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Danger and opportunity are two sides of the same coin. For every opportunity there is a danger and in every danger an opportunity.

I understand you'd rather be left alone to pursue life but that's not the way of the world. Start with evolution if you seek understanding on this.

That, of course, would presume that I could be left alone to pusure of life of learning about evolution, but that, however, you are suggesting, is not the way of the world.

Danger and opportunity are two sides of one coin. Opportunity and preparedness are two sides of another coin. Contradiciton and noncontradiction are two sides of yet another. Then there is the coin of noncontradictory identification. It's two sides are reason and logic. The coin of contradiction is much more base and common. Are you free to find and gather the coins you choose to collect?

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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

I think I'm joining this at a random point, but I wanted to add that I don't think there can be a "theory of resistance" along the lines of what you're describing. I think there can be more of a theory of strategy for liberty, but that might be something different. In that case, I don't htink there's anything wrong with calling for revolution. It was objected to earlier that revolution was a bad idea because it was violent and dangerous, therefore electoral politics should be seen as the answer, but I think this gets it backwards. Roderick Long has the following example:

Welcome. Yes, at one point I gave the hypothetical book a title: Resisting Socialism: A Guide to Going Galt in the Real World. I am not a big fan of revolution at least in part because it tends to consume a lot of martyrs but also because so few really accomplish anything. Revolution is a very blunt instrument for change. The American revolution was a glorious exception to a sad rule.

Your quote is quite apropriate here.

Revolution, on the other hand, need not necessarily be violent, if it is aimed at bypassing, rather than capturing organizations of violence and power. Thus the libertarian revolution, since it doesn't aim at taking over the reins of power, is the only one that doesn't require (and indeed cannot include) violence. Instead, just ceasing to prop up the statist society (non-participation) and focusing on building alternative (non-governmental) institutions for problem solving is better suited to achieving liberty.

I think we are on the same page here but I hesitate to call this revolution. I chose the word "resistence" instead. The goal of revolution is a grand transformation, at least of government, if not society. The goal of resistence is much more modest and seeks only to avoid victimization even by the lawful government. And you are right: if you don't resist you are, by default, cooperating and supporting socialism. Everyone wants to insist that socialism is such a lie that it cannot survive but it can survive quite well when its victims cooperate.

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That, of course, would presume that I could be left alone to pusure of life of learning about evolution, but that, however, you are suggesting, is not the way of the world. Danger and opportunity are two sides of one coin. Opportunity and preparedness are two sides of another coin. Contradiciton and noncontradiction are two sides of yet another. Then there is the coin of noncontradictory identification. It's two sides are reason and logic. The coin of contradiction is much more base and common. Are you free to find and gather the coins you choose to collect?

Ponder this: in a Randian utopia there is still danger. Astronauts still blow up on the launch pad. People are still crushed in falling buildings. Investors still lose money in failed businesses. Scientists still waste time on wrong theories.

What Rand offers is a vision of a world in which man orients himself not against one another but against nature, so to speak. That's a grand vision and one worth a read.

But life will still be dangerous. And greatest opportunities will still be come with the greatest risks.

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Welcome. Yes, at one point I gave the hypothetical book a title: Resisting Socialism: A Guide to Going Galt in the Real World. I am not a big fan of revolution at least in part because it tends to consume a lot of martyrs but also because so few really accomplish anything. Revolution is a very blunt instrument for change. The American revolution was a glorious exception to a sad rule.

It is indeed veracious that revolutions historically have been as you describe, violent, chaotic, destructive of the entire social order. Even the good ones. But, I would add, that this is because of the fact that revolutions have generally had the same goal as democratic politics, or of the strange "all or nothing" moviegoer in Long's example, that is taking over as the monopolist of violence and enforcing its version of things. That is why I think the free market revolution will be a different model of revolution, one that has to be inherently peaceful, since it doesn't attempt to grab the reins of power, but rather to expand voluntary spheres of action.

I think we are on the same page here but I hesitate to call this revolution. I chose the word "resistence" instead. The goal of revolution is a grand transformation, at least of government, if not society. The goal of resistence is much more modest and seeks only to avoid victimization even by the lawful government. And you are right: if you don't resist you are, by default, cooperating and supporting socialism. Everyone wants to insist that socialism is such a lie that it cannot survive but it can survive quite well when its victims cooperate.

