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I'm currently reading Atlas Shrugged - my first exposure to Ayn Rand and this philosophy - and I felt like the book was expressing some common fundamentals with libertarianism. I have also had an interest in the libertarian movement and have looked into it some in the past. Perusing the ARI website I was somewhat surprised to find, assuming I'm understanding the messages correctly, some scathing remarks with respect to libertarian thought. I mean, sheesh, I saw a link for book entitled "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty." I went back to a libertarian website (to check my premises, heh heh :confused: ) and found this quick definition...

"While libertarians are a diverse group of people with many philosophical starting points, they share a defining belief: that everyone should be free to do as they choose, so long as they don't infringe upon the equal freedom of others"

Laissez-faire goverment was also mentioned, but I've never considered libertarians to be "anarchists" by any means. Just quickly searching this forum I find the term "anarcho-libertarianism", which I assume to be synonomous with plain old "libertarian."

It all seems to me to be very similar to objectivism, so I'm wondering wherein lies the difference?

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Libertarians are simply punks without the communism.

Imagine a long-haired, unwashed, rag-clad, cocaine-addicted, raving counter-culturalist from the Sixties who has somehow recognized the fact that Soviet-style communist despotism will not exactly afford him the "freedom" he yearns for--so he decides to pursue the anarchist line of his ideology in preference to the communist one. Then, for a veneer of respectability, he obfuscates the difference between capitalism and anarchy and claims to be for capitalism. Voila, le Libertarian.

How is this different from Objectivism? In about every way possible. An Objectivist wants to achieve a successful life; a punk envies successful people and wants to destroy them. An Objectivist uses his mind to arrive at a consistent philosophy to guide his life; a punk is a slave of his feelings. An Objectivist seeks long-term success; a punk goes for whatever makes him feel good for the next few moments. An Objectivist knows the exact meaning of freedom and why he needs it; a punk just wants to be free from the consequences of his actions. An Objectivist understands that freedom means capitalism; a libertarian punk, as I said, just uses his pro-capitalist rhetoric as a veneer of respectability.

Now, there are many people with strongly pro-capitalist ideas who describe themselves as "small-ell libertarians," perhaps in order to distinguish themselves from the unprincipled moderates, without knowing anything about what is at the core of the ideology they borrow their self-designation from. This is a rather poor way of telling people where you stand; by the same token, you might as well say that you're a small-eff fascist. If you are for capitalism, don't be shy and tell people you're a pro-capitalist.

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I must say that most of the libertarians that I have met subscribe to moral subjectivism and relativism. For example, I once knew this Pragmatist who claimed to be a libertarian but who declared that he was in no position to claim that a certain position was rational as opposed to being irrational (he was something akin to a moral agnostic). This has lead me to wonder how in the world are they going to argue that it is immoral to initiate force against an individual if there is no absolute standard of morality. If a loud-mouthed libertarian denounces a serial killer all the said killer would have to do is state in no uncertain terms that his morals say that killing is fine and dandy. The killer could further point out that the libertarian view is only one opinion amongst others that are "equally" valid.

What's more, since I am a radical for capitalism many have "accused" me of being a libertarian but I made it clear to them that that appellation does not fit me at all. I am an Objectivist who knows that a free society cannot be advocated by using whims as a justification. A free society is to be based on absolute moral principles, which can only be found in the Objectivist philosophy.

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Well put, Capleton.

It's always disappointing when you find out that someone who is an advocate of free markets is a moral relativist. Walter Williams made it clear in one of his recent columns that this is the position he subscribes to. I was tempted to write to him and point out that the relativism he espouses undercuts, rather than supports, his political views.

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It's always disappointing when you find out that someone who is an advocate of free markets is a moral relativist.  Walter Williams made it clear in one of his recent columns that this is the position he subscribes to.  I was tempted to write to him and point out that the relativism he espouses undercuts, rather than supports, his political views.

Being a member of the Libertarian Party, I would probably have to agree. I have been greatly disillusioned by the LP in general.

Though the LP was basically what brought me to the freedom movement in general, it was Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, as well as Rand's great philosophical works, that gave me the moral backbone I needed to make a strong argument for capitalism.

