11

Objectivists cannot be Libertarians?

Posted by Esceptico 4 years, 7 months ago to Philosophy
232 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

I have been told both politely and impolitely by fellow Objectivists that one cannot be both an Objectivist and a Libertarian. I have heard this even here in the Gulch. I profess to being both.

Rand went on rants, literally, against Libertarians. Do not join, she says, “‘libertarian’” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.”[“Ayn Rand Letter,” Vol 1, No. 7, page 3, Jan. 3, 1972.] It does not take one deeply schooled in argument to recognize the ad hominem attacks in this one sentence, but the significant point is she set up a straw man in that Libertarians as such do not subordinate reason to whims and are not anarchists. Yes, there are some Libertarians who do and are one or both of these things, but are some Objectivists.

A Libertarian is simply a person who subscribes to the Non-Agression Principle (NAP). Nothing more, nothing less. So long as a person agreed with the NAP, one could be a communist or an anarchist. Libertarians are united only by the NAP and not by any other unifying principles or outlook on life. To be a member of the LP there is one requirement and only one: you must agree to the NAP. [https://www.lp.org/membership July 11, 2016.]

Picking up the theme from Rand, Ayn Rand Institute “Distinguished Fellow” (whatever that is) Peter Schwartz went so far as to say Objectivists should not be “trafficking with Libertarians.” [“On Moral Sanctions,” by Peter Schwartz, May 18, 1989.] This sounds similar to me to a Jehovah’s Witness, or any other cult, proclamation prohibiting contact with the outside world. And, indeed, several Objectivists have shunned me ever since I said I disagreed with them. If I had been a JW, then I would be “disestablished.” The point is the same: disagree with the dogma and you are out of the club.

During 1985 Schwartz wrote a series of articles in his “Intellectual Activist” publication. These are published, according to the introduction, in a condensed version as Chapter 31 in the book “The Voice of Reason.” Schwartz again sets up the Libertarian as a straw man and then sets about attacking the straw man. I am not going to detail his laboriously stated errors and ad hominem attacks because it is not relevant to my question below.

Apparently the subject is still something of interest to ARI. Schwartz lists, among his Talks and Lectures credits, “Analyzing Libertarianism: A Case Study in Thinking in Principles.” [https://ari.aynrand.org/experts/peter.... July 11, 2016] I could not access this, but I image it is more of the same diatribe he previously presented. I say this because as recently as July 2, 2016, [https://ari.aynrand.org/blog/2016/07/.... July 11, 2016.] ARI touted a discussion to be streamed the following day on the subject. I missed that.

Here is the problem for me. A principle of Objectivism is the NAP. Restated in the words of Rand: “… no man may initiate—do you hear me? No man may start—the use of physical force against others.”

The only principle required of Libertarians is: “To validate my membership, I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.”

Over the decades, every time an Objectivist tells me I must choose between being an Objectivist and a Libertarian, I point out the above and ask a question. To date I have not received even the courtesy of an answer.

I ask: How are these two principles mutually exclusive?


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • 11
    Posted by InfamousEric 4 years, 7 months ago
    '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.'

    Ummm... That sounds pretty libertarian to me...

    As a libertarian, (note the small "L"), along with the NAP, I also view the life another person chooses to live as their business, not mine.

    Just as my life choices are mine, not the concern or responsibility of others.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      I agree with you. It sounds libertarian to me, too. That is exactly why I have not understood either the claim an Objectivist cannot be a libertarian or the malevolence with which the statement is usually presented to me.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by philosophercat 4 years, 7 months ago
    Objectivism is a complete philosophical system logically derived from a set of axioms about existence. The NAP is a tiny little membership agreement between an affinity group which has nothing in common but that NAP. Please don't confuse a great philosophy with your membership card in a rag-tag group which denies the validity and role of philosophy. The very fact you are trying to equate the two shows the gulf in values you are addressing. Liberty is a consequence of Objectivist philosophy but reason is not a consequence of NAP. NAP does not even affirm liberty, its a negative statement about behavior. Thinkers need more.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      You hit the point precisely. Nobody I know of (except dogmatic Randians) ever claimed libertarianism was a philosophy. It is simply a group of people who agree that NAP is correct. Nothing more. It is the addition of things libertarians do not claim that I call the straw man.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 4 years, 7 months ago
    I, too, consider myself a "flavor" of libertarian, I am learning about objectivism and while my views may not be congruent, there is a lot of overlay -- and they are evolving.

    Your argument makes sense to me. From my observations objectivism, in venn diagram terms, lies entirely within the circle of libertarianism. That would mean that every objectivist was a libertarian, but not every libertarian is an objectivist.

    When Rand has a rant about libertarians, she is saying that there are people who call themselves libertarian who violate the principles of objectivism. But are there people who consider themselves objectivist who lie outside of the boundaries of libertarianism? I am at a loss to find an objectivist belief that would disqualify one from the title of libertarian.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      I think your reference to Venn diagrams is exactly on point. I wish I had thought to put it in those terms. It is like the old saying “that all Chryslers are cars, but not all cars are Chryslers.” BTW, I’ve been an Objectivist since 1962 and still think many statements by Rand, et al, need correcting or further explanation.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 7 months ago
        The title should be a statement not a question!
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          Why?
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 7 months ago
            you obviously have not either read Miss Rand or simply do not understand her.
            objectivists are objectivists and libertarians are not objectivists! there may very well be some overlap but it is for the most part insignificant. for a full explanation ask Harry Binswanger, Peter Schwartz or Leonard Peikoff.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by lrshultis 4 years, 7 months ago
              Please learn something about concept creation. The concept Objectivism subsumes the NAP as an attribute and thus is a sub category of NAP.
              ARI, being an advocate of closed Objectivism, is close to believing Objectivism to be an religion and seems to consider Rand's pronouncements to be gospel not to be questioned. I was introduced to Rand's works by a guy who had just lost his Objectivist subscription for asking a question wrongly to Rand. It was almost like a religion back in the late 1960s.
              I am an Objectivist libertarian and see no problem with it. Objectivism can be a sub concept under libertarian if libertarian is defined as advocating the NAP. That does not imply that other kinds of libertarians personal philosophies or religions are included in Objectivism.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
              First, I want to point out that your demeaning and condescending statement that I “obviously have not either read Miss Rand or simply do not understand her” is in error, and you have no basis upon which to formulate this statement.