I think this is true, if by socialism surviving we mean the statist organization can perpetuate its existence, and not something like the socialist economy function according to the way the socialists say it will. I think it is true that a statist structural organization is a pattern of a social organization, and just like there are "spontaneous orders" which perpetuate the free market as a pattern of social organization, I think there might even be "bad" spontaneous orders and invisible hands, instead of "good" ones, that tend to perpetuate statism.

But going back to the point about revolution, the point is that there is no need to run out to the barricades Victor Hugo style and try to defeat the government as it were (for this is another "all or nothing" scenario), only cease proping them up. As soon as people recognize their cooperation is part of one type of pattern in society, then they can adjust and form new patterns, they can build alternative structures and institutions. The free market revolution succeeds by gradually winning more and more people’s allegiance to these institutions, incrementally, until those participating in statist institutions are too few to cause trouble to the rest of us. No "top down" or "all or nothing" or any of the other problems that come along with democracy are necessary. In Paul Goodman’s words: “A free society cannot be the substitution of a ‘new order’ for the old order; it is the extension of spheres of free action until they make up most of social life.” In this way, I think the agorist strategy of Samuel Konkin, (non-participation, peaceful resistance, counter-economics, mixed with spreading education and moral enlightenment) shows the most promise. Electoral politics and other violent means should be discouraged.

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Ponder this: in a Randian utopia there is still danger. Astronauts still blow up on the launch pad. People are still crushed in falling buildings. Investors still lose money in failed businesses. Scientists still waste time on wrong theories.

What Rand offers is a vision of a world in which man orients himself not against one another but against nature, so to speak. That's a grand vision and one worth a read.

But life will still be dangerous. And greatest opportunities will still be come with the greatest risks.

Still clinging to the idea that there is a Randian utopia? As was pointed out earlier, Miss Rand simply revealed her vision of existence and of man's nature. Man is free to choose to be a moral being, or to evade that choice.

Lather, rinse, repeat. If you think it analogous only to a shampoo bottle's instruction label, you should read the label again.

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It is indeed veracious that revolutions historically have been as you describe, violent, chaotic, destructive of the entire social order. Even the good ones. But, I would add, that this is because of the fact that revolutions have generally had the same goal as democratic politics, or of the strange "all or nothing" moviegoer in Long's example, that is taking over as the monopolist of violence and enforcing its version of things. That is why I think the free market revolution will be a different model of revolution, one that has to be inherently peaceful, since it doesn't attempt to grab the reins of power, but rather to expand voluntary spheres of action.

I think this is true, if by socialism surviving we mean the statist organization can perpetuate its existence, and not something like the socialist economy function according to the way the socialists say it will. I think it is true that a statist structural organization is a pattern of a social organization, and just like there are "spontaneous orders" which perpetuate the free market as a pattern of social organization, I think there might even be "bad" spontaneous orders and invisible hands, instead of "good" ones, that tend to perpetuate statism.

But going back to the point about revolution, the point is that there is no need to run out to the barricades Victor Hugo style and try to defeat the government as it were (for this is another "all or nothing" scenario), only cease proping them up. As soon as people recognize their cooperation is part of one type of pattern in society, then they can adjust and form new patterns, they can build alternative structures and institutions. The free market revolution succeeds by gradually winning more and more people’s allegiance to these institutions, incrementally, until those participating in statist institutions are too few to cause trouble to the rest of us. No "top down" or "all or nothing" or any of the other problems that come along with democracy are necessary. In Paul Goodman’s words: “A free society cannot be the substitution of a ‘new order’ for the old order; it is the extension of spheres of free action until they make up most of social life.” In this way, I think the agorist strategy of Samuel Konkin, (non-participation, peaceful resistance, counter-economics, mixed with spreading education and moral enlightenment) shows the most promise. Electoral politics and other violent means should be discouraged.

Again, I generally agree. And now you have brought us to an issue that most others have studiously avoided: how do socialist systems sustain themselves? Those who love Rand don't want to believe that they can. And certainly the USSR cratered spectularly (though only after 70 years and many, many bodies).

I had argued earlier that only two ingredients are necessary: envy and forgetfulness. But I think it's probably more accurate to say that socialism survives by cooperation, by people believing its lies or, at a minimum, believing that if they step out of line they will be crushed.