Heck, I've run across nihilists in the Libertarian Party -- NIHILISTS. Its obvious that they are in it for a pragmatic argument that free markets produce the best, but in the process of hearing their pragmatic arguments, I find that they are more than willing to sacrifice ideas that have a strictly moral basis but not the most immediate or obvious pragmatic one. The first one that comes to mind is intellectual property rights -- many a pragmatic libertarian has decided to turn against those, without realizing (or even caring) that he has sacrificed the very basis for rights in general by doing so, and for that matter the only existent pragmatic understanding for the source of all wealth.

Even among those libertarians who are not nihilists, I find a very simplified philosophy that remains almost entirely ground in the political without realizing the necessary steps to determine the political. When I first recognized the non-aggression principle intuitively, it wasn't something I could just allow to end there -- I was driven to find out why even it would be relevant. It isn't enough just to intuit these things. Though most of them would say that they believe aggression, defined as the initiation of force or fraud, or threats of force or fraud, are morally actionable by Government, they seem to have absolutely no idea how they arrived at that conclusion, and so they have no real idea on how to defend it.

Just to demonstrate by reason of example, when a heckler came to a libertarian list, he asked the list members to explain why he should care about the political non-aggression principle at all, and what root in ethics it could possibly have. After watching the list members stumble over themselves trying to answer the question, I decided to step up and said the following:

I don't know about the term 'aggression.' I am afraid to use that term on this list because it means so many things to do so many different libertarians, but by my definition of aggression, which I feel is the only objective definition, it certainly is something to be dealt with by law.  The nature of law dictates that it is only justifiable in assisting man to live qua man, hence it must be designed so that each person can live their proper human life without interference from other people, according to his nature as a rational animal (or rather, THE only kind of rational animal, as far as we know).  This means (here comes the Objectivism) that they must be allowed to freely use their senses and their power of reason in all their dealings with other people.

Initiation of Force:  Must be barred because it effectively shuts down the influence that the victim's faculty of reason has over their actions.

Initiation of Fraud:  Must be barred because the value of reason is gutted if the sensory inputs are corrupted -- in other words, if someone provides false information to influence your decisions.

Threats Thereof: must be barred because either they are are intended to prevent you from doing something you have every right to do in normal circumstances because of a consequence artificially imposed on you by another individual or individuals, or they are a forewarning of a conspiracy to harm you regardless of your actions. 

Please note that in all three of these cases, it is only the initiation of force or fraud, or threats of such initiation, and not defensive force or fraud, or threats thereof, that must be banned.  Force and fraud itself, and threats thereof, are perfectly justifiable within reason as a response for self-protection.

You might still have an objection, but its not one that can be cleared up in a single posting, and will probably be more a discussion on the nature of morality than the nature of law -- in Objectivism, ethics is defined first, and then law.  Not all things that are unethical are bannable in law, only those things that interfere with another individual's ability to live his life on the same terms.  Before we could reasonably get into a discussion on the ethics proper to the nature of man, we'd have to get into a discussion on the nature of man, which would even further require us to get into the nature of reality (metaphysics) and the nature of how human beings grasp reality in the form of knowledge (epistemology), otherwise all such observations could be rejected on a whim.  I am not opposed to getting into this discussion, but I find that many libertarians who do not have their root in Objectivism are wary of taking such discussions seriously.  If we disagree on those fundamentals, we'll have to hash those out first, because everything else is meaningless without that basis.

So tell me, what is your definition of "is"?

This extremely simple, and to my mind, obvious response to the original poster received a LOT of criticism from the Libertarians and libertarians on that list.

Even given all of that though, I find myself unable to leave the LP in general, at least so long as I choose to stay in politics, which I believe at this time is absolutely necessary to effect some change. I can't imagine going back to the Republican Party, as I find conservative ideology to be overtly repugnant, and completely wrong for the same reason as it is for the consequentialist libertarians -- a complete lack of ability in defending capitalism from a moral perspective, and these days a complete lack of understanding on what capitalism is in the first place. The democratic and green parties are simply unacceptable alternatives to me. Perhaps some Objectivists will criticize me for that, but I hope they'll at least look to Rand's own friendships and support of Presidents like Ford, who are obviously not as far along as Libertarians tend to be, before they choose to make such criticisms.

