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What is the purpose of Galt's Gulch online?

Posted by Mamaemma 5 years, 2 months ago to Philosophy
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"Our sole relief were the rare occasions when we could see one another. We found that we liked to meet- in order to be reminded that human beings still existed. So we came to set aside one month a year to spend in this valley- to rest, to live in a rational world, to bring our real work out of hiding, to trade our achievements- here, where achievements meant payments, not expropriation. Each of us built his own house here, at his own expense- for one month out of twelve. It made the eleven easier to bear."
That's what Galt's Gulch online means to me.


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  • Posted by DanShu 5 years, 2 months ago
    I'm here because back in 2008 when you know who was elected the only thing I could think about was, what the hell just happened? Then with 2012 I'm thinking we're doomed. Then a couple of years later I read AS and find you guys here. I keep coming here because I'm really curious as to the why of things. And it's interesting too.
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  • Posted by Ben_C 5 years, 2 months ago
    I come to the Gulch to learn - and I learn something new each day. I thirst for knowledge and this is the vehicle. This is the one place I find a moment of sanity in an otherwise insane world. It is refreshering to know there are others who think and act as I do. Ben C.
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  • Posted by DeanStriker 5 years, 2 months ago
    I fully agree with the philosophical principles of Ayn Rand, but all can see that this is going nowhere useful.
    "Who is John Galt?" hits hard and clear... the best of the series, but let's face it, we'll never see that happen.
    The only way of escaping this trip is by refusing to support the beast, and getting rid of all GOVERNments of Force and their Rulers. This will hopefully occur during the coming Great Collapse. We see that "voting" for our Rulers doesn't work... never has. But based on vote2012, 98% of the voters accepted continuing tyranny. GO FIGGER!
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    • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 2 months ago
      As I've said dozens of times, here and elsewhere...
      "An electorate stupid enough to put O in the WH _twice_ is clearly dumb enough to put Hillary in The Big Chair, too..."

      No, I'm not encouraging that... it scares the hell out of me... I just observe the shit going on and try to set my own expectations accordingly. That helps, even if just a little. Better than being totally surprised when the votes are tallied.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 years, 2 months ago
      DeanStriker: "The only way of escaping this trip is by refusing to support the beast, and getting rid of all GOVERNments of Force and their Rulers. This will hopefully occur during the coming Great Collapse."

      Refusing to support them does not make them go away. A collapse would create chaos and demands for more government to "help". It would be sold as proof of the failure of freedom. If you want to reverse this it will take more than "hope".

      Reversing the course of a nation and a culture requires the spread of the right ideas of rationality, individualism and freedom. Without the right knowledge of what is possible people are too frightened to "risk" freedom. Spreading the right ideas is an absolute requirement and cannot be bypassed with hope.
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      • Posted by DeanStriker 5 years, 2 months ago
        Okay, well then Global Collapse is not in the picture? Wrong!

        Supporting Rulers and their Governments is merely throwing good money after bad. We've been working on all this for most of a long lifetime, spreading "the word". Yet it just keeps getting worse. Darn few listen. So where's the "hope", anyway?
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        • Posted by ewv 5 years, 2 months ago
          There is no time limit on the right work that has to be done, which is much more than "spreading the word" for one lifetime. Ideas do not implement themselves and appeals to politics alone are woefully inadequate.

          If a spiraling decline were to cut off freedom of speech and thought, making the sufficient spread of better ideas impossible, then it _would be_ impossible, short of starting over after another Dark Ages, but no one knows if that will happen. Frustrated abandonment of what is required in a pursuit of hoping that an accelerated plunge into a collapse will suffice does not make the impossible possible, it only accelerates the destruction.
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          • Posted by DeanStriker 5 years, 2 months ago
            Then we must suppose that since 1789 to 2015 is insufficient?
            please start here:
            http://no-ruler.net/?s=failure+of+the+fo...
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            • Posted by ewv 5 years, 1 month ago
              1957 to 2015 has been insufficient in terms of time because the thinking of the citizens has been insufficient, not because of an inherent time requirement.

              Prior to Atlas Shrugged and the ensuing publication of more of Ayn Rand's philosophy the trend almost had to be down because of the lack of a proper philosophy. The emphasis on reason and individualism of the Enlightenment made this country possible, but the ethics of egoism and the rational rejection of all mysticism and altruism was largely only implicit. The intellectual dominance of the church was overthrown and the right of the individual to his own life and the pursuit of his own happiness was endorsed but not supported philosophically. See Leonard Peikoff's book The Ominous Parallels. The intellectual revolution had not gone far enough.

              The long term decline had nothing to do with the fact that the constitution was written by a "committee" and did not endorse anarchism. That is not only wrong, but is arrested at the level of politics.
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    • Posted by wiggys2 5 years, 2 months ago
      The reason they vote as they do is lack of education as has been discussed here many times. Do to their lack of knowledge these people do not know how to reason, so they get what they deserve and we have to suffer with these results.
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      • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 2 months ago
        I disagree, wiggys3... it's not LACK of 'education,' it IS the "education" they've gotten, where it comes from, why it persists and why 'they' can't figure out that the basic logic behind it is erroneous!

