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HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 It should be clear enough that belief in a soul can be extremely collectivistic, even though it is possible to hold onto the concept in an individualistic way.

The "individualistic way", may even be no more than a psychological dynamic. Making a simplified guess: One has this great gift of one's own Soul, so one takes great care of it.

As I ventured earlier, the ~effect~ of believing with conviction in such a personal "gift" will amount to individualism - in practice. 

The religious conviction is not even comparable to secularists' non-conviction, they who have more or less denied the existence of consciousness in the process of denying the soul. 

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There is much more integration (not just coherence, but mutual reinforcement and support) between modern conservatism and Marxism and postmodernism, than there is between Marxism and postmodernism.

People interested in how a leading religious (Jewish) conservative thinks can watch Dennis Prager chat with Craig Biddle. They cover some hard topics and find common ground. I hope more Objectivists g

Has anyone come up with a more precise characterization of who or what is or is not being suppressed than "rightist" or "leftist"?

 

53 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

who, (specific to the US) - the conservatives or the Leftists - do you believe would be better advocates of individual rights? I think that's not even on the horizon of possibilities for the Left...

See, this level of abstraction from both sides would be a proper comparison. 

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People interested in how a leading religious (Jewish) conservative thinks can watch Dennis Prager chat with Craig Biddle. They cover some hard topics and find common ground. I hope more Objectivists get on more conservative shows like this.

 

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10 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

religious (Jewish) conservative

He's very cringe and a pretty clear case of a collectivist based on the nonsense from PragerU I've seen. Still, better than the people that Bernstein was referring to. He wasn't at all talking about Jewish conservatives. The Christians are the scary ones.

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https://youtu.be/BAlig2jW7SA

Ha Ha. An educated, rational professional is accused of his "white privilege" because he sounds ... educated and rational? "By virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege".

Except, he is black.

Give them enough chances, the Left-collectivist-racists will implode with their own stupidity and ridiculousness.

 

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20 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 

See, this level of abstraction from both sides would be a proper comparison. 

This is no level of abstraction, I asked for your educated opinion from all you've seen and heard.

Who would be supporters of individual rights? Conservatives - Leftists?

 

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19 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

People interested in how a leading religious (Jewish) conservative thinks can watch Dennis Prager chat with Craig Biddle. They cover some hard topics and find common ground. I hope more Objectivists get on more conservative shows like this.

 

Craig comes across clearly that his atheism has never defined his thinking. As is often the case - the angry negativity emanating from a negative abstract ("without God"). But he's an Objectivist, not a militant atheist. They do respond well to each other, found common ground as you say, despite their deep difference.

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4 hours ago, whYNOT said:

This is no level of abstraction, I asked for your educated opinion from all you've seen and heard.

 

Well, there is, I'm saying that this question actually is appropriate. But I still don't get why you haven't defined Leftist. I didn't answer the question because I didn't think it mattered.

But since you're very curious, I don't think either the left (the term is still unwieldy) or conservatives are a much better path to better establishing individual rights. I'm inclined to prefer the left if forced to choose, as long as we aren't talking about those who  push the narrative of CRT or Communism. But it's a marginal difference. It's because I think universal basic income and things along those lines are the best path in the long run towards individual rights on a philosophical level (as a means of long-term strategy of transition). I think the people supportive of that are at least individualistic enough to emphasize individual choice, in the same way that some Christians believe in a soul that is individualistic and emphasize individual choice (who I wouldn't call religious conservatives). 

 

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Well, there is, I'm saying that this question actually is appropriate. But I still don't get why you haven't defined Leftist. I didn't answer the question because I didn't think it mattered.

But since you're very curious, I don't think either the left (the term is still unwieldy) or conservatives are a much better path to better establishing individual rights. I'm inclined to prefer the left if forced to choose, as long as we aren't talking about those who  push the narrative of CRT or Communism. But it's a marginal difference. It's because I think universal basic income and things along those lines are the best path in the long run towards individual rights on a philosophical level (as a means of long-term strategy of transition). I think the people supportive of that are at least individualistic enough to emphasize individual choice, in the same way that some Christians believe in a soul that is individualistic and emphasize individual choice (who I wouldn't call religious conservatives). 

