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The Wrath
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Just looking for some opinions on whether or not there is a danger of there being a draft in the near future.

That all depends on Fearless Leader and the neo-cons advising him (i.e. doing his thinking for him). If we're going to have one, two, three, many Iraqs, there just won't be enough children to feed to Moloch. The downside of the draft for the war party is that it is sure to bring 60s-style campus demonstrations back into fashion.

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Some democrats introduced a pair of bills (HR163/S89) last summer to reinstitute the draft. What's more, the bills would institute a universal draft, with no deferments for studying, and would draft women as well. The democrats who sponsored these bills reasoned that the country would be less likely to go into unnesseasry wars if the "rich kids" were drafted along with the "poor kids". Thus, the party that fancies themselves to be protectors of "Human Rights" abrogates genuine individual rights in order to further their political agendas.

I was (perhaps naively) scared by these bills, and wrote my representatives to stop it. This action was probably unnessesary, since the bills were defeated soundly in committee. I've heard that the Bush Administration is firmly against the draft, but we all know how much the word of a politician is worth.

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Yeah, Charles Rangel was the one who introduced it, if I'm not mistaken. Funny that the hippie Democrats are the only ones who seemed to support it. With the way that the Bush administration has come out and specifically said "there will not be a draft," I tend to believe them. Politicians rarely speak in such certain terms and, when they do, they do it knowing that it would be political suicide to change their minds.

Just as a side note, what is the cut-off age for the draft? Isn't it 26?

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Some democrats introduced a pair of bills (HR163/S89) last summer to reinstitute the draft.  What's more, the bills would institute a universal draft, with no deferments for studying, and would draft women as well.  The democrats who sponsored these bills reasoned that the country would be less likely to go into unnesseasry wars if the "rich kids" were drafted along with the "poor kids".  Thus, the party that fancies themselves to be protectors of "Human Rights" abrogates genuine individual rights in order to further their political agendas.

...

:huh: *gulp* That is an extremely frightening idea. However, if I advocated the draft, I suppose it would make sense to indiscriminately violate everyone's rights since that is what the draft does. But I don't so it doesn't. :P If they reinstitute the draft I think we Objectivists need to buy our own island and start our own country. :lol:
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...With the way that the Bush administration has come out and specifically said "there will not be a draft," I tend to believe them.  Politicians rarely speak in such certain terms and, when they do, they do it knowing that it would be political suicide to change their minds.

Just as a side note, what is the cut-off age for the draft?  Isn't it 26?

Does Bush really care about that anymore though. I mean, he doesn't have to worry about re-election anymore. If he was really all that opposed to the draft, why hasn't he started legislation to get it abolished, forever. It would probably get less opposition than his social security plan anyway. Is anyone actually for the draft besides politicians?
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Having a bill that would cause the close relatives of Republicans to be drafted if a draft were instituted would make me feel much safer than I do now. They wouldn't go against their own (irrational, albeit) self-interest!

That doesn't mean I don't think Rangel and the other idiots aren't Democrats. I mean, Rangel and the other Democrats aren't idiots.

The draft is a possibility, but it would be much more reasonable for the national leaders to withdraw from prolonged conflict than to try to reinstitute a draft if it comes down to a choice between the two, and I think even they would realize that. Giving up in Iraq would be better than trying to fight two wars--one there and one on our college campuses, as has already been mentioned.

P.S. The Objectivists should make their own island nation... or perhaps there already is one? We wouldn't know, would we? :lol:

*Edited by valjean for spelling.

Edited by valjean
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Having a bill that would cause the close relatives of Republicans to be drafted if a draft were instituted would make me feel much safer than I do now.  They wouldn't go against their own (irrational, albeit) self-interest!

Following the etiquette of the Middle Ages, I've always favored the idea that the leaders of nations should be first on the field of battle. Let the heroic Dubya of the Alabama Air National Guard lead the charge on his Axis of Evil.

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It is my opinion that the reinstitution of the draft is a genuine concern. There has been an increase in articles on the Net regarding this.

