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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 3 months ago
    I know Trump is no Objectivist, but perhaps we are getting a much better deal than we expected ... or even hoped for. It sure could be a whole lot worse. I know I am sounding like a pragmatist, but I can and am willing to produce under these conditions.
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    • Posted by term2 2 years, 3 months ago
      Nothing wrong with pragmatism I thinnk. In the end, what is practical is what works. Objectivism stresses the things that ARE practical, even though the basis is philosophical.

      People can gain the advantages of cooperation only if they respect each other as human beings.
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      • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
        Pragmatism does not mean 'practical'. It is the philosophy that began with William James and others in Cambridge in the late 19th century, an import from Europe resulting from the intellectual destruction of Kant and Hume. It is against principle on principle, and confuses truth with whatever "works". Listen to Leonard Peikoff's lecture on Pragmatism in its relation to the history of western philosophy and read some of the books by progressives extolling the results and influence of Pragmatism in American culture. Its impact on America for over a century has been horrendous. There is no similarity between Objectivism and Pragmatism.
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        • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 3 months ago
          And Trump is a pragmatist.
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          • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
            I don't think Trump is a Pragmatist (philosophically speaking). If he were, he would have been a lot more like Hillary both in the way he ran his campaign and his positions on the issues. And he wouldn't be appointing so many free-market advocates to cabinet positions. I think that, philosophically, Trump is eclectic (as in, "all over the map").
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        • Posted by term2 2 years, 3 months ago
          If Objectivism doesnt "work", then of what use is it in ones life? Isnt the final worth of some idea that it "works" in practice. Of what use is philosophy if it doesnt work in practice
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          • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
            Pragmatism is a philosophy. It does not mean everything that "works". Of course Objectivism works in practice. That does not make it Pragmatism.
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            • Posted by term2 2 years, 3 months ago
              i guess I should investigate the word pragmatism a bit more. I wonder where it would fail if practiced.
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              • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
                It fails everywhere. Leonard Peikoff said in his history of philosophy lectures that the problem with Pragmatism is that it doesn't work. But that is only an ironic summary of a very bad philosophy.

                It does not mean "good old American practical know how", but has had an enormous influence on American culture and progressive politics that dominates the political parties and the bureaucracies today. Be sure to listen to the Peikoff lectures on the history of western philosophy to see where Pragmatism came from and why, and what is wrong with it in all essentials.
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      • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
        Rand seemed to think of pragmatism as trying things without thought until something works. But pragmatism is thinking of ways to do something until one gets a working solution among those that are workable. One should not believe that every problem has just one solution. Technology has a history of the rethinking of a problem with improvements not thought of before being found. The whole system is pragmatic. There is no purely true philosophy that exists and believing that one's philosophy is that one true one is nothing more than a religious belief.
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        • Posted by term2 2 years, 3 months ago
          I suppose true believer objectivists might say that the issue is the definition of what "works".

          Perhaps also they think that its the philosophical basis of morality that is paramount, regardless of what "works". Maybe I am just a non intellectual deplorable, but I think thats reversed- its great to present a philosophical theory, but it has to be tested against the reality that would result from its adoption.

