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*** Mod's note: Split from an earlier thread. -sN ***

 

This is an interesting thread. Having never read most of the thinkers mentioned, I feel pretty stupid here. Would you help me integrate the Oist statement existence exists into my system of thinking? In my logical model, there is everything and nothing. To keep this short, starting with subatomic particles and ending with Omniverse is everything. Would it be valid for me to equate my term everything to existence? If so, it would become: everything exists. Our relations to everything are built through perceptually identifying some things. Hence our body is our body and our environment is our environment. Something that exists is a part of everything that exists. Are there any fallacies in my thinking? Does existence have to be material or can it also include what is caused by matter (e.g., consciousness)? If a metaphysical concept can be identified with a spatiotemporal dimension, it can be included somewhere between particles and Omniverse. Does such existence have to be perceived deductively or inductively? Either way it's perceived, though, I deem it fits my model.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Honestly, I have no problem with Objectivism, but I am just not an Objectivist. I want to understand your definitions, and I want to sufficiently explain to you mine. Here is what I (think I) understand: You believe to know that unconscious matter creates its own conscious operator. You believe to know that in the beginning there was existence/everything (still need your clarifications here). I believe that in the beginning there was nothing. Here is an illustration of our thinking:

My belief:
0 -> 1 -> 2
nothing -> existence/everything -> something (elements of the model)

Your knowledge (?):
0 -> 1
existence/everything -> something (Reason -> Life)

The metaphysical/general difference is where we place the starting point. Since I place the starting point earlier than the starting point of Objectivists, Objectivist thinking can be a part of my own. However, my own thinking cannot be a part of Objectivism. Although both everything and nothing were in the beginning, the illustration can be traced with only one, so only one can be chosen. Concerning the details of "something," more still needs to be understood and figured out. I will post when I get more ideas.

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Ok, in order to analyze the details, I selected only those elements that correspond (in my view) to the "something" of Objectivism.

 

Organ--Aura == Brain--Mind (Reason)

Body--Environment == Body--Market (Life)

Society--Nature == Industry--(objective) Reality

 

In other words, one can look at it that Reality caused Reason caused Life. But there is more than one way one can look using my model.

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This is an interesting thread. Having never read most of the thinkers mentioned, I feel pretty stupid here. Would you help me integrate the Oist statement existence exists into my system of thinking? In my logical model, there is everything and nothing. To keep this short, starting with subatomic particles and ending with Omniverse is everything. Would it be valid for me to equate my term everything to existence? If so, it would become: everything exists. Our relations to everything are built through perceptually identifying some things. Hence our body is our body and our environment is our environment. Something that exists is a part of everything that exists. Are there any fallacies in my thinking? Does existence have to be material or can it also include what is caused by matter (e.g., consciousness)? If a metaphysical concept can be identified with a spatiotemporal dimension, it can be included somewhere between particles and Omniverse. Does such existence have to be perceived deductively or inductively? Either way it's perceived, though, I deem it fits my model.

The best i can do is say that the statements 'existence exists' and 'A=A' are Aristotelian referrentials that O-ism takes as true on face value.

 

OTH,  the basis of 'modern' philosophy-- beginning with Hume-- calls these two statements into question as a matter of philosophical practice.

 

Hence  Rand's hatred for Kant as 'evil', etc...

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Frank, I understand that. I would appreciate some constructive discussion, though. I posted the original message two days ago, and there is no discussion about these topics, as if I killed the thread. Do I have such a bad influence? I realize now that it's very important for me to understand this metaphysics before I go on to argue on anything else. It's crucial. This is a collective effort to expand our thinking. So, as a catalyst and a stimulus dosage, I offer to share a controversy with you. I am "sacrificing myself" for the sake of Reason. And Reason hates this, as you know. I am going to do something I know I am going to regret: I am going to do something useless and pointless. Even though I agree and do not question the premise of Reason, the main law of logic, A is A, I am going to go against Reason itself for just a sake of any or some sort of collaborative discussion, if any is possible. My premise: do anything to stimulate Reason. Shock it, tickle it - anything. Just not to kill it (hopefully). Hey, if John Galt was tortured without any damage to his body, why can't we do the same thing here? It may have been good for Galt, it may be good for us as well, no? This is especially directed at Harrison: what I am going to do is purely for emotional excitement of the Reason. Yes, it is trivial. Yes, it is stupid and self-contradictory. But why not, if it's fun, right? Ok then, here goes the volcano:

 

Once an axiom is questioned, it no longer serves as an axiom for everyone. And if an axiom is not for everyone, it no longer is an axiom. For example, consider this question more fully: if one can prove that "A is A" can be rationally questioned, would it imply that it is not necessary for it to be an axiom for everyone? Read the following only if you are interested in exploring this question. Otherwise, ignore it.