And clearly government has the power to crush individuals under certain conditions. The question to ponder here is whether it is possible, whether it is rational, for a single individual to successfully resist socialism even without any similar resistence by others. Suppose that everyone loved socialism but you. Are you left with no choice but to submit? Or does that uniformity itself create an opportunity for you? It's easy to imagine how many people resisting could cause the "system" to collapse (or at least induce it to reform itself) but, absent martyrs, this can only work if the rational individual can find an opportunity to be better off by resisting.

If not, then socialism is certainly more than capable of sustaining itself even if that comes at a cost to everyone.

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Again, I generally agree. And now you have brought us to an issue that most others have studiously avoided: how do socialist systems sustain themselves? Those who love Rand don't want to believe that they can. And certainly the USSR cratered spectularly (though only after 70 years and many, many bodies).

Those that have read Rand and others about socialism, know that it can and does persist, and can persist for long periods of time.

Would you agree or disagree with Rand from “The Monument Builders,” in "The Virtue of Selfishness, 87

"Socialism is not a movement of the people. It is a movement of the intellectuals, originated, led and controlled by the intellectuals, carried by them out of their stuffy ivory towers into those bloody fields of practice where they unite with their allies and executors: the thugs."
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Those that have read Rand and others about socialism, know that it can and does persist, and can persist for long periods of time.

Would you agree or disagree with Rand from “The Monument Builders,” in "The Virtue of Selfishness, 87

"Socialism is not a movement of the people. It is a movement of the intellectuals, originated, led and controlled by the intellectuals, carried by them out of their stuffy ivory towers into those bloody fields of practice where they unite with their allies and executors: the thugs."

I think Rand is making a useful observation that socialism (in the modern sense, not the general sense of robbing your neighbor) is technocratic in nature but that she is exagerating the degree to which socialism is an intellectual movement. There are many parties who make it "work" and they also include opportunitist politicians, special interests, and those who are only too willing to join a mob regardless of where it is going, just because it's "cool" or "the future". I'm not sure the degree to which Rand was thinking about full blown communism vs. European-style welfare state socialism but the average European certainly doesn't imagine himself to be a tool of the intellectuals.

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You know one of those times when you type something out meticulously, then you accidentally delete it? Yeah, I just had one of those moments. So here's the condensed version:

1. We can differentiate between socialism as a statist political structure, and socialism as an economic system.

2. Whether the latter can survive or not is purely a scientific matter.

3. I think it is accurate to say that whether the former can survive or not depends on active cooperation of the majority of people.

4. I think there are, like I said, spontaneous orders that the statist political structure depends on.

5. One of them is, as you outline, the "collective action problem": if only a few individuals withdraw their support while most of their fellow subjects maintain their compliance, the force of the state will ordinarily be quite sufficient to bring them individually in line.

6. Only when the public opinion is strong enough (e.g. Egypt) does collective action constraints ease to matter.

7. There are other invisible hand mechanisms that can perhaps explain why mass resistance itself doesn't come about regardless of the amount of oppression.

8. Perhaps even ones that Objectivists or people intending to promote liberty sometimes unknowingly help to perpetuate.

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There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.

“Foreign Policy Drains U.S. of Main Weapon,”

The Los Angeles times, Sept. 9, 1962, G2

Personally, I can't imagine a better 'tool' in the hands of the intellectuals, than an average European who does not imagine himself to be a tool of the intellectuals, including such 'tools' as "opportunitist politicians, special interests, and those who are only too willing to join a mob regardless of where it is going, just because it's "cool" or "the future"."

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Next part! 2046 mentioned some useful distinctions regarding revolution, but I want to try stepping back a little bit in terms of our level of discussion. Bluecherry also mentioned useful things about force and war.

I'll start off by pointing out that I'm focusing only on that man-made distinction where an action comes about due to a person's internal choice, rather than some external factor caused by the laws of physics alone. By introducing the human element, it becomes possible to say someone is to blame for a consequence, good or bad. Indeed, options are possible as long even when the options are constrained, much like the tree that fell from lightning. But a robber constraining my choices is doing the constraint deliberately, and it is his decision. The typical "your money or your life" scenario makes the option of walking unavailable, because you will be literally stopped from doing so, forcefully. I can say there is a paralysis of reason because a range of options are totally removed, as caused by the robber. Certainly, I'll proceed after the act of force to the best of my ability just as I would after the tree fell from lightning, except with the robber, I'll blame him and call him immoral for forcefully limiting my options. That is, reasoning with your mind and any property you have to accomplish your goals - force is a later moral consideration than those principles because of an egoist base.

