Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

You didn't build it

Rate this topic


Leonid
 Share

Recommended Posts

I actually experienced this kind of "lowering the bar" years ago while promoting a art competition for elementary students. A teacher expressed her concern that students face enough competition later on in life; that being competitive at an early age isn't good for the development of their self-esteem. I was obviously discouraged by her attitude, but rather than dismiss her concern, I worked to persuade her that exposing kids to art was the point of the competition, and that the focus was on giving them the opportunity to try something they otherwise might not have the chance to. In the end she supported the program, and I learned how to collaborate on projects that require the involvement of less than enthusiastic team members.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's awesome that the Republicans have built an entire campaign around a quote taken out of context.

I suppose next election they'll just cut the corner again and just attribute a quote he never said at all in a speech that never occurred.

Clearly what he actually said isn't important because we all know what he should be saying given his premises. Actual empirical facts aren't necessary when your abstractions already tell you what the facts are going to be ahead of time, right?

Now, Romney has the same premises, but for some reason he isn't being assigned to say these things. Why is that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was not taken out of context. If you read the whole quote you will see that he starts out by explaining how successful people got where they are by the help of others, like a teacher. Then he goes into infrastructure and as such where the line finally lands as part of the build. The only problem with the Republicans is that they don't see the full horor show it reveals but only the base attack on success (but the lack of real principled thinking on the red side is no surprise). The nice thing about this is that whoever did it gets it better then the bobble heads on talk radio.

It is “It takes a village” all over again accept the little parasite is wearing his egalitarianism on his sleeve openly. This reason, in addition to the fact he continually acts consistently to bring this monstrous creed into reality is exactly why I’m voting to fire the goof. The door needs to hit him in the ass on the way out.

Edited by Spiral Architect
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crow, Obama's statement is, correctly interpreted, a moral condemnation of businesses who assert that they shouldn't pay more taxes. It is a naked appeal for the sanction of the victim. That Republicans are rejecting this depraved immoral argument is a good sign.

The quote may have been taken out of context by someone at some time, but I'm disconcerted that I've come to expect you to defend a quote that is actually worse in context than it is out of context. The part of the context you claim Republicans drop is the part where Obama basically says, "we're all in this together." In other words, you're pretending that they are dropping his affirmation that human beings are a cooperative species. Obama, and therefore the Republican critics, are both talking about the ethical issues involved in taxing businesses.

The "context dropping" defense is a means of evading the fact that Republicans are, uncharacteristically, outright rejecting Obama's moral premise. Here is the basic sequence of events:

  1. Obama condemns his victims for not sanctioning him.

  2. The Republicans reject this condemnation on moral grounds.

  3. Democratic shills pretend the Republicans made a mistake in interpreting Obama so they can retreat from an unsuccessful avenue of attack. This particular time, their victim offers no sanction.

I can't help but think of rats trying coming back to nibble for a hundredth time at what thought was a corpse, only to be swatted by the still-breathing creature as it finally turns on a light. As the rats scurry back into the darkness, they squeak in their ratling tongue, "You're dumb! We were not really trying to eat you!"

Edit: On second thought, it may actually be an honest mistake of theirs (the Democratic shills). Their concrete-bound minds may actually have trouble dealing with this new moral idea implied by the Republicans, that they have mistakenly assumed the Republicans must have misinterpreted something.

Edited by FeatherFall
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crow, Obama's statement is, correctly interpreted, a moral condemnation of businesses who assert that they shouldn't pay more taxes. It is a naked appeal for the sanction of the victim.

It's a defense of the status quo. There is nothing in that statement that calls for an increase of the welfare state, only a maintenance of it in order to continue the infrastructure everybody is used to. He was, in essence, saying, "our complex system of government and trade etc. helped you get where you are and there's nothing wrong with that". Yes, it's a defense of the welfare state (and the rest of the current mixed economy of trade and specialization)--but such as it is. Moreover, Obama went on to apologize for the syntax in that talk, and later clarified that he never meant to denigrate individual effort.

But that doesn't matter because we know he's a socialist and the republicans are going to end the welfare state if they are elected (because they did that before a few years ago when they had a majority in congress).

That Republicans are rejecting this depraved immoral argument is a good sign.

Why is everybody suspending disbelief this year when it comes to the Republicans? Did you read Romney's comments about Obamacare today? That he wants to "keep the good parts" and remove the bad parts?