              Second, I have read Harry Binswanger, Peter Schwartz and Leonard Peikoff. I find them dogmatists and unamenable to reason. To me, in essence, they say if Rand said “it” then “it” is true and if Rand did not say “it” than “it” is not true. Their attitude explains to me the various “purges” in ARI of those who questioned anything, thus becoming “untrue” believers and shunned. I never saw any of them actually deal with the issue at hand without building and burning a straw man.

              To me, what the dogmatic Objectivist cannot accept is nobody ever claimed libertarians are Objectivists. The point under discussion is one can be an Objectivist and a libertarian. Rand said use reason. Good. Put the issue under discussion in terms of a Venn diagram and tell me what you find.
              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 $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 7 months ago
      Like I said...if you learn to use it as a tool and question everything, even itself, you arrive at the answer you seek. If you cease trying to find a convenient comfortable label and use it as intended you come to your own conclusions, test them, keep testing them and apply them. It's not a group grope. But it's one helluva a useful tool in a number of ways. The leads to specific areas in A to Z or some of the other books all end u with yiou standing in front of a mirror and saying I am, I observed, I applied my own ethics. I am happy with myself. If that doesn't occur start looking for false premises and wrong answers disguised as correct answers If it does occur then it's like the song. Be happy ...but never cease observing, learning the nature of things and people, and testing them. Testing never stops. In that way you never stop testing yourself. After a while you find a path to follow in all situations. I was in the military and we had the four life saving steps. It's a priority thing. Stop the bleeding always came first. Clear the airway, Treat or prevent shock. protect the wound. One never thinks about it when something happens. one just follows the rules and it doesn't matter Green or Red Cross procedures. The same thing happens from learning and studying and applying on a daily day long basis everything around you. Observe, examine, learn the nature of , is it useful could it be useful if....and once you get through that is it ethical. quick test. Heidi Fleiss charged twice. Once for pandering and once for income tax evasion. You are a juror....how do iyou vote? But don't tell me that's your system working because you observe that sort of thing perhaps for decades. As for me. No on the first despite the polemics not only was it a victimless crime one of the participants testified in court. it was more sensationalism and propaganda than anything for the lawyers involved to get some face time with channel 5 or 10. Not Guilty. income tax evasion. Not guilty it is a fascist control program and un American. I also know that I am one of the Judge and the dude or dudette we call Judge is really a referee and should be a guide - when needed. They are not God, Not all powerful and not dictators. .
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 7 months ago
    Ayn Rand and others have compared libertarianism to anarchism by pointing out examples that attempt to make libertarianism look silly. Some examples such as those involving "peaceful protests" by people with guns are especially timely.

    http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/ana...

    I think those examples are a bit contrived. The non-aggression principle does not preclude people or society from reasonably protecting themselves, as is implied in some examples meant to disparage libertarians.

    The main reason why Objectivists do not embrace libertarianism is because libertarianism skips the metaphysics, the epistemology, and the ethics, and goes straight to the governing political aspects of the philosophy. The part about subordinating reason to whims in Rand's letter could, and probably does, refer to the idea that libertarians could tolerate, and perhaps even, embrace mysticism while Objectivists cannot.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      Your explanation makes sense. Why the "deep down" Objectivists want to expand a simple political principle into a world view competing with Objectivism is another question, but it does explain why they claim what they do. I think it certainly will not attract people who might otherwise examine Objectivism because of the misrepresented and outlandish things such mainliners say --- not to mention the rudeness that I find accompanies it.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 7 months ago
    I started calling myself a Randoid, and a bit later an Objectivist. That was 58 years ago (I'm older than dirt). Over that time I have met some of what might be called the founding fathers of Rand's philosophy and many advocates. Many are well schooled in Objectivism, many are a good deal smarter than I am, and I learn from them. Some learn from me. But as in any philosophy, or set of rules of any kind there are those who vary from text. Who question tenets. Or who are outright masqueraders. This is true with Objectivism, it is also true with Libertarianism. On occasion, some of those calling themselves Objectivists or Libertarian who do not truly deserve the appellation come to prominence and make erroneous statement which are taken to represent what all the others of who they say they represent. Hence, the twists and turns get garbled and misrepresent, even in some cases, the simplest of premises.
    Objectivism and Libertarianism are compatible. Not in every minute instance, but overall, I see no reason why one cannot claim to be both. If a difference looms large, since the major premises are compatible, there is no reason why they cannot be integrated.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 7 months ago
    At a political level you might say they are close, but at a philosophical level they are totally different. Many libertarians think David Hume is great and are ultimately anti-reason. As Rand said I am not so much a capitalist as a rational egoist, but ultimately epistemological reason is what I consider most important.


    I am not philosophically close to someone who professes a pro-capitalism point of view, but thinks creationism is right or who thinks capitalism is based on mysticism.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      As I said below, nobody I know of (except dogmatic Randians) ever claimed libertarianism was a philosophy. It is simply a group of people who agree that NAP is correct. Nothing more. It is the addition of things libertarians do not claim that I call the straw man. When you apply Objectivism to a libertarians on a Venn diagram, what do you get?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 7 months ago
        Actually their are libertarian philosophers, for example Murray Rothbard, Hayek, Nozick.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          Did you get them from your Venn diagram? I wonder if we might also consider staying with the question I proposed and not drift too far afield. BTW, I think you meant "there" not "their." A common homonym and I’ve been known err in using them.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 7 months ago
            I think I showed that you are mistaken and cannot understand your response.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
              I do not see the error to which you point saying I am mistaken. Indeed, I may be mistaken, I just don't follow you yet.

              Are you familiar with Venn diagrams? If not, then I understand your confusion in that regard. Regarding straying from the subject issue I proposed, let me restate the question: how does the Objectivist principle of not to initiate the use of force exclude libertarians whose only common principle is “I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals?” I find myself very close to most Objectivist doctrine and the LP. sole principle of non-agression.

              When I make a Venn diagram, I see no mutual exclusion between them. Have you done a Venn diagram on this question?
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Snezzy 4 years, 7 months ago
    I saw Rand disagreeing in public with self-styled Libertarians, some of whom were part of a Libertarian Party. Their main failing, as I saw it, was to ask for her support while at the same time using various re-arrangements of her ideas, and--when pressed--denying that the ideas were hers at all.

    Every year at her Ford Hall Forum talks someone would ask her, "Miss Rand, why do you refuse to support the Libertarian Party?" Her answers, seen by many as condescending, were much the same as you might give to your difficult brother-in-law who shows up uninvited at your party and proceeds to give all your beer away to HIS friends, whom he also invited to your party. My libertarian friends at the time dabbled in Objectivism, but preferred their own versions. "Just like Objectivism, EXCEPT for XXX"

    That "XXX" could be any of various tenets, such as (1) unilateral, peaceful co-existence with everyone--this might be the so-called NAP, (2) establishment of competitive governments in the US, (3) vegetarianism, (4) rejection of copyright, including that on Rand's copyrighted material.