        "It's complicated," to use the recent catch-phrase.
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        • Posted by mdant 5 years, 2 months ago
          For many years I was blind enough to think the problem was education, or as plusaf suggests, miseducation. However, I eventually had to accept the painful truth that for most people you could spend all the time you wanted educating them properly and it would not change anything because they are whom they want to be. For example, I used to spend a lot of time trying to educate people as to why it is wrong to force a restaurant owner to ban smoking when no one is forced to come in. What I typically found if I pushed the subject hard enough is people would admit that it might be wrong to force the owner to do this, but they did no care because it was better for them. I found this was the most common basis for their reason, they just tried hard to avoid admitting it, even to themselves.
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          • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 2 months ago
            mdant, I've been on both sides of the restaurant/smoking discussion. I'm a non-smoker, but don't usually have a strong reaction to cigarette smoke in my life. I believe that the risks to me are real, although small.

            I have libertarian beliefs and free-market beliefs, so I didn't support making smoking illegal in places owned by people. It appeared to me that the free market had come down on the side of the owners and they'd concluded that having smoking sections worked well for them.

            Then smoking in specific places in NC, where I live, was made illegal. Prior to the action, catastrophists predicted dire results and closing businesses as a result.

            Then reality AND the free market, after the laws went into effect, provided the real, measurable answer: more customers came to restaurants AND bars AFTER the smoking prohibition went into effect. Higher sales and profits resulted and complaints and opposition to the laws evaporated except for establishments whose explicit business IS to provide a place to smoke. Exemptions appeared.

            Some situations are more complex than they appear... :) It makes me a bit more cautious about taking sides when new issues appear which might also have 'complicated' associated with their situations.
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            • Posted by mdant 5 years, 2 months ago
              Oh my! I cant believe you got sucked into those arguments of distraction! It is completely irrelevant whether business did good or bad after the smoking ban! Even if you are doing something that is good for a business owner, it is plain evil if you are forcing them to do it. There is nothing complicated about it!!!!! It is a simple matter of whether or not the public has a right to force a property owner to do things against their will simply because a lot of people think it will be more convenient for them. As to helping businesses, there were a couple business in my town that closed their doors because they had no more customers. Their business for the past thirty years had been devoted primarily to smokers. And when you talk about opposition evaporating, it is because they divide and conquer. The way it generally works around here is the ban might allow for an exemption or two to win over a large enough population to pass it. Then after they get people used to the ban they come back and modify the law to do away with the exemptions since they now have a very small population of businesses and customers to push around.

              In all seriousness....you have ventured way over into the looter side if you let yourself be swayed by "well after we forced them to do it turned out OK" argument. I am so disappointed I can not even express it. And by the way, I have never been a smoker or a business owner. I just associate with this argument so much because I can not think of anything that is a clearer case of black and white, evil coming from the power of the majority.
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              • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 1 month ago
                I was commenting on the complexity of the overall issue and my observations of the results.

                One could (possibly) follow a similar line of logic on each side of the vaccination 'issue' today... freedom to control your own body versus data that show benefits if 'everyone goes along...'

                I believe that exemptions were made available in NC to establishments whose ENTIRE clientele comprised smokers... non-smokers would be infinitesimally likely to even want to enter such places.

                Perhaps the lawmakers where you are weren't smart enough to differentiate those two markets when they drafted their regulations. That would be my guess.

                When the issue came up a few years ago in NC, I didn't want to give up my free-market-capitalist position, but I also knew that there were restaurants that my wife and I avoided because of the smoky air inside. Since the laws went into effect, we've returned to several such restaurants and enjoyed the cleaner air.

                One MIGHT also consider the 'your rights extend to the tip of my nose or the tips of my toes, whichever sticks out further...' axiom... smokers have, in my opinion, too, the absolute right to do ANYTHING they want to THEIR bodies without my interference in those rights, but does that mean they abdicate ALL responsibility for their actions which DO reach my nose, throat and lungs? Or are they saying that it's NOT THEIR responsibility to not endanger ME, but it's the responsibility of the restaurateur?

                It's still, imnsho, 'complex.' I LOVE Occam's Razor, but sometimes things just aren't all that simple.
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                • Posted by mdant 5 years, 1 month ago
                  Your comment about smokers rights ending when the smoke touches your nose would be true if we were talking about your house or a public place that you had to go in. However, when it comes to a restaurant, if smoking is allowed by the owner then you know it before you go in. If you do not want smoke to touch your nose you simply make the choice not to go into that private property where you know smoke will be. You are trying to hold smokers responsible for your choices. I just want you to think about the logic and realize that even though it is worse for you and your wife, freedom is the right thing to support. Thanks
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                  • Posted by plusaf 5 years, 1 month ago
                    I agree with your points. I avoided those restaurants. So did a lot of other people.

                    I just found it interesting that when the government forced the establishments to give up some of their rights, their sales and profits increased. And my wife and I returned as customers.

