Ask an Objectivist! Say No to Paul Ryan!

Both I right here yesterday (I'm a Rand fan and historian, but not a full-fledged Objectivist) and Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic have been counseling the world of pundits and political professionals that it doesn't make a lot of sense to lay the burden (or the benefits) of Ayn Rand on Paul Ryan. But we are just outsiders looking in. Let's let the true believers at the Objectivist Standard lay out for you as well why Ryan does not equal Rand: 

Politically, whereas Rand was a proud defender of pure, laissez-faire capitalism, Ryan supports a mixture of freedom and government controls—including a robust welfare state. Here are but a few of the political differences between Ryan and Rand:

  • Ryan wants to “save and strengthen Medicare,” protect Social Security, and provide a “minimum standard of living” (i.e., welfare). Rand advocated phasing out all such programs and ultimately abolishing the welfare state.
  • Ryan wants to outlaw abortion on religious grounds. Rand recognized a woman’s right to abortion and condemned those who deny this right.
  • Ryan supported the bank and auto bailouts. Rand opposed forced redistribution of wealth in all circumstances.
  • Ryan wants to slow the growth of government spending. Rand advocatedradical cuts in government spending with the ultimate goal of reducing government to only the courts, the military, and the police.

As a consequence of his basic philosophic beliefs, Ryan’s political views are radically opposed to those of Rand.

Will this pre-empt the SuperPAC ads undoubtedly in development right now trying to scare people off the Republican ticket with quotes from, or gross misrepresentations of, Ayn Rand? Probably not. But now you know better.

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  • John||

    So liberals really want to have a debate where the candidates are defined but whatever books they read in their youth? Granted Biden can't read so he would be immune for such attacks unless there is something nefarious about Go Dog Go. But if Rand is what inspired Ryan to go into politics and we can read so much into that. What perhaps inspired Obama to do the same? I am thinking Dems might not like this debate.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I'm not sure what cocktail of marxism, white guilt and anti-colonialism inspired BO. But I know that Joe Biden was inspired by Neil Kinnock, Britain's socialist foil to Thatcher.

  • John||

    So Go Dog Go was a commie. Damn.

  • Drake||

    They all ran back to their tree commune at the end.

  • ||

    If anti-colonialism is part of what inspired him, he sure has a strange way of honoring it.

  • wareagle||

    What perhaps inspired Obama to do the same?

    Frank Marshall Davis comes to mind. I actually brought him up to a liberal over the weekend, and the look that followed in response was one of total vacancy. It was like talking to Kirsten Powers.

  • Mike M.||

    To be fair, I'm not sure that you can expect the average liberal to really understand Obama's background when the so-called mainstream media they get all their info from has done everything within it their power to try and keep it hidden from the public.

  • Drake||

    It is really weird how Obama's most ardent supporters know literally nothing about the man.

  • Mike M.||

    It is really weird how Obama's most ardent supporters know literally nothing about the man.

    That's how it goes with bizarre cults of personality.

  • Shocked||

    They know more about BOOSH then they do Obama.

  • wareagle||

    so liberals have no access to the interwebz? I hear The Google can be quite the source.

  • Mike M.||

    True, but cultists aren't generally known for their natural curiosity and inquisitive nature.

  • ||

    Oh god, here we go again.

    I'm sitting this one out. John can win by default.

  • John||

    I am not defending Ryan or Romney. They are horrible. They are everything you guys say they are.

    You guys win. Go vote for Johnson or even better don't vote. Enjoy your Tuesday morning this year.

  • ||

    I love how stupid this has made you, John. Pure unadulterated lulz.

  • John||

    Why am I stupid? Because I won't defend my team? I thought that is what you wanted Epi?

  • sarcasmic||

    TEAM is a powerful thing. It can reduce even John to a gibbering Tony.

  • John||

    You are right Sarcasmic. Ryan and Romney are awful. The worst. Now what do you want me to say?

  • ||

    Say something dumb. You're so good at it!

  • sarcasmic||

    He just did!

  • John||

    Are Romney and Ryan not awful Episiarch? I said before I defended Bush but I am not going to defend Romney. He is terrible. His candidacy has no redeeming qualities.

    I don't know what to do for you other than agree with you on this. Do you want me to argue for Team Red so it makes you feel better?

  • ||

    John, I'm gratified that you're completely willing to go to the mat with this stupidity. You've just utterly marginalized yourself. And it was all your own doing. Amazing stuff. Enjoy your time in the wilderness.

  • John||

    I am not going to the mat on anything Epi. You guys win. I am just granting you your argument. Since when is it stupid to say Romney and Ryan are horrible?

  • sarcasmic||

    It's like he mutated into a red Tony or something.

  • John||

    I am Red Tony because I admit you guys are right? I will say it again, everything you say about Romney and Ryan is true and then some. They are big spending frauds and no better than Obama.

    If you don't agree with that statement, tell me why you don't. And if you do, congratulate yourself on winning the argument and get off my back about it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red! T!O N Y!
    Red! T!O N Y!
    Red! T!O N Y!
    and Johnny was his name-o!

  • ||

    It's like he can't stop. This is beyond hilarious. I wonder how long he'll persist in being FULL RETARD. I say...until the election.

  • John||

    Forever Epi. You won the argument. I agree with you.

  • wareagle||

    john,
    stop digging. I've seen this road before; it always ends the same.

  • John||

    No Wareagle. I did this with Bush. I am not doing it again. Ryan and Romney are horrible. The Reason comentariot has won. They have convinced me. If the general opinion of Romney and Ryan have changed and their candidacy has some redeeming qualities, it will be news to me.

  • wareagle||

    John,
    I'm telling you..once the Team epithet gets tossed out, it's like chum to hammerheads. There is no appeal to be made on this front.

  • ||

    Mmmmm.... chum... *drooling*

  • $park¥||

    Wait, are you saying he just recently went full retard?

  • ||

    TEAM is a powerful thing. It can reduce even John to a gibbering Tony.


    John is a TEAM RED Tony. He just hides it (slightly) better.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yes the good must be the enemy of the perfect.

    Destroy the good.

  • Penis Carrot||

    Wait, where's the good?

  • Raston Bot||

    Evil will always triumph over good because good is dumb.

    And who the hell has a bookshelf anymore? I thought everyone moved to digital storage.

  • $park¥||

    I have a book shelf... The Kindle and all like it can rot in a stinking pit.

  • Raston Bot||

    I had a bookshelf... when I was twelve.

  • $park¥||

    I'll bet you could beat Dilbert in a nerd competition now couldn't you?

  • ||

    Raston Bot! So, at last we meet for the first time for the last time.

  • ||

    When the "good" is NCLB, TARP, et al, it is the enemy of...well just about everything that would help to reduce the size and scope of the federal government.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Well Ryan is saying he prefers Thomas Aquinas over Ayn Rand.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/14/.....index.html

    How bout an Aquinas - Rand throwdown.

    I will step out for a bit, as I only discuss philosophy/ theology when I have enough red wine.

  • Brandybuck||

    Aquinas would mop the floor with Rand. It's not about him being right or wrong, it's about Rand being an intellectual lightweight.

  • Randian||

    Hilarious. Rand had much love for Aquinas, but I am not afraid to say that the ontological argument is a huge dumb spot on Aquinas.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Aquinas actually got a lot of love from Rand, since he brought Aristotle back to Western philosophy.

  • SugarFree||

    At the same time dismissing all other philosophers as pagans. Aquinas also thought charging more than a nominal amount over production price was immoral.

    Why does Paul Ryan hate the free market?

  • Randian||

    Because all Catholics do or, at least by their own doctrines, should.

  • Mike M.||

    Horshack is dead, along with another little piece of my youth.

  • Paul.||

    Has anyone else pretty much lost interest in the news cycle since Obamney picked his running-mate? Anyone?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But..."Ryan" is an anagram for "Ayn R."!!!

    Wheels within wheels, people. Wheels within wheels.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    You just blew my mind.

    "Whoa."
    /Keanu

  • Fluffy||

    That poor woman just did NOT photograph well.

    I wonder how the history of the US in the second half of the 20th century would have changed if Rand had instead looked like Jean Arthur circa 1936.

