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Trump and Ojectivism

Posted by Tavolino 1 month ago to Government
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Trump and Objectivism

I’m puzzled by the formal Objectivist movement (ARI, TOS) and their complete disdain for President Trump. From the beginning they have never missed a chance not only to distance themselves, but also follow with a pompous negative certainty, without having the necessary relevant facts. Ironic, considering our foundations are based on proper identification (metaphysics) and validation (epistemology) before passing judgment or taking action (ethics). While I agree principles should never be compromised, context and perspective need to be objectively evaluated and applied, rather than a blind intrinsic repetition. Regarding Trump, there some broad hierarchal recognitions that I believe are very consonant with our philosophy.

Our fundamental basis is metaphysics, which is the proper identification of the nature of something. More than any past politician, however brash, Trump calls it like he sees it within his known knowledge. Be it the emotional motivations of political correctness, the lies of the “fake news,” the imbedded corruption, the recognition of the good and bad on the world stage (Israel, China, North Korea, Iran), the parasitical nations that feed off our teat, etc., etc.. The transparency of his thoughts have been unmatched and not hidden behind political speak, spins, alternate agendas, backroom deals or deceit. It is what it is.

As Dr. Jerome Huyler noted, “Trump has the sense of life of an individualist. His common sense - born of decades of experience as a businessman and dealing with politicians - tells him that taxes and heavy-handed regulations destroy economies. It is true, as Rand said that common sense is the child's method of thinking. But it is born of empirical experience,” the basis of knowledge acquisition.

His “America First” mantra should be championed by us. Rand had always said America will never regain its greatness until it changes its altruist morality. America First is just that. It’s not some blind German nationalism, but an attitude that America’s interests need to be selfishly upheld. This is a necessary fundamental to our ethics. He has attempted to keep open discussions with all, based around trade and fair exchange. Rand had said, “The trader and the warrior have been fundamental antagonist throughout history.” His movement away from aggressive wars, political globalism and multi-lateral agreements keep our own self-interests as paramount. It’s the application of the trader principle.

Lastly, his counter-punch mindset and approach is completely in line with our moral rightness of retaliation. He may prod or poke, but does not pull the proverbial trigger until he’s attacked, either with words or actions.

There is a dire threat that’s facing our country today with the abuses and power of the ingrained bureaucracy utilized for political purposes. It's imperative that all Americans unite, led by the voices of reason to identify and expose this fundamental threat to freedom. It's not about the false alternative of Trump or never Trump, it's about the American system and the fundamental role, purpose and responsibilities of government, regardless ones political persuasion.

As Objectivists, we need to continually apply our principles in the real world of what is, slowly moving it to where it should be. We need to descend from the “ivory tower” to the first floor of reality. Trump may not be able to articulate the principles, but are not what’s mentioned above consistent with our most basic and fundamental beliefs as Objectivists?






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  • Posted by wrcohen 1 month ago
    When Ron Paul took the oath of office at the time of his first election to the Congress in the seventies, he did what each of us would have done but vanishingly few lawmakers do, he wondered just what he would have to do in order to keep the oath he had just taken! Doctor Paul studied the history and learned that the founders had granted only a limited number of powers to the Congress, so he decided to identify the power being sought in new bills before him, and if that power was not among the enumerated powers he would vote NO, despite his party leaderships wishes. In his first eleven of twelve terms in the Congress he cast the sole NO vote over three hundred times. That inspired college men in two colleges who each founded an organization: http://www.studentsforliberty.org. Since their creation in 2008 they have grown exponentially to being on over 2000 campuses and hundreds of thousands of student activists! Still growing and reading von Mises, Rand, Rothbard etc.
    It is conceivable that in a few years they will be on every campus, recruiting entering freshman, and numbering in the tens of millions!
    Perhaps not Objectivists but they are affiliated with the Atlas Society so they are encouraged to read Rand. They are affiliated with virtually every pro free market organization. I have met them, they are intelligent, value liberty, are motivated to grow the movement, know they are part of a growing organization which is not top down but driven by the members. I had wished this would happen when Objectivists got started but never organized and not active in the colleges as these groups are.
    Enables me to sleep better at night!
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    • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 1 month ago
      Any fighting between objectivists and libertarians is misplaced. It is like arguing about a common global language while being attacked by aliens. From where Pocahontas, the Bern, Hilldebeast, Joe, et al stand, one can not tell them apart...at all!

      We need to be thinking of how to educate and persuade others to want to be of the same mind, not fighting about Ayn disliking Libertarians for co-opting her message.
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      • Posted by ewv 4 weeks ago
        Ayn Rand rejected the libertarians for what they were, not for "co-opting her message". She objected that they half plagiarized and half contradicted her principles, that they were a-philosophical and therefore incapable of defending and spreading of the proper political principles, and that it was too soon for a new political party based on correct principles to be politically successful.

        In the last presidential election the controversy over the Libertarian Party was over the ineptness and lack of proper principles by the party and its candidates, and the fact that voting for what is still a fringe party after over 40 years would take votes away from the real contest, helping Clinton.
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        • Posted by  $  CBJ 4 weeks ago
          Interesting turn of phrase.

          If the Libertarian Party “takes votes away” from Trump, that must mean that Trump “owns” those votes and the LP “stole” them.

          It also implies that voters should limit their choices to the “real contest” within the corrupt two-party system, and that giving them another choice is immoral.

          None of this is true.

          In every presidential election, people are told that they are “wasting their vote” if they vote for the Libertarian candidate.

          As one who has voted for every Libertarian presidential candidate since 1972, I think the exact opposite is true. By voting for my principles, my votes over the years have had far more impact than if I had allowed the two “establishment” parties to dictate my choices.

          Consider this: no matter how you have voted for President in the past, your vote has never made a difference in the outcome. Nor will it do so in the future. Even if you live in a “swing state” that could go either way, your lone vote will not spell the difference between victory and defeat for either establishment party candidate.

          So if you can’t change the election outcome, why vote at all? The answer is that by voting Libertarian, we add to the vote totals of the only party that consistently supports individual freedom. And those vote totals matter – the establishment parties pay close attention when a significant number of voters break with the two-party system, and they will often modify their stands on certain issues to protect their base and prevent further defections.

          On the other hand, by voting for the “lesser of two evils,” we are saying in effect, “I support the political status quo. I have faith in the two-party system, and I’m not interested in supporting candidates from other parties, even if they have fresh ideas that I agree with. I don’t like either of the two establishment party candidates, but I will vote for Establishment Party Candidate X because he/she is not quite as bad as Establishment Party Candidate Y.” This truly is a wasted vote, and does nothing to advance the cause of freedom.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 6 days ago
            "If the Libertarian Party 'takes votes away from Trump, that must mean that Trump 'owns' those votes and the LP 'stole' them."

            It does not "must mean" that. Obviously we are talking about voters choosing how to cast their own votes to be counted within in a real election rather than squandering them for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election.

            "It also implies that voters should limit their choices to the 'real contest' within the corrupt two-party system, and that giving them another choice is immoral."

            It states, not "implies", that votes should be cast for serious candidates, which is what make them "votes" and not an opinion with no impact on the election. If the limited choice makes no difference in reality, regardless of what one would prefer with a different choice not on the ballot, then don't vote. If it does make a difference then it is immoral to not take advantage of the choice. A fringe party that cannot win is not "giving them another choice", let alone a moral one. People already have the choice to not participate in the election.

            "...your vote has never made a difference in the outcome... your lone vote will not spell the difference between victory and defeat for either establishment party candidate."

            Individual votes do in fact determine the result -- they are counted one at a time and the counts added. Included in the process is arguing for others to vote in the best way available.

            That is the way elections work. Elections do not mean and are not intended to mean that every individual vote by itself determines an election outcome with multiple contradictory outcomes. We understand the principle and do not demand a contradiction in its place.

            The alternative would be the abolition of elections. That would be a one party system and it won't be the Libertarians. The pitch that 'your vote doesn't matter so vote for me' is one of the more hilarious appeals from the Libertarian Party.

            "...by voting Libertarian, we add to the vote totals of the only party that consistently supports individual freedom. And those vote totals matter – the establishment parties pay close attention when a significant number of voters break with the two-party system, and they will often modify their stands on certain issues to protect their base and prevent further defections."

            Politicians do not "modify their stands" based on a hopeless fringe party. When politicians look at the vote totals of the Libertarian Party they conclude, "Those are the ones who do not matter because they are not participating in the election''. They do try to get nonvoters to vote for them.

            Their positions are based on the philosophical state of the culture in whatever the area of the voters, with manipulative pragmatist variations within the basic premises. Whether there are two or in the future more than two parties with significant ability to win elections has nothing to do with the Libertarian Party.

            "... by voting for the 'lesser of two evils,' we are saying in effect, “I support the political status quo. I have faith in the two-party system..."

            No it does not. It means that we vote within the possibilities still available to us. It is not an endorsement of the candidates or faith in anything. The vote determines who will be in office out of the few possibilities.

            "This truly is a wasted vote, and does nothing to advance the cause of freedom."

            There is no vote to waste outside of the choices in the election, and advancing the "cause of freedom" isn't meaningfully on the ballot.

            Advancing the "cause of freedom" requires changing over time the basic premises held by most people away from the progressively increasing altruism-collectivism-statism and towards the Enlightenment ideals of reason, individualism and freedom. What people believe determines what kind of people are available to run for office for what purpose, and who among them runs with a possibility of winning.

            There hasn't been a presidential election with a real candidate openly advocating individual freedom on principle -- before he gave up on that after the beginning of the campaign -- for over half a century, followed by the even less consistent appeals to freedom almost 40 years ago (and which resulted in a bigger more statist government despite improvements in the economy).

            The most we can expect now is who within the accepted statism will advocate retaining some semblance of capitalism in a mixed economy versus explicit hard left collectivists. That can be a difference worth voting on that at least makes a difference to our lives. The Libertarian Party does not, and the Johnson-Weld clown team was not even remotely a "party of principle" "consistently supporting individual freedom" or any other principle or anything serious at all.
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 4 days ago
              Continuing from earlier post . . .

              “ . . . we vote within the possibilities still available to us. It is not an endorsement of the candidates or faith in anything. The vote determines who will be in office out of the few possibilities.”

              A Libertarian candidate appearing on the ballot is one of “the possibilities still available to us.” Intentionally limiting your vote to members of the corrupt two-party system, when other choices are available and when your lone vote won’t change the outcome, sends a message loud and clear that you are okay with the two-party status quo and have no interest in challenging it. This may not be the message you intend to send, but that is how the political establishment will view it.

              ”There is no vote to waste outside of the choices in the election, and advancing the "cause of freedom" isn't meaningfully on the ballot.”

              The Libertarian Party is usually on the ballot in all 50 states, and its principles and platform are far more freedom-oriented than anything offered by the corrupt “major” parties. “Meaningful” is not just about winning the next election, it’s about providing a political home for voters fed up with what you term the “progressively increasing altruism-collectivism-statism.” The LP’s growing vote totals show that it is succeeding in this endeavor.
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 5 days ago
              Continuing from earlier post . . .

              ”votes should be cast for serious candidates, which is what make them 'votes' and not an opinion with no impact on the election.”

              Please look up any dictionary definition of the word “vote”. You can’t just make up your own definitions when it suits you. As Ayn Rand says in Atlas Shrugged, “words have an exact meaning.”

              ”If the limited choice makes no difference in reality, regardless of what one would prefer with a different choice not on the ballot, then don't vote.”

              So you’re willing to accept the “limited choice” offered by the two corrupt major parties as a given? Also, in what way is not voting superior to voting for a candidate that aligns more with your views? And what do you mean by "a different choice not on the ballot?" The LP usually is on the ballot during major elections.

              ”Individual votes do in fact determine the result -- they are counted one at a time and the counts added. Included in the process is arguing for others to vote in the best way available.”

              I never said otherwise and you know it. What I said was “your lone vote will not spell the difference between victory and defeat for either establishment party candidate." This enables you to vote for the candidate of your choice, “fringe” or otherwise, without concerning yourself about making the outcome worse than it will be anyway. Being on the ballot gives the Libertarian Party the opportunity to “argue for others to vote in the best way available,” which almost always means to vote for someone besides a corrupt establishment politician. And occasionally a down-ballot Libertarian candidate actually wins.

              ” The alternative would be the abolition of elections. That would be a one party system and it won't be the Libertarians.”

              There are many alternatives to the way most elections are run today. One that is frequently used at the state level is holding a runoff election when no candidate receives a majority of votes. This easily solves the “fringe party” problem, assuming that such a problem exists in the first place.

              ”Politicians do not ‘modify their stands’ based on a hopeless fringe party. When politicians look at the vote totals of the Libertarian Party they conclude, ‘Those are the ones who do not matter because they are not participating in the election'.”

              Right, that must be why both major parties go to such extreme lengths to deny ballot access to Libertarians and other pesky “minor” parties. Also, check out the history of the Socialist Party and its influence on the Democratic Party in the early to mid 20th Century – an influence that continues to this day.

              To be continued . . .
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 6 days ago
              I think you just made my case. For now, let’s just go over your first point, and get to the others later.

              ”Obviously we are talking about voters choosing how to cast their own votes to be counted within in a real election rather than squandering them for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election.”

              Libertarian candidates appear on the ballot in real elections and their votes are counted. (And occasionally at the local and state legislative levels, these candidates win.) “Squandering” is a value judgment, not an argument, and relies on the unstated premise that the only “legitimate” vote is for one of the candidates put forth by a corrupt two-party system – a system that also rigs the election rules to make sure that the system stays in place. “Detracts from the voting” is also a value judgment, not an argument, and relies on the unstated premise that any vote for a non-mainstream candidate is somehow “illegitimate” (perhaps even immoral). “Accomplishes nothing in the election” is also a value judgment, not an argument, and relies on the unstated premise that the sole purpose of voting is to validate the “choice” presented to you by the powers that control the political process.

              Ayn Rand voted for Goldwater in 1964. Since it was widely known by election day that he was going to lose badly, then by the logic of your argument she “squandered” her vote “for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election.”

              To be continued . . .
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              • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 5 days ago
                DBJ left out what I responded to:

                "If the Libertarian Party 'takes votes away from Trump, that must mean that Trump 'owns' those votes and the LP 'stole' them."

                The full response was:

                "It does not 'must mean' that. Obviously we are talking about voters choosing how to cast their own votes to be counted within in a real election rather than squandering them for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election."

                What he dismisses as "value judgments" he claims are not themselves "arguments" overlooks the record of the party's own predicted history and the arguments for the judgments.

                If my responses to him "make his case" as he claims, then the Libertarian Party's "case" itself shows why for 40 years it has remained a fringe party with no chance of winning or coming close to winning national elections, with no effect on keeping out the worst candidates that threaten us, let alone elect anything better. None of his repetitious claims for "legitimacy" of Libertarian Party wishful thinking change that.
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                • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 5 days ago
                  Re: “ . . . the Libertarian Party's "case" itself shows why for 40 years it has remained a fringe party with no chance of winning or coming close to winning national elections, with no effect on keeping out the worst candidates that threaten us, let alone elect anything better.”

                  This is far from an accurate assessment of the Libertarian Party’s influence. If we were to apply the same benchmark to Objectivism, it might resemble the equally inaccurate paragraph below:

                  “The Objectivist philosophy's ‘case’ itself shows why for 60 years it has remained a fringe philosophy with no chance of changing or coming close to changing America’s overall culture, with no effect on keeping out the worst philosophies that threaten us, let alone replace them with anything better.”

                  The fact is that both of the above formulations are wrong because they massively understate the influence of both the Libertarian Party and the Objectivist philosophy. Although neither is yet a major player in America’s political and cultural life, both have made significant inroads and are continuing to do so.
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                  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                    I agree, both are emerging. I wonder if the left has gone so far, it will drive people to the basic concepts of freedom.

                    The right leader (not Trump) could bring a lot of people in line with practical positions on freedom, moving us away from all: hating gays and abortion at the same time we move away from giving all the money and power to the government to waste inefficiently.
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                    Victory in elections follows the spread of the proper ideas. They are not equivalent. Ayn Rand knew that the ideas come first and that political action without that is futile. The Party's "case" does show why for 40 years it has gotten nowhere.
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                    • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                      ”Victory in elections follows the spread of the proper ideas. They are not equivalent.”

                      Higher vote totals in elections follow and reflect the spread of the proper ideas. It’s not an overnight process. Objectivism is not suddenly going to become America’s dominant philosophy, and neither is the Libertarian Party suddenly going to become America’s dominant political party. It’s a gradual process, one that in both cases is headed in the right direction.

                      ”Ayn Rand knew that the ideas come first and that political action without that is futile.”

                      Then explain why Ayn Rand took the political action of voting for Goldwater in 1964, knowing that he was going to lose. Again, do you think she “squandered” her vote “for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election”?

                      ”The Party's ‘case’ does show why for 40 years it has gotten nowhere.”

                      Not true, as I pointed out at length previously. And even if it were true, then by your logic what does Objectivism’s “case” show? The public is far more familiar with the word “libertarian” than with the word “objectivist”. Internet search engines return 10 times as many hits for “libertarian” as they do for “objectivist”.
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                      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                        Knowing that ideas precede politics means that it doesn't make sense to run a party for decades in advance pretending to run for president. It is worse that the Party is both unprincipled and stuck with unelectable platforms, both being disreputable for capitalism.

                        After the Dewey landslide victory disappeared over night no one trusted polls for a very long time. Even if Goldwater could be believed in advance to lose, that implies there was no longer an alternative of two viable candidates to vote for and voting for Goldwater made no difference to the outcome.

                        The Libertarian Party has remained a fringe publicity-seeking organization for 40 years. That is getting nowhere. Objectivism is a serious philosophy, not politics. It's no wonder that most of the public doesn't know the title. Ideas of this kind spread from a small group of intellectuals, not publicity campaigns. Whether or not it ever spreads, spreading proper ideas is a requirement, with very bad results otherwise no matter what political publicity seekers do.
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                        • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                          Wrong on all counts.