    Those numbered items are not "straw men". I observed every one of them, and even found myself contributing to the efforts of people working on point (4).

    Rand distinguished carefully between Objectivism (which she famously could define while "standing on one foot") and Libertarianism, which seemed to have a whim-of-the-moment definition. I think she saw Libertarians as not having fundamental principles.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      There will be many different viewpoints among libertarians because the only principle that unites them is the NAP. For this reason the full spectrum of other ideas are presented under the libertarian banner, but that does not mean those viewpoints are libertarian to the extent they violate the NAP. This, I think, is where Rand went wrong and why I call it a straw man. She tried to put all those viewpoints under the tent of libertarianism and then attacked the tent. For all Rand’s talk about logic, I doubt she understood Venn and his diagrams.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
    Objectivism and libertarianism overlap, and far more than many give them credit for. One could almost say Objectivism is a subset of Libertarianism.

    Here's the one particular sticking point I've picked up. I quote Rand: "Just as the United States had the right to invade Nazi Germany, so the United States has the right to invade Soviet Russia or any other slave pen." I can't imagine a classic Libertarian ever saying that.

    The chief flaw that Objectivist notice is moral equivalency. That is, a Libertarian, as the original poster defines it, considers a war of liberation inherently wrong and unjust. Not so an Objectivist.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ prof611 4 years, 7 months ago
      I think you've hit the nail on the head here. Your Rand quote definitely violates the NAP. However, I think that it also violates the Objectivist credo. In fact, it looks like one instance in which Rand let her temper get the best of her reasoning.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
        I thought you might object to her quote on that ground. But frankly I agreed with her at the time, and I agree today. I further maintain we need not wait for a side that have sworn a blood oath against us, to develop weapons of mass destruction with a range that would let them launch from "home base."
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          What is your goal and will what you advocate achieve that goa?
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
            In this context my particular goal is to eliminate, once for all, the threat from a 1400 year old movement that declared itself the inveterate enemy of all things Arabic. Just now I believe we can achieve that goal through a radical economic sanction: refuse to buy any more oil from the Middle East, unless the Republic of Israel, with the assistance of the Zion Oil and Gas Company, manages to strike oil and have enough of it available for export. In the meantime I urge everyone to recognize Islam for what it is: a pan-Arab nationalist movement in religious dress. As it has been ever since Muhammad first said, "Fight and slay the infidels wheresoever ye find them!" Surah 9:5. Look it up.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
              My, no emotion or hate here is there? Do you advocate carpet bombing and the A-Bomb, too?
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
                I advocate hard realism. Before you presume to pass judgment, I ask you to read the Koran. Read it thoroughly. You will then discover it is a declaration of war against everyone and everything non-Arabic.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                  Read the Bible and learn the same things. But you did answer my first question, there is hate. What about the bombing part?
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
                    I believe I said that depended on how close any civilian population might be to a legitimate military target. I don't advocate carpet-bombing a city for the sake of carpet-bombing a city.

                    As to the Bible, the wars of the resettlement of the Promised Land are over. Those people who practiced such things as child sacrifice, are no longer part of this world. But Muhammad declared war against the Byzantine Empire and all the rest of non-Arabic civilization. And that declaration still stands.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                      If the goal is to end the enemy’s aggression against you, we need to examine history to learn the actual effectiveness of doing so. It turns out the bombing of civilians does not, as Churchill believed and did to the Germans, break the will of the enemy. The lessons of history show the bombings enrage the citizens and makes them more willing to fight rather than less. So, as an effective way to achieve the goal of no war, bombing may not be the route to take. For sure this has failed for the last 70 years and to keep doing what we have always done will surely get us what we always got: more blowback with increasing violence.

                      As to the Christian wars, I am not so sure they are over.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
                        First, some enemies you have to kill to stop. Second, you evidently did not read certain other threads of mine. Or you would have known that a military target is fair game. Civilians, not so much. But when you have to get close, you have to get close.
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                          This issue is far from the question I proposed and should be a separte discussion.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                          • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
                            You mean it's off what you had thought you had set as your scope. But it goes directly to the question of what a libertarian is, what objective reality demands, and whether a libertarian, as you define one, is facing objective reality, or running from it.
                            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                            • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                              I did not ask what a libertarian is. Permit me to let me to restate the question: how does the Objectivist principle of not to initiate the use of force exclude libertarians whose only common principle is “I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals?” I find myself very close to most Objectivist doctrine and the LP.

                              When I make a Venn diagram, I see no mutual exclusion between them. Have you done a Venn diagram on this question?
                              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                              • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
                                Here's the problem. How do you define the initiation of force? An Objectivist--or to be more specific, Rand--defines "initiation" to mean first use against anyone. A libertarian, the way I see the "Non-aggression Principle" applied, defines "to initiate" as strictly "against the one contemplating retaliation." In other words, a libertarian does not respect the use of force in the long-term defense of others. A libertarian respects the use of force only in immediate self-defense.

                                With the result that a libertarian would wait until we get a launch detection before even building a missile.
                                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      Rand and war present another interesting issue we at the Gulch should discuss. She seemed inconsistent me because she sometimes treated the citizens of the other country as guilty and morally subject to attack simply by being citizens of the other country---even if they opposed the government in power. That, according to her was tribalism and wrong. But, let’s not get sidetracked in this discussion.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
        She would call upon those residents to bug out and resist. She distinguishes between the sheep-like voters for the Vichy Regime and The Resistance.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          I hardly think telling people living in a dictatorship they should leave is a viable excuse for Rand’s attitude. Even if you take Cuba as an example of the last 60 years, where, exactly could those people go? The Cuban government patrolled the waters surrounding the island, only a relative few could escape. Besides, there is a psychological effect that once the spirit of a person is broken, those in control can do whatever they want with zero resistance.
          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 $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 7 months ago
      Like 1766 to 1776?

      2. NAP wouldn't apply to Russia at that time in history The other cheek had already been turned. Where it runs into trouble is being told we should do 'someting' about 'some' situation only to find out the next quote is 'what gives you the right to....." Usually form the left. Usually for cheap political gain..."