  • Randian||

    Russia would be in ashes and there would be a dollar sign on the American Flag.

    What a glorious thought.

  • John||

    Probably no different. Anita Bryant was Miss America and the major media had no problem hating her. Bryant was anti gay. But her looks didn't help her when the culture turned against her. And I doubt looks would have helped Rand.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Still didn't stop her getting laid like a boss.

  • John||

    She apparently had other skills.

  • Brandybuck||

    The leader of the cult gets to sleep with whomever the leader wants. The Baghwan looked like dried snot but he never lacked for naked blonde chicks in his tent.

  • Randian||

    It really does not surprise me in the least that your opinions on Objectivism are just as banal and dull as every other opinion you have.

    "Wowzers you called O-ism a CULT!!1! LOLOL how original!"

  • $park¥||

    The real bitch about being an Objectivist is the humorectomy you have to go through when you join.

  • Randian||

    Eh, Brandybuck's kind of our resident "every libertarian sucks but me"

  • John||

    No Brandybuck. It is more like famous authors who have inspired young fans, tend to get laid with said young fans.

  • Fluffy||

    It's kind of somewhere in between.

    Objectivism does, in fact, include a sexual ethics component that just so happens to ineluctably lead to the conclusion that you should want to bone questionable-looking smart Russian philosopher chicks above all others.

  • John||

    A better counter factual is what if there had not been a Soviet Revolution and she had stayed in Russia.

  • Randian||

    Possibly a weird but influential amalgamation of Russian pride and Nietzsche, would be my guess.

  • John||

    So Russia would have marched on Europe?

  • Jerry on the road||

    I don't think Russia ever had that ambition, revolution or not.

  • John||

    And how do you combine Nietzsche with Rand? They were both romantics at least asthmatically. But Nietzsche would have hurt himself laughing at the idea that the truth can be obtained through rationality.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Asthmatically?

    You mean, give em respirators and the would've bee normal people?

    Good Lord! I can already hear the Obamatrons using that as an argument for Obamacare.

  • John||

    God damn spell check. I mean ascetically.

  • Randian||

    Rand admired the Nietzschean superman, transcendent-morality idea.

  • John||

    You pretty much have to if you are an honest atheist.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, as a Jew, I don't think her chances would have been so great in a monarchist, White Army progrom-happy Russia.

    Jus' sayin'

  • John||

    Of course Jews did manage to live in Imperial Russia for 1000s of years despite all of that.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Live is not quite the right word. "Survive" would be a better term.

  • T o n y||

    The world would likely be a much more tolerable place.

  • Randian||

    Liza Minnelli would be rolling in her grave. Don't you have something much more fabulous to be doing other than trolling?

  • T o n y||

    Not at the moment. Don't you have a child on SCHIP to lecture to about being a moocher?

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm an Injectivist. I believe your moral purpose in life is my happiness. And I say, SAY YES TO LYNDON LAROUCHE 2012! Or Obama's shanty town brother, I don't care.

  • wareagle||

    a man's gotta have standards

  • The Hammer||

    I would actually like to get John's response to this garbage:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....74761.html

    "Representative Ryan's Far-Right Agenda: The Media Can't Take the Truth"

    Dean Baker whines that the media is coddling Paul Ryan. Have I mentioned that I hate HuffPo?

  • wareagle||

    by definition, acknowledging that Medicare and other entitlements are unsustainable is "far right agenda" stuff. Ryan put a plan on paper; while we can debate its value, we cannot debate it against the other plans, because no others exist. The left wing meme of the day, maybe the week, is fear. Ryan is the mean-ass guy who is going to unleash a parade of horribles that only Obama can protect you from.

  • John||

    It is funny that on Huffpo, Ryan is some far right Randian and on Hit and Run he is the King of the Big Spending Republicans.

    And the fact that Huffpo thinks the media is coddling Ryan just shows that Huffpo or any political hacks should never have any authority over political speech because no amount of partisanship will ever satisfy them.

    As far as Ryan goes. Reason says he is a big government fraud just marginally better than Obama and I am not going to argue with them.

  • ||

    They never called him a fraud John. And he is a big government republican via all the crap that has been listed ad nauseum that he voted for that increased the size and scope of Uncle Sugar.

    You really have gone full motherfucking retard on this.

  • John||

    Hold it. If he is a big spending republican that has voted ad nauseum to increase the size of Uncle Sugar, doesn't that make him a fraud?

    If that is not being a fraud what is being a fraud?

  • ||

    First of all, reading comprehension is a wonderful thing: the ad nauseum refers to the list of crap that has been mentioned previously, not that he voted ad nauseum. You're better than that.

    Secondly, he has been painted by the left as some penny pinching darwinist but he has never held himself out to be all about really reducing the size and scope of government. Hence no fraud.

  • John||

    He is certainly is holding himself out as that now. Have you read the right blosphere? They certainly seem to think he is going to save the country from socialism and restore the proper size of government.

    Pretty hard to say he is not holding himself out as someone who will reduce the size of government.

  • ||

    And the right blogosphere is less delusional then the left?

  • John||

    They are just going by what he is claiming It is not like Ryan is doing anything to discourage that view.

  • ||

    Hey, if he's actually claimed to be about drastically reducing the size and scope of government, I will admit I am wrong. But if it's just Beck and Hanity and Rush or Maddow and Klein and Olberman types saying it then he's not a fraud.

    Nevermind that no one here, staff or commenter, have accused him of being a fraud.

  • John||

    I think calling him a good soldier for Bush and a big government conservative is calling him a fraud Designate.

  • wareagle||

    but the narrative from the right has been of some actuarial whiz-kid with the sharpened #2 pencil, has it not? If he is, in fact, the usual big-spender rather than a budget-cutter, the narrative is false.

    Maybe Ryan has not, as you say, held himself out as some budgetary savior, but seems he's okay with others doing it for him. The whole selling point behind his selection was to target govt spending.

  • ||

    And Obama has been fine with people putting the Anti-War and Gay Rights mantle on him. Doesn't mean he's a fraud for letting people project what they want on him.

    Dishonest to be sure, but then they are politicians so that's par for the course.

  • wareagle||

    I think if you let others portray you as something you are not, you are perpetrating a fraud. Unless this is a game of semantics, not much distance between fraud and dishonesty; neither is admirable.

    Ryan's "feature" is budget hawkishness; that's how he is being sold. If the facts don't back that up, it is a problem. If there is further explanation that speak to his bona fides, this would be a time for the Repubs to bring them up.

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't get between John and his straw man. When he gets all freaky like this it's a good idea to just stay away.

  • John||

    If you think Ryan is so great Sarcasmic, that is your opinion. I would love to hear why.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony!
    Go! Go!
    Red Tony!

  • John||

    Then apparently there is no reason to think Ryan or Romney is any good. Fine. you win. Like I said. Romney and Ryan are horrible.

    There, you won the argument.

  • Randian||

    Dum dum dum dum dum...

    JOHNDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • John||

    Randian,

    for the 100th time you are right. Ryan is horrible. I don't know how else to say it. You guys have made your case. Ryan is a fraud and Romney is worse. Hell, I never even supported Romney. Why am I now obligated to defend him? He would be a disaster as President and his winning would be a disaster for the country.

    I don't know what else to do for you other than agree with you. I am not going to defend Romney and Ryan. They are as bad you guys say they are. Why does that bother you and sarcasmic so much?

    Jesus if I came on here and tried to defend them you would be having a stroke claiming I was just being team red. I come on and grant you everything you say and now I am Donderoo.

  • sarcasmic||

    Red Tony, your fallacy fetish leads me to believe you just came out of the closet, but got phallus and fallacy confused.
    Keep slurping! It's only making you look like a fool!

  • ||

    Because it all rings of disingenuous bullshit John. And because you say shit like "That means the logical choice is Obama".

  • John||

    No Designate. I said logically that means Obama is the choice over Romney. I never said he was the choice over Johnson. Vote for Johnson. But as for Ryan and Romney, I am giving Reason the field on this. I am not going to contest a single thing about it. And given what they are saying, I don't see how obama winning won't be better than Romney winning.