                          ”Knowing that ideas precede politics means that it doesn't make sense to run a party for decades in advance pretending to run for president.”

                          If early 20th century socialists had adopted this view, they would never have formed the Socialist Party or run candidates for President. Their relentless political activism paid off big time when their ideas were gradually absorbed by the Democratic Party, which today has an influential and growing socialist component.

                          When the LP launched in 1971, its organizers had no way of knowing how long it would take to achieve legitimacy in the eyes of the voting public. (The same is true of the Objectivist philosophy in relation to the wider culture.) The LP gradually achieved a significant level of recognition and respect, due to its participation in the political process. (Just as Objectivism gradually achieved a level of recognition and respect through public outreach.) Would you say “it doesn’t make sense to promote Objectivism for decades in advance pretending to be a meaningful philosophy”?

                          ”It is worse that the Party is both unprincipled and stuck with unelectable platforms, both being disreputable for capitalism.”

                          The LP’s principles are clearly stated in its platform. Its platform may be “unelectable” at the moment (although some Libertarians do get elected), but it is equally true that, at present, the Objectivist philosophy is “unimplementable” in the wider culture. Neither the LP platform nor the Objectivist philosophy is “disreputable for capitalism” (whatever that means).

                          ”After the Dewey landslide victory disappeared over night no one trusted polls for a very long time. Even if Goldwater could be believed in advance to lose, that implies there was no longer an alternative of two viable candidates to vote for and voting for Goldwater made no difference to the outcome.”

                          By Goldwater’s time polls had regained a substantial amount of trust. Anyone following his campaign was aware that it was losing badly, including Ayn Rand, who said so. (I was a volunteer in Goldwater’s campaign and was also a subscriber to The Objectivist Newsletter in 1964, so I was able to follow both the events and Ayn Rand’s comments in real time.)

                          So again, please explain why you think Ayn Rand took the political action of voting for Goldwater in 1964, knowing that he was going to lose. Again, do you think she “squandered” her vote “for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election”?

                          ”The Libertarian Party has remained a fringe publicity-seeking organization for 40 years.”

                          The LP is a “fringe” party only in the same sense that Objectivism is a “fringe” philosophy – neither has achieved “major” status in its field. Of course it is “publicity-seeking” – so is Objectivism. Promotion of any philosophy or ideology requires publicity. Would you say Objectivism “has remained a fringe publicity-seeking organization for 60 years.”?

                          ”Objectivism is a serious philosophy, not politics. It's no wonder that most of the public doesn't know the title.”

                          Really? That’s the excuse, after 60 years and millions of copies of *Atlas Shrugged” sold? Even in academia Objectivism has not achieved much of a toehold. Meanwhile, the LP’s influence and recognition are light-years ahead of what they were just a few decades ago. This is proof that political activism can and does work, that it can actually help spread “proper ideas”, and that it makes no sense to defer political activism until the wider culture decides to adopt such ideas.
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                          • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                            By the late 19th century socialists captured larger portions of votes because they were cashing in on ideas already spreading. Marxism and other forms of socialism were widely known and sympathized with, having been based on thousands of years of altruism. Socialists did not suddenly become successful by "relentless political activism" in an intellectual vacuum. The ideas were already there, with crucial premises entrenched, thanks to the European counter Enlightenment.

                            On that base, in the 1880s the British Fabians still began as an openly intellectual socialist organization promoting socialism and infiltrating the professions for decades in Britain and the US before the British Labour Party began to have an impact in government. In the US the FDR administration was filled with collectivist intellectuals, employing collectivist slogans for popular support.

                            The Libertarian Party mimicking "political activism" without regard for the intellectual basis is Cargo Cult Politics (in an obvious parallel with Richard Feynman's "Cargo Cult Science" essay). After 40 years of predicted failure and politics becoming increasingly collectivist they still don't understand.

                            Ayn Rand worked politically with conservatives in the 1930s and 40s, but always understood the importance of ideas. She stressed individualism versus collectivism, knowing what was required to defend capitalism against communist ideas, but from observation became more disillusioned over the practicality of politics in a philosophically hostile culture.

                            After Atlas Shrugged became popular but had virtually no impact on the intellectual establishment she realized more clearly the magnitude of the intellectual battle ahead. By the time of the Goldwater debacle she was thoroughly disenchanted with the anti-intellectual conservatives, saw that supporting them in politics was futile and increasingly destructive, and realized that it was too soon for any politics to make major changes

                            She had voted, for the reasons she gave, for Goldwater knowing that one of Goldwater and Johnson had to win. Skepticism over pre-election poll reliability after Truman vs Dewey lasted much longer than that election, but more importantly her vote did not imply endorsement of abandoning real choices to fringe politics. There was no other electoral choice against Johnson.

                            All of her subsequent analyses of votes were in terms of which candidate still made some significant difference (as in anti-Nixonites for Nixon to stop the collectivist McGovern) or not voting at all. She emphatically rejected any support for the Libertarian Party as both premature and intellectually inept and a disgrace -- but as a side issue in answers to questions because the Party had so little significance. It's still like that with the bizarre claims to be putting "Objectivism" in a political platform while its own spokesmen and candidates routinely contradict even what little remnants there are.

                            There is no parallel in requirements for progress between Objectivism and Libertarian Party politics. Ideas precede politics and there are no shortcuts, despite those who wishfully don't want to "defer" . Significant change in politics waits for philosophy; spreading better ideas cannot wait for something else to pave the way -- other than those doing the spreading understanding the ideas.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                            "If early 20th century socialists had adopted this view, they would never have formed the Socialist Party or run candidates for President."
                            But that's not true. Early 20th century was RIPE for socialism. Thanks to two thousand years of Christian altruism and the work of anti-enlightenment philosophers like Kant, the battle of ideas was already won for socialists. They were able to move into the political arena relatively quickly. Even then it took them about a century to truly overrun everything.
                            Objectivists on the other hand have a massive fight on their hands. Objectivists need to undo two thousand years of Christian damage, undo the work of anti-enlightenment thinkers and only then will they be in a position to begin political activism.
                            Until people discover that rational self interest is moral and why that is, there's no way forward for a political movement. You're not going to get any votes. You will be a kooky fringe party.

                            "The LP’s principles are clearly stated in its platform."
                            I'm not sure that it's clear that Libertarians even understand what "principles" are so this isn't saying anything.
                            The issue for Libertarians is that they "borrowed" Rand's economics, arguably the least important part of all her ideas, then ignored everything else and have tried to reverse engineer a political movement out of half-understood, unprincipled economic ideas. Probably a symptom of Libertarians not being very philosophical and not being familiar with the conceptual hierarchy.
                            In other words, not only are Libertarians a fringe party, but they are so philosophically and politically illiterate that they can't be anything else.
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                            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                              We are periodically served up here with the same endless strained rationalizations and anti-intellectual evasions promoting the Libertarian Party, just as a couple of old anarchists occasionally make a re-appearance. This discussion now is not new. Any well meaning party members with any understanding should have left it long ago for something more principled and practical -- that could include even some political activism on specific issues where it can make a difference.
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                              • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                                Any “strained rationalizations” and “anti-intellectual evasions” are on your side of the debate. I don’t redefine words to suit my narrative of the moment, and I don’t put down others who choose a different arena in which to promote individual liberty. The Libertarian Party, while not specifically an Objectivist organization, has accomplished a great deal in terms of generating public awareness of the importance of individual liberty. If our efforts are not “principled and practical” enough to suit you, that’s too bad.
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                                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                                  The endless circles of strained rationalizations and evasions trying to promote voting for the Libertarian Party have been exposed here many times.

                                  National politics as publicity is not an "arena" for spreading the required ideas, many of which are not political at all. There are other organizations that try to generate awareness of the importance of different aspects of individual liberty without being Objectivist; they don't run presidential non-candidates for PR.

                                  Promoting the Johson-Weld clown team in the name of progress in individualism was disgraceful. So were the spokesmen who gravitated into to sounding like the solution to major problems would be solved by focusing on illegal drugs, along with abdication of foreign policy and an unserious slapstick manner.
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                            • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                              Re: ”Early 20th century was RIPE for socialism. Thanks to two thousand years of Christian altruism and the work of anti-enlightenment philosophers like Kant, the battle of ideas was already won for socialists. They were able to move into the political arena relatively quickly.”

                              If the early 20th century was as “ripe” for socialism as you claim, then they could have infiltrated the Democratic Party directly instead of running their own candidates for several decades (which by EWV’s standards was an exercise in futility).

                              And the early 21st century may be “ripe” for libertarianism. The political, social and cultural world is undergoing a rapid and massive transformation. Some of it is in our favor, such as changing attitudes on sexual freedom and drug use. Some of it is showing up in a generalized revulsion against politics as usual, which led to the election of Trump and a threefold increase in Libertarian vote totals. A growing percentage of the population describes itself as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” and Libertarians fit right into that paradigm.

                              ”Until people discover that rational self interest is moral and why that is, there's no way forward for a political movement.”

                              Sure there is. Political principles such as individual liberty and free market economics are being debated within the political mainstream every day. Objectivism is not only philosophy on our side in this particular endeavor, and rational self-interest is not the only valid argument in favor of individual freedom. If it were, all vestiges of human liberty would have been snuffed out long ago.

                              ”The issue for Libertarians is that they 'borrowed' Rand's economics, arguably the least important part of all her ideas, then ignored everything else and have tried to reverse engineer a political movement out of half-understood, unprincipled economic ideas.”

                              If the LP “borrowed” anything from Rand, it was her political and ethical principles. The first few sentences of the LP platform read as follows:

                              ”As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty: a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and are not forced to sacrifice their values for the benefit of others. We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.”

                              Many leaders and other members of the Libertarian Party are well versed in economics, learned economic principles from authors other than Rand, and are primarily advocates of the Austrian school (which Ayn Rand endorsed in part).
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                              • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                                "If the early 20th century was as “ripe” for socialism as you claim, then they could have infiltrated the Democratic Party directly instead of running their own candidates for several decades"
                                Different parts of the world have different levels of mysticism and collectivism and so display different levels of susceptibility to communism. In Russia and China, largely Christian or the collectivist equivalent cultures that we see in Asia were completely consumed by communism.
                                Moving further West into Europe, communism was too primitive, so these "sophisticated" collectivists turned to fascism instead.
                                And finally in America, contrary to what conservatives will tell you, a country founded on perhaps the most explicitly anti-religious, anti-collectivist principles, both communism and fascism struggled to gain ground.
                                None of this is surprising.

                                "And the early 21st century may be “ripe” for libertarianism."
                                Then I think you're misinterpreting events completely.
                                The early 21st century is seeing a large return back to the rhetoric of the early 20th century.
                                Trumps entire election was about the anti-trade, anti-immigrant and nationalist collectivism that we may have expected from an old-school democratic presidential candidate. That's why he won. Not only did he get majority of conservative votes, but he also got many traditional democrat voters to back him. He was the more left wing of the candidates. And that's what most want today.
                                So the political movement is very much in the OPPOSITE direction to where you think it's heading.

                                "Sure there is. Political principles such as individual liberty and free market economics are being debated within the political mainstream every day."
                                I would say this isn't happening at all. No one outside of certain Objectivist circles even understands concepts like "individual rights" without which no serious political discourse is possible. All we have today are people debating various non-essential technicalities of leftist, rights-violating policies. No one is even aware there is an alternative. Meanwhile things slide back towards the intellectual level of what we had at the start of the 20th century as I've already described.

                                That quote you've provided from the LP platform is a good soundbite but if you read the rest of the page the glaring contradictions and superficiality of libertarian understanding of many of the concepts they espouse starts becoming very apparent.

                                But you're missing my bigger point: even if Libertarians were the Objectivist political party we'd all like to see, no one would vote for them anyway.
                                Religious and secular collectivists are not going to be persuaded by individualists. The battle for the culture needs to happen first. Rand did an amazing job when she was alive, but it is very much early days yet. We are far, far from being ready for political activism.
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                                • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                                  Re: ”Trumps entire election was about the anti-trade, anti-immigrant and nationalist collectivism that we may have expected from an old-school democratic presidential candidate. That's why he won.”

                                  Opposition to illegal immigration, cronyistic trade deals and interventionist foreign policy may have been part of the reason Trump won, but it doesn’t explain the 4,489,235 votes that the Libertarian presidential ticket received in 2016. This was more than three times the vote total for the explicitly leftist Green Party candidates. Hardly an indicator of a country that is “ripe for socialism”.

                                  ”Religious and secular collectivists are not going to be persuaded by individualists. The battle for the culture needs to happen first.”

                                  Notice that your second statement contradicts the first. Politics is part of the culture, and political persuasion is an essential part of the “battle for the culture”.

                                  ”We are far, far from being ready for political activism.”

                                  Maybe you are, but many of us are not. Nor do most of us spend significant time criticizing the efforts of others that are working to advance the cause of liberty in different ways.
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                                  • PeterSmith replied 3 weeks, 1 day ago
        • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 4 weeks ago
          You finally said some correct things. Good job.

          I agree, the Libertarian Party has taken away from Trump, more than it took away from Hillary, a net to Hillary. Fortunately we had Bernie.

          Now, to the errors. I did not assert we needed to have a Libertaran Party. I said, Libertarians and Objectivists should not fight. We should be helping them, and they should be helping us, because no two are more aligned in politics. Yet here, we often uselessly argue about tiny differences, while the US burns.

          I like how you assert, Ayn was not upset about co-opting her message, she was upset about "half plagerizied". You really want to assert she was only concerned someone said what she did and called it their own, and NOT that they got attention for it? Yeah, sure!

          Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, and entirely supportive of the argument I am making. Being angry with dead Libertarians is just like black people seeking remuneration for slavery. There may be a reason to disagree with present Libertatians, but they are still a larger group than Objectivists, and the center (left/right) is ripe for the picking. Here we are just arguing amongst ourselves instead of convincing others that freedom is better than force.

          By separating from them, she may have ensured they'd fail. The world will never know. Fortunately the only place I have to argue Libertarian vs Ayn is here. The rest of the world thinks they are the same. Unfortunately the right and left hand may not be connected in the cranium.
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          • -1
            Posted by ewv 4 weeks ago
            "Finally said some correct things?" We, i.e. those with a serious interest in meaningful discussion (not those on the obvious personal vendetta), have had more than enough of Thoritsu's sarcastic, snide, taunting personal attacks, including his misrepresenting what I write.
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            • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 6 days ago
              No, "Finally said some correct things." Have you been drinking? It's right there, ten lines up.

              Maybe you should wait until tomorrow to respond.
              Calling for help...anytime, I guess.
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  • Posted by tdechaine 1 month ago
    Just to address the claim that Objectivists’ disdain for Trump is unfounded, note the following.

    Yes, Trump calls it like he sees it; but without objectivity, reason or truth.
    He is a complete pragmatist without principles (not simply failing to “articulate the principles”. He is an altruist, not an individualist with self-esteem and who defends individual rights. In summary, he is not a moral man.

    Politically he is mixed but mostly wrong.
    Yes, he has reduced some regulations, some taxes (but certainly not for all), etc.
    Yes, he nominated 2 conservatives to the Supreme Court; but that is not necessarily good from an Obj. perspective.

    His foreign policy is badly mixed.
    Yes, he is pro-Israel, reduced aid to foreign countries, etc.
    But his misguided dealings with foreign leaders as in N. Korea and China are pathetic. It is very immoral to talk of their leaders as great persons who care for their people.
    His trade policies are equally pathetic. Tariffs are never a good idea; a trade deficit is not overall bad for our economy but retaliatory tariffs imposed on other countries are.
    There is no such thing as “fair” trade.

    Being a Nationalist is racist and altruistic. Protecting America’s interests is not the same as acting inappropriately against other countries in order to achieve our ends. When our country has bad policies that hurt our economy, patriotism becomes blind.

    He has never proposed rational immigration reform (regardless of whether or not Congress would have accepted it). Whether or not he is a true racist himself, his irrational rhetoric suggests racism against many immigrants.

    Given all that, can he possibly be better than a Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren?
    That’s a tough question; but it is irrelevant in this context. Objectivists criticize Trump for who he is and what he says/does, not for how he stacks up to other statists.
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    • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 6 days ago
      No, it is not a tough question as to whether Trump is better than Biden or Warren. He certainly is objectively better than any of the Democrats, but also certainly not an ideal candidate for any of us. He is probably about as good as we could reasonably hope for, but for many of the reasons tdechaine listed, not an ideal president.

      I will also disagree with the "racist" charge against Trump. Trump's nationalism is an objective recognition that some countries (as opposed to some individuals) are indeed better than others. Would you seriously consider living in a country like Cuba or Venezuela? I know many people from both countries who are worthy of belonging to the Gulch, but they were smart enough to leave.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
      Nationalistic (in the collectivist sense) does not always imply racism. This country, for example, has a diverse mixture of races (all irrelevant). I haven't heard anything in his rhetoric that suggests racism against immigrants -- that is coming from the left that finds "racism" everywhere. His erratic imprecise (to say the least) style makes it easier for them to do "find" what they want, after which they insist it's what he meant.

      It's important to identify Trump for what he is and not "overlook" some very serious and threatening problems, let alone fall into the false dichotomy of Trump idolatry versus the leftist sustained demonization, both of which we see constantly.

      It's equally important to identify all of the candidates in the same terms of analysis of Trump, and after doing that, assess what is left that is best to do in the limited choice of an election between them. One of them is going to win, we have no choice about that.