      My answer is 'you did.' You could have done something but couldn't wouldn't didn't and won't I can do something and have the 'will' to act and the moral fiber to act correctly. You do not. But next time I'll let you go first. What game me the right? Common Politeness.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
    I am far too confused at this point as to how several Gulch members find Rand so unpalatable. Can someone please explain what the purpose of this conversation is? What's the purpose of taking the oath and becoming an Objectivist only to denigrate the source? Do you want Galt's Gulch to be Libertarian Gulch? That site is called http://reason.com.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 7 months ago
      I would never have found out about the Atlas Shrugged movies or Galt's Gulch Online, if it were not for an advertisement through Reason.
      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 $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 7 months ago
        On the other hand that was the source with the BS unsubstantiated story about Rand and the immigration service. After carefully following the leads provided both ended up with articles by two clueless reporters and still no facts nor evidence. At the time I iwas shocked to find out that was the Libertarians main publication.

        At his point I approach that publication in the same manner as I do the Guardian. All of that aside while Moral Philosophy could give rise to a 'religion' Objectivism is not a system religious nor secular nor commercial but a way to validate or invalidate one's beliefs or the beliefs that have been offered to them. But only for the stronger minded more inclined to think and reason and test and examine. Therefore when some in Congress decided to continue this economic farce and looked at Keynes great road block (only until you can't pay the interest) they and probably objectively asked. Is there a way around Keynes and if tested will it work. It did in 1993 the gas crisis the rest was borrowed from Carlos Marighella and his friends and it emerged full blown as the 'Great Recession of 2008. Like alll objective notions it has to be tested continuously and the use examined ethically. The Congress failed in that requirement and became common garden variety subjectivists aanother world for failures. They screwed up the Second Law and skipped the third one. On that basis one can safely say it's impossible to be a ' ' and an objectivist. Trouble is we gotta pay for their failures but that's a failure ini personal ethics on choosing who to vote for. Given the signs. I wouldn't count on the Libertairans unless they truly do use objectivism - but....it is possible
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 7 months ago
          While the short anecdote section of Reason is worth the read, I disagree with it a lot more since Matt Welch and a couple of other authors left their magazine.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
            Reason Magazine is not a publication of the libertarians. It is a publication with a libertarian viewpoint. I think you may be painting with too broad of a brush.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 7 months ago
              I enjoyed Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie when they were at Reason Magazine. While on the john yesterday morning, I read an interview in their magazine with a "Marxist libertarian". Wondering what on earth that could be, I almost used it as toilet paper.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by jdg 4 years, 7 months ago
      Not all of us here are Objectivists. I'm close to being one, but the sort of dogmatic people Esceptico mentioned (to whom the only way to be an Objectivist is to agree with them about every detail of philosophy) have made me unwilling to wear the label. They claim to own it, and maybe they do. I'm not going to fight them for it.

      For what it's worth, I wouldn't wear the label "libertarian" either, if most people felt it were as narrowly defined as kdechaine seems to believe it is. Perhaps being a capital-L Libertarian is that narrowly defined.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ sjatkins 4 years, 7 months ago
    An an Objectivist I think for myself. Libertarians are the closest to a political party based upon sensible principles that we have in the US at this time. I support them on that basis. I have no interest in what the talmudic folks at ARI have to say about the matter just because they claim to be the "intellectual heir" of Ayn Rand. In my opinion they have greatly harmed Objectivism with their claims that everything Rand said, whether core to Objectivism or not, is pretty much doctrine and that only what she said can ever be part of Objectivism. Then there are the philosophical ratholes of trying to deny and denigrate parts of modern physics as not be comfortable to their conception of the logical and thus of the possible. It has gone beyond rationality to imho well into rationalization.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      Well said. Did you know Rand would not take a position on evolution? She was still looking for the missing link. [Ayn Rand Letter, Vol II, No. 17, Mayh 21, 1973, page 5]
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
        Only because evolution is not a philosophical issue. It is the specific nature of man on which she focuses, never mind where he came from.
        But given her metaphysical foundation, any mystical explanation for life is ruled out.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          I agree, and certainly one would think Rand by 1973 would have figured it out.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
            If you are implying she did not "figure it out", you are certainly mistaken; and my previous response was intended to show that.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
              If she did figure out evolution, as late as 1973 in the Ayn Rand Letter she refused to take a stand---as to this issue she was an agnostic. Vol II, No. 17, page 5.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
                You are misrepresenting her view.
                She was referring to the 'missing link" between man and animal, and simply questions how evolution could leave such a drastic distinction.
                She did not "refuse" to take a stand; she simply did not fully study evolution as it was not a philosophical issue. Science has not fully "figured it out", and she certainly would not have been in a position to do so.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                  Read it for yourself. The exact quote is: “I am not a student of the theory of evolution and, therefore, I am neither its supporter nor its opponent.” To be “neither its supporter nor its opponent” is the definition of an agnostic. To me the most important point is, for all the other positions she took on relative trivia, she did not take a stand on evolution.

                  The creation–evolution controversy involves a recurring cultural, political, and theological dispute about the origins of the earth, of humanity, and of other life. Such is hardly trivia, especially to a person claiming to be a philosopher, and she did not even look at the issue. The most cursory examination, even in 1973, would have shown overwhelming evidence for evolution and none, zero, for creationism (the alternative). Rand, the atheist, was unwilling to commit to science in the face of mysticism.

                  Did I misrepresent her view?
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
                    Yes, you are very off-base here.
                    Her metaphysics certainly shows she is on the side of science (vs mysticism); more importantly, on the side of nature. She had a serious question about evolution, however, due to the Missing Link that science has never resolved. She didn't take a stand because - aside from not needing to as a philosopher - there were questions within the study of evolution, not that mysticism was an alternative.

                    She obviously looked at the issue; she simply could not fully resolve - as no one else has - the mystery of the Missing Link. Note, however, that she did provide a hypothetical explanation.

                    Are you an Objectivist concerned that she had a flaw, or a skeptic attempting to discredit her?
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                      I appreciate your defending Rand, but with all due respect there is no “missing link” now, there was no “missing link” in 1973, and, in fact, there has never been a “missing link.” And, I must point out, the issue is scientifically resolved.

                      The missing link is a non-scientific term for any transitional fossil or species, especially the great apes (of which we are one), linking back to last common ancestor which is connected with human evolution. Scientists, however, do not use the term, as it refers to a pre-evolutionary view of nature.