  • ||

    No, actually you said:

    John| 8.14.12 @ 9:08AM |#

    ...An Obama vote looks like the logical conclusion to me.

  • John||

    Desigate,

    When compared to Romney. Johnson is not going to win and is unlikely to crack 5%. So unless you are talking about a protest vote, a vote for him will not affect the outcome.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shit or diarrhea, Red Tony. Which do you prefer?

    One sprays all over the place, while the other lends itself to smearing.

    One you can eat with a spoon, the other with a fork.

    C'mon Red Tony! Shit or diarrhea?

  • T o n y||

    Rand opposed forced redistribution of wealth in all circumstances.

    ...reducing government to only the courts, the military, and the police.

    These contradict each other.

  • SugarFree||

    No they don't, shit brains. Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • Randian||

    No they don't.

  • T o n y||

    Yes they do. It says "all circumstances." That must include those programs, as they require tax dollars and government spending to exist ("forced redistribution of wealth.")

    It's, in fact, the primary contradiction that causes all forms of libertarianism to implode.

  • SugarFree||

    No they don't, shit brains. Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • T o n y||

    I'm not making up this very simple and very devastating critique of small-government philosophies. You apparently can't handle it so are reverting to schoolyard in-group whining.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • Randian||

    Can you explain how the police, military, and the courts are a "forced redistribution of wealth"?

  • T o n y||

    The government takes money from taxpayers and uses it to pay for police, military, and the courts.

  • Randian||

    How is that "forced redistribution of wealth"?

    The common understanding of that term can be found all over the internet, by the way, so please define your terms before you proceed.

  • T o n y||

    Wealth is redistributed out of the pockets of taxpayers and into the pockets of policemen, court officials, and soldiers.

    Or do you just think about poor people when that phrase is used?

    Such a sound moral philosophy you have going on.

  • Randian||

    Or do you just think about poor people when that phrase is used?

    Such a sound moral philosophy you have going on.

    Ha ha, no, because I think of corporate welfare recipients too.

    The kind that your good Democrat buddies love to lavish taxpayer dollars onto.

  • Restoras||

    More disingenousness from ShitForBrains.

    Wealth redistribution means, in lefty parlance, taking wealth from those with the wealth and giving it to those without. With no obligation on the part of the withouts to provide anything in kind.

    Taxing to provide courts, police, military, etc. provides a service to the society. The people that provide those services - or work, which I know leftards like yourself don't beleive in - are being paid for those services.

    It's really not a very subtle point.

  • Dylan||

    Rand held that a proper government must finance itself voluntarily (see "Government Financing in a Free Society" in The Virtue of Selfishness).

    Thus no contradiction. Admit you are wrong or GTFO. Actually just GTFO.

  • T o n y||

    I know that, but that's not what Doherty wrote. And how many here actually buy the voluntary financing bullshit?

  • Dylan||

    I do.

  • Randian||

    I know that, but that's not what Doherty wrote. And how many here actually buy the voluntary financing bullshit?

    It doesn't matter, because popularity is not the metric of rightness.

    Is your argument "voluntary taxation is not popular"? Because that sounds way different from the conversation we were having.

  • wareagle||

    now you are being purposely moronic. Small govt implies the existence of some govt, sort of what is outlined in the Constitution where things like the courts and defense are mentioned as responsibilities of the feds.

    There is no critique being offered, devastating or otherwise. The only thing stretching credulity is the impression you give of someone who can breathe without being reminded to do so.

  • SugarFree||

    now you are being purposely moronic

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. You are arguing with a sockpuppet. "Purposely moronic" is what you signed up for. It's like joining the infantry and getting mad when you find out people will be firing bullets at you sometime in the future.

  • Calidissident||

    Tony loves to act like libertarians are hypocrites if they support a few roles for government. The funny thing is his views on democracy, "rights coming from government" and majoritarianism with special exceptions for "minority rights" are way more arbitrary than any libertarian beliefs.

  • T o n y||

    It's not acting, it's a total, incontrovertible critique of libertarianism. If taxation and redistribution is inherently immoral, then you can't pick and choose a few programs that are paid for by taxation and redistribution and deem them moral, just because you say so.

    Either you have to be an anarchist, or you're just a statist with a minimal imagination.

  • sarcasmic||

    Either you have to be an anarchist, or you're just a statist with a minimal imagination.

    You and your fallacies.

  • wareagle||

    who the hell said that taxation for the purposes of funding genuine govt activities is immoral? No one I've seen here is petitioning for a Mad Max-style, every-man-for-himself-in-all-things approach to society.

    Some folks here - you are evidently not one of them - have no heartburn over the enumerated powers outlined in the Constitution.

  • Calidissident||

    Well a pretty good number of people on here are anarchists. And what is your critique of them? Some form of "Government is inevitable/necessary" correct? So if a libertarian, who views anarchy as an unattainable ideal, believes that as well, would it not be logical for them to only support things that are necessary functions of any government? Which would be limited to very little besides courts, police, and the military.

    And the argument isn't incontrovertible. You just choose to ignore all the arguments that disprove that hypothesis

  • T o n y||

    If some functions of government are necessary, then how are they also morally abhorrent?

    You want a special line between your beliefs and those of believers in government, but you aren't entitled to that because you are just asserting what the proper role of government, not basing it on a principle. Basing it on an exception to a principle, in fact.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And it's incontrovertible that if a majority opinion should rule and that rights come from government then oppressing gays or any other minority is legitimate exercise of government power.

  • A Serious Man||

    If taxation and redistribution is inherently immoral, then you can't pick and choose a few programs that are paid for by taxation and redistribution and deem them moral, just because you say so.

    Rothbard agrees, but just because small government minarchy is immoral doesn't mean we should go full-retard with socialism, which is a thousand times worse.

  • Randian||

    Good on Murray Rothbard.

  • Brutus||

    Apparently we can't have paved roads and cops without the Ministries of Truth, Love and Plenty to go along with them.

    Tony is beyond parody.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That logic means that a statist is always a totalitarian.

  • sarcasmic||

    Because there is no difference between taxation for the purpose of providing courts, military, and police, and taxation for the purpose of taking money from a rich businessman and giving it to a welfare recipient.

    Both involve taking money by force and giving it to someone else, so there is no difference between the two.

    No difference at all.

    We get it. You're stupid.

  • T o n y||

    No difference under the terms as quoted. The government has a right to steal from me to pay for police, courts, and defense, but nothing else? Thus spake Rand?

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • sarcasmic||

    What is the purpose of police, courts and defense?

    To react to injustice. To react to the initiation of force and fraud, and to provide a means of resolving disputes without resorting to violence.

    Using government for anything else contradicts the above purpose of government, and turns government into an instrument of the very injustice it is supposed to combat.

    Logic. Try it sometime.

  • T o n y||

    Now you're qualifying the premise that taxation (forced redistribution) is evil. Apparently it's not evil for the purpose of reacting to injustice.

    Good, we can have universal healthcare, because I believe it a grave violation of justice for people not to have access to healthcare.

    Oh, ipso facto, logic!

  • Randian||

    Good, we can have universal healthcare, because I believe it a grave violation of justice for people not to have access to healthcare.

    I believe it a grave injustice that not everyone has access to a satisfactory sex life.

    Ergo, rape.

  • sarcasmic||

    I believe it a grave violation of justice for people not to have access to healthcare.

    You really don't understand what words like "initiate" mean, do you?

  • Randian||

    Tony thinks the mere existence of a human stomach creates a blank check against the labor of everyone in the world.

    Isn't that amazing? That there are people like that?

    I wonder how he feels about being so...Catholic.

  • sarcasmic||

    Getting sick is not an injustice. Well, I suppose if you get sick because I made you eat shit, then that would be an injustice. But only because I forced the shit that spews from your mouth back down your throat, causing you to get sick. Cause and effect, you know? Well, since you don't know what "initiate" means, probably not.
    Say I get the sniffles and I initiate force upon you by making you pay for my visit to the doctor. That is an injustice, because I initiated force on you. Shit, but you don't know what "initiate" means.
    Forget it. It's like trying to reason with a child.