 

A is A?

 

Semantically speaking, A is A. It is true on paper, true in inorganic sciences, true for a robot. That is, it is formally or objectively true. It is ultimately the axiom to justify the virtue of selfishness and the whole philosophy of Objectivism, but I am going to show that this axiom is actually not adequate to justify your philosophy.

 

However, A is not A in the physical reality of an organic body. No two persons or organic entities are alike in all respects. There will always be differences, however small and seemingly trivial. The way to show it is to apply our reality, in which we live--not merely the man-made that we experience, but a true natural reality--to the statement "A is A." First differentiation that comes to mind is that the left A is different by position from the right A. The second is that the first A is different from the second A by the exact time interval when they were each typed and applied. Third, the perception of A applies only to an A, not necessarily to a B or something else, because of linguistic constrains. A “savage” would view it differently. And fourth, physical make up of letters, depending on media constraints (electronic or otherwise) has different constituent types (yes, electrons are different from each other too).

 

I realize that these locational, temporal, perceptual, and physical restrictions may be considered trivialities, but there is enough evidence to suggest that we do not understand reality completely as we learn new and surprising things about it all the time. For example, a westerner would accept that statement, but some tribe of people from Africa (I think one of the Bantu family) has a different linguistic and cultural background and understands nouns eventially (as force or be-ing) rather than discreetly (as a concrete entity), so even when translated correctly and read, they will still understand it differently. It's the basic conflict between the West and the East, and neither the former culture nor the latter are superior. “Savages,” as Objectivists call them, are people and some are realists also. Humans are various and neither is better than another in all respects. If someone is smarter than a “savage,” it does not mean that the “savage” is not a human being. So, what I am basically arguing for is that the statement "A is A" is true for some instances/individuals but incomplete for others. It is the conflict between the exclusive and the inclusive, the partial and the general, the two-valued and the many-valued logics.

 

In Rhetoric, Aristotle said: "all our actions have a contingent character; hardly any of them are determined by necessity" (Bizzell, Patricia and Bruce Herzberg, eds. The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. 2nd ed. New York: Bedford, 2001, p. 183). Hence you cannot say that all your actions are determined by your logic, as A is not necessarily A in real life, in actuality. Your competence does not necessarily equal your performance - the two are different. Ideas and matter are not the same, even though inseparable. Also compare Aristotle’s "[a]nd to change is also pleasant: change means an approach to nature, whereas invariable repetition of anything causes the excessive prolongation of a settled condition: therefore, says the poet, 'Change is in all things sweet.' " (ibid. 204) to Rand's view on change from The Fountainhead: "I've always thought that a feeling which changes never existed in the first place." However, on a second look, “A is A” does not reflect reality in neither general nor partial manner, and since reality can be considered to be about the details, “A is A” can be shown not to apply.

 

Even though Aristotle was wrong in some things and right in his logic, there are a lot of additions that had been made to his laws of logic. Let's consider many-valued logic, in which we can have 3 (e.g., "true", "false", and "unknown") or more values ad infinitum. It was discovered in 1920 while Ayn Rand was still developing her two-valued philosophy. Does it conflict with the law of identity? No, but the law of identity with an excluded middle conflicts with it. The many-valued logic has shown three nuances or details from our reality to be reflected in logic: possibility, necessity, and probability. In other words, over the period of over two thousand years of progress in thoughts since Aristotle, “A is A” can be additionally differentiated into “A is possibly A,” “A is necessarily A,” or “A is probably A.” For example, let’s consider A to be one of two people, John and Bill. They are both human beings, so they could fit into the category or a logical form of A for a human being, right? However, we know that “A is not A” because John is not Bill. By applying many-valued logic and looking at the composition of John and Bill, we can say that some of John’s composition is possibly Bill’s composition, or it’s probably or necessary in some respects. Even this logic won’t apply to the actuality, though, since we are applying it to subrealities of organs, cells, molecules, etc. Logic does not reflect reality perfectly. It is only in the mind, where it is complete, not outside of it.

