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Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

But that is not what Hazony thinks

Right.  Hazony is religious and it shows.  But lots of religious people have discovered true principles that were poorly justified on religious grounds.  Rights are valid but not because they come from God.

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11 hours ago, whYNOT said:

what do they and other Objectivists offer as replacement for the nation state? I.e., "nationalism"?

I didn't watch the whole video so I don't know to what extent they are criticizing Hazony specifically, versus nationalism broadly construed.

Something like civic nationalism (which Hazony specifically argues against) that enshrines ideals in documents themselves and the carefully constructed government would be a fine thing to choose. It is different than the nationalism which enshrines cultural values of all kinds (including religion, language, art preferences, etc).

6 hours ago, Grames said:

But lots of religious people have discovered true principles that were poorly justified on religious grounds. 

I don't think the reason 2046 posted the video was anything other than showing why we should ignore Hazony. 

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7 hours ago, Grames said:

Right.  Hazony is religious and it shows.  But lots of religious people have discovered true principles that were poorly justified on religious grounds.  Rights are valid but not because they come from God.

But like, what "discovery of true principles" is Hazony responsible for? Is it "there should not be one world government"? Well that's hardly a new discovery or even well-argued for here.

Liberal philosophers who argued that states should be rationally created and answerable to tthe people argued for the kind of civic nationalism Eiuol is talking about.

Conservative nationalists often historically have been responsible for centralizing power and decreasing the number of states. Liberals in Germany argued against the creation of a pan-German state and for the hundreds of free states and princely states before they were crushed violently by the conservative nationalist Bismarck, who believed there should be one single German state owing precisely to "unchosen obligations" of "clan and tribe." You know, those things that Hazony likes. And so on with American colonists. 

Ludwig von Mises argued in 1919 (Nation, State, and Econony) against imperialism and for "national self-determination." He applied his argument to the peaceful break up of Austria-Hungary "by freely conducted plebiscite." He replicated this same argument for national self-determination in 1929's Liberalism. Yet Hazony is the first one to discover "we shouldn't have one works government"? Ok boomer. Hazony says Mises supports one world government and is an imperialist. Is that honest, to you? Is that okay, too?

Also that's not even how the concept of rights developed. Aristotle gave a completely secular argument for private property in the Politics. The Stoics developed rights out of applying Roman law to the law of foreigners and slaves. Aquinas developed the right of private property and secular government as the human law, while being a subset of divine law, pertains to earthly matters and is discoverable by reason alone. Pufendorf and Grotius developed secular natural rights out of applying international law and the merchant law to individuals. Locke uses divine voluntarism largely as a deus ex machina to provide punishment for his ethical hedonism, but that is not necessary in politics since there is civil punishment. The US founders developed rights out of applying British rights to colonists, and developing Locke and Thomas Reid. In short, no you're wrong on nearly everything.

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On 1/8/2020 at 5:51 PM, 2046 said:

But like, what "discovery of true principles" is Hazony responsible for? Is it "there should not be one world government"? Well that's hardly a new discovery or even well-argued for here.

I don't think Hazony is responsible ( is the original creator or composer) for most of the rationale presented here.  For those who don't have the book I did reproduce the extensive footnotes showing Hazony's sources.  

On 1/8/2020 at 5:51 PM, 2046 said:

Hazony says Mises supports one world government and is an imperialist. Is that honest, to you? Is that okay, too?

He gave his evidence in citations.  Is early or late Mises the true Mises?  I would take the later version as more true as wider integration takes more time.   For the same reason I take later Rand over Nietzschean Rand or Fountainhead Rand.   

For some reason thinkers with a utopian bent come around to the conclusion that the state should wither away.  Its the tell I look for, and its absence is why I don't regard Rand as a utopian. 

On 1/8/2020 at 5:51 PM, 2046 said:

Also that's not even how the concept of rights developed. Aristotle gave a completely secular argument for private property in the Politics. The Stoics developed rights out of applying Roman law to the law of foreigners and slaves. Aquinas developed the right of private property and secular government as the human law, while being a subset of divine law, pertains to earthly matters and is discoverable by reason alone. Pufendorf and Grotius developed secular natural rights out of applying international law and the merchant law to individuals. Locke uses divine voluntarism largely as a deus ex machina to provide punishment for his ethical hedonism, but that is not necessary in politics since there is civil punishment. The US founders developed rights out of applying British rights to colonists, and developing Locke and Thomas Reid. In short, no you're wrong on nearly everything.

All of this is just failing to see the forest because of all the trees obscuring the view.  From Aristotle's Prime Mover onward everyone of those thinkers had a metaphysical root of their thought that was equivalent to God to gods.  All of their elaborations of rights don't change that.  

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52 minutes ago, Grames said:

For those who don't have the book I did reproduce the extensive footnotes showing Hazony's sources.  