  • T o n y||

    Where the hell were you when Plato needed you?

  • Randian||

    Tony:

    I believe it a grave injustice that not everyone has access to a satisfactory sex life.

    Ergo, rape.
  • ||

    There's nothing logically inconsistent with saying that taxation is immoral while also saying that if the government is going to perpetrate an immoral act it should stick to using the money to run the things it was actually given responsibility for.

  • T o n y||

    If an act is necessary, then it's not an immoral act; it's a positively moral one. Necessary means necessary for our self-interest, so even Ayn Rand would have to agree.

    Not only are you asserting the authority to organize society based on unpopular, obscure principles, you are asserting the right to exempt yourself from those principles for the sake of convenience.

  • Brutus||

    Go read Nock's "Our Enemy, the State" and understand what the fuck you're talking about for once in your life, Tony.

  • SugarFree||

    No, it's wrong because paying for police, courts, and the military doen't have to be forced (even if it normally is in practice.) Redistributionism is by definition forced, otherwise it would just be charity.

    A false premise from a retarded sockpuppet in furtherance of a strawman.

  • Randian||

    I like cranky Sugarfree.

  • SugarFree||

    I've been awake 14 hours. I feel like punching a baby zebra to death.

  • $park¥||

    Put it on Youtube, I wanna see that.

  • wareagle||

    no, your statement supposes that Rand opposed any and all govt in any and all aspects of human life. Even the Constitution had some use for a federal govt, to include things like courts, military, and police.

  • T o n y||

    I didn't suppose it, the description of Rand's beliefs did.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • T o n y||

    Nope.

  • ||

    You might have a point if everyone didn't benefit from the courts, military, and the police. But everyone does, so your point is fucking stupid as usual.

    Nevermind that it is not redistribution of wealth.

  • T o n y||

    Why isn't it? Can someone explain how government taking money from the pockets of taxpayers and putting it in the pockets of soldiers is not redistribution?

    Everyone benefits from universal healthcare, welfare, libraries, and any number of other programs I can think of. Your justification is awfully altruistic to be a defense of Rand.

  • wareagle||

    because we have hired those soldiers for the purposes of national defense. There was a lot of discussion way back in the late 1700s over how to set up a country, what sort of govt it should have, all that other stuff. And no, everyone does NOT benefit from welfare; the only beneficiary is the politician promising goodies at someone else's expense to often decent people who are trapped by a fucked up system.

    The bigger question would be how leftards like you can justify the outright theft you disguise under the various alphabet soup agencies that are more destructive than the elected class. How it is that you justify forcing people to close businesses, move out of homes, etc.

  • Randian||

    Right.

    I am not inclined to even let Tony into the anarchist/minarchist debate, because it's pretty clear that he's just using a minor point of contention to blow up a political belief system that is more comprehensive, more informed, and more complete than any other in history.

  • T o n y||

    You are not presenting a consistent case (not your fault--there isn't one). You're just saying you like soldiers and you don't like welfare.

    Yes, everyone does benefit from welfare, because anyone could potentially be poor. That's why it's called a safety net. We want robust, sink or swim capitalism right? So even a titan of industry could find himself in need, theoretically? Unless of course you prefer that wealth itself be a guarantor of perpetual privilege--a form of society libertarianism fails to prevent and in fact is tailor-made to promote.

  • Randian||

    You are not presenting a consistent case (not your fault--there isn't one). You're just saying you like soldiers and you don't like welfare.

    *yawn*

    Nope.

    But you aren't arguing honestly. Not your fault---I don't think you're capable.

  • T o n y||

    It is much more likely that I will succumb to an illness than I will be shot by a foreign invader. So why is national defense more essential than healthcare?

  • Randian||

    It's much more likely you'll die of old age before both of those.

    Ergo we should take 100% of resources and apply them to having you live as long as possible.

    "What about 'initiate' do you not understand"?

  • Calidissident||

    Because in one case, nobody else (barring violence from someone else) has done anything to you, and you respond by sticking a gun to someone's head and forcing them to pay for your care. In the other case, a country is under attack by a foreign military, and everybody benefits from having a military to defend against such an attack

  • T o n y||

    Everybody wouldn't benefit from universal healthcare? Are there people out there who don't get sick?

    Besides "everybody benefits" is hardly Randian. That's what I believe about every single government program I endorse.

  • Randian||

    Everybody wouldn't benefit from universal healthcare?

    Nope.

    The doctors you are forcing to work against their will wouldn't, for example.

    The insurance companies you are forcing to cover others against their will wouldn't, for example.

    The unseen millions who die because the market for life-saving techniques stagnates wouldn't, for example.

    What else you got?

  • T o n y||

    So government should concern itself only with human agency. Why? Why should I care more about threats to me from other humans than threats from viruses? Dead is dead.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is a clear and consistent case.

    I have a natural right to protect my life and property, or die trying.

    The purpose of police and the military is to do that on a collective level.

    Is that clear enough for you?

    I do not have a natural right to take money from a rich person because they are rich and I am poor.

    I violated the rich person's right to protect his property, and he can now call the police in hope of righting an injustice.

    Very clear on consistent.

    To an honest person.

    Which you are not.

  • T o n y||

    No it's not. It's completely contradictory, and can only be a thinly disguised excuse for oligarchy. Isn't it funny how violent government coercion is OK to protect wealth, but not prevent starvation? How could that possibly fit any consistent or sane set of moral standards?

  • Randian||

    Isn't it funny how violent government coercion is OK to protect wealth, but not prevent starvation?

    Do you think only wealthy people have wealth?

  • T o n y||

    Seems that the wealthy get the most benefit with respect to their interests in your limited state.

  • Randian||

    Right. If I take $500 from one to give directly to another, that's a forced redistribution of wealth.

    $500 allocated, on the other hand, to the police is not giving that amount directly from one to another.

    Regardless, Dylan's note of "Government Financing in a Free Society" in The Virtue of Selfishness renders Tony's point moot.

    Finally, I would submit this to Tony: so what? Does the fact that there may be a contradiction when you drill down to the bottom of libertarianism in any way render the entire political philosophy irrelevant? Because a debatable point as to the end state between minarchists and anarchists does not mean that you and your socialist thieving fuckface friends get to do whatever the hell you want to do. If anything the inconsistency on our part may be minor, whereas yours is not only severe, but it's tribalistic in nature.

  • T o n y||

    Does the fact that there may be a contradiction when you drill down to the bottom of libertarianism in any way render the entire political philosophy irrelevant?

    Yes. If we're able to legitimately debate which government programs are OK since there is no consistent underlying principle that tells us, then you are exactly as morally upright as any socialist, you just disagree on which programs people should have.

    I think I have an extra layer of freedom in my political beliefs, though, since I believe that central to individual freedom is the freedom to pool resources for whatever purposes people want. Libertarians want to restrict that freedom severely.

  • $park¥||

    I believe that central to individual freedom is the freedom to pool resources for whatever purposes people want. Libertarians want to restrict that freedom severely.

    Uh...what? I must have missed the part where Libertarians said you can't voluntarily share resources.

  • $park¥||

    Oh, never mind, I get it now. That's the part where if government doesn't force you to share then you won't share. Right?

  • T o n y||

    (Democratic) government is the means by which large groups of people decide how to pool resources. Forget "large." Get 10 people together for the purposes of accomplishing things and see if you don't find yourself inventing a rudimentary government to do it. See if everyone always gets his way all the time, which is what you guys seem to demand from 300 million cocitizens.

  • Randian||

    See if everyone always gets his way all the time

    Define "getting your way".

    Do you mean "doing what you want to do, so long as you hurt no one else"?

  • T o n y||

    Or walk on their lawn? What about stealing their artistic idea?

  • sarcasmic||

    I must have missed the part where Libertarians said you can't voluntarily share resources.

    Dude! If something isn't mandatory, then no one will do it!
    Without force there is nothing!

    Nothing at all!

    Nooooottttthhhhhiinnnngg!

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians want to restrict that freedom severely.

    If by "freedom" you mean "the freedom to ask government to do for me what would be an injustice if I were to do it on my own", then fuck yeah libertarians want to severely restrict freedom.