 

Trying to separate the Leftists from their primary characteristic, collectivism, like trying to separate religious conservatives from the Soul. The left can never accept individual rights. They believe in the collective, so, in 'group rights'. E.g. Critical Race Theory is only the most recent (neo-Marxian) class distinction that substitutes the bourgeoisie v. the proletariat with white privilege v. the non-white repressed.

Straightforward: a. If they can't accept the sovereignty of the individual, b. they can't accept individual rights, and c. they will not accept laissez-faire Capitalism.

Good try, but "to prefer the left" (to institute individual rights), drops the context, is self-contradictory, of what is their nature.

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On 2/18/2021 at 4:15 PM, whYNOT said:

Since, today, there are no clear definitions of political terms, I use the word “rightist” to denote the views of those who are predominantly in favor of individual freedom and capitalism—and the word “leftist” to denote the views of those who are predominantly in favor of government controls and socialism.

Euiol, you can't continue hiding conveniently behind my not supplying a clear *definition* of the left or the right. In denial of the numbers of characteristics which I have supplied and discussed.

You haven't acknowledged that Rand gave her definition, at least a starting place for one, above. Do you not agree with it? If not, could you explain why?

That she was scathing towards the rightists for their incapacity/evasion to justify individual freedom and capitalism - on the moral standpoint - infers to me that she expected much more from the rightists, the supposed champions of capitalism. Whereas, she expected little from the leftists, those ... "in favor of government controls and socialism".

What emerges is the leftists are a known identity, were barely worth mentioning - and beyond the pale for Rand.

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9 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 But it's a marginal difference. It's because I think universal basic income and things along those lines are the best path in the long run towards individual rights on a philosophical level (as a means of long-term strategy of transition). 

 

The UBI is a pragmatic compromise with welfarism and will prolong statism and delay individual rights, indefinitely. There is the sense that a universal basic income imparts more dignity upon people. (An "income"? Unearned?). It will only exacerbate problems in other areas, such as attracting the type of migrants/immigrants who don't want to get ahead by their own initiative, further depressing the economy and increasing the tax burden. The clear path to individual rights lies in a strong economy with near zero unemployment. Everyone at every level has a constant market for their labor and skills, gradually making the welfare state superfluous. Self-respect, aka dignity, through motivation, productivity and earned income is the key to a population's willing acceptance of individual rights I think. 

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The idea that "they believe in the soul so they support individualism" is a lie. Religion does not preclude collectivism. At the heart of religion is "our group" vs. others. An artificial division negating individualism. If you are not part of the religion you don't have individual rights, you are a second class citizen.

Add to that the fact that the delineation is over a "story", as in "I believe in this messenger of God" vs. "you believe in that messenger of God" so let's fight and die over our arbitrary story. Faith is belief in the arbitrary.

Unfortunately religion does not implode like leftism because no matter how bad it gets, God uses broken instruments. Faith based longevity is baked in. Religious delineationlination and attack on equal rights is forever.

In a longevity contrast, there is no majority support of communism anymore and when it did exist, it was only for 80 years. And the Swedish experiment with Socialism took only 20 years to implode.

Now can we live with religious people around us, yes. Can we live with leftist around us, yes. That is not the core of the problem. The problem is people who believe in violence as the "primary" means to achieving political goals. But the inclusion or exclusion of physical agression is as likely in either direction (left or right). The term authoritarian is usually related to some dogma: secular dogma or religious dogma.

Ultimately, they are both diseases to be avoided. Calling one better than the other is a dangerous practice, it creates support for one or the other.

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Is this the Objectivist version of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

Look, we can say regarding breaches with reality that something more fundamental is "worse" in some sense than something less fundamental. An Objectivist who breaks with Rand on aesthetics is to be preferred over an altruist who yet accepts the existence of reality, who is to be preferred over a solipsist who denies that there is any such thing at all, all else being equal.

Insofar as a collectivist diverges with respect to politics, and potentially (though not necessarily) an underlying ethics, it is yet less fundamental than the break with both reason and reality normally associated with religious fundamentalism. And there is no reason to believe that a fundamentalist won't also be a collectivist: the deeper the delusion runs, the worse the fruit we can expect on "higher levels."

But in reality, every decision we make must be made in context. There's no such thing as the platonic ideal of a religious fundamentalist or a collectivist. Human beings (let alone societies) are extraordinarily complex, and in context, a given fundamentalist might be "better" or "worse" (for some given, actual purpose) than a collectivist, or vice versa. The idea that some abstract hierarchy of evil will give us real insight into American politics, or a specific scenario (like Trump v. Biden), is absurd.

