21

Statists, collectivists, altruists, progressives

Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 4 years, 7 months ago to Philosophy
95 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

Statists, collectivists, altruists, progressives

These are some of the groups that are the most objectionable to objectivists. Their ideology is most closely aligned with socialism.
They often masquerade as Liberals, but they are not traditional Liberals of the period prior to the early twentieth century. They are the antithesis of traditional liberalism… of objectivism. Individualism is not a value they wish to foster. Self reliance, autonomy, sovereignty are the characteristics they wish to destroy or minimize. These were the foundational traits of those that built our nation and which it was founded on. Rand saw that the prosperity and Liberty of the people of America were inextricably linked to these characteristics and the corollary small, un-intrusive government. It was this state of governance and freedom that allowed people to pursue their aspirations, that fostered the industrial revolution, invention, entrepreneurship and creativity of the greatest age of increasing prosperity the world had ever seen. This period was the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Statists are those that believe that the government should be empowered over the people and that any problem that arises can be solved by government intervention. This is a fallacy of historic proportion. Anyone that objectively observes the unintended consequences of government meddling and that the bureaucracy always grows should recognize the lack of accountability and the increased burdens placed on the productive that inevitably results. Statists support other statists in power that believe they know better than individuals how to run their own lives and more authority should be granted to the government so they may force others to live as their utopian vision dictates. One’s individual will to live for their own sake on their own terms in pursuit of happiness is irrelevant. “A statist system—whether of a communist, fascist, Nazi, socialist or “welfare” type—is based on the . . . government’s unlimited power, which means: on the rule of brute force. The differences among statist systems are only a matter of time and degree; the principle is the same. Under statism, the government is not a policeman, but a legalized criminal that holds the power to use physical force in any manner and for any purpose it pleases against legally disarmed, defenseless victims.” Ayn Rand

Collectivists are those that believe in majority rule. Democracy is their cry. It is no better than mob rule. They care not for Republican principles or the wisdom the founders of our nation saw in them or the disdain they felt for true democracy. History has demonstrated repeatedly the folly and short lives of true democracies. Most Democrats and the Democratic Party are of this persuasion. Of course there are varying degrees of adherence but they are not called Democrats for nothing. There is also one more seemingly common believe among them that is also corollary. They believe in the common good over the rights of the individual. This is nonsense since the common good is not a superior moral principle over the rights of the individual, but it is often true that a side effect of upholding individual rights results in greater common good. Again they employ the voice of the majority… the mob to pressure government force on those who wish to be free from coercion. “Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called “the common good.” Ayn Rand

Altruists are the worst purveyors of sacrifice and servitude. They believe you have no greater responsibility than that to your fellow man. Your life, your good, your happiness and prosperity should be sacrificed to others. You have no right, no legitimate claim to live for your own sake. To every suffering person on the planet your duty is to support them even to your own detriment. That is your burden. Your life is not your own and you have no right to live it as you see fit while others need. Whether they are responsible for their condition, capable or not, it makes no difference. Their need is their claim upon your life, whether you know them or not, even if in some cases they may be better off than you. This is why they too convince the government to force/institute redistributive programs that take from the productive and give to every clamoring voice. The result is a system that grows and encourages takers and penalizes makers while increasing bureaucracy and building a constituency that will help maintain power for those in power. Some in power are altruists. Some only see the profit in playing the part. “Even though altruism declares that “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” it does not work that way in practice. The givers are never blessed; the more they give, the more is demanded of them; complaints, reproaches and insults are the only response they get for practicing altruism’s virtues (or for their actual virtues). Altruism cannot permit a recognition of virtue; it cannot permit self-esteem or moral innocence. Guilt is altruism’s stock in trade, and the inducing of guilt is its only means of self-perpetuation. If the giver is not kept under a torrent of degrading, demeaning accusations, he might take a look around and put an end to the self-sacrificing. Altruists are concerned only with those who suffer—not with those who provide relief from suffering, not even enough to care whether they are able to survive. When no actual suffering can be found, the altruists are compelled to invent or manufacture it.” Ayn Rand