      There are many "yes, but"s about Trump that we can't say about the others: The "buts" are all there but the "yeses" are not, and the "but's" are worse.
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      • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 2 days ago
        Trump himself may not be a racist, though tweeting and having rallies where simpletons chant "send them back" puts a question mark over that, but that's not the biggest problem.
        The biggest problem is that racists see him as "their" president. Trump has done nothing to distance himself or dissuade anyone from this perception because he likes how they flatter him.
        This is helping to normalize the racists and their primitive ideas in our discussions.
        No one knew who Richard Spencer was until Trump was elected, now everyone is interviewing him because his ideas are associated with Trump's ideas. And by extension this mess is then associated with "capitalism."
        This is a perfect example of what I mean when I talk about the damage republicans and conservatives do to the discourse and why they can be worse than democrats.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
          Trump and many of his supporters do a lot of damage displacing rational discourse on behalf of capitalism and everything else, but even mindless rallies yelling "send them back" are not racist. Wanting to send back hoards illegally flooding the border has nothing to do with race.

          The leftists who call everything they don't like "racist" are obsessed with race. They look at a mob to see what its race mostly is, and accuse everyone else of being racist for objecting to the mob for reasons having nothing to do with its race.

          That race-obsessed non-sequitur has been around since the SDS and New Left of the 1960s, and was the mentality behind Biden's recent "gaffe" saying the "poor" are just as good as "whites". The left thinks in terms of race without regard to concepts.

          Richard Spencer is an unimportant racist, among a handful of racists, who does not represent anyone. He is being publicly elevated by the left, not Trump, in its smear campaign against most of the country as "white supremacist".

          No politician is responsible for the views of everyone who supports him. There was never any reason to "link" Trump with Spencer and no reason for him to go out of his way to denounce him. Politicians do not run around denouncing individuals who vote for them in order to 'clarify' what they don't stand for, and they should not have to. Spencer's temporary support for Trump was Spencer's, not Trump's support for Spencer. (Where do you see Democrats dissociating themselves from Al Sharpton and many other racists -- whom they do collaborate and sympathize with?)

          It's the left that is trying to artificially put Trump (and everyone else who opposes it) on the defensive as "racist". It's an Alinskyite tactic, not a reason to denounce Trump for allegedly supporting racism.
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          • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 1 day ago
            "Trump and many of his supporters do a lot of damage displacing rational discourse on behalf of capitalism and everything else, but even mindless rallies yelling "send them back" are not racist. Wanting to send back hoards illegally flooding the border has nothing to do with race."
            Then why would they want to send them back?
            Also, isn't the whole imagery of hoards of illegals flooding the border just a conservative talking point?
            Most illegal immigrants arrive by legal means and then just overstay. In any case, immigration across the border has been steadily going down for over a decade so to the extent it's even an issue at all, it's one that is improving anyway without the need for the Trump presidency.

            "There was never any reason to "link" Trump with Spencer and no reason for him to go out of his way to denounce him."
            Then why did the Trump team do so? It was Bannon who ingratiated himself with the alt-right and made it very clear that Trump was their president, not "the left."
            Spencer is the one who coined the term "alt-right" so he was linked to Trump by Trumps movement and elevated as a result, not the left in an attempt to smear him.

            One could argue that the Trump team didn't really understand what they were doing or what the alt-right even was, but this is ANOTHER example of what I mean about the damage Trump and today's conservatives do to the political discourse.

            In the meantime, the democrats, who are actual racists, get racism back into the mainstream, all the while claiming to be opposed to it.

            None of this would be possible without the ignorance and incompetence of Trump, team Trump and conservatives in general.

            "Alinskyite tactics" are so hopeless that they only work in the first place because conservatives are even MORE hopeless. I don't blame leftists for taking advantage.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
              People opposing hoards illegally flooding the border want to send them back because they are illegally flooding the border. What does that have to do with race? Everyone is some "race".

              The direct border assault has been worsening because it is orchestrated by groups encouraging and paying people to do it rather than legal entry. That is the source of the so-called "caravans". The left is demanding that those coming illegally be cared for at our expense as a form of international welfare central. Trump says he has been curtailing that through his intervention; who knows if that is true.

              Some of those opposing illegal immigration oppose some kinds of immigration. They call it "illegal" (which it often is) but don't want it to be legal.

              Proper justification for limits on kinds of immigration include criminal gangs, welfare indigents, and disease. This has had a big negative impact on victims near the border and those paying for the welfare, including some cities that have been targeted with large concentrations.

              There are also limits on how much a country can assimilate of different kinds of people with different backgrounds without destroying our own form of government -- there are about 7 billion out there; how much of that can we survive coming here with tribalist and socialist premises?

              An improper justification for blocking immigration is Trump's economic protectionism.

              None of this is about race.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                I'm surprised you have such a conventional view of this.
                I'll go point by point:

                "People opposing hoards illegally flooding the border want to send them back because they are illegally flooding the border. What does that have to do with race?"
                The entire issue of "illegal immigration" comes from actual racists and eugenicists towards the end of the 19th and early 20th century that wanted to stop "lesser races" ie people that look different, from coming over and outbreeding/interbreeding with people that look white.
                Also, the unions didn't want immigrants coming over and increasing the supply of labor, undercutting the ability of unions to shake down private enterprise.
                These anti-immigrant forces were democrats.
                Today conservatives have taken on these anti-immigrant positions, not because they are racists for the most part, but because they are politically illiterate and are grasping at straws to stay relevant.
                So, "illegal immigration" is all about race originally, even if it's loudest proponents today aren't racists and have no idea what they are talking about. They are also making common cause with ACTUAL racists as a result of their ignorance.

                "The direct border assault has been worsening because it is orchestrated by groups encouraging and paying people to do it rather than legal entry."
                But there is no "border assault." This is alarmist language used by conservative leftists to create a false crisis in order to justify expanding rights-violating regulations. Most illegal immigrants don't come illegally and the border crossings have been steadily decreasing for over a decade. This all assumes people going about their business without violating anyone's rights is even an issue requiring any action in the first place.

                "Proper justification for limits on kinds of immigration include criminal gangs, welfare indigents, and disease."
                Yes those are proper reasons. Someone like you would argue them. Most who oppose immigration do not. They are racists, nationalists and intellectually bankrupt conservatives desperate for an issue or cause to identify with.

                "There are also limits on how much a country can assimilate of different kinds of people with different backgrounds without destroying our own form of government -- there are about 7 billion out there; how much of that can we survive coming here with tribalist and socialist premises?"
                That's not a question of immigration.
                That's not really a question of anything. What's the context that requires 7 billion people to move into America en mass?
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                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                  That earlier immigration laws from a century ago included and were often largely intended for economic protectionism, and that some of that was tied to ethnicity (like Chinese doing too well in California), does not mean that concern today over illegal immigration is racist. That is a leftist smear.

                  Early immigration laws also focused on indigents, criminality and disease, but were not fully successful. Especially in an era of progressive eugenics many innocent people were rejected or institutionalized. Criminals got in, including some socialist revolutionaries who were partly the cause of subsequent union violence blamed on industry.

                  Today criminals, some in horrendous gangs; welfare indigents; and the diseased are violating rights, especially in areas where they concentrate near the border and in some cities. Innocent citizens are being badly hurt by this. That has surged and is being politically and financially organized, but how much of it does there have to be before you care? Criminals are always in a minority as long as there is still civilization, and should always be illegal.

                  Conservatives do object to both immigrants getting taxpayer subsidies and the criminals. That is a constant theme in their arguments. It is not "politically illiterate and grasping at straws". The problem of bloated welfarism was not addressed in the earlier laws because there was no welfare state then; the welfare magnet is a major problem now.

                  But conservatives also want economic protectionism, and have increasingly been arguing that a country has a 'right' to decide who to let in on the basis of benefit to society an even more collectivist premise, not a right of migration within objective law. Some of them want protection of their own 'culture', by which they mean their religious sect -- similar to the earlier battles over Catholics coming to the country. But even that is not racist.

                  The issue of numbers of immigrants that can be assimilated at one time is significant in the face of "open borders" and multiculturalist leftists wanting people from the third world to come for our wealth and to replace capitalism. Immigration for them has become one plank in their agenda for us fund International Welfare Center, which ideology we saw with Obama and the rest of the left pronouncing that our material success is "unfair" to the rest of the world -- we use "too many resources".

                  Most of the 7 billion on the planet are in poverty from primitive tribalism and socialism and don't know anything better. "Open borders" combined with the leftist multiculturalism and welfare statism would quickly lead to massive numbers coming here for promised improvement of their lives without regard to our rights. Capitalism, let alone what is left of it now, depends an individualistic philosophy of reason being widely accepted. It is already in danger; a massive orchestration of an influx of third-wordlers would destroy it.
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                  • Posted by PeterSmith 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                    "That is a leftist smear."
                    Immigration laws originate and are based on racism and economic protectionism and it was leftists advocating this. It is not a leftist smear.
                    Today these reasons haven't changed, except the racists have become a bit more "softer" and advocate homogeneous culture, nationalism and white identity, word games meaning the same thing. These positions are now being advocated by conservatives as they move further and further left.
                    There is no rational reason to oppose immigration, just like there's no rational reason to oppose anyone's activity that doesn't violate rights.

                    "Today criminals, some in horrendous gangs; welfare indigents; and the diseased are violating rights"
                    What has that got to do with immigration?
                    All these things should be opposed anyway.

                    "Conservatives do object to both immigrants getting taxpayer subsidies and the criminals."
                    Don't they oppose they for citizens too?
                    That's why this argument amounts to grasping at straws.

                    "The issue of numbers of immigrants that can be assimilated at one time is significant in the face of "open borders" and multiculturalist leftists wanting people from the third world to come for our wealth and to replace capitalism."
                    It's true that the left want to import welfare recipients in an attempt to create a permanent voting bloc for themselves.
                    The problem with this is that humans are not deterministic, so this is likely to backfire, and also that the way to fight it is by fighting the welfare state. Not immigration.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
              If you think that Alinskyite tactics only work because of conservatives being "even more hopeless" you should read Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals that became an activist 'Bible' of the New Left -- and Hillary Clinton's (as one who read the Bible) college thesis at Wellesley extolling him. It is completely nihilistic in both attitude and methods for disrupting and destroying any kind of civilized life, as he demonstrated in practice. You can't blame everything on conservatives.

              No cost downloads:

              https://archive.org/details/RulesForR...
              https://rakesprogress.wordpress.com/2...

              I think you would find some of this history showing their mentality to be very interesting.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                Ugh, I really don't want to have to read that :/
                As a nihilistic, burn-it-all-down screed, isn't it just self defeating?
                It would only work to the extent we let it work by faking reality for these people.
                But Objectivists have actual answers and an actual coherent and practical view for life on earth based on reason.
                Conservatives rejected this and so left themselves open to attacks from their fellow mystics.
                When given the choice they ultimately chose Jesus over defeating socialism.

                They are cowards and liars who can't deal with the most important and basic facts of reality and have chosen evasion and fantasy instead.

                As a result they've made a total mess of politics, making it that much harder to oppose the left and in many ways have acted as the lefts handmaidens and enablers.

                We may not be able to blame conservatives for literally everything but we should be blaming them for A LOT more than we are.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                  You don't read Rules for Radicals as rational entertainment. But you read it if you want to know first hand what is meant when you constantly see it referred to and how the left thinks in its dishonest activism.

                  If you read Rules for Radicals you will see that Alinsky was using his nihilistic methods against everything he went after, not conservatives letting him get away with it, and he got away with it by exploiting the media. Likewise for when the New Left picked up the methods and mentality and used them against universities, which were mostly not run by conservatives.

                  The liberals were manipulated and allowed themselves to be manipulated as they pandered. Conservatives have been more likely to in practice defend civilization against the nihilism, but most of society has frequently caved in, in part because of the media manipulation to smear the targets. Ayn Rand described what should have been done in her "The Cashing In: The Student Rebellion".

                  Then there's Hillary. If you read her fawning thesis you will see that she endorsed Alinsky enthusiastically. Her advisor made her include criticism, so she criticized Alinsky for not going far enough -- she said he had kept to local community organizing when he should have gone national (written with elaboration as she rushed the writing at the end). They became friends from the interviews and Alinsky offered her a job as an organizer trainer after graduation, but she wanted to go to Yale law school.
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                  • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                    I will definitely give it a read, along with Hillary's thesis.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                      They don't take long to read. One aspect you will notice is how nihilisticly unphilosophic they are, yet you will see the usual philosophic fallacies in some of the language.

                      Hillary's thesis was harder to find in the past when I first hunted it down because the Clintons had gotten Wellesley to block access. A scan eventually surfaced anyway. They were well aware of what they did not want people to see.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
              Bannon wasn't promoting racism. He was an advisor for awhile because he was an effective political operative not because Trump wanted a "racist". Making a "connection" from Trump to Bannon to Spencer through who is said to have coined the term "alt-right" is like the arbitrary conspiracy thinking winding around and evading essentials and causality.

              The left likewise will exploit any manufactured conspiracy-like connection to accuse anyone of "racism".

              We don't think in arbitrary conjunctions.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                Bannon actively worked to ingratiate himself with the alt-right. So he was either promoting racism with his nationalism, or he didn't realize they were racists.
                It's either malevolence or incompetence. Whichever it was, this is the source of Trump being associated with racists, not "the left."
                Yes leftists, who are themselves racists, have taken full advantage of this own-goal by Trump, but who can blame them?

                "The left likewise will exploit any manufactured conspiracy-like connection to accuse anyone of "racism"."
                Sure but this is exactly the playbook of today's conservatives, spearheaded by Trump. Conspiracies about border "invasions" and "unfair trade" and so forth...
                You may as well be describing team Trump.
                These people deserve each other and we should be opposing them all. Trump is not a victim, but I do believe he is more incompetent than malicious.
                But they are not alternatives, they are just different flavors of awful.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                  The "alt-right" is so ambiguous that no knows what it actually refers to. For a while it was being used to refer to everything from Trump to anyone not on radical left. Banon being associated with it no more means racism than anything else branded as "racist" by the left. Why wouldn't you "blame" the left for its own race mongering?

                  Referring to the flood of illegal border crossings as an "invasion", which in many respects it is, is not conspiracy. It has many causes, though according to Trump they seem to change sides depending on his praise of the latest "deal" with Mexico. But it's not about race.

                  Neither are Trump's deals in the name of "unfair trade" about "conspiracy". All kinds of laws and treaties governing international trade and taxes between all kinds of countries affect different people in different ways as countries everywhere manipulate their own currencies and taxes on top of the treaties. Trump treats these as if they were business deals in which it is his job to strike a better "deal", with tariffs as a major tool he has the authority to use, instead of trying remove taxes and controls. But it isn't racism. Obama liked the lopsided arrangement because he wants this country drained for the third world.

                  At least Trump's unprincipled dealing is out of love of his country. Obama has great love of country, too, but it's every country except this one, and "love" is not the right word.
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                  • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                    "The "alt-right" is so ambiguous that no knows what it actually refers to."
                    That's not true. Alt-right was a term coined specifically by Richard Spencer in an effort to re-brand neo-nazis. An effort that was remarkably successful thanks to the efforts of the Trump administration.
                    It was Bannon who brought them "into the fold" by declaring his media arm the voice of the alt-right and thereby bringing white-nationalists into mainstream politics for the first time in a long time.
                    Whether he did this intentionally or because he is clueless doesn't really matter.
                    This is one of those examples of where conservatives can be much worse than democrats.
                    This is also why Trump is quite rightly associated with racists. The left didn't need to smear him. Requiring him to distance himself from these people is not unreasonable and he has failed to do so, often even doubling down as is his way.
                    Meanwhile large swathes of the conservative movement have quietly distanced themselves from the alt-right, having at first embraced them and demonstrating they are all pretty clueless too.
                    They are hoping no one noticed, but people like me noticed.

                    "Referring to the flood of illegal border crossings as an "invasion", which in many respects it is, is not conspiracy."
                    If you honestly believe that we have an invasion then you should be calling for military action, because that is the only appropriate response to an invasion.
                    Unless you are prepared to do that, then you know quite well that there is no invasion, there isn't even a "flood" of anyone, that these are just hyperbole and exaggerations meant to incite hatred of immigrants and justify rights-violating regulations.

                    "Neither are Trump's deals in the name of "unfair trade" about "conspiracy"."
                    All of Trumps rhetoric is tinged with conspiracy, he is an Alex Jones-style president. Playing the victim and appealing to the victimhood of people to win their votes is part of his overall strategy.
                    This is in addition to viewing politics as business deals because he has no grasp of the former.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                      Who in the fringe coined the term "alt right" isn't related to who has been swept up under the smear from the left. According the left, you too are the "alt right". Trump didn't do that. Of course most of the right knows it is "distant" from the racist so-called white supremacists; it has always been "distant" from it, having nothing in common with it.

                      When large numbers are illegally crossing the border the military should be used to stop it. The border patrol is overwhelmed, but in part because it is tied up by the left controlling it. Trump tried to use the National Guard, but the source of the problem is bad US policy full of loopholes and being further undermined and obstructed by the left in Washington, including by leftists in the courts.

                      Trump uses a lot of emotional anti-intellectual rhetoric but he isn't Alex Jones. Caricatures of Trump are no way to analyze an election.
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                      • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                        "Who in the fringe coined the term "alt right" isn't related to who has been swept up under the smear from the left."
                        The point is that the Trump administration made these people not the fringe, at least for a little bit.
                        They did not get swept up in a smear from the left, they are rightly called out for associating with racists and Trump to date refuses to concede this point and officially distance himself.

                        "When large numbers are illegally crossing the border the military should be used to stop it."
                        When large numbers of people are going about their business without violating anyone's rights, it should neither be considered illegal, nor require military intervention.
                        Immigration is the greatest non-issue of all time. Conservatives are clinging to it because they have nothing else. No ideology, no understanding of politics, no understanding of philosophy. It's just "stop da immigants!" then profit. The early 21st century sees the conservative movement resemble the anti-immigrant, anti-trade leftists of the early 20th century only with much more confusion about everything.

