13

Denis Prager Does It Again

Posted by  $  Thoritsu 4 months, 1 week ago to Education
84 comments | Share | Flag

This guy is doing a great job working to educate the public and take on misinformation from socialists and totalitarians.

He may be a religious nut (which most of you know I am not), but I see little/no religious dogma in these messages.

We need more of this! Much much more! This is how people's mins can be changed. We need a candidate to point to PragerU when asked about his views.
SOURCE URL: https://www.prageru.com/video/capitalism-vs-socialism/


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 months, 1 week ago
    I like to listen to him, but he is still trying to found a free country on a foundation with a fissure in it. That is the problem with "conservatives", as Ayn Rand repeatedly pointed out.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
      Ayn Rand demolished the "Prager University" video's very unoriginal attempt to "defend" capitalism on the basis of altruistic service to consumers in her 1965 article "The Obliteration of Capitalism" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

      The Pudzer Prager University video is, in name only, trying to defend a free society on the basis of a hopeless foundation, but it is worse. His foundation supports the opposite, and it isn't freedom he wants, but people functioning as if in a "market economy" to support welfare statism. They are FINOs -- freedom in name only.

      Ayn Rand's title, "Obliteration of capitalism", means not just obliterating what is left of capitalism, but the obliteration of the very concept of capitalism. As she put it:

      "I [have] said that the 'liberals' are coining and spreading 'anti-concepts' in order to smuggle this country into statism by an imperceptible process—and that the primary target marked for obliteration is the concept of 'capitalism', which, if lost, would carry away with it the knowledge that a free society can and did exist.

      "But there is something much less attractive (and, politically, much more disastrous) than capitalism's enemies: its alleged defenders—some of whom are muscling in on the game of manufacturing 'anti-concepts' of their own."

      Pudzer's mangling of the essence of capitalism as serving consumers is the same anti-concept Ayn Rand wrote about over 50 years ago when she cited Gov. George Romney's infamous non-reply to the communists promise to "bury capitalism": "Americans buried capitalism long ago", Romney announced, "and moved on to consumerism". (Governor George was the father of the current "moderate" Mitt.)

      Ayn Rand wrote, "There are the economists who proclaim that the essence (and the moral justification) of capitalism is 'service to others—to the consumers,' that the consumers' wishes are the absolute edicts ruling the free market, etc. (This is an example of what a definition by non-essentials accomplishes, and of why a half-truth is worse than a lie: what all such theorists fail to mention is the fact that capitalism grants economic recognition to only one kind of consumer: the producer—that only traders, i.e., producers who have something to offer, are recognized on a free market, not 'consumers' as such—that, in a capitalist economy, as in reason, in justice, and in reality, production is the precondition of consumption.)...

      "Since none of these attempts can succeed in disguising the nature of capitalism nor in degrading it to the level of an altruistic stockyard, their sole result is to convince the public that capitalism hides some evil secret which imbues its alleged defenders with such an aura of abject guilt and hypocrisy. But, in fact, the secret they are struggling to hide is capitalism's essence and greatest virtue: that it is a system based on the recognition of individual rights—on man's right to exist (and to work) for his own sake—not on the altruistic view of man as a sacrificial animal. Thus it is capitalism's virtue that the public is urged—by such defenders—to regard as evil, and it is altruism that all their efforts help to reinforce and reaffirm as the standard of the good.

      "What they dare not allow into their minds is the fact that capitalism and altruism are incompatible; so they wonder why the more they propagandize, the more unpopular capitalism becomes. They blame it on people's stupidity (because people refuse to believe that a successful industrialist is an exponent of altruistic self-sacrifice )—and on people's greed for the unearned (because, after being battered with assurances that the industrialist's wealth is 'morally' theirs, people do come to believe it)."

      Puzder, like Hayek and many other such predecessors, is yet another welfare statist attempting to "defend" capitalism as "serving" consumers in what he calls "economic democracy" (a leftist term). Starting from freedom the premise leads directly to welfare statism, which only differs in degree from full socialism, and which the ethical premise of altruistic egalitarian nihilism ultimately requires.

      Puzder is a Pragmatist who defends "markets" to the extent they produce what he wants to fund his altruism. In this video he goes farther than his conservative counterparts of 50 years ago, in line with the increasing welfarism in practice over that period: He sanctions the severe welfare statism of European socialism, only stopping short of the next step of what he calls socialist "central planning" and "Venezuela".

      "There are no socialist countries in western Europe", he tells us. "Most are just as capitalist as the United States. The only difference, and it's a big one, is that they offer more government benefits than the U.S. does. We can argue about the costs of these benefits and the point at which they reduce individual initiative, thus doing more harm than good. Scandinavians have been debating those questions for years.

