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Ayn Rand's Economic Boycott

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orangesiscool
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yes, as many of you have probaly read before, ayn rand said that a non-violent way to stop communism etc. in other countries would be an economic boycott. I've thought of this for a long time and i still can't think of any way this would be possible other than EVERY corporation to agree to the boycott, but how? wouldn't a business see this as an opportunity to capitalize on the nations business's?

hmm?

hmmm? :ninja:

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yes, as many of you have probaly read before, ayn rand said that a non-violent way to stop communism etc. in other countries would be an economic boycott.

But sometimes economic sanctions strengthen the grip of a totalitarian regime over its people. It appears that Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute recognizes this danger. In a recent speech at Georgia Tech, Dr. Brook

argued against economic sanctions, and spent significant time speaking of the example of China. China’s relative improvements – ‘Hong Kong conquering China instead of the other way around’ – were praised, with cautious optimism that they’ll continue on the path to more personal and economic freedom; Yaron even mused about when he’d have to move ARI to Beijing if China and USA each continue their respective trends. He pointed out that embargoes or other sanctions on China would almost certainly reverse their march toward freedom, and cause more reversion to totalitarianism.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/bilger1.html

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But sometimes economic sanctions strengthen the grip of a totalitarian regime over its people. It appears that Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute recognizes this danger.  In a recent speech at Georgia Tech, Dr. Brook

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/bilger1.html

Is it moral though to deal with these places that don't recognize basic individual rights?

I understand that in China it has helped towards a march towards freedom, but will that march stop? It appears as though it won't, and eventually, the people of that country will not allow it.

Does the idea that by trading with this countries we are propping up the government have any merit? I'm especially talking about places where there is a monopoly in the Mises sense: a government has complete control over a natural resource. Is it moral to deal with the Oil governments? What about De Beers(obviously not a country, and note: I don't know this situation as well, I've only really heard the liberal media view)?

Edited by coreyo
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Is it moral though to deal with these places that don't recognize basic individual rights?

I understand that in China it has helped towards a march towards freedom, but will that march stop? It appears as though it won't, and eventually, the people of that country will not allow it.

Does the idea that by trading with this countries we are propping up the government have any merit? I'm especially talking about places where there is a monopoly in the Mises sense: a government has complete control over a natural resource. Is it moral to deal with the Oil governments? What about De Beers(obviously not a country, and note: I don't know this situation as well, I've only really heard the liberal media view)?

Virtually every government on this planet to one degree or another violates individual rights. A boycott of all statist regimes can only be accomplished through what Mises called autarchy, complete self-sufficiency with no international trade at all. If we look at what happened in Eastern Europe during the 60s, 70s and 80s, we can trace a clear relationship between the rise of international trade and the decline of dictatorship.

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The only way to win the game is to make them work much harder than you by chasing inane tasks. People constantly tell me that gov't is unorganized and inefficient. I tend to disagree. They are very efficient at adding tasks for you to accomplish so that you may get the reward. Their goal is to deprive you of your assets by permits, licenses, fees, and taxes. Remove the benefit, money, from the situation and the game changes. I say flood the non-producers with requests for information that requires research on their part. One person doing this means nothing. Two percent of the population doing it will grind the machine to a halt. A machine requiring maintenance does nothing and does not produce anything.

Morality has nothing to do with China. If the populace is complacent and will accept whatever wrongs done onto them, then that is what they deserve. You can have all of the morals in the world. It still won't help as you are run over by a tank as was the case during the riots in Tieneman (sp?) square.

Here is a short insight into the thinking in China. I have a friend that used to work within a position in the State Dept.. In the embassy the maintenance was done by a local Chinese company. If something broke, a call was made to repair the problem. A week later two men would show up and look at the problem. They would defer the problem to a supervisor who would then come out two weeks later. He would then defer the problem to another supervisor who would assess the problem. The workers at the embassy who were US citizens would fix the problem as no one is willing to accept any form of blame in China. Now this may not be typical, but the friend recounted that this was the only post in which this was the case.

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The only way to win the game is to make them work much harder than you by chasing inane tasks.    People constantly tell me that gov't is unorganized and inefficient.    I tend to disagree.    They are very efficient at adding tasks for you to accomplish so that you may get the reward.    Their goal is to deprive you of your assets by permits, licenses, fees, and taxes.    Remove the benefit, money, from the situation and the game changes.  I say flood the non-producers with requests for information that requires research on their part.    One person doing this means nothing.  Two percent of the population doing it will grind the machine to a halt.    A machine requiring maintenance does nothing and does not produce anything.