Progressives cover the gamut. They are all of the above in varying degrees. They talk of needing modern approaches to problems largely created by their previous meddling and never recognize, or acknowledge that originally established principles and limited government was superior and equality of opportunity is far superior to attempts to produce equality of outcome. The two primary political parties are both invested in these ideologies, but the modern progressives and the most devoted, effective and destructive of the parties in this regard are the self- proclaimed progressives, which largely belong to the Democratic Party. There are worse political parties, (e.g. Socialist) but they hold little power. “The “liberals” are constantly asserting that they represent the future, that they are “new,” “progressive,” “forward-looking,” etc.—and they denounce the “conservatives” as old-fashioned representatives of a dead past. The “conservatives” concede it, and thus help the “liberals” to propagate one of today’s most grotesque inversions: collectivism, the ancient, frozen, status society, is offered to us in the name of progress—while capitalism, the only free, dynamic, creative society ever devised, is defended in the name of stagnation.” Ayn Rand

Anyone in power or supporting those in power that adhere to these ideologies is in contradiction and incongruent with objectivism.
Ayn Rand — 'I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.'

True capitalism or as close to laissez faire as possible promotes freedom of the individual and provides the greatest opportunity and prosperity for all. No crony capitalism, mixed market variant or centrally controlled market is superior.

O.A.


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 4 years, 7 months ago
    I have no problem with people who wish to act in a manner they believe to be altruistic -- so long as it's they who are sacrificing themselves. Once they start wanting to be altruistic by forcing other to sacrifice, they've turned into thieves.

    As I've said in a number of arguments, "Don't prove your moral superiority by giving away my stuff -- give away your own stuff."
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by WilliamRThomas 4 years, 6 months ago
      WilliamShipley you make a good point.

      I think it would be at least the first step toward a better society if everyone who wanted something done (be it ever so sacrificial) had to accomplish it himself or via voluntary interaction with others (e.g., by convincing them). People would shout less for self-sacrifice if they couldn't force others to pay for it.

      But that's just the first step, because many people have been simply convinced to promote anti-human, destructive goals often in history. That's the problem with the moral premise of self-sacrifice and a duty to serve others. Ayn Rand represents this well in The Fountainhead, where the state basically isn't involved in the plot, but the forces of evil (self-sacrifice) are hard at work, making people poor and miserable.

      Many people use "altruism" today to mean benevolence or generosity. (I teach economics, and economists often do this, for instance.) Objectivism isn't opposed to charitable giving: it just isn't a major virtue. As long as it isn't self-sacrificial, it's fine. I always say it's like buying a Porsche: nothing wrong if you do, if it fits in your values otherwise, but nothing great if you do, either.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
      Hello WilliamShipley,
      The problem I have with people acting in a manner they believe to be altruistic is that the ideals they have that lead them to that goal are the same ideals that lead to the desire to force you to be altruistic as well. That is why the idea of altruism as a good thing must be challenged and shown for what it really is.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by jdg 4 years, 7 months ago
        That's the kind of semantic confusion that Objectivists ought to be arguing against, not surrendering to. Robin-Hoodism and altruism are two different things.

        Besides, leaving the field of charity to nobody but the religious people will win them converts.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
          Hello jdg,
          I apologize if there was some semantic confusion. I will try to be more clear;
          Altruism = Sacrifice, Robin-Hoodism = I actually don't know. It could really mean anything you want it to at the time.

          Wouldn't the real issue for Objectivists to argue against be the destruction of language? The bastardization of words that allows "charity" to be replaced by "altruistic". The scrambling of definitions to create a vagueness (apparently that is a word) that allows "selfish" to describe a Bernie Madoff instead of a Hank Rearden. Where people who want to halt technology, cut back energy use and return to "a more natural life" are called "progressives" and "liberals". Where we don't know what the definition of the word "is" is and a constitutional scholar can use the words of a 200 year old document to become a king.

          Failing to show people that charity is not the goal of religious institutions is what will win them converts.

          Again, I apologize if I have misunderstood your intent
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by jdg 4 years, 7 months ago
            I apologize if I've misunderstood your intent, too. I think we are pretty much on the same side.

