The premier Objectivist publication reminds us about Donald and Kim

Posted by Zero 3 months ago to Politics
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As this is nominally an OBJ house, a reminder of the OBJ worldview might be in order.

There is a reason I'm an Objectivist.
And it is practical to be an Idealist
SOURCE URL: https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2018/06/donald-trump-and-kim-jong-un-enemies-of-human-life/?mc_cid=51faeff8de&mc_eid=ae62aa8c19


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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
    Mr. Art Of The Deal has been very consistent about putting America first.
    Me dino is certain Trump is very much aware of the horrors being endured by the enslaved people of North Korea. Even that soldier who recently got shot up escaping into South Korea revealed that even the North Korean Army goes hungry on short rations.
    Methinks at this stage Trump has been buttering up the only fat person in North Korea to successfully get a handle on all the ICBMs that are no longer being let loose all over the place
    and crazy Kim's nuclear program.
    This policy may be two-faced, but you can't make deals with a monster by telling him how truly monstrous he is.
    Personally, me dino hopes Crazy Kim chokes on all the food he gorges down and catches emphysema and throat cancer on all those super expensive cigarettes I read that he loves to smoke.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
      Trump does not have to go out of his way to praise and lie about evil.

      His "putting America first" has always been a collectivist nationalism, oblivious to principles and the rights of the individual, and often sacrificing people under his own statism.
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
        Excellent point. Trump did do everything but pat Kim on the head.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
          The verbal endorsement on a world stage is much more than patting him on the head.
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
            Me dino did say "everything but."
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
              That implies patting him on the head would have even more significance than what he said. It would have that only to the anti-conceptual mentality that doesn't understand what he already did.
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              • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
                Okay, Trump had already patted Kim on the head without physically doing so.
                Haven't read The Art Of The Deal but it's my guess Trump may be used to flattering people he thinks he can make a deal with~also being quite capable of walking out when he can't make a deal he likes..
                Yes, gushing insincere flattery is going too far with a murdering dictator. .
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                  This article refers to Ayn Rand on this topic http://newideal.aynrand.org/trump-kim...
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                  • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
                    Thank you for that. I've read Gulchers argue here on this board that the USA can't be the global police.
                    Appears Trump is putting America first and that of allies who have had to endure "Rocket Man" shooting missiles over their heads.
                    Shall we free China and North Korea like we freed Hitler's Europe? Don't think that will work out well. .
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                      Lending moral support, let alone refraining from endodrsing statists, is not being a global policeman.

                      Neither is preventing a nuclear attack from the "Rocket Man" dictator, who has become closer to the ability to carry out his threats. Pandering to him, appeasing him, and helping him to "become better" with economic help, do nothing to stop him. That is true for us as well as South Korea, China, Russia, and the rest of them. If North Korea blows up the Korean peninsula or more, it would be it's responsibility, along with those who appeased it, but the US would be blamed for it, especially from American progressives and ideological ostriches and appeasers.
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    • Posted by preimert1 3 months ago
      Ali, you may be right bout it geing a negotiating ploy, but this comes to mind: ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ95ffnU4Sw
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
        Yep, there's always that. Don't really believe Cray Kim will get rid of all his nukes.
        Even if he gets rid of his ICBMs for lifted sanctions, bet there will be some kinda "Little Boy" and a "Fat Boy" stashed away someplace.
        Doubt starving North Korea is anywhere near as powerful than Hitler's Third Reich. The Germans were eating well BEFORE World War Two.
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        • Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 3 months ago
          Sorry, but -1 for not thinking this through. Read the introductory essay to For the New Intellectual. The fallacy you endorse is the "muscle mystic." If the people of Germany 1933-1940 were "eating well" it was not because of Hitler's policies, but because the last sane man, Hjalmar Schacht, was juggling the national accounting and bookkeeping as the Nazis abandoned productivity and embraced production for destruction.

          The muscle mystics of the American rightwing think that Hitler was almost OK, if only he had done a couple of things differently... Leftwing socialists say the same thing about the Russian communists.

