Add Comment


All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    When someone has accepted socialist collectivist premises and is trying to impose as much socialism as he can it is pointless to argue over the variations in Norway. Bernie Sanders is an old Red who, along with his supporters, are counting on ignorance of the injustices of Scandinavian socialist welfare statism to get their foot in the door for that and much worse.

    Scandinavian countries had to back off their march into larger scale socialism from decades ago because of the failures, but haven't dropped the collectivist premises. Following Norway is not the answer to Venezuela. For the horrors of the Scandinavian collectivist conformity mentality you should read Roland Hunter's The New Totalitarians unmasking the history and collectivist state of Sweden as of the early 1970s.

    The disastrous conservative arguments attempting to oppose socialism by defending the European socialist welfare statism of Scandinavian as "not socialism" have been dissected on this forum at

    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by Lucky 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      Roland Huntford. The New Totalitarians.

      Corporatiist, collectivist ethos, institutional loyalty before class, conscience, or anything else. (China today?)
      Keynesian principles reign supreme.
      Good resemblance to Brave New World. Huxley.
      Not as bad as several other systems, but it is collapsing, call it progressivism but it is regressive.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by Lucky 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        I cannot get the web address to work, it will not show as typed in.
        __ goes to **
        suggest try your search engine.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by ewv 1 month, 3 weeks ago
          The forum formatting mangles the url with multiple underlines. Search for 'The New Totalitarians - Eindtijd in Beeld'

          The link is for a pdf download of the 1980 edition of the book.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 1 month, 3 weeks ago
    ewv is on-target identifying socialism as conservatism. Ever since Karl Marx, their argument has been "we know how to mass produce - admittedly thanks to capitalism - now we can all share as much as we can make." The problem is that if that were even possible we wouild be frozen in a Utopia from 1848. Not only would we not have cellphones, we would not have hot water on tap in the home. The home water heater was an invention that no central authority paid an academic genius to dream up. (More Vannevar Bush later.)

    The inventor of the modern day water heater was Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer working in Philadelphia. In 1889, he designed “the first automatic, storage-tank type gas water heater.” Ruud founded a company with several other engineers and patented the invention in 1897. -- See )

    Scandavian culture is not unique in this, but they have their own name for it "The Law of Jante." It is mass conformism at the deepest level. It is true that with Nokia in Finland, and other Scandinavian tech succeses, it looks like you can have innovation under socialism. But those are COPIES of what was invented elsewhere first. Invention, enterprise, new ideas from telegraph to telephone to television to radio telescopes, all came from places with maximum personal freedom: the USA first of course, but also the UK and then Germany, France, Italy, etc. ((all much less but still better than, say, Russia, Norway, or the Ottoman Empire.) Capitalism is disruptive.

    You cannot predict invention. That is what makes it invention by definition.

    That is why the present American governmentalist system of throwing public money at universities has not brought wonderful new products to market. Oh, they have their successes -- in America. What an entrepreneur sees is a system of COMPETING universities. Granted that most are publicly funded with all the problems that that entails, but Ohio State competes against UCLA. UT Austin's McComb School of Business competes against the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In socialist countries, all of that is CENTRALIZED.

    Guiglielmo Marconi is a perfect case in point. Late in life, he was a supporter of fascism in Italy. But early in life he left Italy for the UK and the USA in order to pursue his inventions. And there's more. His "inventions" were challenged for patent infringement by others who had the same ideas earlier. (That's a whole other issue: first to invent versus first to file. But the main point remains.) Creative individuals flocked to the USA, and other places where freedom allowed opportunity. People did not flock to Italy or Germany or Norway or France. Though, true enough MARIE SKLODOWSKA emigrated from totally crushed Poland to much freer France to pursue her education and research.

    Moreover, while Italy was a place where you could have found Galvani, Volta, Avogadro, and others, that was BEFORE Italy became a unified state. The same was true of Germany. As a cultural matrix, "Germania" allowed intellectuals who got unpopular with one ruler to move to someplace with a different ruler. But overall, German culture of the 19th century was rigid and conformist. So Germans came to America with their inventive ideas and willingness to bear down and work hard FOR THEMSELVES. Bismark Socialism drove inventive people to America and left behind the people who became Nazis. Go figure...

