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True , the lie of socialism is that it benefits all. Though I disagree with the idea that it benefits even some for awhile. It is a false theory used to justify the taking , by force or fraud, of the unearned. History obviously shows that groups of individuals in the past have expropriated the production of others , using socialism as some set of principles to justify their actions, some may even have believed they were acting according to reality, but they were mistaken.

I think this tangential. Whether or not socialism ever actually benefits anyone truely, even in the short run, it is clearly attractive to many who belive it will benefit them and even is benefiting them even if at the expense of others (who, of course, deserve to be harmed).

And I would argue that to the extent that those who are the targets of socialism lay down and obey then, indeed, they will be sacrificing themselves and benefiting those who advance socialism.

The hard question, in my opinion, is whether or not those who are the targets of socialism can in fact resist in such a way as to improve their own situation and not to act as martyrs to a cause. That requires some deep and very practical thinking.

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As to "going Galt", the earlier point of seeing the valley being a resort, a place to withdraw from "getting one's hands dirty", I find this forum to be a place to one can go and interface with like-m

Establishing context, in other words? If so, I would put game theory in there, because its level of specificity may be too much for philosophical inquiry. The topic is specialized enough that while it

Where did I say "sit down and shut up?" But, yes, I am questioning the utility of talking. To whatever extent they do, yes, but my point is that the usual arguments for free markets

Have you heard anything in my proposal which would contradict your Objectivist morals? (Whether or not the world is hostile to Objectivist ideals is not within the control of Objectivists. The question here is what to do about that fact of life.)

You mean things like accepting that socialism is analogous to a disease for which there is no cure?

What does one do about a fact of life over which one has no control? You distinguish it from the facts of life over which one has control, and act accordingly.

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You mean things like accepting that socialism is analogous to a disease for which there is no cure? What does one do about a fact of life over which one has no control? You distinguish it from the facts of life over which one has control, and act accordingly.

I'm not sure how the first part is a violation of Objectivist morals, as opposed to hopes, but certainly we agree on the second part and that's what's important here. "What can you do" is the crucial question at hand.

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I'm not sure how the first part is a violation of Objectivist morals, as opposed to hopes, but certainly we agree on the second part and that's what's important here. "What can you do" is the crucial question at hand.

Because socialism is not like a disease for where there is no cure. Part of morality, is the identification of what you accept and the basis of why you accept something as true.
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Because socialism is not like a disease for where there is no cure. Part of morality, is the identification of what you accept and the basis of why you accept something as true.

You can be smug about how morally superior you are but you cannot accept Objectivsm on behalf of Socialists. That is inherent to the nature of morality.

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This conversation had me recollect the book Compassionate Capitalism, by Richard DeVoss. While I have not read it, I am familiar with the Amway Corporation that Richard DeVoss co-founded. I know the Britt organization touted this book. I would have to speculate that it was written from a Christianity filtered viewpoint.

From the Amazon description: "Rich DeVos shows how your energy, your ambition, and your spirit of enterprise can travel together down a path in which the spirit of capitalism and moral values inextricably merge."

Edited by dream_weaver
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"Let me answer by stating the argument for argument and persuasion: agument and persuasion are loving means to an end. When you argue with someone you are treating them as a human being. When you attempt to persuade them to your view you are attemtping to enlighten them to what you believe to be the truth. Perhaps Rand was more Christian than she realized."

The "loving means" is not part of the equation at all for us actually. As for treating them as a human being, this is part of the equation, but not "treating them as human" meaning with some kind of respect and dignity (not that such is typically bad to do even in these situations) which is again moot to the decision on what means to pursue. Instead the meaning in which we seek to treat people as human beings just means treating them as what they are because doing otherwise is illogical and therefore doomed. It isn't just looking to help "enlighten them" either - particularly when it comes to politics their ideas can end up influencing our lives and that is something we're trying to prevent from causing us more and more problems in our own lives.

Also, side note, depending on what you consider to count as alchemy having had some kind of practice and results, phosphorus was first discovered/isolated by a guy trying to use alchemy to create gold or a philosophers stone, one or the other. The story of the discovery is on the wiki page for phosphorus, though I remember it from science class in high school.

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The "loving means" is not part of the equation at all for us actually. As for treating them as a human being, this is part of the equation, but not "treating them as human" meaning with some kind of respect and dignity (not that such is typically bad to do even in these situations) which is again moot to the decision on what means to pursue. Instead the meaning in which we seek to treat people as human beings just means treating them as what they are because doing otherwise is illogical and therefore doomed. It isn't just looking to help "enlighten them" either - particularly when it comes to politics their ideas can end up influencing our lives and that is something we're trying to prevent from causing us more and more problems in our own lives.

