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If you are not a fan of Ayn Rand, why are you in the Gulch?

Posted by Mamaemma 4 years, 3 months ago to Philosophy
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And if someone is a fan of Ayn Rand, does that mean that that person understands and agrees with her philosophy?


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  • 22
    Posted by coaldigger 4 years, 3 months ago
    I thought that I did not care about philosophy because it was a waste of my time, thinking instead of doing, pontificating instead of producing. I will admit that the world seemed to be a very strange place and I did not think that I had very much in common with most people. My strategy was to pretend to go along, keep my thoughts to myself and see where it took me. The problem was that I was often out of step, resisting authority and disbelieving anything based on faith. Fortunately, being an only child, I was comfortable being alone.

    One day an associate gave me a copy of Atlas and I said "damn, there it is. I am not alone."
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    • Posted by jpellone 4 years, 3 months ago
      I wish someone would have given a copy to me when I was young. Instead I read Edgar Rice Borough's books. Not that those books were bad, they make you imagine so much and you can even picture in your mine what it must have been like to live in his books. My favorite is Pirates of Venus...

      I guess his books are what made me such a sci-fi nut...
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  • 17
    Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 3 months ago
    A fan is not a sycophant. But if you are not interested in reason, then there is little to discuss.
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    • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
      A person who is not interested in reason has nothing to discuss at all, especially here, and that is worth emphasizing.

      We frequently see strawman arguments against "worshipers" or "sycophants" who are said to "agree with everything Rand ever said", demand "loyalty tests", demand to "tell other people what they can think", etc. The strawman typically serves to obfuscate a desire to "have Ayn Rand's philosophy and eat it too" by those promoting contradictions to Ayn Rand's basic principles (through religion, anarchism, variants of hedonism, etc.). And that does not belong here. That versus "believing everything Rand ever said because she said it" is a false alternative; neither is reasonable (and the second is rarely, if ever, found at all).

      But being a "fan" of Ayn Rand does not necessarily imply understanding or agreeing with her philosophy in the full sense of that concept. You can't agree with something, no matter how initially attractive, until you know what it is.

      There are many reasons people are attracted to Atlas Shrugged, not all of them valid, but people with mixed premises or mistaken views absorbed from everything from education to a life time of exposure to a mixed culture can be and often are attracted to the theme of the novel without at first being able to sort out what made it possible and what contradicts it.

      Atlas Shrugged projected a sense of life made possible by Ayn Rand's philosophy, which she had to create in order to project in fiction what she called the "ideal man" (and which she said was her primary reason for writing Atlas Shrugged). The novel illustrated and often made explicit and explained her basic philosophy in various contexts (including the main Galt's speech), but it did not systematically describe in detail her philosophy or show it's hierarchical structure and necessity in a non-fiction form.

      For anyone legitimately interested after having read Atlas Shrugged and/or Ayn Rand's other novels, there often are -- and should be -- all kinds of questions about her philosophy not explained or fully explained in the novel; the next major step should to be to find out what Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason _is_. Ayn Rand's philosophy does _not_ just say 'go out and be reasonable' in the name of 'independence'. It has a _content_, with major, logically interconnected positions in all the main branches of philosophy. It answers major philosophical questions that have been debated throughout the history of western civilization, often with disastrous consequences from bad ideas previously spread and for which Ayn Rand provided an antidote.

      For that one must read the non-fiction, which has been published in several anthologies. It includes Leonard Peikoff's comprehensive and systematic Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, and his lecture series on Objectivism from the 1970's (at which Ayn Rand was present to answer questions), which is less comprehensive but the basis of the book -- and put it all in context by listening to the Leonard Peikoff lecture serious on the history of western philosophy, which is superbly presented.

      Not everyone is interested in learning all the major technical aspects of philosophy (and not everything Ayn Rand expressed on her personal choices is part of her philosophy), but a primary goal of any person serious about Ayn Rand's ideas should be the intellectual ambition to find out out what her philosophy of reason and individualism actually is and why. In the meantime, anyone can be a "fan" of those aspects he genuinely understands. But that is the opposite approach of those who mistakenly decide to "become an Objectivist", full of temporary excitement over partially understood dramatic fiction -- and then proceed to learn what they signed up for as if they had just committed to another sect of a church -- and who invariably wind up throwing off what they never understood to begin with, blaming it with hysterical resentment on Ayn Rand.

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  • 16
    Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
    That depends on what you mean by "fan." I certainly consider myself one, owning at least 25 of the nearly 60 books written by and about her. I first read _Anthem_ in 1966. I took the "Basic Principles" class 1966-1967. I just finished reading Adam Reed's essay on Objectivist Epistemology and Object Oriented Programming. So, I take this all very seriously - and far beyond politics.

    There, however, you will find many here who agree with and appreciate much of Ayn Rand's work but who came to it all late in life when their own personalities, morals, and convictions were shaped. So, they find easy agreement with her denunciations of socialism. However, they may not agree with her claim that religion and faith are destructive, both of personality and of civilization; or that an embryo or fetus is not a human being; or that World War II was not noble and glorious; or that Ronald Reagan was not a consistent advocate of freedom; or that a woman should not want to be President of the United States; or that Beethoven's music is malevolent and anti-life; and so on.

    Indeed, I listen to Beethoven; and I think that a woman has as much right and reason to be President as a man. But I still consider myself a fan of Ayn Rand.

    So, perhaps Mama Emma, you might explain what you mean by the question.
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    • 10
      Posted by 4 years, 3 months ago
      I hear you, MikeMarotta, but you are talking about details. I am sure I don't agree with everything Rand ever said; I am a fan, not a worshiper. But I think , as an example, that a person who believes it is ok to take from one man to give to another is not a fan of Rand.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
        "a person who believes it is ok to take from one man to give to another is not a fan of Rand."
        Thanks for the interesting question in the OP. This thing about takings needs to be defined. Does this mean someone who supports compulsory taxes in any form cannot be a fan of Rand?
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        • 11
          Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 3 months ago
          Yes. Compulsory taxation is theft and improper use of force.
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          • Posted by Ranter 4 years, 3 months ago
            I don't think so. Compulsory taxation is necessary for the existence of the State. The State is necessary to enforce and protect liberty. Therefore, compulsory taxation is necessary to support liberty. However, compulsory taxation that takes from one person and gives to another person is theft and the improper use of force. The only legitimate function of compulsory taxation is to pay for the essential functions of government in a free society. It needs to be compulsory because if it is not, those who give money to the state control it, to the detriment of those who do not; or those who give more to the state control it to the detriment of those who give less.
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            • Posted by UncommonSense 4 years, 3 months ago
              Since 1913, with the federal cabal of banksters who have the ability to create instant "prosperity" out of thin air ~ your U.S. debt notes, aka, dollars to those closest to the window (uh, the rogue Gov't) to finance any politically-convenient whim when they please makes compulsory taxation obsolete.

              UNLESS, the goal is rob citizens of the fruits of their labor (um, social security, medicare, medicade) and keep them in perpetual poverty, ad nauseum.

