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When does one rebel against a gov. by force?

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Praxus
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When do we say that our Government has infringed on our rights to much and we should begin an armed rebellion?

When is enough, enough? When they start executing people for not protecting the enviroment? When they completly ban firearms? When?

Not that I am suggesting an armed rebelion at this juncture, I am just curious about what you think.

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When do we say that our Government has infringed on our rights to much and we should begin an armed rebellion?

In general, I would say that as long as we maintain our freedom of speech then we have a chance at persuasion by ideas. Once persuasion by ideas is gone, nothing but force is left.

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When do we say that our Government has infringed on our rights to much and we should begin an armed rebellion?

I agree completely with the principle that Stephen laid out. More concretely I would say that the following policies if applied systematically would signify that the line had been crossed. (This isn't intended to be an exhaustive list.)

- Comprehensive censorship.

- Major restrictions on the right of free association and assembly.

- "Secret police" and the disappearance or arrest of political opponents.

- Total corruption of the electoral or vote-counting systems.

These sorts of actions would either destroy the ability to change people's minds, or they would destroy the people's ability to change the course of the nation *after* changing their minds.

It's also worth considering in this context Ayn Rand's identification of the four characteristics which brand a country as a dictatorship (from "Collectivized Rights" in VoS):

- One party rule

- Executions without trial for political offenses

- Nationalization or expropriation of private property

- Censorship.

(On reflection, this sounds exactly like what's happened to Zimbabwe over the past few years as it descended into dictatorship. Score another point for Rand!)

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In general, I would say that as long as we maintain our freedom of speech then we have a chance at persuasion by ideas. Once persuasion by ideas is gone, nothing but force is left.

Of course by the time they get around to taking away our freedom to speak, they will have already disarmed us. Then what are we to do?

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Morally we could act now to change our government seeing as they've violated numerous rights. The real question is when SHOULD we act and how? the answer is act now in any way you can and keep fighting, though retaliation with physical force at this point would not be in anyone's self-interest. The day will come when those who have forsaken their rights will have to answer life or death and that will be the day.

Right now I think the best way to fight is to learn to refute every bad argument that anyone can throw at you and learn to prove why you are right in the face of any contradictions that get thrown at you. Get the ideas and their rational justifications out there (in your own chosen way) and most of all: Live that way. In every aspect of your life.

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For what it's worth, Peikoff said something interesting about this during a Q & A in one of the "Objective Communications" lectures. "It's philosophy that got us into this mess and it's philosophy that will get us out."

He also talked about one's moral obligation to voice disagreement when in earshot of irrationality. One is not obligated to argue, simply state your disagreement.

I agree with BreathofLife, the way to act now is through study and refutation. I think it is also important to support ARI in changing college campus culture.

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Peikoff is right because even though physical retaliation may be necessary at some point, the big factor is creating a government without any loopholes to prevent a later exploitation and even more importantly- having the people of the country understand the philosophy as much as possible so that they not only know that "this is the way it is and it will work" but also so they know "this is why it is right".

The reason that it's in your best interest to say something when you hear irrationality is so that, if nothing else, you get people thinking about what they're saying. You can not just sit there passively and let people destroy life. So long as people keep asking the question "Why?" until they reach an axiom, then there's a much better chance of showing them what is right. That's part of the reason Peikoff said he's voting for Kerry- liberals have no basis for most of their assertions and beliefs. The fundamental christians (bush and company) have a system that they claim to be beyond arguments (and reality for that matter).

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The reason that it's in your best interest to say something when you hear irrationality is so that, if nothing else, you get people thinking about what they're saying.  You can not just sit there passively and let people destroy life. So long as people keep asking the question "Why?" until they reach an axiom, then there's a much better chance of showing them what is right.

Ryan you are right. It is important not to silently sanction those who are immoral and irrational by not speaking up in the face of contradictions and poor logic. Even a statement as simple as "I don't agree" or "That is not correct" is all that is nessecary to denounce those evils.

Of course, you don't have to launch into a speech each time someone says something contradictory (you would never get to sleep) but at least you are not sitting by and allowing them to believe that no one dissents to their claims.

E

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Guest jrshep
For what it's worth, Peikoff said something interesting about this during a Q & A in one of the "Objective Communications" lectures. "It's philosophy that got us into this mess and it's philosophy that will get us out."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

From memory, Dr. Peikoff related that a great many years ago (likely 60-70) Miss Rand (was the one who) said that it is philosophy that has gotten us into this mess, and only philosophy that will get us out of it. And, at the time that she first said it, people would respond that there was not enough time for a philosophical change.

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Of course, you don't have to launch into a speech each time someone says something contradictory (you would never get to sleep) but at least you are not sitting by and allowing them to believe that no one dissents to their claims.

E

Speech making of that sort would be far too much of my time given to people who don't deserve it.

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Stephen, could you elaborate for me on what you mean by "act now."

I meant it in the context of the remarks by and to pvtmorriscsa. We have the moral right to physically reinstate a government that does not violate our rights. Personally, in my estimation we are still a fundamentally rights-respecting nation and I choose to obey the rule of law and fight the battle through ideas and persuasion. But, one would still be morally justified in using force.

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I meant it in the context of the remarks by and to pvtmorriscsa. We have the moral right to physically reinstate a government that does not violate our rights. Personally, in my estimation we are still a fundamentally rights-respecting nation and I choose to obey the rule of law and fight the battle through ideas and persuasion. But, one would still be morally justified in using force.