                        "Trump uses a lot of emotional anti-intellectual rhetoric but he isn't Alex Jones."
                        I didn't say he was Alex Jones, but he plays to the same crowd, uses the same appeal to conspiracies and victimhood and fear. The idea that the whole world is out to get you so you better vote for him and he'll save you from the whole world by building a wall to keep it out.
                        This appeals to today's "right" who have no clue and are therefore scared of everything.
                        Actually an Alex Jones caricature is not that far off now that I think about it...
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                        • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 5 days ago
                          The left gave prominence to the racist fringe, and it is still the fringe. They need the fringe and exploit race mongering for their own smear campaign against their non-fringe enemy. Trump does not need the racist rhetoric and despite the leftist race-baiting doesn't speak in a way that gives the racist fringe undue attention.

                          I do not support border anarchism. Neither did Ayn Rand. Those entering the country are not "going about their business without violating anyone's rights", as already described. If that's all they wanted they would come legally, and under current law we would still have the welfare magnet problem. Much of that already is legal.

                          The leftist media tried to dismiss illegal border crossings as a non-issue and it didn't work. Even Democrats in Congress had to change their rhetoric, now turning it into an international entitlement issue as they demand that we take care of the illegals -- the border patrol is now supposed to be a welfare agency.

                          Conservatives have some wrong standards for what should be legal immigration, but are not "clinging to it because they have nothing else". They have several major issues, including some good ones like property rights, and opposing taxes, environmentalism and bureaucratic control, as stressed by the better conservatives. They are at least thinking and acting out of the American individualist sense of life against the establishment and with some common sense.

                          But conservatives in general do not have an explicit, consistent set of principles by which to defend that, and many conservatives engaging in more ideological arguments are still hopelessly and destructively promoting faith, family and tradition. That in turn causes destructive policy goals seen in their rising populism and in their desired religious impositions.

                          Trump tries to appeal to the country, not Alex Jones. He does not need a fringe nut like that. He needs votes across the country and is acting, rightly or wrongly, on behalf of the country, not fringe racist demagogues.

                          All politicians try to motivate in part through fear or anger or both. What is missing is serious appeal to proper principles instead of the usual vague appeals to altruistic duty and collectivism.

                          But some fear and anger is justified and you should be looking at where the most serious threats are coming from instead of denouncing all conservatives as a bunch of mindless yahoos while dropping the context of the rise of the establishment intellectuals' radical egalitarian and multiculturalist left in American politics. The more "serious" sounding "educated", amplified through the rhetoric of the media, are the source of the ongoing destruction of this country that you will be trying to live in.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 2 weeks, 5 days ago
                            "The left gave prominence to the racist fringe, and it is still the fringe."
                            I think as I've already described, it was the Trump administration that not only gave prominence, but has actively worked to mainstream white nationalism. Trumps number 2 at the time, certainly DID speak in a way that gave them undue attention and they all consider Trump "their friends son." You should look up what that phrase means.
                            I think you're genuinely unaware of how big of an issue this is.
                            The left has simply taken advantage of this and while I understand you not wanting to take the boy who keeps crying wolf seriously, this time there's actually a wolf.

                            "I do not support border anarchism."
                            That's not anarchism anymore than me going to work, or taking a vacation, or running a business, or hiring, or firing, etc.
                            Ayn Rand would've been an illegal immigrant if she hadn't gotten married, unless you think she would've moved back to Russia rather than overstay her VISA.
                            Granted you are FAR more familiar than me with Objectivism, so if you know something specific she said on this subject that could help me, I'd love to hear it.
                            But just applying the basic principles as I see it, I don't see immigration being any kind of issue.

                            "The leftist media tried to dismiss illegal border crossings as a non-issue and it didn't work."
                            The leftists are trying to conflate refugees with immigrants in order to import a permanent voter class, sitting on welfare. Refugees are not immigrants and the two things should not be conflated.
                            In any case, anti-immigrant positions are left wing. The leftist media is just having their cake and eating it too. They get the anti-immigrant policies they've always wanted thanks to Trump, while still pretending to be the "good guys" on the issue and trying to tack-on the refugees, as if it's the same thing.
                            This is another example of the mess conservatives are making out of our discourse.

                            "Conservatives have some wrong standards for what should be legal immigration, but are not "clinging to it because they have nothing else"."
                            The only other issue they have is abortion. On which they are also wrong and left wing.
                            Then I suppose there is their generic theocracy.
                            They don't really talk about anything else because they don't know anything else.
                            There are certainly no conservatives in the mainstream discussing individual rights or rights-protecting government. They don't know what that is.

                            "They have several major issues, including some good ones like property rights, and opposing taxes, environmentalism and bureaucratic control, as stressed by the better conservatives."
                            Sadly those are the real fringe in the conservative movement.
                            The majority are nationalists and statists and more and more are becoming white-identiterians.

                            "Trump tries to appeal to the country, not Alex Jones."
                            I meant one of the ways he attracts people is by appealing to their fears, just like Alex Jones does. He's also a kook similar to Jones.

                            "He does not need a fringe nut like that."
                            Sadly Alex Jones is not fringe. He was one of the biggest things on YouTube until they kicked him off. And again Trump praised him openly from his bully-pulpit. Another kook that Trump (this time himself) has helped to mainstream.

                            "But some fear and anger is justified and you should be looking at where the most serious threats are coming from instead of denouncing all conservatives as a bunch of mindless yahoos"
                            That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to point out that they are in many ways as bad if not worse than democrats. And I've also pointed out how they are actually much better in opposition than in the presidency. They will oppose democrats only if they are in opposition. When Republicans have the presidency no one opposes statism.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 1 month ago
    I think that much of the problem lies in the two-party system, to be honest. Just as the business world is more competitive and better for customers when there are multiple product/service offerings available to meet one's needs, the political world needs the same thing. For a long time, there really were only two ways of looking at the world and it fit the two-party mold rather well. But with the growth of this nation from a few millions of inhabitants to hundreds of millions we have also seen an expansion of ideologies. That is not to say that all ideologies are of equivalent value, but if there exists a sufficient number of people holding those ideas, they should be discussed in the political realm if for no other reason than to force the more traditional mindsets to defend themselves.

    Personally, I would love to see the demise of the two-party system. I would love to see alternative parties to the current Democrat v Republican paradigm - even if that means that along with the Constitution and Libertarian Parties we admit the Green and Communist parties.

    I don't really believe Trump is a Republican - which probably explains much of his differences with Party Leadership (remember the whole Reince Priebus brouhaha?). I don't think he's a Libertarian or a Constitution Party member and certainly not a Green Party member or Communist. He's his own party: the Business Party. And as most elections are actually economic referendums, this is actually quite a sound strategy in a Presidential candidate.

    Will there ever be an Objectivist candidate? I don't think so. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't support the policies of politicians that seek for limited government, lower taxes, free trade (tied of course to property rights), and personal liberty. Trump may not be a 100% candidate, but I'd give him at least an 85% - and that's a whole sight better than anything the Democrats have offered which are closer to 0%. I didn't vote for Trump the first time around, but I will vote for him in 2020.
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    • Posted by  $  TheRogue1000 1 month ago
      I, too, did not vote for Trump...or anyone else in line for the Presidency in 2016. I simply did not know much about him other than his ability to make deals and money.

      However, after two years of "promises kept" and real results, I kind of wish we could have an additional 8 years of him. His statistics are simply marvelous and I seriously doubt there is anyone like him to follow.
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    • Posted by Russpilot 1 month ago
      I have been saying for decades now that the two party system is the biggest part of the problem. It amplifies the "us vs. them" mentality. If we had 5 or more true, viable candidates then we could have a true debate on the issues and the platforms and could vote accordingly.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 1 month ago
        IMHO, the key to this is either a reform or revocation of the Twelfth Amendment which puts the votes for President and Vice President on the same ballot. If it returned to being the runner-up vote getter in the Presidential Election, there would be an actual incentive to run viable third-party candidates.

        (I'd also support an Amendment to revoke voting privileges of retiring/forcibly-retired elected representatives following the certification of election results.)
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    • Posted by PeterSmith 1 month ago
      None of the problem lies with the two party system.
      The problem is a complete lack of understanding of political theory, leaving us with no viable options to vote for.
      Not to mention an altruist culture that rejects Objectivist values thanks to two thousand years of Christian damage.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
        The scope has been much greater than "Christian damage". Christian altruism was embraced by the counter-Enlightenment, much of it secular, and incorporated in the wave of collectivism ever since. Christianity during that period no longer had the power to impose that itself.

        The Enlightenment had largely rejected the religious mentality and implicitly endorsed egoism with its emphasis on reason, individualism and principles of life, liberty, property, and pursuit of one's own happiness, but lacked a complete defense of it in ethics.

        That is how "2000 years" of cultural acceptance of altruism came to dominate politics today. Blaming it all on the "two party system" or the "Twelfth Amendment" is an anti-intellectual, a-historic, a-philosophical slogan adopted by conservatives.
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  • Posted by Abaco 1 month ago
    In my view, the paradigm that we will elect people that we can depend upon for real leadership is dead. This fallacy is why politics has captured the collective psyche of the American people so firmly. I see couples about to break up because one watches CNN while the other watches FOX. Interesting phenomenon to watch from my perspective. Trump good...Trump bad...I couldn't care less anymore. The real answers, the real solutions, won't come from government. The real problems?...What do you think?...
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    • Posted by term2 1 month ago
      I voted for Trump because I thought at least he would mostly stop collectivism from advancing at the rate it was with other politicians. From observation of the hatred the left has for Trump, I would say that he is doing just that.

      Is he consistent, NO. His so called tax cut was actually a tax increase for my small business. His "standing up to China" costs me thousands in tariffs, and will gain me nothing if China buckles and agrees to not steal intellectual property (since I dont sell anything to china and I dont have any intellectual property they would want)

      That said, he is a LOT better than crooked Hillary, and will be a LOT better than any of the democratic candidates in 2020. Given that I wont live to see a John Galt elected, I choose to pick the best of the lot that CAN be elected when it comes down to it.
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      • Posted by Abaco 1 month ago
        I understand. A week before the election I was talking to a developer in Panama, inquiring about a home there...
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        • Posted by term2 1 month ago
          The USA is pretty far down the path to the future that was shown in AS, with little chance of reversal. This means that although there is no Objectivist country presently, There can still be one with a higher degree of personal and economic freedom than the USA
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  • Posted by 1 month ago
    Exceller, I agree with all you say. The principles I refer to are from the perspective as a student of Objectivism and not some subjective whims. And you are correct that rational discussion re politics/economics has left the building, but it hasn't disappeared. It just need to be navigated through the right people that can implement, even if it's one small step at a time. My family has had personal experiences with influential people of both disciples, and I can tell you that rational ideas matter when applied properly to the muddled thoughts of the uninformed. As Rand concludes in her essay Don't Let It Go, "America's sense of life...requires the hardest intellectual battle. But isn't it a magnificent goal to fight for?"
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    • Posted by term2 1 month ago
      I like the fact that the leftists HATE Trump with a passion that shows how he is standing in the way of their policies.
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      • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
        But Trump is ALSO a leftist as demonstrated by his policies. That should be something you are concerned with more than who other leftists hate.
        The fact that there is no counter to the left in mainstream politics is a real concern.
        But all too many conservatives and even some Objectivists are more worried about "owning the libs" then realizing they are becoming just like them.
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        • Posted by term2 4 weeks, 1 day ago
          A true objectivist would NEVER be elected today. Trump is about as close to that. He is not 100% objectivist. Maybe more like 40%. But Hillary would have been like 2%. The field of democratic candidates for 2020 TOGETHER would not get to 2%
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          • Posted by ewv 4 weeks, 1 day ago
            This isn't about electing an Objectivist at all, only what is most tolerable to have to live under during the term of office. "Objectivist" means a lot more than semi-compatible political policies, and Trump is nowhere near "40%", starting with his emotional thinking and bad ethics at the root of his politics.
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            • Posted by term2 4 weeks, 1 day ago
              The 40% number was more to indicate that people can be partially rational part of the time and not necessarily 100% rational or irrational. My estimate of 40% for trump was really not very scientific- particularly in view of his very irrational and ineffective Chinese tariffs.
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              • -1
                Posted by ewv 4 weeks ago
                It's hard to know how rational Trump is in his life; he's not exhibiting it much when he speaks, and he clearly has some very bad premises. The idea of a percentage is very, very crude in this context, but "40% rational", if meaningful at all, doesn't get anyone very far for any particular choice. A choice is either rational or it isn't.

                But even when he has a better approach or goal than others, not every good idea or every action deemed acceptable at the moment is "Objectivist". People can have good ideas arising out of some semblance of common sense and expertise, random influence, mixed in with bad premises.

                Objectivism is a philosophy embracing thinking, morality, and a kind of sense of life more than politics. The idea of calling an isolated political act of the moment "Objectivist" because it happens to coincide with something Objectivism would imply is very dangerous.

                A collectivist who wants a better economy for "the nation" and implements a statist policy that makes some improvement, at least for the moment, is not being "Objectivist". In our being stuck with a mixed political system becoming worse it's better to have relatively more prosperity than more impoverishment, but that doesn't make the politics "Objectivist".
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                • Posted by term2 4 weeks ago
                  Actually I agree with your points. What makes sense is not necessarily done in accordance with objectivist thought processes

                  I think trump gave the Chinese government to erase out their communist leanings, which of course they would reject. What he really wants now is for Americans to stop buying Chinese stuff for patriotic/philosophical reasons. I think this is a good idea due to china’s Avowed expansionist moves we wouldn’t buy from nazi hitler and shouldn’t buy from communist China either
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                    "What makes sense is not necessarily done in accordance with objectivist thought processes."

                    I think it's very important in our own thinking to not equate "Objectivist" with whatever isolated event we happen to approve of in the sea of disasters of the current political context.

                    Not only can something be done for the wrong motives or for superficial correct motives (or by accident), an isolated event may seem to be some kind of improvement but in a terrible context that has no ideal solution and with results nothing like Objectivist values even though there may be a relative improvement.

                    Some tax going down temporarily isn't necessarily "Objectivist" -- the whole system is wrong, and so is a law lowering some taxes while raising others, especially when even a reduction is done for nationalist collective purposes of "the economy" rather than for the rights of the individual, and accompanied by appeals to soak the rich. That someone likes his tax going down doesn't make it "Objectivist" -- his own motive for liking that one aspect may be, but not the tax just because part of it is lower for someone.

                    None of us should be praising Trump for being "Objectivist" in any way to any degree.

                    Practical tactics in this political mess are neither Objectivist nor non-Objectivist; the philosophical term does not apply. With a proper Objectivist approach one can do better with better thinking, but that's it -- the results are neither Objectivist nor non-Objectivist. Maneuvering through this crap should not be identified as "Objectivist" at all. It has nothing to do with the principles. Our method of thinking may, but that kind of thinking surely does not apply to Trump or his package deals no matter what we think of any of his particular actions that may be some kind of improvement within the mess.

                    That isn't the only realm where this topic of what is "Objectivist" comes up. In a positive setting such as the sciences there is no such things as Objectivist physics or Objectivist mathematics, they are just physics and mathematics. There can be an Objectivist philosophy of a science, but that science itself is only the science, not an "Objectivist science".
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                    • Posted by term2 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                      Actually I agree with you. I find it troubling that we have to live through such an intellectually inconsistent and confusing time. Nothing is as it seems, really. Everything that is done has some reasonable elements to it along with a lot of very unreasonable ones.

                      Maybe this is why AR made such a deal about a gulch where the people there could recharge.
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                    • Posted by 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                      You are correct in all you say and that is why it's important for the principled to take what may be positive (for what ever the reason) and wrap it in the principle that should explain properly to educate those who don't have the depth of your understanding. Identify properly, but stay positive. We need to broaden our audience
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                    His protectionist/patriotic 'don't buy from China' desire is not a rational policy based on national defense.

                    Even within his framework, he says nothing about the fact that so much of what we buy "from China" is from American companies in China.

                    How does this affect your company?
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                    • Posted by term2 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                      We have been buying nearly 2/3 of our raw material and subassemblies from china for 3-4 years. We stopped buying from american companies because THEY buy from china and then mark up the same items a LOT. Example is a 48 inch trailer wire connector we buy for 65 cents directly from china, that would cost us over $3 from a company here. I bet they buy from china and just mark it up.

                      We buy from china for several reasons: 1) Cost, 2) We cant get the same product here in the USA because its NOT made here anymore, and 3) if we had to pay the USA raw material and labor prices we would kill our business and go bankrupt.

                      I have had a sinking feeling that from a quick review of history that the communist chinese government is following the centuries old pattern of expansionist collectivism of china, and that one day we will be fighting china for our survival. I admit that I kind of put this feeling on the back burner.

                      China's recent reaction to Hong Kong, given that THEY made a deal for another 20 years to leave it free, leaves little to the imagination as to their honesty and intentions. I am convinced at this point that the more we trade with them, the more militant they are going to get and will threaten to take over the world.

                      Would it have made sense to trade with hitler in the 1940's ? He would have taken the profits to help build up his weapons.

                      There will never be a "deal" with china as I see it. Their goals are pretty set in stone, and they arent going to give them up at this point for some tariff concessions on the part of the USA.

                      I think that Trump's plan all along was to starve China of foreign exchange by having the USA drastically cut back on and possibly just cease trade altogether. He set up relatively small tariffs to forewarn USA citizens and encourage them to slow down purchases. The idea was also to give the chinese one last chance to "reform". Obviously that didnt work. Now he is reverting to the idea that its time to just stop trading with china in order to keep china from gaining the power they want to rule the world.

                      I wish he would just come out and say this, and encourage the people of the USA to not shoot themselves in the foot by providing trading benefits to such a totalitarian power. But I get the message. It is a rational response to china at this point.

                      The tarrifs are hurting our company a LOT. Some of our biggest purchases just arent available in other countries YET. Our largest supplier is starting up an operation in Cambodia as fast as he can so his USA customers can still buy from him. We are madly looking at Vietnam and India for alternate suppliers also. It does take time.