All that explanation about force is to use that as consideration of how to respond to force. By no means does having force initiated mean that you must fall down and submit due to your choices being constrained. Regardless of how immoral it is to initiate force, it is possible to adapt to the new environment. I would not say there is an obligation to fight back right away. Moral principles of Objectivism say I should pursue my own interests by means of reason to the best of my ability, even if someone is attempting to rid me of all possible choices. For fighting back, you have to look at the nature of the act of force in question.

One consideration to make first is to think of people who are only considering initiating force by implementing truly universal health care. Perhaps you have people making a variety of arguments, but you are fairly confident that they are rational enough to be persuaded by reasoning. Getting people on your side is an important measure to combat growing ideology, before the worst happens. As I said before, it's not possible to control a person's mind in order to change their mind, the only way to get people on your side and stay on your side is to get them to believe your side is right. Deceiving them to be on your side (I know you were talking about deception before, but I'm only talking about deception of say, trolling, not of writing a contract then acting like you never wrote a contract) would be improper to the extent you would be undermining a goal of rational interaction. Once a plan is implemented, persuasion can still get people on your side, but it's mostly moot by that point. Perhaps you can persuade people to repeal a law, I just think that's a massive hill that comes about due to possible cognitive biases. Persuasion is a lot more limited at that point, less useful, so while it's probably better than nothing, persuasion regarding that one law is done with.

Then there are very blatant levels of force where the response is straightforward. It would be the same as Bluecherry's post about war, except on an individual level. Use as much force in retaliate as is necessary to remove the immediate threat on your existence without being suicidal. And if you *can* help it without putting your own life in further danger, don't kill or harm innocents. If someone is robbing your house, it is justifiable to shoot to kill, because that is likely the only way to remove the threat. If the robber's demand is money, and has bulletproof armor and a submachine gun, it's probably smarter to hand over the money, then consider moving out of town.

How to resist socialism is at a different scale, individual up against an entire society, with different considerations. (By the way, that's what We The Living is about, so I'd highly recommend reading it.) Socialism as a political ideology can come at different levels of current implementation, and its leaders are at different levels of irrationality. Then there are also underlings to consider who initiate force for those leaders. Even the popularity of the political system must be taken into account. If implementation is at a degree that is approaching the level of communist Russia, I wouldn't recommend persuasion. Things may be so far gone that revolution is needed. True, that's an extreme, but the work necessary to remove the threat to your existence may demand that. Submission I say is not an option, because that's just giving up entirely on personal motivation and values, when I suggested earlier that only death can reduce your options to zero. Actually, total loss of a sense of self reduces your options to zero, because that eliminates values to pursue anyway. Cue 1984 again.

I'm getting tired, so I will stop here for now. I think of covered some concerns regarding persuasion not already mentioned, and two categories of retaliation (submissive compliance, and violence). I'll probably get to "violation of the spirit of the law" and deception/black market later. But feel free to respond to what I have written so far.

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There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism—by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.

“Foreign Policy Drains U.S. of Main Weapon,”

The Los Angeles times, Sept. 9, 1962, G2

Personally, I can't imagine a better 'tool' in the hands of the intellectuals, than an average European who does not imagine himself to be a tool of the intellectuals, including such 'tools' as "opportunitist politicians, special interests, and those who are only too willing to join a mob regardless of where it is going, just because it's "cool" or "the future"."

I like that quote but it pretty aptly lays out the problem: It's one thing to free men from the enslavement of other men, quite another to free them from a self-enslavement. Preventing suicide is notoriously difficult but keep in mind that in this case, whey they jump from the bridge they are dragging you along with them.

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Ok, this time I'm going to respond substantively and since you've exposed what I thnk is the jugular here, I'm going to accept your invitation to go for it. Keep in mind that I'm attacking ideas that I only presume you hold, I am not attacking you, Rand, or anyone personally. I invite an equally vigororous response.

I'll start off by pointing out that I'm focusing only on that man-made distinction where an action comes about due to a person's internal choice, rather than some external factor caused by the laws of physics alone. By introducing the human element, it becomes possible to say someone is to blame for a consequence, good or bad. Indeed, options are possible as long even when the options are constrained, much like the tree that fell from lightning. But a robber constraining my choices is doing the constraint deliberately, and it is his decision. The typical "your money or your life" scenario makes the option of walking unavailable, because you will be literally stopped from doing so, forcefully. I can say there is a paralysis of reason because a range of options are totally removed, as caused by the robber. Certainly, I'll proceed after the act of force to the best of my ability just as I would after the tree fell from lightning, except with the robber, I'll blame him and call him immoral for forcefully limiting my options. That is, reasoning with your mind and any property you have to accomplish your goals - force is a later moral consideration than those principles because of an egoist base.