For one thing, American politics doesn't break along these lines. There is religion on both sides, collectivism on both sides, and there are people on the "right" who aren't religious at all just as there are people on the "left" who support capitalism, at least to varying degrees (and sometimes more than a given counterpart on the right). But far more importantly, individuals are individual. A religious conservative who is yet committed to the separation of church and state, may be far preferable as President than any typical liberal, his personal irrationality notwithstanding (and there are a host of potential psychological issues to consider); but also, a socialist who respects science and truth, and democratic institutions, could be preferable as President to a liar, fraud and conspiracy-peddler who seeks power for its own sake, despite nominally supporting free markets or whatever else. Real-world decisions must be made in the fullest context possible.

I will further say that the seeming attempt to rehabilitate Christianity as some bulwark against socialism or Islam or whatever-the-hell else is abysmal. Christianity is awful, awful in theory, awful in practice, historically awful (and societies where Christianity has wielded extensive political power have not typically been exemplars of individual liberty, for whatever it's worth). And while probing the depth of that awfulness is an interesting exercise, perhaps, there are severe, nigh-immediate limits to its practical application; the most important thing about Christianity remains, to reject it.

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8 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Trying to separate the Leftists from their primary characteristic, collectivism, like trying to separate religious conservatives from the Soul.

They're both characterized by collectivism, I don't know what you're trying to prove. I already agree that the soul can be thought of in a somewhat individualistic way. I don't think religious conservatives believe in the soul in a somewhat individualistic way. 

7 hours ago, whYNOT said:

You haven't acknowledged that Rand gave her definition, at least a starting place for one, above. Do you not agree with it? If not, could you explain why?

If that's the definition you want to use, fine. It doesn't help though, because it doesn't distinguish religious conservative. By that definition and continuum, religious conservatives are leftists. 

2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

The UBI is a pragmatic compromise with welfarism and will prolong statism and delay individual rights, indefinitely.

One of these days I will make a thread about UBI. Basically, my argument would be that UBI is good to the extent that it can be used as a way to persuade people to diminish welfare programs and decrease government bureaucracy by means of simplifying distribution and permitting individual choice. 

 

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5 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Now can we live with religious people around us, yes. Can we live with leftist around us, yes. That is not the core of the problem. The problem is people who believe in violence as the "primary" means to achieving political goals. But the inclusion or exclusion of physical agression is as likely in either direction (left or right). The term authoritarian is usually related to some dogma: secular dogma or religious dogma.

Ultimately, they are both diseases to be avoided. Calling one better than the other is a dangerous practice, it creates support for one or the other.

"Calling one better than the other" - calling individualism, in whichever form it takes, better than collectivism from whomever it comes - this would be an easy choice for individualists, I'd have thought. You can ¬work with¬ individualists; there is nothing in common with collectivists.

Seeing one cannot and should not forcibly prescribe to people's beliefs, they need to be left alone to their beliefs. But wherever there is some intersection from another person who also espouses individual freedom, it's moral justice and rational to applaud their stand. However much one does not accept their other beliefs.

Who are these people who believe in violence as the primary means to achieving political goals? If it is whom I'm thinking of, you have expanded a solitary event far away from its context - and, the general nature of these people, the great majority of whom are peaceable. If anyone is highly prone and prepared to commit violence it is many from the new Left today.

It is the Left-collectivists who crave power and domination, more than anything and anyone has in many years. It would need a special blindness to not have recognized their premises. Again, they have found a new iteration of Marxist class struggle, this time causing divisions by race.

I have no hesitation with identifying and calling one better than the other, making (a highly qualified) support and encouragement for the best values in the one. I see it instead as "a dangerous practice" not to do so, to practice evasion with someone's objectively good qualities. Silence is a negation of the best to the benefit only of the worst people.

Or else, what? The hell with them both, and one removes oneself from society in a tiff?

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

 

One of these days I will make a thread about UBI. Basically, my argument would be that UBI is good to the extent that it can be used as a way to persuade people to diminish welfare programs and decrease government bureaucracy by means of simplifying distribution and permitting individual choice. 

 

I think re-distribution is the word you want. Taking from some to give to many. UBI is the way to perpetrate a growing idle class of people lacking purpose. How do you see that ending up on a society? pride in productiveness are not only O'ist virtues, you know?