In that case I have to agree with you 100 percent. Rand certainly proved most eloquently that a man whose property rights are being violated is a slave. And violence certainly is an ineffective means of swaying public opinion. Why, following the Oklahoma City bombing, it seemed as though anyone who even advocated a very limited government was branded as a nutcase militia member.

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...following the Oklahoma City bombing, it seemed as though anyone who even advocated a very limited government was branded as a nutcase militia member.

This is exactly what makes that type of person especially vile and evil. Like liberatrians and anarchists. They make the idea of limited government and liberty seem violent and dangerous, re-enforcing the appeal of the collectivist protection racket.

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Ursus,

I use that name on CapMag forum, so treat the name with care.

And some people might think you're a little weird. My fault.

Ah nuts, I should have picked something more obscure...sorry.

I got tired of typing Kriegsgefahrzustand all the time so I picked something shorter...

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Interesting timing on this thread. Lately I've been thinking about where the line is between polite conversation and being rude.

Specifically, it drives me nuts when people just drop "idiot bombs" in the middle of a conversation. A lot of time it's religious or political in nature and has virtually no grounding in reality but they throw them out there thinking it's profound or that at the very least everyone else thinks that way.

I've really grwon tired of just letting it slide. I'm now firmly on the "I don't agree with that" team. And will probably someday be on the "do you actually think before you speak" team...

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Yeah, this usually happens when the content of your conversation has broken something deep inside of them and exposed something they refuse to acknowledge or explore. A deep contradiction or personal insecurity, it can be impossible to tell since it may well lie far outside the simple context of the conversation.

A friend of mine calls this a "Runtime Error" In order to keep the person from freezing up and falling over the brain must dump out the train of thought that led them to the brink of the abyss.

Whereever it was in their convoluted chain of concepts the break occured, It is my experiance that the "idiot bombs" are an attempt to rebuild the shattered remnants from some other angle.

Its time to diagree and cut loose at that point, unless you have a good reason to believe you can reach them. Trust me, your disagreement will be more effective than any immediate argument. Give them time to internalize the process that just occured within their mind.

To most people's reckoning politics and the like are divorced from ethical or philosophical principles so any argument that high up the chain is like trimming dandelions. Unless you get the roots, they just grow back.

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A friend of mine calls this a "Runtime Error"  In order to keep the person from freezing up and falling over the brain must dump out the train of thought that led them to the brink of the abyss.

That would be me. I have a bit of a computer science background. For those who don't, a runtime error is a safety mechanism built into programs to prevent an infinite loop: once a sequence has been running too long, it shuts down. If it didn't have this mechanism, the loop would just keep running forever.

I have seen a decent enough amount of anecdotal evidence that the human mind works on a logical structure not unlike C++ and that contradictions would have to cause an infinite loop. I recall an episode of the original Star Trek where they defeated some robots with a logical contradiction. In order for that not to work on humans, we would have to have a "reset." (assuming that the person did not reject one of the premises, which sadly most people do not)

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I have seen a decent enough amount of anecdotal evidence that the human mind works on a logical structure not unlike C++ and that contradictions would have to cause an infinite loop.

In general I find these computer analogies to be rather unsatisfying. What could you possibly mean by "contradictions would have to cause an infinite loop?" And exactly what "logical structure" of the mind are you referring to, and in what manner do you liken it to a computer language such as C++?

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The analogy is very loose at the moment. The resemblance is only inasmuch as they are both logical structures that follow algorithms and can only "focus" on one thing at a time. You shouldn't read into that to mean that I am implying some sort of determinism.

And a contradiction would cause a loop-shaped structure of thoughts: it would be infinite in this case because most people will not check their premises, so they just keep going in circles until they "overload" and "reset."

But it isn't meant to be any deeper than that.

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The analogy is very loose at the moment. The resemblance is only inasmuch as they are both logical structures that follow algorithms and can only "focus" on one thing at a time. You shouldn't read into that to mean that I am implying some sort of determinism.

Oh, I did not take your comments to imply determinism. I was just trying to get to some meaning for the analogies.

And a contradiction would cause a loop-shaped structure of thoughts: it would be infinite in this case because most people will not check their premises, so they just keep going in circles until they "overload" and "reset."
I just don't follow this at all. A "loop-shaped structure of thoughts" would seem to imply integration to me, the opposite result of a contradiction. If I were forced to choose an analogy here I would liken a contradiction to a discontinuity, not continuity.

But it isn't meant to be any deeper than that.

Okay, then. Maybe we should just leave it at that.

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Okay, then. Maybe we should just leave it at that.

Nah, this is fun.

I just don't follow this at all. A "loop-shaped structure of thoughts" would seem to imply integration to me, the opposite result of a contradiction. If I were forced to choose an analogy here I would liken a contradiction to a discontinuity, not continuity.

The basic idea is that the loop would occur when the contradiction is pointed out and a rational suggestion is being integrated. Basically the mind of the fool would be going: "but communism causes slavery... but I have to help the poor... but slavery is bad... but I can't just ignore the poor... but slavery..." and the result is that they just "reset" at some point and yell out something to the effect of "well, it's not that simple."

If it seems like integration, that's because it is... but it's a failed attempt at integration.

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