"Blame" is a word that all self-respecting men should ban from their personal vocabulary. Blame is the language of victims and in and of itself it obstructs reason by directing thoughts in an unproductive direction.

The extereme version of this game is the fellow who is suffering and casts about for someone to blame for is circumstances. I know that's not what you are endorsing here but I am suggesting that you are endorsing a millder form of the same phenomenon. To the extent that you are thinking about who is to blame you are not thinking about how to get out of the situation and thus you are wasting precious intellectual energies and academic pursuits. In a situation where your life is in danger you are quite literally putting your survival at risk. Insofar as Objectivism is concerned with using reason to survive and flourish this is ipso facto un-Objectivist.

Now you might allow that blaming the robber is pointless but in more friendly situations establishiing blame is appropriate. But there again I would challenge that though for different reasons. In business situations, for example, blame (and it's opposite, CYA), leads to wasted efforts that are better directed at finding solutions. Similarly in marriage and other close relationships. Blame is toxic.

If not blame, what? Well, I'm certainly not suggesting that the distinction between a robber's choice and the "choice" of a falling tree. It may be that the best option is to beg for your life and try to persuade him to change his mind about robbing you. In a friendly situation it may well be appropriate to talk to someone about the choices they are making and how they are affecting others around and what the consequences might be (e.g. getting fired or divorced). But in the most important situations, and particularly where we are talking about an intransigent individuals, it's almost always better to frame the issue as one of choosing among alternatives available in light of the choices of others.

Finally, few things cause paralysis of reason quite like the belief that you have no choice. That is, in and of itself, a toxic thought. The more critical and dangerous the situation, the more crucial it is for you to think clearly and creatively. Even in situations that are critical but where time is not a factor, such as enduring socialism, you will be far better off focusing on creating and weighing alternatives among which to choose and act than fixing blame appropriately.

Where blame is most appropriate is in a friendly setting where you are discussing rights and responsibilties, about future choices. If, for example, you and I were to sit down and decide how we were going to share a piece of land that we discovered together we might establish rules and agree on divisions etc. I might say, if your tree falls across my fence its your responsiblity to clean up the mess. Fixing blame ahead of time is entirely useful. After the fact with unreasonable people, not nearly so much.

...Getting people on your side is an important measure to combat growing ideology, before the worst happens. As I said before, it's not possible to control a person's mind in order to change their mind, the only way to get people on your side and stay on your side is to get them to believe your side is right. Deceiving them to be on your side (I know you were talking about deception before, but I'm only talking about deception of say, trolling, not of writing a contract then acting like you never wrote a contract) would be improper to the extent you would be undermining a goal of rational interaction....

Here, I think, I am not so much disagreed as disinterested and unpersuaded of the value of the effort. I am not saying there is no place for political participation. I am simply saying that it is grossly overvalued and a distraction. If I were a totalitarian dictator the next best thing to worshipful subjects would be to have my subjects engaged in endless political debates as they did my will.

As an aside, I agree that deception is an inferior choice to persuasion when dealing with reasonable men. But the question is how to deal with unreasonable men. And I do not mean to suggest assuming people are unreasonable but I think it's unreasonable to ignore the evidence freely available.

Then there are very blatant levels of force where the response is straightforward. It would be the same as Bluecherry's post about war, except on an individual level. Use as much force in retaliate as is necessary to remove the immediate threat on your existence without being suicidal. And if you *can* help it without putting your own life in further danger, don't kill or harm innocents. If someone is robbing your house, it is justifiable to shoot to kill, because that is likely the only way to remove the threat. If the robber's demand is money, and has bulletproof armor and a submachine gun, it's probably smarter to hand over the money, then consider moving out of town.

This is a tricky subject and one best left for later discussion. Once the bullets start flying the game changes substantially. In a sense, of course, we are already under the muzzle of a gun but let's focus first on non-violent (but possibly "forceful" in Randian terms) options.