            I use "altruism" = "willingness to give charity", vs. "Robin-Hoodism" = "willingness to condone or enable theft if it benefits the poor".

            Christianity declares it as noble to be willing to sacrifice oneself for the poor; AR declares it as evil. I just see it as senseless, unless it makes you feel good to do it. But I've taken charity when I've needed it, and given it when I could easily afford it. Which I guess is the same thing KSilver3 said.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
              I agree that we're on the same side but (there's always a but, isn't there) in any debate, clarity is key and to concede to your opponent (not referring to you) that his butchered version of the truth is ok is to give him the upper hand. To allow an opponent in a debate to have his own definition of words is to allow a cloud of uncertainty and make the truth unknowable.

              Altruism is more "duty" to give to charity than willingness. Those that hold altruism as an ideal know this. This is how they justify the theft because they "know" that it is everyone's duty. You cannot defend yourself if you accept that altruism is equal to charity.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by jdg 4 years, 7 months ago
                I don't buy it. At least I've never heard the word used that way, either by socialists or by Christians. Altruism is a motivation, if you don't feel it then you're not being altruistic even if someone forces you to give.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
                  I'm still learning to use the system properly.

                  I have decided to come back and up-vote your comments because, while we disagree to some extent, I believe it is a debate that needs to be had.

                  This is the purpose ov voting, is it not?
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
                  It kind of makes sense that you have not heard the word used that way, or maybe just haven't noticed, but look up the origin of the word and how Comte, who coined it, defended his definition of it and how it has been re-defined over the years. This is the destruction of language. If you believe that only the "current definition" applies then apply that idea to the U.S. Constitution. The destroyers of the Constitution already have, and general acceptance of that is why we're losing that battle. And believe me (or not), socialists and christians use the word altruism that way. It is in your mind that it is equated with charity. They win.

                  Thus is the importance of Language.

                  Dear spellcheck; I am not about to capitalize the word christian every time I write it.

                  Edit; Clarity... and humor.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 6 months ago
      The problem with your statement is that is not what altruism is. Altruism requires that no one can be allowed to act in their own self interest. Auguste Compte coined the term altruism and this is how he explains it.

      "The] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service.... This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, whose we are entirely."

      See you are asserting some sort of right to disagree or ownership in your property. You are also asserting some sort of right to your individuality. Neither of these are allowed under altruism.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  KSilver3 4 years, 7 months ago
      I love that line, and absolutely agree. If I am being charitable with my own time or value, and I feel I am getting value in return (good feelings, pleasure, etc), than charity doesn't have to be a bad thing. However, when compelled, it's no longer charity. I guess we could separate charity from altruism in that way.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 years, 7 months ago
      Hello WilliamShipley,
      I am not sure your actions meet the definition and specific meaning Rand attributed to altruism. Intent, motivation and sacrifice are essential. Your actions are more like charity, benevolence and you are doing it of your own free will, while receiving a good feeling in return. That does not seem like putting the welfare of others ahead of your own, I completely agree with your position. It is when others coerce or force you to give the fruit of your labor that it becomes altruism of the kind Rand abhorred.
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  Technocracy 4 years, 7 months ago
    Your thread title should be...

    The Four Horsemen of the anti-liberty apocalypse.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 years, 7 months ago
      Hello Technocracy,
      Good one! I wish you were there when I wrote it.
      Side note: I know I have the word "believe' in one place where I should have "belief', but I am unable to edit it for some reason...
      Anyway, thank you for reading.
      O.A.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  Technocracy 4 years, 7 months ago
        Handicapping it as a race...

        Collectivists ahead by a nose
        Progressives tucked in tight to place
        Statists the dark horse charging outside to show
        Altruists far in the rear trying to keep up
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by freedomforall 4 years, 7 months ago
    "Anyone in power or supporting those in power that adhere to these ideologies is in contradiction and incongruent with objectivism."

    Consider this statement as the highest priority when considering whether to waste your vote on the lesser of two evils.

