Francisco Ferrer

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Francisco Ferrer last won the day on July 9

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  1. Yes, by moving into a secret location in the hinterlands Rand set a practical example for all her disciples to follow. They did... in Galt's Gulch. Good to know that all it takes nowadays for anyone to escape, I mean rise above the IRS, the Fed, the FDA, the FEC, the FCC, and the NSA is to move to a little valley and install an invisibility screen over it.
  2. From the Money Speech: "You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it's crumbling around you, while you're damning its life-blood – money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities." This crumbling civilization and jungle creeping into the cities that Francisco mentioned--what's the problem? All one had to do was rise above it by being an American Capitalist producer! In fact, why were all the heroes in the book sneaking off to Atlantis? All they had to do was produce more dollars than the looters consumed. Problem solved. Atlas Shrugged could have ended 700 pages sooner.
  3. In an individual, personal way, one could live as a cat burglar in Galt's Gulch and then brag about how parasitism is alive and well. When government takes one-fourth of the nation's GDP and controls all of the economy's pressure points, it is self-delusion to think of that country as a free market in any meaningful sense of the term. Of course there are shadows where one can operate without Big Brother's scrutiny. There were black markets in the Soviet Union, too. Furthermore, as government grows, the less the economy grows. And, of course, more government, less individual freedom. I have never disparaged individuals who heroically escape the clutches of red tape and interference. But operating in the shadows necessitates risks and opportunity costs. Nothing stops a person from selling millions of boxes of cereal without nutrition labels--except the federal government. Nothing stops a person from hiring thousands of teenagers for under $7/hr.--except the federal government. One of the points most clearly made by the conclusion of Atlas Shrugged is that it's not just a village full of entrepreneurs who are worth saving; it's an entire nation whose name used to be synonymous with freedom that also matters. If the Moralist has completely escaped the IRS, the Fed, the FDA, the FEC, the FCC, the NSA, and the rest of the alphabet nomenklatura commanded by Obama, bravo! But why all the whining and insulting directed towards those want to shrink Washington at least down to pre-New Deal size?
  4. That's not an answer, Frank. It's evasion. Again... Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now... while you can't? Greg Since you have recently described the "separation of the state and the economy" as "utter bullshit," one may reasonably doubt that your definition of "economic freedom" is same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism. You've misrepresented what Greg was referring to. You did that by chopping off what you quoted. I know you've got brains. That leaves dogmatist or sophist, assuming you simply just didn't take your time to understand what he actually said. --Brant Let's see: What utter bullshit. If securing economic freedom does not mean a separation of the state and the economy, then perhaps we can have taxes, regulations, wage controls, subsidies, currency manipulation and also not have taxes, regulations, wage controls, subsidies, currency manipulation. We'll eat the cake and we'll also still have it. If you get arrested for drilling for oil where drilling is forbidden, you just pass on the cost of jail time to your customers. Since the Moralist apparently has not separated himself from the U.S. economy, his economy is both mixed and unmixed, laissez-faire and non-laissez-faire. But why shouldn't that make perfect sense in the point of view of a person who makes accusations about me being a robber without offering a shred of evidence? I'll stand by what I said previously: one may reasonably doubt that his definition of "economic freedom" is the same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism.
  5. I answered you in Post #151: I am delighted to hear that you live in that portion of the United States where there are no federal taxes; no federal restrictions on oil drilling, mining, farming, or forestry; no EPA restrictions; no federal minimum wage; no federal welfare program; no Federal Reserve-controlled currency or interest rates; no Anti-Trust Division; no federally managed educational institutions; and no federal gun restrictions. The fact that you've been so successful in Morrie's Gulch proves that the plan can be repeated elsewhere.
  6. That's not an answer, Frank. It's evasion. Again... Why are Americans securing their economic freedom just the way things are right now... while you can't? Greg Since you have recently described the "separation of the state and the economy" as "utter bullshit," one may reasonably doubt that your definition of "economic freedom" is same as Ayn Rand's or any other prominent defender of laissez-faire capitalism.