    Hell, by that definition I would eliminate it entirely.

  • A Serious Man||

    since I believe that central to individual freedom is the freedom to pool resources for whatever purposes people want

    That's a contradiction. Individual freedom and collective action are mutually exclusive. If a society can't be purely voluntarily, than coercion should be as minimal as possible. That's the limiting principle if you're a minarchist.

  • A Serious Man||

    I should say, "individual freedom and collective action by coercion" are mutually exclusive.

  • T o n y||

    Any free society of people will freely include coercion as an aspect of their freely undertaken collective actions. Because you have to punish transgressors and restrict free riding.

    And to get back to my initial point, how is it then that police, courts, and military--the most coercive functions of government there are--are OK?

  • Calidissident||

    Because their sole purpose is to punish and deter coercion?

  • T o n y||

    Viruses can coerce. They coerce me right into bed or over the toilet. Why can't government prevent or cure that kind of coercion?

    Oh, because you're a libertarian and you like things to be as simple as possible--not to suggest the causality runs that direction.

  • Calidissident||

    Because government is an institution of people, and it makes rules regarding human affairs? If you have to resort to "viruses=people" then your argument sucks

  • Randian||

    Tony, did you really just say that the government should protect you from old age? Doesn't age kill you just as certainly as any old virus?

  • sarcasmic||

    Any free society of people will freely include coercion as an aspect of their freely undertaken collective actions.

    Wow. Talk about doublethink.

    You really don't know what "initiate" means.

    I mean, you cannot comprehend the concept.

    Wow.

  • Randian||

    Tony logic says that if you need a little bit of radiation to kill cancer, then you may as well strap yourself to an unshielded nuclear reactor core.

  • ||

    That consistent underlying prinicple? The government is the PROTECTOR of rights, not the GRANTOR of rights.

  • T o n y||

    And the practical difference would be what?

    I claim there is a natural right to healthcare whether I can afford it or not. Thus government should protect that right. Prove me wrong.

  • Randian||

    I claim that there is a natural right not to have your gayness on display. Prove me wrong.

    I claim that I have the right to access to sex. Ergo, rape. Prove me wrong.

    Things that require the labor of others are not rights. They cannot be rights, because the exercise of rights necessarily does not conflict with others' exercise of same, otherwise they would not be rights.

    Please be advised that the police, courts, and military are not rights in and of themselves. They are mechanisms to protect negative rights.

  • sarcasmic||

    I claim there is a natural right to punch people named Tony in the face.
    Prove me wrong.

  • Randian||

    bu bu but sarcasmic the PEOPLE didn't vote on that!

    *cries*

  • ||

    You can claim that all you want asshole, but you don't have the right to someone elses brain, body, or talent no matter what their career path.

    And thanks for proving that you and your ilk still think slavery is an okay thing 150 years later.

  • T o n y||

    Unless their talent is policing or judging or soldiering?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Rand opposed forced redistribution of wealth in all circumstances.

    ...reducing government to only the courts, the military, and the police.

    These contradict each other.

    Not if the courts and police are paid through voluntary contributions, like the Red Cross, and the military is us armed with muskets, powder and shot.

    So you're wrong, once again. One of these days you will grow tired of that...

  • Calidissident||

    Tony, if you believe that limiting government to a few duties is contradictory, then isn't any limit to government contradictory? Who says the government can regulate soda size, what you can and can't do with your private property, even when it hurts no one, etc, but it can't regulate what you do in your bedroom? Who says it can regulate guns, but not speech? Who says people can't put drugs into their body, but women can't be forced to carry babies?

  • T o n y||

    I, along with Antonin Scalia, would say that a democratic polity gets to decide (subject to certain restrictions as constitutionally codified). Why do you want to restrict people's freedom to make the government they want?

  • Randian||

    Why democracy? By your own logic, you should be dictator.

  • ||

    I guess its a good thing we aren't a fucking democracy, no matter how many times that is pointed out to you.

    Oh that's right to you freedom is slavery, to not give is to take, and majority rules.

  • Randian||

    Tony, I don't understand why we have courts. Can't we just vote on everybody's rights as they come up?

  • T o n y||

    I included the qualification "subject to certain restrictions as constitutionally codified" did I not?

    At this point accusing me of supporting direct simple majorities for all social actions is to admit you either can't read or are losing an argument and trying to change the subject.

  • Randian||

    Why do you endorse something so undemocratic as the Constitution? It's deliberately designed to "check and balance" the power of the People to Govern each other.

    Why do you hate democracy, Tony?

  • T o n y||

    It can also be amended or completely rewritten by the People if they so choose (subject to pretty draconian requirements if you ask me). The freedom of self-government is the one that underlies all others. Anything else is tyranny. Do you advocate the tyranny of a piece of paper? Because you're still feigning obtuseness here. I have nothing against constitutions or constitutional restrictions on simple majorities.

  • Randian||

    It can also be amended or completely rewritten by the People if they so choose (subject to pretty draconian requirements if you ask me)...I have nothing against constitutions or constitutional restrictions on simple majorities.

    Woah ,how are you going to restrain the People in their decision making like that? Why should there be any restrictions on simple majorities? What happened to your fealty to democracy?

  • T o n y||

    Because the constitution came about via a democratic process. I do think it is too difficult to alter and has lots of other problems. But when normal people talk about a democratic society they usually imply restrictions on majority tyranny, unless they are pretending to be idiots.

    This ridiculous bullshit only serves to obscure the important question: which form of tyranny do you prefer to democracy? Because it seems a hell of a lot like you want to dictate to people exactly which government services they can and can't have.

  • Randian||

    Because it seems a hell of a lot like you want to dictate to people exactly which government services they can and can't have.

    I want to limit people in their alleged "entitlements" to the fruits of others' labors.

    But when normal people talk about a democratic society they usually imply restrictions on majority tyranny, unless they are pretending to be idiots.

    Then by all means stop pretending and tell me why we should have limits on the majorities, and what they should be.

  • T o n y||

    Simple majorities should be restricted from affecting certain basic rights of individuals and minorities. See I agree with most of you about what those rights should be. I just don't think they come from Santa Claus.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Simple majorities should be restricted from affecting certain basic rights..."

    That's anarchism, please make up your mind on which side of the Manichean divide you impose on libertarians you reside.

  • Calidissident||

    And would a law passed by a simple majority repealing the Constitution not be a democratic process?

    No one here is arguing for tyranny. All we're saying is that something isn't acceptable or good just because it came via democracy

  • T o n y||

    I agree. But we're not generally talking about people voting for rape to be legal or to enact a holocaust. Universal healthcare is something civilized democracies have enacted the world over, with nobody considering it equivalent to fascist tyranny.

    Thankfully we live in a time civilized enough for rape and holocausts to generally be considered wrong. If we didn't, then I fail to see what you would do about it except shout in the wind.

  • Calidissident||

    Why should we care what dead slave-owning white men thought about limits on government?

  • T o n y||

    That's a pretty good question. Why should we care? Nobody, ever since or ever to be born, is capable of knowing better than they how best to run a society?

  • Calidissident||

    You're the one saying their document should limit democracy. Why should their words limit the People?

  • T o n y||

    The people have the right to set up supermajoritarian restrictions on changing certain basic functions and rights.

    Unlike the simpleminded bullshit we're engaging in here, an interesting debate would be to ask to what extent the constitution is legitimate considering a modern conception of who has democratic participatory rights didn't exist at the time of its drafting.

  • Calidissident||

    Why do the people from one year get to put supermajoritarian restrictions on people one hundred years later?

  • T o n y||

    Another good question. Why do libertarians get to define the proper role of government for all people in all time?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The people have the right to set up supermajoritarian restrictions on changing certain basic functions and rights.

    You mean what they cannot do as individuals, they get to do as a mob?

    an interesting debate would be to ask to what extent the constitution is legitimate considering a modern conception of who has democratic participatory rights didn't exist at the time of its drafting.

    A question that clearly defines your convoluted mind, Tony. It's like asking how legitimate is your rental agreement with your landlord if the Tony of a year ago is not the Tony of today. As an excuse to renege from your commitments, it's great - useless, but great.