                      Making the items in the USA is just not in the cards. The costs here are 3x what they were in china. With the tariffs at 30% and probably increasing to 100% soon, we will still have to buy from china until we qualify alternate suppliers.
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                      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                        Maybe he hasn't come out and said it because he hasn't thought of it? China is not the only country against which he's using tariffs to force a "deal".

                        Meanwhile, you seem to be forced to look for alternate suppliers in alternate communist countries susceptible to a Chinese takeover.
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                      • Posted by 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                        One of the more thoughtful responses in this thread
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                        • Posted by term2 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                          The fate of our small company and our 10 employees rests on our ability to somehow get the supplies we need at the prices we can afford so we can offer our customers what they need at the prices they can pay. We actually ship to many foreign countries (not china actually) and we sell more to those countries than we buy from china- so our balance of payments benefits the USA.
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                    • Posted by 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                      ewv, I would like your thoughts on the following as you mention national defense above. We know providing a military is one of the proper functions of a government and steel/aluminum is an integral part of EVERY branch of our armed forces. For the first half of the 20th century we provided the vast majority of the world's production.
                      Since 1967 we have steadily dropped from 26% to less than 7% in 2016. During that same period China has increase from 2% to over 50% of the world's production. Possibly more today.
                      For the same reasons that we should be energy independent, should we not be concerned if we ever had to ramp up our military and have to rely on China for supply. Nothing to do with Trump, but more of what our military needs are without having to deal with a potential future enemy.
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                      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                        Aren't most of our steel and aluminum imports from Canada regardless of world production statistics? Isn't importing from China rare earth metals required for electronics a bigger problem?

                        In general, not relying on an enemy for anything required is common sense. It's not just resources specifically for defense. We also have to live.

                        More difficult is determining who over time are reliable allies secure from takeover themselvese, what our essential requirements are, and how long it takes to make adjustments.
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                    • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                      Trump's "Don't buy from China" is founded on the most objective of all of his policies: the idea that intellectual property should be protected from thieves. While it is a policy that is risky financially, it is one that is worth fighting for philosophically.
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                      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                        Trump uses the term "intellectual property rights" but does not seem to understand it as an absolute principle. He sees everything as negotiating a deal in which almost everything is up for grabs. Running a proper government is not running a business.
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                        • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                          You are quite correct in saying that Trump sees everything as negotiating. A popular saying is that you get what you negotiate, but more accurately in Trump's case, you don't get what you don't negotiate for. As an inventor, I am enboldened by Trump's willingness to fight this battle that very few people are willing to fight for.
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                          • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                            He's not fighting for the principle. He doesn't understand the concept. He's a Pragmatist using intellectual property rights as a bargaining chip in his deal-making, which may or may not result in some temporary reduction of the theft, but with nothing left at the end that he cares about regardless of continuing theft. Rights aren't protected or fought for by negotiating with criminals. Pragmatism is a false alternative to Bush and Obama doing nothing.
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                            • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                              This did not deserve to be downvoted.
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                              • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                There is a lot of personal resentment and hostility on this forum, related to hostility towards Ayn Rand's philosophy and any one who thinks in such terms, parodied with vicious falsehoods. There are systematic, bulk 'downvotes' and increasingly open personal attacks and taunting smears far beyond what you just noticed. It has turned into a veritable campaign by a few zealots who are clearly outside the guidelines but tolerated by the moderators.
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                                • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                  The moderators handle this difficult situation with as little control as necessary, in keeping with Rand's philosophy. Governing is much harder than most people think. When I was a faculty senate president, I often had to deal with others' views that I disagreed with. Unlike most politicians, I learned the wisdom of how to allow intelligent people to govern themselves.
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                            • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                              I think Trump's stance on China is the highest risk/reward item in his presidency. It may be the least pragmatic thing he is doing.
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                              • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                We may think it is one of the most important for national defense reasons, but whatever Trump thinks about it which he can't articulate, Pragmatism is entrenched in his thought processes regardless of different risks. We can't change what he is, but he's all that stands between us and much worse, for as long as that lasts.
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                      • Posted by 3 weeks, 6 days ago
                        I agree totally as there are many ancillary circumstances that play a part. We didn't start with an open and free trade system and have to work out what is, while getting to where we should be.
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          • Posted by PeterSmith 4 weeks, 1 day ago
            Trump is not in any way "close to that." He is not "more like 40%" Objectivist. He is as far from Objectivist as you can get.
            Trump is a big government leftist, passing trillion dollar spending bills, regulating trade and immigration beyond even the levels of the Obama administration and assaulting the rights of tech companies beyond the levels of any democrat administration. In terms of his personal life he is also a complete disaster. All of this has already been said so your post doesn't make any sense given all these facts.

            Sorry but if you support Trump you have no grounds to oppose any of the democratic candidates.

            You love big government leftists.
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            • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 4 weeks, 1 day ago
              That is blatantly ridiculous.

              I support Trump because:
              I do NOT want to see gun control, and he will veto it
              My taxes are lower, and no more AMT.

              These are simple reasons, and it is absurd and irresponsible to argue it is not better than it would be with Hillary et al.
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            • Posted by term2 4 weeks, 1 day ago
              Hardly. I dislike leftist actions no matter who does them. I vote for the lesser of the evils if there are no objectivists running.

              So who did you vote for in 2016, if you voted at all
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    The “difference” Ayn Rand made in voting for Goldwater was in voting her convictions and slightly adding to Goldwater’s vote totals. The “difference” Libertarians make in voting for their candidates is in voting their convictions and slightly adding to their party’s vote totals (and occasionally winning a local or state legislative election).

    By going to great lengths to prevent “minor party” candidates from appearing on the ballot, the corrupt two-party system blocks the “role of ideas” from having any say in “determining what kind of government we have.” Just because most people lack the “proper standards” to make better choices does not mean that they should be denied any choices other than those the corrupt two-party system permits them to make.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
      You left out that the vote was between Goldwater and Johnson; voting for Goldwater did not ignore a race between two other, viable candidates where the outcome between them made a difference. This has been explained several times now.

      Fringe candidates now are on the ballot and it makes no difference to their fringe status because of the ideas they represent. The role of basic ideas driving politics cannot be rationalized away with a half century of repetitious claims of "corruption". There is a lot of corruption, but it's a consequence not a cause.

      But the Libertarian Party's perpetual fringe status is not the only reason to not support it, as discussed previously.
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      • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks ago
        Goldwater was in no way a "viable" candidate by the time the election rolled around. And reality does not neatly divide into "causes" and "consequences". Corruption is both a cause and a consequence of today's political landscape, including the two-party system. Google "feedback loops".
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        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
          "You left out that the vote was between Goldwater and Johnson; voting for Goldwater did not ignore a race between two other, viable candidates where the outcome between them made a difference. This has been explained several times now."

          Courruption helps keep itself in power. It does not cause the course of a culture. Repeatedly blaming the cultural and political trend towards collectivism and statism on "corruption" is an anti-intellectual 'evil man' 'conspiracy theory' of history.
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 2 weeks, 6 days ago
            If there are two viable candidates in a race, the outcome between them will always make a difference. How much of a difference is for each voter to decide. Furthermore, the implication of your first paragraph above is this: if a voter decides the difference isn’t significant, it’s perfectly acceptable, even logical, to vote for another alternative that is not going to win, just as Ayn Rand did for Goldwater.

            ”Corruption helps keep itself in power. It does not cause the course of a culture.”

            Your second sentence contradicts the first. By keeping itself in power, corruption maintains the continuing course of a culture for its own benefit. Voting for one of two massively corrupt parties, which actively employ the legal system to squash any alternatives, enables the corruption to continue its dominance of the course of a culture.
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            • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 6 days ago
              " "You left out that the vote was between Goldwater and Johnson; voting for Goldwater did not ignore a race between two other, viable candidates where the outcome between them made a difference. This has been explained several times now." "

              That corruption helps to keep itself in power does not mean it determines the long term course of a culture and its politics. Corruption in the Catholic Church did not stop the eventual overthrow of Catholic ideology and power for the Enlightenment; the Enlightenment required a gradual but fundamental change in ideas rejecting the Catholic ideology.
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                “If there are two viable candidates in a race, the outcome between them will always make a difference. How much of a difference is for each voter to decide. Furthermore, the implication of your first paragraph above is this: if a voter decides the difference isn’t significant, it’s perfectly acceptable, even logical, to vote for another alternative that is not going to win, just as Ayn Rand did for Goldwater.”

                I eagerly await a “gradual but fundamental change in ideas” rejecting the subjectivist/collectivist ideology around 1500 years from now.
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  • Comment deleted.
    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 6 days ago
      Forum mechanics: You seem to be responding to at least some posts using the "Add Comment" box at the top of page instead of directly following the post you are replying to by using the "Reply" link. The result is that responses appear randomly on the page instead of after the post they are addressing, which in turn makes it harder to see what you are referring to.

      This one is in response to https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post... Can you move it by copying and pasting before continuing? After you paste into the Reply box you can go back and delete the original one above if you want to.

      Also, posts are much more readable if you use paragraphs by skipping lines. Responses in a sub-thread are indented so the columns become more and more narrow, making more paragraphs even more useful for readability. As the columns become narrower you can paragraph more than you ordinarily would.
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  • Posted by 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    There is no question that the ideas of Objectivism are the most cohesive, consistent, integrated philosophical system that’s ever been expressed. On that, all Objectivists agree. But they fail miserably in marketing those ideas to the misguided (who are searching for direction), misinformed (who fail to integrate properly), the curious (who have put a toe in the water) and all the others that truly want greater comprehension. We have the most beautiful car in the showroom, that runs with the precision of the finest race car, but those peering in the window need to be encouraged to take it for a test ride, and not told by some pompous salesman that they can’t afford it, or do not have the skill to drive it. Over my 50+ years of association, I’ve noticed the circle continually getting smaller rather than filling that showroom to positively explain the benefits of such a fine vehicle. Many that are on the Gulch have varying degrees of understanding on Objectivism, some none at all (not sure why they’re even on), but numerous comments that are posted, while intellectually correct even if context is sometimes not properly applied, reflect an emotionalism that has fostered the cult-like view on Objectivism. Objectivists and those who think they are, fall into two categories; those that want to be told what to think (how ironic) and those that truly comprehend the essentials and its applications. The Gulch is a great platform to expand our ideas. I suggest that every Objectivist read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” We may get an A on intellectual content, but receive an F in Marketing 101. Let’s try to keep more people in that showroom.
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 4 weeks ago
      The best presenter of Objectivism was Ayn Rand herself. She was passionate about her ideas and their importance but wasn't "selling". People were attracted to her because of her honesty and ability to explain what she knew, always tying it to the context of the listener or questioner in terms of clear essentials.

      The ones who were honest and trying to understand themselves were the best receivers and the best source of discussion. They don't want to be "sold". I have found that to be true in any subject. The ones who don't want to understand, aren't interested, and/or have emotional problems of their own don't matter; they can't be reached anyway, at least not until and if they develop their own rational motives for their own lives, and "selling" to them doesn't help anyone. Developing and spreading good ideas in any field is a long term process; it's not like a political campaign for votes in an imminent election.
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      • Posted by 3 weeks, 5 days ago
        Posted by Tavolino 1 day, 21 hours ago
        Ewv, you are correct that Rand was the best presenter, but they were her own ideas. But it was initially Branden that brought it to a larger audience. You say “they do not want to be sold,” with the negative implication that the sale removes the individual thought process re their self-interests. I’m sure that’s not what you meant. A sale is a voluntary exchange of values, be it intellectually, emotionally, or materially. Every social interaction is a sale of sorts. When you leave your house to go to the local market, you comb your hair, put on clean shirt, you wait on line to purchase goods while interacting with the cashier, maybe even striking up conversation with others in line. Your overall attitude and demeanor can either further simple expression or stifle interaction, making your transaction easy or more difficult. One needs to identify the nature and importance of the exchange to formulate what and how is conveyed. From that aspect, life is a continual sale, not in the sense of misleading the facts typical of the “used car salesman,” but properly representing the ideas or goods based on their efficacy and contextual application. That’s rational interaction. The idea is to heighten their interest and encourage further inquiry. There is an old expression that you never know who is in the “audience,” and where chance encounters lead. Sometimes we spread our ideas from the concrete to the broad abstract, sometimes vice versa, depending on the context and nature of the other person. The consistency of the idea remains, whether going up or down that ladder. Your context of “being sold” is someone that really wants to be “told,” an issue with many pseudo-Objectivists. Spreading good ideas starts with a simple exchange, developing and demonstrating the consistency is a longer process.
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  • Posted by 1 month ago
    Thoritsu, the final sentence of your last post is the initial reason and what started me thinking about Trump and Objectivism, which led to my original post. Kudos to that simple identification. This is not meant to undermine many of the rational concerns expressed by others.
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  • Posted by chad 1 month ago
    There is no such thing as 'the lesser of two evils'. To choose one that is less evil is to still acknowledge and giver power to evil.
    Trump was interviewed by Leslie Stahl of 60 minutes after winning the election and before being sworn in. He was asked about some of the promises he had made in his campaign speeches: Would he get rid of the ACA (Obamacare)? Reply; No, there were some good parts in it worth keeping at the most he might replace it (rename it and give the people the same thing). Would he build a wall across the entire southern border? Reply; No, a fence would probably be good enough in some locations. Would he prosecute the Clintons? Reply; No, they were really good people after all.
    It is often pointed out that he is not a professional politician and therefore a straight talker. He is a self serving politician who will say what he thinks people want to hear so they vote for him. He is no less a socialist (but pretends not to be) than Barrack Obama was concerned with stopping the war on terrorism, which he promised he would do and never did. There is no compromise to be made with Objectivist ideals that will not lead to socialism and destroy individuals. Moving a little to the 'right' will not awaken the majority of people, it will only entertain them while they are being deceived and destroyed. If Trump is 'playing 3D chess' as some claim it is being played against those he deceived.
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    • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 1 month ago
      My taxes are lower. No AMT. education is backing off reverse discrimination. No gun control.

      Things are better than they were.

      Someone is going to be president. It is better that someone who steals less money and tramples fewer right be the president. He may not be the lesser evil, but he is better
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 4 weeks, 1 day ago
      Of course there are degrees of evil, and degrees of immoral character. Voting in accordance with all that is possible in a limited choice to minimize the damage is in one's moral self-interest, not an endorsement of any evil and not a moral compromise. But that requires determining what is in fact the least destructive, if either. The immorality is in those who evade thought as they emotionally talk themselves into Trump worship.

      Such a limited vote is also not a means to "awaken the majority of people". That takes intellectual activism, the opposite of relying on the likes of Trump's rhetoric, let alone selling Trump idolatry.

      The claim that Trump is playing 3D chess (sometimes escalated to 4D), was not a Trump strategy. It was self-imposed delusion by Trump idolizers who could not explain away his emotional, juvenile, inconsistent and often shocking rhetoric (like endorsing murderous dictators in superlatives) by rationalizing that he must have some profound thoughts they cannot discern and no one else has yet discovered. (When the appeal became dubious in its effect, it escalated to 4D.) Faith requires such rationalization. To say that Trump deceived them is an overstatement that gives him too much credit -- they deceived themselves with their own lack of thought and objectivity.

      To say "the is not a professional politician and therefore a straight talker; He is a self serving politician who will say what he thinks people want to hear so they vote for him" likewise gives him too much credit. He is not a straight talker at all, just an emotional thinker who will say anything -- which he momentarily believes himself to the extent that he believes anything -- to pitch any deal, as if thought and communication have no meaning other than a pragmatist tools to manipulate people. It's not, while in politics, even just for votes; he does it by nature continuously about everything. We are fortunate, temporarily, that his nationalist collectivist feelings happen to be mostly pro-American economy as opposed to deliberately destroying the economy as the viro left wants.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 1 month ago
    I don't see a single Objectivist bone in Trump's body. His philosophy is pragmatism and inconsistent at that. Yet, he is not a professional politician, knows how to meet a payroll and understands that wealth is produced by men with ideas and ambition. It remains to be seen if his "art of making a deal" works in international diplomacy but just caving is worse.

    There probably will never be an Objectivist President because unbending principles and pure rationality doesn't fit a political system where leaders have to be elected by the people. Maybe we can do better than Trump but he is by far the lesser of the evils and without TDS would be a lot more successful.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 month ago
      “I don’t see a single objectivist bone in Trumps body” and then you immediately contradict yourself with “he knows how to meet a payroll and understands that wealth is produced by men with ideas and ambition.“ that is certainly an objectivist point of view. Plus for a coal digger you should know Trump has brought the coal industry back to life by eliminating Hussein’s insane regulations. Trump is president not a dictator ......he can’t pass legislation he can only sign it or veto it.
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      • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
        He did not contradict himself. Meeting a payroll and knowing that wealth is produced by men with ideas and ambition does not make one an Objectivist. That much was done in the Weimar Republic and well into the 30s under German nationalism. Objectivism is a philosophy, with a sense of life, that Trump does not have. To point out that Trump has some redeeming characteristics as a businessman does not contradict his fundamental antithesis to Objectivism.
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 1 month ago
    Interesting post. Today I got peeved at a caller on my Patriot station who seemed to think he knew better than Mr. Trump about what Trump should be saying. My question was 'Who are you?'
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  • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago in reply to this comment.
    It's not what this forum was supposed to be. If the forum owner won't put a stop to it all we can do is reject the personal attacks for what they are until they either get tired of it or the forum collapses entirely into Galt's Zoo. It has been getting worse, first especially from religious conservatives, and now this.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 3 days ago
    Objectivists and libertarians agree on many things … but Objectivists view libertarians as the pragmatists that they are and would rather be divided from everyone else than united with those they agree with on most things. Objectivists are entitled to their opinions.

    I am not an Objectivist. I am also slightly pragmatic.

    A nation divided against itself cannot stand. - Abraham Lincoln quoting Sam Houston
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    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
      Ayn Rand saw that any political party based on a proper political philosophy could not be practical because ideas precede politics and it was (and still is) far too soon for that kind of politics. The Libertarian Party doesn't provide even that.

