paramount (most of the African and Asian territories plus hundreds of islands).

Trusteeships - German and Turkish colonies conquered during the First World War and administered under League of Nations "mandate".

But there were also lots of areas that didn't fall into these categories, for instance

Parts of China

Big chunks of Antarctica

Ireland (which was never a "colony" although it got colonised)

India - biggest enigma of them all. An empire within an empire, where the administration became a model of good government.

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Ilk simply means "group". "People of your ilk" - "people of your group."

As far as Britain goes, yes, the British told the Arabs that if they helped them topple the Ottomans, they would give them their independance, so the Arabs did so, but only to have monarchs installed to suit British interests. This was the beginning of the mistrust between the Arabs and the West. Hypocrites, the British truly were. Divide and Conquer was the strategy.

As far as what you say Mr Capitalismforever, I do not disagree with you on the 'rights' part - but I can swear to you that is not what other obejctivists I have talked to say. They are contantly trying to home in the point that only people in the Western World have rights, - yes, not just respected - have them. So the rest of the world's peeps are disposable with. (since they dont have (possess) rights). I dont know if you agree with this.

------------------------

As long as Imperialism to which you refer to involves simple non-violent colonization of uninhabited land, hey, who can disagree. But it is when phrases such as "they need re-colonization" come up with what I take issue with, because the implied idea is a re-do of the colonization that the old imperial powers did, with all its disgusting trails of death and destruction that makes me raise a red flag to the use of that term.

-Falafel.

p.s. Curious - Joe robs Jack, so Joe has forfeighted his rights. Paul (third unrelated party) robs Joe. Is Paul guilty of violating Joe's rights? Joe has already forfeighted his rights by a prior action, how can Paul be guilty of anything?

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As far as what you say Mr Capitalismforever, I do not disagree with you on the 'rights' part - but I can swear to you that is not what other obejctivists I have talked to say. They are contantly trying to home in the point that only people in the Western World have rights, - yes, not just respected - have them. So the rest of the world's peeps are disposable with. (since they dont have (possess) rights). I dont know if you agree with this.

p.s. Curious - Joe robs Jack, so Joe has forfeighted his rights. Paul (third unrelated party) robs Joe. Is Paul guilty of violating Joe's rights? Joe has already forfeighted his rights by a prior action, how can Paul be guilty of anything?

F

I would have to say you have not understood the arguments of any of the "other objectivists" with whom you have spoken. I know of no objectivist who would claim that any man AS a man possesses no rights. Since rights are derived from the nature of man, all men have them.

What others have likely tried to point out to you is that those who REJECT rights (either explicitly or implicitly) may not logically claim exercise of those self-same rights. This would apply to those not in the "Western World" (ie Iraq, the old Soviet Union, the original American Natives, etc). In other words, one would not have to "respect" their rights, because THEY THEMSELVES reject them. In regards to Iraq and modern civilizations, this would be because they explicitly reject rights. In regard to ancient civilizations, it would be because they were not even aware of the concept of rights, and thus rejected them implicitly.

As to your example, you provide no context, so there is no way to provide one answer. Specifically, one would have to know the context of the civilization. Is there knowledge of rights? Are rights respected? Does a govt protect rights against violation? Or is this anarchy?

Furthermore, since the context of the discussion is conflict BETWEEN civilizations, and your question does NOT specify if such a conflict exists, nor who might belong to which civ, it is also impossible to answer the question with any relevance.

In other words, without further context, no rational answer is possible.

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RadCap,

No No, I am sure. One specific example I distinctly remember between me and a member of the oist club here was: A man alone on an island possesses no rights whatsoever. The reason given was because there were no other people on the island with him.

More realistic examples they gave were say, "Iraqis have no rights." "Why?" "Because they live in a dictatorship." I agree that Saddam had no business in respecting their rights, but their claim is that they do not possess rights to begin with, since their government doesnt respect them.