                      The term "missing link" refers back to the originally static pre-evolutionary concept of the great chain of being, a deist idea that all existence is linked, from the lowest dirt, through the living kingdoms to angels and finally to a god. The idea of all living things being linked through some sort of transmutation process predates Darwin’s theory of evolution

                      The idea of a "missing link" between humans and so-called "lower" animals remains lodged in the public imagination and I most often hear the phrase uttered by creationists as proof their god created each species separately and independently. You can see this at the Institute for Creation Research website (https://www.icr.org)

                      I am an Objectivist who does not look at Rand as one who, for all the good she has done, is inerrant.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
                        You ignore the use of that ML term by Rand. It is inappropriate to impose a different definition on Rand in her conversation we discussed.

                        All that is important here is that you agree with all fundamental principles/values of Rand's.
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                          I quoted her. In what way am I changing the defintion of her use of the term. Here is the entire paragraph:
                          Complete Rand quote:

                          “I am not a student of the theory of evolution and, therefore, I am neither its supporter nor its opponent. But a certain hypothesis has haunted me for years; I want to stress that it is only a hypothesis. There is an enormous breach of continuity between man and all the other living species. The difference lies in the nature of man's consciousness, in its distinctive characteristic: his conceptual faculty. It is as if, after aeons of physiological development, the evolutionary process altered its course, and the higher stages of development focused primarily on the consciousness of living species, not their bodies. But the development of a man's consciousness is volitional: no matter what the innate degree of his intelligence, he must develop it, he must learn how to use it, he must become a human being by choice. What if he does not choose to? Then he becomes a transitional phenomenon — a desperate creature that struggles frantically against his own nature, longing for the effortless “safety” of an animal's consciousness, which he cannot recapture, and rebelling against a human consciousness,
                          which he is afraid to achieve.

                          “For years, scientists have been looking for a "missing link" between
                          man and animals. Perhaps that missing link is the anti-conceptual mentality.”

                          Rand deals with the subject of evolution only in the first sentence of the first paragraph above, and then changes the subject. She comes back to the subject in the second paragraph, and here she is completely wrong. Scientists did not use the term “missing link” in 1973 (or any other time, really) and she proposes the missing link might be the anti-conceptual mentality — and the anti-conceptual mentality has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of evolution.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                          • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
                            I didn't need all that.
                            You "Imposed" since you gave a different definition of ML and are assuming she is using that def.

                            She appropriately used "anti-conceptual mentality"; see also Vol !!, #16

                            I won't answer again - no value; nothing here is a negative on Rand.
                            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                            • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
                              To say she made a mistake is not negative. It would normally show humanity. I suspect her viewpoint was as much based upon making her several writings saying humans are born with no instincts and evolution would dispute that, thus she did not want to deal with the subject. An issue of cognative dissonance.
                              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
      You are misrepresenting Obj.ist views.
      1. It is ok to like certain aspects of any other movements; just don't identify yourself as 2 things at the same time that are in conflict.
      2. "They" have never claimed that an Obj.ist has to accept every word of Rand; but certainly he has to accept all the philosophical fundamentals, otherwise don't call yourself an Obj.ist.
      3. A true Obj.ist is never rationalistic.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ sjatkins 4 years, 7 months ago
        You state I am misrepresenting Objectivist views but you do not show it.
        I support the Libertarian Party as being the only current on the ballot in all states political party that comes close to rational political views.
        What ARI calls "fundamentals" and what I believe from my own deep reading and study are truly the "fundamentals" are not the same thing. As an Objectivist I must go with what I understand to be the core not with what some group claims is such.
        I would agree that a true Objectivist is not rationalistic. Which is why I have my doubts with ARI as I believe that they sometimes are.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
    I am confused by a few of points in your statement. The first being "[...] to achieve political or social goals". What of economic goals?

    Second, if a Libertarian is one who subscribes to NAP, then what is the purpose of the LP Platform? Is the NAP the basis of all LP positions? If so, how do you reconcile the conflicting points of view between Libertarian and Objectivist positions on foreign policy and national borders, for example?

    Also curious why you think Rand was against Libertarians?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      I quoted Rand's rant in the beginning. That is what told me she was against libertarians. Here is what I said above: Rand went on rants, literally, against Libertarians. Do not join, she says, “‘libertarian’” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.”[“Ayn Rand Letter,” Vol 1, No. 7, page 3, Jan. 3, 1972.]
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
        I understand, so two points.

        Rand in all her knowledge was probably unable to see how she would affect the libertarian movement. The libertarian movement of today is different from that in her day, from internal shifting as well as her influence. Our conversation is a testament to that.

        The second point is that she was reacting to specific persons within the libertarian movement. I am thinking specifically of Murray Rothbard.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          Could be she was thinking of Rothbard. She did not like anyone who held any ideas which might compete with her.

          I have been part of the libertarian movement since its founding, and before Johnson I did not see much change. Johnson, though, either through ignorance or lack of understanding has changed the chanel.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ sjatkins 4 years, 7 months ago
      There is no frozen LP position on national borders. Could you say more what differences you are referring to?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
        I really don’t have the ability to be more clear. The one and the only principle uniting libertarians is the NAP. Therefore, all sorts of other opinions, beliefs, whatever you wish to term them, are possible. One cannot expand the one and only principle to encompass other political positions --- except when those other political positions conflict with the NAP. Certainly building a fence around your own home does not violate the NAP and there will be people on both sides of the issue as to whether you should do it.
        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 Hot_Black_Desiato 4 years, 7 months ago
    "I will not say that all Democrats are horse thieves, but it would seem that all horse thieves are Democrats." Roosevelt: "THE LION AND
    THE FOX " A Harvest Book HARCOURT, BRACE & WORLD, INC. New York .

    So does this by extension imply that an Objectivist has some litmus test to call themselves an Objectivist?

    Can one be Libertarian and Objectivist? Religious and Objectivist, must all Objectivists conform to atheism and the view of "some" objectivists?

    If one states that to be Objectivist you cannot be Libertarian, Religious, must be an atheist, you are in essence denying anothers FREEDOM to choose and believe based on THEIR personal reasoning the very thing that the Objectivist claims to extol. Freedom of Choice, Free Will.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 7 months ago
    Objectivism is not a political party. It's a method by which any belief or control sysem - secular, religious commericial whatever - can use to check their premises and their beliefs.

    The biggest hurdle is step one learning how to think independently. The second is observing the nature of things and then testing the observations for anything useful AND then to keep testing as new information comes to light or is observed. The third is forming a set of personal moral values and ethics and judging what to do with the findings of step two.

    If honest with yourself it will guide all sorts of choices. Secular, religious, commercial economic whatever.

    If dishonest with yourself it won't stop you from choosing the wrong path nor absolve you of the consequences.

