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The Pursuit Of Power And Political Pull

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Gabriel
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I think we all agree that the focus of the lives of most people is the procurement of desired goods and services. In practice, goods can be obtained through production or trade.

Professional politicians, the kind you meet in all western states today, are, from this perspective, traders of popularity and pull.

They trade popularity because that's the main capital/raw material of their trade. It is their main concern to appeal to the most people, ideally to the most powerful, and to do so in way that is safe from the perspective of their life-long carrer in politics.

Therefore, the chief aim of the skilled politician is 2 fold: first, to obtain decision positions in the public sector, and secondly, to secure the political support/pull and/or votes to attain higher positions in the State's hierarchy.

Much like in a Karl Popper-esque debate, the fact that truth sides with one group or another is irrelevant, since a politicians has more chances to a prosperous life by selling the illusion of truth than truth itself.

We regard politicians as master con-artists, because we perceive them via the condescending moral superiority of production. But simply because production is mandatory for survival, that doesn't make it otherwise superior to other means of attaining valuables.

The question I'd like to ask you is this:

Why should one person who would make a particularly succesful and gifted politician, repress in himself this skill and instead try to shoe-horn himself into a mediocre production job? Is that really self-interest?

If one is knowleagable in matters of human nature, politics and manipulation, why should he feel ashamed of his nature?

My "larger" theory is that the Objectivist view of universal self-interest as expressed in laissez-faire capitalism is not best for everyone.

I do agree that there are certain people who are best suited for life in capitalism, but I do also think that capitalism can be a disaster for a large portion of the population, from the perspective of their self-interest.

At this point, I'm equating self-interest with survival and material prosperity. I see no reason to expect self-interest to any other kind of 'ethical considerations'.

'Man's survival qua man', but not all men are the same, therefore, all with which we are left is 'survival'. 'Qua man' is too contextual for anything other than individual/particular considerations.

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I think we all agree that the focus of the lives of most people is the procurement of desired goods and services.

Not for me. The focus of my life is my happiness, and I work for the challenge and enjoyment my productive effort brings. Things like "goods and services" are consequences of my work, not the focus of my life.

We regard politicians as master con-artists, because we perceive them via the condescending moral superiority of production.
So, to you, a con artist has the same moral stature as one who works by productive effort? Is there some reason that you are posting this to an Objectivist forum? Are you at all aware of the Objectivist philosophy?

But simply because production is mandatory for survival, that doesn't make it otherwise superior to other means of attaining valuables.

You mean, like stealing, for instance?

The question I'd like to ask you is this:

Why should one person who would make a particularly succesful and gifted politician, repress in himself this skill and instead try to shoe-horn himself into a mediocre production job? Is that really self-interest?

Well, based on the way you described the politician as being a con artist, permit me to ask you a question. Why should a successful and gifted murderer repress his skill and instead try to shoehorn himself into a more mediocre job. Is that really self-interest?

My "larger" theory is that the Objectivist view of universal self-interest as expressed in laissez-faire capitalism is not best for everyone.

I agree. In particular it is not best, by their own standards, for those who seek to live their lives at the expense of others. People, like criminals, for instance. But, for the rest of us rights-respecting people, laissez-faire seems to be just fine.

At this point, I'm equating self-interest with survival and material prosperity. I see no reason to expect self-interest to any other kind of 'ethical considerations'.
That's nice. But, what has that got to do with the Objectivist ethics?

'Man's survival qua man', but not all men are the same, therefore, all with which we are left isĀ  'survival'. 'Qua man' is too contextual for anything other than individual/particular considerations.

Yeah, why clutter things up with all those other little details about how to behave.

Seriously, are you at all familiar with the Objectivist philsophy, aside from using words like "qua man" and "self-interst?" I would suggest that you first read Ayn Rand's The Objectivist Ethics and then come back if you have any specific objections to any specific ideas which she presents.

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What do you mean by a nature of politics and manipulation??

Laissez-faire capitalism isn't best for everyone? Why, because some people can't have their way at the expense of others?

In terms of a man's actual career goal and it's achievement, in a capitalist society, there would be no conflict between men of interests.

I'm a little confused as to your assumptions about laissez-faire capitalism and how men who want political power, which is only possible in a mixed economy, can't have it. That's a good thing in my opinion.

So, are you curious about laissez-faire capitalism or are you curious about those who want political pull. Cause they don't mix.