Democrats and Republicans differ jack when it comes to basic premises on about the welfare state. They are both supportive of it, and neither question it. Demonizing Obama in this way seems to be nothing but displaced anger combined with wishful thinking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you gonna troll every single thread with the same exact sequence of nonsense followed by unrelated straw men whenever someone points out that it's nonsense?

You going to continue to spit out mindless personal attacks meant to reinforce a world-view that will otherwise not be bothered with the facts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That speech was a campaign speech. It came in the wake of Obamacare's increased burden on businesses, Obama's previous attempts to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the "Ultra Wealthy," and a multi-state battle against union largess. I won't let you pretend that he is simply a "status quo" supporter. You're shilling. It is a rare time that a politician so clearly leverages the victim's sanction like Obama did. I'll take your refusal to deny this fact as acceptance of it.

I don't understand how you're using the phrase, "suspension of disbelief." I understand that phrase to involve the proper orientation of a witness to a performance. Are we to always, "disbelieve" our politicians? I don't get it. That said, the Republicans and Democrats do differ. The Democrats are by far the more consistent defenders of the welfare state. The right thing to do is to support Republicans on those precious few occasions they take the correct moral stance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's today's "strawman": http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/10/romneys-tap-dance-around-obamacare/

From the article:

Mitt Romney gave the appearance of taking a stunning new position Sunday when it seemed he was embracing parts of Obamacare, a law he's vowed – vehemently and repeatedly – to repeal if he wins the election. "So you'd keep that part of the federal plan," NBC's "Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked the candidate, referring to Obamacare's provisions about pre-existing conditions and coverage for young adults. Romney replied, "I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course, there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place."

The Democrats want to make the welfare state work better. The Republicans want to have it and eat it too. I simply can't see why people are so darned excited about the latter, nor do I see any broad difference between these two besides the former being slightly more honest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole quote ordeal has just been irritating to me. The ultimate message of the whole speech many people are rightly getting and condemning, but that there seems to be this huge emphasis on just one piece of a sentence that isn't correctly interpreted to mean exactly what they say it means is what bugs me. I'd like the speech as a whole to be addressed and the interpretation of "that" as referring to "businesses" rather than "roads + whatever else" to be dropped. Yes, the whole sentence that quote is part of is collectivist and belittling to people's work, but as a pure point of fact, "that" =/= "businesses."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why is everybody suspending disbelief this year when it comes to the Republicans? Did you read Romney's comments about Obamacare today? That he wants to "keep the good parts" and remove the bad parts?

You have that in reverse. We are not ignoring Obama or the facts of what he has done in the last four years, or what he will do when he can act without the need to run for office again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have that in reverse. We are not ignoring Obama or the facts of what he has done in the last four years, or what he will do when he can act without the need to run for office again.

Just to consider another four years for him to complete the job? Please, no.

Along the line, the socialist experiment descends upon other nations (not that I think it's going to make a lot of difference

on this side of the lake) but at the very least let it be seen to fail badly for those of us who care.

If you indulge your President's statement seriously for a moment, one answer might be "Yes, you're right: up to a

point, we didn't build that - but the question remains, why didn't we?"

Statism did not just arrive now, and the gradually insidious effects of loss of individual freedom have already taken

a toll. Choices - of which business to enter, who to do business with, or for whom, constricting regulations, how much

to pay employees, taxes...and so on. The culture is already anti-individualist, and Obama merely wants to go whole

hog. His remark, as leader of the free world, is shocking - but it does contain a kernel of truth, as a sort of self-

fulfilling prophecy. And that's as much as I will indulge him.

As uber-collectivist, he's obviously an epistemic skeptic. To such a person, knowledge and creativity are "out there",

floating somewhere in the ether - that anyone can grab and claim. That each person has to start afresh, perceiving, inducting and conceptualising his principles, and EARN THEM as an individual, is lost on him. The distinction that each person can respect those who went ahead of him, and build on their ideas - and still be building an enterprise that is all their own - is an idea that can't or won't be grasped by an anti-conceptualist. So, it is just bricks and mortar and machinery and labor, that such a person sees.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have that in reverse. We are not ignoring Obama or the facts of what he has done in the last four years, or what he will do when he can act without the need to run for office again.