          A consistent national policy in foreign affairs is a complicated problem. It begins with a rational-real foundation that recognizes objective reality. Arguing politics in a vacuum is unproductive. Among the ways to analyze the world stage is to reduce it to Crusoe Concepts. If you had a neighbor like Kim Jong Un or Adolph Hitler, how would you relate to them? And before you answer... If you filled your car at a gas station and went inside to pay and saw a picture of Jesus behind the counter, would you shop there again? Why or why not?
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
            Who on the American right thinks that Hitler "was almost OK"? In the 1930s politicians from Churchill to the New Deal admired the fascists in Germany and Italy.
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            • Posted by Lucky 3 months ago
              If 'From' means 'Includes' then No.
              From the mid-thirties Churchill, outside government, was a solitary public voice urging re-armament and correctly assessing the new German leadership.
              There are indeed some weird stories about Churchill, I reckon all fake.
              Now, that weirdness is from the left/progressives.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                "From ... to ..." means over a range including.

                From John T. Flynn's 1944 As We Go Marching: A Biting Indictment of the Coming of Domestic Fascism in America

                "It was after the vulgar brutalities of the march to power, after newspapers had been burned and editors beaten, political clubrooms sacked, after the sacred cudgel by God's grace had done its holy violence on its enemies and others had been gorged with castor oil, after thousands had been thrown into concentration camps and countless other brave men had been driven from their country, after Matteoti had been assassinated and Mussolini had proclaimed that democracy was 'a dirty rag to be crushed under foot,' that Winston Churchill, in January 1927, wrote to him, saying: "If I had been an Italian I am sure I would have been entirely with you from the beginning to the end of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.' He assured the Duce that were he an Italian he would 'don the Fascist black shirt.' And a year later, in Collier's Magazine, he wrote extolling Mussolini above Washington and Cromwell.

                "Does this mean that Churchill approves of beating and suppressions? Hardly. Its significance lies in the revelation of the extent to which evil deeds will be excused or tolerated or even defended when some cherished public or religious or social crusade is the excuse. Man's capacity for cruelty—even the good man's capacity for cruelty—in the prosecution of a spiritual crusade is a phenomenon to affright the soul." p.70

                "I recall these testimonials here merely because of their bearing on American and British opinion upon what happened in Italy. We cannot count on all good people in America rejecting fascist ideas. To many the pursuit of the hated Red justified the elements of violence in the episode. To others the imperious need of meeting the challenge of labor justified the cudgels. Mussolini was all right as long as he played along with the democratic powers. 'I do not deny,' said Mr. Churchill as late as December 1940, in a speech in the House, 'that he is a very great man. But he became a criminal when he attacked England'. Mussolini's crime lay not in all the oppressions he had committed upon his own people, not in his trampling down of liberty in Italy, in attacking Ethiopia or Spain, but in 'attacking England.' It is precisely in this tolerance of ordinarily decent people for the performances of such a man that the terrible menace of fascism lies for all peoples." p. 73

                https://www.amazon.com/As-We-Go-March...
                pdf: https://mises-media.s3.amazonaws.com/...
                epub: https://mises-media.s3.amazonaws.com/...

                It isn't "fake weirdness from the left/progressives". Flynn was a classical liberal known for his opposition to Roosevelt in his 1948 The Roosevelt Myth and for his leadership role in the opposition to America entering WWII for years before Pearl Harbor. https://mises.org/profile/john-t-flynn

                Fascism was philosophically attractive in Britain and America for the same reasons it was in Germany and Italy, as described by Leonard Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels for Germany.
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                • -1
                  Posted by Lucky 3 months ago
                  Wording within quote marks purporting to be a quote from my post above is not.
                  The links are to writings of John T. Flynn or to a gush on Flynn published by Mises Institute.
                  A reply to this is a challenge, not on content but to maintain civility.
                  But choosing clarity over obfuscation, John T. Flynn was an narcissist, a fascist and a liar.
                  Over and out.
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
                    John Flynn was not a "narcissist, a fascist and a liar" and you were not misquoted. I said that Flynn's book opposing fascism is not "fake weirdness from the left/progressives". You wrote, "There are indeed some weird stories about Churchill, I reckon all fake. Now, that weirdness is from the left/progressives", and you subsequently added, "But choosing clarity over obfuscation, John T. Flynn was an narcissist, a fascist and a liar. Over and out." That is neither "clarity" nor "civility" and is a grotesque falsehood about Flynn.