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Even given all of that though, I find myself unable to leave the LP in general, at least so long as I choose to stay in politics, which I believe at this time is absolutely necessary to effect some change.  I can't imagine going back to the Republican Party, as I find conservative ideology to be overtly repugnant, and completely wrong for the same reason as it is for the consequentialist libertarians -- a complete lack of ability in defending capitalism from a moral perspective, and these days a complete lack of understanding on what capitalism is in the first place...

I would not join the Libertarian party for the same reason that I wouldn't join the Republican party: to the extent that they have principles, their principles often contradict my own; but both are essentially unprincipled, pragmatic, whim-worshipping parties. And long-term positive political change cannot be achieved through pragmatic whim-worshipping, and those are the only results you will get by supporting either of those parties as they currently stand.

(I think the only principled party in the country today, at least out of the biggest four or five, is the Green party; but of course their principles are exactly the opposite of my own. I think that they will continue to make headway, as we have seen with their principles strongly influencing the Democratic party and beginning to influence the other parties, because there is no principled opposition to them, and there won't be until Objectivism begins to significantly influence politics. I think an interesting question related to that is, how should Objectivists establish such a principled opposition? By organizing their own political party? Or by trying to "infiltrate" and remake one of the existing ones, either Republican or Libertarian, into a principled party with which we can fundamentally agree politically?)

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I think an interesting question related to that is, how should Objectivists establish such a principled opposition?  By organizing their own political party?  Or by trying to "infiltrate" and remake one of the existing ones, either Republican or Libertarian, into a principled party with which we can fundamentally agree politically?)

As soon as there are enough people in America who understand Objectivism, the question will be moot. People will want to vote for principled, rational, pro-capitalist, pro-American candidates, so that is the kind of person who will be successful in politics--first just in one of the major parties, then later perhaps in two competing parties!

On the other hand, UNTIL there are enough people in America who understand Objectivism, the question is equally moot.

So what is needed is to make enough people in America who understand Objectivism!

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As soon as there are enough people in America who understand Objectivism, the question will be moot...

Yes, but that brings up another related question: how many people is "enough" before Objectivism starts having a significant impact on American politics? Certainly not anything close to a majority, I would hope. And then, what I was trying to get at with my original question was, once there are "enough" people, what form might that political influence take? That's pretty speculative, I know, and so not really important to answer right now. I just think it's an interesting question.

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how many people is "enough" before Objectivism starts having a significant impact on American politics?  Certainly not anything close to a majority, I would hope.

I think the critical event that needs to happen is the nomination of a charismatic Objectivist as a Presidential candidate by a major party. Such a candidate could easily defeat his opponent and, as President, he could begin to affect the tone of politics and the standards to which voters hold politicians. Once people see the difference between a corrupt politician and a principled leader, they will be eager to vote for the latter kind of man.

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When I first read Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal I was strongly convinced of the superiority of capitalism. But I soon thought to myself, right now America is slipping ever closer to statism by both of the dominant political parties, so how can this be stopped? In my opinion, the best way to begin to influence politics would be to follow the same path as the Green Party today and the Progessive Party of the past. In both cases, neither of these parties had really strong Presidental candidates, but nevertheless, strongly influenced the politics of the dominant political parties of their day.

I think that an Objectivist Party or Capitalism Party or whatever, could slowly begin to influence the dominant political parties of today through time and reasoned argument.

However, the key point is NOT that an Objectivist Presidental candidate presents himself onto the political scene but rather that Objectivism is accepted "enough" to gain enough support to do what I suggested above. Now AshRyan asked, what exactly is "enough" in this instance? From what I said above, I do not think Objectivists would have to convince a whole lot of people in order to start having an influence.

It is obviously the case that Objectivism does not have nearly enough support to make any sort of important run for the presidency. However, that being said, I do think that Objectivism has enough support to form a small political party with the purpose not of putting a President in office but rather to influence the dominant parties.

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I would not join the Libertarian party for the same reason that I wouldn't join the Republican party: to the extent that they have principles, their principles often contradict my own;
Have you read the LP party platform? If so, how many line items do you think are in disagreement with the resultant Objectivist political philosophy?

but both are essentially unprincipled, pragmatic, whim-worshipping parties.

