Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Living for the state

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 177
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

My goal, for the moment, is clarifying any misconceptions you, or anyone reading this, may have regarding my outlook on globalization. I have no other goal.   An individual is the ultimate minority

Don't worry - I only got it after a lot of reading and lectures too, and actually some very thoughtful posts here too.  Some of that is really deep and outside of my interest points (ethics and politi

Your tribalistic thinking is for savages.

Is this a stupid physicist/mystic, whose positions you do not respect?

Do you seriously expect people to check out video you post, after the silliness you've demonstrated? Do you think that discussing stupid ideas with rational people who take ideas seriously will lend your ideas -- and you -- some credibility?
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ignoring all the unintentional hate, getting back on track, statements a) "Man must live for the state" and b ) "I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine" have, depending on how one looks at them: 1) a) living only for society, but not for oneself; and b ) living for oneself but not for others, or 2) a) living for oneself in order to live for society; and b ) living for oneself and intending to favorably impact society.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
Link to post
Share on other sites

Who or what is more important: Individual or Society? Bill Gates or Microsoft? President Obama or the government? If you picked the first part of every question, then you should favor globalization from below. If you picked the second, you should favor globalization from above (the "shadow government" model). In addition to answering the questions, please provide your view on globalization.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From Original Post:

Objectivists do not see themselves in the statement "Man must…" simply because that form of the statement is far too open ended, or unconstrained. The object of the living, given as some arbitrary state, is a thing to be avoided. The old Soviet Union is an excellent case study of why. IF however one constrains "the state" to being one bound to and limited by several Objectivist principles, there may be several, if not a significant fraction, of Objectivists willing to "live for that specific state", yet without any particular compunction or feeling that they 'must'. Those principles are primarily that the only reason for the existence of the state is to provide: 1. Recourse for disputes involving the use of force, and fraud, between citizens. and 2. Recourse in case of, and reasonable protection from, the initiation of force from outside the territory administered by said state. Those principles would secondarily demand that any other 'services' provided by the state, be provided in accord with a strict interpretation of social contract theory of government and require the funding of these ancillary services be entirely by the citizens who choose to 'opt in' for any given service.

 

As to the three 'varieties' of the statement, I would suggest three is an incomplete list. I would also suggest that such a list is moot anyway, because the opening statement, "Man must live for himself." is a truism. If one does not live for oneself, one is by definition against oneself, which I would assert, is the immoral (and self destructive) position. Therefore one must (in order to be a moral person) be for oneself.

 

I do not assert that the USA as it exists is an 'ideal' state. No Russians I have ever met face to face have ever claimed that, for either the USSR, or Russia today. This is not a USA vs Russia issue, this is an issue with ALL states that have yet to exist. NONE of them have been executed from a consistently moral foundation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On another tangent: "Shadow Government" is an interesting concept that, as yet, has too many definitions to be useful in civil conversation. It can refer to anything from Russian Oligarchs, to the Tri-Lateral Commission, to 'the corporate elite', to an Hierarchy of Ancient Adepts. Please let us define our arbitrary groupings of players by their real properties, not by their presumed function.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

From Original Post:

Objectivists do not see themselves in the statement "Man must…" simply because that form of the statement is far too open ended, or unconstrained. The object of the living, given as some arbitrary state, is a thing to be avoided. The old Soviet Union is an excellent case study of why. IF however one constrains "the state" to being one bound to and limited by several Objectivist principles, there may be several, if not a significant fraction, of Objectivists willing to "live for that specific state", yet without any particular compunction or feeling that they 'must'. Those principles are primarily that the only reason for the existence of the state is to provide: 1. Recourse for disputes involving the use of force, and fraud, between citizens. and 2. Recourse in case of, and reasonable protection from, the initiation of force from outside the territory administered by said state. Those principles would secondarily demand that any other 'services' provided by the state, be provided in accord with a strict interpretation of social contract theory of government and require the funding of these ancillary services be entirely by the citizens who choose to 'opt in' for any given service.

 

As to the three 'varieties' of the statement, I would suggest three is an incomplete list. I would also suggest that such a list is moot anyway, because the opening statement, "Man must live for himself." is a truism. If one does not live for oneself, one is by definition against oneself, which I would assert, is the immoral (and self destructive) position. Therefore one must (in order to be a moral person) be for oneself.

 

I do not assert that the USA as it exists is an 'ideal' state. No Russians I have ever met face to face have ever claimed that, for either the USSR, or Russia today. This is not a USA vs Russia issue, this is an issue with ALL states that have yet to exist. NONE of them have been executed from a consistently moral foundation.

