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Ban Communists?

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Should all Communists and their sympathizers be banned from this forum?  

106 members have voted

  1. 1. Should all Communists and their sympathizers be banned from this forum?

    • Yes
      46
    • No
      37


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'Marxism' is far too broad a term, and is pretty much meaningless due to the incredible amount of (often unrelated) beliefs/theories it has come to encompass.

I don't think it's meaningless.

A Marxist is someone who says things which come from Marx or his followers.

Their arguments are fairly standard and usually include ranst about the rich, the workers, imperialism and the idea that America is capitalist no matter how much the government taxes, spends, regulates etc.

The short answer is to delete them post haste and that leaves much more time to talk about Objectivism, Capitalism and so on.

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I do not tolerate the irrational. If they have come here to learn about objectivism then they are not really communists and had better say so when the mention that they favor it at the present time. People who are confused I have no problem with, communists are by their own free choice, get them out.

Speaking of irrational...

poohat:  What if a 'communist'/marxist is genuinelly interested in Objectivism, or has Objectivist leanings?

This is ridiculous. A is A.

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I don't think it's meaningless.

A Marxist is someone who says things which come from Marx or his followers.

Well the problems here are that a) Marx said a lot of different things about a lot of different subjects, and B) most proclaimed Marxists today arent really following in the footsteps of Marx anyway.

Marxism (as the term is normally used) in a sociological/political sense can really be split into 2 distinct parts: normative, and descriptive. By 'descriptive' I mean a description of the state of current Western society, and by 'normative' I mean ideas about what society should look like. Most of the anti-marxist posts in this thread have attacked the normative side. For instance, when someone says "communism is a good thing", or "its unfair that the rich are exploiting the poor and we should do something about it", they arent being descriptive - they are giving their opinions on what things 'should' be like. This doesnt really relate to the works of Marx, since Marx generally didnt advocate anything and tried to keep a detached position in most of his writings (other than in the Manifesto). I dont think Marx even explicitly claimed that he was in favour of communism, just that it was inevitable (although you certainly could argue that the very act of writing the Manifesto implied that he was in favour of communism).

Non-normative Marxism can generally be thought of as a number of theories regarding both history, and sociology. None of these prescribe how things 'should' be, they are simply Marx's evaluation of how things actually are (well, how they were in the 19th century but you get the idea). While I personally believe that most of his theories were wrong, I do think he had a couple of points that were correct mixed in amongst the nonsense. In any case, someone could be a Marxist in the sense that they agree with most of Marx's socio-political analysis, while also disagreeing completely with leftist Marxists about what should be done to 'fix' things. As I mentioned previously, I've spoken to Marxists who basically believed that something akin to lassez faire capitalism would be the best normative solution to our current problems. There is certainly no guarantee that a Marxist will support communism, although obviously a lot of them do.

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I've never encountered any Marxists along the lines you describe in nearly 4 years as Admin on a similarly inclined forum to this one.

I know that Marx said a load of contradictory stuff but most Marxists usually spout standard stuff and getting rid of them quickly allows people to concentrate on rational discussion rather than getting bogged down with people who turn to stone when the sun comes up (as everybody knows).

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...indistunguishable from laissez faire capitalists other than that they dont think land ownership can be morally justified.

You aren't making any sense poohat. In what ways, exactly, are people who don't believe in any moral justification of land ownership (note that this translates to all property ownership) similar to laissez faire capitalists?

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All things are scarce; freedom can only be acquired through blood, sweat, and tears; and the principle of freedom arbitrarily to use and dispose as justification for the principle against arbitrarily to use and dispose is ludicrous.

Do you really think land is different from other forms of property, or are you merely quoting others?

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As I mentioned previously, I've spoken to Marxists who basically believed that something akin to lassez faire capitalism would be the best normative solution to our current problems.

I've had just about enough of this line of thought.

Marx•ism: n :  political and social principles of Karl Marx

Marx•ism: n :  a form of communism based on the writings of Marx and Lenin
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I'm not sure I understand all the parsing of "Marxists" and "communists" poohat goes on about, but I do agree that a general "no trolls allowed" ought to cover things nicely. It would automatically ban all offending communists, as well as any other variety of goon who merely wants to argue for argument's sake.

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I'll venture to say that no, Communists should not be banned; what if, for example, said Communist is a man who has not yet come to accept the rational guidelines of Objectivism, but is very interested?