I actually have to disagree here. There are pragmatic whim-worshippers in the LP, but if the LP suffers from anything its a complete lock out of politics because of its inability to compromise.

This is actually what attracts me to the LP. Though as I pointed out, libertarians come from all kinds of horrible philosophical (or attempted aphilosophical) backgrounds, a great great many of them are philosophical Objectivists and students of Objectivism. Along with those who subscribe to the NAP (those who aren't Objectivists but adhere strictly to non-aggressive political philosophies), they tend to keep the Party in line against the pragmatic elements.

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Have you read the LP party platform?

The platform does not make the vast problems with Libertarianism apparent, although there are some clear warning signs in it:

The violation of rights and liberty by other governments can never justify foreign intervention by the United States government. Today, no government is innocent of violating human rights and liberty, and none can approach the issue with clean hands. In keeping with our goal of peaceful international relations, we call upon the United States government to cease its hypocrisy and its sullying of the good name of human rights.
We call on the U.S. government to continue negotiations toward multi-lateral reduction of nuclear armaments, to the end that all such weapons will ultimately be eliminated, under such conditions of verification as to ensure multi-lateral security. During arms reduction negotiations, and to enhance their progress, the U.S. should begin the retirement of some of its nuclear weapons as proof of its commitment. Because the U.S. has many more thousands of nuclear weapons than are currently required, beginning the process of arms reduction would not jeopardize American security.

United States colonialism has left a legacy of property confiscation, economic manipulation, and over-extended defense boundaries. We favor immediate self-determination for all people living in colonial dependencies, such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands, to free these people from U.S. dominance
We would no longer incorporate foreign nations into the U.S. defense perimeter. We would cease the creation and maintenance of U.S. bases and sites for the pre-positioning of military material in other countries. We would end the practice of stationing of American military troops overseas.

We make no exceptions to the above.

The above quotes betray a resentment of U.S. military superiority and a wish to cripple America's national defense. While they clothe it in a desire for "avoiding entangling alliances" etc., the wording of these quotes makes it clear that Libertarians harbor certain rather deep sentiments that are not exactly pro-American--nor pro-freedom. If you talk to some Libertarians, you'll notice that they see America as the bad guy in these conflicts and seem to think that the only reason the terrorists are angry is because America has been "meddling." They completely ignore the fact that some people are evil and envy America because of her success--and that the worst of them are willing to destroy such a successful nation even at the cost of their own lives; that they will be "angry" and attack America no matter how much America restrains herself from "meddling."

These views are so ignorant of the existence of good and evil, of the necessity to defend oneself from evil, and of the proper role of a capitalist government as a means of defending a good nation from evil that one wonders whether the people who espouse such views can be honest in their advocacy of laissez-faire domestic policies. Unless laissez-faire means anarchy to them, that is...and, in fact, anarchy is exactly what the Libertarian movement has stood for since its inception. They only use "capitalism" as a convenient mask to cover up their anarchism.

Do you now see why the Libertarian Party is incompatible with Objectivism?

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..as a prelude to establishing a politcal party based on Objective thought ... or hijacking an exisitng party and converting it to an Objectivist platform, it is appropriate to first increase the exposure of people to rational thought as something that has not been abandoned nationally.

The success of Cable Netwrok Talk Shows certainly opens up an avenue for voicing Objectivist principles on a national scale, and on a daily basis. Bill O'reilly, Hannity, Scarborough all have daily exposure. Though some of you may disagree with what they say to different levels, they still have that daily, and significant, exposure in which to put forth their ideas. Their success, IMHO, is rooted in the number of viewers who are looking for an alternative to the insanely irrational dribble put forth by leftists ... and I'll say this of O'reilly --- he is definitely not a conservative as so many of his detractors claim ... but far more a moderate [centrist]. Let's face it --- Leftists don't survive in talk shows [Donahue for example].

Why cannot the Objectivist movement acquire some cable prime-time exposure itself in which to state its views on politics and current events. When people don't get exposed to ideas, they will never consider them as an option --- I sure wouldn't wait on our eductaional system to re-instate rational thought into its curriculum anytime soon. With the multitude of other shows purchasing time here and their on Cable, I don't think its an unrealistic idea.