    The reason Libertarians have been said to be not objectivist is they show little evidence of applying objectivism while the Rinos of the let and the extremist of the left show no evidence of using such a validation system as objectivism.

    The rest especially when a group grope answer is sought is BS. Only one vote is needed based on one set of observations and one individuals morals, values and ethics. And most never make it to much less beyond step one, For once Esceptico got it right. But I would argue choosing communism or nazi-ism is an example of the failure to apply the the three rules or laws of objectivism starting with number one. It' pure Plato collectivism and that's where while admitting libertarians can be anything they want also shows why they are not using objectivism especially the third step.

    But thanks for stating the prime objective of Libertarians. I can agree NAP as long as the second line says has the right to defend oneself and one's family against aggression initiatied by others. I assume it's there somewhere ---maybe?

    But stating they can be left wing extremists was a step too far. In the end you ...lose. I see that as a major failure in the use of false premises
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
      This from Rand:
      For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with, and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultanteously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.
      I would +1 again if I could.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
      But I would argue choosing communism or nazi-ism is an example of the failure to apply the the three rules or laws of objectivism starting with number one.
      +1
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
        In theory, communism can comply with the NAP. Of course they would all starve to death and Rand was correct when she says evil will collapse upon itself if we just leave it alone. But in reality, all of the collectivist ideas require the use of force, and that does violate NAP.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
          I disagree that communism complies with the NAP. The Communist Manifesto explicitly states that overthrow of existing bourgeoisie is necessary to achieve communism, in theory. Communism necessarily follows the path from altruism to collectivism to force.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by mia767ca 4 years, 7 months ago
    i went thru the schism in Objectivism as i am sure you did also...what a disappointing mess...

    then the purism of "if you ain't pure Objectivist, you ain't s**t"...so sad...

    i like Harry Browne the best...Life Free in an Unfree World...

    and Eric Hoffer...True Believer...

    or my spinach loving friend...I am what I am ...good old popeye the sailor man...
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by GMudd 4 years, 7 months ago
    I personally don't like to think of myself as anything more than a logical analytical thinker. Any more labels and I start to feel the walls of classification close in on me. I am who I am and I don't care what liberal/conservative pool I fall into. My mind can be changed based upon points made by self education or others persuasive arguments.

    My advice to you is, until someone proves you wrong you are correct in your assumptions. You can be both Libertarian and Objectivist, although this would be based upon the definitions which you have furnished in your comments. If someone else has a different understanding of what those two words mean then it would be possible that both categories are inconsistent with one another.

    I personally prefer to avoid labels altogether because I find them to be silly and constraining.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
      If you want to be an Obj.ist, you cannot avoid the label: you have to hold all fundamental principles.
      And Libertarianism does not do that, this you can't be both.
      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 $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 7 months ago
        I don't believe any of you or very few get it. Can't compare apples to kumquats.

        The idea of Libertarianism philosophically based and turned into a political system.
        All of These systems we'll call Apples Galas
        .
        So is the idea of a Constutional Republic Fujis
        So is the idea of a representative Democracy Granniy Smiths
        So are Monarchys and Consittutional Monarchies GoldenDelicious
        So is the idea of Socialism. It like the others is s based on philosophy what else Red Delicious

        Some add in their own system of economics notably Socialism including in it's more extremists versions State Economics. Some used capitalism some a mixture Some hold economics as part and parcel of the mix some use economics from another system. But they are not apples So we'll cal lthem oranges. Valencias and Navel's They are not apples.

        All are based on some basic philosophical idea or belief. But while they may cause and oranges they are neither. one they are things like cropo farming or orchards but I' would say pears but they aren't fruit either. Each leads to another but is not the same thing.

        One particular Philosophy led to something different, all encompassing in it;s own way. It discovered the secret of and the purpose of validating the subsequent ideas, the work, the outcome and finding it useful or not useful You can't eat it. It's purpose is observing and testing.

        It won't grow apples, operate an orange, ripen a pear but it will tell you a lot about apples, oranges, and pears It's so different I'm going to think of a different name. It will tell you what you want to know and allow you to see ways to improve your orchard operation. Then you must choose to pay heed to those observations and keep observing or disregard them.

        So you say . hmmmm his fruit really isn't a fruit we'll call it something more basic. Hammer after all it is a tool.

        Now compare them.

        Along comes the County Extension Agent and checks your operation. Does some soil testing and recommends some changes. He uses a carrot to do so. First the apples, then the oranges, then recommends changing pears to another variety. He' using the tool of objectivism.

        Along comes your wife picks some of each and arranges them in a basket. She chooses them objectively but arranges them creatively and that's ok in this case. Wives are always right in the endl Later she will create a couple of pies which is the main objective.

        Point is you can't compare one to the other except in how they work together or don't work together. Did he arrangement int he basket work. Did the slice of apple pie with a bit of cheese on top work. Bingo. They worked together. But that sashimi radish pie was a ......not so good.

        So you can't be an objectivist in the way you can be a PIR member in Mexico or a Labor Party member in England or a Libertarian in the USA BUT you can use objectivism to find out if those ideas work on their own or together. What needs chaniging or improving, discarding or replacing,

        The wife won't say. I know you love kumquats and sashimi radishes but really they have to go. She's got her own reasons. If you want to sackseed in your field Mr. Farmer listen to what she's telling you.

        But try to turn the Fuji into a Valencia it isn't going to work. They are truly apples and oranges.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 7 months ago
    Objectivism is a complete philosophy, Libertarianism is a political party searching for acceptance. In order for an Objectivist to be a Libertarian, he must compromise principles. Compromise is anathema to an Objectivist, but is inherent to Libertarians.

    Objectivists accept/understand that the initiation of force against others is not a philosophically acceptable means of furthering life of a rationally reasoning animal, while Libertarians have taken the principle and redefined it as the Non-Aggression Principle, a pacifist philosophy of life. Objectivist understand aggression applied to the actions of principle in furtherance of life as a desirable attribute, ie "A Radical for Capitalism".

    All politics and political parties, by their very nature, are searches for power and include compromise as a means to achieve that goal. Objectivism sees political parties as anti-individual and anti-life, as well as non-principled. An Objectivist will never be a Party member, basing his vote on that Party but will place his vote instead, for an individual based on demonstrated principles and actions consistent with those principles.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ CBJ 4 years, 7 months ago
      RE: “An Objectivist will never be a Party member, basing his vote on that Party but will place his vote instead, for an individual based on demonstrated principles and actions consistent with those principles.” This would be news to Ayn Rand, who supported Richard Nixon twice, both before and after he had instituted wage and price controls.