      "But only a free market capitalist economy can produce the wealth necessary to sustain all the supposedly fee stuff Europeans enjoy. To get the free stuff, after all, you have to create enough wealth to generate enough tax revenue to pay for everything the government gives away. Without capitalism, you're Venezuela."

      That is not capitalism; it is Pragmatist obfuscation of welfare statism mixed with socialism fed by remnants of capitalism in the name of capitalism -- much farther along than his conservative counterparts employing the same "service defense" of capitalism 50 years ago -- as he pretends that it's all a "benefit" of "free stuff" fueled by a "market economy" under "capitalism". He is a living, contemporary example of what Ayn Rand called the obliteration of the concept "capitalism" with conservative anti-concepts.

      His appeal to "benefits" and "doing more good" of altruistic welfare does not acknowledge the inevitable pressure group warfare, the loss of freedom, and the degrees of worsening economic stagnation under the progressively increasing controls and taxes of welfare statism morphing increasingly into full socialism. He only tolerates an "argument" over "costs" and the "point at which they reduce individual initiative" -- with no mention of why anyone should want to live under the stagnation or anywhere near such a "point".

      In "Conservativism: An Obituary", Ayn Rand wrote, "Capitalism is based on individual rights--not on the sacrifice of the individual to the 'public good' of the collective. Capitalism and altruism are incompatible. It's one or the other. It's too late for compromises, for platitudes, and for aspirin tablets. There is no way to save capitalism—or freedom, or civilization, or America—except by intellectual surgery, that is: by destroying the source of the destruction, by rejecting the morality of altruism.

      "If you want to fight for capitalism, there is only one type of argument that you should adopt, the only one that can ever win in a moral issue: the argument from self-esteem. This means: the argument from man's right to exist—from man's inalienable individual right to his own life."
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 4 months, 1 week ago
        So, what's in it for me? Isn't that the essence of self-interest and anti-altruistic tenancies. How will I benefit from the system you advocate? Now, if I'm a producer and can create my own company to produce goods having the freedom to do so will maximize my returns.

        But what if I'm not? What if I don't see myself being able to start a company and hire people? What if I believe that my only realistic option is to work for others? What if I'm worried about how I could put food on the table or what would happen if I became ill?

        Such people might be interested in socialism. Not because they are altruistic, although socialism is often wrapped in the language of altruism, but because they are self-interested. They want the maximum they can get and have been led to believe that by supporting the government in capturing the wealth of producers they will personally benefit.

        What the defense of capitalism as a servant of the consumer does is to tell people who do not see themselves as producers "what's in it for me". That's shelves full of food at reasonable prices, goods and services made to fit their needs by companies who spend great effort to figure out those needs. By a virtual consumer's paradise.

        It's not about calling the producers altruistic, we know that they are trying to maximize their market, it's about answering "what's in it for me" for the bulk of the people who will not start a business of their own.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
          No, "What's in it for me" is not the essence of self-interest, and the meaning of the inalienable right to life, liberty, property and happiness on which the country was founded was never taken to be that inherently inconsistent and unprincipled Pragmatism. Neither is Ayn Rand's ethics justifying the morality of the Declaration of Independence.

          Reason and individualism are in the self-interest of everyone at any level of ability by the requirements of human survival. A cynical calculation of savagery is not. The various kinds of utilitarian "greatest good of the greatest number" were a collectivist product of the counter Enlightenment. It is not the world of either Atlas Shrugged or the founders of this country.

          Under capitalism everyone is a producer. Trade can only occur between productive people who have something to offer each other. There is no "class warfare" driven by envy and resentment. To repeat, as Ayn Rand put it in her analysis cited above, "capitalism grants economic recognition to only one kind of consumer: the producer—that only traders, i.e., producers who have something to offer, are recognized on a free market, not 'consumers' as such—that, in a capitalist economy, as in reason, in justice, and in reality, production is the precondition of consumption)."

          That requires an ethics of individualism. It requires knowing what is in fact in one's self interest as a way of life, not how to live off others. Responsibility for one's own life requires "seeing oneself as a producer". One cannot plunge into politics cynically pandering to those who don't, ignoring the philosophy on which politics is based, with a utilitarian calculation based on collectivism, and expect to get a free society out of it, or any kind of society fit for the sense of life of rational individuals.

          Pandering to those who "do not see themselves as producers" with a cynical "what's in it for me" aberration misrepresenting rational self-interest is a false alternative to altruism, and is what altruists promote in order to obliterate the very concept of a Howard Roark or Hank Rearden or Eddie Willers. The false alternative is two sides of the same fraudulent coin. Both encourage pressure group warfare and collectivism as a moral ideal, making capitalism, individualism and civilization impossible, which is what the video is doing.