      She had it right when she said that we can properly forge political alliances with different kinds of people on specific issues, which some of us do and which is not Pragmatism, but not in a form of compromising principles or else you give them away.

      If she had endorsed the Libertarian Party despite her evaluation of it and the libertarians at the time she would have destroyed her own intellectual reputation and the meaning of her ideas while accomplishing nothing (which they have confirmed over and over).

      The same is true today, as especially illustrated by the intellectually unserious nature of the Party leaders and their choice of the Johnson-Weld clown team to speak for the so-called "party of principle" in order to get "big names". Pragmatism does not 'work'.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 3 days ago
        I don't disagree with what you said. You are indeed correct, but the negative consequence to having such a small minority of people agreeing with us is that we get outvoted in a democracy. In a proper republic, which arguably America had through the late 1800s, we could be properly left alone to do accomplish all that we wanted to, provided that we did not abridge others' rights to do the same. Although officially we live in a republic, it sure doesn't seem like it anymore.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
          The difference is the turn from Enlightenment ideals of reason, individualism and freedom to the irrationalism and collectivism of today. The particular form is the spread of Pragmatism, altruism and Marxism, with Pragmatism having become the philosophy of the progressive movement a century ago.

          With that kind of cultural shift there isn't any means of voting that would work to preserve the country. All that is left is the remnants of the American sense of life that is being buried by the intellectuals, so its progressively harder to appeal even to that for voting.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 3 days ago
            I will preserve the American sense of life at Florida Tech through my new entrepreneurially-minded maker education initiative. Send your future Galts to me, and rest assured that they will get what the Patrick Henry University used to be, but with tomorrow's skill set.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
              Isn't that now a racist hate crime?
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                It probably is by today's redefinition of A = A, but to me and those who exchange value for value with me, A will always equal A.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                  What is the general status of that attitude on your campus? How much is supportive of "entrepreneurially-minded maker education initiative" versus the "racist hate speech" hysteria?
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                  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                    My university is unusual in a lot of ways. We have about 30% international students at the undergrad level, the highest such level in America. As a private university, we have always had to create value for our customers beyond that they could get from a university that siphons money from its citizens without their consent (i.e. a state university).

                    I have the most popular elective classes on our campus, as part of our nanotech minor program and a new "maker" minor that I am trying to get approved right now. Not everyone on our campus is entrepreneurial, but a lot of students are because that is one of the things that I sell as the additional value that they will get from us in exchange for their higher tuition than at a state school.

                    We are a member of the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, or KEEN. See
                    https://engineeringunleashed.com/

                    Admittedly this is a philanthropic outreach of the Kern Family Foundation, the family that founded the company Generac that makes backup power generators. This is no small irony as Hurricane Dorian bears right down on my university.

                    KEEN exchanges its financial values and asks us to engender curiosity, making mental connections, and creating value. I exchange their financial value with the development of maker education content. They quite literally offered me money to convert what I had been doing research on (tissue engineering test bed development) into a class that will soon be taught in the form of Arduino, 3D printing, microfluidics, and bioprinting education at each of the KEEN network universities in a couple of years. They even paid me to visit several of these universities this summer, where I convinced many faculty to be beta testers of my tissue engineering test bed product!

                    In essence, they funded me in the short term to do what I wanted to do in the longer term. I got no only funding but the opportunity to build a customer base in exchange for distributing educational content to other universities that I was going to develop for my university anyway. KEEN gets its values distributed in value for value exchange.

                    Anyone who creates an account at the web site listed above can click on Cards and access the content that network participants share as part of similar arrangements to my own.

                    The following two links are examples of what I have generated as part of that value-for-value exchange:

                    https://engineeringunleashed.com/card...

                    https://engineeringunleashed.com/card...
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                      That is all very good. I wondered if that attitude is widespread enough on your campus to displace the leftist 'race', 'hate speech', 'safe space', etc phobias that have become prominent at so many universities. Do you have any of that?
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                      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                        Perhaps I am insulated from the leftist drivel because I attract producers, but I have never seen a student protest at Florida Tech. The only time the students are not happy is during hurricane evacuation - which will start after classes end today!
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                          Unless a hurrican hits on an exam day?

                          I'm glad your campus has been spared. My undergraduate engineering campus was like that, but when I got to graduate school at a major university the world turned upside down with Leninists, "strikes", building takeovers and more everywhere.
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                          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                            No exams yet. Still too early in the term.
                            Both universities I attended had the usual protesters. Delaware had some, but Michigan had a lot more. We have a lot of Caribbean students, more than any university in the Caribbean, and so our students are generally happier than most students at most universities.
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      • Posted by 3 weeks, 3 days ago
        FYI, the beginnings of the libertarian party was at Brooklyn College, during the student riot years. The initial group formed was "The ad hoc committee against student terrorism," and was totally Objectivist. I attended a number of the early meetings and in fact Rand had endorsed and mentioned the group in one of her columns. The first candidate on the party for President was a professor at Brooklyn College, think his name was Hospers. Not sure, many years ago, lol.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
          John Hospers was head of the philosophy dept at some place like the U of S. CA by the time he pretended to run for president but may have come from Brooklyn. He had also been a friend of Ayn Rand before she dumped him for good reason (long before the Libertarian Party).

          There were many student organizations against the New Left campus riots who were Ayn Rand supporters and some of them turned into Ayn Rand clubs after the fires went out, some good and some not, turning into libertarians. Are you sure the Libertarian Party started at that one group and not a national coalition?
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 2 days ago
            Re: John Hospers was head of the philosophy dept at some place like the U of S. CA by the time he pretended to run for president . . .

            pretend[ pri-tend ], v.
            To appear falsely, as to deceive; feign:

            (dictionary . com)

            You can’t just make up your own definitions when it suits you. As Ayn Rand says in Atlas Shrugged, “words have an exact meaning.”

            John Hospers actually did run for President in 1972 and appeared on the ballot in two states. He received one electoral vote from a Republican elector who was (understandably) fed up with Nixon. His running mate, Tonie Nathan, became the first woman ever to receive an electoral vote. Pretty impressive for a “pretend” candidate of a brand new party.
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            • Posted by 3 weeks, 2 days ago
              As I said it was a long time ago and I do remember them wanting to create the party. Whether it was part of a national coalition I could not say for sure, but I do believe Hospers was teaching philosophy there at that time.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                I confirmed that Hospers taught philosophy at the University of Minnesota before Brooklyn College, then moved from Brooklyn to the University of Southern California where he became chairman of the philosophy department there in 1968.

                Hospers published his book Libertarianism in 1971 and the Party was officially founded following meetings in someone's home in Colorado in 1971. I don't know about the history of prior discussions by people wanting to start a new party that you observed at Brooklyn or elsewhere.
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                • Posted by 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                  Thanks for the update. If I remember correctly the meetings I attended were 67-68. In Rand's Statement of Policy (part 1) in the 6/68 issue of The Objectivist, she makes mention and support of the group. Possibly Hospers was the driving force before going to USC.
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                    According to that article some "Objectivist professors" in the area were helping the students, and since Hospers was at the college, even though he was not an "Objectivist professor" he may have played a role. But Ayn Rand had broken off from him in 1962 and there was apparently no communication between them, so it's doubtful that Hospers was the driving force in that group.

                    Elsewhere the article denounces a flurry of undertakings by those with superficial or non-existent acquaintance with her ideas but exploiting her name or the name of her philosophy. That included a proposed "Objectivist Political Party", but that's all that was said about that.
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                    • Posted by 3 weeks ago
                      I had taken just the basic philosophy courses in Brooklyn College at the time and don't have much of a recollection. 67-68 were also the years I was working at NBI and attended almost all the lecture series. But Rand was very parsimonious with her support of most groups.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
              The pretense was that it was in no way a meaningful run for the office. Getting on two state ballots did not make it something other than what it was as a publicity stunt.

              The Libertarian Party constantly confuses and equivocates between technical requirements and doing something politically meaningful (such as "voting"), then rationalizes a political significance it does not have -- including irrelevant (to them) dramatic quotes such as from Atlas Shrugged here. Observing this pattern is not "making up definitions". Equivocation and rationalization are the opposite of "words have an exact meaning".
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                Re: ”The pretense was that it was in no way a meaningful run for the office.”

                Please re-read the definition of “pretend”, above. Did Hospers intend to deceive people into thinking he was going to win? Were his voters duped when they voted for him?

                Every political party has to start somewhere. The Socialist Party did not “meaningfully” make several runs for the presidency either, but their activism resulted in the Democratic Party eventually adopting many of their policies (which it continues to do).

                Interesting that you consider my quote from Atlas Shrugged, that “words have an exact meaning", to be irrelevant. Words such as “pretend” and “vote”. And I see you still have not answered my question from an earlier post: Please explain why you think Ayn Rand took the political action of voting for Goldwater in 1964, knowing that he was going to lose. Do you think she “squandered” her vote “for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election”?
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                • -1
                  Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                  Hospers knew very well he had no chance of winning and was running as a PR stunt. He went through the motions of electoral requirements in order to do it. That does not make the pretense a meaningful run for office.

                  Every party has to "start somewhere" does not justify any party or starting "anywhere".

                  The quote from Atlas Shrugged is not irrelevant. Dramatically quoting Atlas Shrugged in defense of the Libertarian Party is irrelevant.
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                  • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                    Ayn Rand knew very well that Goldwater had no chance of winning and voted for him anyway.

                    Quoting Atlas Shrugged to the effect that "words have an exact meaning" is right on point.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                      "The Libertarian Party constantly confuses and equivocates between technical requirements and doing something politically meaningful (such as "voting"), then rationalizes a political significance it does not have -- including irrelevant (to them) dramatic quotes such as from Atlas Shrugged here. Observing this pattern is not 'making up definitions'. Equivocation and rationalization are the opposite of 'words have an exact meaning'."

                      "The quote from Atlas Shrugged is not irrelevant. Dramatically quoting Atlas. Shrugged in defense of the Libertarian Party is irrelevant."
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                      • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                        "Equivocation and rationalization are the opposite of 'words have an exact meaning'."

                        Precisely, that's why my Atlas Shrugged quote was relevant to your use of the words "vote" and "pretend".
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                          Everyone knows what it means to say that a vote is thrown away on a fringe candidate and that someone is pretending to run as a candidate for a publicity stunt with no chance of winning. Those words do have meaning. Trying to rationalize that away by appeals to "exact meaning" of words taken out of context while dramatically quoting out of context from Atlas Shrugged is itself a rationalization of the rationalizations.
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                          • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks ago
                            Would it improve your argument If I put my Atlas Shrugged quote in context? Okay, here goes:

                            The quote “words have an exact meaning” was Francisco’s response to Jim Taggert’s misuse of the term “make money”, as in “any grifter can make money.” My use of the quote was in response to your misuse of the words “vote” and “pretend”. Jim Taggert was counting on the assumption that “everybody knows” that his use of the term “make money” was appropriate. You are counting on the assumption that “everybody knows” that “votes should be cast for serious candidates, which is what make them ‘votes’ and not an opinion with no impact on the election”, and that John Hospers “pretended to run for president”, were appropriate uses of the words “votes” and “pretended”.

                            My comments remain just as sound once context for the Atlas Shrugged quote is provided.
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                            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                              Everyone, except apparently the Libertarian Party, does know that an electoral PR stunt by a fringe party is not a viable candidate. The "Party's" history since 1971 has confirmed that. Do the nonsensical rationalizations never end?
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                              • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks ago
                                Apparently not, given the repetitious "everyone knows" assertions. Ayn Rand properly referred to this as an invalid "argument from intimidation" in The Virtue of Selfishness. Her example was: “But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!”
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                                • -1
                                  Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                                  It's an observation, not an argument, let alone "argument from intimidation": Everyone (almost) knows that the Party is a fringe party by observation of the "campaigns" and the results.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                      "She had voted, for the reasons she gave, for Goldwater knowing that one of Goldwater and Johnson had to win. Skepticism over pre-election poll reliability after Truman vs Dewey lasted much longer than that election, but more importantly her vote did not imply endorsement of abandoning real choices to fringe politics. There was no other electoral choice against Johnson.

                      "All of her subsequent analyses of votes were in terms of which candidate still made some significant difference (as in anti-Nixonites for Nixon to stop the collectivist McGovern) or not voting at all. She emphatically rejected any support for the Libertarian Party as both premature and intellectually inept and a disgrace -- but as a side issue in answers to questions because the Party had so little significance."

                      But you can do what you want to. No one is following you around trying to stop it.
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                      • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                        As I recall, there were only two choices on the ballot (at least on my ballot) in 1964. There were several in 2016, and at least one of them (Green Party's Jill Stein) possibly helped sink Hillary.

                        Regardless, the criteria for voting for a clearly losing candidate when two people are on the ballot should be no different from the criteria for voting for a clearly losing candidate when six people are on the ballot.

                        And it's not 1971 anymore. The Libertarian Party has a 48-year track record that did not exist when Ayn Rand made her comments. Evoking her arguments from that time, as if nothing had changed since then, is truly an exercise in "irrelevancy".
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                          The Libertarian Party has a continuous record as a disgraceful and fringe party for the length of its existence. Ayn Rand's arguments from "that time" -- when she made them -- are as at least as applicable now. They are not "an exercise in 'irrelevancy'".

                          She did not have to see first hand the Johnson-Weld clown team posing as the "party of principle" or see first hand the current form of the increasing collectivism that precludes even an otherwise proper attempt to pursue an individualist government through politics without regard to the intellectual state of the country.

                          Ayn Rand's voting for Goldwater did not help Johnson to win and did not endorse fringe parties. Attempting to invoke Ayn Rand's support of Goldwater as implying support for the notion of a Libertarian Party is sophistry.

                          You can do what you want, but there are practical ways to impact policy through political action for those who want to do it. Such activity in politics can make relative improvements in life now -- at the expense of time and effort to do it -- but they don't stop the political trend towards increasing collectivism and statism, which requires more fundamental intellectual change through spreading the right ideas over time.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                            "The Libertarian Party has a continuous record as a disgraceful and fringe party for the length of its existence. Ayn Rand's arguments from "that time" -- when she made them -- are as at least as applicable now."
                            If not even MORE applicable now.
                            Their nominee was stoned off his head for many interviews, they had a candidate strip on stage during the convention, another wore a boot on his head, another wore a transparent plastic coat and the convention itself looked like something you'd find at comic-con...
                            Words fail me.
                            I'm pretty sure it wasn't THIS bad during Rand's time.

                            Describing them as "a disgraceful and fringe party" is pretty apt.
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                          • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                            ”Ayn Rand's voting for Goldwater did not help Johnson to win and did not endorse fringe parties.”

                            By the standards you set earlier, Ayn Rand “squandered” her vote “for a different purpose that detracts from the voting and accomplishes nothing in the election”. Her vote did not help Goldwater to win either (she already knew he was going to lose). I never said she endorsed fringe parties, but I’m not aware of her ever “endorsing” the corrupt two-party system either.

                            ”Attempting to invoke Ayn Rand's support of Goldwater as implying support for the notion of a Libertarian Party is sophistry.”

                            It certainly would be, if I ever said or implied any such thing. Show me where I did.

                            ”You can do what you want, but there are practical ways to impact policy through political action for those who want to do it. Such activity in politics can make relative improvements in life now -- at the expense of time and effort to do it -- but they don't stop the political trend towards increasing collectivism and statism, which requires more fundamental intellectual change through spreading the right ideas over time.”

                            The election process is an important vehicle for “spreading the right ideas over time”. Many voters are most receptive to the right ideas when an election is imminent and they’re comparing programs and policies offered by the various candidates. It’s hardly “practical” to confine voters to the “choices” presented by the corrupt two-party system.
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                            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                              Ayn Rand's voting for Goldwater has nothing to do with the Libertarian Party and does not justify squandering votes on it or supporting it. CBJ repeatedly invoked Ayn Rand's support of Goldwater on behalf of his rationalizations. There is no justification for it.

                              The voters of this country are not receptive to a consistent individualist government as described by Ayn Rand, the Libertarian Party does not coherently represent that and, thankfully, the voters do not want the Libertarian Party's mongrel version either. It's a fringe party.

                              We do not "confine" the choices in the current electoral system; the choices come from primaries in accordance with the kind of candidates the parties realize voters will support. and tolerate. Those choices are the result of prevalent fundamental ideas, which the Libertarian Party has not and will not change by "offering" anything. It's "hardly practical" to wishfully believe otherwise.
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                              • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 weeks ago
                                The choices are the result of the corrupt two-party system. Those of us in the Libertarian Party want other choices and are willing to work for them.

                                And I brought up the Goldwater campaign to demonstrate that your arguments use different standards regarding “squandering” votes for losing candidates, depending on who is doing the alleged “squandering”.
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                                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks ago
                                  Ayn Rand did not squander a vote on Goldwater, there was no other choice against Johnson and nothing to not squander it on. That's not a "double standard" for ignoring the fringe party and voting where it makes a difference.

                                  Blaming the current state of politics on "corruption" is the same anti-intellectual ignoring of the role of ideas in determining what kind of government we have. Everyone wants "better choices", but most don't understand the proper standards for what is a better choice and have accepted some bad premises. That is why we get the choices we do.
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 6 days ago in reply to this comment.
    I don't know how I obscured the reference of a pronoun. Did I put big words on both sides? Are pronoun references a protected class?

    Is lying consistent with the policies of this forum? Logical argument presented. No strawman...anywhere.

    Here is my logical argument, again, which you have done nothing to refute in numerous cycles.
    1. Arguing against Trump in an overwhelming manner improves the position of the other potential to be elected, the Democrat.
    2. It is very likely the Democrat who will make the general election will have policies far worse than Trump's, from an Objectivist point of view.
    3. Therefore, arguing against Trump in this manner is not in an Objectivists best self interest.
    4. Therefore, this behavior is not consistent with a real Objectivist.