                    John Flynn was a respected journalist and author who opposed the New Deal, Roosevelt, and both fascism and communism. Ayn Rand recommended the 1956 edition of his 1948 book The Roosevelt Myth in her Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, and corresponded with him in the 1940s, some of which is included in The Letters of Ayn Rand. Leonard Peikoff referenced Flynn in his Ominous Parallels.

                    The first three links I provided were to Flynn's book, As We Go Marching, which opposed and warned against the rise of fascism in the US folllowing Italy and Germany, and from which I quoted three paragraphs on Churchill's admiration for Mussolini from the 1920s to 1940. One link was to amazon and the other two were to pdf and epub downloads of that book which are provided at no cost by the Mises Institute.

                    The fourth link https://mises.org/profile/john-t-flynn was to the Mises Institute short biographical profile of Flynn -- not "gush", as forum readers can see for themselves. It includes in a brief description of his book against fascism:

                    "The growth of a huge bureaucratic apparatus, the partnership of government and business, social welfare schemes, huge public debts, and the need to resolve economic problems by creating a permanent war economy — all of these phenomena had become dominant first in Italy, then in Germany, and then in the United States under the New Deal. The theme of the book is that while the US was fighting fascism in Europe, the seeds of that doctrine had already been planted at home; the war itself would accelerate their growth."

                    As Ayn Rand observed herself, in addition to the general growth of statism, that every war this country has gotten into has resulted in more controls and less freedom after the war than before. John Flynn, like Ayn Rand, was not a "narcissist, a fascist and a liar".
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          • Posted by Lucky 3 months ago
            Yes on the first point. They appeared to be well fed so how was it done?
            The popular myth is that efficient central planning and patriotism maintained production. Evidence is now coming out on the lines MM stated. It was juggling the books to cover running down capital.
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    • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 months ago
      Pious pronouncements do nothing to alleviate the pain of the oppressed. Trump has shown Kim how effective we can be applying economic pressure until it hurts even his top echelon, and has brought him to the table. North Korea will have to open its society to accommodate the changes necessary to benefit from the vision offered by Trump, and that will institute the changes needed to lift the oppression. Can Kim survive the anger of his slaves who have been tormented?
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
        I wonder how many smiling for the camera starving North Korean soldiers fantasize over gunning down their doughboy as Crazy Kim reviews their ranks.
        All in sudden me dino is reminded that a Crazy Caligula was killed by his own Praetorian Guard.
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        • Posted by salta 3 months ago
          So true. It only takes one soldier willing to trade his life to fire off a few shots. Makes me wonder if they might be all (secretly) issued only blanks for those ceremonial occasions.
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          • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
            Whoa! What you're wondering may be very well dead on.
            Come to think of it, when I was in the Marines, we were never issued ammo for inspections and drills. I'm sure that also applies to parades.
            New thought: Live rounds can be smuggled, though.
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            • Posted by salta 3 months ago
              Yes of course, no ammo for parades makes sense!
              Been thinking more about the risk of an attempt, there is probably less incentive for someone in the military to risk their life. By comparison with the civilian population, maybe they have an almost privileged life.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months ago
    I don't think President Trump's praise for Kim Jong-Un is meant for consumption in the free world. We know North Korea is not equal to liberal democratic republics. We know it's tragically absurd to say Jong-Un is a good leader who cares about his people.

    I suspect (really a wild guess) that President Trump thinks the costs of giving legitimacy to Kim Jong-Un are low. The North Korean people will get similar propaganda either way. So Trump's shaking things up by talking to a ruthless enemy and seeing what shakes out of that. Maybe Trump has a more long term plan; or he might just be stupidly acting as if his job were still reality TV; I don't know. But it's possible he's going to flatter Kim Jong-Un, then make a demand they relinquish all nuclear weapons, and then grudgingly agree to accept their relinquishing only some of their weapons and initiating some limited human rights reforms. If Trump's lucky the MSM will run articles about how Kim Jong-Un totally took advantage of Trump's being in over his head. Trump can show the articles to Kim Jong-Un: "You got me, Kim. You got a good deal from the guy who wrote the book on deals."