      And the non-aggression principle is not a “pacifist philosophy of life” as you claim. According to the Mises Institute wiki, “In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense.” http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Principle_...
      And according to the Libertarian Party platform, “The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights—life, liberty, and justly acquired property—against aggression. . . We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense.” http://www.lp.org/platform

      Pacifist? Hardly!
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 7 months ago
        CBJ; You're correct in that Rand did endorse Nixon. In 'Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A,' she answers some direct questions about Nixon and a lot on the politics of that time: "I endorsed Nixon in 1968, not very enthusiastically, on the premise that he was the lesser of two evils, But I no longer think I can vote for him.(Given her disgust for the 1972 Democratic candidate, George McGovern, AR did support Nixon in that election." Then she went on to say, "Nixon is not very consistent. But at least he's never attempted to redistribute your wealth. He's not a power luster. Nixon's wage and price controls were vicious, but he wasn't asking for personal power and doesn't want to control your personal life." But you'll note that her endorsement was not based on political party, but rather on what she thought of him in comparison to his opponents You'll note that further in that Q&A she described not voting during Eisenhower's elections, for either man or party.

        And as to the Mises Institute's definitions--They define themselves as: :We are the worldwide epicenter of the Austrian economics movement." To get a better handle on an Objectivist read of Austrian economics, I highly recommend Dale Halling's (dbhalling here in the Gulch) work and writings on the subject vs. an Objectivist's thinking on economics...But in Rand's Objectivism, she prescribes self defense as 'retaliatory and only that necessary to stop the force involved.' and the Libertarians in your quote again use 'against aggression' as what's to be defended against and as I pointed out in my response to Escepio above, aggression as used by Libertarians includes the synonyms of: (confidence, self-confidence, boldness, determination, forcefulness, vigor, energy, zeal)*

        While I can agree that there are some, maybe even many, areas in which both Objectivists and Libertarians can agree on goals to further individual liberty, as even some religionists, I'll still maintain that Objectivists cannot be Libertarians, though they might ally with them.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ CBJ 4 years, 7 months ago
          Zenphamy, I disagree on several counts:

          1) Ayn Rand never said or implied that being a political party member is in itself incompatible with Objectivism. I’m pretty sure, for example, that Alan Greenspan was/is a Republican, but that didn’t deter Rand from showing up when then-President Ford appointed him head of his Council of Economic Advisors.

          2) Although the LP platform does not define aggression, it is clear from the context that it means “initiation of force”. It would be nonsense to support “the defense of individual rights against confidence, self-confidence, boldness, determination, forcefulness, vigor, energy and zeal.” No libertarian uses the term as you define it.

          3) Libertarians use the term “aggression” (meaning initiation of force) in a limited context (political and social) not because they are striving to be “politically correct”, but because libertarianism is a political movement, not an overall philosophy. Ayn Rand’s formulation covers more ground because Objectivism is an overall philosophy. Big difference.

          Many (likely most) libertarians are not anarchists or opposed to private property (including IP). The non-aggression principle (or non-initiation-of-force principle) is all that libertarians really have in common. Since Objectivists also accept this principle, an Objectivist can indeed be a libertarian.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
            "Libertarianism is a political movement, not an overall philosophy. Ayn Rand’s formulation covers more ground because Objectivism is an overall philosophy." True.

            "The non-aggression principle (or non-initiation-of-force principle) is all that libertarians really have in common." The trouble I have with the statement is that the LP platform is based on a political movement, not a philosophy, and therefore it does not define it philosophically - which is to say "why is the initiation of force evil"?

            That is to say, without philosophy, how can one go from the non-initiation-of-force principle to a platform? Of course, the platforms of two LP members may be different from another, but then the question remains: what makes it a political party? It must be a loose collection of similar beliefs. The loose collection of similar beliefs may be correct beliefs but the lack of philosophic answers makes the movement susceptible to vast differences of opinion. It is a collection of opinions, not a structure of facts.

            John Stossel hosted a Libertarian from the CATO institute who supported Bernie Sanders and claimed that even Hayek found it necessary to provide a safety net to the poor and disenfranchised. That kind of comment represents an alien or sometimes even repulsive set of values to other Libertarians. How much more so for those who hold the initiation of force as the evil? How much more so for Objectivists?
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by $ CBJ 4 years, 7 months ago
              RE: “without philosophy, how can one go from the non-initiation-of-force principle to a platform?” Basically, we just say “This is a principle we subscribe to, and the LP platform is based on this principle.” There can be multiple underlying philosophies that lead to this principle. The content of the platform follows from the principle itself, not the means of deriving it. Of course there may be “vast differences of opinion” within the party, but that is true of any other political party as well. The purpose of any political party is (or should be) to achieve its goals in the political arena, not to settle philosophical differences.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          I see it differently because to me Objectivists often read too much into what is actually said when it comes to libertarian. Remember, the LP is a political party, and it is in that context one must read “I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.” I find myself very close to most Objectivist doctrine and the LP. When I make a Venn diagram, I see no mutual exclusion between them. Have you done a Venn diagram?

          As to goals of the LP as a party, that is different from the question I posed and strays from that core.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      What principles does an Objectivist compromise by agreeing with the NAP?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 7 months ago
        The very first is the misuse of language such as the NAP (non-aggression principle), ie. Aggression does not equal the initiation of force only. It's been redefined, much as had selfishness prior to Ayn Rand's reclaiming of the word, since circa 1900 to impute a negative connotation in a social context by social scientist.

        Aggression (3rd of 3 definitions):
        forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one's aims and interests.
        synonyms: confidence, self-confidence, boldness, determination, forcefulness, vigor, energy, zeal

        The scientific study of aggressive behavior was hampered for years because of different understandings of the word “ aggression. ” Aggressive toddlers are generally considered bad. However, in sports and in business, the term “ aggressive ” is frequently given a positive connotation as a trait to be admired. Consequently, one of the first steps scientists (scientist used in this context means social scientist) had to undertake was to define aggressive behavior clearly as a negative social behavior. (u.mich/2010.Bushman&Huesmann.Aggression.HandbookSocial

        Both of the above are positive definition uses of the word 'Aggression', as was Rand's reclaiming of 'selfishness', away from the social science, political correctness efforts to control cognitive behavior.

        Libertarian definition: I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.”

        Ayn Rand definition of use of force: ..."no man may initiate—do you hear me? No man may start—the use of physical force against others.”