The implication, however, is that electing the other guy will be oh-so-much-better (see the recent quote above). I don't see it.

This whole thing smacks of wishful thinking to me. We have an entrenched welfare state here, with a voting majority having a vested interest in its continued existence. Virtually every single institution we have in our country today is based on what that socialist president (FDR) did to us 75 years ago. Fully unraveling this will take several generations.

Remember Social Security being touted as a "ponzi scheme" but a certain Republican--Republican--presidential front-runner? He's history. One off-hand comment about messing with the welfare state and he's gone.

Many people here want to believe that we can make radical changes in our society while ignoring the philosophical basis of the culture. Many people here want to believe that politics will drive culture when it's always been the other way around for all of human history.

I am very thankful of the time and place in which I live. I'm not a pessimist. But I don't spend time being hopeful we're one election away from a second renaissance, and I find my life is a lot better when I treat the world as it actually is versus the way I hope it is. Romney will not move our country one millimeter forward in the direction of freedom, and will move it several inches backwards in the direction of unreason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you indulge your President's statement seriously for a moment, one answer might be "Yes, you're right: up to a

point, we didn't build that - but the question remains, why didn't we?"

The Republican response would be, "Because government got in the way", and the Democrat response would be, "Because we built it". The truth lies somewhere between party lines, but neither party gets elected by telling the truth.

I lost heart in this year's election after the Supreme Court upheld Obama's Individual Mandate, which pretty much untethered both parties to run amok. One might argue that Mitt won't run as far as Obama, but I wouldn't. My view is we've finally moved past a democracy into a corporate oligarchy. Mitt and his corporate buddies shed great big crocodile tears when Chief Justice Roberts redefined the Individual Mandate as a tax, and said the government has unlimited power to tax and spend; they know only too well who owns the government these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The implication, however, is that electing the other guy will be oh-so-much-better (see the recent quote above). I don't see it.

This whole thing smacks of wishful thinking to me. We have an entrenched welfare state here, with a voting majority having a vested interest in its continued existence. Virtually every single institution we have in our country today is based on what that socialist president (FDR) did to us 75 years ago. Fully unraveling this will take several generations.

Remember Social Security being touted as a "ponzi scheme" but a certain Republican--Republican--presidential front-runner? He's history. One off-hand comment about messing with the welfare state and he's gone.

Many people here want to believe that we can make radical changes in our society while ignoring the philosophical basis of the culture. Many people here want to believe that politics will drive culture when it's always been the other way around for all of human history.

I am very thankful of the time and place in which I live. I'm not a pessimist. But I don't spend time being hopeful we're one election away from a second renaissance, and I find my life is a lot better when I treat the world as it actually is versus the way I hope it is. Romney will not move our country one millimeter forward in the direction of freedom, and will move it several inches backwards in the direction of unreason.

No one is saying we are one election away from a Second Renaissance – That is a straw man.

We can choose the speed we are traveling at and Obama is the epitome of the high speed rail he fantasizes about, merrily leading us to the European Welfare State with his Woodrow Wilson levels of collectivist hatred for man. Romney is a crap choice but a partial reversal and partial slide in that direction is certainly less offensive than running full steam at it. Romney may not have a good grasp of reason on issues like religion but Obama is off in collectivist anti-man fantasy land where thugs don't need reason to force you to obey them. Like I said in the other thread, this is a case of Nixon versus McGovern all over again. Toss is a chance to remove portions of Obamacare-at-gunpoint versus no chance in hell and the decision is easy.

Also, we can choose to not endorse the policies of current leaders and the best way to do that is to fire them. If (when) Romney wants to play welfare statist he can go in four years too. Well, unless the Dems put up another egalitarian crackpot that thinks the EU is a healthy blueprint (I wouldn’t put it past them).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember Social Security being touted as a "ponzi scheme" but a certain Republican--Republican--presidential front-runner? He's history. One off-hand comment about messing with the welfare state and he's gone.

If you think a single statement sunk Perry's campaign, you weren't paying attention.

Many people here want to believe that we can make radical changes in our society while ignoring the philosophical basis of the culture. Many people here want to believe that politics will drive culture when it's always been the other way around for all of human history.

Unless I'm mistaken, The only person here who suggested that the culture will change when we elect a politician is you:

Romney will not move our country one millimeter forward in the direction of freedom, and will move it several inches backwards in the direction of unreason.