    One can only assume the rest of the continued whining is because you have no argument, and really hate to be wrong in public. Too bad. That is the beginning of the end of learning.
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    • Posted by Lucky 3 weeks, 6 days ago
      Th- your points 1 to 4. are arguments from pragmatism, not Objectivism.
      Unfortunately when ewv sees pragmatism he loses cool.

      (Like me when I see- Deep and meaningful conversation.. Pause .. to retch)
      Getting an antagonist to lose cool may have advantages, it is not Objectivism.

      Surely, you are not saying that when you have two bad candidates you do not criticize the one who is slightly less bad?

      Self interest, by itself, is not the definition of Objectivism.
      Values such as honesty, and expressing thought-out opinions are part of it.
      Reciprocity is essential, every individual right applies equally to every other individual.
      Bad temper, hurling insults, and poor spelling may be ok in some places, but are not compulsory.
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      • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 5 days ago
        I don't know about your last statement, but agree with the first I think.

        Of course I do not mean to assert no one criticize anyone they don't agree with. People should voice reasonable, well-thought out views. However, it is self-defeating to take actions that lead to the election of the worst candidate. This would include going all in against someone, like CNN. This is not in one's self-interest, unless one's self interest is just to complain about whoever did get elected (which I hope results in one ending up unemployed).

        I think I have been clear on that here. Yes Trump does stupid things. He is far from perfect. However, I want him to win the next election, because the alternative reduces freedom more, much more.

        You can argue my points are not an Objectivist argument, but they are a logical, and self-consistent argument. every argument need not be based in Objectivism to be correct, and actions that are against self-interest and greater freedom are wrong, regardless of asserted compliance with Objectivism.

        I do intend to be practical. If this is a problem with Objectivism, it is Objectivism's problem. I did not set out to make one lose one's cool. If someone wants to troll around and make comments, they better be be ready to defend them with logic, not begin a separate discussion, deflect or simply whine about being picked on. Otherwise, don't make unsupported assertions in comments.

        I have presented a solid, practical, logical argument with a conclusion. One of the group of purists take the logic on, or leave it.

        BTW, some group can stop the cowardly wholesale downvoting to hide discussions anytime.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 5 days ago
        The "argument from pragmatism" you referred to is less pragmatist than a strawman and crude non-sequitur in a non-response to something else. It does not address what I have written in this thread and elsewhere, and contradicts it https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post....

        It is part of Thoristu's sustained ongoing personal attacks that you can trace back on this page (and others), consisting of open taunting, mocking, insults, smears, misrepresentations, made up quotes and now even nonsense phrases like "protected class for pronoun references" all as part of the provocation. It more resembles the mentality of a juvenile lout on a fifth grade school yard, not the "logic" he claims for himself.

        It seems to have begun with a previous thread in a discussion on the role of altruism and fundamental ideas in the course of the culture towards collectivism, in which he concluded with "Arrogant puke" and "I already terminated this worthless discussion, but someone persisted" as his excuse. https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...

        His personal attacks have since become cruder, in some kind of vendetta he is carrying on and permitted to continue with resentment for Objectivism that he repeatedly calls "dogma". Perhaps he is accustomed to dominating and browbeating people into submission and thinks he can get away with behavior here that if practiced in person would normally land him on his back.

        I do not "lose cool", over this or "pragmatism" (which I have seriously discussed several times here), but you are right that that such personal disruption is what he wants. But he doesn't care that such behavior "isn't Objectivism". My response is straightforward description and moral denunciation of obviously abusive personal behavior and his disruption of the serious discussion he doesn't like (but not wrestling in the mud he created). He calls that rejection "whining" as he escalates the taunting.

        We have much more important and interesting things to discuss here and we should not have to deal with this abuse at all, even to have to talk about it, but neither can it be ignored now that he persistently shoves it in our faces in his emotional crusade. We know there are people out there who think and behave that way as Alinskyite tactics become more prevalent on the web; the more significant question is why it is tolerated on this forum.
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    • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 2 days ago
      I don't think this is a logical argument.
      This is random statements and wishful thinking at best.
      Your points 1 and 2 make no sense since Trump is no better than any Democrat. You maybe could've made these claims before he was elected, but not now.
      The only reason you're supporting Trump is because he has the (R) next to his name and you'll say anything to not have to move from this superficial view. But you need to realize that both the Republicans and Democrats are as bad as each other. Often Republicans are even worse than Democrats if for no other reason than they end up moving people to vote Democrat.
      Sadly the best option for any kind of short term, time buying, is to have a Democrat President with Republicans in control of at least congress.
      That's the only way we slow the growth of statism.
      But both Republicans and Democrats need to be opposed as the leftists that they are, with conservatives held in particular contempt for their all-round political illiteracy, anti-intellectualism and destruction of political discourse.
      All they do is make opposing dems harder than it needs to be.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 2 days ago
        I don't think it's true that Trump is no better than any Democrat. He has flaws in thinking and communicating that even some Democrats don't have, but the policies of his administration are at least in part better. It's true that his support of statism as the status quo in many ways are being overlooked by his fans, particularly the Trump idolizers who are generally populist collectivists anyway.

        But the premise in #1 is false: "Arguing against Trump in an overwhelming manner improves the position of the other potential to be elected, the Democrat." What is "overwhelming" and what does it have to do with discussions here or with intelligent people elsewhere?

        This isn't about trashing someone in campaign hit pieces; analysis and arguments about Trump should be principled and apply to the Democrats, Republicans, and the whole political situation, identifying general features as well as differences. They provide understanding necessary to assess the state of the whole political culture and what to watch out for. Intellectual integrity and practicality require this, and should not be muzzled out of fear for someone's political campaign out of anti-intellectual Pragmatism. It doesn't imply voting for Elizabeth Warren.

        Whether this ultimately results in advocating voting for Trump or not voting (which I don't think it does), objectivity requires accepting the results, not deciding in advance that it isn't in one's self interest to not support Trump.
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        • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 1 day ago
          "I don't think it's true that Trump is no better than any Democrat. He has flaws in thinking and communicating that even some Democrats don't have, but the policies of his administration are at least in part better."
          I agree with this. But I think it misses the bigger damage that Trump is doing which is to the political discourse itself. His help to normalize authoritarian-like dialogue, nationalism, racists, etc all helps shift everything further left.
          In fact he has been so bad that I would say given what we know now it would've actually have been better for Hillary to be president with conservatives controlling congress and the senate.
          In any case, Trumps actions and the conservatives lack of any ideas with which to counter them is doing enormous damage to the over all discourse and this will result in not only more democrats, but more republicans pretty much running, winning and legislating like democrats.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
            Republicans were legislating and otherwise acting like Democrats long before Trump. He didn't cause that.

            He doesn't have racist dialogue, and the nationalism isn't new: Nationalist in the sense of putting America first in American policy is good -- the opposite of Obama and today's Democrats -- and nationalism as statist justification in place of appeals to individual rights is not new for Republicans, just more bombastic.

            I can live under Trump's rhetoric -- I can turn it off -- but not under the far worse radical egalitarianism of the Democrats and their use of the agencies to punish, persecute and steal.

            For all of Trump's rhetoric, it is not Hitler speeches mobilizing crowds to war under fascism.

            His rhetoric is often bad in its implications, and his extolling murderous dictators is shocking, but he's not one of those dictators; the Democrats are getting there.

            Trump's rhetoric is emotional sales talk as if ideas don't have meaning, which is very bad. The Democrat rhetoric coming out of the woodwork now is far more authoritarian than "authoritarian-like".

            He's a symptom of the state of this culture, not the cause. Neither keeping him nor dumping him will stop the statist trend. He wasn't my choice to win the Republican nomination, but he is all that stands between us and the next step. The Republicans are not offering anything better, and the Democrats... Getting rid of Trump will get us to that "..." sooner.
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      • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 2 days ago
        Let’s just start with the basic, a Democrat is no better than Trump as president.

        I have enumerated freedoms Trump continues to support (lower taxes, particularly the ridiculous AMT, less executive Dept “legislation”, etc). Please enumerate freedoms a likely democrat will support, or otherwise explain how a Democrat’s will be better (and note, the house isn’t switching back, so forget about your Clinton history).

        You have no basis for asserting I vote straight R. This is a baseless assertion, and you should withdraw it. I have made my social freedom positions clear in this forum. However, I will say I get less abusive responses from religious people when I refer to a fetus as a parasite, than I do from you two when I use “pragmatic”.
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        • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 1 day ago
          "I have enumerated freedoms Trump continues to support (lower taxes, particularly the ridiculous AMT, less executive Dept “legislation”, etc)"
          But we've already covered this. Trump hasn't lowered taxes, he has greatly increased them as we see with tariffs. As to corporate tax cuts, they mean nothing because gov spending has exploded, so we will end up paying much more in the long run. He has also passing executive order left right and center. It's the only thing he can do because The Great Deal Maker can't seem to make any deals.
          In short nothing you've listed has actually happened. It's a fantasy you have of Trump and his government, not reality.

          "Please enumerate freedoms a likely democrat will support, or otherwise explain how a Democrat’s will be better"
          For example they won't be banning abortion. They certainly haven't started any economically illiterate "trade wars." So quite a few.
          Also, they will not be destroying the political discourse by claiming to be "right wing" while advancing leftism, unlike today's hopeless conservatives.

          So the practical approach is case-by-case, but ideally doesn't involve a republican president.
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          • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 1 day ago
            It must be that you have never runs business. Revenue and costs are two different things.

            What you must be saying is that he has not balanced the budget, and has increased some costs. Is that right. This is separate from decreasing revenue.

            As to abortion, Trump has done nothing. He has not weighed in yet. Others have acted, inappropriately. I look forward to these actions being crushed, and another permanent precedent being set.

            Economically illiterate trade war? This is worth a discussion. You have made an assertion. Clearly open trade with China is nothing of the sort. One could argue that China’s subsidation is good for the US, and we should welcome products being provided at sub market value. One (me) would argue the west has a completely inadequate stomach for long term investment, and once China has a market, the west will abandon it, and the barrier to reentry is almost infinite in our culture. The Chinese can set prices, and we are forced to pay them. The Chinese will use the money to fund an significant military.

            We are already in an economic war. Whether Trump was smart and highlighted this, or just a pompous instigator is questionable. The Chinese are are war with the west. We just don’t know it.

            You can assert, but we need to go back a few steps.

            Your last statement, again, needs defending. Please explain how all this would be better under Hillary, or would be better under Warren or Biden.
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            • Posted by Lucky 3 weeks, 1 day ago
              Thoritsu- thanks for your views on trade with China.
              I remain in favor of free trade and no tariffs however it is good to see different views sensibly expressed.
              In particular- the barrier to reentry is almost infinite in our culture.
              Yes, but is it culture or is it laws and regulations?
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              • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                I think it is culture. My point was as China drives our industries into bankruptcy and takes over an entire segment and raises prices, we (or Europe et al) will lack the business-economic strength to restart them.
                Businesses will not start with a 10 yr negative cash flow. This is not a regulation, it is our cultural decision making and the smaller pockets of private investment vs China’s public investment.

                They have a long term plan, decades. Right now they are beginning their investment in AI to become a world leader in this area. Why? Because this will allow them to more quickly ramp up military strength at lower cost. This is not an assertion. It is their plan. We should all be very worried about them, particularly as our country loses economic strength through socialism and a decline in work ethic.

                My position on freedom vs tarries and trade is that we are not fighting a fair war. I could be convinced that this is misplaced. Milton Freedman (I admire greatly) opposed tariffs. However, I’m not sure he got to see China vs silly stuff like Europe. Japan could be another precedent. People (me included) were worried about them, but they lacked the resources to really wage this war. China does not lack the resources.
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            • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 1 day ago
              "What you must be saying is that he has not balanced the budget, and has increased some costs. Is that right. This is separate from decreasing revenue."
              No, I'm saying that "tax cuts" while growing government spending will send incorrect market signals which will cost us more than if he had just raised taxes to pay for raised government spending.

              "Economically illiterate trade war? This is worth a discussion. You have made an assertion."
              One that I didn't think would need to be clarified.
              Trade is what individuals do free from coercion.
              If we haven't declared war on a country, then the government should not be meddling in trade. That's pretty much it.

              There is no such thing as "economic war" or "trade war." These are economic and politically illiterate terms used to justify rights-violating and therefore leftist policies.

              "Please explain how all this would be better under Hillary, or would be better under Warren or Biden."
              Neither Hillary nor Biden were/are running on far-left anti-trade policies like the ones that helped Trump win, for one.
              But like I said, a Hillary or Biden presidency would be a leftist presidency, opposed by conservatives in congress. As opposed to a Trump presidency which is also a leftist presidency, but is not opposed by anyone, other than the political theater created by democrats as they get everything they want without needing to control any part of the government.
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              • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 2 weeks, 4 days ago
                I'm only going to read the discuss the first statement.

                I disagree. It is better to cut taxes (now) than to cut spending (which no one was doing).

                It will be very difficult to raise taxes again. The drive to balance will get harder and harder. Cutting what Trump increased spending on is easy.
                Hillary/Biden would've left taxes as is, increased spending in inviolate social programs, and probably at this point, pushed gun control.

                Therefore, the objective we all seek is easier to achieve now than it was before. The chessboard is better now than it was.

                It was/will be MUCH harder to cut spending for social programs we have already committed to, as evidenced by everyone abandoning ObamaCare repeal. We need another approach to get off this merry-go-round to nowhere.
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                • Posted by PeterSmith 2 weeks, 4 days ago
                  You can disagree all you want but you will be wrong.
                  Cutting taxes while increasing government spending means you have not really cut taxes.
                  Just like central banks lowering interest rates without an increase in production and savings have not created any real money.

                  This will have disastrous consequences down the road.

                  "It was/will be MUCH harder to cut spending for social programs we have already committed to, as evidenced by everyone abandoning ObamaCare repeal."
                  Ofcourse it is when you have no political ideology and no coherent philosophy to backup any of your ideas.
                  The religious collectivists of the conservative movement have no arguments against government run healthcare.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                How much do you expect "conservatives" in Congress to effectively oppose a Democrat in the White House assisted by Rinos in Congress? How do you expect anyone in Congress to block executive actions in the Federal agencies and more leftist multicultural foreign policy?
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        • Posted by 3 weeks, 2 days ago
          As you and I have pointed out, there are two definitions of pragmatism. For the purposes of any continued rational discussion, let's keep that distinction clear.
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          • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 1 day ago
            Why don't you just use the word "practical" if that's what you're trying to say?
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            • Posted by 3 weeks, 1 day ago
              I used the two dictionary definitions and is why I said to qualify by using rational pragmatism. You and I can use practical, but most others will still use pragmatic even if they mean practical. This is just another example on how to understand and deal with the perspective of the other party. You, more than most on this thread, would gain much from reading Dale Carnegie's timeless classic.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                Dictionaries describe common word usage but don't rule out invalid concepts such as package-deals. It's up to us to choose words and qualifications to be properly understood. The word pragmatic even when not referring to the philosophy has been corrupted by it in many contexts as anti-principle.
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                • Posted by 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                  Very true and that's why we need to always keep context and identify to properly convey concepts. From an Objectivist point of view, it's a continuous struggle as many use words (and their implications) improperly. It's more important for us to identify and try to correct their misunderstanding, keeping them involved rather than preaching the correct usage with pompous authority, putting them on the defensive and closing any meaningful conversation.
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                    One's own correct usage does not mean pompous authority.or preaching, and isn't less important than correcting misunderstanding. Correct usage without ambiguity heads off further misunderstanding.

                    It may not be appropriate to "correct" in conversation at all, depending on the context. In more philosophical discussion on an Ayn Rand forum it often is, especially when the topic involves the influence of Pragmatism.

                    There is no such thing as a rational Pragmatism and a term like "rational pragmatism" does not help when the meaning of pragmatism is already compromised. It is likely to add more confusion when someone is already confused without realizing it and believes he is being rational. It implies that there is a rational form of the already misunderstood.

                    Pragmatism is (improperly) regarded by Pragmatists themselves as "rational"; they aren't mystics. The corruptive influence of a bad philosophy has to be dealt with explicitly; it can't be papered over with a neo-logicism as a shortcut.
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                    • Posted by 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                      ewv, I did not equate stating the correct usage as pompous, but there are a number of Objectivists that do. But "without ambiguity" means keeping context with another however framed and extensive it needs to be. The influence of Pragmatism is different than today's common usage. And the first definition in the dictionary is "a practical approach to problems and affairs." Words sometimes shift over time, just look at what liberal used to mean. I agree with all you say, but it's more about conveying the proper concept as well as understanding the others context. I want to reiterate, being correct or incorrect doesn't mean one can't be pompous. That's one's flaw in the communication process and is not related to the validity of the statement.
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                      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                        The narrower definition does not mention Pragmatism (I capitalize it to emphasize the distinction), but Pragmatism has corrupted today's common usage and understanding of what it means to be "practical" or "pragmatic".

                        In political discussion in particular they tend to include meaning contrary to or without regard to principle -- "practical" as opposed to "principle".

                        That is because Pragmatism has undermined a rational concept of "principle" -- basically opposing principle on principle. This corruption influences even those who have never heard of William James or the rest of the academic sources because the philosophy of Pragmatism has spread so much into a common way of thinking for over a century.

                        "Understanding the other's context" includes recognizing that and being on the alert for it, and being careful oneself to not use the terms in a way that reinforces it and doesn't make the required distinctions.
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                        • Posted by 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                          Once again, I agree with all you say, but practical and principle doesn't necessarily have to be at odds. You're moving into a subjective interpretation. Still does not have anything to do with one being pompous in their delivery, lol.
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                          • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                            You agree "but practical and principle doesn't necessarily have to be at odds"? That they are not but in common usage are widely regarded as opposites under the influence of Pragmatism is the whole point.
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              • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 1 day ago
                Look it's an Objectivist forum, you're using words wrong. Not sure what more there is to say on this.