          I do think that there are very practical and observable results from the application of objectivist ideas, and pointing these out is a much more powerful way to convince the great mass of people to accept them than to spout philosophical principles that are over their heads.
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          • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
            You can say that about all ideas about reality and not just for official ideas of Rand. Some of hers ideas required way too much judgement of every thought and every statement of others to the result of completely emotionless thinking without any way to find happiness. In many cases it is not possible to choose an action without the choice of pleasure as the defining motive. It is easy to injure a consciousness by discarding emotion and bodily feelings from all cognition. Of course many of the original ideas of hers are useful and might make lives better, so with most ideas just question them and dump the ones that do not fit objective reality, remembering that what you get has been filtered though some parts of the brain that include very ancient reptilian and mammalian filters of sense data.
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            • Posted by term2 2 years, 3 months ago
              Interesting that the old adage "treat others as you would have them treat you" leads one pretty close to the objectivist view of human rights- and its easy to understand and make work for you.
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              • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
                I still prefer the old Jewish negative form of that: "Don't do to others what you do not like'. It does not direct action toward others and is more of a governing principle keeping actions from overheating and causing strife in society. Less likely to be used to justify sadomasochism.
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        • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
          "Brought up on the philosophy of Pragmatism, they (liberals) have been taught that principles are unprovable, impractical or non-existent—which has destroyed their ability to integrate ideas, to deal with abstractions, and to see beyond the range of the immediate moment." --Ayn Rand, Credibility and Polarization, The Ayn Rand Letter, October 11, 1971.
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          • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
            And how does one form those principles and prove them without observing a practical, concrete objective reality. Pragmatism deals with meanings of reality and those cannot be produced without observing reality. Rand at times formed principles a priori without actual concretes to point to with the resulting principle. The most referenced example would be 'man's life qua man' because it just floats there with no concretes pointed too, only lives as an ideal man, 'qua man', which is not a concrete, unless one wants to pretend that it is reifiable, but concepts are not part of the concrete world and only refer to it.
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            • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
              I think Ayn Rand simply meant that human beings have a specific nature, and have the right to live their lives in accordance with that nature. Many concrete examples of what she considered proper and improper behavior were spelled out in her writings on politics, ethics, and values.
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              • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
                And just who was Ayn Rand to decide what was proper and improper behavior 'qua man'? I suppose she could be aware of many of mankind and abstract an ideal man from whatever standards of man that she had and create her standard of morality as 'qua man' after the fact of first deciding upon 'mans life'? There are no concretes to be integrated into a 'qua man' standard for the man-unit of the individual consciousness which is the only concrete that has an alternative of life or death while life itself has no alternatives, having no awareness as such and no reason to exist or not for directing its actions for survival which depends only on chemical processes that have no awareness. It is only to life with awareness that can possibly have any possibility of directing its actions to maintain that awareness for existing or not. The existence of consciousness makes alternatives possible.
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                • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
                  Re: “And just who was Ayn Rand to decide what was proper and improper behavior 'qua man'?” Are you referring to her qualifications or to her decision-making methods? The “concretes to be integrated into a 'qua man' standard” are individual instances of the concept “man” – individual human beings with a specific nature (conscious rational animal) and a specific means of survival (using one’s mind).
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                  • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
                    Her qualifications were that she thought about what she wrote. Her decision making methods when in the Collective were many times, as reported by those who were excommunicated for wrong thoughts, were extremely emotional when dealing with students and those within the Collective. I realize that Branden and Peikoff were the most harsh with any kind of statements or actions that did not fit their beliefs but Rand went along with it until Branden didn't let her know that he was having an affair with a student and no longer would have the affair with her, hers being open with Barbara and Frank having to go along with it and pretty much ruining their lives.

                    You might guess that I do not accept her whole philosophy as somehow proved as completely objective. It being a religion if not questionable. Perhaps Conservatives are right to pick and choose what they can accept of the philosophy and discard some of the atheistic metaphysics and of the selfishness oriented ethics. +
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  • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 3 months ago
    Trump is not an Objectivist. I think this is attempt to smear Ayn Rand. When Trump screws up they will say this is what happens if you follow objectivism.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
      Or in their minds, an attempt to smear Trump by linking him with Ayn Rand. They don't like and don't understand Ayn Rand, but their sense of smell tells them she is their enemy. The left doesn't like Trump, fears him for the wrong reasons, and doesn't know how to articulate what he is.
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    • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 3 months ago
      Of course, you are correct. Does that make it worth holding Trump's feet to the fire, so that Objectivism might have a future?
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      • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
        Trump's feet should be held to the fire regardless of what he or anyone else says about Trump and Objectivism. He is a dangerous man with an anti-intellectual authoritarian mentality.
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        • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
          His cabinet picks are not consistent with either anti-intellectualism or authoritarianism. He is dangerous mainly to the political establishment of both major parties.
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          • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
            His authoritarian statism is dangerous to us and to the country. He is making political appointments to carry out and impose is own ideas of how he will run the country and the economy while threatening those who don't go along. Presidents are not supposed to run the country and the economy. He is supposed to be the executive implementing laws passed by Congress, which in turn are not supposed to control us. The administration is not supposed to be the Trump family business.

            Some of his cabinet selections are the best that can be expected under current circumstances and are not what Clinton's continuation and intensifying of the Obama agenda would have been. Others are much worse. But they are all conservatives and Pragmatists with the typical view of government as a tool to make things "work" in whatever realm they think is important, selected to impose Trump's own executive decrees in how he will "run" the country.

