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The philosophy has its own non-contradictory fail-safe built-in. Nice wrap-up.

On 5/12/2021 at 8:53 PM, whYNOT said:

(Certainly, for example, the more mature Objectivists will resent being berated for their political choices)

As for the berating, The Romantic Manifesto offers this with regard to art.

An artist reveals his naked soul in his work—and so, gentle reader, do you when you respond to it.

There may be a lessor parallel in politics.

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On 5/14/2021 at 6:27 AM, dream_weaver said:
On 5/12/2021 at 7:53 PM, whYNOT said:

(Certainly, for example, the more mature Objectivists will resent being berated for their political choices)

As for the berating, The Romantic Manifesto offers this with regard to art.

An artist reveals his naked soul in his work—and so, gentle reader, do you when you respond to it.

There may be a lessor parallel in politics.

The reasons for a choice in politics are of a fundamentally different nature from the reasons for a choice in art.  In particular, in politics it is appropriate to understand the reasons conceptually before making a choice, and the reasons can be important to consider in evaluating the choice.

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7 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

The reasons for a choice in politics are of a fundamentally different nature from the reasons for a choice in art.

Agreed.

7 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

In particular, in politics it is appropriate to understand the reasons conceptually before making a choice, and the reasons can be important to consider in evaluating the choice.

The parallel is in coming to conceptual agreement. Individuals often differ in what they consider most important. The politicians select the aspects they consider most important. The constituents pick the candidate they like best according to how they resonate with their notions, or chose to dicker about what is wrong with side they disagree with. 

The constituents like the candidate that paints a picture that 'mirrors' the political landscape they would like to see materialize. 

Conversely, the constituents dislike the candidate that portrays a political landscape they consider less than desirable.

This is analogous politically, albeit not a direct parallel from the aesthetic considerations.

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On 5/17/2021 at 6:04 AM, dream_weaver said:

This is analogous politically, albeit not a direct parallel from the aesthetic considerations.

Analogous, okay. A "naked soul" will respond with its pre-conceptual, subconscious "sense of life" (that sort of gut-level feeling) to the portrayal and implicit evaluation of existence, in a work of art - which is hardly the manner to make critical, political decisions.

To make those you'd agree, takes the totality of one's knowledge, not simply this candidate's personality v. that one, but mainly an existential and predictive view of what political dispensation ("landscape", nice) will follow with each: as always - which dispensation leads to greater, or lesser freedom. IOW, one's "metaphysical value-judgment" takes precedence over one's sensibilities about a person. (etc.)

As you raised the art-analogy, as example I'll remind that there was quite a fuss made at the time over Rand's admiration for a certain composer, causing Objectivists, unobjectively, to self-censor their liking for other composers. And on another tack, could anyone have foreseen how taken Rand would be with the Salvador Dali picture depicting a man on a cross? (Mysticism! Sacrifice!) That brilliant painting plainly signified to her (now does for me) more than the sum of its parts, it is actually an heroic representation. That showed me one cannot predict the working of a conceptual genius' mind, the choices they'd make in art (or political candidates, etc. ).  

That's by the way. Simply, there is no place for authoritarianism in and about Objectivism. A conceptual mind is a volitional process under development, not a fixed destination - other minds' contents will constantly be at a different stage to one's own. But theirs and one's independent judgment deserves respect even/especially when one thinks someone hasn't the full "picture" in mind and is in error. 

Edited by whYNOT
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Scott and I interviewed James Valliant on a wide range of subjects. We talked for 3.5 hours. The content is split into three parts. I hope you enjoy and subscribe to our channel.

In part 1 we learn about Valliant's introduction to Objectivism, and we talk about the split between Rand and the Brandens.

Part 2 focuses on Valliant's history in the Objectivist movement and then we discuss Rand's attitude toward conservatives (33:17).

Finally part 3 covers four different topics: immigration (0:00), memory (9:01), the Derek Chauvin trial (24:20), and Valliant's book Creating Christ (30:54).

 

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22 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Finally part 3 covers four different topics: immigration (0:00), memory (9:01), the Derek Chauvin trial (24:20), and Valliant's book Creating Christ (30:54).

What is the role of Democracy in a Republic?