              REMOVE the federal reserve/cabal and hold Congress responsible for issuing coin/money, as they are Constitutionally required and somehow FORCE them to LIVE within the means of genuine taxation, then I will agree with you that compulsory taxation is necessary, but not until then.
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              • Posted by Lysander 4 years, 3 months ago
                Remember there were three abuses in the year 1913. Federal Reserve, income taxes, AND direct election of senators. First, ruined the monetary system. Second, ruined property rights, due to the tax system that allows you to keep only some of your production/wealth. Third, ruined the federal system of government and places all power in DC.
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            • Posted by GordonMuth 4 years, 3 months ago
              Our government can perform the duties required by the constitution for far less than the $4T that Obama asked for in his recent budget.

              If the government were adhering to the constitution, you wouldn't feel compelled to "buy" protection from the government, but might be a lot more willing to contribute voluntarily to secure the protection of the government.
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            • Posted by  $  amhunt 4 years, 3 months ago
              Hmmm Let me see if I understand you correctly. It is necessary for the State to violate liberty in order to insure liberty? Seems like circular reasoning to me.

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              • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 3 months ago
                Let's just look at one example:
                You cherish the "liberty" of jumping into your car, and driving across town, or to the next town for that matter.
                There are decent roads that allow you this cherished "liberty".
                You paid compulsory taxes for these roads, and my guess is that you aren't complaining.
                Consider the scenario where each individual is only responsible for the road(s) that they need, or want....

                Societal living has communal, and compulsive, requirements.
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                • Posted by  $  amhunt 4 years, 3 months ago
                  Toll roads work just fine. No compulsion -- pay for what one uses. The moment someone decides to force (excluding retaliation) someone else to do something or pay for something for someone else, that person enters the realm of the "mystics of muscle". Just because I happen to think it is a good idea and would be good for everyone does not mean I have the right to inflict it upon others (even if I do call it a "tax").
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                  • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 3 months ago
                    Who built them?
                    Are you ready for a toll booth at every intersection?
                    Do you actually believe that is cheaper, or even feasible?

                    "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
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                    • Posted by  $  amhunt 4 years, 3 months ago
                      Oops -- I thought we were discussing a philosophical point. You seem to be more interested in denigration ("Toto ...") BTW -- We certainly have the technology to not need toll booths.
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                      • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 3 months ago
                        "We certainly have the technology to not need toll booths."

                        That's what I ask for...some proof.
                        How does this technology work?

                        What is ironic is that you say that you will not agree to a compulsory tax, but you would agree to the road users paying for the roads. You are already paying for the roads (and none road users are not) through the compulsory fees that you pay for your car tags, and gasoline you buy.

                        You are doing exactly what you both denounce, and promote, at the same time. You got your wish that only road users contribute...but they are doing it without a voluntary tax.
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                        • Posted by  $  amhunt 4 years, 3 months ago
                          That technology is used all the time on the toll roads and HOV lanes here in California. I would agree with you re the "tax" on gasoline if those funds went exclusively for roads and road maintenance, but unfortunately it does not. My point in this discussion is that there are ways to accomplish paying for infrastructure without forcing it on people. We should always seek those ways as opposed to initiating the use of force.
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                          • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 3 months ago
                            Maybe the term 'force' is my issue, since I am paying for my roads by compulsion...but I see it as value for value, since I could not live without them.

                            Can you tell me how the road even gets there, if it will eventually get paid for through it's use (tolls)?
                            The old chicken, or the egg conundrum?
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                            • Posted by  $  amhunt 4 years, 3 months ago
                              Sorry to take so long to get back to you. In my view roads evolve over time, as need arises, beginning with trails changing into paths, paths widening into lanes, and so on. Let us suppose that there are several farmers that share a common path between them. They use this path to transport their goods to market. One of the farmers (or perhaps someone else) realizes that if the path were improved and maintained, the travel time to market would be shorter and with less break downs. So he visits his neighbors and suggests setting up a small road company. The other farmers seeing the value of this idea agree to contribute to the company and become partners in it. Now the "someone else" mentioned above could be government and I would have no objections as long as they paid for the road and its maintenance via fees charged to those who use the road. For example: I was informed that in California the gasoline tax originally went completely into the highways fund (to me this is an example of a use fee being called a tax -- as you pointed out "...but I see it as value for value, ..." and I agree). Alas, some years ago the legislature changed that law so that these taxes now flow into the general fund.
                              There are many related issues about how government programs could be replaced by markets. Quite a few years ago I ran across a very good book that discusses these issues: "The Market for Liberty by Linda and Morris Tanhill". I think you would find it quite interesting and much better at illustrating how most government run services can be better handled by the market than my simple example of roads above. One can find this "now free" book at: http:/mises.org/library/market-liberty-1

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              • Posted by  $  jlc 4 years, 3 months ago
                Well, amhunt, it is only circular logic if you define "liberty" as 'never paying a compulsory tax'. Ranter's definition does not seem to be circular.

                Jan
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            • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
              "Compulsory taxation is necessary for the existence of the State" --Ranter

              I agree compulsory tax is *not* theft and maybe or maybe not is necessary. I'm open to radical experiments in Gulches with no taxes.

              "However, compulsory taxation that takes from one person and gives to another person is theft and the improper use of force."-- Ranter
              This leaves us to debate which programs "give to another": Law enforcement, SBIR/STTR grants, building public roads, military, subsidies for the poor, supporting art, national weather service, building rural roads to be used by one particular industry, etc.

              I don't understand the philosophical or practical reason for picking a few of these as off-limits. It doesn't guarantee less gov't spending or intrusiveness.

              For me the necessary but not sufficient condition for gov't spending is it be for something non-excludable from those who don't want to pay for it.
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              • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
                Is it not true that the definition of public goods requires both non-rival and non-excludable. Non-rival means that my having it does not prevent you from having it. A sunset is the classic example, but, your examples all were supposed to be available to anyone. The military is the classic case. If the nation is invaded, it might be true that the army cannot be everywhere at once, but driving off the enemy is supposed to be a strategic decision rather than one based on who deserves liberation more.

                Public schools, national weather service, etc., are all supposed to be non-rival. I am not sure that that is physically possible. In fact, I even question whether sunsets are always non-rival. But in any case, public goods are supposed to be like that.
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                • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 11 months ago
                  "Public schools, national weather service, etc., are all supposed to be non-rival. I am not sure that that is physically possible. In fact, I even question whether sunsets are always non-rival."
                  I saw this by chance after four months. I'd never thought of non-rival before, so I find it interesting.

                  "our examples all were supposed to be available to anyone"
                  Actually, I was suggesting they're in the eye of the beholder. I imagined that for each one, someone could says, "this program is charity for [some group]", and someone else could say, "sure the money is paid to that group, but having that program in the country benefits us all, and we can't turn it off those who don't want to pay for it."
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
              Do those who contribute the local symphony or art museum foundation control it to the _detriment_ of those who do not? It is a fact of life that in any combined effort, not everyone gets their way. I do not mean in that context. You said "detriment." I grew up in Cleveland. George Szell conducted a lot Mozart, and not so much Shostakovich; but it was not to the detriment of the lesser donors. They did not have to donate.