 

"Man must live for the state" is taken from We the Living. This is what Ayn Rand saw during the hard, anarchic transitional time when the U.S.S.R. was only forming. I remember that those posters in Russian actually said: "Ты должен жить для страны." This literally translates to "You should live for the country." So, should is hardened to must by Ayn Rand, and the state is misinterpreted by Objectivists to mean the government instead of the country.

 

As to "Man must live for himself" being a truism, that is exactly right. More than that, it was a covert (obvious) truism that was already meant by that statement "Man must live for the state" in its original meaning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The following question suggests that people are incapable of thinking for themselves:

Who or what is more important: Individual or Society? Bill Gates or Microsoft? President Obama or the government? If you picked the first part of every question, then you should favor globalization from below. If you picked the second, you should favor globalization from above (the "shadow government" model). In addition to answering the questions, please provide your view on globalization.

Rational individuals are able to distinguish from Microsoft, a private enterprise, and popular government. Rational people understand that Bill Gates, as an individual, pursued his personal ambition to create a company that secured his fortune, while producing a product that not merely advanced human comfort, but increased productivity worldwide.

Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton were politicians. They followed their individual ambitions to the highest political office for the purpose of controlling other individuals, massive amounts of money that they (the presidents) did not earn, and a vast array of weapons, legions of soldiers, as well as the option of peering into your private lives at a whim. Rational people know this. 

Globalization, a word only brought into use in the past generation, is essentially international trade, communications, and an awareness of interconnected global markets. 

 

From the Silk Road of the 3rd Century BCE, to the discovery of the New World, to the creation of the transoceanic telegraph cable, humanity has improved the general living conditions of unknown billions of people through man's ingenuity and commerce; let me emphasize: the creations of individual men designing and building for their own personal ambitions were the cause of greater societies. The unknown millions that perished in two world wars were the results of governments, lead by men whose minds were bent on the idea that they were "saving the world," or "making the world safe for democracy," or some other such irrational motivation.

 

So, perhaps the rhetorical question should read: what is the right action? Build more industries that create the things people want, or invest more power to charismatic leaders, who promise to "save the world"? Rational individual don't have to think very long to know the answer to that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On another tangent: "Shadow Government" is an interesting concept that, as yet, has too many definitions to be useful in civil conversation. It can refer to anything from Russian Oligarchs, to the Tri-Lateral Commission, to 'the corporate elite', to an Hierarchy of Ancient Adepts. Please let us define our arbitrary groupings of players by their real properties, not by their presumed function.

 

Sorry Skylab, but Ilya doesn't believe in identity.or definition.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Man must live for the state" is taken from We the Living. This is what Ayn Rand saw during the hard, anarchic transitional time when the U.S.S.R. was only forming. I remember that those posters in Russian actually said: "Ты должен жить для страны." This literally translates to "You should live for the country." So, should is hardened to must by Ayn Rand, and the state is misinterpreted by Objectivists to mean the government instead of the country.

 

As to "Man must live for himself" being a truism, that is exactly right. More than that, it was a covert (obvious) truism that was already meant by that statement "Man must live for the state" in its original meaning.

That, sir, is an excellent example of 'double-think'. You twist your own words, and have clearly never read Marx last manuscript.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On another tangent: "Shadow Government" is an interesting concept that, as yet, has too many definitions to be useful in civil conversation. It can refer to anything from Russian Oligarchs, to the Tri-Lateral Commission, to 'the corporate elite', to an Hierarchy of Ancient Adepts. Please let us define our arbitrary groupings of players by their real properties, not by their presumed function.

The wealthiest individuals are in the Tri-lateral Commission, so, for simplicity's sake, let's consider them as the shadow government in the making.

 

Globalization, a word only brought into use in the past generation, is essentially international trade, communications, and an awareness of interconnected global markets. 

 

[...] let me emphasize: the creations of individual men designing and building for their own personal ambitions were the cause of greater societies. The unknown millions that perished in two world wars were the results of governments, lead by men whose minds were bent on the idea that they were "saving the world," or "making the world safe for democracy," or some other such irrational motivation.

 

So, perhaps the rhetorical question should read: what is the right action? Build more industries that create the things people want, or invest more power to charismatic leaders, who promise to "save the world"? Rational individual don't have to think very long to know the answer to that.