How to resist socialism is at a different scale, individual up against an entire society, with different considerations. (By the way, that's what We The Living is about, so I'd highly recommend reading it.) Socialism as a political ideology can come at different levels of current implementation, and its leaders are at different levels of irrationality. Then there are also underlings to consider who initiate force for those leaders. Even the popularity of the political system must be taken into account. If implementation is at a degree that is approaching the level of communist Russia, I wouldn't recommend persuasion. Things may be so far gone that revolution is needed. True, that's an extreme, but the work necessary to remove the threat to your existence may demand that. Submission I say is not an option, because that's just giving up entirely on personal motivation and values, when I suggested earlier that only death can reduce your options to zero. Actually, total loss of a sense of self reduces your options to zero, because that eliminates values to pursue anyway. Cue 1984 again.

I'm getting tired, so I will stop here for now. I think of covered some concerns regarding persuasion not already mentioned, and two categories of retaliation (submissive compliance, and violence). I'll probably get to "violation of the spirit of the law" and deception/black market later. But feel free to respond to what I have written so far.

I'll leave this aside for now since 1984 has covered it and I have, or will, reply to him there. I think my first points in this post is where we should concentrate our discussion.

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And what notoriously difficult means are you aware of for the prevention of suicide? Persuasive discourse you say? Physical intervention (force) if you are present, providing they are not a suicide bomber? The pursuit of a goal is no guarantee of success. This applies to the implementation of socialism as well.

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You know one of those times when you type something out meticulously, then you accidentally delete it? Yeah, I just had one of those moments. So here's the condensed version:

1. We can differentiate between socialism as a statist political structure, and socialism as an economic system.

2. Whether the latter can survive or not is purely a scientific matter.

3. I think it is accurate to say that whether the former can survive or not depends on active cooperation of the majority of people.

This point, I think, is the reason why I'm little interested in the economic-only consideration. If people desire the (perverse) consequences of it then it can survive as long as they do.

This brings us to what is, I think, the most crucial quesiton here: is it possible to decouple your survival from that of the majority socialists? If not, then they will drag you down with them. But if so, what would that look like?

I am suggesting it would look like "resisting socialism".

4. I think there are, like I said, spontaneous orders that the statist political structure depends on.

5. One of them is, as you outline, the "collective action problem": if only a few individuals withdraw their support while most of their fellow subjects maintain their compliance, the force of the state will ordinarily be quite sufficient to bring them individually in line.

6. Only when the public opinion is strong enough (e.g. Egypt) does collective action constraints ease to matter.7. There are other invisible hand mechanisms that can perhaps explain why mass resistance itself doesn't come about regardless of the amount of oppression.

I think Objectivists should operate on the assumption that they are, and always will be, a small minority. Further, the more you cooperate in your resistence the more you become exactly the sort of target that oppressive governments are best at dealing with. For this to work it has to work at the margins. It has to be the case that an individual has a perfectly rational basis for resisting socialism all by himself (or perhaps, at most, in cooperation with family and close friends).

8. Perhaps even ones that Objectivists or people intending to promote liberty sometimes unknowingly help to perpetuate.

Sadly, I think this is all too true.

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I'm curious how one would separate socialism between political and economic systems. Economics has to do with raising food, producing goods, trade between individuals. Left free of political intervention, this is capitalism. It is only via political intervention into the realm of economics (property rights/individual rights) that one can arrive at Fascism, Socialism, Communism etc.

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And what notoriously difficult means are you aware of for the prevention of suicide? Persuasive discourse you say? Physical intervention (force) if you are present, providing they are not a suicide bomber? The pursuit of a goal is no guarantee of success. This applies to the implementation of socialism as well.

At the risk of stretching the metaphor to the breaking point, my goal is less in preventing the suicide and more in getting untangled from him before he jumps.

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A few more quotes that are indicative of the cause or what is at the root of socialism

The Ayn Rand Letter

Vol. 1, No. 11 February 28, 1972

. . . And The Response--Part II

Newspapers do not create a culture, they are its product. They are transmission belts that carry ideas (of socialism or capitalism) from the universities to the general public.

The Ayn Rand Letter

Vol. 1, No. 24 August 28, 1972

A Preview--Part III

The intellectuals serve as guides, as trend-setters, as the transmission belts or middlemen between philosophy and the culture.

The Ayn Rand Letter

Vol. III, No. 9 January 28, 1974

Philosophical Detection

If laymen did no more than learn to identify the nature of such fruit (i.e. socialism) and stop munching it or passing it around, they would stop being the victims and the unwary transmission belts of philosophical poison. But a minimal grasp of philosophy is required in order to do it.