        Rand's didn't use the word aggression, she used physical force in an absolute context, while Libertarians change that to aggression in the pursuit of 'political or social goals'. Libertarians continue that 'political correctness' and drive for inclusiveness, throughout their alleged definitions of laissez faire capitalism to anarcho-capitalism, private property as anti-liberty, IP as slowing down progress, and etc.,etc.

        At this point in time, Libertarians are so far away from the Classical Liberals and from Objectivism, both strongly defining and supportive of the primacy of Individual Rights, as to be nearly unrecognizable.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 years, 7 months ago
          Thanks for the education, Zen. I had incorrectly equated the term "non-aggression principle" to mean what Rand had defined in her definition of the use of force. In my mind, what I have always agreed with was the Objectivist principle. Prior to your explanation, I had not seen how the libertarian coinage of the NAP had compromised the definition.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 7 months ago
            jim; Thanks for reading and for commenting. These problems of definition and 'PC' redefinition of words and terms, even concepts, has been one of the most significant issues I've faced in my life, particularly when discussing or even attempting to understand an issue from available literature and sources, and seems to be most prevalent in the so called 'Social/Behavioral Sciences or Social Engineering Motivated studies in Real Sciences ie. AGW'.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          I see it differently because to me Objectivists read too much into what is actually said when it comes to libertarian. Remember, the LP is a political party, and it is in that context one must read “I certify that I oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.” I find myself very close to most Objectivist doctrine and the LP. When I make a Venn diagram, I see no mutual exclusion between them. Have you done a Venn diagram?
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ TomB666 4 years, 7 months ago
    They are not. The problem with 'official' Objectivism is that it is dogmatic to the point of absurdity. David Kelley was ostracized by Leonard because Kelley said there might be more that fits the Objectivism umbrella then just what Rand had specifically articulated. While Rand said we should use our minds and reason what is true or not, LP has interpreted that to mean 'so long as we agree with everything she said.' Whenever someone wants to expand or expound upon Objectivism, he will be deemed unworthy to call himself and Objectivist.

    I stopped worrying about that a long time ago - I think what I think and know what I know and that suits me just fine. No one can tell me I can't subscribe to Galt's Oath, whether he thinks I'm 'good' enough to be an Objectivist or not.

    Both Objectivism and Libertarianism have adherents that I prefer not to associate with, but that doesn't mean there is not some truth in both.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
      Is your definition of official Objectivism that expounded upon by Leonard Peikoff?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ TomB666 4 years, 7 months ago
        It is my understanding (based on pronouncements made by LP) that Rand left Objectivism to LP - that her wish was that he be the final arbitrator as to all things dealing with Objectivism. If that is incorrect please let me know???
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by rbroberg 4 years, 7 months ago
          No, I think that is correct, though, I am thinking of Binswanger, Bernstein, Biddle, and Brook as a few Objectivists who could potentially be seen as "official" in one sense or another.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by helidrvr 4 years, 7 months ago
    The NAP does not come in flavors. The NAP is categorically ant-state. If my understanding that objectivism is essentially "minarchist" is correct.and if a libertarian is one "who subscribes to the NAP", then logically objectivists are not libertarians and vice versa. The two are mutually exclusive.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by craigerb 4 years, 7 months ago
      This is a logical error: just because being an Objectivist does not entail being a libertarian and vice versa, it does not follow the two are mutually exclusive.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
        That was my point. I have had innumerable Objectivists tell me the two are mutually exclusive and I was not a “true” Objectivist if I did not understand. Eric Hoffer lives well within those souls.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      I do not see how NAP is anti-state. The purpose of the state is, in essence, to protect each individual against agression.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by helidrvr 4 years, 7 months ago
        The state never protects individuals against aggression committed by the state itself. This is why the idea that the state protects one from (all) aggression is is a logical fallacy.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
          "Government begins by protecting some against others and ends up protecting itself against everyone." ~~Robert LeFevre, The Nature of Man and His Government. I wonder how Rand would have described LeFevre.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by jdg 4 years, 7 months ago
          This is the core of the minarchist vs. anarchist debate: Is it more hazardous to trust the police to purge themselves of bad guys, or to abolish them and have to fight bad guys ourselves?

          If it were up to me, I would do away with the separation of powers and allow the public, at town meetings, to directly discipline police officers, making all alleged misconduct cases completely public. I would also give people the right to resist police when the police are violating their rights.
          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 $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 7 months ago
      Exactly because they are apples and oranges. One is a political system based on whatever and the second is a philosophic system applicable to any religion, political belief, even running a commercial enterprise. One validates and folows or invalidates and changes depending on their structure of Rule Three and their individual honesty. Which is another word for being objective.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by DLBPDX 4 years, 7 months ago
    As an individual who agrees primarily with bot ojbectivism and libertarian thinking, it my sole observation that Rand may have been over generalizing Libertarians as all hippies etc... perhaps her basis was on the then past newly formed Libertarian party platform in the United States of the early mid 1970s era.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
      Initially I thought that, too. I was around when she started her anti-libertarian rants claiming they were plagiarizing her work (which was not true). But she, and the dogmatic side of Objectivism kept up the rampage --- even until today.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Watcher55 4 years, 7 months ago
    I wouldn't say that Objectivists can't be Libertarians. After all, significant elements of political philosophy overlap, notably the "no initiation of physical force".

    However for the many reasons "mainstream" Objectivists tend to be dismissive of the Libertarian Party (what we could call capital-L Libertarians), it might not do them any good. That is, I suspect that if the Libertarian Party ever achieved power, its Objectivist wing would do as well as the moderate branches of the Russian Revolution did after the revolution. Or even the slightly less vicious branches (Trotsky, please call your office). The Libertarian Party is rather a philosophical mess, and the one thing power is good at (yes, Virginia, even if the Libertarians had it) is selecting for the most vicious.

    Sure, it is hard to imagine the Libertarian Party being truly equivalent to the Communists; but I think the same principle would apply on a lesser scale.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by mspalding 4 years, 7 months ago
    The oddest bit is that many Objectivists support the Republicans while vilifying the Libertarians. Really? The Republicans' only philosophy is to get elected. They will (and have) supported any rights violating policies if it gets them votes.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by tdechaine 4 years, 7 months ago
    You mis-defined Libertarian; it is certainly much more than being pro-NAP. E.g. Lib.ism is not founded on Obj.ist morality; foreign policy is significantly different. (There is plenty in the literature defining differences.)
    Obj.ism is a complete philosophy; Lib.ism, like religion, is not a true philosophy.
    An Obj.ist, by definition, upholds all the fundamental tenants of Obj.ism. Thus, one can't be both an Obj.ist and a Lib.ian. This need not be an emotional debate.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo