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  • Posted by mspalding 4 years, 7 months ago
    Objectivism does recognize that a government is necessary as the last resort for the use of force. Force could be used to keep those who are contagious from infecting others. It could take the form of house arrest or quarantine. But the use of force is justified if you are exposing others to a deadly disease.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 4 years, 7 months ago
    I like Friedman's Involuntary Servitude example with respect to pollution, noise, pollution, communicable disease, etc. for such issues.

    If the actions of one person, compel another in some way, some remedy should be supported.

    I do not see how a set of interwoven interactions and a group (Societal) remedy is inconsistent with Objectivism's individuality as some have asserted here. Objectivism and Libertarianism are not anarchy.
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  • Posted by salta 4 years, 7 months ago
    I think the question contains a contradiction. It implies "society" has a responsibility to respond, which would be non-objectivist.
    Each individual responds to the threat of flu. A pandemic just means more individuals are having to deal with flu at the same time.
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 4 years, 7 months ago
    Individuals would perforce isolate themselves and invent new ways of communicating that did not involve face-to-face unless absolutely necessary. (That's easier done today than nearly a hundred years ago, as I'm sure we all appreciate.)

    But the argument assumes the Spanish 'Flu would necessarily be as bad as it was. I suspect other individuals would realize what was wrong with commonly accepted dietary practices and amend these to strengthen natural immunity. With the result that nothing like the 1918 event need ever happen again--or if it did, Galt's Gulch would be immune.
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  • Posted by unitedlc 4 years, 7 months ago
    Does an "Objectivist Society" actually "respond" to things? In other words, Objectivism is all about the individual, so each objectivist would do what he deems necessary to protect himself and his family/friends. Interesting topic.
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    • Posted by $ Dobrien 4 years, 7 months ago
      You aren't forgetting the ethical as in ethical self- interest are you? Just because you think in terms of your own interest does not mean you disregard the effect your actions have on others. If your are infectious an objectivist would avoid tainting others.
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      • Posted by unitedlc 4 years, 7 months ago
        Certainly not forgetting the ethical part. If somehow a 100% participation Objectivist society existed, then there probably wouldn't ever be a pandemic. If someone was deathly ill, they would quarantine themselves. By protecting my family, I implied staying home, wearing masks if we left the house, exercising caution not to contract or spread a disease.
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        • Posted by mccannon01 4 years, 7 months ago
          I like your thinking, unitedlc, but I don't think that's the way it will go. Objectivists are hard working people that won't let a little sniffle keep them home and by the time the sniffle asserts itself as a real flu, it's too late and the spreading has already begun.
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          • Posted by unitedlc 4 years, 7 months ago
            Good point. Are you suggesting a "threat of force" government intervention then? That is a difficult pill to swallow... pun intended.
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            • Posted by mccannon01 4 years, 7 months ago
              unitedlc, if you read my post you'll see I'm not suggesting any kind of containment scenario, but pointed out why, in a purely objectivist society, a pandemic may be unstoppable. I can speculate at scenarios of containment and survival. Perhaps once the objectivists realize what is happening, then even those with the sniffles (sniffles being used as a possible example of early disease symptom) will self quarantine and slow or stop the disease. On the other hand, if things get bad enough, any adherence to high ideals like Objectivism may be shoved aside and raw emotional self-survival instinct will take over, including demands government (whatever kind there is) "do something".
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          • Posted by $ Dobrien 4 years, 7 months ago
            True, they objectivists are efficient workers that produce at a high level but should also be conscious. So if you know you are coming down with something you can wash your hands more frequently avoid coughing in peoples face try to keep your germs some what contained, also an objectivist community would detect a building health crisis and respond quickly and effectively.
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  • Posted by $ Susanne 4 years, 7 months ago
    Interesting question - taking the baseline OF the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918 (and the years thereafter), looking at the then responses, I am not certain that the nature of the society would make much difference. You are talking about a major epidemiological event that, in some cases, wiped small communities and families from the map - My grandmother and aunt were the only survivors of the disaster from her family (the rest had either perished a decade before in a major earthquake in southern Italy, those that survived that (and WW1) got hit by the pandemic. My inlaws family had 1 (yes, one) survivor.

    You also have to remember the histological timeline of the era - we had just come our of a major war where the government DID, in fact, control most aspects of life with a heavy hand, and were loathe to renounce the immense power it held after the war, we had not yet regained a lot of the freedoms we once held and it was unknown if we ever would; the dollar had been Fedded in 1913, all in all -

    I'm not sure if a purely Objectivist society would have made a difference, looking at what we were just coming out of, and the scope of what we were going thru. A lot of troops were coming back to a workd they barely recognized - mechanization had taken hold during the war, they had been places and seen things that otherwise would have not been possible (until then most people lived their entire lives within a radius of less than 50 miles), people were in a surprising number of cases returning from the war and finding a more urban (and cosmopolitan) life rather than return to the farm... part of which help spread the pandemic...

    How would they respond? My guess - and that's the best I could do - is it would collapse a little deeper than it did until it eventually recovered. The few social nets such as they were (and back then there WERE few social nets - it's what was the reason for the big draw to the reds) wouldn't have existed, and more would have perished, either from the disease itself, or from the corresponding lack of goods and services as the population shrunk, inhibiting the market and production of said goods and services. Just like the population decimators during the plague eras, Less survivors = less production = less food = more starvation = higher mortality. Very likely, we would not have the technological advances we do now, simply because people would be working too hard to survive to put into innovation.
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  • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
    An objectivist society or group or "gulch" is bound to have enemies that want to destroy it. The conventional approach is to have a standing military that is prepared to ward off such attacks. Is a military consistent with the objectivist philosophy and if not how can objectivists protect themselves from assault?
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    • Posted by salta 4 years, 7 months ago
      An off-topic question. It looks like you pasted it from the same playbook as your topic question, as it also tries to imply an incorrect assumption within the question (that objectivists would not organize their own protection). Pity, we have come to expect a higher standard of trolling here in the gulch.
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      • Posted by 4 years, 7 months ago
        I don't have a playbook and these are my own thoughts. I am a strong supporter of the Objectivist view of reality. However enemies and disease are real and if a culture based on objectivist principals is to survive it must have a means of defense against these realities. In "conventional" communities this defense is provided at public expense by taxation and enforced by agencies prepared to use force to assure compliance. This approach seems to be in direct contradiction to objectivist principals and yet the threats are very real and if not countered the culture will suffer and even die. All living organisms have defense mechanisms that protect them from harm. What is Objectivism's defense mechanism?
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        • Posted by salta 4 years, 7 months ago
          You say you are a "strong supporter", yet you ask questions phrased like a newbie antagonist. Your military question is almost identical to another thread you started here over a year ago.
          I stand by my calling you out, and suggest you go back to troll HQ for a refresher course.
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  • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 4 years, 7 months ago
    I think the underlying question has to do with when one person's actions affect another. We are all happy to say things like "your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins",

    But what about communicable diseases? Does your right to avoid vaccination end at the point where you increase my risk? Since vaccines, especially flu vaccines are far from 100% effective it is not sufficient that I vaccinate myself. Having the people around me also vaccinated significantly lowers my personal risk.

    When dealing with a flu as deadly as the 1918 variant (10-20% mortality) this is a troubling issue,
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    • Posted by $ blarman 4 years, 7 months ago
      Vaccinations are effective for some plagues, but not for flu because there are over 10,000 variants and they just keep mutating. So in the case of flu, I'm not a big proponent of vaccinations. I take vaccinations on a disease-by-disease basis. Polio? Sure. HPV? No.

      Personal note: the only time I ever got a flu shot I immediately got sick and was out of work for two days. After that, I've never had another flu shot and I've only gotten a couple of colds (but who can really tell the difference between cold/flu?). That was 20 years ago.

      Another personal note: my wife had my youngest (a baby) at a doctor's appointment. The child was bored and crawling around and decided to start chewing on my wife's flip-flop/sandal. As that's generally not considered sanitary, my wife removed it from my child's mouth. All this was done as the doctor was approaching to take her back for her appointment. The doctor actually encouraged my wife to allow the child to continue chewing on the [dirty] sandal because in his words "it would improve her immune system". He said that kids should be allowed to crawl on dirty floors, play in the mud, and put dirty things in their mouths because it dramatically reduces the onset of allergies and builds up a healthy immune system against common diseases like cold and flu.

      Just my (doctor's) two cents.
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      • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 4 years, 7 months ago
        Like you, I find the flu shot causes me about as much inconvenience as the actual flu, so I skip it. On the other hand I rarely get the flu. When one of my employees, a healthy 26 year old woman, got H1N1 and died a number of years ago I got the H1N1 vaccine. I had a sore spot on my arm for over a year, but I perceived the risk as different.

        And, yes, the "hygiene hypothesis" your doctor was referring to speculates that without early encounters with microbes the immune system doesn't develop properly. There is also some evidence that unless you have some routine challenges to your immune system it get's "bored" and attacks you giving you auto-immune diseases.

        But, of course, this is a thought experiment. Since vaccines just give the immune system a head-start on fighting a given organism, they are often not 100% effective. Flu vaccines are around 60% (why you and I don't get them). But it matters how much you are exposed to the organism so having people around you vaccinated decreases the likelihood that your vaccine enhanced immune system will be able to defeat any organisms that make it into your body.

        When you are dealing with a disease such as the 1918 flu with a high mortality rate this changes the calculation, much like I took the H1N1 vaccination. The damned thing killed a healthy athletic woman in a couple weeks. We are also assuming that they have a vaccine available for that specific strain rather than the generic cocktail that they formulate every season in anticipation of what is going to be in the population.
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      • Posted by Maritimus 4 years, 7 months ago
        I completely subscribe to letting babies and children play in mud etc. and get dirty. We have practiced that with our two sons and they are now in their forties, with excellent immunities to all sort of things. Our pediatrician, at the time, thought that exposure to "dirt" was beneficial.
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      • Posted by rhfinle 4 years, 7 months ago
        Letting the child chew on dirt is a good idea out at the farm in 'clean' woods. I sure as hell wouldn't let them do it at a hospital or doctor's office. People catch things and die on those places.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 4 years, 7 months ago
    The impossible miracle of a completely objectivist society would quarantine the sick, wear masks and use a lot of soap and water.
    A sizable portion of our present society, the ones who think open borders is a good thing, would blame Trump and riot.
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  • Posted by $ puzzlelady 4 years, 2 months ago
    In a completely Objectivist society, all members would be fully rational and ethical and sharing that society by mutual consent, collaborating through division of labor and trading their individual production for mutual benefit. That would include medical research and methods of prevention. A pandemic would be detected at its inception and counteracted. Where such a society existed, it would have inspired all other social groupings to take on their values, so no wars and no force would exist. Rational people do not require force. Of course, such a society is an ideal long dreamed of, relationships based on the golden mean of mutual respect and individual sovereignty.

    Microbes and bacteria outnumber us. Some are useful. If they were rational, they would not kill their host. The good ones don't. Human science may yet find a way to develop a modus vivendi between us and the earliest lifeforms on earth.
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  • Posted by bassboat 4 years, 7 months ago
    A completely objectivist society would have no government in my world. People would be responsible for themselves and there would be of course doctors and hospitals that one could go to if the individual thought that it was in his/her best interests. Why is it that we still look to government to provide the answer?
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  • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 7 months ago
    profchuck,

    don't you know that an objectivist society does not exist and probably never will at the rate or growth of stupidity taking over the country. so why do you think such an action is even possible?
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    • Posted by unitedlc 4 years, 7 months ago
      I think you can take the "probably" out of there... Ha! The statistical probability that there will ever be an entirely objectivist society is less likely than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton gaining support from 100% of the U.S. Population.
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  • Posted by lrshultis 4 years, 7 months ago
    Is what you mean a religious society with no one having ideas contrary to Rand's version of a society? If you mean a society in which citizens are fully rational to objective reality at all times, then the local priests will have their hands full excommunicating those who move a toe from the line, though a pandemic could be handled but not nicely.
    The human animal is the product of accidental selections over millions of years with a tendency for consciously and subconsciously acting toward a society of trust and not necessarily toward rational thought and action, thus only small communities might exist with fully agreeable members and most of that agreement would be toward one being able trust one's neighbors to have similar ideas.
    In any case, any pandemic, even in an objective leaning society, will end up using force against some for the protection of others with quarantines and forced treatment and removing some permanently from the group. Do not expect any kindness from any group of people when disease is rampant and humans revert to trying to avoid sick neighbors as the main purpose for daily life.
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