The Letters of Ayn Rand

The Later Years (1960-1981)

History is determined by men's philosophical convictions. It is philosophy that brought the world to its present state, and it is only philosophy that can save it—a philosophy of reason, individualism and capitalism.
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I'll leave this aside for now since 1984 has covered it and I have, or will, reply to him there. I think my first points in this post is where we should concentrate our discussion.

Oh, 1984, the book!

You meant to say 2046. =P

I'll get to responding to you sometime soon.

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Mia culpa, vanity seems to always win. I am no expert, but damn it if I don't feel at times I am.

Hernan you do not pocess a full understanding of Oism. As proof , consider all of my posts concerning yours.

What is it you are arugeing for? The winner of an application of force? You state over and over again that 'socialism'(here I include your notion of taking from thy neighbor), is a dominant force unto itself. I countered by showing that it is parasitic in nature, weirdly you agreed. So if established , but not dependent on that establishment, we agree socialism is parasitic , how is it that good is not antecedent of the evil that is parasitic?

From the perspective of individual existence, your arguements would favor joining the socialist/collectivist paradigm to gain benefits. Most of the world's population seems to think your position is correct, yes? the prevalence of socialism is the appeal to envy and somesuch? If by force you wish to benefit your existence, how could it be that an advocate of force to sustain one's life be so stupid as to not recoginize the strategic advantage of seeking to join and or rule the 'most' forceful branch of the harbingers of things to come?

What is your reason for not becoming Mussolini?

My overall point being, that the 'force' that drives mankind is ideas. Socialists/collectivists/capitalists as humans can only plan actions based on ideas. If their ideas(their reasoning) are false then reality being what it is ,will bring justice to them. Therefore it is best to start from a reasoning that best describes what reality is. In conjucntion with mans' association with what that is. Objectivism is currently the best explanantion.

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Mia culpa, vanity seems to always win. I am no expert, but damn it if I don't feel at times I am. Hernan you do not pocess a full understanding of Oism. As proof , consider all of my posts concerning yours.

I'm glad you returned to the discusion and you've raised some great questions here. For the record, I've never claimed to be an Objectivist, much less an expert on it, but I do know more about it than you give me credit.

What is it you are arugeing for? The winner of an application of force?

"Force" defined in the Randian sense, exclusive of violence but including deception, yes. Further, I have been most careful to suggest only that "force" (avoidance and deception) be applied in response to force (in this case, the figurative muzzle of the gun but in actuality, law back by real guns).

Imagine for the moment that the Atlas Society had published the book Resisting Socialism as I've described previously. The blurb on the back of the book says something like, "learn how to survive and flourish without converting socialists to Objectivism but as well, or better, than if you had." Would that interest you?

Of course, the key moral question we are considering here is precisely whether it is "ok" to use deception against those using force against us. Nobody, so far, has argued that it is not. (Tara Smith would, by the way.) And, yet, for some reason, the above hypothetical remains a matter of some trepidation.

You state over and over again that 'socialism'(here I include your notion of taking from thy neighbor), is a dominant force unto itself. I countered by showing that it is parasitic in nature, weirdly you agreed. So if established , but not dependent on that establishment, we agree socialism is parasitic , how is it that good is not antecedent of the evil that is parasitic?

That is the million dollar question. It is the question that man has asked since the he was first able to reason. I beleive Rand's theories bring this question in to much sharper relief but they do not answer it. To answer it you must look at human nature and the human condition, something Rand studiously avoided (she believed in tabula rasa). As I hinted earlier, you will find the answer in evolution and the survival of the fittest. The challenge for mankind is to rise above it's natural origin and that is a task greatly complicated by man's mortality. The wisest have a tendency to drop dead only to be replaced by fools. Education mitigates against this but guess who runs the schools!

From the perspective of individual existence, your arguements would favor joining the socialist/collectivist paradigm to gain benefits.

I must intercede here to say you are dead wrong. I am suggesting something far more radical than that. I am suggesting a virtual Galt's Gulch, an escape from the socialist/collectivist paradigm while living among it.

Most of the world's population seems to think your position is correct, yes? the prevalence of socialism is the appeal to envy and somesuch? If by force you wish to benefit your existence, how could it be that an advocate of force to sustain one's life be so stupid as to not recoginize the strategic advantage of seeking to join and or rule the 'most' forceful branch of the harbingers of things to come? What is your reason for not becoming Mussolini?