So I got the drift that they are somehow legal positivists, meaning whether or not you have rights depends on the society you live in. I personally have always subscribed to the idea that if you belong to the species of Homo Sapiens, you have rights.

As far as the example goes, the context would be modern day America. Not anarchy.

-Falafel.

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More realistic examples they gave were say, "Iraqis have no rights." "Why?" "Because they live in a dictatorship."

It's possible that this was a conversational, imprecise way of saying that their rights were not respected in their society. Certainly, they should have been more precise, but it's not clear that they actually meant that they literally had no rights, but rather just that their rights were constantly being violated. And if you asked them to clarify, and that really was their claim, then it is simply a misrepresentation of the Objectivist position.

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Ilk simply means "group". "People of your ilk" - "people of your group."

I think the term often carries an implicit sense of disapproval--but of course if you didn't mean it that way, I won't take it that way. :blink:

As far as Britain goes, yes, the British told the Arabs that if they helped them topple the Ottomans, they would give them their independance, so the Arabs did so, but only to have monarchs installed to suit British interests.
Perhaps the monarchs were the "independence." Remember, independence only makes sense in a nation of independent people. If you leave a slavish-souled nation alone, it's not likely that it will end up as a constitutional republic, or even a "democracy." It will likely end up as a tyranny.

The Arab nations would have been much better off if they had been admitted into the British Empire.

This was the beginning of the mistrust between the Arabs and the West.

Hmm, another "root cause" ? We are told by some that it's all because of America's support for Israel. Others insist it's because of US troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia. Then there are those who say it's because of American "decadence." I suppose there are some environmentalists who are convinced the Arabs are so angry because America is endangering the spotted owl.

These theories all miss the point: That Islam teaches its followers to get into paradise by becoming a martyr. If you kill enough infidels, Allah will reward you by giving you 72 virgins you can rape all you want. It is actually quite a well-engineered religion of mass destruction: The adolescent boys of Arabia are full of lust and, uhm, not so thoroughly versed in Objectivist epistemology, so they will gladly believe this garbage and rush to their deaths as suicide bombers.

Hypocrites, the British truly were. Divide and Conquer was the strategy.
Well, that's the conclusion you get if you assume the worst about the British and the best about the Arabs. I think the problem was that the British had no strategy ; they lacked a vision of what was morally right and just vacillated, much like the Bush administration is doing now.

Today, the despots use the UN as a fig leaf to confer moral respectability upon them. "This war will be illegitimate if the UN does not approve of it!" the propaganda goes. But the voice of the majority in the UN is the voice of African dictators and Islamic theocrats. If the American administration accepts the premise of the UN being a fountainhead of morality, it will end up doing the bidding of those dictators and theocrats.

I can swear to you that is not what other obejctivists I have talked to say...I dont know if you agree with this.

I don't. As other posters have already said, it is at best a sloppy articulation of the fact that the rights of individuals are not respected in those uncivilized places.

But it is when phrases such as "they need re-colonization" come up with what I take issue with, because the implied idea is a re-do of the colonization that the old imperial powers did, with all its disgusting trails of death and destruction that makes me raise a red flag to the use of that term.
Well then let's say "they need re-colonization, British style," meaning bringing the rule of law back there.

p.s. Curious - Joe robs Jack, so Joe has forfeighted his rights. Paul (third unrelated party) robs Joe. Is Paul guilty of violating Joe's rights? Joe has already forfeighted his rights by a prior action, how can Paul be guilty of anything?

Joe is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty in a court of law. So if Paul robs him before he is convicted, that means he robs him while he is still presumed innocent--so Paul is guilty too. In a civilized nation, the right to retaliate against convicted criminals is usually vested in the government, so unless Paul is a cop, he may still not rob Joe.

Also, Joe will regain his rights after he has compensated Jack for his loss and served his prison sentence.

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Individuals can have rights. Nations cannot.