    And US comes away on better terms with North Korea and with more concessions than it could have gotten any other way, and without spending money or firing a shot.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
      Ben Bayer at ARI posted an article on this topic a few days before Craig Biddle's: "Trump-Kim Summit Betrays Victims of Dictatorship", June 13, 2018 http://newideal.aynrand.org/trump-kim... It refers to the position explicitly taken by Ayn Rand on Nixon going to China in the 1970s: Ayn Rand, “The Shanghai Gesture,” The Ayn Rand Letter, March 27, 1972.

      Trump is speaking to the world to sell his presidency and his 'deal'. We don't know what he is saying in private to North Korea, or to China -- which has not yet been leaked -- and we don't know what he is willing to give away in his deal, including how much he would protect the dictatorship against his victims.

      Sometimes Trump's 'deals' are at least a temporary practical improvement and sometimes they are worse, but he never does anything out of support for the rights of the individual and he never denounces collectivism.

      Trump does not have to publicly sanction and lie about evil. When a political leader publicly embraces things that are so horrible that you have to project that he really doesn't mean it, when he is such an unprincipled Pragmatist that you have to conclude that nothing he says has any meaning at all, when his statements are so bad that you have to imagine that he must secretly mean something else in some unknown clever scheme, then we are in real trouble.

      Yet refusing to believe what politicians say is all too common. It occurs over and over with government policies whose effects are too horrible to contemplate so people don't believe it's coming and we will get by "somehow" and everything will be all right, "somehow" -- despite what it sounds like. All it shows is that Americans have a better sense of life than the politicians and are naive to the possibility and reality of evil -- and to the danger of Pragmatism.
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  • Posted by straightlinelogic 3 months ago
    From the article: “How should the United States deal with a problem such as Jong-un’s regime? The only moral purpose of the U.S. government is to protect the lives and rights of Americans. If U.S. intelligence has evidence that the regime poses a serious threat to Americans, then our military should eliminate that threat immediately and by any means necessary. If the regime is not a threat to Americans, then our government should implement and sustain all possible sanctions on North Korea until the regime collapses, or is overthrown, or becomes a threat warranting immediate destruction.”

    After Iraq and numerous other false flags, Edward Snowden and others' disclosures of mass surveillance, and apparent intelligence agency complicity in the effort to depose Trump, would you trust an intelligence assessment that the North Korean regimes “poses a serious threat to Americans?” If you do, how do you propose eliminating “that threat immediately and by any means necessary?” Are you willing to risk war with China and/or Russia? Are you willing to risk the deaths of millions of South Koreans within range of North Korean artillery? Are you willing to risk the deaths of millions of Japanese and now Americans who may be in range of North Korean missiles? Are you willing to go nuclear, with its potential for eliminating humanity?

    If North Korea is not a threat, the author recommends “all possible sanctions...until the regime collapses, or is overthrown, or becomes a threat warranting immediate destruction.” Could it be that other approaches might serve the interests of both the US and the North Korean people better? We’ve been sanctioning North Korea since the armistice in 1953, through three generations of Kim dictators. Still no regime collapse or overthrow and the North Koreans are still repressed and tyrannized. The sanctions approach hasn’t really worked for us in Cuba and Iran, either.

    Here’s something to consider. What if we did all we could to effect a rapprochement with North Korea, Cuba, and Iran, opening the US to trade, tourism, and other peaceful interactions with those countries? Isn’t that what we did with the USSR and China? We had fought a Cold War with both countries. Then Nixon went to China and Reagan met with Gorbachev. Who knows if the Chinese and Soviet leadership were better or worse than Kim Jong Un; they were certainly tyrannical. The Soviet Union collapsed and China changed, radically. Would either have happened if Nixon and Reagan had adopted the posture recommended by Craig Biddle? It’s impossible to say, but both Russia and China today are freer and more prosperous than they were under the old systems. Not perfect, but better.