 

What you consider good, such as food, and evil, such as poison, is another example of “black-or-white” logical fallacy. How do you battle poison when it’s already in your blood flow, such as after a venomous snake’s bite? You combat it with poison. Poison can be an anti-venom when applied properly and in small doses. This is called a homeopathic medicine, and it has saved lives. “Poison has allowed much progress in branches [sic], toxicology, and technology, among other sciences” and “Poisons are most often applied in industry, agriculture and other uses for other reasons than their toxicity” (from two Wikipedia articles). And do you really think that eating a lot of food would prolong your life? Not really. For example, read about Paul Bragg and his book The Miracle of Fasting: Proven Through History for Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Rejuvenation. Diets also save lives and change people for the better. The question should not be what, but how much. The same applies to “A is A,” that is, “how much of A is A”?

 

Also, in quantum computing, qubits enter a noisy channel and exit it while being entangled. The logic for a qubit is "0" or "1," when polarized, but both at the same time when non-localized in the channel. How does the law of identity explain that? How does it explain that electrons can be particles or waves? Yes, “A is A” applies in some instances in physics, such as an electron is an electron, but does not apply when we speak about the nature of something, whether reality or electrons. “A is A” is a merely definitional axiom - it is true in some instances and false in others, just as everything else and every other meaning.

 

Some critics say that Objectivists confuse a notion of "is" versus a romantic "ought." Aristotle also kept saying that an end is better than the beginning, and if you look at how you consider Life to be an end in itself and Reason as its beginning, then you may know (faultily like Aristotle) that Life is better than Reason. But Reason =/= Life (in the market); Reason -> (causes) Life (in the market). Aristotle admitted that his laws did not apply to future events. How, with only the law of identity, can there be an "ought" then? How can there be both "is" and "ought" at the same time? Another appropriate Aristotle's quote: "What aims at reality is better than what aims at appearance" (Bizzell 196). So here I see the same confusion as with Chomskyan grammar, which is binary and thus made for robots. Chomsky says that there is a digital (mathematical) infinity in our reality, but there isn’t one - it’s only in our minds. The same thing for “A is A” - the statement can only be true in our minds, but it is not necessary for it to correspond to the actual reality. It is exclusive to Western philosophy, but it is not inclusive or general of the whole humankind. There may be a different way to justify selfishness, one’s mind, and soul, and a new way does not need to depend only on this axiom.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
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Once an axiom is questioned, it no longer serves as an axiom for everyone. And if an axiom is not for everyone, it no longer is an axiom. For example, consider this question more fully: if one can prove that "A is A" can be rationally questioned, would it imply that it is not necessary for it to be an axiom for everyone? Read the following only if you are interested in exploring this question. Otherwise, ignore it.

Once an axiom is question[ed], it no longer serves as an axiom for everyone.

 

This is not the criteria for determining what is, or is not, an axiom. Borrowing from the Ayn Rand Lexicon:

An axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular speaker chooses to identify it or not. An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.

 

Aristotle employed the use of reaffirmation thru denial to establish the fact underscored from the lexicon,

 

f one can prove that "A is A" can be rationally questioned, would it imply that it is not necessary for it to be an axiom for everyone[.]

 

"A is A" can be rationally questioned, for instance:

"What, specifically, is 'A is A' applied?"

"What is the time, specifically, that 'A is A' is valid?"

"What is the location, specifically, to which 'A is A' refers?"

"What is the cause, specifically, that makes 'A', 'A'?"

 

 

You cite: No two persons or organic entities are alike in all respects.

 

True.

Person "B" differs from person "C" in many respects. Organic entity "B" differs from Organic entity "C" in many respects.

Yet, person "B" is person "B", and person "C" is person "C"; organic entity "B" is organic entity "B" while organic entity "C" is organic entity "C".

"A is A" only tells you that person "B" is person "B' and organic entity "C" is organic entity "C".

 

To establish that "person" B and "person" C differ in many respect is to shift (or equivocate) the "A" from the particular person {"B" or "C"} to "person."  But "person," per se, is not the entity or person of either "B" or "C", but an abstraction - that is, a concept. At this point, it the issue is bifurcated from person "B" or person "C' and organic entity "B" or organic entity "C" to "person" and "organic entity".

 

Does this elicit any essential differences to you, or am I just presenting you with something you perceive as a bunch of balderdash?

