Dennis Hardin

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Everything posted by Dennis Hardin

  1. I would love to be able to post a white flag. Or maybe one of these: Then maybe I could get some sleep. My scenario was simply intended to explain why central planning is, on a practical level, absolutely mandatory for the objective control of force but totally unnecessary for the prevention of villainy by businesses operating in a free market. I used the extreme example of Sharia law to underscore the fact that, in any society with cultural diversity, there will be large segments of the population eager to impose their warped view of justice on those who do not share their viewpoint. You
  2. Dennis, To be honest, maybe only a flash in the pan. I'm stil trying to get my head around the anarchist position. I mean - dammit - anarchists are rational individualists, too, aren't they! That's what counts first, in my book. Which makes the min/an divide appear less consequential to me. I wonder if there is (above all) a deeply visceral distaste for entrenched and arrogant authority that underpins the ideology of anarchism. Now THAT I can understand, and will never stop feeling. Pre-Rand, and CUI, I was almost certainly heading into a vague anarchism, myself - in retrospect. Well, Tony, I
  3. I cannot understand why you persist in your egregious misrepresentation of the Rothbardian position. You might as well say that strict governmental regulation of candy is necessary, because without a free-market "plan" to prevent the distribution of candy laced with arsenic, any bogus company could enter the market and sell all the poisoned candy it likes. We would also need strict governmental regulation of all schools, because without it any child-molester could set up a bogus school in order to entice children. The list is endless. This is absolutely nuts. Poison is not candy, just because
  4. In Ayn Rand Nation, Gary Weiss provides some significant new material relevant to the efforts of ARI’s “powers-that-be” to censor and rewrite Objectivist history. Two brief examples. Iris Bell, a former graphic designer for NBI, was asked to contribute to 100 Voices, the anthology of commentaries by those who knew Ayn Rand. Weiss also describes some interesting correspondence between Ayn Rand and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. He obtained Rand’s FBI file, and discovered a letter Rand had written to Hoover in 1966 following the publication of some comments he made in The Saturday Evenin
  5. Doesn't this imply a central planning perspective? How do libertarians and Objectivists respond when asked for a blueprint explaining how health care or education would work? In short, they can make broad, general predictions based on the spontaneous order of the market, But a "plan" is something mapped out in advance by someone independant of the system in question, which misunderstands the position of the anarchist. Tim On the contrary, Peter seems to understand the position of the anarchist very well. Central planning is exactly what is needed where the use of force is concerned--a clea
  6. Bingo. The only logical solution to rule by objective law is having a single agency entrusted with that power, subject to democratic control. Anything else is a fairy tale.
  7. An excellent common sense analysis, Tony. "Individuals and their rights are not a 'product'. . ." An eloquent way of saying that a "market in force" (including 'objectively justifiable force') is a contradiction in terms.
  8. You still haven't made a case as to why concern with preserving the union annuls the influence of the slavery issue. I'm talking fundamentals. You say it's only one. I say it's both (and some other things like how to conduct the Western expansion, but that's beside the point here). Apropos, you lay the "butchery of a savage conflict" at Lincoln's feet, yet there were an awful lot of people doing the butchering. Both sides. Do you exempt those people? [snip] I am getting very annoyed, You have presented absolutely no historical facts, only musings about this and that. By all means read more, m
  9. This is hopelessly detached from the real world, George, both with respect to the nature of the institutional structure required for government and the notion that two or more agencies would have identical systems of laws. It is, as I said before, using your words, "absurd on its face." I read some of Rothbard's various writings on this issue many years ago and found his arguments sorely lacking with respect to the world we live in. More recently, I read Chris Sciabarra's extensive examination of Rothbard's utopian theories in Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism. I thought
  10. As usual, you speak in generalties without drawing crucial distinctions. The relevant distinction here is that between fundamental laws and the application of those laws to particular cases. So now the debate has come around to the issue of which one of us is proselytizing from his perch in the clouds. I certainly agree with you that concretizing how minarchy vs anarchy translates to actual practice in the real world constitutes the crucial step in resolving the debate. That’s why I gave numerous instances of the kinds of criminal and civil disputes that would arise under a system of anarchy
  11. As usual, you speak in generalties without drawing crucial distinctions. The relevant distinction here is that between fundamental laws and the application of those laws to particular cases. If you wish to descend from the clouds of theory and talk about what real governments are actually like, then I would be more than happy to discuss that issue with you. But in the current debate you cannot eat your cake and have it, too. You may not assume that your ideal government will be rational but that justice agencies will be irrational. Or if you want to assume this, then I will compare an irration