Sorry if I confuse you, but there is some major contradictions in your post on a fundamental level, and I am trying to sort it out.

Please let me know what you think...

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I am familiar with Ayn Rand's ethics and other branches of philosophy. I don't agree with her on certain issues, such as the universal, self-imposed ban on force.

I'm trying to discuss and clarify these issues, therefore I post here. If board moderators consider my questions to be unappropriate, for one reason or another, I can always be banned, so please let's try discussing the issue and not my motivation for bringing it up.

Let me clarify my point, succintelly:

- Different people have different skills and therefore will choose different paths to obtain that which they desire.

- Most skills and/or personality and psychology types are compatible with capitalism. Other skills are incompatible with capitalism, namely they are incompatible with the ban on force and fraud.

- If an individual has to choose between going into professional politics power-brokering and a management job in the private sector, he should choose the job which is best for him, according to his nature.

I am certain that an accomplished conversationalist, with an uncanny insight into human nature and born into a family which provides him with adequate 'political pull' would be better off doing something which Objectivism declares ought to be immoral and illegal, than squander his natural talents on a management job.

Happiness is only possible if we express our talents and obtain the best profit from life. Why should someone who would be happier as a criminal sacrifice his happiness so that you can have your capitalism?

Some people are better of as accomplished con artists, politicians, media manipulators, and yes, even members of organized crime.

I'm sure that there are lesser 'moral' equivalents for these talents such as jobs in the military or as bodyguards or whatnot, but the question remains?

Why should some people sacrifice their happiness and potential so that you can have capitalism? Here's a case of conflict between interests.

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Happiness is only possible if we express our talents and obtain the best profit from life. Why should someone who would be happier as a criminal sacrifice his happiness so that you can have your capitalism?
Profit is not the only thing that promotes happiness in life. There are other virtues, and sacrificing any of them is sacrificing your happiness.

Some people are better of as accomplished con artists, politicians, media manipulators, and yes, even members of organized crime.

I'm sure that there are lesser 'moral' equivalents for these talents such as jobs in the military or as bodyguards or whatnot, but the question remains?

Why should some people sacrifice their happiness and potential so that you can have capitalism? Here's a case of conflict between interests.

You do not achieve true happiness by cheating. being dishonest is not an objectivist's interest.

The fact that someone is the most skillfull murderer in the world doesnt mean that killing others would make him happy. It is not productive (perhaps being in the military as a special agent is, but thats irrelevant to the argument) and killing just for being good at it is not profitable, to anyone. Same goes for any violation of rights.

I hope that's clear enough.

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I am familiar with Ayn Rand's ethics and other branches of philosophy.

Based on what you write in this post, I do not think so.

Why should someone who would be happier as a criminal sacrifice his happiness so that you can have your capitalism?
I submit this as evidence.

Here's a case of conflict between interests.

Further evidence.

As Ayn Rand makes abundantly clear in her many writings, a man's right to his life is the primary right which makes all other rights possible. By extension, property rights are an expression of man's need to sustain his life in some physical form. The right to life and property establishes the basis for man's actions: he is free to take whatever actions he wants, as long as he does not violate the rights of others.

It is only through the use of force or fraud that individual rights can be violated. To claim the right to violate a right is a contradiction of the concept of rights. Your criminal cannot claim the right to use force or fraud, regardless of what you think his happiness depends upon.

As to your "conflict between interests": If you were familiar with Ayn Rand's philosophy, as you claim, you would know that she argues there is no conflict between rational interests among men. Perhaps you think that the actions of your criminal are rational?

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So you think that some people have "personality or psychology types" that are incompatible with respecting the rights of others and make them more suited to living (insofar as you could call it that) by means of force and fraud, so in order not to "exclude" them we should abandon all moral and political principles (which means also dispensing with the epistemology and metaphysics upon which their based, which means dispensing with reality) and accept their penchant for criminality as a legitimate alternative lifestyle?

You've got to be kidding! This not only shows a complete lack of understanding of Objectivism, but a serious disconnection from reality.

'Man's survival qua man', but not all men are the same, therefore, all with which we are left is 'survival'. 'Qua man' is too contextual for anything other than individual/particular considerations.

Do you even know what phrases like qua man mean? Because if you do, these statements make absolutely no sense. Forget about Objectivism, you need to go back to Aristotle until you can at least grasp a few basics such as this correctly.

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