The citizens of Colonial America didn't have our rapid and expansive means of communication ... and the beliefs of our Founding Fathers weren't voiced through local school house classes to children, but through the press to adults as their target audience. Look at what the writing of Thomas Paine [Common Sense] did to influence the American Revolution.

Some view Objectivism as a philosophy not-yet-ready for prime-time politics, but I don't think Howard Roark and John Galt cared to sit on their duffs waiting for some future generation to reap the rewards of success. If not now, when ??

What are some of ya'll's [that's a southern word] views on raising funding to buy an hour of primetime on Cable TV for the purpose of presenting the Objectivist viewpoint in an Opinion/News show ??? I honestly belive it would be well received by any other than leftists. Exposure has to begin somewhere --- Cable TV seems like a rational place.

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Kgvl,

I like your idea, but there are two primary problems:

1. Money

2. What major network would ever carry an Objectivist TV show?

While I think it is clear that getting Objectivism on television would be beneficial, the best way to go about it would be to start with a much smaller network in just one area of the country. For example, if possible, on some local network in the area of a major city. (What I speak of is almost like what Swoop did in Andrew Bernstein's Heart of a Pagan, though obviously that was fiction, this is reality).

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re: money --- if 10 million+ people have read Ayn Rand, there have to be some reasonably successful persons among them who have the entrepreneurial experience to provide the leadership ... that leaves those truly supportive to pay for the costs not covered by advertising/subsciption fees/ etc. I certainly would make a contribution consistent with my income and wealth if I saw it as not only a viable product, but as the only real chance left to salvage what is left of my country and its Constitution. Such a return on my investment has value to me. If it can't survive by subsciptions from those who care, then I guess we'll know where rational, objective thought really stand.

re: network affiliation --- I guess NPR and PBS are out ;)

you know, I honestly think FOX would be amenable to sound rational Objectivist programming in some limited time slots, not in prime-time given their current successes, but it would be a start. Obviously, they would be expensive. Even getting a voice routinely on shows like O'reilly, Hannity, Scarborough, even Chris Matthews --- as all the other pseudo-pundits that show up there --- is exposure. The key is to consistently 'win' the discussions by rational debate. Look at the pundits who make asses of themselves ... that can NEVER be allowed to happen, so whoever speaks for Objectivism must be well-versed in its principles, and diplomatically poised enough to know how to handle tough interviews and slanderous attacks within losing his/her cool. We need another Ayn Rand !! ... a clone perhaps -- [just kidding of course]!!

There are many other cable channels in operation which sell time slots as well -- look at all the hour-long paid-advertisements. I always keep an eye open for Ayn Rand specials --- but they have all run their course. If I knew of a regularly scheduled hour of truly Objectivist discussion, I would make a point to tune in --- and I would make sure my family and friends know about it to, along with the not-so-friendly socialists and irrationalists I encounter at work each week. face it: Al Franken and Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon et al must watch O'reilly to some extent [in the privacy of their own homes where they won't have to admit it to anyone]. How else do they know enough about what he says on an issue to come back and bash him.

I honestly think O'reilly would give Objectivists a fair shake on his show.

Anyway --- I think it is 'do-able' and I think the time has come to 'do something' ---and this is my suggestion about the 'something' to do.

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then too ... if 'someone' would 'do something' and get the Atlas Shrugged movie back on track, that would be an excellent re-introduction of Objectivism into the mainstream. O'reiily and Scarborough and Matthews would probably be looking for Objectivists to interview. It would be up to us to then keep the momentum going.

What are the prospects of resurrecting that project ... or starting fresh with some new producer ?

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kgvl,

What are the prospects of resurrecting that project ...

Atlas Shrugged Movie Underway

I think that an Atlas Shrugged movie would have a tremendous impact, even if the movie were not all that great. People would know it was based on a novel and probably go out and read the book. Look at such recent sales as Tolkien's work. I wish I had a nickel for every time some one has said to me in the last 2 or 3 years, "Lord of the Rings was a great film but nothing compared to the books, you gotta read the books!" I think the same thing would happen to Atlas Shrugged.