    If Trump successfully negotiates an agreement with Kim, might the same thing not happen in North Korea? Might not such an agreement increase the security of the US, South Korea, and North Korea’s other neighbors? North Korea wouldn’t be the Objectivist ideal (neither is the US), but it would be less dangerous and it’s not impossible to envision a diminution in tyranny as North Koreans begins to trade with and are exposed to South Korea and the rest of the world. It will be a lot harder for Kim to tyrannize his country if his countrymen can vote with their feet. If those were the outcomes, then could you say that Trump’s negotiations, including flattery, were unwarranted?

    Much as I agree with Biddle’s ideals, I can’t help wondering if they are the enemies of a more secure world and a better life for North Koreans in the real, less than ideal, world. In other words, is the perfect the enemy of the good? I yield the floor to discussion.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
      A refusal endorse an evil dictatorship is not "the enemy of the good" and refusal to engage in such pandering does not risk nuclear war. North Korea's nuclear weapon development is the threat, which is not removed by repeated trashing of western intelligence agencies. Nixon endorsed the Chinese dictators; Reagan continued to denounce the Soviets. Helping the Soviet Union economically, such as providing it with wheat, only prolonged the collapse. Reagan constantly pressured the Soviet Union, leading to its collapse; he did not try to make it "better" under the communist dictatorship. The people in the Soviet Union already knew that the west was vastly superior and did not need "exposure" through economic propping up of the regime to know that. Sanctions against Cuba, North Korea and Iran did help, but were not enough. Saying that "North Korea wouldn’t be the Objectivist ideal" and "neither is the US" in the same sentence is worse than odd.
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      Where to begin.

      I have never been given any reason to doubt our intelligence agencies. I don't doubt them now.
      Snowden warned us of their excesses - not their incompentance.

      As for the Russians - it's the FBI's job to investigate Russian activities in America.
      Trump's team was very cozy with those same Russians. They would have been remiss not to look into it.

      War with NK? Make no mistake OBJ's - are hawks.
      Reason holds sway, but when it is time for war it is time to wage war.
      Most times all-out war is not required to achieve our goals, but it should not be avoided when the time has come.

      A strong Commander in Chief whose will to act is indisputed can do many "impossible" things.

      Like nuke Korea.
      If that is the only way to destroy their nuclear program - so be it.

      Neither China nor Russia will respond in kind to support thier ugly step-child.

      As for sanctions working or not - it's not only about regime change - it's about having economic relations with tyranical regimes.
      We should not.

      Communism must be opposed not appeased.
      The Soviet Union fell because we won the Cold War.
      Its fragile "managed" economy couldn't bear the cost of the next generation Arms Race.
      Then, when it began mewling its benevolence and started making the smallest steps toward freedom, we allowed it to fall.

      Only after we forced into financial insolvency.


      Whereas Communist China is now stronger than ever - with the world's largest economy - because we made them our preferred trading partner.
      But free-er? Really? Show me the personal freedoms?
      Just three months ago "President" Xi Jinping eliminated term limits removing any impediment to becoming President for Life.

      Fail to oppose tyrannies and they will only grow.

      And your comment about North Koreans "voting with their feet" is almost humerous since that is the one thing no communist citizen - anywhere on earth - can do.
      Leave.

      And that is why their regimes must be opposed by any and every means neccessary. Because those nations are abominations to the modern world.
      Prison states that incarceate their citizens for the fact they breathe.

      That is the OBJ way.

      (Sorry writing is so rough - trying to slam it out.)
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
        It is not the FBI's job to investigate and try to interfere with presidential candidates in the name of "Russian activities in America". The Trump campaign was not "cozy with those same Russians".
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  • Posted by MrSmiggles 3 months ago
    This article doesn't bring anything new to light. We know about both them, the current situation between the 2 nations, and have a good idea to both of their intentions. They just restated the obvious.
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 3 months ago
    Drawing conclusions on isolated events within a negotiating "process" is fatuous.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months ago
      Trump is a worse Pragmatist than Nixon was. He has no regard for principles and the meaning of words. He is in constant salesman mode promoting the deal of the moment without regard for objectivity, honesty and truth. This is not 'isolated events within a negotiating process', it is the way he thinks and acts across the board. Trump adulators will make any excuse for it, with the same disregard for honesty and the importance of ideas and meaning of words.
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