          Tell people to go for "what's in it for me" and you get the pressure group warfare savaging producers at all levels, with nothing in principle telling them where to stop, only cynical utilitarian calculations trying to optimize the unprincipled Pragmatism. The phony morality of altruistic "service" as a moral ideal then parades itself as a "civilized" alternative to the savagery it then proceeds to reproduce.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 4 months, 1 week ago
            "Under capitalism everyone is a producer. Trade can only occur between productive people who have something to offer each other." While technically that is true, does the person behind the counter at your local fast food restaurant see them selves as a producer who has something to offer the free market?

            You might seem them as a free agent selling their services in a free market, for the most part they see themselves as desperately trying to find any job that will take them. You will not win them over by telling them that they are free to start their own companies and determine their own future.

            "What's in it for me" IS the essence of self-interest in determining what economic system to support. Individuals must feel that they will benefit from it. If you tell them that a free market system is the only moral way for people to interact but they feel that such a system will leave them personally at a disadvantage, you are asking them to be altruistic.

            The Prager argument tells them that even if they do not feel the master of their own fate, a system that empowers the producers will make life better for everyone and thus it is in their self-interest to support it over socialism which promises to explicitly address their needs.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
              "The person behind the counter at your local fast food restaurant" had better "see [himself] as a producer who has something to offer the free market" if he expects anyone to pay him for what he does. You want him to accept as normal the parasitic mentality of a right to be paid without regard for what he earns.

              There isn't anything inferior about working for someone else, which most people do, exchanging value for value. No one is "trying to win them over" by telling them they are "free to start their own companies". Most people do not. They do have have the right to "determine their own future" through their own choices in their own lives, including what they do to earn a living, and that is what individuals are supposed to do.

              "What's in it for me" is a crude, utilitarian, anti-philosophical Pragmatist substitute for ethics, not an ethics of rational self interest -- which does not include deciding to be a looter under socialism as one option in the name of 'self interest'. Like any form of choosing to live as a parasite that is in no one's self interest. Rejecting it is not "asking them to be altruistic". Did you not read Atlas Shrugged, let alone any of Ayn Rand's non-fiction or the history of the rise of this country?

              The conservative argument for an anti-concept replacing the concept 'capitalism' in the name of "service" tells people they need not be responsible for their own lives, which is owed to them by a "system" -- which is why the video winds up endorsing welfare statism under European socialism in the name of "capitalism" while evading what capitalism is and everything that makes capitalism and freedom possible. It is the result of a collectivist mentality of apologizing for "producers" as servants making "life better for everyone" as if the normal state of individuals were not "producers" for their own lives, trading value for value.

              You don't appear to understand what 'self interest' means as a way of life and that it does not mean plunging into politics as if politics were the starting point and all that matters. That is the destructive Pragmatist dead-end of anti-philosophical "libertarianism".
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 4 months, 1 week ago
                When espousing objectivism one must actually deal with the objective world as it exists not as we wish it would. If the person behind the counter saw himself as a producer with something to offer the free market then things might be different. But for the most part they don't. They see themselves as victims of "the corporations". I find it frustrating, but pervasive.

                The reality is that those people have to be convinced that that a free market of individualist producers is in their interest or they will band together and send thugs, called policeman, to get stuff from those who have it. Of course they have to wrap it in socialism to salve their conscience.

                The reality is that no formal structure will long prevent the masses from constructing the social organization they think is best for them. You must convince them that a free market of individuals is in their best interest.

                You can tell them that they will be able to bargain for more for the labor they produce, but frankly, a large part of society simply doesn't believe they can effectively bargain for anything other than by banding together collectively. They will act upon that belief unless you can convince them that they will be better off in a market-based system.

                I understand the goals of self interest and free individuals I did start a company. But you cannot cling to a philosophy of what people should understand in the face of the reality that they do not.

                The Prager argument speaks to even those who do not see themselves as empowered.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                  You show utter contempt for ordinary Americans in cynically characterizing them as people who see themselves as "victims" with nothing of value to "offer the free market". That is not the "objective world as it exists". If it were the entire country would have collapsed long ago. It is not the American sense of life.

                  The "Prager argument" in this horrid video -- a more extreme European welfare statist version of the old conservative "capitalism is service" anti-concept -- promotes that false view of America and panders to and encourages those led to believe it. It is not an argument for individualism and capitalism, which it is progressively destroying.