The general consensus is that the military's recruitment has gone down sharply, and that the number of men and women in our armed forces had declined to what these naysayers are claiming are numbers insufficient to defend America.

That all depends on Fearless Leader and the neo-cons advising him (i.e. doing his thinking for him).  If we're going to have one, two, three, many Iraqs, there just won't be enough children to feed to Moloch.  The downside of the draft for the war party is that it is sure to bring 60s-style campus demonstrations back into fashion.

It just might, but I remember back in 1969 participating in one such demonstration as a college student. The Nixon administration had claimed they did not have enough fighting men to continue the war in Vietnam, so they decided that they'd institute a lottery each year for those who would graduate from 1969 to 1971 or so. Such lottery was based upon birthdate. I had a friend of mine who joked about being No. 1 in the draw. Interestingly enough, he was NOT drafted. Even with out the Lottery, the Selective Service act changed your classification from student to 1-A immediately following your graduation. And we all feared being inducted and being sent to that hellhole in Vietnam.

When it comes to issues like the Draft, it goes beyond my lifelong opposition to it. In fact it gets personal. My cousin had to withdraw from college to help his ailing mother (my aunt) and go to work, while attending night school. Immediately, he was reclassified 1-A and, shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the army and sent to Cambodia within two months time. He was wounded, returned, and given a medical discharge. His future pursuit of happiness was disrupted by the physical and psychological wounds he suffered during that war.

Should you ever hear of any bills being raised in Congress regarding the Draft, I would urge all of you to write your congressmen to defeat such legislation.

I was (perhaps naively) scared by these bills, and wrote my representatives to stop it.  This action was probably unnessesary, since the bills were defeated soundly in committee.  I've heard that the Bush Administration is firmly against the draft, but we all know how much the word of a politician is worth.

It's my opinion that your actions were purely justified, and you did what any good citizen concerned with this issue would have done. I'd urge you to continue your vigilance regarding this.

:lol:

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(Yes): It's my opinion that your actions were purely justified, and you did what any good citizen concerned with this issue would have done. I'd urge you to continue your vigilance regarding this.
Ah, well I wasn't really concerned about acting immorally; I was mostly just embarassed for taking the bill so seriously, since it was largely introduced as a symbolic anti-war gesture. Nonetheless, it can't hurt to let the politicians know where I stand-- at least that way I have a record to point to if I ever want to conscientiously object, so I won't have to be in the line of fire if I don't want to. If I'm going to be slave, I might as well try to be a slave at home. <_<

But on the brighter side, I've heard that they (in the usual collectivist manner) consider a single letter written to them to indicate that several thousand members of the population share the same opinions, so maybe it isn't so futile. In any case, thanks for the moral support! :D

(Moose): Funny that the hippie Democrats are the only ones who seemed to support it.

Yeah, I find it an amusing (if not somewhat disturbing) spectacle to see the Vietnam-War-protesting 60's hippies in support of the draft when it favors their views. Ah well, this is what we get when we live in an age when principles are out of style.

(non-contradictor): *gulp* That is an extremely frightening idea. However, if I advocated the draft, I suppose it would make sense to indiscriminately violate everyone's rights since that is what the draft does. But I don't so it doesn't.  If they reinstitute the draft I think we Objectivists need to buy our own island and start our own country.

It'd definitely be a sad day if America decided to reinstitute the draft. It was bad enough that we ever had it to begin with-- here, of all places! :( Although, with all bad laws, sometimes the best thing is to enforce it consistently so people will realise that it's a bad law.

I'm not sure about an Objectivist island nation, awesome as that would be. First, I think you're right in thinking that this place can be saved from the theocrats and the socialists yet. However, even if it were to fall, we would need to export quite a few Objectivists to get a working economy. However, if our numbers are great enough to form an entire new country, we'd might as well attempt grassroots action here first, since we already have a goodly amount of infrastructure built here.