  7. Thank you for your comments. Henry George was a hugely popular 19th century political economist. He followed Locke's theorem that people own themselves and what they create through their labor. George insisted, however, that men do not create land and that therefore land belongs equally to all members of a community. George advocated a land tax (and no other taxes) to rectify the inequality of land ownership. This tax was called the Single Tax. George was also critical of intellectual property, militarism, and the role money played in elections. George introduced millions to the study of economics and influenced key intellectuals on both the left and the right, including libertarians Albert Jay Nock, Frank Chodorov and Friedrich Hayek. Georgism vanished as a political movement by the middle of the 20th century. However, in 1972 while attending a libertarian conference in New York City, I met several people associated with the Henry George School of Social Science who were very laissez-faire except for their advocacy of a Single Tax. I don't remember much about the particulars of our conversation other than the fact that they were all a generation older than I and seemed not at all bothered that I disagreed with them.
  8. What utter bullshit. Face it, Frank... you're irreversably stupid... and you'll take it and all of its consequences with you to your grave as you deserve. Only losers like you blame (unjustly accuse) the government for your own lack of economic freedom. While Americans are securing their own economic freedom with the nation just the way it is right now. So how come Americans can do that... while you can't? Greg Securing economic freedom through a separation of the state and the economy is both a moral and practical political goal. It may not happen in my lifetime, but the closer we get to it, the better people will be, economically and ethically. Ayn Rand believed in that goal--and she was not stupid. Ayn Rand blamed the government for a lack of economic freedom in America--and she was hardly a loser.
  9. At William's request: My interest in political philosophy began when I read George Orwell's 1984 during the early 1960's. That was my wake up call to the dangers of unlimited government. In 1964 during the Johnson-Goldwater contest, my friends were for Goldwater and my family was for Johnson. In order to make up my own mind, I did hundreds of hours of reading to decide what should be the proper limits of government. By luck, the local library had copies of The Freeman going all the way back to the Albert J. Nock and Frank Chodorov versions of the magazine. There's a very good chance I read every issue in its entirety from from 1920's to the mid-1960's. In particular I admired selections by Ludwig von Mises and began the process of reading everything by him in print. I became an advocate of extreme laissez-fairism, and by 1969 or 1970 a free market anarchist. I've lived in several states, and I've always sought out pro-capitalist, limited government, and anti-government groups. I've had long conversations with Birchers, Georgists, Objectivists, Catholic anarchists, militia survivalists, anti-abortionists, anti-immigrationists, and anti-Illuminatii conspiracy theorists. For two years in the early 1970's I was a member of the Libertarian Party. I've also joined anti-draft, anti-tax, gold freedom, gun freedom, and drug freedom organizations. Like Ayn Rand I believe the best hope for America is to overhaul society's basic beliefs about individual freedom, capitalism and the role of government. Towards that end, I contribute a portion of my income to putting pro-freedom books in public and university libraries. For that is how I began my half century journey down this road.
  10. The answer to this question will depend on whether you're a seeker or a sucker, Frank. Not all agony is as meaningless and nihilistic as you imply in your question... ...especially when it's your own self inflicted agony of just and deserved consequences from poor moral choices. Agony can cause a seeker to question how they are living and to refine their character so as to rise above it... ...while a sucker like you stubbornly clings to your victim's blame (unjust accusation) of the government for your own failure to live like an American. Greg If agony is meaningful, then life consists of more than just suffering and thus life may be preferable to death. I always make it a point not to inflict agony on myself, unless of course it is deserved. The last time that happened was in 1968 when I voted for Richard Nixon. As for my "victim's blame," there is none to cling to. That is because I have no victims, or even unjust accusations against me (except for perhaps yours). Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution. This is free will? You deserved agony because you voted for Nixon? You evaluated the situation subsequently then opened the valve and let the agony flow over you? I always thought the people who had this power were masochists, but only once?--that can't be you. Now, how about agony from the outside? I think that power of yours still obtains since nothing seems to get to you. Agony at the gates? There it stays. The gates stay closed. I'm really talking about the agony of dealing with new and coinflicting ideas. Only you know the rest of it--the purely personal stuff. As for myself and Nixon--I probably voted for him but that's only deduction. I long ago forgot the actual horror. --Brant A human responds to internal and external conditions. Nothing exists outside cause and effect. It was agony for me when two of my classmates died in Vietnam, a full two years after Nixon took office with the promise to end the war. No, nobody deserves any form of government, but if I bear any responsibility for the growth of the welfare-warfare state it would have to be for helping to put Nixon in office.