Plus, with Lord of the Rings, interest in Tolkein's other works increased as well. The Hobbit even returned to the best sellers list and is only recently falling back down, along with The Simerillion (also by Tolkein) It would not supprise me to see Atlas Shrugged along with the Fountainhead both return to the best sellers list once the movie goes to theatre. Along with The Virtue of Selfishness in the non-fiction.

Very, very exciting to think about the possibilities. ;)

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kgvl is right: an increasing number of people are recognizing the need for philosophical leadership. DemocRATs have exposed themselves as anti-American criminals and that "compassionate conservatism" thing is leaving many Republican voters disappointed. There is a vacuum in the making and the more rational among America's people are looking for a way to fill it.

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I emailed Crusader Entertainment ... the company owning the rights to the Atlas Shrugged movie [see the link under WWJGD's post above], and asked them what their plans are for producing the film. If they respond to me, I'll post their reply.

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I read on Solo also that the film rights to Anthem has been acquired. It doesnt exist a link to an outside site unfortunatly, but hopefully we will hear more of it later. This was the first book of Rand that I read and I have many good images in my head that I think would do great on the screen.

Film Rights Acquired to Rand's Anthem

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... what exactly is meant by 'ideology' ?? we hear a lot of talk about ideologues these days. ... is Libertarianism an ideology ?? .... Objectivism ??

btw --- no response to my email requesting status of Atlas Shrugged movie.

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Libertarians are simply punks without the communism.

Imagine a long-haired, unwashed, rag-clad, cocaine-addicted, raving counter-culturalist from the Sixties who has somehow recognized the fact that Soviet-style communist despotism will not exactly afford him the "freedom" he yearns for--so he decides to pursue the anarchist line of his ideology in preference to the communist one. Then, for a veneer of respectability, he obfuscates the difference between capitalism and anarchy and claims to be for capitalism. Voila, le Libertarian.

How is this different from Objectivism? In about every way possible. An Objectivist wants to achieve a successful life; a punk envies successful people and wants to destroy them. An Objectivist uses his mind to arrive at a consistent philosophy to guide his life; a punk is a slave of his feelings. An Objectivist seeks long-term success; a punk goes for whatever makes him feel good for the next few moments. An Objectivist knows the exact meaning of freedom and why he needs it; a punk just wants to be free from the consequences of his actions. An Objectivist understands that freedom means capitalism; a libertarian punk, as I said, just uses his pro-capitalist rhetoric as a veneer of respectability.

I am utterly speechless at the fact that rhetorical, emotive trash can be espoused and stand unchallenged within a philosophy which claims to embrace reason over emotion.

Also, I'd like to see a reconciliaion of Schwartz's LTPOL with this:

One cannot expect, nor is it necessary, to agree with a candidate's total philosophy--only with his political philosophy (and only in terms of essentials).  It is not a Philosopher-King that we are electing, but an executive for a specific, delimited job.  It is only political consistency that we can demand of him; if he advocates the right principles for the wrong metaphysical reasons, the contradiction is his problem, not ours.

A vote for a candidate does not constitute an endorsement of his entire position, not even of his entire political position, only of his basic political principles.

Edited by GreedyCapitalist
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In 2000, Bush got 50.5 million votes, Gore 51.0 million. The only significant showing by a 3rd party candidate was Perot's 19.7 million votes in 1992.

One of the most important 'actionable' perspectives I took away from reading Rand's Fountainhead [ 3 times] and Atlas Shrugged [4 times] is to not remain in the situation in which I spent most of my life [i.e., altruism and self-sacrifice for others]. Those fictional characters who broke away and fled to Galt's Gulch were determined to go on with their lives, esp. the pursuit of those dreams most important to them. I tried walking away --- it felt good, but in the long run is unsustainable for one who dreams for more than mere isolation in plain view.

We have no Galt's Gulch to flee to anywhere in this world [that's an assumption ... if somebody knows of one, PLEASE let me know where it is]. That means I have to do the best I can in whichever country/culture I determine I can most likely succeed, at least partially. When I say that, it reeks of pragmatism and copout within my own soul [conscience !!] ... but I don't know of other options that are realistic at present. America, though severely distorted from its original principles, still has the best chance of recovery --- but it will take a political movement to achieve that recovery --- mere words of wisdom and philosophy ain't going to make it happen.