All nations are born in bloodshed, in the plunder of territory from another people. This "theft" can never be justified, and therefore the right of conquest is the only "right" we can grant to any nation (I don't buy the "we settled an empty land" myths - with the exception of possibly the Falkland Islands, everywhere has been settled and resettled many times over).

For instance, why are the Arabs, who originally came from Arabia, and colonised the Middle East and North Africa in a series of military campaigns, be entitled to hang on to their "colonies" simply because they acquired them a comparatively long time ago? Egypt used to be a Christian country until about 650 (I think) when invaded by the Arabs. Ancient Israel, obviously, used to be a Jewish country. Libya used to be a Roman (ie European) settlement. Why is Arab colonialism good and European colonialism bad? I don’t wish to defend colonialism per se, but there does seem to be double standards here.

Ultimately a nation must defend itself. I wish it were otherwise, but I’m afraid it isn’t.

Regarding terrorism, the essential point to grasp is that terrorism is in itself an admission of defeat. No terrorist campaign, however dreadful, has succeeded in overwhelming a nation state.

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Remember, independence only makes sense in a nation of independent people.
I dont think so - a people who arent independant (eg, Arabs under Ottoman rule) could/did long for an independance from the Ottomans (as they did).

As far as I know, the Arab states did give in to the Empire - and we got Shiehkdoms. A classic case is the British fostered coup in the Trucial states of the gulf, when they removed Shiekh Zayed's brother from power, and put in, wouldnt you know it, Shiekh Zayed himself. (Both are monarchs). This process was repeated throughout the middle east.

Hmm, another "root cause" ? We are told by some that it's all because of America's support for Israel. Others insist it's because of US troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia. Then there are those who say it's because of American "decadence."

Well, history will tell us, the relationship between the West and the Arabs has always been Love-Hate. In recent times, the beginning of this sweet and sour chicken relationship started in the beginning of the 20th century. Surely, there is a cause as to why the Arabs didnt like the West's actions. But it has little to do with 72 virgins waiting in paradise. In fact, what about the secular dimension of the Arab disenfrisement with the West?

Its sad, but America inherited the mis-trust the British got from the Arabs because of the British not keeping to their promises. For a people coming out of this with the British, America suddenly supporting Israel looked like a conspiracy of the highest ranks between the British and the Americans. This is where the mistrust comes from.

Anyway, I dont want to get cluttered up in this - but I do beleive that statement is misinformed at best.

Today, the despots use the UN as a fig leaf to confer moral respectability upon them. "This war will be illegitimate if the UN does not approve of it!" the propaganda goes. But the voice of the majority in the UN is the voice of African dictators and Islamic theocrats. If the American administration accepts the premise of the UN being a fountainhead of morality, it will end up doing the bidding of those dictators and theocrats.
Umm I agree with that...but why are you saying it....?

So if Paul robs him before he is convicted, that means he robs him while he is still presumed innocent--so Paul is guilty too

And if he robs him when its clear that Joe is guilty of a prior robbery?

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Individuals can have rights.  Nations cannot.

Nations are composed of individuals. You cannot violate the rights of those individuals.

the right of conquest is the only "right" we can grant to any nation

Assume that you, your brother, and I discover an island (imagine we're in the 17th century if that helps) and settle on it, bringing our families with us. The island doesn't belong to any government, so each of the three of us forms his own little government on his part of the island. We live in peace and prosperity until one day I walk over to your place with a gun in my hand and demand that you and your family leave. You try to defend yourself but I happen to overcome you. As you get on the boat to leave, I ask, "Why the angry look?" Surprised, you say, "I was hoping you would respect my property rights." I reply, "Oh, I sure do respect your property rights, my dear Andrew. My nation was just exercising its right of conquest."

At this point, would you say, "Oh, I see! It's all fine then. Feel free to also conquer my brother's part of the island" and accept my conquest as perfectly moral and unobjectionable? Or would you continue to fault me for violating your rights?