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Seems to me that to start a perfect society, we'd need to invite people who share many Objectivist principles but aren't actually Objectivists. The cold, hard truth is that the people who are the "motor of the world," such as Bill Gates and people in similar positions, are not Objectivists.

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Seems to me that to start a perfect society, we'd need to invite people who share many Objectivist principles but aren't actually Objectivists.  The cold, hard truth is that the people who are the "motor of the world," such as Bill Gates and people in similar positions, are not Objectivists.

That's true-- and I'm sure those people would find it in their interests to jump ship, especially if a draft or other equally oppresive economic measure were instituted here. Not to mention, many of these people simply don't know about Objectivism (or have only heard silly straw-men of it) and would easily adopt Objectivist principles explicitly if given the chance. :(

However, actually going to some island nation and converting it into a functioning Objectivist nation would take quite a bit of construction, not to mention agricultural development, in order to get the economy moving. So at the very least, we'd have to be willing to work more physical labor-oriented jobs at the beginning in order to get the infrastructure built. Quite a few of us would probably be working farms or ranches too, since the first market demands would be food and water.

However, given the work ethic of Objectivists, we'd be beyond this stage in no time, rapidly outshining the rest of the world as they look on in wonder. :D Speaking of which, we'll need weapons, too. <_<

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Eric Mathis wrote: "Damn right. That [starting our own island] would represent a far more practical use of our severely limited resources than trying to educate 200+ million people in the Basic Principles of Objectivism."

I believe you overestimate the difficulty of educating 200+ million people in the basic principles of Objectivism.

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The Democrats started the Draft Bill in order to force the Republicans not to sign it, a sort of weird reverse psychology thing, where by the Republicans would have the most to loose from a bill written by Democrats to humiliate REpublicans and frighten college students.

I dont believe that there will be a draft because the military brass know that the strength of the American Army is based on its volunteer nature, and that we get better soldiers from people who are willing to fight, then those who are not.

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Eric Mathis wrote: "Damn right. That [starting our own island] would represent a far more practical use of our severely limited resources than trying to educate 200+ million people in the Basic Principles of Objectivism."

I believe you overestimate the difficulty of educating 200+ million people in the basic principles of Objectivism.

Let's see. Atlas Shrugged was published October 10, 1957, almost a half century ago. Nathaniel Branden began delivering seminars on Rand's philosophy 47 years ago. Rand and and Branden began publishing The Objectivist Newsletter 43 years ago. The Virtue of Selfishness was published 41 years ago. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal was publiched 39 years ago. Now, unless I'm mistaken, the percentage of 200+ million Americans that we can count as Objectivists is still quite tiny. Why should we think there is going to be any sudden change in the near future?

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From Eric Mathis: "Let's see. Atlas Shrugged was published October 10, 1957, almost a half century ago. Nathaniel Branden began delivering seminars on Rand's philosophy 47 years ago. Rand and and Branden began publishing The Objectivist Newsletter 43 years ago. The Virtue of Selfishness was published 41 years ago. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal was publiched 39 years ago. Now, unless I'm mistaken, the percentage of 200+ million Americans that we can count as Objectivists is still quite tiny. Why should we think there is going to be any sudden change in the near future?"

Or, viewed from another perspective: In less than 50 years, a fundamentally different philosophy is making unprecedented cultural inroads.

Rand's books continue to sell 100,000s each year. More books than ever before are being published by Objectivist intellectuals. Ayn Rand's name appears in media orders of magnitude more often than in the past. The budget/membership/projects of ARI are at an all-time high. 100,000s of high school students are being introduced to the Fountainhead as part of their official curriculum each year, and that number is growing quickly at this moment. The current generation is given more exposure to Objectivism than any preceding generation. High-profile enthisiasts and/or supporters continue to "find" Rand. ARI's training for professional future intellectuals continues to grow each year.

In addition to this long -- and very incomplete -- list, there is the fact that reality is on our side. A philosophy of success breeds more success, which continues to feed the efforts of success; Harry Binswanger refers to this process as a "virtuous circle" (as contrasted with the phrase "vicious circle").