    And that's where Bernie will take us. When the bodies pile up (which they are doing now -- more on that later because socialism is the root failure with Covid-19, too) Bernie will say that he didn't mean it to happen that way. But it will whether he wants it to or not.

    You're not to think you are anything special.
    You're not to think you are as good as we are.
    You're not to think you are smarter than we are.
    You're not to imagine yourself better than we are.
    You're not to think you know more than we do.
    You're not to think you are more important than we are.
    You're not to think you are good at anything.
    You're not to laugh at us.
    You're not to think anyone cares about you.
    You're not to think you can teach us anything.

    Donald Trump's supporters endorse many (if not all) of those ideas. Remember that pride is a sin. Contrary is pride is not just humility, but also arrogance. The Law of Jante is the arrogance of the crowd. "We don't need no liberal intellectuals. We got all the ideas we need right here. We're going to back to 1960 and Make America Great Again."

    Tell the Bernie crowd that Sen. Sanders is just another kind of Donald Trump: a man afraid of change who claims to speak for the masses. And he does. Do you want to be ruled by the masses? Or do you want to make your own decisions?

    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by Lucky 1 month, 3 weeks ago
      Good, but the last two paras are non-sequiturs. (my plural, does-not-follow)
      Trump supporters only hold what is quoted as Jante against those who are
      anything special, as good as , smarter, better, etc.
      but who claim they are.
      What they are is described by Nicholas Taleb as
      intelligent but stupid.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 1 month, 3 weeks ago
        Lucky, like you, I have been here a long time. (You got here first 7 years 7 months to my 6 years 8 momnths). We both came here because of the Atlas. Shrugged movies. But we have some fundamental differences. That is to be expected. And it is beneficial to both of us and tangentially beneficial to about 20,000 other people, apparently, who read what we write.

        Would you agree that 20,000 people have 20,000 individual value systems? I believe that no two people are identical. Even so-called "identical" twins have different fingerprints. Yet, we all clearly share some values in common or we would not be here at all.

        Allow me to suggest that the easiest common values are productivity and independence. Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, and all of the other heroes of Ayn Rand's fiction project those virtues for the reader or viewer. But Ayn Rand's fiction depended on an explicit philosophy that she developed for herself. Some people here endorse every word. Other people here hardly any of it. In the early days here, some participants were vocal Christians. Rand, of course, was an atheist, as are many others here, necessarily.

        For the past four years, supporters of Pres. Donald Trump have been vocal in disagreeing with other "Rand fans" who are detractors.

        The root problem that I perceive is how to apply the observation of shared values to disagreements about specifics. Clearly, you support Pres. Donald Trump for his appeal to your own deep values; and clearly, I find more fault than virtue in his words and actions because of my own.

        It is not a "chocolate versus vanilla issue" (identified by Nathaniel Branden in a discussion on what are important differences of fact and value). For lack of better labels to stick on people, the Objectivists here warn the Conservatives that as heartfelt as their patriotism is, their ideas will not take them where they want to go.

        The root problem is confusing philosophy with politics. To make up an example that is as harmless as possible, a small town has a plot of land that has been abandoned: dead owner; no heirs; been growing weeds for years... The town council wants to take it over and make it a park. Now, we have meetings and discussions and some arguments and some compromises and eventually we get a park. If you agree with someone 60% on an issue, you can form a coalitiion for a common cause. That's politics. It is one way for us to get along.

        Philosophy is like mathematics: right and wrong in theory mean right and wrong in practice. German Idealism from Hegel led to fascism, communism, national socialism, syndicalism, and all the other variants with their horrible consequences. Rational-empiricism of the Enlightenment led to capitalism, freedom, prosperity, and life extension.

        As the Republican candidate in 2016, Donald Trump seemed to represent that 60% agreement. (I believe that he never did.) Over the past four years, the practical consequences of the Trump administration are impossible to ignore, regardless of what they appeared to be in 2016.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  


  • Comment hidden. Undo