            His recent choice of Secretary of State is suspect at best: It's another Trump emphasis on "making deals" without regard to principles and enunciated policy, let alone respect for the rights of individuals such as his dealings with his crony Putin. Principles and foreign policy have not even been discussed -- only deal making.

            His latest announcement of Zinke nominated as Secretary of the Interior is terrible, but few are paying attention to it. Zinke, like Trujmp, is an advocate for permanent Federal control of the land and expanding its domain. As a Republican on the House Resources Committee he has fought reforms of the Federal land agencies and has pushed for expanded funding for Federal acquisition. His support of energy production is not the complete lock it up preservationist mentality of the viros, but is still the Federal authoritarianism of control over the land and its use. Eco-fascism is not the only form of fascism.

            Zinke was selected under pressure from the Trump "kids" who see the 30% of the land base under direct Federal control as their domain for upscale hunting expeditions while wallowing in the scenery. Rep. McMorris Rodgers, who had previously been reported as the selection, would have been much, much better, but was pushed out under this family pressure and the Federal land lobby the "kids" associate with.

            The vast and expanding Federal lands are to be the plaything of the new Trump family business under Trump's assumed executive authority to do what he wishes, and the rest of us are to do as we're told.
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    • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
      It is an attempt to smear Trump, not Rand. At least for the last 70 years, connecting Rand to a person has been a negative labeling, whether from the left or right with some exceptions, of a person has been to smear that person.
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  • Posted by wiggys 2 years, 3 months ago
    an insult to Ayn Rand and Objectivism to say that these people are Objectivists. Reading Ayn Rand's books and enjoying them is one thing, becoming an Objectivist is not the same. Let us see what these revolutionarys do over the next 12 months let alone 4 years. I expect a great many of you will be disappointed.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
      I won't be disappointed. I emphatically explained what is wrong with him beginning early in the primaries. Hillary was worse and had to be stopped, but it was a false alternative to a new extreme in this country. Getting rid of Cackles' collectivist mafia is no reason to rejoice over Trump.
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    • Posted by lrshultis 2 years, 3 months ago
      I doubt that I will be disappointed if they are not true believers and followers of Objectivism. All you have to do is look at the lives of the Objectivists both those not purged from the group and those who had the power to purge. Extreme judgement of others was the main part of the philosophy that they practiced where the slightest wrong thought was punished with long term therapy, aka brainwashing, until they repented. I sure would not want the government agents wondering if I had the right pure thoughts or whether I was reading the wrong books which would offend them in some way.
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    • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
      If the Trump administration manages to repeal Obamacare, free up energy policy, smash the political power of the "environmental" and "climate change" extremists, reduce individual and corporate tax rates, and appoint one or two non-"progressives" to the Supreme Court, I won't be disappointed at all.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 2 years, 3 months ago
    Hello CBJ,
    Yes. It would be nice. A wonderful daydream...
    Of course we know better. The author displays his ignorance within a few sentences ("...Ayn Rand, the LIBERTARIAN heroine who...").
    Still, like jbrenner, I have hopes and expectations that I can continue to produce under Trump's proposed policies.
    We shall see.
    Respectfully,
    O.A.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 3 months ago
    An administration of "Randoids."
    'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. As Wm. Shakespeare would have said. But reading a book or two does not an objectivist make.It is, however, nice to know that many in the incoming regime were inspired or influenced by Ayn Rand. If some of them actually became objectivists, They probably wouldn't publicly admit it, particularly because of the atheism component. Compared to the standards of the previous regime, I'll go for these people in a heartbeat.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 3 months ago
    This is one of the most annoying misunderstanding of Ayn Rand because it randomly jumps to various people's one-liner's about Rand without context. I get the idea the author may have read one of the books and knows he's lying.

    He seriously uses this as a reference, "Remember that scene in Dirty Dancing..." Some character held up a copy of the Fountainhead and said "Some people count, and some people don't." It sounds like the movie was trying to show this guy was such an ass he missed the entire point of the story. The author, though, takes it without irony as if this character had a reliable assessment of the book.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
      The one liners echoed from from people who didn't understand what they read are bad enough; the author then re-assembles them, one disparate piece at a time, into a regrouped fantasy theme of his own, misrepresenting the whole Trump organization -- Chinese menu style and resulting in a fabricated intellectual meal.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 3 months ago
        Yes. I love that summary.

