Key understanding of Progressivism: John Rawls

Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 6 months ago to Philosophy
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This notion of social justice turns on its head the Founders' notion that a man owned himself and his talents: what Rand referred to as the products of the mind.
SOURCE URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Theory_of_Justice


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  • Posted by ewv 3 years, 6 months ago
    Ayn Rand thoroughly dissected and dispensed with the academic promotion of Rawls' "theory of justice" denying justice in her “An Untitled Letter” re-published in her anthology Philosophy: Who Needs It.
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    • Posted by $ 3 years, 6 months ago
      Yes. It is still important, however, to understand the source of this theory, as it is prevalent in many institutions of higher learning and politics - though many are probably unaware of this fact.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 years, 6 months ago
        Today's egalitarian movement didn't begin with Rawls. Ayn Rand's article explained the source of it, the altruist premises of Rawls' rationalizations for egalitarianism, and how she expected Rawls' theory to be spread in the name of being an allegedly deep and superior theory -- just as it has been, beginning with the New York Times review by Cohen that she discussed in the article shortly after it and the promotion began.
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  • Posted by chad 3 years, 5 months ago
    There is only one way to disprove egalitarianism and that is with a free society where people can choose to live the lie and those who don't want to can live rationally. Even those who believe the lie will eventually recognize the disparity and quit (while still complaining and wanting force to be used to make everything equal) and live a rational life because it benefits them. To convince a man against his will, using violence to enforce freedom, and he will have the same opinion still, while trying to gain the 'right' to use force against the others to get his opinion imposed. In a free and fair marketplace the individuals will not have the same outcome. Since not all humans have the same superior ability the only way to make them equal is to reduce them to their lowest common ability, In a free market place even the dull will live better than they will under imposed equality. In the egalitarian society those who resist will be eliminated or constrained. Unfortunately we have no place that this can be demonstrated. We do not live in a free society in America. Those who would use violence to enforce tyranny have been found and employed by the government and there are too many to resist without becoming an ineffective martyr for the cause of reason.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 years, 5 months ago
      There is no political solution or demonstration possible to eradicate wrong philosophical ideas. Egalitarianism and has been shown to be a failure in practice over and over. It makes no difference to those with a collectivist-altruist standard as their moral ideal.

      But who is speaking against Rawls and the egalitarians? As Ayn Rand wrote in her article on the promotion of Rawls:

      "But it is only by default—by intellectual default—that theories such as Kant's or Rawls's can win. An intransigent, rational opposition could have stopped Kant in his time. Rawls is easier to defeat—particularly in this country, which is the living monument to a diametrically opposite philosophy... If there is any spirit of rebellion on American campuses (and elsewhere), here is an evil to rebel against, to rebel intellectually, righteously, intransigently: any hint, touch, smell, or trial balloon of A Theory of Justice and of the egalitarian movement."

      If you are concerned about the Rawls fad and egalitarianism promoted as "justice", read Ayn Rand's article referred to on this page https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post....
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  • Posted by giallopudding 3 years, 6 months ago
    I think the origins of egalitarianism can be traced back at least as far as Plato and the thinking espoused in his Republic, one of the most influential books in Western Civilization. Is it a flaw in our collective DNA as a species, to easily fall prey to the lie of equality? Thomas Sowell lumped people into two camps, those who believe in Constrained vs Unconstrained government. Tom Woods discusses this in one of his recent podcasts...the utopian ideals of the Unconstrained view of government think people are infinitely malleable, given the right leadership, and that equality of outcome is actually a possibility if enough people believe in it and actively strive for it. This big lie seems to have been with our species forever, like an ancient herpes virus.
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    • Posted by $ 3 years, 6 months ago
      Can you expound more on Republic? When I read that I got from it that he was espousing a government based on perceived intellect where the farmers were the lowest class (again by intellect), the merchants were next, the soldiers next and the highest were civil servants. I didn't really get "egalitarian" from that at all.

      Also, I know of Thomas Sowell (recently retired economist), but I'm not familiar with Tom Woods. Any more about him you can share?
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      • Posted by giallopudding 3 years, 5 months ago
        I stand corrected, in that the word "egalitarianism"in the formal sense, is probably not the best word to apply to Plato (although with respect to his advocacy of women's rights you could say it is)... better descriptors might be utopianism or statism.
        What I am getting at regarding The Republic is the incorrectness of Plato's social engineering scheme, whereby he thought government (ostensibly through coercion), is suited to dictate the social status and occupations of people, and even forbid some professions from existing at all (artists, for ex) based on the idea that outcomes can somehow be controlled by leaders who are smarter and more empathetic than the masses, yielding an overall happy populace.
        This is a supremely utopian idea, ungrounded in reality, wherein leaders invariably will be corrupted to the degree of the amount of power and control they are given over others, and human beings who are not allowed the freedom to pursue their personal ends at will end up having their spirits crushed, and become inefficient automatons (modern era communist regimes illustrate the implementation of Platonic utopianism). I appreciate you raising this point.
        Regarding Tom Woods, he is a learned historian, and brilliant debater, and carries the torch of liberty and libertarianism daily though his excellent podcast: http://tomwoods.com/podcasts/ I highly recommend listening to all of his podcasts, and reading his books. His guests are stellar. For example, the inimitable Michael Malice has been on a few times, and Woods went so far as to conduct a debate with Malice over the statement: “Alexander Hamilton was a hero for the cause of liberty". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeE_s...
        Woods is a very gracious man, and a deep thinker, and has a broad knowledge of, and appreciate for the ideas of Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Hans-Herman Hoppe and other brilliant 20th century Austrian school thinkers, as well as many classical philosophers and economists. I urge you to explore the ideas of these men, because if you haven't already, you are in for a rare intellectual treat.
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        • Posted by $ 3 years, 5 months ago
          I agree with you regarding your assessment of Plato. It was very similar to what I got out of it.

          And thanks for sharing about Tom Woods. I'll have to go check him out.
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