Edited by dream_weaver
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Once an axiom is question[ed], it no longer serves as an axiom for everyone.

 

This is not the criteria for determining what is, or is not, an axiom. Borrowing from the Ayn Rand Lexicon:

An axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular speaker chooses to identify it or not. An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.

 

Aristotle employed the use of reaffirmation thru denial to establish the fact underscored from the lexicon,

 

f one can prove that "A is A" can be rationally questioned, would it imply that it is not necessary for it to be an axiom for everyone[.]

 

"A is A" can be rationally questioned, for instance:

"What, specifically, is 'A is A' applied?"

"What is the time, specifically, that 'A is A' is valid?"

"What is the location, specifically, to which 'A is A' refers?"

"What is the cause, specifically, that makes 'A', 'A'?"

 

 

You cite: No two persons or organic entities are alike in all respects.

 

True.

Person "B" differs from person "C" in many respects. Organic entity "B" differs from Organic entity "C" in many respects.

Yet, person "B" is person "B", and person "C" is person "C"; organic entity "B" is organic entity "B" while organic entity "C" is organic entity "C".

"A is A" only tells you that person "B" is person "B' and organic entity "C" is organic entity "C".

 

To establish that "person" B and "person" C differ in many respect is to shift (or equivocate) the "A" from the particular person {"B" or "C"} to "person."  But "person," per se, is not the entity or person of either "B" or "C", but an abstraction - that is, a concept. At this point, it the issue is bifurcated from person "B" or person "C' and organic entity "B" or organic entity "C" to "person" and "organic entity".

 

Does this elicit any essential differences to you, or am I just presenting you with something you perceive as a bunch of balderdash?

 

 

What you are saying makes perfect sense to me. Proving or disproving the law of identity has equal results: the law of identity is there, and one cannot escape it. The differences that you pose, however, are essential in a semantic sense. To use Kenneth Burke's term: these concepts are substantial, viz., they are what they are and at the same time are standing underneath themselves. This is an infinite regression. What I argued for is that the law of identity can be criticized in its sole applicability to everything (or existence). I mentioned many-valued logic and quantum mechanics as some of alternatives. To us, they are viable. How viable? That's for us to decide. They do not conflict with the law of identity, and they exist in addition to it. But if not be in conflict with the law of identity is merely to be also in existence based on this law, wouldn't the philosophical substantiality of the Reason (in relation to its cause) have to be reintegrated into a greater infinity? Remember that there are also sets of different infinities (also known as cardinalities). Just as the set of integers is included in the set of real numbers, the law of identity and its logic (2 elements) is included in the many-valued logic (3+ elements).

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In practical / general terms "A is A" as it relates to poison would mean, arsenic is a poison. At a certain level (each person's metabolism may vary, and it may even be that certain levels can be tolerated through some kind of built up immunity)but at the level of toxicity to an individual it will kill them. The properties of arsenic will not change, A is A, the specific level needed to cause death will not change, A is A. The level of toxicity can not be what it is, and at the same time 'be' what it is not.

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In practical / general terms "A is A" as it relates to poison would mean, arsenic is a poison. At a certain level (each person's metabolism may vary, and it may even be that certain levels can be tolerated through some kind of built up immunity)but at the level of toxicity to an individual it will kill them. The properties of arsenic will not change, A is A, the specific level needed to cause death will not change, A is A. The level of toxicity can not be what it is, and at the same time 'be' what it is not.

The level of toxicity is the level of toxicity. However, as you correctly noticed, the specific level needed to cause death to an individual varies. In other words, the effects of poison (or of any other cause) vary among individuals. Now, if you want all people to follow Objectivism, since you want to build capitalism for all, you need to have a philosophy that all people can accept. I realize that the premise of Objectivism is that, if the law of identity is the base of all Reason, all people should accept it, right? Not really. It's circular reasoning. The issue here is that some people have built upon the law of identity new laws. The problem with "mystics" is that they abandoned the law of identity in favor of these new laws. It's their major flaw, I agree. However, the "mystics" can change and reintegrate the law of identity back into their "mystic" thinking, just as the Objectivists should be able to do with the new laws. But Objectivists do not want to change! Your entire philosophy is against change. That's the major flaw of Objectivism, in my humble opinion. The one path of a noncontradictory evolution is such: two-valued logic (the law of identity -> Newtonian mechanics -> Objectivism -> digital computing) -> many-valued logic (quantum mechanics -> quantum computing -> Neo-Objectivism). This path has not been completed for all human living yet. The advantage and potential of Objectivism is that it's the first philosophy for human life with a goal to be complete and on the right track toward its completion. But, let's be realistic, it does not include everyone right now because the majority of people are going toward the many-valued logic side (even subconsciously). The many-valued logic side is not irrational, but it is open-minded, since it rationally allows more freedom of emotions (directed at new opportunities in life with the many-valued logic). The way to look at the many-valued logic and the potential life philosophy based on it (Neo-Objectivism) is the noncontradictory integration of rational and irrational within open-mindedness.