I'm not quite sure what you are saying here and it is complicated by the mistaken opening sentence but let me try to answer the last: If I knew how to become a Mussolini, and by that I assume you mean a position of power over a corrupt system, I would not for, essentially, Christian reasons.

My overall point being, that the 'force' that drives mankind is ideas. Socialists/collectivists/capitalists as humans can only plan actions based on ideas. If their ideas(their reasoning) are false then reality being what it is ,will bring justice to them. Therefore it is best to start from a reasoning that best describes what reality is. In conjucntion with mans' association with what that is. Objectivism is currently the best explanantion.

Ideas are a "force" (Obviously not a Randian force.) But as I noted previously, there is enough truth to socialist ideas to allow their perpetuation. Restricting yourself to "showing" their ideas to be false through argument in persuasion is like tying both hands behind your back. Commumism lasted 70 years but although it collapsed relatively peacefullly, it would probably have lasted a lot longer were it not for the stark contrast that capitalism offered. Where is the Objectivist contrast to socialism? If Objectivists dutifullly obey socialist law then they will suffer the same fate as the socialists and nobody will ever be the wiser.

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"Of course, the key moral question we are considering here is precisely whether it is "ok" to use deception against those using force against us. Nobody, so far, has argued that it is not. (Tara Smith would, by the way.)"

What makes you believe she wouldn't ever support such a thing? The Nazi example I mentioned before is very commonly cited among people associated with Objectivism and I just largely expect I would have heard by now if she had argued that it was never ok or implied such.

"To answer it you must look at human nature and the human condition, something Rand studiously avoided (she believed in tabula rasa)."

Tabula rasa as we're used to using it around here doesn't mean we have no existing nature, it just means we don't have knowledge we're born with. Our body and brain certainly have a specific nature from the start and always will and Rand did write about this. She used as an illustration a comparison of our brains being like a computer and when it is new, when we're first coming into life, it is what it is and has particular capabilities and ways of functioning, but that's about it. All kinds of files, information, need to be acquired along the way as you use the computer/brain. We aren't born knowing how to do calculous or what a jellyfish is and the computer doesn't have essays you were assigned for homework already in there upon being built.

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What makes you believe she wouldn't ever support such a thing? The Nazi example I mentioned before is very commonly cited among people associated with Objectivism and I just largely expect I would have heard by now if she had argued that it was never ok or implied such.

She seems to believe that it is bad for you to exercise force, in the Randian sense, and not just in terms of the consequences to others and their reaction and consequences back to you. She asserts a psychic injury from lying, for example (it requires holding untruths which creates psychological tension or something like that).

Tabula rasa as we're used to using it around here doesn't mean we have no existing nature, it just means we don't have knowledge we're born with. Our body and brain certainly have a specific nature from the start and always will and Rand did write about this. She used as an illustration a comparison of our brains being like a computer and when it is new, when we're first coming into life, it is what it is and has particular capabilities and ways of functioning, but that's about it. All kinds of files, information, need to be acquired along the way as you use the computer/brain. We aren't born knowing how to do calculous or what a jellyfish is and the computer doesn't have essays you were assigned for homework already in there upon being built.

My impression is that this is where she started, she wanted to rule out accessing knowledge through intuition, as philsophers and ordinary folk are so keen to do. ("I feel it therefore it must be true.") However, she, and her followers, seem to have taken this much further toward the classic tabula rasa. The computer analogy is an apt metaphor (distinguishing hardware and software). Human biology is much more complicated than that and if there is one place where socialists have a firmer grasp on truth than Objectivists it is in the appreciation of human nature. ("Oh, I'm sorry that the economy is bad and you lost your job, but, look, a rich man!")

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"She seems to believe that it is bad for you to exercise force, in the Randian sense, and not just in terms of the consequences to others and their reaction and consequences back to you. She asserts a psychic injury from lying, for example (it requires holding untruths which creates psychological tension or something like that)."

Self-defense is another story. The problem is initiating some form of force or going beyong what is required to defend yourself. After all, it isn't fine to use physical force on people out of the blue either, but it is ok to do so to defend yourself. Somebody initiating force against you takes away the option to just go about your business like normal leaving only negative consequences you would not be suffering if somebody wasn't acting irrationally or some form of force to try to counter them and hopefully set things right again.

"However, she, and her followers, seem to have taken this much further toward the classic tabula rasa."

How so?

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