If the latter is the case, you do not recognize my right of conquest.

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We can recognise a right of conquest without approving it.

The difficulty we face is that generally imperialism does not involve uninhabited islands (Ok I know the Falkland Islands were uninhabited, plus Bermuda and probably a few other places but they were exceptions).

So historically, where is the rational "cut off" point? How do we work out which "nation" has a "right" to a particular territory.

Is there a sort of international "musical chairs" at work where the music stopped in 1945 and all borders in place at that point must be fixed forever? That would clearly be unjust as well as irrational. It would mean the Tibetans would never be free of Chinese rule (er I'm assuming China occupied Tibet before 1945 - not too sure on this though). Israel, founded in 1948, could not legitimately exist. Latvia would remain under Russian occupation etc etc.

Assuming we cannot condemn the nations of the world to live in the 1940s, how can we rationally work out who is entitled to what? When the magyar tribes moved into a part of central Europe did they not steal the land from the Roman inhabitants (who stole it from someone else etc etc)?

Nations are messy collectivist entities. Therefore it would appear that the only rational view is to say "if you can take it and hold it you can have it".

Is the United States demonstrating objectivist theory on a national scale? By acting in its own self-interest in taking over Iraq is it indirectly benefitting the various peoples in Iraq by freeing them from a vicious dictator? Is America also indirectly benefitting the world by securing a reliable source of an essential commodity?

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Surely, there is a cause as to why the Arabs didnt like the West's actions. But it has little to do with 72 virgins waiting in paradise. [...] Anyway, I dont want to get cluttered up in this - but I do beleive that statement is misinformed at best.

Why so dismissive? Sure, an explanation involving horny teens and promises of orgies in paradise doesn't sound as academic in style as that convoluted analysis you posted about monarchs and mistrust propagation and conspiracy theories and what not--but I assure you, yer average suicide bomber boy cares much more about satisfying his desires than about the lofty quirks of academia. Reality isn't created in ivory towers, nor does it follow their stylistic rules.

Of course, all these young boys don't get these ideas out of nothing. They are indoctrinated by the religious leaders to believe all this garbage--so we should also examine what motivates the leaders to do so.

The name "Islam" means submission. It is a religion that promotes submission to Allah (and to Allah's spokesmen--the mullahs) as the means to "making the world a better place." Of course, a society built on these false ideas can never be as successful as one built on individual rights; so, not surprisingly, America, Britain, and Israel are much, much better places than any Islamic nation. This fact pretty much seems to contradict the notion of submission to Allah being the panacea to cure all the world's ills. How do the religious leaders escape this embarrassing contradiction? They could just admit that they are wrong ... but that is not what they choose to do. Instead:

  • They put the blame for Araby's poverty on the West, insinuating that we are thieves or something like that. (It should be noted that they get a considerable amount of help in this activity from liberals and other Western hand-wringers who continue to express their moral doubts regarding "our imperialist policies" etc.)




  • They insist that "good" Muslims will have a much better place in paradise than Westerners have here on earth, if only they do their part and blow up some infidels.

This, of course, will not make Araby a better place--but it will, if it succeeds, destroy the West. And that's exactly the idea: "If you can't beat 'em, zap 'em."

Umm I agree with that...but why are you saying it....?
To make the point that vacillation due to a lack of moral clarity can often lead to ending up supporting the bad guys. I can well imagine that the British made the same mistake--they wrung their hands about whether it would be moral to "impose British law" on those territories, and ended up giving them "independence"--independence from the rule of just law, at the price of being at the mercy of an unjust tyrant.

And if he robs him when its clear that Joe is guilty of a prior robbery?

Oops, my last-but-one sentence in that post should read: "In a civilized nation, the right to retaliate against convicted criminals is usually vested in the government, so unless Paul is a cop, he may still not rob Joe after Joe is convicted."