                  Convincing anyone "that a free market of individuals is in their best interest" does not begin with politics and especially does not begin by promoting an altruistic ethics contrary to it with a mentality of crude, concrete bound "what's in it for me" unprincipled Pragmatism. "Espousing objectivism" does not mean the anti-philosophy libertarians equating Objectivism with their politics as an axiom and eclectic anything-goes Pragmatism and worse for the rest. Pragmatism is not "objective reality".

                  It not possible to advance capitalism and freedom by "Pragmatically" appealing to principles promoting their opposite of altruistic service to others and people as "victims" with nothing of value to "offer the free market". That is not "objective reality". Contradictions do not exist.

                  Offering a moral sanction, power and "service" to those who do not see themselves as "empowered" to live their own productive lives is reprehensible and destructive, not an argument for capitalism.

                  Pandering to a rising entitlement mentality only encourages it. It helps and speeds the progress of the left while cutting off capitalism as an antidote with a corrupted anti-concept obliterating both capitalism and the concept 'capitalism', as conservatives have shown for nearly a century and who are now reduced to begging to let us serve through European-style socialist welfare statism in the name of avoiding "Venezuela".

                  Nothing could bring Venezuela faster than that kind of "opposition" to the left in the name of its opposite, capitalism. Convincing anyone "that a free market of individuals is in their best interest" requires appealing to the best in people, not pandering to and promoting the worse while denouncing the best as "greed".

                  "If you want to fight for capitalism, there is only one type of argument that you should adopt, the only one that can ever win in a moral issue: the argument from self-esteem. This means: the argument from man's right to exist—from man's inalienable individual right to his own life." Such a rejection of hopeless Pragmatism is recognition of what is required, not "clinging" to a proper philosophy.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 4 months, 1 week ago
                    I live in California I have a number of friends and acquaintances that I have gathered over the years and follow them on Facebook. I think I have accurately represented the statements that a significant percentage of them make on a regular basis as the extoll the virtues of Socialism and decry the evils of capitalism.

                    I am appalled, I argue with them on a regular basis but cannot convince them that pay should have the slightest connection with value produced. They insist pay should be based on needs and decry the decline of unions which would make the corporations pay them more.

                    It's very sad, but it's my observation of the political reality in America. It's not universal but it is a very significant portion.

                    I think that the Prager argument is valid. I know that I spend a lot of time trying to make my product more attractive to customers not because I'm altruistic but because I want their money. However why I do it is irrelevant to THEM, what matters to them is that I do it.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                      People like that do exist, and they are growing in numbers. Why are you friends with them? They have a sense of life problem deeper than their bad politics. The contradictory notion that the essence of capitalism is service to others argument won't convince them either: Without their knowing what capitalism is, whatever they are convinced of won't be capitalism. They're likely to wind up, along with the video, wanting European socialist welfare statism worse than what we have now and further deteriorating from there under the same premises.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
                        I have many friends like this as well. Some are strong in their belief. Some are just following the crowd.
                        To shun them is to surrender, and allow even more media and socialists to affect them and others.
                        Self-esteem is an intractable place to begin this discussion.
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                          Those who are just following along may or may not be open to new ideas. The element of "following" (social metaphysics) in them may or may not be a psychological barrier. Whatever they are, appeal to the best in them, not pandering to the worst. Even someone with a strong belief in something wrong may turn out to be a better, but mistaken person, who is willing to become even better.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 4 months, 1 week ago
                        Obviously not because of their politics. My sister is like this, she's still my sister.

                        The problem is that unless we deal effectively with these people they will become the majority and it doesn't really matter what our philosophy is, the guys with the guns will come to take "our fair contribution".
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                          There is always some number of people who can't be reached. Pandering to them is not reaching them. It means they have reached you. Appeal the best in those who have something to appeal to.

                          Ultimately this requires widespread acceptance of the right ideas, which means replacing the intellectuals who are undermining and destroying what is left of the American sense of life. In the meantime the best in the American sense of life and its ideas, to the extent they are recognized explicitly, are all there is to appeal to. Once that is gone or in a small minority, it is much harder to change the ideas that are accepted than it is even now.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
        As I have said many times, a step in the right direction, is still a step in the right direction. No significant number of people today will take that step based on a diatribe about greed. However, they will take it based on an obvious argument about freedom and value of free choice. Some time in the future, the next argument is made.

        As you have said, you don’t agree, fine. I don’t plan to watch the US turn into Venezuela and then remind you “I was right” on your deathbed. You convince people your way, and I’ll do it my way.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
          Ayn Rand's philosophy is not a "diatribe about greed". The necessity of "the argument from man's right to exist—from man's inalienable individual right to his own life" is not a "diatribe about greed"; it used to be broadly accepted in the American individualist sense of life, as reflected in the Declaration of Independence's inalienable right to one's own life, liberty and the pursuit of one's own happiness in accordance with one's own chosen goals for his own life. It was undermined and is being replaced by the European counter Enlightenment of altruist and collectivist ethics, and its consequent statism.