Given the complexity of understanding Objectivist philosophy, you will NEVER [in the next few centuries at least] assemble a group of 51 million people who can justifiably claim to be Objectivist, if they must honorably claim a full and complete understanding and acceptance of the philosophy underlying Objectivism. Yet the Founding Fathers of this country were able to establish a system of government that was far more compatible with Objectivist priniciples than anything before or since.

I spent some amount of time reading a website listing and elaborating on the many political parties that have been established in this country ... there are several such sites 'out there'. I went to the webpages of many of these sites over the past months and studied their platforms, and their history. The fractures that occurred within many of these 3rd party attempts [as the Reform Party] over the years bely the problems a 3rd party faces. The common thread is the hijacking of the party's platform by others who agree with 'much' of what the party is about, but still think there should be some changes. Thus the compromises and bastardization of the original idea begin.

Objectivism is what it is ... I'm not certain it is closed yet -- it appears to be, but I haven't yet become an 'expert' in it. I intend to be. If this is the underlying philosophy that provides me THE solid basis for a rational life, then I will practice it as a fundamentalist practices his/her religion. I have seen nothing yet that weakens its validity. But IT IS what IT IS --- and should remain that way. Attempts to distort its meaning require the modification be renamed something else. Those who wish to follow the modification may do so freely, but don't pervert the original then try to tell me its the 'real thing'. The same should hold true for the basis of a political party. I abhor the Constitution Party's platform --- but I have high confidence that many years from now its platform will still be intact... this are people who have a conviction [no matter how irrational] and will stand by it, probably to 'the end'. A political party representative of Objectivist principles will also need similar conviction from its members and affiliates.

I need a mechanism for translating my philosophical beliefs into cultural reality ... now, not in some distant future when I will no longer exist. To delay addressing the political issues is to practice self-sacrifice, IMHO. ... 'well, I can't do anything about it now, so I guess I'll just live as best I can in this irrational world and hope future generations fare better'. That's the same copout religions use.

Back to the topic ... the Libertarian Party is obviously fractured as a representative of Objectivism --- but in it lies the closest chance to establish a rational base for the application of Objectivist principles in our culture. I have to try to sway the platform to a rational stance.

If Rand's book sales are reflective of the true interest in this country for a rationally-structured government, how can any true Objectivist sit idly by, resigned to leaving the fate of our country and culture to future generations ?? If we lose it all now, it will be even tougher to get it back.

I state all this because I will be attending the Libertarian Party's Florida Convention starting this Friday in Gainesville, FL. [i live near Gainesville, and work in Gainesville]. I am a registered Libertarian, and I have learned enough in 5 decades of life to know not only when to walk away, but also when NOT to burn a bridge [i wished I would have learned all that 4 decades ago !!]. I intend to ask pointed questions of the presenters regarding the inconsistencies in the current diverse Libertarian views. I will make it clear that they will only get my vote if they sincerely and consistently represent my core beliefs

Many Libertarians are involved in the movement toward the Free State Project in NH, with the goal of inserting enough free-minded thinkers into NH to make a political difference. There isn't going to be any Objectivst Party anytime soon.

Why cannot 'millions' of Objectivists and students of Objectivism and rational 'admirers' of Objectivism insert themselves into the Libertarian Party and establish a sound rational platform ??? Drive the anarchist and moral relativist hijackers away ... how many times in a millenium can a true 'classic liberal' restart the party he wishes to represent his beliefs ??

thanks ...

'one beaten, but not-yet-defeated Objectivist'

I'll go to the Intro thread and provide a brief 'intro' of myself ...

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I am utterly speechless at the fact that rhetorical, emotive trash can be espoused and stand unchallenged within a philosophy which claims to embrace reason over emotion.
Is this why you choose to respond with "rhetorical, emotive trash" rather than logical arguments?

Also, I'd like to see a reconciliaion of Schwartz's LTPOL with this:

As he states in his essay, the basic political political philosophy of libertarians is anarchism. They neither advocate the right principles, nor do they do it for the right reasons or with any amount of consistency -- the only thing they are consistent about is being anti-government.

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