If we flood the IRS with requests for info, will it grind to a halt?

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If we flood the IRS with requests for info, will it grind to a halt?

I think you know the answer to the question. My point was to counter the onslaught of mandates put forth to keep the rat running the maze. Remove the maze by making the master search for information to help the rat find the cheese.

The real question concerning the IRS is, why must I file required reports that I am not compensated for as well as collecting their revenue without receiving compensation for doing so? Requiring one to do anothers work without compensation denotes slavery, yes? They have had me do their work for years. That is why I have decided to close my business and become a member of the no-contribute class. I refuse to "donate" any more time to those who do not deserve.

I have had some dealing with the agency you mentioned in the past. Here is quote directly from a representative, "if you don't pay your taxes, we don't want you in business". OK, fine. Now explain to me how a sports stadium is built with taxpayer funds, filed as a tax-exempt sports authority, and pays no property or income taxes with reference to the above statement? I ask this question rhetorically concerning the last issue.

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  • 4 months later...
yes, as many of you have probaly read before, ayn rand said that a non-violent way to stop communism etc. in other countries would be an economic boycott. I've thought of this for a long time and i still can't think of any way this would be possible other than EVERY corporation to agree to the boycott, but how? wouldn't a business see this as an opportunity to capitalize on the nations business's?

hmm?

hmmm? :ninja:

I think the fallacy in this approach (economic boycott) is the idea that everyone who is immoral is also incompetent (a common Objectivist misconception), which is not the case. So in the end one would leave the economy to competent people who see no problem with this.

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If we look at what happened in Eastern Europe during the 60s, 70s and 80s, we can trace a clear relationship between the rise of international trade and the decline of dictatorship.
I've often wondered if the same thing would happen with Cuba. Our economic boycott of the island has been less than successful. If we lifted that boycott and began to trade freely with Cuba, my guess is that the Cuban people would dump Castro relatively quickly.
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Ayn Rand also said that a boycott aka Atlas Shrugged would only be appropriate when a country virtually becomes a dictatorship (1964 playboy interview).

And by that time, competent people will see a problem with the government.

Sorry, I don't read the Playboy and was born in 1981, which makes this even more difficult.

Just kidding. :)

Thanks for the info.

Edited by Felix
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I've often wondered if the same thing would happen with Cuba. Our economic boycott of the island has been less than successful. If we lifted that boycott and began to trade freely with Cuba, my guess is that the Cuban people would dump Castro relatively quickly.

What does Cuba have to trade? The only way it would make any difference is if they opened their markets and allowed greater economic freedom - as they have in China.

China, though, is a troubling counter-example to the notion that freer trade will promote greater political freedom - at least so far. If anything, the Chinese seem to be cracking down even more, e.g. in regard to the Internet. They bizarrely continue to pay homage to communism, despite the fact that they have largely abandoned it. (I would describe China today as a fascist dictatorship).

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This is the type of situation where Objectivists get called misguided idealists whose ideas aren't "practical." If you look at the world economy today, you'll notice a few important things.

The World Trade Organization, collectively, clearly understands that the barriers to trade that are hindering global freedom are wrong. For example, over the next few years, subsidies and tariffs worldwide are scheduled to decrease, gradually phasing out these harmful practices. However, this process is slow.

This isn't because the people in charge only slowly understand what the problems are. Please don't be so arrogant. This is because these are elected officials, whose constituents see no problem with their immoral practices. If politicians were to implement drastic changes too quickly, they would be deposed in favor of those who would stay truer to the historical looting so many individuals have enjoyed.

For example, it is wrong to pay a farm subsidy with tax dollars wrenched from the populace with the threat of force, while worthy, but unsubsidized, competitors are left to die. The politicians see this, at least to an extent, and are trying to fix it. But you try and simpy remove the subsidy and see how your constituents react. There's a reason that these lobbies were awarded these subsidies in the first place, and it's because they're very good at making people feel sorry for them without explaining to them who'll be paying for their relief.

An economic boycott is a naive solution in many ways, because for a boycott to be effective, you need to have an important enough group of people moving in conjuction. If every single one of us were to boycott the companies who succeeded through looting, no one would notice. It would take a politically invested world educated in right and wrong, in the truest sense, to give weight to a boycott.

For now, effort needs to be directed towards promoting awareness of these issues and of our views. Only an informed populace will be able to make the necessary changes.

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