    Excellent essay, O.A. Thank you!
    One GaltsGold coin for your very productive effort!
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by khalling 4 years, 7 months ago
    "Altruists are the worst purveyors of sacrifice and servitude. They believe you have no greater responsibility than that to your fellow man. Your life, your good, your happiness and prosperity should be sacrificed to others. You have no right, no legitimate claim to live for your own sake."

    yes
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
    Not only that: the ideological altruists betray their own stated goal. One can do no better for one's fellow man than by offering value for value in trade, and by putting public policies in place to foster such behavior.

    Of course I don't expect Henry Rearden to offer, in his defense, that he has done his fellow man a greater good than any policymaker could ever hope to do. But I can still argue to those policymakers that they defeat their own ostensible purposes--and when it's my good that's on the line, I must address my complaint to them.

    Notice: I said "ostensible." For I suspect these ideologues of having a darker purpose than they let on.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  BeenThere 4 years, 7 months ago
      "Notice: I said "ostensible." For I suspect these ideologues of having a darker purpose than they let on."

      They sure as hell do....................a very deep seated hate of existence qua existence and, thus of life............most especially their own!!!

      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 years, 7 months ago
    When I read "Progressives cover the gamut," I immediately thought of Hillary proudly proclaiming to be just that when she ran for president in competition with The One.
    Back then I only had Glenn Beck on his TV afternoon show to explain to me what a Progressive really was.
    If I'm not mistaken, Progressives "who cover the gamut" got Beck off TV with a threat campaign against his advertisers. At least that's how that smelled.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by jdg 4 years, 7 months ago
      I believe Alex Jones' theory: George Soros used some kind of blackmail against Rupert Murdoch to force Beck out, and to make Fox end Judge Napolitano's show as well. Soros hates libertarians (and Beck and Jones are the only talk show hosts who dare to mention Soros' name).

      The Soros-funded "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine probably provoked the war there as well. One wonders how much of his agenda is hideen even from his strongest allies on the left.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 years, 7 months ago
        Interesting.
        I've my own personal conspiracy theory that George Soros money may have been behind three white female accusations that Herman Cain made sexual advances.
        Cain had to be perceived as the greatest threat against candidate Obama.
        jdg, have you given any thought or heard or read anything along those lines?
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by jdg 4 years, 7 months ago
          I haven't heard anything like that. But Cain was never a candidate I took seriously.

          There are some very good conservative black politicians (and pundits, such as Walter Williams and Larry Elder), but I doubt any of them will ever run. Dr. Ben Carson does not impress me. Mia Love does, but she's not even old enough to run for president.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 years, 7 months ago
            Dr. Carson impressed me at first but he is just too soft-spoken.
            When he recently made a statement about so-called assault weapons like the AR-15 not belonging in city areas, I decided that we do not need a Second Amendment tinkerer.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
      Hello allosaur,
      Doesn't the word "gamut" just sound like something the great Hillary would be neck deep in? Or maybe, should be?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  allosaur 4 years, 7 months ago
        If she were Republican, the media would figuratively have her in a garrote for scandals, but the great Lady Hillary of the Haughty House of Clinton gets to have her Progressive pass as one of our more than equal elite betters.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
    All true, so true. Well said. I could not argue that if I wanted to. And I don't.
    So, in light of all that, how do you choose who to vote for? There are no candidates who are going to fit even close. Most are obvious but others... Yeah, they're obvious too. Even the "third party" choices will not make the grade. There is no Objectivist running and there won't be for some time to come (the sooner the better) so how do you choose? Have you shrugged? Do you withhold and wait for the impending collapse? Write in "mickey mouse"? Nobody is going to fit that bill you have laid out above and I can't argue with it. The "lesser of two evils" is the only choice we are going to have for some time to come and I am not willing to give up yet. This forum we are using right now is one of the reasons why.