          Conservativism promoting a collectivist, invalid concept of capitalism and capitalism's opposite -- altruistic service and welfare statism following along with the counter Enlightenment -- is not a step in the right direction no matter how often it is "said many times".

          Thoritsu acknowledged in this same thread that he does not know where Ayn Rand discussed the conservatives' bad foundations
          https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

          It continues to be destructive for the same reasons Ayn Rand explained long ago, and now takes the form of even worse statism, in accordance with 50 years of worsening practice following the same false premises.

          We now see it in this video taken to a more explicit and extreme level politically in sanctioning the even worse welfare statism of European socialism in the name of "capitalism", obliterating both capitalism and the concept 'capitalism' in a hopelessly destructive, unprincipled Pragmatist argument.

          Anti-philosophical conservative and libertarian hostility to Ayn Rand ignoring that every politics depends on an ethics and that "freedom and value of free choice" are the opposite of altruistic sacrifice is no more 'practical' now than ever. Neither is the personal hostility.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • -1
            Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
            I never commented about Ayn’s philosophy. It was your diatribes that are not compelling. This one included.

            Not sure what it says, because I stoped actually reading them about a month ago, when you demonstrated a mind narrow enough to traverse a nanotube.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
              The post you misrepresented as a "diatribe about greed", which you now say you didn't read, was about Ayn Rand's explanation of why the conservative argument, which is repeated in the video, is destructive and what is required in its place. It was not a "diatribe". Personal attacks smearing posts you don't read as "diatribes" and "a mind narrow enough to traverse a nanotube" are not responsive and do not belong here at all.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
                I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m not. I actually still do have a full time job, and only a limited time to use on this forum. I spent more time trying to engage you in an actual discussion last time than I have ever spent with anyone in my life in this manner. Learned my lesson.

                If you can’t stand up to “diatribe” and “narrow mind”, man up, and deal with the assertion.

                I don’t think you’ll find much support that open minds don’t belong here.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                  Ayn Rand supported active minds, not minds "open" to anything regardless of the contradictions. Personal hostility denouncing that as "diatribe" and "narrow mind" is not even "open-mindedness" in any legitimate sense.

                  You seem to think that this Ayn Rand forum should be "open" to anything except rational explanation of Ayn Rand's positions in response to posts advocating their opposite, which responses are to be denounced with personal hostility for daring to be here. That you have limited time to post does not mean that no one else can answer it for the benefit of those who are interested.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
                    And here we go again...

                    Well, go get me kicked off if you want. You are a giant waste of time.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by  $  Snezzy 4 months, 1 week ago
                      No, no. It is one of the joys of philosophy and friendship to help friends who are (or appear to be) off track.

                      I am reminded of the "Bert & I" skit where one fellow has been to the communist lecture and comes home spouting to his friends about how it's "share and share alike." His friend says, "So if you had two hogs, you'd give me one of them?" "That I would, that I would." "And if you had (sly pause) two HOSSES, you would give me one of them?" "DAMN YOU Eban, you KNOW I got two hosses!"
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by PeterSmith 4 months, 1 week ago
          But Prager is conceding the moral high ground to socialism, while claiming to defend capitalism.
          That's not a step in the right direction.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
            His "defense of capitalism" is now worse than the old conservatives with the same MO: he's cashing in on their obliteration of the concept 'capitalism' to openly equate it with European socialist welfare statism worse than what we already have here. That is the expected progression based on endorsing socialism as the "moral high ground".
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
      I think I understand the basic idea, but do not know where Ayn pointed this particular thing out. The fissure being socialism and excess government, begun with Taft's 16th?
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
        Ayn Rand explained the inability of conservatives to defend capitalism and how they undermine it many times: "Conservativism: An Obituary" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, and in numerous interviews and answers to questions, such as in Objectively Speaking: Ayn Rand Interviewed, edited by Podritske and Schwartz, and Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q&A, edited by Mayhew.

        Most pertinent to the Puzder "defense" of capitalism in particular is her 1965 article "The Obliteration of Capitalism", also in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Puzder is a welfare statist.

        False foundations means philosophical, in ethics and epistemology. Every politics presupposes an ethics; faith and altruism contradict capitalism.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 4 months, 1 week ago
    I wish people would stop using the term "religious nut". I (a non-believer) have been married to the same Christian lady for over 40 years and it's really getting insulting.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
      Is she religious or a nut? Just being religious does not equal religious nut in the intent of my original statement.