  11. ...only in your academic fantasies, Frank. Impotently pouting about taxes like a petulant victim reveals the truth that you haven't learned how to secure your own economic freedom the American Revolution secured for you. It you truly followed their example... you'd be free. You're a sucker... and you deserve to remain one because you did it to yourself.. Greg If tax protests were impotent, then no voters would have been able to pass propositions or elect officials to reduce assessed value of real estate when it suffers a decline in market value. The fact that such initiatives have been successful establishes that good ideas can have positive benefits in the world. Securing economic freedom means a separation of the state and the economy. Or, as Ayn Rand puts it: "When I say 'capitalism,' I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. I am delighted to hear that you live in that portion of the United States where there are no federal taxes; no federal restrictions on oil drilling, mining, farming, or forestry; no EPA restrictions; no federal minimum wage; no federal welfare program; no Federal Reserve-controlled currency or interest rates; no Anti-Trust Division; no federally managed educational institutions; and no federal gun restrictions. The fact that you've been so successful in Morrie's Gulch proves that the plan can be repeated elsewhere.
  12. The answer to this question will depend on whether you're a seeker or a sucker, Frank. Not all agony is as meaningless and nihilistic as you imply in your question... ...especially when it's your own self inflicted agony of just and deserved consequences from poor moral choices. Agony can cause a seeker to question how they are living and to refine their character so as to rise above it... ...while a sucker like you stubbornly clings to your victim's blame (unjust accusation) of the government for your own failure to live like an American. Greg If agony is meaningful, then life consists of more than just suffering and thus life may be preferable to death. I always make it a point not to inflict agony on myself, unless of course it is deserved. The last time that happened was in 1968 when I voted for Richard Nixon. As for my "victim's blame," there is none to cling to. That is because I have no victims, or even unjust accusations against me (except for perhaps yours). Live like an American? I do so by following the example of the great anti-tax rebels of the American Revolution.
  13. FF, Start wrong, you end wrong. You established for yourself -alone- that there is no contradiction between rational selfishness and "service" to others. But there is. The distinction is I think, there's no contradiction between selfishness and empathy. How one reacts to one's compassion for a person or people draws us into an area which might seem subjective, or as I prefer, "of personal value". It depends: Are they the kind of people who need a temporary leg-up before finding their independence again - or will they develop an ongoing dependence on you? Did they come by misfortune by their own doing - or by the wrong and corrupt acts of their parents, government, natural disaster, etc. etc. At which stage will acting on his empathy become self-sacrificial to this benefactor? Can one afford the time, and financially? Is it a cause one is interested in and consumed by? Indulging in a a little fancy, if I were retired and had a billion or so to spare, I imagine purchasing a chunk of land on the North Africa coast and setting up a refugee haven, drawing in a polyglot of people from all the camps in the Middle East, to eventually develop into a City-State, governed secularly and defended by a professional army, planned to become a self-sufficient entity. I believe there are today the highest number of refugees in the world than ever recorded, due to the region's upheavals. These are mostly fleeing innocents who lost everything, at the mercy of States, terrorist groups and tribal wars. So long as I was enthused by this, I don't believe this would be "devoting" myself to others in the least, it would be a selfish venture. Down to earth again. Very few individuals are in the position to fix any more than a tiny part of the world's ills. They shouldn't be counted upon to. Certainly one does not deserve to live with guilt at "devoting" oneself to one's own interests irrespective of all else. Force come in many forms, and the psychological force upon us all to serve others 'compassionately' and indiscriminately, without objectively perceived value, is more insidious today than ever. And the funny part is, you'd be called "selfish" - disparagingly - for choosing your own benefactees. You may call it service to others or fighting extreme poverty or giving people a second chance. Whatever label you wish stick on it, acts of charity very often result in happiness for the giver. And to repeat such acts of charity in order to get more of that happiness may be properly described as selfish. To quote from Post #1: it is "a very selfish decision that brought him great happiness." How do we know? Watch the video. The charity worker gives off happy vibes.
  14. I can't let this go, either. We are talking about John Galt here. There is no self after death. Not in Rand's conception. A choice and act to not have a self is not selfish. Nor unselfish. It is anti-self. And even that statement is not taking into account Rand's meaning of selfish as life-affirming through values. Michael We agree that there is no self after death. I explicitly said so: "It is not the self after death that is acting to bring about an end to a life; it is the pre-death self." Why should the self exist in agony? If one prefers nothingness over agony, that is a selfish preference, made by the person who is about to actualize nothingness. It is a choice that reflects the evaluation that life is no longer worth living. It is a choice intended to benefit one person above all others, oneself. If one truly wanted to be anti-self, the choice would be to allow the self to remain in a torturous existence.