              So, too, in a free society, might the soldiers be dressed like Zouves, because the largest donors influence that; but it would not be to anyone's detriment. (Or maybe we would all suffer eye-aches on Independence Day.)
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            • Posted by sumitch 4 years, 3 months ago
              I'm nowhere as knowledgeable about Ayn Rand and her philosophy as this discussion requires. I first read Atlas Shrugged in high school many years ago. O K, as it was published I still had two years before I would graduate which I somehow did. I remember thinking that this could not happen in this country. (I felt the same way when I read Come Nineveh come Tyre). I have a lot of Cub and Boy Scouts training and education still with me. I then picked up three other of her novels and read and enjoyed each one. I came away with the basic understanding that no man deserves the fruits of another’s labor without his permission. This was before PCness would require that I say“No man or woman …..” I liked the idea of individualism and self awareness of one’s worth. Maybe that’s too simplistic.

              I was thinking before I found this site that this current administration is far too close to her writings as I remembered them. Fifty something years is a long time to remember much of anything, but these books have stayed with me. The major problem we have as I see it is that our Congress will not stand up to Obama and/or are just a collection of boot lickers. They won't honor their oaths and protect this country.

              What sticks with me now is how many companies have moved out of our country to another. Maybe not for the same reasons as Ayn wrote about, but the consequences are very close to the same.

              I’ve a thick skin, so fire away, but make it mostly educational.
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
                You're pretty much on target. AR understood that the collectivist mindset is very seductive. Those that promise you more by taking from those that "have too much" is very convenient. Nobody thinks they "have too much," but most think they have "too little." Thus, many justify the taking from some to benefit the "many."
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                • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
                  Ayn Rand did not argue that collectivism is seductive. She showed how the course of a culture depends on its dominant ideas and urged the spread of the right ideas.
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          • Posted by johnpe1 4 years, 3 months ago
            that is what I used to believe. . no longer. . I now
            hold that a member of, say, the Gulch, *must* take
            a vow and voluntarily agree to pay for any central
            services mutually agreed on by the members, else
            they must leave. . this includes maturing children,
            say, at 18 or so. . you take part as a member, or bye-bye.
            and charity is voluntary, NONE of it handled by
            the state. . mutual defense is voluntarily paid by
            members. . everything must be voluntary, or it
            will not work, long-term. -- j

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            • Posted by  $  jlc 4 years, 3 months ago
              I first read that idea in one of Heinlein's stories (Coventry?), and I do think that this is an aspect of government that no country has addressed. Every country wants to keep their natural/cultural citizens.

              But the devil is in the details and the details of this boggle my brain: How do you keep it from being an oath under duress? Do you export your criminals when they turn 18? (If not, maybe you should slap a cop the day before your 18th bday.) Do people who eschew cars have to pay for highways? Do they pay less? (After all, even if they walk to the supermarket, their food gets to the market via roads.)

              So I think that either a flat rate payment (ahem = tax) or a government ownership of some profitable utility by which it can earn a living sounds better. Have pity on the bookkeepers!

              Jan
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              • Posted by sumitch 4 years, 3 months ago
                I still love "Stranger in a strange Land" and in fact it's a cult classic. My sister did a series of discussions at the University of Arizona using this book as a basis.
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                • Posted by  $  jlc 4 years, 3 months ago
                  I have misplaced my copy and have not read it for decades. This is not bad because I re-read it so many times when it came out that I was really burned out on it for a while.

                  I think it is time for me to get another copy now. Thanks for the reminder.

                  Jan

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            • Posted by Kittyhawk 4 years, 3 months ago
              So if the members agree they want Obamacare (free health care for all) or any other crazy thing, it's either pay up or get out? That sounds like where we are now. I think voluntary funding is the only way to keep "government" (or whatever entity is providing these central services) in check.
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              • Posted by johnpe1 4 years, 3 months ago
                ummmmmmmm ... there would be a constitution
                which would obviate welfare-state and central-
                control-state crap like that;;; yes? -- j

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                • Posted by Kittyhawk 4 years, 3 months ago
                  So you propose majority rule, but with a "constitution" which tries to anticipate and spell out exactly which "central services" will ever be allowed, and which won't? Drafting such a constitution sounds like a huge undertaking. And it also sounds like you'd need to provide for amendments and a judiciary to decide whether something is allowed under the "constitution," and, again, I think you end up right where we are today. In my opinion, the only way we get a different result and actually maintain freedom is to do something different, rather than following the same steps that brought us to the social and political mess we have today.
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        • 10
          Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 3 months ago
          Someone just voted down CG's intelligent question to 0.
          Before I reverse this childish act, I will use this event to summarize where I am coming from: I am an avid "fan" of Ayn Rand, until my zeal makes me be rude to those that don't agree with everything that she wrote, and they are making sincere points of debate. Then I am ashamed, and don't think that being a rabid fan is all that much to be proud of.
          Food for thought....
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          • Posted by  $  winterwind 4 years, 3 months ago
            "avid" fandom and "rabid" fandom are, as you say, not the same thing. I think that your zeal doesn't "make" you be rude to the rabid fan; I think, like many of us, a shout and a walk about the block is sometimes necessary. Not really being able to do that, some move to rudeness to get others to BACK OFF. Don't be too hard on yourself.
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 years, 3 months ago
            I only give CG a hard time (if that is actually possible) when he IMO insults my intelligence.
            Other times I just ignore him.
            A couple of days ago I was making fun of him on that Jeff Sessions thread I started.
            Today I feel moved to +1 give him #3 (just to have it known in case that point count goes up or down).
            Tomorrow I may be calling him a troll.
            Is this place fun or what?
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
          Rand was clear on taxation. See "Government Financing in a Free Society" in _The Virtue of Selfshness_. Note, however, that that was projection to a context that we do not have: we are not in a free society, but in a mixed economy. In that same context, Rand was equivocal on other issues, such as working for the government, taking government subsidies, and (in her time) not surrendering in Viet Nam, though she was opposed to our being there in the first place. Not everything is easy to parse. You have to know the context. That is the difference between an Objectivist and an Absolutist.
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          • Posted by jabuttrick 4 years, 3 months ago
            Agreed. As for working for the government, Rand thought it morally permissible if the services rendered would be proper in a free society if provided by a private entity. Postman OK; concentration camp guard not OK.
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          • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
            Ayn Rand wasn't equivocal. She understood the context you referred to and knew how to apply her principles to it. She urged spreading the correct ideas to change the culture, not sacrificing yourself to the one you were born in to.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
              Yes, of course, but as noted above Ragnar Danneskjoeld was able to know whom to reimburse and how much because of moles working in the department of income tax. He was able to parse Dagny Taggart's income as VP Ops from her income from Taggart Common Stock. It was explicit in Atlas Shrugged (the book) that he had access to her income tax filings.

              So, yes, it would be wrong to be a concentration camp guard -- unless your ulterior motive were to help people escape.

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              • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
                There is a lot more to living in a mixed system than deciding whether or not to be concentration camp guard become a mole in the IRS.

                Ayn Rand's understanding of the kind of society we live in and how to apply her ethics was not based on equivocation.
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      • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
        "You need to be more explicit in Step 2." -- Sidney Harris on Creationism.