Yeah, and I read the book and criticized some humongous errors. In the process, you brush those errors aside and seem to suggest that somewhere he gives a good argument. Great that he uses sources, but what does that matter if he makes bad arguments with them?

The points you make about nationalism are better arguments, and not the arguments he uses. 

57 minutes ago, Grames said:

All of their elaborations of rights don't change that.  

They have a decent epistemology at least.

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13 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

In the process, you brush those errors aside and seem to suggest that somewhere he gives a good argument.

For this nonfiction book and most of what is published by non-Objectivists, my method is to look for a way to recast the case in a way that is compatible or more compatible with Objectivist premises.   So yes, I do brush aside Hazony's errors because that is only to be expected from a non-Objectivist and its not my job or my interest to defend his errors.  Nevertheless, I found value in the book and also found that the most significant bits can be reframed to be better. 

I thought his chapter 10 was quite good at destroying the "consent of the governed" canard, but even there I felt the need to supply the replacement theory of my own that " the state is founded upon compliance not consent."   The was a huge thread here a few years ago about the morality of taxation and it ultimately boiled down to who was consenting to what and when did they consent.  Now I am of the opinion that consent is subjective and therefore unworkable as an objective basis for defining government, but compliance is objective.

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On 1/8/2020 at 4:55 PM, Grames said:

Right.  Hazony is religious and it shows.  But lots of religious people have discovered true principles that were poorly justified on religious grounds.  Rights are valid but not because they come from God.

The crux of the matter, and your later "...had a metaphysical root of their thought that was God..."

Belaboring the known here, again. The genius of the US Founding Fathers was their metaphysical identification of the nature of man,  "created" equal--and to be protected equally with individual rights before the Law. No less and no more, that is all there can be to equality and should be. (My simple take out). In between the poles, man's nature and the law, the implication is to me, one is as free also to be ... 'un-equal'. While holding respect for the other's life and rights. Your life, your ethics, your thinking, your choices, your happiness. The conception is entirely secular, conceived by men's minds for man's life, however deist or theist or agnostic they may have been overtly. The secularists on the left subvert the concept, "equality", for their purposes. (Asking: But morally you have to accept equality for the people - how can you not?! To which many will and do accede in confusion).

It seems the religious conservatives consider the Constitution written by great men although inspired directly by God? By revelation? Whatever the document's origins to them, brought about by that false metaphysics, the results were objectively valid and good.  

Edited by whYNOT

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On 1/8/2020 at 11:47 PM, Eiuol said:

I didn't watch the whole video so I don't know to what extent they are criticizing Hazony specifically, versus nationalism broadly construed.

Something like civic nationalism (which Hazony specifically argues against) that enshrines ideals in documents themselves and the carefully constructed government would be a fine thing to choose. It is different than the nationalism which enshrines cultural values of all kinds (including religion, language, art preferences, etc).

 

Well, there are those many who group around core cultures, religions or traditions, and they have the right to do so if they interfere with no-one else . With the religious, we know broadly what they uphold and find their identity in, roughly: family, community, church, nation, God. How much these cultural/traditional values can impact upon the state, to become a country's nationalist values, is the key question. For all that, my impression is that in nearly all western countries, the religious (Christians, particularly) have become mostly accepting of Church-State separation. I believe they've understood that when they get involved in the government, the gvment can equally get involved with their religion and them, and that they don't want. Having said that I understand that they indeed put pressure on the government in America on a handful of issues they deem important. But really, the "predominant" idea/s is what defines a nation's culture and identity (and religion and Christianity doesn't define the USA, last I looked!). 

Edited by whYNOT

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4 hours ago, Grames said:

but even there I felt the need to supply the replacement theory of my own that [...]

As you should, because even you see the stupidity of Hazony. You can ignore him by responding "ok boomer" as 2046 said, or pointing out his clear dislike of reason. 

I mean, that chapter might be the only thing remotely good and something to grab onto. You can still recognize him as an intellectual wannabe. 

4 hours ago, Grames said:

Nevertheless, I found value in the book and also found that the most significant bits can be reframed to be better. 

If this clears the bar of being an intellectually valuable work to you so much that you will write out a lot of notes and post them for us and organize them, you are doing yourself a disservice.

 

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5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You can still recognize him as an intellectual wannabe. 

LOL man, that describes me.  He does a better job at pretending, and actually has done the reading.  That "consent of the governed" is malarkey was news to me and worth sharing.  

Civic nationalism isn't a viable option in most of the world because most places (not America) are not founded with a purpose but are just the people who live there and whom do not possess a common liberal civic culture after subtracting their religion, non-religious culture, economy, language and shared history.   Yet those nations (nations are people not their political arrangements) still want their own states and should have them.  Civic nationalism wouldn't be enough to hold America together either in the absence of its shared history, culture, common language, economy and religious background.  It would be great if a rights-based civic nationalism could be more widespread but it isn't yet and ethnic nationalism appears to be a prerequisite stage to make a rights-based civic nationalism possible.

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