        I wonder if readers unfamiliar with the Fountainhead wondered why the Post article pulls examples from movies and politicians instead of from the primary source: "hmm... It sounds like his book extols the virtues of people who get rich by looking good and playing politics and belittles nobodies working in a small office or doing manual labor because they're not good at sales and politics. I wonder why this article doesn't use those examples directly from the book."
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    • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
      I saw the movie, and my impression was that the screenwriter was anti-Rand and putting those words in the mouth of one of the movie's villains in an attempt to discredit her. But that was 1987 - Ayn Rand is much more popular and influential today, and I doubt that such a line would have the intended effect now.
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  • Posted by TomSwift 2 years, 3 months ago
    Funny how people think Trump could even get through one of Rand's books. Probably got through the first two pages, got bored, then tweeted about it.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 years, 3 months ago
    Who's an Objectivist?!! Someone who blames
    producers for escaping (as in the strike of the mind)
    in Atlas Shrugged, and threatens to punish them
    with even more taxation? Someone who gets
    chummy with Russian government officials?! It's
    amazing how upside-down some people think
    nowadays.
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  • Posted by EdGoldstein 2 years, 3 months ago
    It does not matter whether Trump is an objectivist, He is not a bureaucrat or politician, which is a huge improvment.
    He is a businessman and a builder who will bring an anti government attitude with him. This is the chance to shrink government that we have sought
    for years. It is the best we will get.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 years, 3 months ago
    Trump is certainly no Objectivist, but it's hard for anyone with a shred of common sense not to recognize how our government was sliding into the same abyss of failure Ayn Rand described in Atlas Shrugged. If Trump and his fellows treat Rand's writings as warning signs, the correction should be in a positive direction.

    I don't get into the debate arguing how "pure" one's Objectivist credentials are, as the resulting flap reminds me of fifteenth century clerics arguing over how many angels can reside on the head of a pin. No human can be a pure adherent to any belief system. I'll just be happy to see a stop to the collapse of our nation.
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  • Posted by joelhfx 2 years, 3 months ago
    I propose that any businessman of Trump's stature is by necessity intimately attached to objective reality in a fashion that cannot be compared to the average person. He is results driven and will use the state as a means to an end so do not expect minarchism from Trump. He is still a glass of fresh water in a long stretch of confused leaders.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
      A lot of authoritarians with a swaggering dictatorial mentality have been "results oriented" in their ends justifies the means tyranny.
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      • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
        Show me one swaggering dictator that would surround himself or herself with the type of free-market, anti-regulation cabinet members that Trump is picking. A dictator would go full throttle on bringing the entire economy under state control. Trump for the most part is going full throttle in the opposite direction.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
          Trump is not surrounding himself with "free-market" people. To the extent it helps business interests he understands and wants, he opposes regulations that hurt that; to the extent he wants business to do something else, he supports regulations and taxes as punishment.

          No president has pushed for "full throttle on bringing the entire country under state control." That does not make Trump and advocate of limited government and freedom. He is not a pro-freedom president. He supports a mixed economy run by a dictatorial mindset, as if the country is now his personal family business. Conservatives who support this because they expect or assume that he will do things they like are only revealing their own statism.
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          • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
            Perhaps Jeb Bush or John Kasich would be more to your liking. They would be polite and not ruffle anyone’s feathers, and they would get along nicely with Democrats in the spirit of bipartisanship and compromise. Of course they would not repeal Obamacare, but they would make it more efficient and “compassionate.”And they would make sure that we were properly deferential to the U.N. and “world leaders”. And they would populate their cabinet with like-minded people to make sure that America continues the policies of Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama as we continue our march into a progressive paradise.
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            • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
              Your post is non-responsive. Nothing I have written about Trump concerns "ruffling feathers" or "politeness" or endorsing establishment Republicans.
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              • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
                I was proposing alternatives to the “dictatorial mindset” you claim Trump has. If you want to mark me down for disagreeing with you, that’s your privilege. Contrary to your assertion, Trump certainly is surrounding himself with "free-market" people. They are not 100% consistent, any more than Trump is, but they are serious about rolling back the regulatory state – something that a dictator and his associates would never do.
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                • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
                  Everyone can read what you wrote and it wasn't "proposing alternatives".

