Some things never change

Posted by $ Ben_C 6 years, 2 months ago to Government
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Seems to me we have heard this before. Note the author of this piece. Another Ayn Rand?
SOURCE URL: http://politichicks.com/2016/04/to-sanders-supporters-subjugated-by-socialism/


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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 6 years, 2 months ago
    This is the tactic I've taken when confronted by a Sanders supporter: I say, "Would you agree with me that our government has become a lackey of a wealthy, self-serving elite, suppresses the middle class, and traps the poor into subsistence servitude?" When I get a "Hell, yeah!" response, I follow up with "Why, then, should that same oppressive, corrupt government be made bigger, and given more power to abuse?" The response is . . . crickets.
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    • Posted by term2 6 years, 2 months ago
      I think Sanders and Trump have both tapped into the disgust with the establishment. Of course their fixes to the problem are totally different. Sanders should admit that what he needs to make his policies work is a money tree (or a LOT of them !!).
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 6 years, 2 months ago
    Many years before the USSR fell, I read that a epidemic growing number of Russians dulled the emptiness felt in their lives with vodka.
    I'm happy to say Bolshevik Bernie picked the right left-tilting country to lead the rest of the way into socialism.
    We ain't just got vodka. We got all kinds of hard liquor to drink. Well, for the present anyway. There is always moonshine to fall back on.
    There's also all kinds of funny stuff to smoke, pop and to shoot up with too.
    Want to have any real fun in a socialist system? Be a black market profiteer! Just don't get caught by the red fuzz or knocked off by a rival cartel..
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 2 months ago
      You are absolute correct about the Vodka. One of my Dad's employees brother was in the U.S.consulate office in Leningrad. He and his wife often visited the USSR from time to time and observed the dull look in peoples faces when they went to market to see what would be delivered that day from the farms. Most of the time they returned to their families with little produce. Vodka eased the pain and kept them subdued. Of course my friends had their private KGB people keep on them when in the USSR. We had great conversations about communism and it was clear it wasn't going to work long before the collapse. Today in the US I see medical marijuana as the vodka of Russia.
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      • Posted by $ allosaur 6 years, 2 months ago
        There may be a huge growing demand for legal (and illegal) weed after November.
        Big Brother may eventually provide that along with every freaking thing else.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 6 years, 2 months ago
      Remember "Brave New World?" That authoritarian elite kept their people doped up on "soma" as a means of control. I suspect there are political figures who see the current push to legalize pot as a good thing, as stoners don't become real revolutionaries.
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  • Posted by chad 6 years, 2 months ago
    It is true, some things never change. The author hit on the problem early in her article. It has been my single greatest frustration in trying to teach others the value of liberty (free market capitalism gives this freedom in choices that can be made by individuals) when the principle seems so logical and easy to understand. A small book written almost 500 years ago gives the reason in it's title - "The Will To Bondage" - and the author Estienne de la Boiete then explains quite well and succinctly the problem is not that liberty is difficult to understand but very few desire it. The majority of people have always preferred slavery and may continue to do so until the race dies out. He pointed back in time to the Roman example of descending from a republic into a democracy wherein people demanded to be slaves of the state. He gave numerous examples of those who were free choosing to return to serfdom. I always wondered at the rise of dictatorships in South America that would become so emboldened at enslaving the populace that the people would finally rise against the state and replace it with one that was worse! The rise of a tyrant is not as much a result of his prowess as it is a nod to the corrupt nature of those who support him. As an individual Hitler would have only been a sole idiot with outlandish ideas without the support of the society who paid his taxes, supported his government, were willing soldiers killing whomever was designated as the 'offenders' of their civilization. As one Jewish survivor pointed out it was not Hitler who killed his family in the camps, it was the postman, the local shop owner who were employed at the camps who turned on the gas, patrolled the fences and kept those destined for the pits in line. Estienne pointed out that perhaps the only way to remain free was to remain unobserved for most of those who surround you will turn you in to the state. It is difficult to find this small tome to which much has been added by different authors over time but it is worth the read. He thought that religion would reform government but I have always thought states and religions were evil twins each with the desire to outdo the other.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 6 years, 2 months ago
    I think she is right, of course. But she seems to
    think that people who believe in Socialism can be
    persuaded to the contrary, because of its imprac
    ticality. Whereas I believe that people who be-
    lieve in Socialism do not care how impractic-
    al it is; they just believe in an evil, inverted
    morality, and want to feel good about them-
    selves for promoting it, no matter how miserable
    they make the victims--in fact, I think that the
    more miserable they make the victims, the more
    they will enjoy it.
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  • Posted by ewv 6 years, 2 months ago
    No, the author is not "another Ayn Rand". The author showed no recognition of the principled basis of freedom in reason and rational egoism. Many have experienced socialism the way she did and don't want it, but they don't know how to defend freedom and don't know how the conventional, dominance of duties from ethics and religion lead to collectivism and statism.
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 6 years, 2 months ago
    One of the best descriptions of Socialism is found in Orwell's 1984. He describes ENGSOC as constructed like a pyramid. At the apex is the inner party. Membership is strictly controlled and limited to a select few. This is the true seat of power and its motives and machinations are hidden behind a veil of secrecy. This is where Socialism as a path to power is managed and controlled.
    Below this lies the outer party. The outer party consists primarily of the "true believers". These are the people that actually believe in the promise of Socialism. For them Socialism is a secular religion complete with dogma, sinners and saints. Anyone that challenges the authority of the state is anathema and excommunicate.
    At the base of the pyramid lies what Orwell referred to as the "Prols" or Proletariat. These accept Socialism because of its promise to separate action from consequence and the assurance the state will provide for all needs.
    The fundamental flaw lies in the fact that while this kind of system functions well for social insects such as termites, ants and bees it is unsustainable when its members are individuals. It is for this reason that individuality is strongly discouraged in Socialist and Communist systems for the individual sows the seeds of destruction of the collectivist state.
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    • Posted by Maritimus 6 years, 2 months ago
      Do you remember masses of Germans screaming in adulation of Hitler? I do. I survived the tyrannies of Hitler, Stalin and Tito. The "masses" get almost hypnotized into adulation of the tyrants. In their ideologies, they all deny the value of an individual human as such. Akin to many religions, they demand sacrifices from the capable and productive "for the common good".
      Does anybody teach realities of such regimes to the young? It seams to me not.
      I was lucky to slip out in 1962.
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    • Posted by ewv 6 years, 2 months ago
      Orwell was a Fabian socialist.
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      • Posted by ProfChuck 6 years, 2 months ago
        True, which makes him something of an enigma. For some of the most powerful arguments against socialism to come from a socialist gives one pause. That, however, does not detract from the legitimacy of his criticism.
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        • Posted by ewv 6 years, 2 months ago
          "... DON'T recommend Animal Farm. You have probably heard about it—it's a little booklet that has just come out and is being whooped up as a lesson against Communism, which it is not. I have read it. It made me sick. It is a book against Stalin, not against Communism. In fact, it is the mushiest and most maudlin preachment of Communism (I suppose the author would call it Socialism, but there is no difference), that I have seen in a long time. The moral of the book is not: 'Communism is evil,' but: 'Stalin's Communism is just as evil as Capitalism.' Don't let's help to preach that idea." -- Ayn Rand in a 1946 letter Leonard Read.