                    That's all I meant by "complicated." That does NOT mean that I wholeheartedly advocate government controls as ANY kind of 'universal benefit' or panacea to ANY problem or problems.

                    I just like observing situations, changes and results.

                    Cheers!
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 5 years, 2 months ago
    That's very nice. That is the reason why is it important to underscore the fact that we are not so alone as the heroes of 1957. You can find 55 books by and about Ayn Rand (See here: http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/2013/...). In my town, Austin, Texas, we have a weekly Objectivism group meeting on Sunday nights. In addition, there is a university group on Tuesdays. They often bring in Yaron Brooke who got his doctorate here. But we are not unique. In any large town, you can find like-minded people who know the works of Ayn Rand.

    If you are in some faraway place, then the virtual engagement here is especially important. For most people, living as we do in population centers, "Rand fans" are pretty easy to find.

    The wider truth is that this is not the end of the world, but just the beginning.
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    • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 2 months ago
      I like your attitude. I have had enough of doom-sayers. I think that we may be headed for rough times, and we need to take precautions as individuals so as to weather them well, but these bad times are not guaranteed, and we should not despair. If such times should indeed come to pass, then they will change the nature of the political game - not necessarily for the worse.

      Jan

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    • Posted by NealS 5 years, 2 months ago
      Your comment, "For most people, living as we do in population centers, "Rand fans" are pretty easy to find" indicates that you've probably never been to the Seattle area. You can see a lot of blank stares and mouths hanging open if you mention her name. Most people here have no clue, all they do is vote for the big "D", period. I don't know why I stay here, probably just to be a thorn.
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 5 years, 2 months ago
        I found an Ayn Rand Meet-Up in Seattle. You might check it out. Also, I found two harsh denigrations, one a theater performance.

        (Never been to Seattle; been to Portland.)
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  • Posted by $ winterwind 5 years, 1 month ago
    I'm with you on the purpose of this place, Mamaemma - you [and Rand] put it beautifully.
    It is to allow the intelligent, thinking individuals here to play and laugh with others who know how serious the joke is, where we can breathe and go back out to face it again.
    It is that place where "we never had to take any of it seriously", even if it's just for a little while.
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  • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 2 months ago
    I share the sense of relief.

    But we do not actually work in the Gulch and exchange products, so there is no real work that we can bring out of hiding. What we have is a philosophical oasis. This refuge allows us to have discussions which don't get stuck at 'step one'. (If I try to have a discussion with most folks, and I begin with the premise that a person owns the profits of their work...this assertion is immediately attacked. I never actually get to talk about the 'next step' topic that interested me.)

    What we do not have is any protection from the regulations that impede our freedom and decrease our productivity. It would take a real Gulch to do this.

    I think that the purpose of the Gulch is to network a large number of isolated individuals. Synergy is happening.

    Jan
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 5 years, 2 months ago
    Galt's Gulch for me is that sometime in the future it will become a reality.It will be a place where a smaller society can be a creative and enterprising state. I'm so angry that all the gov't regulations is stifling the US economy and we produce very little in tangible goods.
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  • Posted by RonC 5 years, 2 months ago
    In "the Magic Story" the main character admonishes us that we are know by the company we keep. We should therefore, seek the companionship of the energetic and wise. Chumming around with boozers and laggards will bring you down.(paraphrased)

    IMHO this is very good company to be associated with.
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  • Posted by term2 5 years, 2 months ago
    Emotionally, its a great thing. In practical terms, i doubt it really does a lot. Even in Atlas Shrugged, the only thing that convinces people to give up statism is when it crashes. Talking about it before the fact doesnt seem to be very effective, even in Rand's novels.
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    • Posted by ewv 5 years, 2 months ago
      Without the spread of the right ideas of rationality, individualism and freedom, the crashing of one statist system is replaced by another, worse, statist system as people demand government protect them from everything and provide their needs. Without the right knowledge of what is possible people are too frightened to "risk" freedom.
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  • Posted by DennisKebrdle 5 years, 2 months ago
    every once in a while we need to be with those that share our views on the world as it is and what we would like to see. The out world battle is tough and I'm trolling for converts every day. passed out 11 copies of the book and a copper coin last week. with the turmoil , i'm finding others disenchanted with the BS from every corner, but nothing like having a drink with a fellow Rand believer--it sure makes me feel a little less "radical" and looked at as a goof!! The getting together is a "recharge"!!
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  • Posted by GordonMuth 5 years, 2 months ago
    I think there is the potential to make this a lot more than a site for objectivists to comment and commiserate on the news of the day. This could be the gateway to a Galt's Gulch that is hiding in plain site, not in a valley behind a ray screen, but hidden within the noise all around us. Imagine an underground market for exceptional products (like residential radar), services (like really secure communications) and ideas (that nobody would want to discuss in a public forum), things that can't be found in any big box store or online retailer. Consider an alternative financial system that runs on credits (value traded for value) or something else that holds more value than our paper dollars. What would it take to build a shadow society, that is still standing when the one in which we currently live gives up the ghost? Just think about it...
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