        Mama Emma asserted: "But I think , as an example, that a person who believes it is ok to take from one man to give to another is not a fan of Rand." However, that bald statement lacks context. The easy agreement already from Robbie is evidence of the emotion. The fact remains that the CONTEXT is not defined. As Ayn Rand pointed out via Ragnar Danneskjoeld, that the real Robin Hood (if there was one) took from the thieving rich and gave to the productive poor.

        So, it can be perfectly moral to take from one man and give to another.
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        • Posted by  $  jlc 4 years, 3 months ago
          But in that case, you would be 'returning' the money to its original owner, not 'giving' it. I see that as different.

          If a man is running down the street carrying a pink purse and I trip him, take the purse, and give it back to the littleoldlady he stole it from it is a different matter than if I were to clobber an innocent pink-purse-carrying man, wrench his beloved purse from his grasp and then toss it to some old woman who 'I' decided deserved to have it.

          Jan
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        • Posted by jabuttrick 4 years, 3 months ago
          Actually, if I remember correctly, Rand thought Robin Hood was immoral and criticized those who used his story (or myth) to justify initiation of force by taxation. Am I remembering correctly?
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          • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
            You remember it correctly, but incompletely. In the paperback, see pages 539-540. There Ragnar explains to Hank that the actual story of Robin Hood as a defender of property has been changed; and Robin Hood is now remembered as defender of need. "It is said that he fought against the looting rulers and returned the loot to those who had been robbed..." (middle of page 540)
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
        Glad to hear you aren't a worshipper. Does that extend to accepting those who agree with your morality/ethics but reach that state from a different starting point? If we agree on self-ownership, the need for liberty, free-markets, etc., but derive those foundations from a different basis, are you OK with that?
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 years, 3 months ago
      As a Christian I worry where Ayn Rand may be right now.
      Yeah, I'm an old retired dino who came in late. Rand completely turned me around on how I viewed philosophy.
      Way back in the early 70s (at Troy State on the GI Bill) I studied and respected ground breakers like Plato and Aristotle but cane to later generally regarded any so-called philosopher on TV as a chin-rubbing windbag good with big words.
      I had earned my Journalism degree by learning how to communicate with the masses, not with any pseudo-intellectuals--as I then tended suspiciously view anyone who called him or herself a philosopher. Still do, I guess.
      But I discovered and quickly warmed up to Ayn Rand when the AS movies first appeared.
      I don't have a prob with Beethoven or Chuck Berry's "Beethoven Roll Over" song for that matter.
      Ronald Reagan is my 20th Century political hero.
      As for a woman as president--which woman?
      Oh, IMO, abortion is murder. A Planned Parenthood assembly line abortion mill makes me think of a death camp for millions of slaughtered unborn babies.
      But my compassion and tolerance levels goes way up when a pregnant lady is told giving birth may kill her or there is something really wrong with the unborn baby. I feel that's a tragic situation I should not stick my nose into.
      I don't like the fetus word even if it is scientifically accurate.. I think it has become a PC dehumanization device.
      That's all. I could go on and on.
      I am dino.
      Hear me roar.
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    • Posted by H6163741 4 years, 3 months ago
      I'm confused. Why wouldn't an objectivist want a woman to be President? (I exclude Hillary from the 'woman' class, of course...)
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      • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
        Ayn Rand argued that a woman would not want to be president -- the commander in chief -- for reasons of personal sexual psychology. She did not say that a woman would not be capable of it, or that a woman could not do better than the current crop of presidents at the time, or that you should not vote for a woman if she were the better candidate; quite the contrary.
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  • 12
    Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 3 months ago
    I'm not much into celebrity, but her ability to cut through the fog and eloquently write about and speak of and even fictionalize philosophy, and her development of a philosophy that places the individual, rationality, reality, and personal achievement on the proper stage of a logical and reasoned method to think about and live one's life while interacting with society maintaining one's personal objectives and morality with integrity are all something I admire tremendously.
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  • 10
    Posted by  $  edweaver 4 years, 3 months ago
    That is a good question that I would like to understand. I would also like to know how a fan of Ayn Rand can vote progressive.
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    • 11
      Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 3 months ago
      e.g. circuit guy
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      • Posted by  $  edweaver 4 years, 3 months ago
        Yes. But he says some things that are in line with Rand. I just cannot understand where he is at.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 3 months ago
          I think those are feints. He is clearly a troll
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          • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
            Circuit Guy is just a man who thinks for himself. He enjoys the consonance when others agree with him; but he holds his ground when they do not. He is not alone in that. He just has a different set of disconnects with your expectations. You tolerate disagreements from some people, but not others. You are not alone in that, either.
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          • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 3 months ago
            In capital letters, TROLL.
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            • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 4 years, 3 months ago
              The same label has been attached to you, and to me. Pot, kettle, and all that. The word has meaning and does not apply to CG, you, or me. It is an easy way to denigrate the opinions of someone you do not agree with.
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              • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
                His goal is often to be confusing and to conflate arguments.
                This leaves participants frustrated and often those conversations stop. What is your definition?

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                • Posted by 4 years, 3 months ago
                  Khalling, that is exactly what I have observed
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                  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
                    @khalling and Mamaemma
                    "His goal is"
                    Assigning a malicious goal to me is just an ad hominem insult. It's really nonsense because I'm willing to talk in longer posts or e-mails if something's confusing and you're really interested.

                    I have guessed at other people's goals on this site, and I don't feel that great about it. Maybe I'm right, but there are a few times when I thought I had guessed someone's goals, and I was wrong.

                    I remember writing a nasty message (this is IRL) to someone who served with me on a board of an organization. I thought he was undermining something I was trying to do, and I turned out to be 100% wrong. I apologized. He said he felt bad I even thought that. He said he was under an incredible amount of stress with his divorce and business. He supported what I was trying to do. I had been completely wrong. Then he died of a heart attack at age 60 shortly after.

                    The heart attack part is not at all relevant to this at all, but it's just a little true story from two years ago. My point is I really resist the urge (don't always succeed) to write a narrative explaining others' behavior.


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                    • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
                      again with the feint. I don't need to have private emails which give you an opportunity to ignore present history and further conflate arguments. You are in her to convert and subvert. for gulchers just read this above. what in Hades does this have to do with anything? appeal to emotion not reason

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                      • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
                        You should not take into account the emotional aspects of the story, which I said were not relevant to this at all. I stand by the need to be cautious in assessing others' motives. I'm amazed at how my mind has come up with narratives that turn out to be false, even when I'm think I'm not drawing conclusions before I have facts.

                        Regarding the part about emails, I was just saying in other forums I would have more room to share ideas.

                        Regarding this stuff about me being tricky, I don't get it. Policy is strictly an avocation for me. I go through periods of not reading the papers, depending on what's going on. You've come up with this narrative that I'm in the world of selling policies, and it's just not true.
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                    • Posted by  $  jlc 4 years, 3 months ago
                      I call that 'making monsters of the mind'. I have tried to train myself out of the habit of doing this, but I find it difficult sometimes.