    I, myself, have held my nose and pulled the lever the last couple of elections but I don't think I can do that this time. I have decided on a few issues that are vitally important to me now and I have also decided that I am willing to trade a loss on the other issues for the time it takes for the gulch to reach 20 million followers and a Gulch candidate to enter the scene. Hopefully someone who can say what you just said out loud, in public, on camera and not get shut down. Then my vote, this one, will have meant something. Of course until then I'm stocking up, getting ready to battle the zombies, and, in general, trying not to get my name too close to the top of any "lists".
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 years, 7 months ago
      Hello kevinw,
      I have voted third party in the past. If given opportunity I shall do it again. I could vote for an individual that stood out among any party if they truly supported original intent of the constitution and limited government, but I can not support straight line party voting. It is not for me to tell anyone who to vote for. There is still time till the next election. And I hope someone inspires me to vote for them regardless of party. I too have held my nose and voted for the lesser of two evils. I do not wish to do it again.
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by kevinw 4 years, 7 months ago
        Inspiration, unfortunately not expecting much of that any time soon. Guess I'm looking for someone who I can believe will believe in what he says so maybe he will try to stick to it. Even if I disagree with him on some issues. But some issues are too important to let slide. For instance, I am in full support of gun control and I fully believe that with a little more practice I will be able to hit the target every time.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by jimjamesjames 4 years, 7 months ago
      My best friend for the last 65+ years said once, "I vote for the son of a bitch that tells me the lies I want to hear."

      I however, don't. I vote, not my conscience (and we can quibble about what a conscience is). I vote my values and leave the voting booth smiling.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by Abaco 4 years, 7 months ago
        I haven't voted in quite a while. I grew tired of the Bush/Clinton era (which still is going on) and the propositions here in Cal. It all seems so rigged to me... I'd rather go fishing...
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
        • Posted by radical 4 years, 7 months ago
          If you don't vote, you can't complain. Abstain from voting for candidates you don't like, and this may be all of them. Then write in your choice. As for propositions, most of them just expand the government, so vote no. You are sending a message albeit a very small one.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by handyman 4 years, 6 months ago
    O.A. Nicely said. You state that "Statists support other statists in power that believe they know better than individuals how to run their own lives and more authority should be granted to the government so they may force others to live as their utopian vision dictates" and "They believe in the common good over the rights of the individual." Nowhere were these views more succinctly carved in stone (metal, actually) and in the minds of its country's citizens than on certain coinage produced by the Third Reich in the 1930's. The edges of these coins were engraved with the motto: "Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz" which translates as, "The community comes before the individual." Interesting that they should be so blatant about it. Today's progressives seem more inclined to obfuscate their adherence viewpoint. If anyone doubt that the Third Reich actually produced such coins, they can still be easily found. I found one in a local coin shop for a very reasonable price. Also, Capitalistpig Assest Management, LLC used to offer them for sale with some background information. Thank you for your enlightening essay. Handyman
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by RonC 4 years, 7 months ago
    There is nothing more obnoxious than a Statist with altruistic ambitions for the benefit of the collective. They rank right up there with reformed smokers and religious zealots.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 years, 7 months ago
      Hello RonC,
      Hear, hear, I am the exception to the reformed smoker. I quit 18 years or so ago and don't mind others that smoke around me... However, I have noticed many that can't handle it and act like nannies. :)
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by RonC 4 years, 7 months ago
        I quit cold turkey a number of years ago after the state of the state message. Gov. Voinovich told us the state was in bad shape, but for 10 cents a pack more tax he thought he could save Ohio. He didn't get another dime of cigarette tax from me. But, I refused to change other habits, I still ate lunch and took breaks with all of my smoking friends. My wife says I'm stubborn, I don't think it is stubborn when you're right!
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  blarman 4 years, 7 months ago
      I can think of a lot worse than those you mentioned. Thieves, looters, rapists, pedophiles, murderers, politicians...

      Reformed smokers should be applauded - not degraded. That they changed their lifestyle to accept the reality of the dangers of smoking should be encouraged. No one sees 100% clearly from day one - there is some aspect of reality everyone misses.

      And I'd be very careful about religious zealots. It's very easy to get caught up in a broad net. Much better to stick to principles than labels.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  Technocracy 4 years, 7 months ago
        As a reformed smoker myself, here is my position on it.

        Stopping smoking is good.
        Zealously haranguing other smokers to conform to your position is bad.

        I refrain from telling you how to live your life, pay me the same courtesy.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo