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Start A New Country -- Or Change The Old Ones?

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BurgessLau
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Zepho,

I'm interested in what you said, and I see the Republican machine attempting to gain more voters by creating the perception they're sensitive to "liberal" issues. President Bush campaigned on this platform in 2000, citing "compassionate conservatism" as a means to soften the public perception of conservatives as greed-mongers. Whatever quantitative affect it had was enough.

I don't think Western civilization is "going down the tubes" - not in the way the Roman or British Empires did. I look at the current conservative political landscape and remember Frank Herbert: "Every revolution carries with it the seeds of its own destruction." A pessimistic remark, for sure, but it reminds me that any revolution - from a cultural trend to overthrowing a government - not firmly rooted in reality will eventually collapse.

The conservative backlash of the past few years is being exposed ever more each day - from the cherry-picked intelligence that spawned Iraqi "Freedom", to the all-too-cozy relationship of Vice President Cheney to American contractors in Iraq, to Representative Delay's ethics violations, and so on. People aren't as blind or stupid as they're credited for being, and I fully anticipate the political spectrum will swing in the liberal direction in the coming years. Of course, the Democrats are going to have to get their act together to do this, and maybe Howard Dean as DNC Chairman can pull it off (although he's fumbling a lot lately, too).

What concerns me is that, with every new political generation come more laws and controls meant to create exceptions or seal loopholes in legislation from the former generation. Will a Democratic Administration and Congress repeal the Patriot Act? I doubt it ... most likely certain provisions will be adopted by other Acts, laws, policies, and Executive Orders before the Patriot Act is casually swept under the rug.

It concerns me that America is drifting aimlessly, but in the direction of a Statist regime, and few really see the long-term consequences. The only thing it will take, though, to begin THE END will be the further authoritarian growth of the government and corruption of political and economic leaders, coupled with another 9/11-like event.

By then, it will be too late.

If I'm still around and that happens, I hope I'm on Mars at the time. :)

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Should I comment on the usage of the word "believe?" I wouldn't adopt any beliefs here.

"Believe" is just another one of the concepts corrupted by modern philosophy and religion. I think it is a valid concept, like "selfishness", that can be reclaimed from the clutches of irrational epistemology. "Believe" simply means "to consider as true." This definition does not indicate motives or reasons for consider something true, and does not need to.

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Sure, although I'm not quite sure what point you are trying to make in relation to the entire context of my post.

In post #25 you wrote, "If the republicans gain more of the minority vote this election, I think the democrats might be severely damaged."

Sure it would be great to "severely damage" Democrats. But at what cost? If Republicans are gaining Democratic votes by making the same promises that Democrats have traditionally made, just what have Republicans gained?

I'll tell you what they've gained: a new constituency of government beneficiaries that will demand that their new servants in Washington continue to deliver government loot on a regular basis.

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Eric Mathis, I agree with your comments. However I think you might be reading too deep into my comments. I'm not saying I'm happy with the way things are going. I'm also not saying the country will prosper from the collapse of either of the parties. What I am saying is that I think it is absolutely crucial that Objectivists push their ideas into the mainstream if one of the parties were to collapse. Failure to do so would only further confirm, to the non-thinking, public that there is no alternative to the liberal/conservative ideas.

To summarize: If one of the parties collapses and leaves a single "victor". It would be logical that the ends of that parties agenda would be approached at a more rapid rate. In other words, collapse into dictatorship wouldn't be far off.

Now this whole theory is based on the assumption that one party is collapsing, which you may disagree with. In my opinion, I think the democrats are collapsing.

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Now this whole theory is based on the assumption that one party is collapsing, which you may disagree with. In my opinion, I think the democrats are collapsing.

From what I see, it's not the Democratic Party that is in danger of becoming extinct, but the two-party system. What we have now is basically one socialist party representing itself under two different names.

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From what I see, it's not the Democratic Party that is in danger of becoming extinct, but the two-party system.  What we have now is basically one socialist party representing itself under two different names.

Both parties are so busy "running to the middle" that it's hard to tell them apart. However, I doubt either will disappear. There is just too much momentum behind their existence. The Democrats controlled Congress for 40 years or so and the Republicans didn't go away. Besides, Queen Hillary is going to win in 2008, causing a great revival of the Democratic Party. Oh, the horror.....

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A few points:

1) Although there was a reference to the Free State Project (20,000 Libertarians and/or Objectivists and/or freedom-loving people moving to New Hampshire to basically take over the state government and move it in the direction of freedom) no one really followed up on it. I think there is some merit to the idea but there are significant obstacles as well. The truth be told, I know plenty of Libertarians or Objectivists in the Socialist state of California that are not willing to leave CA for NH. What does that say?