      In any case, I am a non-believer and support anyone else’s right to their belief. However, when those beliefs are used to limit the freedoms of others (illegal gay partnerships, abortion or buying liquor on Sunday), we have a problem. Those guys are nuts. Not sure where Dennis Pragers intentions end.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 4 months, 1 week ago
        I guess I misunderstood your characterization of Dennis Prager. When you stated "he may be a religious nut", it sounded like you were stating it as fact, rather than as a suggestion.

        What set me off was the fact that there are many out there who immediately go on the defensive, whenever religion is brought into the equation. We're not in 17th century Europe, but by the way many people react, you would think people were getting burned at the stake on a regular basis (although...the Middle East does appear to be going through such a period).
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
          I am honestly not sure if he is. I suspect he might be. There are a lot of very well informed people here, and I didn’t want that potential fact but to detract from the nicely developed, logical arguments his org publishes.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by JuliBMe 4 months, 1 week ago
    It would be nice if people stop referring to others who have a belief system in something bigger than Man as a "nut". You can disagree. However, the belief in a "higher being" or something bigger than Man has a place in history and shouldn't be license to disparage fellow human beings. Our Declaration of Independence would just be a piece of paper signifying nothing without reference to something higher than other men securing our rights.

    I know the above sentiment is far from Randian. However, respect for others is not.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
      I avoid “beliefs” and focus on facts and evidence. If someone else has beliefs, that is fine, just do not base an argument or legislation on them.

      If there is some for a higher being, great. Let’s objectively evaluate it. If someone asserted they were God’s son today, they’d get locked up or shunned (nuts). The only thing that keeps the belief from being dismissed is social inertia and fear of the unknown.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by JuliBMe 4 months, 1 week ago
        You are quite welcome to focus on whatever you want. And, so are others. To call them a "nut" because they focus FOR THEMSELVES on something you BELIEVE is "crazy" is rude to ANYONE who may have a different view reading your words. You may not have intended that. However, it's quite unnecessary for normal discourse and says more about YOU than them.

        There are many levels of belief and I, for one, am open to listening to all kinds of belief systems. The fact that people have performed extraordinary things based solely on their own courage and FAITH in something gives me pause in disparaging them and their beliefs.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
          Focusing on belief without facts and evidence is almost the definition of nuts. It wasn’t intended to be that negative. I’m clearly nuts in other ways. But if we want to belabor the point, fine. Let’s go.
          Courage, certainly has nothing to do with believing in an afterlife. Quite the opposite. However, using that argument and manipulating people to fight for the benefit of those in leadership certainly happens.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by lrshultis 4 months, 1 week ago
          I consider beliefs by two methods: 'beliefs in, and 'beliefs that'. The first is belief without outside consideration and thus by faith. The second is belief which one considers from outside the belief as to whether it is correct and thus it might be in a scientific or logically conscious way.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by JuliBMe 4 months, 1 week ago
            That's fine. You are quite free to think everything has been settled by science. If you don't think that's true yet then you obviously have FAITH that everything will EVENTUALLY be settled by science. I can't say I disagree with that.

            Others, if I have interpreted what they say correctly, believe that there are some things that can only be answered by having faith in themselves or something bigger than themselves. My main point was that to call them "nuts" was unnecessary and likely, insulting to many people reading here.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
              No one believes everything has been settled by science. However, it is quite clear that nothing has ever been settled by religion.

              “Nuts” was not intended to be that negative. It was a colloquialism. I readily accept that I am a nut in many ways. I waste time on fast cars, fast computers, weird guns, soccer three times a week, et al. Most are wasteful, maybe not soccer.

              I meant I am not an overly religious person, which is true, since I am an atheist or agnostic.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by JuliBMe 4 months, 1 week ago
                Changing how the word was obviously meant in the first posting doesn't work. But, I will accept your word.

                The last thing I will say on this matter is that we do no kindness to OUR side (and, I do believe Objectivists and Conservatives CAN BE on the same side) by ACTING like the arrogant left.

                Have a lovely rest of your day!
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                  Our side of what? Who is "our"? Ayn Rand was not a conservative (or a liberal) and there are fundamental differences between her philosophy and religion (and other intellectual traditions). There are political commonalities in some realms in which practical political alliances are possible (and do in fact exist). Such commonalities do make it all one "side".
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
                    Who is “our”? was precisely the point, which, since you didn’t write, you can’t answer.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                      "Precisely the point" of what? JuliBMe referred to "OUR side". I ask her the questions, who she is talking about and "our side of what?". What does "since you didn’t write, you can’t answer" mean?

                      Who is hit-and-run 'downvoting' the point that Ayn Rand's philosophy is not religious conservativism?
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                      • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
                        You replied to my comment, not hers. That is why I asked.