  • T o n y||

    If the constitution's utility in the past is at all relevant to its utility today, then certainly its legitimacy then depends on our current conceptions of legitimacy. Otherwise it's not a democratic, but an elitist, document.

  • Calidissident||

    Because "making the government they want" often involves infringing on the freedom of myself and others. And again, why should there be special exceptions to protect gay people, or any other minority? Why do you want to limit the people's ability to have government mold society the way they want?

  • T o n y||

    That's why I said that part about constitutional restrictions. Minority rights should be protected from majorities. I endorse a good set of individual liberties, and consider individual freedom to be the foundation of my political philosophy. I just believe freedom should be maximized, rather than minimized, as libertarians believe.

  • Randian||

    Circular argument is circular.

    I endorse a good set of individual liberties, and consider individual freedom to be the foundation of my political philosophy.

    How can one have the liberty to someone else's possessions or body?

  • Calidissident||

    Wait, so what makes your set of individual liberties, and your conception of minority rights any more sacrosanct, or any less arbitrary than what you think libertarians believe?

  • Randian||

    Simple, Calidissident - anything Tony grants is a right, and anything he does not is not.

    You have no rights other than to that which your fellow man "gives" you.

    That's Tony's belief system.

  • Calidissident||

    "You have no rights other than to that which your fellow man "gives" you."

    Except for certain arbitrary special things that Tony likes, which are exempt from majority scrutiny

  • Randian||

    Right, yes, I forgot about that.

    "All things are subject to democratic impulse. Uh, except stuff like gay sex and abortion. Those are totally off limits. Oh, you get economic rights to buy whatever magazines you want, but you don't get them to decide who you can serve in your house."

    Wow, what a system.

  • T o n y||

    It's not my fault that there is no such thing as magic.

    All of your arguments here amount to "but I really WANT there to be a Santa Claus, and you can't tell me there isn't one!"

  • Randian||

    You could try to be logically consistent.

    A laughable idea for you, I know.

  • Randian||

    Shorter Tony: "Rape is only wrong because 51% of people say its wrong"

    Cool beans, Tony.

  • T o n y||

    You're saying rape is wrong because God says so?

  • Randian||

    You are saying that gravity is wrong if 51% of people will it so.

    See how that works for you.

    Rights are natural laws, Tony.

  • T o n y||

    Rights, and laws, are human constructs. And rights have only existed for a tiny fraction of human existence. You're in Santa Claus territory again.

  • Whahappan?||

    So you're saying slavery was OK because it was "legal", in the US and almost everywhere in the past. It only became wrong when the law changed. Got it.

  • T o n y||

    From my perspective slavery is wrong. If I happened to be born in the 18th century to a plantation owner, I might have a different opinion.

    Moral norms don't exist in the fabric of the universe. Unless you'd like to point out where?

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Oh, you get economic rights to buy whatever magazines you want,..."

    But the government will decide what content is available in those magazines (see government's Citizen's United argument).

  • Randian||

    AFAIC, unless you come up with a cogent counterargument to rape, we're all done here.

  • T o n y||

    If you want to see rape legalized, call your local congressperson. I'm good with it being against the law. But I'm not gonna pretend that a unicorn orbiting Neptune declared it wrong; a society of reasonably civilized people did so all by themselves.

  • Randian||

    But I'm not gonna pretend that a unicorn orbiting Neptune declared it wrong; a society of reasonably civilized people did so all by themselves.

    In other words, you didn't have the right to your personal sexuality until, oh, 20 or so years ago, and it can evaporate all over again.

    Some right!

  • T o n y||

    Yes, exactly. Or are you claiming that Medieval serfs had property rights... somewhere... out there?

  • Randian||

    Ironic you would invoke the Medieval serfs when you would be inclined to relegate us all right back to that status.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Are claiming that there is nothing inherently wrong with a society organized along the lines of Medieval serfdom?

  • Calidissident||

    So are you saying that soldiers raping women in war, as happened throughout human history, was morally ok and not wrong because it's what most people understood to happen in war? Forced marriages were/are ok, as long as society thinks they're ok? Who cares what the girl wants right?

  • T o n y||

    I prefer not to get too deeply into morality, because that just becomes an endless back-and-forth of unverifiable claims. Morality is a set of social norms that people generally agree to, and definitely changes over time (as you explain).

    Anyone claiming there is one and only one set of norms or rights satisfactory for all time and all people is peddling a religion.

  • Randian||

    Right, so, you know, property is OK sometimes, but not when Tony says it isn't.

  • Calidissident||

    Right Tony. The Holocaust was ok because Germans elected Hitler and he carried it out. Nothing wrong there

  • T o n y||

    Did I say morality was determined by voting?

    Why do you suppose the Holocaust was wrong? Who says?

  • Calidissident||

    You've said morality is determined by society. And society expresses its will through voting. So ...

    The Holocaust was wrong because no one has the right to murder someone else or force them to live in a concentration camp. Either you believe people have the right to live their life the way the want (provided they don't infringe on other people's abilities to do the same) or you think it's okay for people to bend others to their will. You seem to believe a combination of the two, with society determining when it is and isn't ok. I personally don't think the morality of an action changes when 51% of people support compared to when only 49% supported it.

  • T o n y||

    Tautology. Murder is wrong because murder is wrong.

    I would say murder should be made illegal because I want to live in an orderly society in which people can't easily murder me. Thankfully most people agree with me.

  • Mickey Rat||

    But that means that if you thought a society that allowed murder was to your benefit, you would want murder legal.

    In your eyes there is nothing inherently wrong about murder, just that if were legal, you would fear being killed.

    Probably right about that.

  • Mickey Rat||

    All you doing is confirming that your philsophy is sociopathic.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Morality is a set of social norms that people generally agree to, and definitely changes over time

    Actually, morality is the knowledge of what is good and what is evil, not simply "a set of norms." Morality is not folklore.

    For instance, spitting inside someone's house is not an established norm - it actually goes against norms and customs on how to behave in someone's house. But it is also immoral because it represents an act of aggression against someone's property.

    So as a violation of a norm, it is not correct, it is improper - not necessarily immoral if it where some other act. But spitting is also an evil because it is a totally unwarranted, aggressive act. The difference between norms and morality is that the first are based on customs, whereas the other is based on reason.

  • T o n y||

    Spitting is evil, and you arrived at that conclusion via reason?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Spitting is evil, and you arrived at that conclusion via reason?

    Would you like it if I went into your house and spit on your hardwood floors from my filthy mouth?

    It may not be a great evil, but it is still pretty evil: an act of naked aggression against your property. Maybe you don't value your property that much, but that does not make my action more friendly, or does it?

  • T o n y||

    I agree that restricting aggression is a good and useful thing. But there are levels of enforcement in this world. Etiquette takes care of a lot of things. When things get serious, law steps in. Nowhere is a Santa Claus of morality needed. It's downright arrogant to assume you, among all people in all types of societies over time, have discovered the correct set of norms.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But there are levels of enforcement in this world.

    You're again thinking backwards, Tony. Etiquette and morality do not exist because there's enforcement. First comes morality by way of reason, then comes laws and enforcement.

    NO ONE is clever enough to have an eureka moment and implement morality through laws. Reason came first; realization later. Then comes laws and enforcement. Moral codes are self-evident, because they're cogent and reasonable. You shall not kill is not simply a norm, it is a realization that taking life means you forfeit yours; it means you will never be safe, at least not among humans.

    It's downright arrogant to assume you, among all people in all types of societies over time, have discovered the correct set of norms.

    I've never claimed that. What YOU don't want to accept is that there are truths that are self-evident; people realize them and know them, as they have for millenia. From them we derive codes and laws, but NOT the other way around.

  • T o n y||

    You shall not kill is not simply a norm, it is a realization that taking life means you forfeit yours; it means you will never be safe, at least not among humans.

    Unless I'm the Supreme Leader with an army of bodyguards. Then I have a "right" to do whatever I please. Who's gonna tell me different? A peasant waving a copy of Locke's Treatises in my face?

    As Supreme Leader I am completely unbound by any fear of retribution. What does your natural moral authority get to do to me? Send me to hell?