  12. Well, of course, she also said that “force and mind [i.e., reason] are opposites,” and that “morality ends where a gun begins.” She regarded a proper government doing its strictly delimited task of eliminating force from human relationships as a precondition of civilization where men are free to make their own private ethical choices. She regarded “a market in force” as a contradiction in terms. Her defense of limited government was as much epistemological as it was ethical. So how do those in government determine the proper use of force, if not by the use of their reason? Do they have a
  13. Oooh... you think I should have gone for that ugly metallic grey? Well, marriage is compromise... I really feel I am making progress here.... Gratefully, Lili Mmmmmm. . . “compromise.” Let's see. I pay for the house, the maid, the cook, your Mercedes and your Jaguar, your Pekinese, your caviar, your diamond jewelry, your bi-monthly trips to Paris with your hairdresser, your sequined dresses, your elaborate parties, your spa membership, your interior designer, your exterior designer, your masseur and your coiffeur. In return, you lay still while I boink you once a month. And you promise not
  14. Well, I guess Peikoff voted against intuition before he voted for it. Nineteen years later. . . Podcast: What about intuition? (3-15-10)
  15. The first time I read this, even as a Randroid way back when, I thought, "I don't recall delegaing my 'right of physical self-defense' to anyone." I have yet to hear any argument by an Objectivist (or anyone else for that matter) that convinces me that I can existentially delegate a right without knowing when or how I did it. The plain fact is, I was not consulted. This led me to the idea that a charter document for a government was a lot different than a simple contract. And it is. Michael Michael--This, of course, is the basic anarchist position. See the second question posed to Branden in
  16. Of course, only it's not a "glaring, gaping hole" in anything, nor a "conundrum." The government only retains its legal monopoly as long as it restricts its function to that of administering retaliatory force. Once it begins to operate outside its legitimate functions, the citizens have every right to take up arms against it. And Rand never questioned anyone's right to use retaliatory force in emergency situations. She would have been appalled at the suggestion that anyone should not act in self-defense when necessary.
  17. A couple of books by Dr. Peter Breggin (a libertarian) on this topic: Medication Madness: A Psychiatrist Exposes the Dangers of Mood-Altering Medications “There are over 200 million psychiatric drug prescriptions written annually—Most Do More Harm than Good” Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the “New Psychiatry”
  18. Exactly, Doctor. If that corporate trollop thinks she can get my husband away from Me, she had better stop thinking outside the box. Lilian Rearden (Mrs.) Lillian, my dear, "thinking outside the box" was what got you and hubby in trouble in the first place. Scene: The Rearden bedroom Hank (passionately, looking down at Lillian): "OMIGOD! OMIGOD! Lil! You are so freakin' gorgeous! I can't hold back any longer!" Lillian: "Pink! I think I want to redo the ceiling in pink."
  19. Apropos Ayn Rand and the Tea Parties, here's a link to a post about a letter from David Kelley defending Rand in this month's PLAYBOY.
  20. In the Rand Playboy interview issue there was a fake centerfold in the Girls of Russia section. It was of a tractor in a field. Hefner always got it basically wrong*. You want to see women with some clothes on so your imagination can go to work about what's underneath and how you're going to get there. --Brant *not with Marilyn Monroe Jedem das seine. I also subscribe to MAXIM, a GP-rated version of PLAYBOY which features celebrities in lingerie instead of au naturale. It's sort of like the Victoria's Secret Catalog. They recently did a photo spread on Jennifer Love Hewitt. Just made me impa
  21. Well, of course, she also said that “force and mind [i.e., reason] are opposites,” and that “morality ends where a gun begins.” And then she said this: She regarded a proper government doing its strictly delimited task of eliminating force from human relationships as a precondition of civilization where men are free to make their own private ethical choices. She regarded “a market in force” as a contradiction in terms. Her defense of limited government was as much epistemological as it was ethical.
  22. This month's issue of PLAYBOY (April, 2012) has a letter from David Kelley defending Ayn Rand in the "Forum Reader Response" section. (p. 42) Sorry, you'll have to visit your local newstand to read the rest of it. (You might also find some of the pictures interesting.)
  23. By the time I--Hank--show her the door, she'll be a high mileage vehicle. --Brant theatrical improvisation method acting whatever Correction: The role of Hank Rearden will be played by Brant Gaede. He wasn't the producers' first choice, but when he said he would do the part pro bono, it was an offer they couldn't refuse. And there is only one rational choice for his leading lady, Angela X, whose acting experience is limited but is outweighed by her deep individualistic interpretation of the Dagny character. Also, she could probably get along with her leading man Brant which not everybody cou
  24. By the time I--Hank--show her the door, she'll be a high mileage vehicle. --Brant theatrical improvisation method acting whatever Correction: The role of Hank Rearden will be played by Brant Gaede. He wasn't the producers' first choice, but when he said he would do the part pro bono, it was an offer they couldn't refuse.
  25. Taking Tea with Ayn Rand An engaging analysis of the new book by Gary Weiss, Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, from The Columbia Journalism Review. The author, Daniel Luzer, compliments Weiss as a movement historian but questions his assessment of Rand’s influence. He calls Ayn Rand “the GOP’s crotchety, misanthropic little immigrant grandmother.” (Yes, he calls the writer who devoted her career to the worship of man’s greatness misanthropic. For that bit of obtuse, dim-witted vitriol, I think we can reasonably tag him Daniel Loser.) Despite his obviously miniscule