                        Don’t know, who is down voting. Telling everyone they are wrong/ignorant/misleading unless aligned with your 1mm laser is a likely contributor.
                        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                        • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                          The reply was to JuliBMe, not to you. Follow the line showing the indentation.

                          The statement "Ayn Rand was not a conservative (or a liberal) and there are fundamental differences between her philosophy and religion (and other intellectual traditions)" is not "Telling everyone they are wrong/ignorant/misleading unless aligned with your 1mm laser". The difference between Ayn Rand's philosophy and religious conservativism is fundamental. Please drop the personal hostility.
                          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                          • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
                            Can’t follow the lines on a mobile device.

                            Hostility? No. Just pointing out the completely impractical nature of your arguments. You can’t even convince me, and I am largely in agreement. No chance of convincing any significant population, and that is my objective.
                            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                            • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
                              You are not "largely in agreement". You just posted a video supporting European welfare statism as "capitalism", claimed to be justified by "service". Ayn Rand discussed this in depth. Ignoring philosophy is not practical to change the course of a culture.

                              Personal hostility:

                              "Telling everyone they are wrong/ignorant/misleading unless aligned with your 1mm laser is a likely contributor."

                              "diatribe on greed"

                              "It was your diatribes that are not compelling. This one included. Not sure what it says, because I stoped actually reading them about a month ago, when you demonstrated a mind narrow enough to traverse a nanotube."

                              "remind you 'I was right' on your deathbed".
                              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
                  Is my friend, the gay dog walker, or my girl friend of old with a previous abortion on “our side”?

                  Who erodes the arguments for “our side” more, me asserting religion is dogma, or your Conservative friends asserting homosexuality and premarital sex is evil?

                  “Our” failure in appealing to the masses is from conservative religious dogma, not fiscal freedom, and the left have latched on to the former to further their objectives on the latter.

                  Do not paint me with the brush of socialist totalitarians (arrogant left). It is religious intolerance that has alienated the majority, and allowed the left to co-opt fiscal freedom, business and capitalism as evil by association.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by lrshultis 4 months, 1 week ago
      It is other men who secure our rights. It is done by selfish actions to preserve those rights. The Declaration of Independence said nothing about some higher power to secure rights. It made a general statement that rights were natural and unalienable, meaning that one cannot give them up as would be a possibility if they were inalienable. Knowledge was a bit shoddy in those days compared to today's knowledge which in the future will have been limited also.
      If you want to have something bigger than man to lean on, just consider the Universe with all the laws and things that exist. Learn to be rationally selfish and then you will not need some "God of the Gaps" to explain that which is a mystery at present. Rights is no mystery. It is a necessity for life of a selfish being and is secured by opposing force with force and in a good society by government applying that force.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
      Our Declaration of Independence would still be what it already is without the vague reference to a "creator": a principled political document recognizing the rights of the individual, not "just a piece of paper". The words on the paper represented the broadly accepted Enlightenment philosophy embracing rights of the individual in accordance with man's nature.

      An inalienable natural right by our nature as human beings to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" here on earth is philosophical recognition, not submission to a "something higher than other men", and is not "secured" by any such thing. Nor did the secular government founded to implement the Declaration through limited government protecting the rights of the individual have anything to do with any religious higher being securing anything.

      The founders had no such notion as a god handing down, let alone "securing", rights as commandments; they recognized rights by our nature as what we in fact are, however we were "created" (evolution was not known at the time). Enlightenment thinkers recognized that is is up to man to discover for himself through reason what those rights are by looking at the facts of our nature.

      See Carl Becker's classic The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas, and Bernard Bailyn's equally classic The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.