          "I would have liked to review Animal Farm—though I consider it a very bad book; but it has great historical significance—as an eloquent and frightening revelation of the mind of a modern socialist. (l mean, the author. The book is not anti-Communist, you know. It's merely anti-Stalin, but pro-Communist. This should have been said in reviews, but wasn't.)" -- Ayn Rand in a 1946 letter to Kelsey Guilfoil, of the Chicago Tribune's Magazine of Books
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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 2 months ago
    Was there a point to it? Ah yes Now I see the little red line ...don't go away

    lot of popups, blockups, side blocks and some verbiage that couldn't be read.....So?
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    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 2 months ago
      This was well worth coming back to and examining . The article on Sanders and Socialism is a must read for all except those mired in the collectives known as universities. Stay in your safe spots the world does not need that many diapers to change.

      For the rest of us well worth reading. look at the bar at the top with traveling topics and find Sanders then after reading lose Sanders.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 2 months ago
    "The magnitude of Sanders’ supporters is truly astounding."
    I know. When a fundamental change to the economy, like the introduction of agriculture or industrialization, shakes things up, it can lead to really bad decisions. I don't think we're on this path, but it's a real risk. It feels like people feel automation and IT shaking up the world in a radical way, and I looking for radical approaches. I hope we are not on this path.
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    • Posted by wiggys 6 years, 2 months ago
      astounding; why? the educational system that has existed in the usa has been marching towards socialism for 100 years and that is what the present bulk of the population has been educated to think. si why are you astounded?
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 2 months ago
        "why are you astounded?"
        The quote was from Dr. Conor's article, and I agree with it.