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The level of toxicity is the level of toxicity. However, as you correctly noticed, the specific level needed to cause death to an individual varies. In other words, the effects of poison (or of any other cause) vary among individuals. Now, if you want all people to follow Objectivism, since you want to build capitalism for all, you need to have a philosophy that all people can accept. I realize that the premise of Objectivism is that, if the law of identity is the base of all Reason, all people should accept it, right? Not really. It's circular reasoning. The issue here is that some people have built upon the law of identity new laws. The problem with "mystics" is that they abandoned the law of identity in favor of these new laws. It's their major flaw, I agree. However, the "mystics" can change and reintegrate the law of identity back into their "mystic" thinking, just as the Objectivists should be able to do with the new laws. But Objectivists do not want to change! Your entire philosophy is against change. That's the major flaw of Objectivism, in my humble opinion. The one path of a noncontradictory evolution is such: two-valued logic (the law of identity -> Newtonian mechanics -> Objectivism -> digital computing) -> many-valued logic (quantum mechanics -> quantum computing -> Neo-Objectivism). This path has not been completed for all human living yet. The advantage and potential of Objectivism is that it's the first philosophy for human life with a goal to be complete and on the right track toward its completion. But, let's be realistic, it does not include everyone right now because the majority of people are going toward the many-valued logic side (even subconsciously). The many-valued logic side is not irrational, but it is open-minded, since it rationally allows more freedom of emotions (directed at new opportunities in life with the many-valued logic). The way to look at the many-valued logic and the potential life philosophy based on it (Neo-Objectivism) is the noncontradictory integration of rational and irrational within open-mindedness.

I think you missed my point about A is A and poison. If the toxic level for me is 5mg , then well that's what it is , no matter what I think about that or even if I know it or not, 5mg will kill me. Yours may be 6mg, but the same applies.

As to which "ism" or philosophy correctly describes reality( basically the goal of isms, yes?) only reality will answer.

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I think you missed my point about A is A and poison. If the toxic level for me is 5mg , then well that's what it is , no matter what I think about that or even if I know it or not, 5mg will kill me. Yours may be 6mg, but the same applies.

As to which "ism" or philosophy correctly describes reality( basically the goal of isms, yes?) only reality will answer.

The first thing you said is a tautology. The second basically asks to wait. Ok, let's wait.

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Here is a "realistic" situation: say, republicans win both congress and the presidency. They get rid of taxes and take control of only their beloved military, courts, and the police. We will live in Capitalism, right? Ok, then we remember about Ukraine. The Ukrainians ask to buy the high-grade nuclear missles from the U.S. They want to sign a contract that they will not use the missles against the U.S., and, by the time Ukrainians wipe out Russia with such missles (their current goal and dream), they will join the world-wide Capitalism spread by the U.S. The republicans being very interested in helping generate the economy of the southern states, where most of the weapon manifacturers are, decide to sign the contract with the Ukrainians. It's best for both sides, right? Evil Communist Russians will be killed off - that means no more altruism in the world. Economy will do great with the weapon manufacturing and the Ukrainians joining the trade. What could be better, right?

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... Objectivists should be able to do with the new laws. But Objectivists do not want to change!

Able to do what exactly? Integrate it into their knowledge?

Obviously, every rational person should be ready to integrate new laws of reality into their knowledge.

 

If the law contradicts something fundamental in Objectivism, then it does not make sense to call the new law Objectivism, but who cares. What's important is not what Objectivism says, as such, but what it the truth. And, every rational person will be ready to integrate new laws into their knowledge ... to the extent of their rationality.

 

Of course, integrating a new law is completely different from integrating any arbitrary proposition. In fact, they're opposites.

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Able to do what exactly? Integrate it into their knowledge?

Obviously, every rational person should be ready to integrate new laws of reality into their knowledge.

 

If the law contradicts something fundamental in Objectivism, then it does not make sense to call the new law Objectivism, but who cares. What's important is not what Objectivism says, as such, but what it the truth. And, every rational person will be ready to integrate new laws into their knowledge ... to the extent of their rationality.

 

Of course, integrating a new law is completely different from integrating any arbitrary proposition. In fact, they're opposites.

Yes, integrate it into their knowledge. The question is the extent of rationality and integration. Ask any physics professor and he or she will tell you that quantum mechanics is not any arbitrary proposition but in fact a very accurate science. The accuracy is not in whether, for example, an electron is a particle, but in the probability of the electron's position or velocity. However, the extent of Objectivist rationality is limited. Hence I propose to make Objectivism unlimited. This new Objectivism can be called, for example, Neo-Objectivism.

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I think the 'o'ist' solution to the 'world domination of capitalism' is to appeal to reason and show Russians and whomever else, that capitalism is the only political/economic system that recognizes and protects individual rights , rights belonging to all men by their nature.

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I think the 'o'ist' solution to the 'world domination of capitalism' is to appeal to reason and show Russians and whomever else, that capitalism is the only political/economic system that recognizes and protects individual rights , rights belonging to all men by their nature.

I would say that political systems enable economic systems. In this particular, yes, any political system should encourage markets by protecting individuals' right to property.

 

OTH, it's fairly obvious that you can run a non-democratic dictatorshio with developed, capitalistic markets. in this sense, Hayek is wrong: capitalism is not necessarily consistent with any other freediom than that to capitalize.

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I would say that political systems enable economic systems. In this particular, yes, any political system should encourage markets by protecting individuals' right to property.

 

That's exactly right. We have to reinterpret the government in a different light rather than simply say what its domain ought to be. The more semantic question should be: what is the government?

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I would say that political systems enable economic systems. In this particular, yes, any political system should encourage markets by protecting individuals' right to property.

 

OTH, it's fairly obvious that you can run a non-democratic dictatorshio with developed, capitalistic markets. in this sense, Hayek is wrong: capitalism is not necessarily consistent with any other freediom than that to capitalize.

I only make the distinction political/economic when I think people see them as separate. By politics I mean interpersonal relationships , the activities between men. I use terms like trade to denote a moral transaction , not necessarily a monetary(or monetized) transaction. So politics would in some sense 'enable' economics, but economic activity is not really separable from 'just plain' human activity, unless you focus on the monetary issues and mean to describe only that aspect. A is A tends to get lost in most discussion when speaking of politics. One example often seen is when people refer to society an entity and ascribe actions to it, or attributes of it, dropping the context that that concept refers to a way of viewing a group of individuals and that only the individuals so viewed can act and have describable attributes.
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There appears to be a slight vitriol here toward Capitalism, and more directly toward Objectivism.

 

Historically, the Luddites became known for attacking what they did not understand. When the labor-saving device made their debut on the scene, naturally these machines where built to perform the tasked being performed of the day, only more efficiently than what was being performed tediously and less efficiently.

 

Did the Luddites embrace this new advance in the application of reason to the problem of production? Quite contraire. The proud new owners of these fine pieces of machinery enabling higher productivity than previously possible often found themselves the victims of vandals.

 

The mechanical weaving loom embodied the new knowledge of the time. It was attacked by those who desired things to remain the same. In this sense, the Luddites resisted change. The Luddites did not want to change. Their response was to try to destroy the physical symbol of this change, in their feeble effort to stop the change. Now while they were successful at destroying others private property, new machines were being produced and innovations implemented along the way to improve their efficiency. Unfortunately, sometimes the owners of these machines were attacked instead of, or in addition to.

 

What has any of this to do with Capitalism or Objectivism? The analogy is apt. Keep in mind, the mechanical loom was the embodiment of the new idea. The owners were savvy enough to recognize the benefit it would bring them. Before the idea could be embodied into a machine, or another mind recognize the potential it offered, it first had to be discovered. This is key.

 

Capitalism has never been given a full political test run, but still continues to operate to this day, The black-market, which runs when arbitrary decrees seek to throttle various aspects of it, arise under nearly every political regime, where a full embracement of Capitalism is verboten.