    Saying truths are self-evident is essentially to say "because I say so."

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Unless I'm the Supreme Leader with an army of bodyguards

    And... what? Does that mean that killing is suddenly good?

    As Supreme Leader I am completely unbound by any fear of retribution

    Oh, you're so right - just ask Obama.

    That still does not mean that Obama gets to define rights on what he wishes. I do not wish rights are this or that - rights already exist as a self-evident truth, just like this self-evident truth: I exist.

    Saying truths are self-evident is essentially to say "because I say so."

    No, self-evident means that it explains itself, not that "I say so." You have a difficult time with concepts and semantics, Tony.

  • ||

    Unless I'm the Supreme Leader with an army of bodyguards

    You ARE aware one of your bodyguards could kill you, right? And that even if one of them doesn't kill you, having bodyguards doesn't make you some sort of invincible, untouchable superman, right?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Why do you want to restrict people's freedom to make the government they want?

    The current government hates the competition, Tony. That's why.

    I don't want to restrict anybody on anything, as long as their actions are not violent or aggressive. What YOU are talking about above is a certain group of people deciding on a government under which *they* want to be governed. But all your previous comments indicate you want a BIGGER group to decide on the government that will rule over the SMALLER group, something us liberty lovers call (with total contempt) "Democracy." So you're being totally disingenuous and dishonest when you're pretending to want the freedom to choose - you just want government to choose for you. You want to be free of want and toil and have it paid by others.

  • T o n y||

    I will give you this, OM, you're more consistent than those trying to squeeze taxpayer-funded men with guns into a noncoercive society. You're completely out of your mind, but a little more consistent.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You're completely out of your mind, but a little more consistent.

    There's nothing unreasonable about men with guns in a non-coersive society. There are MORE private security guards than cops in this country, yet it is far, far easier that a cop will shoot you dead in a whim (or kill your dog) than a private guard.

    You just assume that a police force must be paid by taxpayers only because that is how it is today, just like you would assume that only government can supply shoes if government was the sole provider of shoes.

  • T o n y||

    You could be right, but I generally need to see evidence of something before I believe in it.

  • Fluffy||

    Rand opposed forced redistribution of wealth in all circumstances.

    ...reducing government to only the courts, the military, and the police.

    These contradict each other.

    Rand favored funding the police and courts with a transactions tax or stamp tax.

    Only contracts and sales on which the tax had been paid would be enforceable in court. But you could avoid the tax if you wanted to roll the dice.

    So no, even if you define taxes to support courts as "forced redistribution", Rand didn't advocate that.

    Next time know what you're talking about, dumbass.

    If you want to see rape legalized, call your local congressperson. I'm good with it being against the law. But I'm not gonna pretend that a unicorn orbiting Neptune declared it wrong; a society of reasonably civilized people did so all by themselves.

    The question, Tony, is if a government democratically made rape legal, would I be obligated to just shrug and say, "Oh well, the majority has spoken, I guess that's the law now"?

    I think I would be entitled to resist the majority's will with violence in such a circumstance, up to and including destroying the state.

    If you don't think that, you're evil. Not merely mistaken; actually evil.

  • T o n y||

    Nothing is quite so magnificent as a libertarian on his high horse.

    Rape has been sanctioned by societies from time to time. If you happened to live in one, would you have a "right" to violently overthrow the government? To me that's a meaningless question. You either have the ability to do so or you don't. If you succeed you can claim your cause was righteous. If you fail, the winners will declare theirs the same, probably calling you a vicious traitor.

    You can't go down this road and then refuse to define the source of rights and good and evil. Traditionally that has been called God. Some fudge and say Nature. Either way it's magic and contrary to well-ordered thought.

  • Calidissident||

    lol at the liberal making fun of libertarians on high horses

  • Old Mexican||

    Re; Tony,

    Rape has been sanctioned by societies from time to time.

    Like, which one?

    If you succeed you can claim your cause was righteous. If you fail, the winners will declare theirs the same, probably calling you a vicious traitor.

    Yes, that makes all the difference: The cogency of an idea depends on how hard you hit.

    Collectivist ideology 101: Might makes government.

    You can't go down this road and then refuse to define the source of rights and good and evil.

    The source of rights have been described many times over, Homer. Rights come from our humanity, from our reason. As a human, I have a right to my life because I am aware of it, I am aware of my mortality. By the same token, I am aware of the mortality of others like me, which imposes a respnsibility on me to not take those lives, otherwise I forfeit mine.

    You simply part from the positivist perspective that a right has to be something imposed by a rule or a law. But laws are derived from rights - nobody is clever enough to put a law and then say "it shall be so." People do not simply obey a rule or law by virtue of its existence. They obey it because it JIVES with their concept of what is RIGHT: RIGHTS come first, THEN laws. Not the other way around.

  • T o n y||

    Like, which one?

    It was considered a basic right by the Vikings, wasn't it?

    Rights come from our humanity, from our reason.

    Meaningless nonsense. The thing is, you can't define a concrete source of rights, so you make up this kind of circular bullshit as a sort of placeholder, and you hope no one will notice. People disagree about what should be rights and what shouldn't be all the time. Who decides who's right? If there is an authority, be it God, or an organ in the body, or an unassailable chain of logic, then why can't we just appeal to that authority and stop worrying? I presume you, personally, would like to speak for that authority, and the rest of us ought to take it on faith that you heard correctly?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It was considered a basic right by the Vikings, wasn't it?

    No. A Viking man that raped a Viking woman would most likely have her Viking brothers and father have a little "talk" with him.

    How Vikings treated their captives is another matter, but then again, captives were NOT members of their society.

    Meaningless nonsense. The thing is, you can't define a concrete source of rights

    Oh, I see: You want a physical law. You want something that physically restricts you.

    Am I to assume that you require such restraints? Are you a barbarian, Tony?

    People disagree about what should be rights

    Oh, I am sure some people will disagree - we liberty lovers call them thieves and murderers.

    If there is an authority[...]

    You need one? Do your animal appetites control you? Let me know because I prefer to live around humans, not animals.

  • T o n y||

    So foreigners don't have basic rights?

  • ||

    Does having flawed morals mean they didn't have ANY morals? The answer is NO, you idiot.

  • Fluffy||

    The question boils down to whether it's possible to make objective statements about value judgments. It's convenient that we're doing this on a thread about Objectivism.

    Perform the following thought experiment: You and I are about to take a test. The answers we need to pass the test are in a particular book. Someone offers us two copies of that book: one written in English, and one written in ancient Greek, which neither of us read.

    Which book should we value?

    Subjectivism says we can value either book, based on our own preference. But that's obvious nonsense. The book written in English is objectively more valuable for us, whether we like it or not. Given one known fact about our nature (the fact that we speak English and not ancient Greek) and a known goal (doing well on the test) I can objectively know what book to value. The man who stubbornly insists he prefers the ancient Greek book is a fool whose preferences we can safely discard.

    So we have to decide: are moral values in this same category? Rand argued that they are, if we identify a goal and sufficient facts about man's nature.

  • T o n y||

    If she had stopped there she'd be a utilitarian. The problem is when she goes on to make tautological proclamations about what moral values reason leads us to.

  • Fluffy||

    We can argue about which moral values reason leads us to if you like, but then you have lost the argument about whether there are moral values that exist outside of democratic preference.

  • T o n y||

    I explicitly said otherwise.

  • Fluffy||

    I would say murder should be made illegal because I want to live in an orderly society in which people can't easily murder me.

    What you apparently don't perceive is that this is not a refutation of the fact that the illegality of murder is moral. It's a proof of it. In that sentence you are practicing Objectivism without even knowing it.

    You posit a goal (an orderly society that values your life, which conveniently enough happens to be Rand's goal nearly word for word) and then identify a moral fact that you must concede to be true if you are to attain that goal, given your knowledge of human nature. Congratulations, dude, you have been awarded one monocle.

  • T o n y||

    And I get to coerce other people to pay to secure that goal, correct?

  • Fluffy||

    Well, no.

    As we just discussed two posts ago, Rand would have been perfectly happy to take a shot at a social order where if you don't pay the transactions tax your transactions are denied the protection of the police and the courts.