        I do not accept the claim that the school system promotes socialism, but even if we assume for the moment it did, I would still be surprised by the support for Sanders. The reason is socialism has to take from the producers to help the poor. Sanders seems to have many promises for the middle class and even upper middle class. He only mentions the billionaires paying for this stuff. If you stole all the billionaires' wealth, it would not pay for all this. That's why I share Dr. Conor's surprise.
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        • Posted by wiggys 6 years, 2 months ago
          socialism, communism, facism, collectivism; chose your poison as these are all one and the same.and regardless of what you think of the school system this is what is promoted.
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          • Posted by LibertyBelle 6 years, 2 months ago
            What do you expect from public (government-
            operated and -administered) education? I say that
            it does not protect man from force and violence &
            punish same, therefore it is not a legitimate gov-
            ernment function; and furthermore, that since education teaches thought processes, the gov-
            ernment should definitely not be in charge of
            it, as it has to eventually lead to government
            thought control. We should have separation of
            education and state, as we should have
            separation of church and state. I mean that
            public education should be abolished outright.
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            • Posted by ewv 6 years, 2 months ago
              Separation of education and government is necessary, and any increase in educational choice to get there is a step in the right direction. But that choice alone is not enough. With the spreading acceptance of a dominant philosophy of altruism and collectivism increasingly displacing the American sense of life and the individualism of its Enlightenment founding, people progressively make the wrong choice,

              Having choice in education is personally crucial for allowing those trying to avoid the coercive imposition and make their own good choices, and it is necessary to stop the complete stamping out of rational individualism in education, but if school choice were to become widespread with no corresponding improvement in what is generally accepted and taught, we would only see a lot of private money going into bad education, just like we see enormous wealth going into helping government destroy private property rights.
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        • Posted by ewv 6 years, 2 months ago
          Of course the schools are supporting socialism. They don't have to use the "s" word to promote altruism and collectivism as they constantly denounce and misrepresent capitalism. Socialism is being promoted in the form of fascism, one policy at a time, in the name of Pragmatism with altruist and collectivism premises as the standard and the goal. This is fundamental; a textbook confusing 'further' with 'farther' isn't; and it isn't solved by picking a "private school" just because it's private -- freedom of choice in education is for making the right choice of the right school.

          Understanding the philosophical basis promoted in schools means not being surprised when the students come out 'idealistically' supporting a flailing, agitated 70 year old socialist Sanders.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 2 months ago
            "Of course the schools are supporting socialism."
            We are blessed with good teachers for both kids. I feel for people who try multiple schools that teach socialism. If I had encountered two bad schools in row I'd probably be depressed too.

            When we interviewed the new school, I asked several questions of the vein "what's your ideas/philosophy/opinion on [insert mundane task]". What I was looking for is a reaction that the question doesn't make sense. I wasn't being tricky. If you asked that first school, "what's your theory on which door kids should enter from," they'd have a long answer. I want the attitude of "who cares which door? Your kids walk in through one of them, and we teach them things." There's obviously more to it, but that's a good starting question IMHO. If they've got theories on every trivial aspect of life, they're more likely to teach ideology.

            "Pragmatism with altruist and collectivism premises as the standard and the goal."
            The only time in my life I've ever been a party to a law suit involved this, so I've seen it. I hope it was the exception and what we're getting now is the rule. Maybe we just got lucky with these teachers.

            "not being surprised when the students come out 'idealistically' supporting [...] Sanders."
            I can't speak for Dr. Conor, but I have been surprised because of the math, not because of the ideology.
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            • Posted by ewv 6 years, 2 months ago
              We are discussing fundamental ideas, not trivia like what door to walk through. Understanding the principles of education takes more than "teach things".

              If the only time in your life you think you have seen Pragmatism is in a law suit, then you still don't know what it is. It's everywhere. You have been lucky in having the current teachers, or they may be good in some specific teaching skills but with bad underlying philosophy you don't know and don't understand. Pragmatism is an ideology.

              The numbers Sanders get are because of the ideology, which is spreading and becoming worse.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 2 months ago
                "not trivia like what door to walk through."
                My thought is that is a possible predictor of they have more significant ideological axes to grind. If they say, “Children need rhythm that mirrors the motion of the skies, so they should enter through the east and depart through the west,” or anything remotely like that, they're not for me.

                "Understanding the principles of education takes more than "teach things"."
                Maybe my bad experience at the very first school we tried causes me to set the bar low. I want my kids to learn the facts and tools to find the facts. Their age is a great time to indoctrinate someone into an ideology, and that's precisely what I do not want for them. All I want is for them to pick up tools to examine reality. In my lowbrow words, just teach them things.

                "If the only time in your life you think you have seen Pragmatism is in a law suit, then you still don't know what it is."
                I don't get this part. I mean, if I don't know what it is, what are we talking about?

                I'm not a philosopher, but from reading the Ayn Rand books, I think of pragmatism as saying since we use models to understand the world and models are imperfect, there is not true reality. We can say for sure how efficient a tranformer is and we can use Maxwell's equations, but this is just an expedient, they say, to get something working. We shouldn't think, they say, that science brings us closer to understanding the nature of the universe. In my non-philosopher view, post-modernism is a more extreme version of this, in which they don't even believe we can know how efficient the transformer is b/c of the biases of the observer. They rightly point out that human observation is unreliable. Instead of finding ways to work around human frailties, they throw up their hands and say nothing's real anyway.