 

So what do the modern day 'Luddites' have to fear? It is simple. The moral underpinnings that will support Capitalism in the future, the same moral underpinnings that ground Objectivism as a philosophy proper to man. To paraphrase Ayn Rand speaking through John Galt, morality needs to be discovered. Well, Miss Rand has discovered the foundations for morality. The opponents of this morality may obfuscate, misrepresent, and even muddy the waters - but the waters will settle, the misrepresentations will be exposed, and the feeble evasions exposed as attempts being unclear and confusing at best. This does not wayside the fact that such a morality has been discovered. While Aristotle's Law's of Logic were relegated to relative obscurity for nearly a millennia, it is hard to fathom Miss Rand's discovery being relegated to the same fate.

 

A misapplication of "A is A" along the way is, quite simply, a misapplication of "A is A" along the way.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Some more thoughts on existence. How can that which is not conscious cause its own part which is conscious? (Existence causes conscious beings.) Because it causes consciousness (of our reality) so much beneath its own reality (the universe) that it can be considered (not known) an unconscious process. I am still not clear on whether Objectivists think of existence as everything or as the objective reality (nature) or as the universe. This clarification is very important because consciousness is reflected differently through the model. We are subconscious to Nature but are so subconscious to the Universe that can be considered to be caused unconsciously by it (the unconscious cause but a conscious effect). It is very important for me to differentiate subconscious, conscious, and superconscious. Our brains or minds are subconscious because we do not experience them directly in our consciousness (see P.P.S. below). Our consciousness is our bodies and the life that we live in the market (with others). Our superconsciousness is our industries and objective reality that spans the Earth. A great example of superconsciousness is when Dagny thinks of herself as the railroad industry. From Atlas Shrugged (digital): "We are the soul, of which railroads, copper mines, steel mills and oil wells are the body -- and they are living entities that beat day and night, like our hearts, in the sacred function of supporting human life, but only so long as they remain our body, only so long as they remain the expression, the reward and the property of achievement." So, again, returning to the question of unconscious existence: it is not that existence is unconscious, it is simply unconscious of us, like we are unconscious of our particular atoms and subatomic particles from which our bodies are composed.

 

P.S. I am not against Capitalism. It just seems to me that Republicans today are not a great cause of it or as great of its leaders. I would rather support Capitalism by pure Objectivists.

 

P.P.S. Our minds are subconscious. From Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche (Kaufmann 1966:24, original italics): "a thought comes when "it" wishes, and not when "I" wish, so that it is a falsification of the facts of the case to say that the subject "I" is the condition of the predicate "think." It thinks; but that this "it" is precisely the famous old "ego" is, to put it mildly, only a supposition, an assertion, and assuredly not an "immediate certainty." After all, one has even gone too far with this "it thinks"--even the "it" contains an interpretation of the process, and does not belong to the process itself. One infers here according to the grammatical habit: "Thinking is an activity; every activity requires an agent; consequently--" " In other words, "thinking" is what we call whatever the mind does, and it's what the mind does itself, not necessarily what we do. What we do is interpret into consciousness what our minds do.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
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As a note of warning: I try to fit, if I can, all and any metaphors into my model literally. That is, I show how a rhetorical trope can be expressed as a conviction rather than a belief. The criticism of this being "anti-concept" or "context-dropping" is only adequate if my concepts polemically polarize us or confuse contexts. I argue that we agree on the terms and relations of the contexts, and thus what I have shown are neither "anti-concept" nor "context-dropping." If I am still not clear, please ask questions and criticize my thoughts, so I explain myself more thoroughly and help interpret my thinking into yours.

 

As a side note and an interesting observation, sleep is a state when subconsciousness becomes consciousness, viz., we become our minds in lucid dreaming.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
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There appears to be a slight vitriol here toward Capitalism, and more directly toward Objectivism.

 

Historically, the Luddites became known for attacking what they did not understand. When the labor-saving device made their debut on the scene, naturally these machines where built to perform the tasked being performed of the day, only more efficiently than what was being performed tediously and less efficiently.

 

Did the Luddites embrace this new advance in the application of reason to the problem of production? Quite contraire. The proud new owners of these fine pieces of machinery enabling higher productivity than previously possible often found themselves the victims of vandals.

 

The mechanical weaving loom embodied the new knowledge of the time. It was attacked by those who desired things to remain the same. In this sense, the Luddites resisted change. The Luddites did not want to change. Their response was to try to destroy the physical symbol of this change, in their feeble effort to stop the change. Now while they were successful at destroying others private property, new machines were being produced and innovations implemented along the way to improve their efficiency. Unfortunately, sometimes the owners of these machines were attacked instead of, or in addition to.

 

What has any of this to do with Capitalism or Objectivism? The analogy is apt. Keep in mind, the mechanical loom was the embodiment of the new idea. The owners were savvy enough to recognize the benefit it would bring them. Before the idea could be embodied into a machine, or another mind recognize the potential it offered, it first had to be discovered. This is key.

 

Capitalism has never been given a full political test run, but still continues to operate to this day, The black-market, which runs when arbitrary decrees seek to throttle various aspects of it, arise under nearly every political regime, where a full embracement of Capitalism is verboten.

 

So what do the modern day 'Luddites' have to fear? It is simple. The moral underpinnings that will support Capitalism in the future, the same moral underpinnings that ground Objectivism as a philosophy proper to man. To paraphrase Ayn Rand speaking through John Galt, morality needs to be discovered. Well, Miss Rand has discovered the foundations for morality. The opponents of this morality may obfuscate, misrepresent, and even muddy the waters - but the waters will settle, the misrepresentations will be exposed, and the feeble evasions exposed as attempts being unclear and confusing at best. This does not wayside the fact that such a morality has been discovered. While Aristotle's Law's of Logic were relegated to relative obscurity for nearly a millennia, it is hard to fathom Miss Rand's discovery being relegated to the same fate.

 

A misapplication of "A is A" along the way is, quite simply, a misapplication of "A is A" along the way.

If the owners of new mechanical looms are said to be savvy enough to recognize the benefits it would bring to 'them', then it would follow that the Luddirtes were savvy enough to see the misery it wouold bring to themselves, too.

 

Mechanical looms tossed people out of jobs. as does much or automation. That automation can serve as a benefit to all (and not just the 'them-people orf invention) is an issue that must be discussed in a collective, cost-benefit sort of way...

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If the owners of new mechanical looms are said to be savvy enough to recognize the benefits it would bring to 'them', then it would follow that the Luddirtes were savvy enough to see the misery it wouold bring to themselves, too.

 

Mechanical looms tossed people out of jobs. as does much or automation. That automation can serve as a benefit to all (and not just the 'them-people orf invention) is an issue that must be discussed in a collective, cost-benefit sort of way...

This is a pertinent issue. I quote from The Divine Right of Stagnation by Nathaniel Branden (Rand, Ayn, Nathaniel Branden. The Virtue of Selfishness. 1964: 117f, original italics):

 

   Among the arguments used by those who long for a “pastoral” existence, is a doctrine which, translated into explicit statement, consists of: the divine right of stagnation.

   This doctrine is illustrated in the following incident. Once, on a plane trip, I became engaged in conversation with an executive of a labor union. He began to decry the “disaster” of automation, asserting that increasing thousands of workers would be permanently unemployed as a result of new machines and that “something ought to be done about it.” I answered that this was a myth that had been exploded many times; that the introduction of new machines invariably resulted in increasing the demand for labor as well as in raising the general standard of living; that this was demonstrable theoretically and observable historically. I remarked that automation increased the demand for skilled labor relative to unskilled labor, and that doubtless many workers would need to learn new skills. “But,” he asked indignantly, “what about the workers who don’t want to learn new skills? Why should they have troubles?”

   This means that the ambition, the farsightedness, the drive to do better and still better, the living energy of creative men are to be throttled and suppressed—for the sake of men who have “thought enough” and “learned enough” and do not wish to be concerned with the future nor with the bothersome question of what their jobs depend on.

Capitalism's tempo (likened to the hectic Nietzsche's tempo, for me) is greater than that of Socialism. Some people just want to be lazy and invincibly ignorant. Others want to evolve.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
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Since I am reading Nietzsche right now, might as well quote him. From Beyond Good and Evil (Kaufmann 1966:39, original italics):

It is hard to be understood, especially when one thinks and lives gangasrotagati [as the current of the Ganges moves] among men who think and live differently, namely, kurmagati [as the tortoise moves], or at best "the way frogs walk," mandukagati (I obviously do everything to be "hard to understand" myself!)--and one should be cordially grateful for the good will to some subtlety of interpretation.
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