As in should the (non violent) communist also get a vote?

Swig mentions: "Democratic overthrow of rights"

For one thing, if rights can be overthrown by a vote, then they are not treated as rights. So there is a far deeper problem.

The idea that socialist immigrants should be prevented from entering the US "just because they don't like the rich", is ridiculous. People are running away from oppression. They know it when they see it. But the ultimate question is about rights. What right do we as citizens have in preventing "certain" others from entering?

Democracy seems to be a failsafe system. When things really get bad and most people see and feel it, they will vote against it. It also means that with lack of education or manipulation, some freedoms can be eroded, temporarily, until things get bad and people vote the authoritarianism out. But that requires a democratic process that functions at all times.

As far as the efficacy of Democracy (limited by rights) goes, isn't nonviolent change our fundamental interest? Hasn't voting been the counter against "use of force" to get political change?

The vetting of people "based on their ideas" in a free society is a contradiction. Then they are not free. Similar to what goes on in China or Iran or even Putin's Russia, where candidates are not allowed to run because they were vetted by the ruling council.

The idea of vetting people based on ideology is in fact a call for authoritarianism. (checking for disease or criminal background is a different matter)

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On 5/21/2021 at 10:57 AM, Easy Truth said:

What is the role of Democracy in a Republic?

To elect representatives.

On 5/21/2021 at 10:57 AM, Easy Truth said:

As in should the (non violent) communist also get a vote?

The "non-violent communist," as in the communist who isn't presently confiscating your property for the socialization of the nation?

On 5/21/2021 at 10:57 AM, Easy Truth said:

if rights can be overthrown by a vote, then they are not treated as rights. So there is a far deeper problem.

You still need to address the immediate problem if you're ever going to solve the deeper problem. If your arm is bleeding, you still apply a tourniquet even though you ultimately need stitches to heal the wound.

On 5/21/2021 at 10:57 AM, Easy Truth said:

What right do we as citizens have in preventing "certain" others from entering?

We have an absolute right to control the border through reasonable, objective laws and policing. In times of war we might even need to shut down the border completely.

On 5/21/2021 at 10:57 AM, Easy Truth said:

Democracy seems to be a failsafe system. When things really get bad and most people see and feel it, they will vote against it.

That's not how it works historically. People vote in the bad guys, and then we have to fight a war (or apply economic or political pressure) to remove them from power.

On 5/21/2021 at 10:57 AM, Easy Truth said:

Hasn't voting been the counter against "use of force" to get political change?

"Political change" is not inherently good. What you're voting for matters. And if you're voting for evil, retaliatory force might be justified to stop it. Voting is not a sanctified process that must always be respected. It's a weapon in the ongoing political battle. And it can be used for evil.

On 5/21/2021 at 10:57 AM, Easy Truth said:

The vetting of people "based on their ideas" in a free society is a contradiction. Then they are not free.

If you reject freedom and advocate against it, then you don't deserve a free society based on individual rights. Freedom doesn't mean we have to tolerate those who seek to destroy our freedom. It means we have the freedom to protect ourselves from such people. We have the freedom to stop them at the border, the freedom to deny their application for citizenship. Really, this is a debate over the meaning of "freedom" and "rights," for which there are plenty of threads in the Politics section.

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4 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Freedom doesn't mean we have to tolerate those who seek to destroy our freedom. It means we have the freedom to protect ourselves from such people.

Unfortunately this line of reasoning is used to silence conservatives on Facebook and Twitter. And how has that worked out?

Rightful freedom, in fact, means tolerating those who are not a threat.

There is a difference between a person who will use force to achieve their goals vs. a person that talks about it. If they have a criminal background, a background of use of force, we are perfectly justified in inconveniencing them.

There is no denying that we have a right to self defense. The question is what are the boundaries? Why stop at the border if we want to defend our selves, why not go into other countries and take the so called threats out?

What constitutes a threat of force? Is a person who admires Marx automatically a threat? Or an adherent of Islam? Or someone who has had multiple abortions?

4 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Really, this is a debate over the meaning of "freedom" and "rights," for which there are plenty of threads in the Politics section.

Then why did you do a podcast about the subject?