                I don't know if that first school was planning on teaching stuff like this when they got older, but I imagine so. I could tell you the stories, but I try to put it behind me.

                We did hear a story second-hand last week of this type of thing. My wife has a college student working PT in her practice. He said he was in a TA-facilitated discussion in some liberal arts class. The TA said she believed in a radical form of socialism that had no money or trading. Some of the students asked questions like "how would they deal with something that's scarce but get me made through work?" After a few respectful but critical questions, the TA said the students were not "respecting her space" or some words like that and then left the class in protest. I can't imagine that when I went to school in the 90s. The student who works for us thought it was bizarre but seems more used to this concept of living in a zone protected from uncomfortable questions.

                That suggests to me there's a real problem, but I resist the urge to say "kids these days..."
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                • Posted by ewv 6 years, 2 months ago
                  There is a real problem, but you can't understand it and address it at the level of anti-conceptual "predictors", "models" and Pragmatism. You don't have to be a philosopher, and probably would not want to be even if you knew more about it, but you should learn what the main positions of thought have been in all the main branches of philosophy, how they have influenced the culture today, and how Ayn Rand's philosophy is fundamentally different from them and answers them, including Pragmatism and Positivism.

                  The best way to get that context and contrast is Leonard Peikoff's superb recorded lectures on the history of philosophy.
                  https://estore.aynrand.org/p/95/found...
                  https://estore.aynrand.org/p/96/moder...

                  The proper principles of education do not mean "ideology" as apposed to "things and facts". If you don't understand what is guiding the kind of education today versus the correct goals of thinking and learning and how to conceptualize them, you are at the mercy of what you don't know. "Just teach them things" isn't enough. Listen to Leonard Peikoff's recorded lectures on the philosophy of education https://estore.aynrand.org/p/64/philo...

                  "In this five-lecture course from 1985, Dr. Leonard Peikoff presents a philosophy of education based on Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. The course addresses such topics as the purpose of education, proper teaching methods, and a proper curriculum.

                  "In addition, Dr. Peikoff presents and evaluates several competing theories on the basic purpose of education. He draws from Ayn Rand’s philosophy to present a number of principles for effective teaching and also shares tips and techniques that he developed over the course of his many years of teaching. Finally, Dr. Peikoff discusses his views on why the current education system is failing, and what can be done about it.

                  "This course is intended to be of value to those in the teaching profession, especially those in primary and secondary education, as well as to parents interested in ensuring that their children receive a proper education. But the lectures are designed to be accessible and enjoyable for a much wider audience.

                  "This course assumes prior familiarity with several concepts from Ayn Rand’s philosophy, such as her views on the contextual nature of knowledge and the inter-connectivity of knowledge.

                  "The course is followed by an extended open Q&A period on Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. In total, the audio is 8 hours and 27 minutes long."
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                  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 2 months ago
                    "you are at the mercy of what you don't know"
                    And potentially at the mercy of those who do know and are being deceptive. I'm going to start with Founders of Western Philosophy when I finish what I'm currently listening to. Thanks for the recommendation.
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        • Posted by $ 6 years, 2 months ago
          Socialism is promoted in a very subtle way. When my daughter was in public schools (bad idea) she had a fourth grade project titled "Core Democratic Values" assigned by her teacher who had Obama stickers all over her house. I re-titled it " Core Democracy Values" hoping not to piss off the teacher. Had i re-titled it "Core Republican Values" I surely would have pissed her off. If you read the Common Core history material you find glorification of very left wing people without a counter balance of right wing people.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 2 months ago
            Maybe it depends on the teacher. We started with a private school, had some problems, tried a public school, and have had a good experience so far. We haven't seen even a hint of it.

            I don't believe in the left/right thing anyway, so I would see the Core Republican/Democratic Values thing as innocuous unless there was some other political element in the assignment. Even Core Democracy Values, would be questionable, since it downplays the limitations on majority rule in a republic. I would also dismiss that as a wording-choice issue, absent some other sign of politics.

            The other day my kid's reader said something like "he put it further from the house." I struck a line through further in pencil and wrote farther.
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    • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 6 years, 2 months ago
      I am not sure these people are that aware or that smart...and that goes for sandwich, hiltery or trumpet supporters...but still, it does seem they are just widening the rabbit hole and more and more will get sucked in.
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 6 years, 2 months ago
        My wife is a trumpet supporter...I hold my head in shame...but when I talk about the Constitution and OUR, (us and government) ignorance of it.... people light right up; then I ask if the think trump knows anything about our founding and the rules of law in our constitution...I usually get a blank look...
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