                      There are people who have acted as trolls on this list - short comments, lots of unpleasant labels, and no discussion. You are not short on the quality of 'being willing to discuss' so I do not consider you a troll.

                      But if you are not a troll, but your communication style makes people you find interesting repeatedly think that this is your goal, then you might wish to take that under advisement.

                      Jan
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                      • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
                        "short comments, lots of unpleasant labels, and no discussion"
                        Yes. Not hard to find, for sure.

                        "But if you are not a troll, but your communication style makes people you find interesting repeatedly think that this is your goal, then you might wish to take that under advisement."

                        If we're taking the impression of other people's goals under advisement, let me speculate on why people might think I'm malicious: "But wait, Rand is about dividing people into group identities and asking all members of the group to agree on everything. You either accept the list of pre-agreed-upon conclusions as a whole, or you're being tricky. You cannot think for yourself in this group, but you must pretend to."

                        We do not need to take these guesses under advisement. We should just stick to the actually topics.


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                        • Posted by  $  jlc 4 years, 3 months ago
                          No, no. That was to _you_, not general discussion. Your prior email made me think that you would be interested in such feedback. I cannot seem to send you a private email.

                          Jan
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                • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
                  I think you are wrong. He has a warped idea of liberty and the role of government, but I don't think that is merely a façade to confuse and conflate arguments. It is a symptom of "Madisonitis." Totally understandable for any resident of Madison to be suffering from same. If he'd only move away from that progressive cesspool, he'd probably straighten out (some).
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                  • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
                    well yes. that would be your take, wouldn't it?
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                    • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
                      he has no interest. in fact, he and his wife are interested in having more of a role in the democratic machine. he has said so on this site. cg did not grow up in Madison. Madison called to him apparently. He's enjoying the COOPs even though the citizens can't have their own chicken COOPS (roosters). anti-reason
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                      • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
                        "cg did not grow up in Madison. "
                        I actually am from Madison. I was born in Madison General hospital, the same place my wife and two kids were born. She lived in DC working at Arnold and Porter. We moved back within a few years of each other and met at a bar (technically it was a "young professionals" event) downtown. :)

                        We are independent-minded, none of the stuff you say. My wife knows Hillary Clinton only through a colleague. I think if she got involved in the sausage making, she'd get disgusted. I am in no way close enough to any politicians to know which stories about shenanigans are true.

                        Our neighbors have chickens. I heard you can't have roosters b/c of the noise. One of our kids is nicknamed the rooster b/c he makes a lot of noise first thing in the morning.
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              • Posted by  $  Dobrien 3 years ago
                I could not agree more with you about labels they are used freely today by the leftist statists such as denier, conservative kook, bigot , racist , whistle blower , conspiracy theorist , old white guy, patriot and on and on.
                This labeling immediately discredits and halts discourse , dialog and ultimately reason and objectivity. It is used to be dismissive of an alternate viewpoint. Certainly not curtious or thoughtful.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 years, 3 months ago
    Remembering that the root of the term "fan" is fanatic, which carries with it an obsession with blind absolutism and condemnation of any deviation as heresy, then I have to say I guess I don't qualify as a "fan". I admire Ayn Rand's clarity of thought, and ability to reduce deliberately confused political dogma to simple, understandable language. Her insistence on Aristotelian questioning to clear the fog and reveal the unpleasantness of statism helped me better appreciate the brilliance of the Founders of American government in focusing on the rights of the individual. My disagreements with her come from her insistence on Atheism (which I find odd, since she was a victim of the Atheistic Soviet state apparatus), since I personally find it easy to separate my spiritual beliefs from my pragmatic daily actions. I enjoy the serious, sincere exchange I find in the Gulch, and hope it serves to aid more people to apply rational self interest to their actions.
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  • Posted by woodlema 4 years, 3 months ago
    I am a huge fan, however; having said that, ANYONE who enters here, and is REALLY interested in what is being said for the purposes of "bolstering" their argument or debate I am all for that.

    Sun Tsu, "The Art of War" , "Know your enemy and know yourself and you will always be victorious."

    When the "Enemy" i.e. emotion enters and starts to debate, they will lose, since emotional arguments are based neither on reason nor fact. I personally encourage any left leaning liberal to provide an actual debate on the topic without trying character assassination or name calling.

    Once the thread degrades to name calling, the one party has lost since that is not reason.

    Edweaver asked also how can a fan of Ayn Rand vote progressive. The answer to me is simple, and can equate to Religion or any other firmly held "belief." The question is answered with another question.

    "How much do you believe, or ascribe to?"

    LIke many "false Christians" they pick and choose only the parts of the Bible that appeal to them and justify those they do not agree with by claiming that particular part is outdated.

    MUslims are the same way, how much of their Quran do they REALLY believe, and does that make them a "good" Muslim if they do not follow 100% of their self-proclaimed belief?

    Ayn Rand followers can also be the same way. Some pick and choose only those parts they like while disregarding the rest.

    Some like the story are a fan only for the sake of the quality of the stories not for the actual practice of being an Objectivist.

    Ironically and from my understanding the "true" Objectivist is exceptionally tolerant of any and all opposing or different views provided they do not prevent me or you from believing and practicing according to our reasonable understanding. Very much similar to a fundamental Libertarian.

    Anyone who enters I encourage to use reason, thought and FACT to make the point, and provide some semblance of PROOF when making an argument and avoid the "emotional" responses.

    I really enjoyed Ayn Rands interview with Phil Donohue. She remained logical, while Phil became emotional and lost his argument at every turn. The same thing happened in his interview with Milton Freeman.
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  • Posted by PURB 4 years, 3 months ago
    Many Ayn Rand fans do not understand her philosophy. They haven't chewed on and digested essential ideas. Even the Objectivist ethics baffles many younger or more careless readers (of whom I was one for years). It's a revolutionary philosophy which takes years of study and practice.
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    • Posted by jdg 4 years, 3 months ago
      I think I understand her philosophy quite well. It's just too simplistic for me to want to adopt it without changes. Hume, Mill, and Adam Smith made more sense.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 4 years, 3 months ago
    So there are all levels of "fans" and all levels of agreement with her philosophies and the two are entirely different things. On purely economic matters, I find her thinking unparalleled in modern history. I admire her ability to think, but I can not agree with her philosophy 100% because there are a couple of areas of major import to me (family, death) that her philosophy just fails to cover in any meaningful way.