So, by you, globalization is seen only from the economical perspective. You would rather have our societies become mere economies than politically or ideologically bound people. People already live for the economy. That seems to be your goal. Yes, people create, initiate, cause societies (however you put it), but societies is what results, not a mere collection of traders (i.e., a market) living for the sake of the economy. As for governments, that's an example of globalization from above, which I oppose. Governments are not the ultimate societies and should never be.

 

Sorry Skylab, but Ilya doesn't believe in identity.or definition.

Repairman, please stop denigrating me, especially while you already well know what I believe. I believe in the law of identity and all identities there are. But in order to connect all identities, I also believe in the middle ground, which conflicts only with the law of excluded middle. I deem Objectivist black&white view correct but incomplete.

 

That, sir, is an excellent example of 'double-think'. You twist your own words, and have clearly never read Marx last manuscript.

Please, tell me what is so ambiguous about my comment on "Man must live for the state?" I am Russian and fluent in Russian, and I was also born in the U.S.S.R. and know its history. I said only what I knew. Now, if you found a contradiction in my post, please show it. Also, I have not read Marx, but I really want to. The problem is that there is so much to read and learn and just not enough time. I still haven't finished reading all of Ayn Rand yet. Thank you for your recommendation, though. It's on my list now :) Did Marx change his views at the end of his life?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering you've already ruined your own credibility, you need not blame others for pointing out the obvious.

 

Repairman, please stop denigrating me, especially while you already well know what I believe. I believe in the law of identity and all identities there are. But in order to connect all identities, I also believe in the middle ground, which conflicts only with the law of excluded middle. I deem Objectivist black&white view correct but incomplete.

Does this quote make sense to anyone, other than the writer?

 

How can anyone know what you believe? On so many postings, you've reversed your positions, distorted definitions, and dismissed attempts for clarity. Exposing frauds is a hobby for some Objectivists. I will not stop denigrating you, as you choose to continue your exasperating and comical attempt to prove that you are the "smartest" person on the internet. You have been humbled so many times, by me and others, so much that I truly get the impression that self-inflicted punishment is one of your misguided beliefs. You want me to continue holding your weak statements up for further scrutiny, start making comprehensive and accurate claims. Offer CREDIBLE evidence of "the shadow government." And it wouldn't hurt if you stayed focused on the topic, and stop crying every time someone makes an authentic critique.

Edited by Repairman
Link to post
Share on other sites

My goal, for the moment, is clarifying any misconceptions you, or anyone reading this, may have regarding my outlook on globalization. I have no other goal.

 

 

So, by you, globalization is seen only from the economical perspective. You would rather have our societies become mere economies than politically or ideologically bound people. People already live for the economy. That seems to be your goal. Yes, people create, initiate, cause societies (however you put it), but societies is what results, not a mere collection of traders (i.e., a market) living for the sake of the economy. As for governments, that's an example of globalization from above, which I oppose. Governments are not the ultimate societies and should never be.

An individual is the ultimate minority. Groups of individuals form markets, whether they identify themselves as such or not. They buy things. They buy things, because they need and want things. When more things are available to more markets, life is better for those people in those markets. If they are not a market of traders, voluntarily buying and selling, they become an angry mob of looters, forcing possessions from their rightful owners, until their is nothing left. You may choose a society governed by the rules of voluntary trade, (laissez-faire capitalism); you may choose a mixed economy, wherein the appointed government administrators are allowed to interfere with markets, or taken to the extreme, you may have the ludicrous command economy, wherein government administrators assume total control of production and distribution. Many people believe that the latter two options are the most fair to all people. Whether or not this could possibly be so is historically rendered a "no-brainer." The most famous example of the dangers of command economies is the brief history of the Soviet Union. The forced labor and the forced starvation made prisoners of otherwise lawful citizens, millions received death-sentences. The legacy is a society that has no respect for their authorities, only fear.

Individuals have natural rights. Among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe a man has the right to possess that which he earned, that which he paid for through his efforts and ingenuity. He has a right to negotiate for his pay. He has a right to negotiate the price of his services and wares. Most of us know this as free-enterprise, market or laissez-faire capitalism. It has its flaws. It is not perfect. It does not promise Utopia. But dare you believe the criminals who promise Utopia?

 

Addendum: There is another option for free-market societies: primitive, or subsistence societies. Would you care to try living in one?

Edited by Repairman
Link to post
Share on other sites
Did Marx change his views at the end of his life?