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19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

There is a difference between a person who will use force to achieve their goals vs. a person that talks about it.

Kind of like the difference between someone who rapes your wife versus someone who merely threatens to do it?

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

There is no denying that we have a right to self defense. The question is what are the boundaries?

You do what's necessary to defend yourself. In this case I think screening for socialist advocates is sufficient, in addition to the more common checks. And I'm talking about immigration, not visitation. If some socialist is visiting his grandma, that's not a huge concern. Just make sure he leaves when his time is up.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Why stop at the border if we want to defend our selves, why not go into other countries and take the so called threats out?

Socialist citizens of other countries don't vote in our elections and they don't run for political offices here, so they aren't threats.

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

What constitutes a threat of force?

https://www.dsausa.org/

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Is a person who admires Marx automatically a threat? Or an adherent of Islam? Or someone who has had multiple abortions?

No, I'm talking about advocates of socialism, though there might be a case against advocates of aspects of sharia law. Someone who's had abortions isn't a threat to anyone but their own fetuses. Not exactly a political issue. 

19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:
On 5/23/2021 at 8:07 AM, MisterSwig said:

Really, this is a debate over the meaning of "freedom" and "rights," for which there are plenty of threads in the Politics section.

Then why did you do a podcast about the subject?

I did an interview of Valliant. Immigration was a small part of the interview. I'm saying there are better threads on this forum where we discussed the deeper, conceptual issues of this debate.

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22 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:
19 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

There is a difference between a person who will use force to achieve their goals vs. a person that talks about it.

Kind of like the difference between someone who rapes your wife versus someone who merely threatens to do it?

How about a person who argues abstractly that rape should be legal?

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On 5/24/2021 at 9:17 AM, Doug Morris said:

How about a person who argues abstractly that rape should be legal?

That's bad, but I don't think there is a pro-rape movement that threatens the rights of Americans. I wouldn't expend resources looking for such people, but if it comes up on someone's application or background check, I don't suppose they'd be granted citizenship, even by current standards. 

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In this episode I talk to Scott about his theory on the momentum of ideas in society and the problem of moral equivalence. We also touch on his view that life extension could be a unifying purpose for the liberty movement.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In this episode we interviewed Stephen Hicks about topics related to postmodernism and the left. Near the end I ask him about postmodernism's use of weaponized rhetoric, which is one of the more evil aspects of the philosophy.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our latest episode is an interview with Andrew Bernstein. We talk to him for over two hours about the religious right and the collectivist left, plus at the end we discuss his book on heroes.

 

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Bernstien mentions  that Rand coined the phrase "social primacy of consciousness". I thought it was an an interesting idea, was wondering where there is more information on it.

Other than that Swig mentions leftists go for "shiny new mythologies". Not that I disagree, but this issue exists in our society, evenly across parties, not just leftists. Up until Trump, the Republican party was more pro business and less social spending. But suddenly "the shiny new mythology" became the "Republican workers party" and the 6 Trillion that is being opposed by Republicans seems to be more to prevent the Democrats from getting "credit" for that spending. The other example is that keeping businesses in the US has always been a Bernie position.

So I doubt that attraction to the shiny new myth is fundamentally a problem with leftists.

And that is at the core of the problem with Bernstien's argument. That the religious right is safe, as if they are solidly impervious to moving toward some mythology. When at the core of their religious reality is a bunch of MYTHs. They are far more susceptible to that. There is no acknowledging that they have made a dramatic shift toward another shiny mythology of higher spending and control of business.

Also, this idea that Christians can appreciate or convert to objectivism but leftist can't is silly. Two examples are Yaron Brook and Thomas Sowell.

And then: Christians had respect for free will because they would say "convert of die".  Bizarre understanding of what respect for free will looks like.

Bottom line, "right wing religious people are by far morally preferable to leftists" can't be defended for every election. There are many other elements to take into consideration.  

If the renaissance is the cleanser of Christian crimes, why couldn't the left have a renaissance. As in Sweden and the UK trying it and changing and in some ways becoming more Capitalistic than the US. Not to mention, there are leftists that believe in science and statistics. There are leftists engineers that send rockets to the moon. So they are not all that monstrous as portrayed.