The last modicum of "individual choice" will be: what do I spend the money I am (rightfully) given, on?

Gradually, there will be less people to take from. They will leave, or resign themselves to accepting UBI, too. Why bother to work, initiate, create?

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20 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Why bother to work, initiate, create?

Well, the basic answer is you would not be able to sustain your life off of UBI. But besides that, there is no evidence that people would feel sufficiently fulfilled. Seeking fulfillment is the only motivation people need. My point was basically that this kind of thing isn't nearly as bad as anything CRT could ever come up with, and could be harnessed to at least demonstrate why minimizing the government's role in directly managing your life is really a good thing. 

 

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

It is the Left-collectivists who crave power and domination, more than anything and anyone has in many years. It would need a special blindness to not have recognized their premises. Again, they have found a new iteration of Marxist class struggle, this time causing divisions by race.

LOL!

And the new iteration of Christianity must be causing a worship of Capitalism.

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On 2/20/2021 at 6:53 PM, DonAthos said:

Is this the Objectivist version of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

Look, we can say regarding breaches with reality that something more fundamental is "worse" in some sense than something less fundamental. An Objectivist who breaks with Rand on aesthetics is to be preferred over an altruist who yet accepts the existence of reality, who is to be preferred over a solipsist who denies that there is any such thing at all, all else being equal.

Insofar as a collectivist diverges with respect to politics, and potentially (though not necessarily) an underlying ethics, it is yet less fundamental than the break with both reason and reality normally associated with religious fundamentalism. And there is no reason to believe that a fundamentalist won't also be a collectivist: the deeper the delusion runs, the worse the fruit we can expect on "higher levels."

But in reality, every decision we make must be made in context. There's no such thing as the platonic ideal of a religious fundamentalist or a collectivist. Human beings (let alone societies) are extraordinarily complex, and in context, a given fundamentalist might be "better" or "worse" (for some given, actual purpose) than a collectivist, or vice versa. The idea that some abstract hierarchy of evil will give us real insight into American politics, or a specific scenario (like Trump v. Biden), is absurd.

For one thing, American politics doesn't break along these lines. There is religion on both sides, collectivism on both sides, and there are people on the "right" who aren't religious at all just as there are people on the "left" who support capitalism, at least to varying degrees (and sometimes more than a given counterpart on the right). But far more importantly, individuals are individual. A religious conservative who is yet committed to the separation of church and state, may be far preferable as President than any typical liberal, his personal irrationality notwithstanding (and there are a host of potential psychological issues to consider); but also, a socialist who respects science and truth, and democratic institutions, could be preferable as President to a liar, fraud and conspiracy-peddler who seeks power for its own sake, despite nominally supporting free markets or whatever else. Real-world decisions must be made in the fullest context possible.

I will further say that the seeming attempt to rehabilitate Christianity as some bulwark against socialism or Islam or whatever-the-hell else is abysmal. Christianity is awful, awful in theory, awful in practice, historically awful (and societies where Christianity has wielded extensive political power have not typically been exemplars of individual liberty, for whatever it's worth). And while probing the depth of that awfulness is an interesting exercise, perhaps, there are severe, nigh-immediate limits to its practical application; the most important thing about Christianity remains, to reject it.

Right , to the opening salvo. It has looked to me too as if these debates go off into ever finer analyses about angels and pin, etc. Then concrete bound thinking will take over.

That's why it isn't of the utmost importance, WHO and how many of the American people are secular Leftists, which Rightists, which religious Conservatives, which individualist leftists, or collectivist rightists. How much, political-based, and how many ideological-influenced. And ANY combination and permutation of the above. The discussion gets sidelined by data and fluff.

Many millions of people to assess - by 'group'; so I think abstraction of the ideas taken from a multiplicity of sightings and observations is the approach, with the minimum of partisan politics (though this can't be avoided).

THESE are the crucial questions: Do "collectivism" and "individualism" actually exist in people's minds as motivating ideas? Had the USA been established and become renowned for individualism and individual freedom? Is one or the other on the rise - politically and ideologically surging?

Is collectivism more, or less, dangerous/harmful than individualism? The topic posed. 

And then, which ideology - and practitioners of it - should one give one's qualified, judicious intellectual and moral support to?