Doubtful. It is not likely the author of Das Kapital would recant his life's work. He died in 1883, living in the industrial slums of London, the only place from which he was not expelled. Resulting largely to his choice of living in squalor, four of his seven children died before reaching adulthood. He lived by his principles, and his children died by them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering you've already ruined your own credibility, you need not blame others for pointing out the obvious.

Does this quote make sense to anyone, other than the writer?

 

There is no good translation since it is the cognitive equivalent of noise. 

 

OK – I better explain that:  He's rationalizing by deduction from an irrational a priori ideal.  The real issue is that he has the Primacy of Consciousness.  He can back feed Identity and assert absurdities since it’s disconnected from existence. 

 

That is the reason I bailed at the beginning of his other thread.  It would be tolerable if he was simply getting our opinion or help understand our position, but that is obviously not the case.  You have to play logic deuces wild (which is why that fallacy is so alluring) in order to quote a  a system whose best propoents killed 140 million dead “workers” that were murdered through peace time polices building the “worker” paradise.  Idealism will do that to you.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Please, tell me what is so ambiguous about my comment on "Man must live for the state?" I am Russian and fluent in Russian, and I was also born in the U.S.S.R. and know its history. I said only what I knew. Now, if you found a contradiction in my post, please show it. Also, I have not read Marx, but I really want to. The problem is that there is so much to read and learn and just not enough time. I still haven't finished reading all of Ayn Rand yet. Thank you for your recommendation, though. It's on my list now :) Did Marx change his views at the end of his life?

Ambiguous is the phrase 'the state'. Man must NOT live for any state but a rigorously constrained one. Your most common contradictions (more than I care to address) are conflations of concepts that do not easily mix. Yes Karl Marx's 1884 manuscript opens with a stinging indictment of his followers. He goes on to expose several misapplications of his methods. By the end I was sad for the man, both because he never finished the manuscript, and because he felt so misunderstood.

 

Your characterization of Objectivism as black&white is a misunderstanding as well. I see in Objectivists, a deep understanding of the shades of grey. It is a source of much discussion, the reason for this forum in fact. I like to say 'the devil is in the details'. However, we are trying to point out that we have some FUNDAMENTAL metaphysical premises, that we will NOT compromise. Stubbornly challenging those on this forum usually results in deterioration of civil discussion.   

Edited by Skylab72
Link to post
Share on other sites

Doubtful. It is not likely the author of Das Kapital would recant his life's work. He died in 1883, living in the industrial slums of London, the only place from which he was not expelled. Resulting largely to his choice of living in squalor, four of his seven children died before reaching adulthood. He lived by his principles, and his children died by them.

He did not recant, he just issued a loud 'You misunderstood'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Spiral Architect:

Thank for the technical clarity. I am not as well versed on Objectivist Lexicon, however I am reading Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Perhaps one day I'll be able to identify and diagram psycho-babble in proper terms.

 

There is no good translation since it is the cognitive equivalent of noise. 

 

OK – I better explain that:  He's rationalizing by deduction from an irrational a priori ideal.  The real issue is that he has the Primacy of Consciousness.  He can back feed Identity and assert absurdities since it’s disconnected from existence. 

 

That is the reason I bailed at the beginning of his other thread.  It would be tolerable if he was simply getting our opinion or help understand our position, but that is obviously not the case.  You have to play logic deuces wild (which is why that fallacy is so alluring) in order to quote a  a system whose best propoents killed 140 million dead “workers” that were murdered through peace time polices building the “worker” paradise.  Idealism will do that to you.   

It was not my original intent to stifle a contributing writer, but that was a bit too much. If I said I didn't take some satisfaction from it, I would be lying.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Offer CREDIBLE evidence of "the shadow government."

There is the Bilderberg Group as one example. Read up criticims on it at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group. Some of the same people who go to this group also go to the Trilateral Commission.

 

My goal, for the moment, is clarifying any misconceptions you, or anyone reading this, may have regarding my outlook on globalization. I have no other goal.

 

An individual is the ultimate minority. Groups of individuals form markets, whether they identify themselves as such or not. They buy things. They buy things, because they need and want things. When more things are available to more markets, life is better for those people in those markets. If they are not a market of traders, voluntarily buying and selling, they become an angry mob of looters, forcing possessions from their rightful owners, until their is nothing left. You may choose a society governed by the rules of voluntary trade, (laissez-faire capitalism); you may choose a mixed economy, wherein the appointed government administrators are allowed to interfere with markets, or taken to the extreme, you may have the ludicrous command economy, wherein government administrators assume total control of production and distribution. Many people believe that the latter two options are the most fair to all people. Whether or not this could possibly be so is historically rendered a "no-brainer." The most famous example of the dangers of command economies is the brief history of the Soviet Union. The forced labor and the forced starvation made prisoners of otherwise lawful citizens, millions received death-sentences. The legacy is a society that has no respect for their authorities, only fear.