2) I tend to agree with Adriana (and not exclusively because of the attractive photo). One strategy is to buy an island and/or enough of us emigrate to a small nation to enable us to assume control of the government and move it to an objectivist/Libertarian ideal. Of course, that takes money. I think the possibility of a hugely successful individual doing it is more likely than some mass movement of like-minded individuals (see my caveeat in #1 above). I need to figure out how to become a billionaire and make it happen.

3) What about emigrating to a relatively 'free' nation like Singapore, Ireland or one of the eastern European nations and try to influence their governments to keep adhering to free market policies? One of the impetuses of the EU Constitution movement is that countries like France and Germany are tired of trying to compete with low-tax Ireland and the Eastern European nations. Since the Eastern European nations are enjoying success with their current strategy, trying to reinforce the virtuous policies would not be as difficult as creating a free nation to begin with. I have been to Singapore twice and I would very much enjoy living there.

2005_Index_Overview_Release.doc

Edited by Jeff Durbin
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A few points:

...

As great as the Free State Project may sound, I suspect it will continue to fail to garner any true supporters.

Most Objectivists have made their lives here in the United States. Their jobs, their productive career, their friends and families--all their primary values reside here and cannot be moved easily (if at all). To ask them to tear themselves away from their primary values (because the hypothetical island-state/city-state will likely be so tiny and isolated that it will not have the enormous opportunities for productive careers there are in the United States) would be to ask them to act selflessly, to sacrifice their values for something that would be akin to a "greater good"--wholly contrary to Objectivism!

State-building is the least likely scenario--simply because of the hardships and difficults involved. It will likely remain a mere possibility until the entire world is TRULY in dire conditions.

Edited by Tom Rexton
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Besides, Queen Hillary is going to win in 2008, causing a great revival of the Democratic Party.  Oh, the horror.....

That would be horrible, but like Eric said, who is the alternative from the Republicans? They seem to be moving towards the middle also, and even agenda-wise they are looking more like Democrats everyday.

Personally I think if Condi Rice ran for the republicans, Sen. Clinton wouldn't have a chance.

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As great as the Free State Project may sound, I suspect it will continue to fail to garner any true supporters.

Has anyone thought about the Ayn Rand Institute's solution for the problem? They feel that getting Ayn Rand's books into schools at a higher rate would interest more potential New Intellectuals into learning Objectivism. These now Actual New Intellectuals would either go into the private sector, become successful and fight the battle on the private front-- or join ARI's mission of writing books/Op-Eds/ect to get the ideas into the mainstream.

I agree. Getting Ayn Rand's books into the mainstream IS the answer. Isn't it her books that got all of us here to begin with? I think it is her books, and the ones that future Objectivists will write, that are our greatest weapon. Look how good this weapon has worked on us-- years of propaganda were blown away by one book.

Edited by zepho
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This subject was exactly what I was talking about in my thread "Can we create Atlantis". I didn't nessacarily mean literally, just how can we actively create a freer society in our lifetimes. It must be possible. We just need to be more organised and take action. Once our ideas are "out of the box" like Pandora they can never be put back. Instead of talking about colonizing Mar's 200 years from now we need to figure out what we can do to create a better world here, now, on this world.

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There is a lot of talk in the news at the moment about Africa - the impoverished continent. It occurs to me that when Westerners come across depositing vast sums of aid & declaring their solemn duty to help these people they've never met before I expect a number of Africans, having come from a tribal background, have no idea why they are being helped. In many areas Africa is now the bastion of a new Christianity - these suffering people were offered a new hope and stick to it like glue. Now there are enough desperate peoples on this planet that I see no reason why a group of like minded individuals (Objectivists) with a large sum of money and knowledge between them couldn't, of their own private intiative, approach such an area and offer money for reform, for education - essentially breathing life into a near dead society, exchanging value for value. If Africa taught us anything its that when the times are tough people clutch onto the best they can. Surely its easier, on mass level, to 'convert' desperate people rather than well-off, comfortable, fellow Americans?

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In all seriousness, has anyone read The Bombardiers by Po Bronson? It's literally a guidebook for getting our own country through leveraged buy out.

It's about an investment group that buys out all the the Dominican Republic's bonds, calls them, and simultaneously issue shares in a holding company. Each resident had 1 share that they had the right to vote, or sell, or save and buy more so they could be better represented.

Now where's my pot of coffee, a stack of Cadbury bars, cheese danishes, and investment banking regulators wearing the powder blue helmets. I'm ready to hit the phones...... If you read the book you'd laugh.

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However I do think it is the absolutely crucial that we get our ideas into the mainstream and present a valid alternative to the status quo.

I am actually thinking of starting a public access cable TV talk show, based on Objectivist views, since no such talk show exists anymore on radio (thinking of Peikoff & Lewis at the end of the 1990s) and certainly no such thing exists on television.