                  That Trump has a dictatorial mindset is obvious from listening to him. It doesn't make him a full fledged dictator and no one said that. The trend, this time the ongoing Trump idolatry in the name of conservatism pretending to be "free market", is alarming.
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                  • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
                    Trump’s “dictatorial mindset” may be “obvious” to you, but I and many others find his mindset a lot less dictatorial than that of Hillary or any recent president. As for the “ongoing Trump idolatry” that alarms you so much, most of it stems from his ability and willingness to stand up to the real would-be dictators and begin dismantling their hold on power. I don’t know of anyone else in either major party capable of accomplishing what he is doing. Most people who voted for Trump are aware of his shortcomings, but view him as more of a liberator than a dictator. For now at least, that’s the case.
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                    • Posted by conscious1978 2 years, 3 months ago
                      Most of Trump's supporters morph him into whatever 'hero' they need to justify that support—most likely a reaction to the pent up rebellion against Clinton's embraced statism. The mental gymnastics manifested to support Trump, or Clinton, in this election cycle have been 'spectacular' and revealing.
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                    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 3 months ago
                      Trump's election keeping Clinton out is not a justification for the Trump idolatry. Conservatives who do that are following the 'man on the white horse' without regard for what he stands for. It is not enough to be against Clinton. His threatening businesses who leave the country, his open advocacy of eminent domain and Federal land control, and many other abusive positions are not "standing up to the real would-be dictators". So far his frightening statist pragmatist positions are right down there with JFKs Fascist New Frontier.
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  • Posted by hondo500 2 years, 3 months ago
    If we focus on the concept of the pursuit of excellence to satisfy self, Trump is a fine example that not only elevates himself, but also motivates others to do the same. In that context, Trump is a star pupil in the class of objectivists.
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  • Posted by chad 2 years, 3 months ago
    It is irrelevant if any of Trumps appointees are Ayn Rand fans. Alan Greenspan was supposedly a fan then when asked to work for the Federal Reserve he readily accepted the job. He did not dispense with the fiat banking system he worked with it and profited form it. (Reread Atlas Shrugged in case you missed why) If any objectivist accepts a cabinet position they have already betrayed their belief (or perhaps it would be correct to say they have revealed their true belief). If I were given the position of dictator of the world I would not accept it, or at the very least if the position were thrust upon me I would resign immediately. There is no position in the government of leading bureaus that should not exist that can be better if held by someone who professes belief in free agency and liberty. The hope that the slavers will produce fewer chains and perhaps even realize that slavery (even slavery to the state) is wrong because they claim to be objectivists is to place hope where there is none.
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    • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
      Before becoming Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan was appointed Chairman of President Ford's Council of Economic Advisors. Ayn Rand approved and attended the swearing-in ceremony. Did she betray her beliefs? http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/new...
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      • Posted by chad 2 years, 3 months ago
        She may have had a hope that he would change the direction of the economy from a fiat based monetary system to one that offers freedom from debt. He failed to live up to her expectations. There is a hope that working within a socialist/communist democracy the direction of the movement can be changed. It only serves to keep those who would change the system occupied while the system continues to be what it is. Can't really speak to the thoughts Ayn may have had about what would come of his position.
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        • Posted by  $  2 years, 3 months ago
          Re: “Can't really speak to the thoughts Ayn may have had about what would come of his position.” That is somewhat at variance with your earlier statement that “If any objectivist accepts a cabinet position they have already betrayed their belief (or perhaps it would be correct to say they have revealed their true belief).” Actually, we cannot infer very much about a person’s beliefs based on whether or not that person accepts an appointment to a government position that would not exist in an Objectivist society, and Ayn Rand never claimed that we could.
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 2 years, 3 months ago
    -- Tillerson prefers “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s novel about John Galt secretly organizing a strike of the creative class to hasten the collapse of the bureaucratic society.

    Is that not a counter strategy to the Obama/Clinton/Democrat/Cloward-Piven/Alynski effort to collapse the free part of society to build a larger bureaucracy??
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