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We can recognise a right of conquest without approving it.

Ha! Thanks for the laugh... :D

So historically, where is the rational "cut off" point?  How do we work out which "nation" has a "right" to a particular territory.
Nations don't have rights to territories. People do. A government derives its rightful power from the consent of the governed--so if the owner of a particular block of land does not want to belong under a given government, that government may not rightfully force him to accept its authority.

When the magyar tribes moved into a part of central Europe did they not steal the land from the Roman inhabitants

Uh, that's certainly not what I was taught in school, but then I'm a Hungarian! :blink: BTW the Romans were already gone by the time we got there; the area was inhabited by Avars and Huns at that time. The Magyars displaced part of them and absorbed the rest.

Is the United States demonstrating objectivist theory on a national scale?  By acting in its own self-interest in taking over Iraq is it indirectly benefitting the various peoples in Iraq by freeing them from a vicious dictator?  Is America also indirectly benefitting the world by securing a reliable source of an essential commodity?

Yes--but why do you ask?

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Sure, an explanation involving horny teens and promises of orgies in paradise doesn't sound as academic in style as that convoluted analysis you posted about monarchs and mistrust propagation and conspiracy theories and what not--but I assure you, yer average suicide bomber boy cares much more about satisfying his desires than about the lofty quirks of academia.
It is unfortunate that you would not look into the analysis that so convolutes you, as to the causes of certain political effects in today's world. I also find it funny you would attribute today's political turmoil on how often Arab teens dont get laid.

I understand, maybe somewhere, sometime, some Arab teen really wanted an out-of-this world blowjob, but couldnt jerk himself off in the first place because both his hands were blown off by an Israeli mine. Then he decides to blow up a cafe. On this point, I can agree with you. :blink:

However, linking everything negative under the sun to Islam gets quite simplistic, and well, lets just say "rash". You see, I am trying to convince you that this is not caused sqaurely on Islam, without resorting to using my trump card of saying "Ive lived there all my life, so I know what its like".

Sure, the animal Arab leaders are to blame for alot of stuff. But I would also blame the animals who put them there too. (The British).

Reality isn't created in ivory towers, nor does it follow their stylistic rules.

What, (who?) is an "Ivory tower"?

If you can't beat 'em, zap 'em."

ehh?

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What, (who?) is an "Ivory tower"?
The colleges of the University of Oxford have elaborate "ivory" towers wherein academics persue their learned thories allegedly without any reference to "reality" or the "real world" (unless you are a conspiracy theorist in which case you'll blame All Souls College for all the evils of the world).

Is the United States demonstrating objectivist theory on a national scale?...  Yes--but why do you ask?

I suppose I'm really asking whether it is possible for a nation to have an objectivist foreign policy.

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Falafel, when you registered on this board, you had to check a box indicating your agreement to certain rules, including the following (emphasis mine):

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this BB to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.

Sorry to bring this up, but I think your last post on this thread borders on violating this. I'm not reporting you or anything, I just wanted to remind you.

I am not very inclined to continue this discussion with you: I made a point (Islamic culture, especially the teachings on submission and on jihad rewarded by virgins, being the true root cause of terrorism); you continue to state your disagreement with that point, but offer no refutation. Just insisting that you think it isn't so won't do--especially not on this forum. You won't change my mind by saying many times that you disagree with me; you can only change my mind by showing that your point of view, and not mine, is the one that is consistent with reality.

So please try and provide a rational refutation of my take on Islam, or retract yours. I will not reply to a post that doesn't contain either of these.

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I suppose I'm really asking whether it is possible for a nation to have an objectivist foreign policy.

Of course it is possible. If a nation has rational, objective leaders, the nation will have an objectivist foreign policy.

Not that the current administration of the United States is immaculately rational; far from it. They get some things right and other things wrong. The things that they do get right offer you a taste of what an objectivist foreign policy would be like.

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