    That way if you don't want police protection and don't want courts to protect your contract rights, you aren't coerced into paying for them.

    You might not like the results, of course.

  • T o n y||

    Oh and on Rand's voluntary taxation, yeah I'm aware of that. It's entirely inadequate to the task as Rand herself would say (more of a utopian ideal that she couldn't or wouldn't describe how to get to). Until someone defines how it could work without free riders, I'll consider it as preposterous as it sounds.

    Social contract theory is so much simpler than all this hand-wringing.

  • T o n y||

    Also, the idea is contradictory. In a voluntary tax system, a rationally self-interested person would choose to be a free rider, would he not

  • Fluffy||

    It's entirely inadequate to the task as Rand herself would say (more of a utopian ideal that she couldn't or wouldn't describe how to get to).

    That's not true.

    She would have been perfectly happy to try it.

    Until someone defines how it could work without free riders, I'll consider it as preposterous as it sounds.

    What free riders?

    Maybe you'd get free protection against foreign invasion even if you never paid the tax, but none of your property would be subject to police protection and no one who made you any promise (your employer, the guy who picks up your garbage, whoever) would need to fulfill it. That sounds like a pretty steep penalty against free riding. It's not quite exile or hostis, but it's damn close.

  • Calidissident||

    Tony operates by making statements, and then when someone works out the logical conclusions of his statements, he says "I never said that!" and deflects in some way. And since you can never pin down exactly what he believes, he's free to criticize libertarians for inconsistency, while pretending he is not guilty of it on a much greater scale

  • Fluffy||

    The real problem with Tony's theory is that it neatly removes any reason one might have to give a shit what the law is.

    If the only reason the law has force is because "the majority has spoken", why should I give a damn about that?

    If the Good is out there to be discovered, one might conclude that the majority is more likely to discover that Good (and make it Law) through their deliberations than a King was likely to find it by listening to his flatterers and mistresses whisper in his ear.

    But if the Good is not out there to be discovered, and it's just something the majority makes up, then fuck it, who cares? If the Good is not out there to be discovered, then everyone has exactly 0 knowledge of the Good. And no matter how many of those zeroes you add up, it stays 0. Even if you get 150 million of them or 50% plus 1. It's still 0, all the way down.

  • T o n y||

    You understand the practical benefit to democracy over monarchy. Better social outcomes are more likely to come from the former. We can dress it up with language about people's inherent rights and what constitutes legitimate government, and I will totally agree--but only as a practical matter, as I am incapable of believing in magic. There is no Good "out there." There is only matter/energy. It's taken centuries and millenia for people to figure out how to make a decent society. If there were Good "out there" then why do you suppose it took so long to find it? Or else why haven't we found it yet? Society is, and has been, a messy process, if you hadn't noticed.

  • Calidissident||

    Why do you say it's taken millenia for people to figure out how to make a decent society? Who decides what a decent society is? Why is today's society any more decent than those of a thousand years ago

  • T o n y||

    Yet another actually good question. You have to define decency of course. I would say things like body count in wars and plagues, level of education, access to basic needs, recognition of individual rights, and other things would factor in.

  • Calidissident||

    "recognition of individual rights"

    I thought rights didn't exist? And if they weren't recognized before then they didn't exist at all according to your logic, so what is the problem?

  • T o n y||

    Rights very much do exist. Intelligent humans invented them a while back.

  • Randian||

    Can they uninvent them, then?

  • T o n y||

    Of course.

  • ||

    Then they aren't "rights", they're just temporary privileges.

  • Fluffy||

    Tony, this reasoning is fallacious, because those things only count as "decent" if human life has value, and you have argued over and over that human life has no value and that thinking it does is magical thinking.

    Fuck those people who died in plagues and wars. Did some unicorn from Neptune tell you they were important? Prove it.

  • T o n y||

    People can value whatever they want. In terms of politics, why don't we call them interests?

    All libertarianism says is that the interests that most apply to people with property and wealth matter and the interests that apply to starving children don't. There is no morality behind this. You guys have argued here that this is indeed an exception to your moral precept. Well how nice for the beneficiaries of your exception.

  • Calidissident||

    That's one of the most fallacious posts I've ever read from you Tony. And that's saying a lot. Libertarians aren't the ones that support bailouts and subsidies to billionaires and rich corporations. And the benificaries of the libertarian "exception" is the entire society, not specific individuals

  • T o n y||

    Your exception happens to be for those services that benefit people with property. So the more property (wealth) the more of a stake you have in the state. If you have no wealth, your interests are likely to be more about feeding and clothing yourself. Yet those interests cannot be addressed by government. Only the interests of those who want their stuff defended by men with guns. Only the interests the protection of which requires the most literally coercive government services.

    So assume any starving person benefits from a property protection apparatus on the assumption that one day he will find a charity to feed him, pull some boot straps, and gain some property. The same logic presumably works the other way. A wealthy person may become poor, and thus have interests served by a safety net.

    Taxation is theft, but only after we've taken the taxes necessary to protect ourselves from theft. It's plutocracy in all but rhetoric. If police power is necessary as justice can't exist in a private police system, well perhaps taxation isn't theft at all but the price we pay for good things like justice.

  • T o n y||

    And yes, in theory, all people get the same benefit of protection from bodily harm. (We'll ignore for the moment the complex practical reality of that in a plutocratic state.) But only if a human agent is physically assaulting you. If your factory is poisoning you or working you to death, since there are no worker protections, oh well.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians aren't the ones that support bailouts and subsidies to billionaires and rich corporations.

    You don't understand.

    In Tony's world, allowing billionaires and rich corporations to keep the fruits of their labor is in fact theft from those who could benefit from it being taken away.

    When you don't take $100 from some evil rich dude and give it to a layabout, you are in fact taking $100 from the layabout and giving it to the evil rich dude.

    It's all about expectations. The layabout expects $100 for laying about. When that $100 is not received (thanks to some evil libertarian allowing the evil rich person to keep what they earned), the end result is the same as if that layabout had received that $100 and then had it taken away and given back to that evil rich person.

    Not giving is taking.

    Not taking is giving.

    Inaction is action.

    Nothing is something.

    Vacuum is mass.

    Darkness is photons.

    Tony is a disingenuous piece of illogical garbage.

  • T o n y||

    What if you acquire money via some means other than labor? Don't start with me. It's your phrasing. What if it's just investment income? What if it's inherited? No labor involved. Can we just take all that, or is there more to it than just "fruit of labors"? Such as, it's mine fuck you, perhaps?

  • sarcasmic||

    Investment income had to come from labor at some point.
    I have investments that I purchases with earned income. Why should income from my investments be less mine?

    Inherited wealth was earned by someone.
    I'm sure your parents gave you things.
    Are they less yours because they were given to you?

    Or are you trolling the age-old mantra of "what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine"?

  • sarcasmic||

    That's what I thought. No response because you know you're wrong.

  • T o n y||

    Inherited money came by someone else's labor, not yours. So why do you get to use labor as a qualification while on your moral high horse?

    You owe taxes because you are born into a society whose security and comforts are paid for by taxes, and you don't get to freeload. You didn't build that, yo.

  • DonH||

    Someone else chose to give his money as inheritance. That is his choice, and you, Tony, are not involved. Mind your own business and keep your hands out of his pockets.

  • Robert||

    Enough with all this analysis by singling out votes? What's his NTU rating? I haven't looked it up in a while, and don't remember it from when I last did (if ever), but I'm just saying, what's the use of objective methods of comparing politicians if nobody uses them?

  • Calidissident||

    Define "objective." And it's not singling out votes. There's a laundry list. Compared to Congress, it's not that hard to look relatively good

  • Robert||

    NTU's ratings are based on all votes having a significant impact on taxes or spending.

  • Proprietist||

    According to NTU, in 2011 he got a 76% or 110th out of the House...

    http://www.ntu.org/governmentb.....-paul.html

  • DonH||

    This thread may be dead, but this article is of relevance:

    http://www.theobjectivestandar.....rights.asp

    Rand's theory of rights compared to other theories (natural right, gog-given rights, etc).

  • DonH||

    gog = god

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