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Peripheral point: Sowell never became an Objectivist. We can admire him personally, and we can learn from his writings, but he remains one of those original-sin conservatives.

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4 hours ago, Reidy said:

Peripheral point: Sowell never became an Objectivist. We can admire him personally, and we can learn from his writings, but he remains one of those original-sin conservatives.

Fair enough. I think I was influenced by the fact that Sowell was an author on the objectivist forum newsletter, unless I remember wrong.

The other example I could think of was Walter Block although he also is an anarcho-capitalist.

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We have a couple new interviews up. Yesterday we spoke with actor Mark Pellegrino. You're probably familiar with him from his podcast with Rucka and his roles on Lost and Supernatural. We asked him about some acting stuff and some political/cultural stuff. 

And a week ago we interviewed two younger Objectivist activists, Ibis and Kudwy from the Aporia Institute. They make experimental videos on Tiktok and debate people on Clubhouse and YouTube. We had a fairly in-depth discussion about debating methods and social media.

 

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On 6/25/2021 at 8:14 PM, Easy Truth said:

Bernstien mentions  that Rand coined the phrase "social primacy of consciousness". I thought it was an an interesting idea, was wondering where there is more information on it.

I can't find where Rand talks about it, but it sounds similar to "social subjectivism," which Peikoff describes in OP. The passage is excerpted in the Lexicon:
 

Quote

 

There are two different kinds of subjectivism, distinguished by their answers to the question: whose consciousness creates reality? Kant rejected the older of these two, which was the view that each man’s feelings create a private universe for him. Instead, Kant ushered in the era of social subjectivism—the view that it is not the consciousness of individuals, but of groups, that creates reality. In Kant’s system, mankind as a whole is the decisive group; what creates the phenomenal world is not the idiosyncrasies of particular individuals, but the mental structure common to all men.

Later philosophers accepted Kant’s fundamental approach, but carried it a step further. If, many claimed, the mind’s structure is a brute given, which cannot be explained—as Kant had said—then there is no reason why all men should have the same mental structure. There is no reason why mankind should not be splintered into competing groups, each defined by its own distinctive type of consciousness, each vying with the others to capture and control reality.

The first world movement thus to pluralize the Kantian position was Marxism, which propounded a social subjectivism in terms of competing economic classes. On this issue, as on many others, the Nazis follow the Marxists, but substitute race for class.


 

 

On 6/25/2021 at 8:14 PM, Easy Truth said:

They are far more susceptible to that. There is no acknowledging that they have made a dramatic shift toward another shiny mythology of higher spending and control of business.

These aren't myths though, they are actions. The myth would be the fantastic narrative for why they need to spend money and control business.

On 6/25/2021 at 8:14 PM, Easy Truth said:

Other than that Swig mentions leftists go for "shiny new mythologies". Not that I disagree, but this issue exists in our society, evenly across parties, not just leftists. 

. . .

So I doubt that attraction to the shiny new myth is fundamentally a problem with leftists.

Are you saying that it's possible the issue is fundamentally a leftist problem, but that you doubt it? Or is it evenly distributed between the right, left, and center, and thus not fundamental to any particular group?

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The fundamental disagreement here is between the idea that the religious right is in fact not subject to mythology vs the idea that their fundamental basis is based on myth by being welcoming of myth, they will welcome more mythology.

Now maybe you are arguing that that their foundational myth is so powerful that they don't allow any new myths. As in a Christian will not easily become a Jew or Moslem or Atheist.

But religious people are myth friendly, therefore, they will allow their own mythology to morph into another myth. They have to, that is how their mental process works.

A Christian will not become a communist as in loose the belief in god and believe in community over the individual, but simply include the belief that community is more important than the individual. That's how it happens.

One could think that a devout Christian would be resistant to voting for Bernie while in reality many do vote for him. It's not like only atheists vote for Bernie.

Meanwhile, communitarianism/collectivism/altruism is a myth since it is a nonsensical/(ultimately supernatural) story that people tell each other about fantastic beings called society and government that have these wonderous powers and responsibilities and they get their powers from their believers just like Greek gods did.