I do have quite a few ideas and a strong political motivation (taxes are literally killing me) to change things on a local level. And since my latest newspaper editorial has been delayed in publishing (probably because it is the first of my 15 or so published editorials that actually identifies the culprit and the motive of local property taxation) I see a need to take it a step further with a weekly TV program.

If we each did something like this all over the country, we might start to make a difference.

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Perfect quote for the occasion.

In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.--Ayn Rand (taken from the header of this site)

Edited by zepho
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Now there are enough desperate peoples on this planet that I see no reason why a group of like minded individuals (Objectivists) with a large sum of money and knowledge between them couldn't, of their own private intiative, approach such an area and offer money for reform, for education - essentially breathing life into a near dead society, exchanging value for value.

I do not understand what you are proposing. Would you name a particular country you think is the most likely candidate for this project? How much money do you think would be required to "reform" or educate a "near dead" society?

Further, are you suggesting that Objectivists in this proposed project would give the money to the African government? What would these Objectivists gain from doing so? Land for private ownership free of statism? Can one rely on such governments to protect individual rights to life, liberty, and property? If we can rely on them to do so, then why are they in such a horrible state of culture to begin with?

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I do not understand what you are proposing. Would you name a particular country you think is the most likely candidate for this project? How much money do you think would be required to "reform" or educate a "near dead" society?

Further, are you suggesting that Objectivists in this proposed project would give the money to the African government? What would these Objectivists gain from doing so? Land for private ownership free of statism? Can one rely on such governments to protect individual rights to life, liberty, and property? If we can rely on them to do so, then why are they in such a horrible state of culture to begin with?

I'm absolutely not suggesting anyone give money to African governments. I'm talking about intervening on the local level and galvanising support - show the necessity of private property laws and responsible governance, of free trade and hard work. The project would be financed and carried out by a small group of people, and yes - it is not watertight - but consider that in much of Africa the borders are merely fictional and there are greater ethnic and tribal tensions as well as war lords hunting resources that carve out real domains of power. I frankly don't know of costs or specific locations - this is a general idea, and is suggested in contrast with the space based exodus idea as a more reasonable iniative.

If this was to be done, one could first immerse themselves in the culture of the target community, learning its language and customs, how they think - and then appeal to them in terms they understand. Yes, you are right - the 'horrible state of culture to begin with' invites bad governance. I'm saying it may be easier to do nation building out of different cultures with values that have failed them again and again, than out of 50 states of relatively well-off and happy Americans. There are a number of reasons I object to Debt wiping, African aid on the level our Governments have just agreed to, and generally just throwing money at 'the problem' and hoping it will go away - not least that the people receiving this money, and hence power, have no conception of capitalism, democracy or good governance.

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In response to the original question of this thread, out my check mark in the "change the old one" category.

I've discussed this on a couple of other threads. The following is only an opinion -- I've not integrated it enough the claim it to be more than that -- but, I get a little irked when Objectivists throw up their hands and say Oh-we're-doomed-the-only- chance-we-have-is-to-colonize-space (or an island, or New Hampshire, etc.). I think: Objectivism offers an inspirational vision for man, along with the means to create that vision (reason, and a proper understanding of the role of ideas in the world), and yet some people seem to become more hopeless after "discovering" Objectivism. When I read Atlas, e.g., I came away from the experience extremely motivated and enthused about the world, and about the prospect for changing it. But some people seem to get depressed by its message.

As I've discussed before, I find this attitude naive, especially when uttered by somebody who's just found Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged and now feels sophisticated enough to be pessimistic. Self-righteously pessimistic.

A lot of people have been working hard for a long time to spread Objectivism into the culture, and the progress that's been noticeable in the past 10-15 years is staggering. Surely someone who has observed the influence of O-ism during that time will back me up on that?

We have the ideas and the method. The road is cleared (to quote a character from a book). Now why are we still talking about colonizing New Hampshire, for goodness' sake?

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I agree - since I've come to Objectivism I've really began to see a great deal of essentially good things going around me. Things that make you stop and think; 'yeah - they know what there doing'.

Still, The Government beast ever looms, and my African suggestion doesn't come out of a spirit of desperation or doom-saying, its just a potential way of getting an exclusive new constitution up and running somewhere.

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A lot of people have been working hard for a long time to spread Objectivism into the culture, and the progress that's been noticeable in the past 10-15 years is staggering. Surely someone who has observed the influence of O-ism during that time will back me up on that?

We have the ideas and  the method. The road is cleared (to quote a character from a book). Now why are we still talking about colonizing New Hampshire, for goodness' sake?

I'm not necessarily defending the Free State Project, but why should we suppose that Objectivism is growing fast enough to make any political impact in our lifetimes? You may have noticed that government has also grown quite a bit over the past decade and shows no sign of wanting to take a rest. As I stated earlier, we could have ten times the present number of Objectivists and still be sliding even further down the road to tyranny.

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