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On 2/20/2021 at 6:53 PM, DonAthos said:

I will further say that the seeming attempt to rehabilitate Christianity as some bulwark against socialism or Islam or whatever-the-hell else is abysmal. Christianity is awful, awful in theory, awful in practice, historically awful (and societies where Christianity has wielded extensive political power have not typically been exemplars of individual liberty, for whatever it's worth). And while probing the depth of that awfulness is an interesting exercise, perhaps, there are severe, nigh-immediate limits to its practical application; the most important thing about Christianity remains, to reject it.

To "reject it"? How does one reject a religion (apart from the obvious, leaving it oneself) in reality? Sorry, this seems to me to be high-minded. Of course! - we fight it in the abstract! but does one now cut all contact with religious people?

And does one equally reject awful collectivism? Yes, that is rhetorical.

But the "seeming attempt to rehabilitate Christianity as some bulwark against ... " is unfair. That's not my method or purpose - and the converse: anyone holding up the collectivist Left as a bulwark against Christianity is making a much bigger error.

Whichever "lines" (as you well describe it) politics breaks along, the clear priority must be to throw one's weight behind individualism, without prejudice. Christians, conservatives, leftists, or rightists - isn't relevant and I don't care, as I mentioned.

DA, The more I review the last 8 - 10 years, particularly the last few months, the more inclined I am to conclude that the conflict that is splitting America was initiated and intensified BY the collectivists against the individualists. (At one time I considered this to be narrower: an attack on the Christian conservatives by the "elite" secularists - and that's not out of the frame altogether. I am still in little doubt that, broadly, the religious conservatives are much more inclined to be individualist).

But in general: the great assault in the US has been and continues - started by collectivists against individualists.

In whatever form they take, Objectivists should willingly, on principle, back the latter, I would think.

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The clarifying explanation of individualism by N. Branden:

"A political system is the expression of a code of ethics. Just as some form of statism or collectivism is the expression of the ethics of altruism, so individualism - as represented by laissez-faire capitalism - is the expression of the ethics of rational self-interest.

"Individualism is at once an ethical-psychological concept and an ethical-political one. As an ethical-psychological concept, individualism holds that a human being should think and judge independently, respecting nothing more than the sovereignty of his or her mind, thus it is intimately connected with the concept of autonomy.

As an ethical-political concept, individualism upholds the supremacy of individual rights, the principle that a human being is an end in him -or herself, and that the proper goal of life is self-realization. "

Individualism and the Free society

 

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I will take the imperfections of any sincere proponents of individualism, any day. You can live with them. I could never accept the superior moral 'purity' of their collectivist counterparts.

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THESE are the crucial questions: Do "collectivism" and "individualism" actually exist in people's minds? Has the USA been renowned for individualism? Is one or the other on the rise, politically and ideologically surging?

Is collectivism more, or less, dangerous/harmful than individualism? The topic posed. 

And then, which ideology - and practitioners of it - should one give one's qualified and judicial intellectual and moral support to?

I'm not certain what you're asking about collectivism being more or less dangerous/harmful than individualism. I don't see individualism as being dangerous or harmful at all. If it were a question about collectivism versus individualism, I can't imagine anyone here siding with collectivism.

As to which ideology one should give one's moral support to? How is the answer not Objectivism? It sure as hell is not Christianity: Christianity does not deserve moral support, but condemnation. This is not to say that we must therefore condemn all Christians; there are plenty of great people in the world who are Christian (just as there are awful Objectivists). And so, as to "practitioners," you should offer your qualified support to the best Christians, the best socialists, the best people whenever and wherever you find them, and the best within people such as you find them. But that is not the same at all as supporting ideologies which you know to be destructive to life on earth. You are not forced to choose between Christianity and socialism: you can (and should) reject both, without reservation.

Can we acknowledge the value of some abstracted aspect of Christianity? Perhaps. If you think that Christianity is individualistic, and hostile towards collectivism, then that's something good about Christianity. (Though, to be clear, I don't agree that Christianity is either individualistic or hostile towards collectivism.) But that wouldn't make Christianity good. It remains utterly opposed to Objectivism, for instance, on questions of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. (And often moreso than any number of "leftists.") And as politics necessarily depends upon those foundations, it follows that Christianity will produce horrible political outcomes regardless of any nominal stance with respect to individualism versus collectivism -- as it has done historically when sufficiently empowered.

9 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

Whichever "lines" (as you well put it) politics breaks along, the clear priority, must be to throw one's weight behind individualism, without prejudice. Christians, conservatives, leftists, or rightists - isn't relevant and I don't care, as I mentioned.