In my period of familiarity with Objectivism -- approx. 20 years -- I have seen Rand and Objectivism take a major turn of influence in the cultural mainstream. If one focuses on the essential changes which are necessary to fuel a philosophical renaissance -- especially educational changes at the university level -- and ignores the incidental, the day-to-day, the cultural "ballast", one cannot help but see the trend toward Objectivism.

Given our limited resources, it is talk of "islands" and Utopias which are a distraction from the battle at hand. After many long frustrating years, Objectivism is winning, slowly but very surely. Cash in your start-an-island fund, and donate to ARI's Free-Fountainhead-for Schools project.

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In my period of familiarity with Objectivism -- approx. 20 years -- I have seen Rand and Objectivism take a major turn of influence in the cultural mainstream. If one focuses on the essential changes which are necessary to fuel a philosophical renaissance -- especially educational changes at the university level -- and ignores the incidental, the day-to-day, the cultural "ballast", one cannot help but see the trend toward Objectivism.

Her book sales are encouraging, but as I state here, of the millions who devour Atlas Shrugged only a tiny percentage become full fledged Objectivists. Regarding the university level: as someone who spends hundreds of hours each year reading scholarly journals in philosophy, political science and economics, I see no evidence whatever of an Objectivist renaissance among academics. But let us go ahead and suppose that Ayn Rand’s philosophy will grow three times as fast in its second 50 years as in its first -- where does that leave us? By 2057 we may have an Objectivist congressman or governor, but I’ll be a very old man.

Given our limited resources, it is talk of "islands" and Utopias which are a distraction from the battle at hand. After many long frustrating years, Objectivism is winning, slowly but very surely. Cash in your start-an-island fund, and donate to ARI's Free-Fountainhead-for Schools project.

That would be like counseling Midas Mulligan to forget about Galt’s Gulch and spend his money giving away copies of Bastiat’s The Law. Call me selfish, but my philosophy is to free myself first.

Edited by Eric Mathis
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Okay, I don't really think we should move to a deserted island. I was being entirely hypothetical. I, too, believe that this country is not yet beyond all hope, but I disagree when you say that Objectivism is winning. Yes, many more people are exposed to it than there used to be. Well, any person with a basic knowledge of statistics can tell you that part of that is because the population has grown. Even so, many people who become somewhat familiar with it just let it slide off their backs, or even become adamantly opposed to it.

“Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

-Winston Churchill

If you need an example of this, go to hobbes.resnet.tamu.edu/forums, run a forum search on "Ayn Rand" or "Objectivism" and read the discussions. Particularly look for the posts by the members named Whiteflea, Zathras, and Anatole.

Edited by Moose
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Seems to me that to start a perfect society, we'd need to invite people who share many Objectivist principles but aren't actually Objectivists.  The cold, hard truth is that the people who are the "motor of the world," such as Bill Gates and people in similar positions, are not Objectivists.

Yet they are major producers.

Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggert weren't Objectivists, either. :D Being able to invite producers frustrated of trying to get along in a major "mixed economy" into a Galt's Gulch is a very appealing idea. ;)

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They were certainly Objectivists by the end of the book. That's why they Dagny was only allowed to stay in the Gulch for a certain period of time.

EDIT: I have no idea why this posted twice. Anyone who has the power to delete it, please do so.

Edited by Moose
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They were certainly Objectivists by the end of the book.  That's why they Dagny was only allowed to stay in the Gulch for a certain period of time.

EDIT: I have no idea why this posted twice.  Anyone who has the power to delete it, please do so.

I think Yes has made a point that is both amusing and interesting. In the fictional world of Atlas Shrugged, there is no philosopher-novelist named Ayn Rand and thus no system of ideas named "Objectivism." It is true that "This is John Galt Speaking" is as accurate a prospectus of Objectivism as you could ask for. But Yes is correct. Strictly speaking, there are no Objectivists in Atlas.

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