Let it be considered that every rational and non-retarded (I mean this literally, not in an insulting sense) man has the capability to believe in any ideal.

What if we have one who, thus far, reasons with Communism, but is truly in the pursuit of specific Objectivist ideas which appeal to him on a rational level?

If we're awesome enough, we could inadvertently convert them without even putting forth any modicum of effort. :)

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Yes, I considered this when makeing my vote. And decided that we would not be able to spot any communist who was actually intrested in Objectivism. He would seem just like you, an interested inquirer. As soon as it becomes, in the course of regular posting, obvious that we are dealing with a communist any hope of honest an intrest is long gone.

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I would just like to point out that a communist would not be interested in learning about Objectivism and would only be here to argue irrationally. However, and this goes with what Richard Halley is saying, if there is someone who is interested in learning about Objectivism who currently has communist leanings they would be wise to mention their stance if they are going to argue from a communist stand point and then continue to converse in a rational manner. Note: this person would not be a communist. A communist would be one who completely agrees with the ideology of communism, if this is the case their presence here would not benefit any of us.

By the time you can really tell they are a communist we will all be ready to get ride of them. And in the case that someone confesses their communist ideology before conversing with us, and after we have been assured that is their situation, i.e. once we really know that they are a communist, we should get them out.

A communist is a communist (one who completely agrees with communism). (A is A)!

If we're awesome enough, we could inadvertently convert them without even putting forth any modicum of effort.

We will not be able to, if they are in fact a commuist, because they are irrational. It would be a waste of time.

I will not tolerate irrationality on any level. I refuse to be a David Kelly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it's quite simple.

You spot an offender, you advise them that this is no place to spread their warped ideals, and if they offend again you ban them.

The problem is, you have to allow them the opportunity to participate in the forum no matter what their belief system (Assuming they don't preach it) or you run the risk of taking freedom of expression and information away from the site which, IMO, is something integral to an Objectivist forum.

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The problem is, you have to allow them the opportunity to participate in the forum no matter what their belief system (Assuming they don't preach it) or you run the risk of taking freedom of expression and information away from the site which, IMO, is something integral to an Objectivist forum.

That's not really a problem, though, is it? They begin with the opportunity to participate and only get kicked off when they become a nuisance by trying to convert others and offer nothing of value.

Plus, censorship of expression is a concept that really only applies to government. Individuals are free to surround themselves with only those others who's company they find valuable for trade. If a poster is doing nothing but detracting from a forum, you're not taking anything of value away from the site by banning him/her.

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I think it's quite simple. 

You spot an offender, you advise them that this is no place to spread their warped ideals, and if they offend again you ban them.

The problem is, you have to allow them the opportunity to participate in the forum no matter what their belief system (Assuming they don't preach it) or you run the risk of taking freedom of expression and information away from the site which, IMO, is something integral to an Objectivist forum.

This is private property.

The owner can delete who he likes and if he says "I hate 70's heavy metal" and sees my name and deletes me then that's my hard cheese.

If the owner of the forum then comes to the capmag forum, which I am a moderator of, then I can return the compliment.

Only government can censor you.

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Fair, the admins can do whatever they please, it is private property. All I'm saying is that if we're trying to promote a system which endorses freedom of expression, it seems counterproductive to ban someone for what they believe.

For example, right now, there are a significant number of people on this forum who probably don't have too much knowledge of what objectivism is or why we should prescribe to it. They are here to learn and gather information in order to decide in their own minds whether or not it is right for them. If they see someone get banned simply because they don't dislike mao or marx or stalin, how are they then going to embrace these ideals of freedom of expression. It seems a little hypocritical, maybe even totalitarian.

And just to make it clear, I agree that an objectivist forum is no place for preaching or disruption for the sake of disruption.

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Fair, the admins can do whatever they please, it is private property.  All I'm saying is that if we're trying to promote a system which endorses freedom of expression, it seems counterproductive to ban someone for what they believe.

For example, right now, there are a significant number of people on this forum who probably don't have too much knowledge of what objectivism is or why we should prescribe to it.  They are here to learn and gather information in order to decide in their own minds whether or not it is right for them.  If they see someone get banned simply because they don't dislike mao or marx or stalin, how are they then going to embrace these ideals of freedom of expression.  It seems a little hypocritical, maybe even totalitarian.