I think individualism is vitally important. But I believe that there are even more pressing issues, or at minimum equally pressing, such as a fundamental respect for reason and reality. For truth. And where politics are concerned, at least here in the United States, for preserving the liberal values and democratic institutions that allow intellectual minorities such as myself to even entertain the dream of one day moving things in a positive direction.

If we're talking "left" and "right," there is no good side in America today -- no likely place to "throw one's weight behind," such as it is. And what is worse, they are getting worse, spiraling downwards seemingly in tandem. A double helix of death, if you will. Yes, the most rational and benevolent elements of Christians, conservatives, leftists, rightists, etc., need to come together and unite around our shared values for political purposes. But the values we support, and fight for, and seek common cause with others, must still be our values. We cannot pretend as though the American right, let alone Christian fundamentalists, share our values. They do not. And when our allies on any side extend past that point where they are working towards individual rights, and begin to work against them, our support must end exactly there and become opposition.

9 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

I am still in little doubt that, broadly, the religious conservatives are much more inclined to be individualist).

I don't see how you come to this conclusion. Personally I've known people on both the right and left to be collectivist, individualist, and in-between. I have not seen anything to suggest that religious conservatives are "much more inclined to be individualist" or more inclined, or inclined at all. But I see you've posted more as I've been composing this reply:

17 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

The clarifying explanation of individualism by N. Branden:

"A political system is the expression of a code of ethics. Just as some form of statism or collectivism is the expression of the ethics of altruism, so individualism - as represented by laissez-faire capitalism - is the expression of the ethics of rational self-interest.

"Individualism is at once an ethical-psychological concept and an ethical-political one. As an ethical-psychological concept, individualism holds that a human being should think and judge independently, respecting nothing more than the sovereignty of his or her mind, thus it is intimately connected with the concept of autonomy.

As an ethical-political concept, individualism upholds the supremacy of individual rights, the principle that a human being is an end in him -or herself, and that the proper goal of life is self-realization. "

Individualism and the Free society

All right. So do we see Christianity as embodying an ethics of rational self-interest, or altruism? Self-esteem? Or self-abnegation? Life on earth and personal happiness? Or self-sacrifice, death, and rewards "after"? Independent thought, judgment, and "the sovereignty of [one's] mind"? Or subservience, blind faith, and the sovereignty of whomever is believed to speak for God?

If individualism upholds the principle that a human being is an end in himself, then Christianity works to destroy individualism as it preaches that the only end and "proper goal of life" is God and his worship.

In this quote you've provided, where do you see Christianity reflected at all?

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The general, direct reply, DA, is look and see. Present and past, the USA has done damn well and often excellently. By its founding ideas as nation as have the people for themselves. That's all the inhabitants, give or take the unjust and unhappy periods, for all races, etc. - especially inclusive of the religious. No other nation has succeeded like that, so rapidly. Which must mean that there has always been a strong component of individualism and freedom and I fear that Americans take that too much for granted. But worse, begin unearthing their previous so-called, 'imperfections' as a people and losing confidence in the country. What more do you expect from large numbers of susceptible human beings but moral failings at times? (Perfectionism is an intrinsicist trap, usually heading one to personal disillusionment and eventual skepticism, with a philosophy and a nation. The objective good, when you make it and find it (etc.) is brilliant for one's life, as perfect as it gets).

But don't worry about the Christians - you do see don't you that many/most have plainly been sufficiently rational, reasoning, self-responsible, hard-working and individualistic enough to very often prosper and apparently live pretty comfortable and happy lives? While speaking to God or whatever, and helping their neighbors. If "God" didn't do those things for them, how did they achieve them?

The religious will always be around, as will Faith. That's reality one can't wish away.

What Branden expresses is the standard of individualism which O'ists acknowledge. For all citizens, the - partial and variable - acceptance of those tenets by virtue of living in America has been also good for them. So, just imagine if many more could recognize the full value of individualism and individual rights...

Whoever can see that possibility and appreciate the value is whom I will support.

Why is no one taking on Leftist-collectivist-mystics as much as you are the Christians and conservatives? The American religious don't want a theocracy, I am certain, and if you heard they did or were pressing for one, they'd deserve condemnation. The Leftist-Socialists want a socialist state, and that's farewell to individualism. We are talking clear and present danger.

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