Government as a father figure that should redistribute wealth because we are all a family is a myth that fits both the leftist and the religious narrative. Both believe in this myth and in both cases their leaders use this mythology. 

In both cases, the psychology of the leader is the final determinant of authoritarianism. In both cases a sociopath could gain power with the myth of society over the individual.

In the case of the religious right, it's based on "god's chooses flawed people to lead". It could easily be used to justify Hitler. Especially when he brought employment zero, conquered land without retribution etc. until Poland OOPS.

Usually, in the case of the left the dominant mythology seems to be about unearned guilt without a God involved. Someone wins who successfully shames the public in the voting for them. But, similarly, on the religious right the shame card is played early on with things like the original sin card. It's part and parcel of their system.

4 hours ago, MisterSwig said:
On 6/25/2021 at 8:14 PM, Easy Truth said:

They are far more susceptible to that. There is no acknowledging that they have made a dramatic shift toward another shiny mythology of higher spending and control of business.

These aren't myths though, they are actions. The myth would be the fantastic narrative for why they need to spend money and control business.

You are separating "action" based on mysticism, vs. action in a vacuum based on nothing, just action. You discount the fact that Republicanism (a la Trumpism) is for big government, just a different huge government than Democrats.

Now what is the basis for big government? It is Judeo-Christian values (even for secular people) according to Tucker Carlson if you looked at his debate with Amy Peikoff. For some reason Islam and Buddhism is omitted although they will also push toward communitarianism as having the highest value.

My fundamental objection is regarding the idea that "we can count on the religious wing to do the right thing" because of a core aspect of the belief in the soul (forgetting that it is a supernatural soul).

The truth is that you can't count on them to do the right thing because of their belief in a guilt ridden soul.

Throughout history, without reason and respect for individual self interest, one can count on them to do the wrong thing.

If your argument is a temporary alliance until X happens, you would have a stronger argument. This is true with any alliance. 

But arguing that "by their nature, they support individualism because of the soul thing" is just a myth that you have succumbed to.

Edited by Easy Truth
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18 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The fundamental disagreement here is between the idea that the religious right is in fact not subject to mythology vs the idea that their fundamental basis is based on myth by being welcoming of myth, they will welcome more mythology.

That's not the disagreement. I'm not saying the religious right is not subject to mythology. Of course they are. I'm saying their mythology is primarily ancient in nature, and much of it isn't taken literally anymore. Whereas the left's mythology is contemporary in nature, and much of it is considered reasonable or scientific fact.

18 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

But religious people are myth friendly, therefore, they will allow their own mythology to morph into another myth. They have to, that is how their mental process works.

No, there is a limit to how much they can change a myth, because it's written down in the Bible. The stories of Adam and Eve or Noah's ark can't change much since they are clearly told in the Old Testament. The left is inventing myths right now and they can make them up as they go along because they are hardcore subjectivists. Truth is whatever they want it to be.

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18 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

If your argument is a temporary alliance until X happens, you would have a stronger argument. This is true with any alliance. 

Then I have a stronger argument, because I'm not arguing for a permanent alliance. You ally in order to defeat a common enemy. Once the left is crushed, there will be no need for an alliance against the left.

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3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Then I have a stronger argument, because I'm not arguing for a permanent alliance. You ally in order to defeat a common enemy. Once the left is crushed, there will be no need for an alliance against the left.

Yes, stronger than a blanket endorsement, but if that is the strategy, then why not go all the way and propose an alliance with the Nazi groups, Q Anon, White Supremacist and the people who want a "worker's party" etc.

The argument that they believe in an individual soul, not only is ridiculous, but a blanket endorsement for future behavior on their part.

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3 hours ago, MisterSwig said:
22 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

But religious people are myth friendly, therefore, they will allow their own mythology to morph into another myth. They have to, that is how their mental process works.

No, there is a limit to how much they can change a myth, because it's written down in the Bible. The stories of Adam and Eve or Noah's ark can't change much since they are clearly told in the Old Testament. The left is inventing myths right now and they can make them up as they go along because they are hardcore subjectivists. Truth is whatever they want it to be.

That argument won't go anywhere. It's like saying one can choose an irrationality because it is guaranteed to be limited in scope.

Which is the fundamental position being posed ultimately.

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