And just to make it clear, I agree that an objectivist forum is no place for preaching or disruption for the sake of disruption.

The false premise in your post is to treat someone's beliefs as a primary.

We have already proved in this thread and many others that one cannot be a communist honestly or rationally.

And that is why they should be deleted, deleted and deleted post haste.

No one with any honesty can do anything other than hate Mao, Stalin and their mentor Marx.

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We have already proved in this thread and many others that one cannot be a communist honestly or rationally.

Um, no. That is an utterly ridiculous statement. I agree with danielshrugged. I've never come across such a sweeping statement anywhere in Objectivist literature.

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It is clear that communism is irrational. I see no need for further discussion on this point... as we have a large number of posts already in existance which make this plain.

There are, of course, many people who may support communist ideas but who are not irrational. These people have merely made an error in judgment. Such people shouldn’t be banned.

However, anyone who has been around here long enough (i.e. has made enough posts), and has been consistent enough in their views to show that they are not merely mistaken, but actually support communist viewpoints for communist reasons, is irrational and should be banned.

Essentially, not everyone supporting a communist viewpoint should be banned. However, everyone who is a communist should be.

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As admin, I've been looking at the recent behavior in regards to posters whose views are different than that of Objectivism. I am absolutely appalled at some of your behavior in response to them. Immediately branding them irrational and trolls because of the fact that they disagree with your views is completely uncalled for.

Now of course, there have been people on this forum that have been rude from the start, and they deserve what's coming to them. However, the majority of people that have come on here expressing dissenting views seem to be civil and honestly looking for answers. In most cases when that civility ended, I have seen it as a justified response to the complete dismissal of an individual and the branding of them as "Marxist trolls" and other such similar slurs.

This is unacceptable. The purpose of this forum is for those individuals who are interested in Objectivism to talk with others of similar interest. It is also for a discussion of questions regarding Objectivism. The purpose of this forum IS NOT the following:

1. Dismissing off hand any individual that disagrees with anything stated by Objectivists at any time.

2. Calling someone a troll merely because they post something that is contrary to what Objectivists believe.

3. Calling for the ban of anyone that does not agree with you.

That being said, this forum is also not for debating with all opponents of Objectivism. However, when asserting this, one does not need to be horribly uncivilized about it. First of all, if you think what a person is posting about is not worthy of discussion, DON'T POST. Don't fill the thread with things like 'you're just a Marxist troll' and 'you are completely irrational.' EVIDENCE is required for such STRONG assertions. If you feel that a particular poster is behaving out of line, INFORM THE ADMINS, or give EVIDENCE to back up your claim at the exact moment you make the accusation. If you don't have the time to do so, don't post.

There are CERTAINLY people out there who are honestly mistaken about something and are looking to enhance their views. All of us have not been Objectivists forever. I am sure there are some of us (myself included) that held principles completely opposite to that of Objectivism, but sure as hell are glad that we found Objectivism and/or people exposed it to us WITHOUT cramming it down our throats and deeming us 'Marxist trolls' for not understanding something we have never read.

I am proposing the following:

1. A category for people relatively unfamiliar with Objectivism to ask questions. (If you do not want to answer the questions of any such people, then don't participate in that section! Also, for people who really just don't understand anything, instead of insulting them, try giving them advice on where to go for good Objectivist ideas).

2. Posting of the kind stated in #1 will not be encouraged in the other sections. Questions about Objectivism in the particular categories will be of course be encouraged, but not questions phrased in stark opposition to Objectivism.

3. As an administrative policy, anyone posting questionable material will first be warned, and will explain WHY the warning is being given (by reference to the above). If the behavior continues, the individual will be banned, but will be given an explanation for their banning. (For completely obvious trolls, this does not need to occur. This is intended for people asking honest questions).

4. Anyone branding a poster a "troll" for no other reason than a disagreement of views will be warned by the admins to stop their behavior. If such behavior continues, you will be banned.

5. Stating, "you are wrong because Ayn Rand said so" or ANY of its derivatives will NOT be tolerated here. If you do not agree with an individual's post, but you do not have time to give full reasons why, DO NOT POST. Saying the above is NOT an argument but rather dogmatism. Same warning/banning policy as #4.

I am not in any way proposing that we tolerate the blatantly irrational or trolls. I am saying however that EVIDENCE must be given in conjunction with calling someone irrational or a troll besides "Ayn Rand said the opposite," or anything similar.

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