                As to Dale Carnegie's "timeless classic," I wouldn't recommend that terrible book to anybody. It's full of random assertions and misintegrations. Hardly a methodical approach to doing anything.
                But why would you think I would benefit from it?
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                • Posted by 3 weeks ago
                  I will not take the bait. Much of your articulate repetition is proper, while some appear emotionally driven. As to why you would benefit from it? As the quote goes, "For those who understand no explanation is necessary, for those who don't none will do."
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                  • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks ago
                    You mean, you disagree with my position on Trump, don't have any counter arguments, so are going for an ad hominem instead.
                    Fair enough, I guess...
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                    • Posted by 3 weeks ago
                      No bait, no ad hominem. I've read the book, lol
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                      • Posted by  $  CBJ 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                        In that case, what is your take on the Dale Carnegie quotes below? It appears to me that he is fundamentally an advocate of altruism, using Ayn Rand’s definition of the term:

                        “Even god doesn't propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?”

                        “If you do something for someone else, never remember. If someone does something for you, never forget.”

                        “Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.”

                        “The world is so full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage. He has little competition.”
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                        • Posted by 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                          There's no question I agree with your fundamental assessment when viewed in that context. The take away from the book is basically social interaction and the 10 basic lessons form a good framework. When I re read the book several years ago I didn't scrutinize as for philosophical consistency, but viewed the general lessons and applications within my own context and values as an Objectivist, as all knowledge (which will lead to civil and productive action) is contextual.

                          1.Do Not Criticize, Condemn or Complain
                          2. Be Generous With Praise
                          3. Remember Their Name
                          4. Be Genuinely Interested In Other People
                          5. Know The Value Of Charm
                          6. Be Quick To Acknowledge Your Own Mistakes
                          7. Don't Attempt To "Win" An Argument
                          8. Begin On Common Ground
                          9. Have Others Believe Your Conclusion Is Their Own
                          10. Make People Feel Important

                          Read into each your own interpretation. To me, it was just about the method of communication, no more.
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                          • Posted by  $  CBJ 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                            Given his premises, I would be very selective when applying lessons 1, 2, 4, 7, 9 and 10. In many situations, they could conflict with certain values we have come to associate with Objectivism.
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                            • Posted by 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                              You're correct that the application is important. I do not use any of those "general lessons" to deceive (either others or myself). If I see a heavyset woman walk into my establishment but dressed with a stylishly, I don't say "you're fat" but rather "the top is very pretty." I interact by bob and weaving (a la Ali) as I understand the context, timing and importance, continually adjusting my response appropriately, but always staying within striking distance, whether trading harmless joking banter or having to smash him with a hammer. It's that simple.
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                              • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 5 days ago
                                So you use the rules as a means to bob and weave? That isn't what serious discussion is.
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                                • Posted by 2 weeks, 5 days ago
                                  No, only to better understand the nature and intent of who I am dealing with. One of my businesses was a busy upscale restaurant and nightclub. I would encounter several thousand people weekly, from regulars to first timers, I always had to be keenly aware of who, what and why was happening, to immediately be able to respond with timely and appropriate action, be it an unsatisfied diner, over zealous staff or an inebriated patron. Being in a "carry state" with alcohol I have a heightened sense awareness. But I also tried to engage in intellectual discussion with my clientele, as there are many Rand references throughout the establishment.
                                  Once I understood some perspective and their profession, I could strike some common ground to encourage further conversation, again matching appropriate response, or gracefully exit. I must have give away over 150 copies of "Loving Life" (to those I thought would intellectually benefit) as the title was non threatening and I was able to navigate around preconceived misunderstandings and biases, of philosophy and particularly of Rand.
                                  So my bob and weave was more to continue engagement (if desired) intellectually, as well as avoiding potential violence from someone who didn't like the way another looked at his girlfriend. Not as an alternative to serious discussion.
                                  As I have previously said, the general rules of the book are for each to interpret, but mostly common courtesy when dealing with others.
                                  As the old saying goes, you get more with honey than with vinegar.
                                  And yes, the initial comment was a bit tongue in cheek as many of the Objectivists I've met over the years, while brilliant (not all, lol) lack social skills and understanding of communicative context.
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                        • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                          That is part of it. Built on that are further injunctions for pandering and patronizing for emotional manipulation. For honest thinkers it leads to distrust. Browbeating versus Dale Carnegie is a false alternative.
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                  • Posted by ewv 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                    No explanation is possible for those don't already understand? How does one understand without explanation?

                    The common quote is "To those who understand no explanation is necessary, for those who don't none is possible", which is the common translation from Acquinas' "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." It was a rejection of the possibility of explaining the impenetrable, which must be believed on faith for which no explanation is necessary.

                    It's probably not what you intended to say.

                    Understanding anything requires explanation -- including a recommendation that someone spend the time to read a book.
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                    • Posted by 2 weeks, 6 days ago
                      You are correct sir. It was off the top of my head and meant to be a lighthearted comment rather than intellectually cutting, which I try to stat away from. but I do love your exactness.
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  • Posted by 3 weeks, 6 days ago
    Are you guys done with this petty nonsense. We're all on the same side. Let's climb down from the high horse or ivory tower, find common ground and deal with what is to work toward where we should be. Rational men can disagree, but the emotionalism and lack of others perspective is counterproductive. Use your knowledge to promote the good.
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    • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 5 days ago
      I could not agree more with your comment.

      I came here to learn and help develop points and discussions to convince others of the obvious positives of freedom and minimal government. I am not interested in convincing 3 people to read everything Ayn wrote and treat it like a bible. I am interested in getting legion to think objectively and understand the pouring power into government is a disaster.

      I believed this was a forum for fiscal and social freedom, not just an Objectivist monastery.

      If this platform rejects my purpose, I'll find another platform to learn from. Until then, I'm going to take on person's attempting to shut down compelling, pragmatic, logical, freedom-supporting arguments.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 5 days ago
        Thoritsu's own posts are among the worst in personal attacks smearing, taunting and misrepresenting others, exemplified many times on this page and others. https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post... It is much worse than petty.

        Even here the snide smears continue. No one is "interested in convincing 3 people to read everything Ayn wrote and treat it like a bible". Explaining and defending Ayn Rand's principles and implications are not "an Objectivist monastery". His threat to "take on" those he smears as "attempting to shut down" his personal smears, which he calls "compelling, pragmatic, logical, freedom-supporting arguments", is a very ugly misrepresentation of what he is doing. Alinskyite tactics do not belong here.
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        • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 5 days ago
          Yes, yes. We all know where you stand.

          Misquoted quotes, degrading assertions, whining, and no rebuttal to the simple logical arguments.

          You can go now. Some of these other people and I are actually having a discussion finally.
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          • -1
            Posted by  $  Technocracy 3 weeks, 4 days ago
            Zealotry is always tiring.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 4 days ago
              What "zealotry"? His assertions are false snide personal attacks in a sustained campaign of harassment.
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              • Posted by  $  Technocracy 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                Forums are for discussion, something too many forget.

                You correct and/or exhort people from your perceived moral high ground. You do not discus, you do not debate, you EXHORT.

                When people disagree with anything you post or think you posted, you interpret it as a personal attack. Often you are the only one interpreting something as an attack, I guess that's what makes it personal for you.

                You are a Zealot by action, and one of the reasons I rarely spend time on here.

                I'm not one of the people down voting you, others do that. It isn't worth my time.

                BTW if you want to attack me as you do others, go right ahead. I do not care.

                Edit- moved nonsensical comma
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                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                  The constant stream of dishonest smears and libelous personal attacks in violation of the guidelines for posting here, as well common sense civility, are here for all to see. That is one of them. It is not "discussion".
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              • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                You certainly show tenacity is sticking with this negativity, rather than getting back to a discussion.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                  The negativity is the personal smears and attacks. Rejecting and morally denouncing that is not negativity. I responded to someone apparently taking the latest dishonest smear at face value which showed the intended results in libeling reputation.
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                  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 4 days ago
                    I will not plead guilty to “smears” and certainly not “dishonesty” et al, but I will say your narrow interpretations, blindsided trolling and lack of response to the simple logical assertions I’ve made...inspire response.

                    If you attempt to knock off the glib remarks, I will attempt to be more clinical, at least to you.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                      Rejecting your personal attacks, including this one, is not "glib remarks" and "blindsided trolling and lack of response to the simple logical assertions". Your personal attacks are not "simple logical assertions". Just stop it.
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                      • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                        Ok Francis. I tried.

                        And I tried once before.

                        You are a complete waste of time.

                        While no one is looking (which is why you have the balls to act like a big shot here), read the story of the martial artist who went to the Shaloin temple asking for training, “Empty your Cup”

                        Oh, yeah and downvote fast, before other people see what an rigid clown you are.
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                        • Posted by 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                          I'm new here. Can someone explain the importance of the up or down vote.
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                          • Posted by PeterSmith 3 weeks, 2 days ago
                            Apparently downvotes are given to the very few people who actually understand and support Objectivism while upvotes are given to the overwhelming horde of religious and conservatives leftists that seem to be very dominant on what is advertised as an Objectivist blog.

                            shrugs
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                          • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                            You get points based on votes.
                            If you get negative votes, your comment is obscured.

                            Unfortunately, there are an infinity of votes, so one need not discriminate. Little gangs, like ewv’s, will globally, up vote gang members and downvote tribe-enemies.

                            People who have nothing else to do worry about points, daily, weekly, total.

                            Read this quickly, because cowards will obscure it as soon as the lights go off.
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                            • Posted by 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                              Thank you, lol
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                              • Posted by ewv 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                I have no "gang" of any kind. He's smearing again.

                                The forum encourages 'voting' by rational assessment, not blanket voting to intimidate out of emotional resentment. Thoritsu's personal attacks should have been stopped by the moderator long ago as contrary to the guidelines and purpose of the forum. 'Votes' do not do that. All of his personal attacks are still there for anyone to see.

                                It's Thoritsu who thinks in terms of gang voting and conspiracy (a practice also contrary to the forum guidelines): "some group can stop the cowardly wholesale downvoting to hide discussions anytime" and "Read this quickly, because cowards will obscure it as soon as the lights go off."
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                                • Posted by 3 weeks, 3 days ago
                                  As I've said I'm new to this, but I am disappointed in the continued back and forth with the underlying tones. I do think that some who might have been interested in learning and participating found this unfulfilling and that's a shame.
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  • Posted by Spiderwilliams 1 month ago
    Ok first, tariffs. Don't work never have and we pay the cost as well as businesses. Can't be for free trade if you are for tariffs. Second, last I heard no bases overseas have been shut down. 800 countries now? I lost count at 175 in 2008. And he's as much a war hawk as John McCain ever was. Listen to Congressman Will Hurds high school commencement address. I was at one and he made me sick with 'How well public schools have prepared you for the future and get ready to be involved in a war zone in OUR hemisphere." Besides that I still haven't heard from him if he's a liberal, conservative or what? Bernie Sanders says he's a Socialist and he is. Sean Hannity says he's a Conservative and he is not. Rand Paul a Libertarian. That's it. No one on those two parties will identify their ideology so asking for their philosophical root premise is a waste of time. Trump wouldn't know what it means anyway. I heard the stuff he made up on Nopolitano and they were friends. At least he's not a Clinton even though he's given them money. So did George Soros her mentor along with Sal Alinsky. I wouldn't judge him if he were not so crude cursing like a juvenile.
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  • Posted by 1 month ago
    My original post was not to assert that Trump was an Objectivist, but many of his broad fundamentals were in line. Metaphysics-It is what it is, Epistemology-Rational pragmatism (for lack of a better term) navigating the cards that he was dealt, Ethics-America’s self-interest, Politics-More individualism than collectivism, Economics-more capitalist. There are many thoughtful comments, but much gets lost in the concretes, while valid, may be out of context. There are also numerous conclusions that are opinion based rather than factual. We all agree that he’s not John Galt, but politically who is? Dr. Jerome Huyler has printed an interesting essay on spreading Objectivism from the bottom up, and deals with many of the comments. For the “pure” Objectivists and anti-Trumpers, I suggest you read Rand’s “How to Pick a Political Candidate” published in March ’64. It may give all a perspective on the binary choice of our system, like it or not.
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    • Posted by mccannon01 1 month ago
      The "Overton window" theory comes to mind here. That is if you want to move the country towards Objectivism it's going to have to be done a little at a time. That is how collectivism has taken such a strong root - a little at a time.
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    • -1
      Posted by ewv 4 weeks ago
      What and where is the Huyler essay?

      Ayn Rand also commented on choosing a presidential candidate in her articles on Reagan's promotion of religion in politics. She did not vote for Reagan (not voting at all) but said she would if the alternative in the choice were another McGovern, which rules out any electoral support for any of the Democrats at least since Clinton.
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      • Posted by 3 weeks, 4 days ago
        A Better Way to Spread Objectivism, Dr. Jerome Huyler
        Objectivism, if I'm not mistaken, is going about the business of spreading ideas all wrong. This is not to cast aspersions on anything Ayn Rand ever said or wrote. It's a communications problem. Galt understood that you cannot tell anyone something he or she is not ready to hear. Americans are not ready to hear about philosophy - any philosophy. It's not that they're un-philosophical, it's that they're thoroughly anti-philosophical. That's no reflection on Ayn Rand or philosophy, as such. Nobody knows less about their profession than professional philosophers. For centuries they have been giving philosophy a reputation of being senseless and useless. For the average American it has nothing to do with, to borrow Dr. Peikoff's formulation, "the real world out there."
        There's another problem. Ideas are spread and get to impact a culture from the top down. It is the intellectuals of the Ivy League Universities who set the course. Ideas filter down from there. Today, the academic deck is stacked heavily against the good - against reason, egoism, individualism, and laissez faire capitalism. So what is there to do?
        I say spread Liberty from the bottom up. Not by spreading the philosophic ideas of Ayn Rand, so much, as by reconnecting with the quasi-Objectivist principles preached and (all contradictions aside) more fully practiced than at any prior time in history. John Locke's principles of reason and freedom captured the founders imagination. Their remnants are alive and well, and living in America's heartland.
        The common man has not lost his common sense, and the principles enunciated in our founding documents still make sense to most (if only for a few hours before and after each Independence Day's festivities).
        Those principles promote reason (yielding the immutable laws of nature), ethics (egoism, individualism, and healthy civic engagement), and a government offering equal protection to all, and so limited to acting as PROTECTOR, but prohibited from becoming a PROVIDER, giving to some by plundering others .
        It was the earliest violation of this last principle which, in time, turned America into the runaway Corporate/Social Welfare State that every American should be working to dismantle, brick by brick.
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  • Posted by  $  Snezzy 1 month ago
    Howard Roark was not an Objectivist.

    Neither is Trump.

    Dynamite hidden in plain sight.
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    • Posted by ewv 1 month ago
      Howard Roark was Objectivist. He was Ayn Rand's portrayal of her idea of the ideal man in The Fountainhead prior to the more comprehensive Atlas Shrugged with John Galt.

      The Fountainhead was a psychological novel showing the clash between the first hand thinker versus the second hander (as in Peter Keating). Atlas Shrugged was much more comprehensive in scope, incorporating the psychology but also all of philosophy in a novel with a more political plot.

      If you are referring to Trump's old statement that he liked The Fountainhead, the problem is not Howard Roark, it's Trump's lack of understanding of what he said he liked.
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  • Posted by Robert_B 1 week, 2 days ago
    So, I appreciate the general recognition of the article regarding the spirit of the "pursuit of happiness" therein. Commendable. Now, there are a few issues. First, "his own knowledge" is conditional on whether he can define the preconditions to make and establish knowledge in an epistemologically consistent manner; i.e. Aristotelian logic coupled with scientific observation. "His own knowledge" is conditional on "his" application of correct logical principles. With regard to "good and bad on the world stage" it seems unique among authors to list them together, particularly when followed by the adjective "parasitical" as opposed to "dictatorial", "communist", etc. Lastly, I would caution the author, in the humblest manner, to recognize that "established" Objectivism was not wrought out with the explicit intent to remove elected officials from a place of legitimacy, but stems from culture designed to be critical about power generally. In this way, the author is indeed an Objectivist, however, focusing on a much smaller movement than, say, the "Trump movement", however one chooses to define that. Nonetheless, thank you for contributing the article.
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    • Posted by 1 week, 1 day ago
      Robert, thank you for your comments and please accept my apology for the specific flaws (“listing them together”) in my writing. I don’t pretend to have any formal training, but rather try to express to express an overall observation I’ve had, particularly over the last 3 years. I agree with your epistemological assessment re “his own knowledge,” and did not mean to assert that his conclusions were either right or wrong, but that the proper process needs to begin with identification (or at least an attempt at an honest valuation) as the premise.
      I also agree with your thoughts re the purpose of Objectivism, and it has been my continued effort to widen our audience for over 50 years, since the days I worked at NBI. At times it’s intellectually from the top down, but mostly with the uninformed I try to find common ground to build from there. In addition, over the years I’ve come across many that have become disenchanted, not with “established” Objectivism, but the “formal” proponents, for a variety of reasons. In recent years I’ve had personal interaction at the highest level of both the mentioned organizations, and have made some keen observations that I have not discussed on this thread. Thank you again for your comments.
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      • Posted by Robert_B 1 week, 1 day ago
        As a word of advice, I recommend that you check your thinking at a fundamental level when you feel the desire to question the "institutional structure" of Objectivism, not because I think you shouldn't disagree, but because I think - on the contrary - you may actually agree more than is obvious to you at that moment of doubt. Just my thought, may be absolutely incorrect.
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        • Posted by 1 week, 1 day ago
          I do not disagree with anything that is positive to advance Rand's philosophy and I applaud all that both ARI and TOS have done to that end. But over the many years there have been many schisms within the "ranks" that have given me pause. Many personal rather than intellectual. Just my observation.
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