After all the demands for specificity you have retreated, here, into vague generalities. But this is not really to the point of the discussion; I'm not interested in baptizing Rand and if two Objectivists should have a realtionship which outwardly appears to be love then that's fine by me. The more pertinent question is whether Objectivism requires an approach of argument and persuasion in dealing with those who reject the philosphy and pursue Socialism instead.

Assuming not, then I think these are the posts that merit a response:

#91

#95

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I wasn't looking to do more with my last post than just kind of throw in my two cents on a couple minor details, it's by no means a replacement for previous posts I've made, it's just a addition on the side, not really any further development on the main line of inquiry. I've kind of hit a dead end on the main topic here where I'm not sure how to proceed further without being at least qualified to write such an essay or book as you are interested yet admit you don't think you are qualified for either. So, to be very clear here, I was mainly explaining why we treat people as people because that the reason why we can't justify just going around killing and maiming anybody who says they think government subsidizing through taxes of Seasame Street is a good thing as a method of trying to reduce collectivism being forced on us. I still do not mean to say that persuasading other people is the only proper or important means of dealing with our current situation of having to live in the midst of collectivists who largely have the force of government behind them for many things.

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As to "going Galt", the earlier point of seeing the valley being a resort, a place to withdraw from "getting one's hands dirty", I find this forum to be a place to one can go and interface with like-minded individuals, develop a deeper and broader understanding of reason, logic, morality, identification of fallacies and contradictions, etc. Unlike the valley, it also brings in people who don't hold Objectivism with the same esteem, giving rise to different advocates of Objectivism adressing and dealing with them conversationally in an arena that explicitly Objectivist in nature. I find this a good thing. It doesn't mean we all agree, or that the ideas put forth are explicitly objective even if we do agree.

John Galt is credited for stating: "When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit."

This is a place where we can look for and find those who make reality king and insist on granting it access to the throneroom of understanding via discourse, and help one another out in that process.

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So, to be very clear here, I was mainly explaining why we treat people as people because that the reason why we can't justify just going around killing and maiming anybody who says they think government subsidizing through taxes of Seasame Street is a good thing as a method of trying to reduce collectivism being forced on us.

This is a substantial point that deserves more discussion. I think I've been pretty clear, in a vague sort of way, why I think violence is a bad choice, or at least not the best choice. But it might be useful to explore more specificly why. I suspect my reasons would not be the same as yours.

I still do not mean to say that persuasading other people is the only proper or important means of dealing with our current situation of having to live in the midst of collectivists who largely have the force of government behind them for many things.

It sounds like this is a statment that most here, if not all, would agree with.

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As to "going Galt", the earlier point of seeing the valley being a resort, a place to withdraw from "getting one's hands dirty", I find this forum to be a place to one can go and interface with like-minded individuals, develop a deeper and broader understanding of reason, logic, morality, identification of fallacies and contradictions, etc. Unlike the valley, it also brings in people who don't hold Objectivism with the same esteem, giving rise to different advocates of Objectivism adressing and dealing with them conversationally in an arena that explicitly Objectivist in nature. I find this a good thing. It doesn't mean we all agree, or that the ideas put forth are explicitly objective even if we do agree.

John Galt is credited for stating: "When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit."

This is a place where we can look for and find those who make reality king and insist on granting it access to the throneroom of understanding via discourse, and help one another out in that process.

Although we've found plenty to disagree on throughout this thread, I just wanted point out how much I agree with the above.

This brings us back to my earlier point about distinguishing friends and enemies, or in Objectivist terms, rationalists and irrationalists. Rand had much to say about how rational men ought to deal with one another and I find little to disagree with her on that score. The harder question that I think she avoided (even fictionally) is how rational men ought to deal with irrational men. It is this harder question which interests me here.

Edited by hernan
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Although we've found plenty to disagree on throughout this thread, I just wanted point out how much I agree with the above.

This brings us back to my earlier point about distinguishing friends and enemies, or in Objectivist terms, rationalists and irrationalists. Rand had much to say about how rational men ought to deal with one another and I find little to disagree with her on that score. The harder question that I think she avoided (even fictionally) is how rational men ought to deal with irrational men. It is this harder question which interests me here.

She was pretty clear on how to deal with irrational men. In her notes regarding Galt's Speech she wrote: ". . . Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone." If you combine that with the understanding that "[t]here are only two fundamental methods by which men can deal with one another: by reason or by force, by intellectual persuasion or by physical coercion, by directing to an opponent's brain an argument—or a bullet." Edited by dream_weaver
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She was pretty clear on how to deal with irrational men. In her notes regarding Galt's Speech she wrote: ". . . Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone." If you combine that with the understanding that "[t]here are only two fundamental methods by which men can deal with one another: by reason or by force, by intellectual persuasion or by physical coercion, by directing to an opponent's brain an argument—or a bullet."

At this point we must diverge again becuase "leave them alone" is an indadequate answer. If that is the "official" Objectivist answer then that would, indeed, contradict what I am proposing here.

(Also, the reason/force dichotomy is grossly simplistic. To give the most obvious case, deception is neither. A black market is an example of such.)

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A black market precisely illustrates this. You bring to market the goods of trade, looking for another to trade with, carrying a means of protecting yourself if you find yourself in an exchange with someone who is being either unreasonable or irrational.

What distinguishes a black market from an ordinary market is that it operates in contravention of law. Those who participate, while presumably dealing reationally with one another, are intending to deceive the authorities who seek to prohibit the market. The category of similar practices is very large.

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Let me try to state it a different way,

When the freedom of men to trade with one another is not upheld by protecting individual rights, the black market leaves you responsible for ensuring your own individual rights.

Those who particiapte in the black market always run the risk of being discovered by the "authority" or just an outright thug, or engaging with an undercover "authority".

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When the freedom of men to trade with one another is not upheld by protecting individual rights, the black market leaves you responsible for ensuring your own individual rights. Those who particiapte in the black market always run the risk of being discovered by the "authority" or just an outright thug, or engaging with an undercover "authority".

Right. And one of the ways that you can ensure your own individual rights is to deceive the authorities (and use reason to trade with reasonable men in contravention of law). Deceiving the authorities is neither reasoning with them not is it doing violence to them. If a bobby walks up and asks, "what's all this now?" you just reply, "absolutely nothing, sir!"

Edited by hernan
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And if the bobby that walked up to you and asked "What's all this now?" does not accept your "reasoning"?

Firstly, you are obviously not reasoning with him (which is, I presume, why you quoted it). But in that event you are busted and out comes the muzzle. You hope that you can deceive him and, in fact, the category of deceit is obviously designed to accomplish just that. You are applying your reasoning to the task of deceiving him as opposed to genuinely reasoning with him (or using violence against him).

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"This is a substantial point that deserves more discussion. I think I've been pretty clear, in a vague sort of way, why I think violence is a bad choice, or at least not the best choice. But it might be useful to explore more specificly why. I suspect my reasons would not be the same as yours."

Violence by an individual or small group especially against large groups and/or the government is a bad idea even if they are blatantly violating your rights and nobody seems to be stopping them. The problem there is that it would become a pretty literal suicide mission. Too much power on their side, not enough on yours.

When it comes to cases where the odds are not so awfully set against an individual or small group, probably against one or a few people when they are unlikely to get caught, it gets to be a more complicated issue to explain. The short answer is, "they haven't become permanently devoid of all their rights just for playing some part in getting just any kind of rights violation perpetrated against you." There are other threads around the forum I'm sure that could probably be found through the on site Google search which already have talked in depth about 1) the nature and source of rights 2) who/what they apply to 3) why retaliatory force is up to the government, though force to prevent or stop an immediate threat to one's rights or those of others is justified. Anyway, physically attacking individuals and small numbers of people even when unlikely to get caught runs afoul of the previously mentioned thing about retaliatory force being the government's domain. Why is this retaliatory though and not just self-defense? An individual only has the right to use force to do what is necessary when it comes to self-defense and force is not necessary, or probably even realistic, as a way to combat government enforced collectivism's popular support. We have other options. Now, one may wish to ask about why one should leave retaliation to the government still when it comes to people who are helping mess the government up or why one should pay any heed to the rights of somebody who supports and is to some extent helping with violating your rights or stuff about maybe what kind of retaliatory force, if any, would be justified against such people if the government went through its proper chanels to do it. If so though, let me know and I'll get to it later. I'm going to get something to eat now.

Oh, by the way, in Objectivism we regularly lump "deception" (fraud) in with physical force when we mention "force" because the two have some important similar functions which lead to us having to frequently talk about both of them together and just having one term we need to use when everybody knows what we mean is much less of a hassle than constantly writing out each one as distinguished from the other one. So, I think most of us at least were already considering deception among potential options though noting that one can also have substantial risks and drawbacks, particularly when you try to fool the guvamints. Remember I mentioned earlier that we often cite an example of a time when not telling the truth could be a good idea would be if one was in Nazi Germany and being asked by officials if you knew where some Jewish neighbors were.

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