    I entirely sympathize with the basic creed of Objectivism: the study of Reality. The participants of this forum are by far the most level-headed (in general) and willing to discuss ideas - even though they may not particularly agree with them - of any I have found on the Internet. Do we sometimes disagree on the nature of Reality? Yes, as is to be expected. If everyone conformed, it would mean that either there was no value (values are, after all a choice of utility between two things - one of lesser and one of greater return) or that every participant had perfect knowledge and saw everything the same way! I also enjoy the mental stimulation provided by those who see things differently because there is nothing more scientific than approaching the same problem from a different angle to verify that the hypothesis still holds up under scrutiny. And people are the biggest curiosity in the universe to me: the study of agent behavior to me is downright fascinating.
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  • Posted by jimslag 4 years, 3 months ago
    It is sort of like Libertarianism, I agree with the principle but not all the ideas. With Ms. Rand, I agree with the principle of what has been written and espoused by her but there are some sticking points that do not sit well with me. As for the Gulch, well, like most people, I like to deal with people who have some of the same ideals as me. Some of us are tired of fighting battles with individuals who are are the opposite side of those ideals (Liberals and Progressives) that seem to populate most cities and governments. It is nice to able to hold an intelligent conversation with someone who understands where you are coming from, instead of an antagonistic argument.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 3 months ago
      jimslag, you express my feelings well. See my post about the purpose of the Gulch. I can argue with Progressives anywhere (which I don't; it's a waste of time); I come to the Gulch for other reasons
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    • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
      Free markets arent perfect, and business will often try to get whatever they can, whatever way they can. What protects us is competition. With government of course there isnt any competition, so it always gets more expensive and less responsive to us customers.
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      • Posted by sumitch 4 years, 3 months ago

        As a victim of Enron I am intimately aware of a company willing to do anything for whatever rings their bell. I just can’t come to a clear understanding of how a Person such as Ken Lay for one, who was a multi millionaire could steal from others. As used to be said about the University of Oklahoma, “How much rice can a Chinaman eat?”
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        • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
          I think those people just get away with it because they CAN. Unfortunately theres not much that government regulation can actually do about it, given that the Ken Lay is probably smarter than most all of the regulators. I used to have a medical devices company regulated by the FDA, and I was constantly reminded when they came to inspect that they really didnt know enough about our business to effectively know what we are doing. But the poor people in the hospitals seemed to blindly trust the FDA. In reality it was my own desire to make the best stuff around that was what was protecting them- NOT the FDA regulation.
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          • Posted by sumitch 4 years, 3 months ago
            Ken Lay was intelligent and very charming. He was well connected and even played golf with the president on occasion. Much of what Enron came from large donations to key members of both congressional parties. Then the lobbyist were sent in. That is how Enron was able to pull off capturing key elements of energy control in the west. The movie "Smartest guys in the room" made from their actions does a good job of how they worked. My boss Muckleroy is shown talking on it. He resigned before the ax came down. He was an honorable man and found out what was going on and quit. I very well remember the price gouging done during Desert Storm with propane which is a key component of the "poor man's atom bombs", the fuel air explosive bombs. I lost a huge deal with United Steel because the supply told him that they were the only ones that could supply the petrochemical product. Enron wasn't smart or had the control they thought so the project and the product was lost to a much smaller company that they found and I think got it just to show Enron that they weren't the only big dog on the block.
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            • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
              I wonder how they would have done if crony capitalism wasnt allowed in our constitution somehow. I suspect enron relied a lot on government to do what it did
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
                Please don't include Capitalism when talking about Cronyism. The two items are inconsistent, and only gives Capitalism a bad reputation.

                How do you see Cronyism being "allowed" in the constitution? I only see it being allowed by those "interpreting" the constitution. What gives?
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                • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
                  there is talk about "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness". But I dont see anything about how the government should not take from one to give to another. If that could be put into the constitution, I think that the lobbyists would disappear from washington to a large extent, along with the $200 m that people give to elect a particular president (and then want goodies in return)
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
                    Um, that would be the Declaration of Independence. While I believe that you must include this as the pre-text for understanding the US Constitution, it isn't really the constitution itself.

                    In actuality, the US Constitution does say that the US gov't can take from its citizens - it's called taxation which is authorized in Article 1, Section 8 and subsequently in the 16th Amendment.
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                    • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
                      The Constitution does not authorize redistributing the wealth.
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                      • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
                        I agree, but isn't the rub working out what's redistribution?
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                        • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
                          No. What must be worked out in that context is how to define the functions of a limited government protecting the rights of the individual. Redistribution of wealth is not a proper goal at all.
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                        • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
                          Well, if some value goes from one, and ends up with another, isn't that by definition "redistribution?" There's good redistribution - trading value for value - and then there's bad redistribution - taking by force from one and giving without merit to another.
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                          • Posted by 4 years, 3 months ago
                            Robbie, trading value for value is not redistribution. You need to be more precise in what you say so you don't look silly
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                            • -1
                              Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
                              Sure it is. My money is redistributed to the individual from whom I received value, and whatever they had of value was redistributed to me. It's not the redistribution that is the issue, it is the mechanism for such.

                              Words and definitions matter.
                              re·dis·trib·ute
                              (rē′dĭ-strĭb′yo͞ot)
                              tr.v. re·dis·trib·ut·ed, re·dis·trib·ut·ing, re·dis·trib·utes
                              To distribute again in a different way; reallocate.
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                          • -3
                            Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
                            On one extreme suppose you hand cash to the poor in an amt more than they paid in taxes. That's redistribution. But what if it's EITC causing them to owe zero. What if gov't builds a road to your home or business, for whatever reason, that costs way more than you pay in taxes? What if the gov't offers to make you a sole source vendor if you successfully commercial some technology they want to use on fighter planes? What if the gov't just buys things or hires people and pays good but reasonable price?

                            This whole "redistribution" thing is unclear and becomes a way to condemn programs someone doesn't like.
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  • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
    Does one have to agree with everything that AR wrote or spoke to appreciate AS?

    I do not agree with "strict Objectivists" that atheism is the only "rational" perspective of life. As such, I will not be cowed in my perspective by those who demand such fealty. I think some here would be surprised at the number of others who quietly have a similar perspective, but refuse to express so publicly for fear of denunciation.

    There's another thread in which a fellow poster expresses a desire to initiate a real Gulch. If some here had their way, I wonder what kind of "purity test" they would demand, and how many of us would be allowed admittance?
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    • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 3 months ago
      Robbie you don't agree with anything Rand said. You are a religious nazi who has no interest in reason.
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      • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 3 months ago
        I call 'Godwin's law'.
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        • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
          Robbie has stridently refused to read one sentence on his own of Rand. Yet he ie in here mis stating her arguments and the philosophy on a regular basis. He does enjoy the Conservative interaction. And enjoys making his religious arguments on almost every post. Why? He 's got a mission that is counter -productive to the site 's mission.
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        • Posted by LetsShrug 4 years, 3 months ago
          I think you have to have said Hitler for Godwin's law to apply, but I'm no expert.
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          • Posted by  $  richrobinson 4 years, 3 months ago
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            • Posted by jabuttrick 4 years, 3 months ago
              Ha! I never heard of Godwin's Law before. Thanks for citing to it. That being said, I think I'm opposed to the termination of any thread where Hitler or Nazism is referenced. Peikoff wrote a whole book based on the notion that the U.S. is headed down the road to national socialism. That book was endorsed by Rand. Are we not to reference the arguments contained in it? And what of Mao, Stalin and other disreputable characters? Are we forbidden from comparing them to people in the present day?
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              • Posted by Rocky_Road 4 years, 3 months ago
                Godwin's Law is about personal attacks, not Third Reich discussions. Here is a better definition than the one above:

                "Godwin's law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one's opponent) with Nazis – often referred to as "playing the Hitler card". The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics, or racial superiority, nor, more debatably, to a discussion of other totalitarian regimes or ideologies[citation needed], if that was the explicit topic of conversation, because a Nazi comparison in those circumstances may be appropriate, in effect committing the fallacist's fallacy."
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                • Posted by jabuttrick 4 years, 3 months ago
                  I guess everything rests on whether or not the comparison is "inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic." But, of course, any argument meeting that criteria should be rejected. So I really don't get why Hitler or Nazism should be singled out unless Godwin is simply noting that arguments citing them more frequently happen to meet the criteria. It doesn't seem to be a useful "law" because there seem to be endless exceptions to it.
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 3 months ago
          "I call 'Godwin's law'. "
          Yes, but dbhalling's use is not Godwin's Law worthy b/c he's just using it to mean being fastidious about something, which to me is fine.
          "The grammar nazi calls out every time I confuse less and fewer." is not Godwin worthy for me.
          "The nazis began being strict with grammar before they outlawed all dissent" is Godwin's-law worthy.

          The think the fastidious-about may have come into the language via Seinfeld and the Soup Nazi.

          I know you're just joking. I don't mean to be a Godwin nazi.
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  • Posted by Timelord 4 years, 3 months ago
    [And if someone is a fan of Ayn Rand, does that mean that that person understands and agrees with her philosophy?]

    What other reason would there be to be a fan of Ayn Rand? A fan should agree with her philosophy to the extent that he understands it. It's the understanding that can be difficult.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
      Do you have to agree 100%?
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      • Posted by Timelord 4 years, 3 months ago
        You don't have to agree 100% to be a fan, but it's hard to argue that unless you agree 100% that you're an Objectivist.

        It's possible that there's a tenet of Objectivism that is trivial enough that one could oppose it and still call one's self an Objectivist. It's possible but I can't think of one.

        I suggest that this 100% agreement requirement is neither unique nor uncommon, however, when it comes to belonging to self-defined groups. For instance, can you be a Catholic if you don't subscribe to 100% of the church's dogma?

        I would suggest that you cannot. The leaders of the Catholic church have the absolute right to define what the church believes in, how the Mass will be delivered, what will be said and the content of religious instruction for every parish, worldwide. If you want to be catholic but you use birth control, or don't believe in the transubstantiation, or don't believe in Confession, or any one of hundreds of other rules and regulations passed down from the Vatican, then I believe that you are *not* a Catholic. I think it's a winner-take-all proposition.
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  • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
    I really like discussions with intelligent people who actually think, and they are here in the gulch. Reading media news is a bit lame.
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  • Posted by PURB 4 years, 3 months ago
    I suppose several enemies of Objectivism have invaded the Gultch (though I've had no encounters I'm aware of) just as several fanatical Muslims have crawled into Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
      They have from time to time. Just curious, what would you consider an "enemy of Objectivism?"
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      • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
        Those who refuse to read her works yet speak about her philosophy as though they are knowledgable
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        • Posted by Timelord 4 years, 3 months ago
          I'll see your "ill-informed speaking about Objectivism with false authority" and raise you.

          Levels of enemy / evil status:

          3) Being ignorant and lazy but willing to trash Objectivism based on what you heard, think your heard or just plain made up.

          2) Sincerely but incorrectly thinking that you understand Objectivism and arguing against it using false arguments.

          1) Actually understanding Objectivism but willfully twisting logic and reality to "prove" it wrong, introducing straw men and red herrings into your arguments. Outright lying about Objectivism in an attempt to instill extreme animosity toward it in people who know nothing about it.
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        • Posted by PURB 4 years, 3 months ago
          Thanks for that accurate reply Khaling (and for directing Kathy to me and my web site). Some "enemies of Objectivism" do read Rand's works and misrepresent her ideas, deliberately or otherwise. Remember BHO's remark about Rand when Ryan was a VP candidate?
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  • Posted by peterchunt 4 years, 3 months ago
    I’ve met many people who are not fans of Ayn Rand, usually because they have no idea who she is, or understand her philosophy. Rational people once they understand the common sense of Objectivism can and do become fans and believers in her philosophy.
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    • Posted by Timelord 4 years, 3 months ago
      I was about to disagree with you vociferously! Then I saw your conditional, "Rational people." That makes me sad because I know a lot of people who have every appearance of intelligence and would probably score well above average on an IQ test who nevertheless argue against Objectivism. Even worse, they're my friends and family :(

      My brother, 3 years my junior, is very smart and very good at his job. He used to be a libertarian and sounded objectivist. I'm pretty sure he read Atlas Shrugged but I wouldn't testify to it in court. But over the last 2 or 3 years he's begun spouting the collectivist line, chiding me for calling the ACA Obamacare, sending me what he considers proof of anthropogenic global warming, sticking up for some collectivist state and federal programs.

      The sad part is that when you try to have a conversation with them and lay out a clear, logical, step-by-step argument for or against X, they make leaps of absurdity in the other direction. Even if you say, "For the sake of argument, let's assume A" and they agree - before long they're shouting, "NOT A, NOT A!"

      It's always a bit jarring when someone illustrates to you with irrefutable logic and reason something contrary to what you believe. But if you are to remain a rational being, and I don't see any other way to live, then you must adjust your belief. It may be hard and you may have to work at it and remind yourself that what you used to think is wrong, but it has to be done.

      So I agree with you, but I wish (against reality) that there were more rational people in the world!

      One last thing, you mentioned common sense. I shudder at the phrase. The Timelord sayeth, "I've only ever met two people with a lick of common sense, you and me. And I'm not too goddamned sure about you!" I'm not the first one to express the sentiment, "there's nothing common about common sense (who?)", but I like my sound bite the best. If I could ever see that published in a book of 101 Pithy Sayings then I'd be pretty happy.
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      • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
        thus uncommonsense's username :)
        most people do not start from foundations when they develop "beliefs" and so with each new concept they approach, they develop a feeling (hunch) then they go from there often leaving reason behind in the dust. and it's really bad for all of us, when scientists do that.
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      • Posted by peterchunt 4 years, 3 months ago
        I have known so called “intelligent” people (with PhDs) who are not rational at all. So I don’t equate intelligent with rational beings. After all if I did then why are most college professors liberal or worse?
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        • Posted by Timelord 4 years, 3 months ago
          Now that you mention it, I know at least one PhD (in physical therapy) that seemed to be functionally retarded on just about every subject I was aware of. Every month she wrote a feature article that appeared in a magazine that my employer published. She could barely form a comprehensible sentence, and putting two or more of them into a paragraph that made any sense at all was completely beyond her. But she was the owner's wife so there was nothing to be done about it. The first time I read one of her features I went to discuss it with the office manager. She said that once upon a time someone edited the feature and the intelligible version was published. The boss' wife nearly exploded when she saw that a mere lackey had the unmitigated gall to edit her writing! It never happened again.

          I guess the boss figured it was a small item in the grand scheme so he didn't bother to interfere. I got along with him great because we turned out to have a lot in common, both hardcore libertarians and both atheists. I'm guessing that he's an Objectivist, too, but that was before my own introduction to AR. He sold the company; I was a manager who the venture capital guys deemed "redundant" so I sought other employ, but the former owner and I have stayed in touch for nearly 15 years so far.
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      • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
        When they reach non-A from the A you thought you agreed on it's because there is some other, more fundamental premise they are relying on.

        Ayn Rand's philosophy is not just common sense. Common sense is good if you have it, but the philosophy is much, much more.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 3 months ago
    Of Course that's what it means. There are only two legitimate options for being in the Gulch: The person agrees and wants to understand or understands and agrees. The rest are just troublemakers who want to try and deflate us egotistical blowhards. I've gone on a few blogs doing that myself, I'm ashamed (not) to say.
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    • Posted by Timelord 4 years, 3 months ago
      Uh huh! Sometimes I hang out at the Daily Kos just to piss them off! They may have gotten their revenge. One of my posts was voted down by so many people that I'm supposed to report to the Pricipal's office for posting outside of site rules.

      In reality, however, what I wrote was completely tame and civilized and even began by sincerely agreeing with the premise of the article. Where I crossed the line, apparently, was in my assertion that Nixon's enemies list was benign compared to Clinton's and Obama's.

      I'm not going to shout mia culpa, and what are the odds that there's a site administrator I can contact to review the post that was flagged and decide for himself if I broke the rules? (My only transgression was in not being a collectivist.) My guess is, slim to none, with a further sneaking suspicion that the administrator of such a site would be indistinguishable from Schrödinger's Cat..
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      • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
        Some "moderators" at those sites are political censors. Some of them report commenters they don't like to IP blacklists as "forum spammers", disrupting innocent people's access to websites.
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  • Posted by IIGeo2 4 years, 3 months ago
    Most off the Wall comments probably come from non producers. I enjoy the books enjoyed the movie mostly and on occasion enjoyed some of the commentary. But like most public forums you will get a mix of people who come from the full spectrum of thought from supporters of ELF to the KKK and everything in between. So I take most with a grain of salt will renew my membership when it comes due, and hope next time when they make a movie they stick with the previous cast. What made Atlas I and Atlas II was the acting made up for the lack of or cheesy special effects. But this is about ideas and growth not base entertainment.
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    • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
      I understand the whole "producer" thing, BUT I hesitate to actually pay for some "advantages" that are nebulous. I dont see the advantages, not to mean there arent any, but they arent obvious
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      • Posted by IIGeo2 4 years, 3 months ago
        I pay to join because the website cost money to run, and I enjoy the comments of others who are from different walks of life and have different perspectives. for example I have no idea what nebuluos means in the context you are using it. But the advantage to me is that I have this website long after the Movie has been produced. How many other websites will actually have a real producer actually answer a question like this?
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        • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
          Actually this the best reason I have heard. Maybe there shouldnt be a "producer" upgrade at all. Just a subscription charge to keep the regular website going. I just didnt see why I would want to be a "producer". I thought AS1 was good, but fell off the mark on AS2 and particularly AS3. Must be the cost to produce it, and the lack of attendance at the showings.
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      • Posted by sdesapio 4 years, 3 months ago
        Thanks for this. I never actually considered that the advantages of being a Producer might not be obvious. In your time here, have you ever run into this: http://www.galtsgulchonline.com/faq#faq3...

        Is there anything there that peaks your interest? What would you consider a compelling enough advantage to signing up as a Producer? Are you a newsletter subscriber? Daily digest subscriber?

        Thanks again.
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        • Posted by RickBulow1974 4 years, 3 months ago
          I am a newsletter and daily digest subscriber ONLY because funds are tight at the moment for me to pay for a subscription to the site. I admit I collect Social Security and SSI because I am disabled. However, I am hoping that with my site and various blogs on there that I can supplement whatever I get from Social Security and SSI to pay for a few things that I want since about 90% of my checks go for bills and food as well as upkeep where I am living.

          I enjoy all the comments and the conversations here, and even "produce" by way of my own comments and thread starters now and then. So in a sense I am a producer of the site, but not in the legal term.
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        • Posted by  $  BeenThere 4 years, 3 months ago
          Scott...........I pay for this site each month b/c everything costs something in some form for which someone must pay (whatever the form, not just $). I have always paid something in some form for everything I have (and, sometimes, didn't get!) thus, I will continue to pay as long as balance between value & cost remains. BT
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        • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
          I already am pretty much educated on the morality and effectiveness of Objectivism. I have a small company and talk to the employees all the time about how socialism is a bad thing and individual responsibility is a good thing. I probably have "converted" two of them out of 8 so far- but its a difficult task. I would pay for access to more access to articles and research that would help me influence others to give up their crazy socialist ideas- if that makes sense to you.
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          • Posted by  $  jlc 4 years, 3 months ago
            term2 -

            I have found much information in the discussions in the Gulch. ( I do not think I can use them to convert the liberals around me because they will not actually listen. )

            Jan
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 4 years, 3 months ago
            The problem is that you are fighting their up-bringing and the overall culture. To value the ideas in AS you must fundamentally believe that you are responsible for your own success/failure. Most of our culture says that isn't your responsibility, thus you are flying into a tremendous headwind. If you've convinced 1/4 of them, you're probably doing better than expected.
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            • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
              To get them to understand politics in a hostile culture requires understanding the fundamentals of the philosophy. Conservative bromides about being responsible for one's own success or failure is nowhere near enough.
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    • Posted by jdg 4 years, 3 months ago
      I don't like being called a non-producer (quite a pejorative in the context of this group) just because I don't pay for this forum. There are lots of other forums out there and most of them are free. Besides, how valid is "karma" if it can be bought for money?
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      • Posted by khalling 4 years, 3 months ago
        your status is "guest " on this site. Some people pay attn to the producer thing others don 't. Personally I look for value in content and a little fun playing around occasionally. I'm not sure what your karma statement means.
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  • Posted by Technocracy 4 years, 3 months ago
    I am a fan of Ayn Rand, but by no means an expert or strict adherent of.

    Why am I here??

    Because I enjoy the company and interesting discussions.

    Even with the ones I disagree with the most...
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 4 years, 3 months ago
    I agree with Ayn Rand's basic tenets of her philosophy. I'm a Revolutionary at heart. I even took one semester course in college back in the early seventies on Revolution. (graduated with a BA in 1973) So, I have a mixed philosophy on how I see the world. But, this is an excellent forum to express various ideas on Objectivism and other associated schools of thought.
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  • Posted by term2 4 years, 3 months ago
    If you are a fan of Ayn Rand, that would mean to me that they are in tune with her philosophy at least on an emotional level. To really understand the details of philosophy is not so easy, and I am not so sure that one has to be able to understand 100% in order to live a productive and happy life. I would think 0% understanding would get you citizenship into Venezuela pretty easily. Higher levels of understanding allow one to defeat the manipulation of the media and politicians easier. Even our founding fathers said one thing and often did another, as I was amazed to discover visiting Jefferson's house, slave quarters and museum.
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    • Posted by ewv 4 years, 3 months ago
      Not everyone has to understand the technical issues of philosophy in order to live. It depends on your interests and career. There is much in Ayn Rand's philosophy to understand, agree with, and apply without the full exposition. But if someone contradicts the basics, whether explicitly or in sense of life, he's in trouble.
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