The God of the Machine - Tranche 42

Posted by mshupe 5 months, 3 weeks ago to Economics
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Chapter XIX, Excerpt 3 of 3
Credit and Depressions

All the inventions of man have individualism as their end, because they spring from the individual function of intelligence, which is the creative and productive source. So far as co-operative action is useful toward the development of the individual, capitalism is fully able to carry out by voluntary association the vast and complex operations of which collectivism is utterly incapable. No collectivist society can even permit cooperation; it relies upon compulsion; hence it remains static.

In 1932, the popular decision was for government economy, sound money, and reduction of political power, though the country was suffering from a depression. It was the non-productive rich who first went on the dole. Had they not done so, no measure could have been passed for Federal poor relief. The line was drawn in a striking manner, between the producer and the non-producer, with Henry Ford and Senator Couzens. Ford was in production; he was against government intervention.

Ultimately, the current of energy was forced into the political channel. In both America and Europe, misdirected energy was projected upward; but Europe did not build skyscrapers. What went up was military airplanes. None of this was unpredictable, nor wholly unforeseen. Ninety years ago, Herbert Spencer perceived the trend; he said: “We are being rebarbarized.” When a dictatorship gains power, it is by various groups conceding power. Men enslave themselves, forging the chain link by link.


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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    “Men enslave themselves, forging the chain link by link.”

    Evil, non-productive, humans always find a way to justify their evil deeds. I doubt the Founders ever imagined that future Congresses might use this part of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…” to justify the runaway printing of money and a 32 trillion-dollar debt load.

    Yet, century in and century out, the evil ones find a way to convince a large part of the populace to follow their orders even as they lay out a clear path to death, destruction, slavery, and poverty.
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    • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
      The US Constitution is a radical, monumental, and a marvelous achievement, but I think you're right that the General Welfare language came back to bite America's Founders, America, and by extension, the world. The evil ones to which you refer found their way in this reference and have invoked the morality of altruism ever since. Dagny Taggart fought the good fight until she finally realized that no agreement is possible with these bastards. There was no glimmer of hope for crushing them without her complete abandonment of their system.
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      • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 months, 3 weeks ago
        Fight or flight - which one will Americans choose?
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        • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
          Pragmatically speaking, capitalism offers a vast array of choices. Americans have come to expect choice, even though they know not from whence it comes. Socialist ideas are an assault on choice, both explicitly (one size fits all government benefits) and implicitly (equality). At what level of choice degradation will Americans choose to learn about the Law of Causality?
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          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 months, 3 weeks ago
            While they are being dis-educated by an insane Educational Philosophy (John Dewey), misled by a leftist main stream media, preyed upon by a Federal workforce of nearly 3,000,000 unelected and unaccountable employees - probably never.

            It is Human Nature. Many of us fall for the promise of paradise on Earth. Attractive but unattainable.
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            • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
              One of the radical and beautiful aspects of Objectivism is to reframe the "paradise on Earth" concept. It begins with "nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." This continues with "the wisdom to know the difference." Then "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Ayn Rand tied these together by defining a life of moral perfection: all of man's virtues are applied to a life or reason, purpose and self-esteem. Of course, this is the opposite of any collectivist utopia.
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 months, 3 weeks ago
                Accepted and practiced by you and me and everyone at ARI and tens of thousands of others around the world.

                But her ideas ought to have caught fire and spread around the world to become the dominant politico-economic philosophy on Earth. They haven't.
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                • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Yes, and it starts with the individual. Religion has dominated Western civilization since the fall of Rome and obedience has dominated Eastern civilization much longer than that. In our culture, it's much easier for people to find fault with "society" and with politicians and with everyone who is successful, especially when relatively free markets and entrepreneurs do all the heavy lifting for lives of luxury. All of the great achievements of the 19th century were reversed by government monopolies on education and money. Regardless, its essential for people to develop their own heroic nature. Jordan Peterson did a great service with his 12 Rules for Life, but he's also a malevolent universe guy.
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  • Posted by 5 months, 3 weeks ago
    1 - Free will is the prime mover; it cannot be compelled by force, but force may paralyze free will.

    2 - Crony corporatism is the sanction of force, it leads to fascism, and the victimhood of the businessman.

    3 - The sanction of the victim is the only requirement for force to overwhelm the men of the mind.
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