What people here have suggested is that Romney and Obama are both "stepping on the statist gas pedal," but while Romney is a Sunday driver, Obama is Thelma and Louise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless I'm mistaken, The only person here who suggested that the culture will change when we elect a politician is you:

I meant that Romney and the Republicans will (to a small extent) will drive culture in their willful disdain for "fact checkers" or "math" or "reason", not that their political policies will.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't particularly care whether you think the politician or their policies will change culture; I don't consider the distinction relevant, and wasn't alluding to such a distinction. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of your derision of others for (allegedly, nobody actually did this) asserting that we should elect politicians because of their direct effect on cultural trends when your defense of Obama (here and elsewhere) amounts to: "The policies of Obama and Romney are just as bad as each other, but the Republicans are so unreasonable, and therefore electing Republicans will effectively move the culture toward unreason in some small way."

For the record, I actually agree that small changes in culture can happen as a result of elections. Obama holds to a philosophy that sees material goods as rights, which leads to a policy of class warfare. Romney holds to some bastard form of "natural rights" philosophy that leads to a policy of theocracy. But I don't know if there is a way to predict whether a politician's ideas will wax as a result, or whether those ideas will wane due to backlash - and if so, which philosophy will fill the vacuum. Even if we could predict, can you really say with certainty you know which set of ideas is worse? I think both are unacceptable.

Voting as a means of directly effecting cultural change is a fool’s errand. Romney supporters (on this forum) are saying Romney’s policies will more slowly bring statism, with the chance to reverse one or two particularly bad recent changes in healthcare, foreign policy and all-around executive branch ineptitude in the short-term. In the long-term, that means we have more time to change the culture. But we certainly aren’t going to change the culture if we don’t energetically pounce on every opportunity to support each side when they are in the right. Like right now, when the Republicans suddenly decide they won’t sanction their own victimhood, just this once.

Edited by FeatherFall
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't particularly care whether you think the politician or their policies will change culture; I don't consider the distinction relevant, and wasn't alluding to such a distinction. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of your derision of others for (allegedly, nobody actually did this) asserting that we should elect politicians because of their direct effect on cultural trends when your defense of Obama (here and elsewhere) amounts to: "The policies of Obama and Romney are just as bad as each other, but the Republicans are so unreasonable, and therefore electing Republicans will effectively move the culture toward unreason in some small way."

I understand you don't agree with my conclusions, but where is the hypocrisy? I find the Democrats a symbol of reasonableness in this election cycle and Republicans a symbol of an abandonment of all facts from public discourse. Fine, you disagree with that opinion (and this is, let's be clear, a far-flung opinion or estimate of the current state of things, not some statement of obvious, verifiable fact).

But given my premise, my conclusion is perfectly reasonable.

Also, I should be clear, I did discuss the pointlessness of people like us voting or thinking it might make a difference. Insofar as anybody (even dumb dumbs like ******* and **********) are in this discussion, they are hundreds of times more influential than their mere vote, and potentially thousands and thousands of times more. By saying, "vote Obama" I am saying (and yes, I should have been more clear) "advocate a vote for Obama with a detailed explanation as to why in order to make a broader point". I am saying that the current--and to be sure the last--frontier we're defending as rational discourse and fact-based discussion. Once that goes, everything else is moot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you promote Obama as some sort of agent for cultural change toward more rational discourse and fact-based discussion relative to Romney, then you write, "Many people here want to believe that politics will drive culture when it's always been the other way around for all of human history," you engage in hypocrisy. If it is indeed the other way around (which it is), then electing Obama can't have some sort of effect on logical discourse unless Romney plans to initiate a campaign of censorship. But as far as I know, the only campaign dedicated to censorship in any way is Obama's. He would have us amend the 1st amendment so that pesky decisions like Citizen United don't stop the government from telling us who can speak out and to what extent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's an upside to Obama winning a second term - by a small margin, I imagine - which I'm

positive hasn't passed anybody's attention: that four more years of the Grand Egalitarian

Experiment (GEE) would convince a major part of the electorate of its failure, and shift

the culture to increased individualism - for a long time to come.

Question is could the nation withstand it? GEE must fail incontrovertibly; I'm afraid

most people only learn the positive by way of the negative.

Excuse the butting in in these deep waters, but we all have a vested interest wherever

we live.

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.

Guest
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.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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