Individuals have natural rights. Among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe a man has the right to possess that which he earned, that which he paid for through his efforts and ingenuity. He has a right to negotiate for his pay. He has a right to negotiate the price of his services and wares. Most of us know this as free-enterprise, market or laissez-faire capitalism. It has its flaws. It is not perfect. It does not promise Utopia. But dare you believe the criminals who promise Utopia?

 

Addendum: There is another option for free-market societies: primitive, or subsistence societies. Would you care to try living in one?

So, you think that wealth is all that people need. It's like saying that water is all that flowers need to survive. Your point of view is as extreme as that of the Soviet Union. Of course, I concede, only time will tell who is right.

"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" This is how a common capitalist views what you said: "money, greed, and bigger house." This is how I view it: "community, wellbeing, and happiness."

 

There is no good translation since it is the cognitive equivalent of noise. 

 

OK – I better explain that:  He's rationalizing by deduction from an irrational a priori ideal.  The real issue is that he has the Primacy of Consciousness.  He can back feed Identity and assert absurdities since it’s disconnected from existence. 

 

That is the reason I bailed at the beginning of his other thread.  It would be tolerable if he was simply getting our opinion or help understand our position, but that is obviously not the case.  You have to play logic deuces wild (which is why that fallacy is so alluring) in order to quote a  a system whose best propoents killed 140 million dead “workers” that were murdered through peace time polices building the “worker” paradise.  Idealism will do that to you.   

This is why I love to argue with intelligent opponents. You help me find and define flaws in my logic. Two key things that you found about my view: Irrational a priori ideal and the Primacy of Consciousness. And you are right. The problem with your criticism is that you are being so negative. You missed that I understood the flaws of Marxism and abandoned it later in that thread that you do not (unfortunately) visit anymore. What you call irrational is faith, which is belief, which is fundamental to a human being. I cannot imagine you being without a belief. However, your belief is that believing is irrational. Hmm, a contradiction of sorts. Let me explain how a belief starts. First there is imagination. A person imagines a wheel. Then there is belief--acceptance of imagination (note that belief can also be acceptance of knowledge--which is an inference based on a belief/trust that a person who shares the knowledge is not lying--but let's look at this primitive example for now). A person believes that this wheel will work in real life and tests it. Then there is factual knowledge. A person sees how a wheel works in real life and corrects his beliefs (hypotheses) in accordance. Then there is understanding and theoretical knowledge. A person tests a wheel in many different ways and records patterns in a theory.

Then you "believe" that the body of a person exists before his consciousness. That's fine, since we cannot trace where consciousness comes from, but please, do not ignore any parts of the evolution of human consciousness: imagination, belief, and knowledge.

 

Ambiguous is the phrase 'the state'. Man must NOT live for any state but a rigorously constrained one. Your most common contradictions (more than I care to address) are conflations of concepts that do not easily mix. Yes Karl Marx's 1884 manuscript opens with a stinging indictment of his followers. He goes on to expose several misapplications of his methods. By the end I was sad for the man, both because he never finished the manuscript, and because he felt so misunderstood.

 

Your characterization of Objectivism as black&white is a misunderstanding as well. I see in Objectivists, a deep understanding of the shades of grey. It is a source of much discussion, the reason for this forum in fact. I like to say 'the devil is in the details'. However, we are trying to point out that we have some FUNDAMENTAL metaphysical premises, that we will NOT compromise. Stubbornly challenging those on this forum usually results in deterioration of civil discussion.   

It's good that you noticed the ambiguity of the word "state." Unfortunately, this remains an ambiguity. That's why I prefer to say "society" instead. Does "society" also seem ambiguous to you? Yes, I integrate concepts that do not easily mix, but let's not ignore that it is still possible to comprehend their stable unities. A dictionary provides many different and sometimes even contradictory meanings to words, but we still trust dictionaries.

Yes, I might be misunderstanding Marx, so I will let go of him for now. He is not the primary concern here.

I am very interested in what is so "grey" in Objectivism. Please, enlighten me. I am serious about believing that all Objectivists think in black and white.

Link to post
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...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...