      The country was not founded on religion and philosophical ideas are not "just paper" without it. Our rights can only be "secured" by a general philosophical acceptance of, and social organization implementing, the ideas of man's rights.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by chad 4 months, 1 week ago
    I do like Dennis Prager's approach to discussions in which he often states he prefers clarity to submission or agreement. If you disagree with his view and point out why he is not offended that you disagree and would rather understand how an individual feels than forcefully make them submit.
    I do not agree with religion mainly because it is hypocritical with their claimed moral visions. Read the dogma and it is difficult not to understand how while preaching love and tolerance the 'scriptures' also allow for the destruction of anyone who does not agree or at the least the plundering of the infidels or any who disagree with their institution. That stated Dennis' elucidation of the goals of the left and statists is clear and makes it easy to understand why they are dangerous.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
      You would agree with faith and force if its practitioners were not hypocritical? An ethics of faith and sacrifice for another world is destructive by nature, and impossible to practice consistently if you want to live on earth.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by chad 4 months, 1 week ago
        I would not accept faith and force if they were not hypocritical. I was merely pointing out that they are and it is part of the nature of the thing. You are correct.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by upston 4 months, 1 week ago
    I worked for a couple that came to the US after the wall came down. Back in Bulgaria she was a MD and he was a mechanic in a tractor factory.The whole system ran on barter. She would get staples for a house call, fish, wine, eggs ect. The family ate quite well on her efforts.
    The tractor factory officially produced 2 tractors the last year in business, the rest were stolen buy the workers.
    I asked him , how do you trade a tractor for toilet paper? He looked at me like I was stupid and said , you get a lot of toiler paper :)
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  blarman 4 months, 1 week ago
      Great story - and so accurate of socialist/communist nations. There was always a thriving black market in the USSR. Even the elites used it for certain things like jeans.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by NealS 4 months, 1 week ago
    Another Prager Video that deserves an Academy Award. Between Prager University and Hillsdale College, I can't think of many others that deserve public promotion, and donations to keep going strong. I am also impressed with the College of the Ozarks, requiring all students to actually work their way through their education. I'm sure there are others worthy of our exposure and attention. Perhaps another topic for someone?

    One thing about money is that it seems to translate into power. Then that money translates into whatever those in power deem important. Even though Amazon is a capitalist company, those in power there seem to be pushing for socialism. It proves to me that the elite seem to be even more blind than a common voting citizen. Every time we 'donate' to Amazon, it seems to more want to control our destiny. That is just my opinion, I could be wrong.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
      I view the Amazon socialism initiative as a view that they are the elite and will always have plenty and a huge voice. This is not altruism. It is elitism and totalitarianism.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
      Money does not "translate into power", it depends on what you are trying to buy and what kind of society you live in. Money is a medium of exchange that is used for and requires production. In corrupt societies where production and the rights of the individual are not respected, anything can be "bought", but money is not the cause of that. Reread Francisco's "money speech" in Atlas Shrugged: https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/20...

      Ozarks and Hillsdale are stridently religious schools, not something that should be supported by those who support reason, rational egoism and capitalism, which those schools undermine.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by NealS 4 months, 1 week ago
        I guess "seems" to translate into power is what I meant to impress. No one listens to those without money, only to those that are "famous" usually with money. Some heads of large corporations seem to think they can control the world, tell people that they should think or do. But then again there are many more corporation heads that most of the population can not even name. I do know no one listens to anyone poor.
        The same goes for politicians, most are not even known, in that case only the loud ones, the ones that make noise are known.

        And that's interesting that Ozarks and Hillsdale are strictly religious, neither one of them ever impressed me that way. I view them both as educating in the direction of believing in the Constitution, economics, and government, how Congress works and why it doesn't, and all the other aspects of what the conservative side believes in. I've looked at many of their courses and even get some of their mailings, never saw anything religious about any of it. In any case I'll look back to see, but I never saw anything that I would consider religious about them.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
          The religious origins, purpose and emphasis of Ozarks and Hillsdale are all over their websites where it is promoted as the campus way of life and the intellectual basis. The "conservative side" generally package-deals religion with (their version of) a free society, along with their premise of 'going back' to tradition as if that could be an argument against collectivist-inspired statists. That versus the left is a dangerous false alternative.

          As for the money influence issue, in a culture in which collectivism and statism are progressively taken for granted at the expense of what we recognize as the right of the individual to his own life, it is only to be expected that more money goes into promoting that collectivism and more of it is available for money to buy. It's the nature of what people predominantly believe, not the fault of money.

          If you have money you can still use it to publish and broadcast individualism, but there is much less of that and nothing to protect the rights of the individual from buying government power. If you are poor in any society you can't do as much as what you would like to..
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by  $  4 months, 1 week ago
        Can’t agree with rejecting Hillsdale. They have never accepted federal $. There is value there .
        As usual, we stand, burried in the filth. Hillsdale offers a shower and water in exchange for nothing, but you reject it, in favor of the unreachable castle and feast.

        There is a day to depart from Hillsdale, if they maintain a religious tithe is due. That day is not today, and it poisons us none at all to wait and see.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by ewv 4 months, 1 week ago
          That Hillsdale does not accept Federal money is not a defense of what it teaches and promotes. The religious right versus the left is a destructive false alternative. At stake are fundamental motivating ideas, not just politics: You don't have to wait until they tax you to observe the ideas that are being taught and spread.

          If you can learn something from a Hillsdale video and have the time for it, then do it, but watch out for what they are leaving out or distorting (like the lecture on Plato that was discussed here a couple of years ago and a lecture undermining science they broadcast, but not discussed here on this forum). And always remember that conservative reliance on "tradition", especially when it evades fundamental requirements, is not an argument for a free society.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo