• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Marcus

  1. 17 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    On the idea part, this comment show a preference for race as a fundamental principle.

    I don't think that way. The deepest fundament to me is initiating violence against innocents. It makes no difference to me if a person who bashes my head in was prompted by a race supremacist or by a "self-serving trouble-starter."

    The bashed-in part of my head can't tell the difference.

    Even in formal Objectivism, force versus mind, not racial attitude, is where the moral premise battle is fought. Racism (which is bad) is less fundamental on the ethical hierarchy.



    @Michael Stuart Kelly You were making a moral equivalence. You equivocated a White Supremacist and Nazi, whose movement and idealogy has historically killed and destroyed the lives of untold millions of people with the low-brow, profit seeking political opportunism of Al Sharpton (Al Sharption is many things but not an advocate of genocide or violence). This is worse than a dumb comparison, it's dangerous and  intellectually dishonest. That is what I addressed.

    Terrible error on your part and I was a bit surprised you even said it. Making false equivalencies is certainly not how you win arguments.

  2. Quote

    Once again, you have a good brain. Use it for ideas. You are more than welcome when you do that.

    Sure. Just understand we may disagree.  And I will also call out inconsistencies where I see it. If you fail to call out racists, I will do it for you. But I have nothing personal against you. If I didn't think this forum was "semi-intelligent" and capable of honest and good discussion I would not be here.

    I've been on this forum for years, you all should know how I operate.

  3. 38 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Who is we?

    And who anointed you to speak in the name of "we"?

    You almost got something semi-intelligent out until that idiot comment.


    We as in, you know, America. Obviously not you or me, but the country as a whole. I thought that was self-explanatory.


    Seriously, you should consider Solo Passion...


    I consider places that will have an open discussion (i.e. where dissent and independent thought is tolerated and encouraged).

  4. Quote

    This is a lot different than President Obama (an "elected president") who spent eight full years and DID NOT DISAVOW radical Islamic terrorism once to my knowledge. Not once. He not only wouldn't say the term, he prohibited his staff from using it, too. And he encouraged left-wing and black movement terrorism and riots. Look at how many times Al Sharpton went to the White House, for instance. How many times has Robert Spencer been there at the president's invitation? None, that's how many.

    Al Sharpton is not a black supremacist. Does not advocate black supremacy, separatism or genocide. He is a buffoon, yes. A self-serving trouble-starter, yes. But he is quite in a different league from Richard Spencer. We didn't fight a World War, losing millions of lives just so you can equate an opportunist with full blown Nazism/White Supremacy.


    If you've got something intelligent to say, say it.

    I'm saying it.

  5. 58 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Where are the cars burning, the stores being looted, people shitting on cop cars? Got any pictures of that from these idiots?

    I didn't think so.

    Tracking 101.


    Sure, people only died, dozens run over by car and brutally beaten by nazi thugs.

    I'm sure malcontents "shitting on cars" is much worse though.

  6. Quote

    The white power dudes are stupid and talk tough, and you will find a deranged individual or so among them, but they are not destructive in the sense the race riot people under President Obama were. They don't torch vehicles in the street, loot stores, shit on police cars, etc.

    A bizarrely tone deaf statement considering what "white power dudes" were actually doing that day. I guess you define "not destructive" differently?



    And we have an elected president who won't even name these hooligans. Goes back to my earlier point of Objectivism and America being at odds.

    These "white power dudes" are nothing short of a domestic terror group and should be treated as such.

  7. 6 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    I wish this were true.

    Alphabet is one of the worst crony corporatist companies in the world right now. They were even one of the main players behind that mess called the Arab Spring.

    Also, one of the main actors in the Damore affair, Google's chief diversity officer, Danielle Brown, (or maybe vice chief or whatever, there are conflicting reports in the MSM) is a radical left-wing activist who was important in Hillary Clinton's campaign. Brown was probably directly instrumental in firing Damore. She has certainly been blasting him as if she were.

    Alphabet is shot through and through with Clintonites at the senior management level. Tsk tsk tsk... They bet on the wrong horse and... sniff sniff... had to take their grubby hands out of the public coffers. Not all, but a lot. And that hurts...

    Of course, Alphabet can hire whoever they want. That would be simple capitalism. But there are all those damn entanglements with governments, not just in the USA, but all over the world.

    So, no... Just like governments cannot run their organizations as they see fit and have moral validation, crony corporations in bed with governments have forgone that right and privilege. They have other masters to obey. And even on the freedom side, they have triggered the rights of others. 

    The moment someone points a gun at my head, he has given up his right to not be attacked. 


    Why single out just Google/Alphabet? What major company isn't "crony capitalist"? What major company isn't lobbying government? If they morally sanctioned his racism/sexism and allowed James Damore to stay would that make them more agreeable to you? If they dropped support for Clinton and became pro-Trump would this still be a problem?

    Its not Googles fault they have to lobby government in order to keep a gun from being pointed at *them*. Certainly they did not start out that way. Never mind Google is one of the worlds most productive and valuable companies with or without government aid. I see Google ads all over your site, for example. They're dominating advertising.

  8. Quote

    You don't mention defense spending here. It seems reasonable to conclude you are claiming that Australia's government spending is less than the USA's because Australia's spending on welfare is more efficient.

    No I'm not claiming that. You are claiming that. I said nothing of the sort lol. I said Australia is more efficient in administering welfare which is true, but this is not the sole reason for their lower rate of government spending.


    I see. You say that government spending on welfare matters, then ten hours later it's irrelevant.

    Once again, putting words in my mouth and false statements.

    Here's what I said:


    Whether the government blows it's citizens money on welfare or bombs it's irrelevant. Government as a percentage of GDP is markedly lower in Australia.

    I made that statement in response to this (your) quote:


    However, Australia's spending on defense was 6%, whereas the USA's was 13%. Both differences are 7%, so it doesn't follow that the difference between the two countries is welfare spending.

    I said *what* the Australian government spends it on is irrelevant because it's still lower than the US. That's the point you keep not getting. You keep trying to argue around this simple fact lol.

    Where is your argument really?

  9. @merjet Whether the government blows it's citizens money on welfare or bombs it's irrelevant. Government as a percentage of GDP is markedly lower in Australia. That is is an undeniable fact. "Libertarian" countries don't spend half their GDP from the gov't. It's funny to watch you guys find twisty arguments to fit your narrative/beliefs about what America is. I'm not twisting/spinning my argument here. I'm saying flatly Australia is more free and less dominated by government than America is. I'm basing this purely on the data.

    You guys can come up with anecdotes or misinterpret articles all you want. The facts are what they are. It seems so many people here are so invested in  this idea of "America the free", the whole narrative and everything. Maybe it's time to "re-visit" the story.

    If America is a "free" country we may as well believe in fire-breathing dragons too.

  10. On 8/5/2017 at 1:59 PM, anthony said:

    It means, that a freedom index is just one tool, not an authoritative source which represents the reality of free people 'on the ground'. It means, comparisons are often odious. And, one doesn't need to live in a shiny, new frying pan, to call both the pot and the kettle grimy.

    Here's an example of a, um, "successful" Welfare State. Only 36% of state spend. Not quite an Objectivist's or libertarian's idea of freedom. But, you notice, they won't rest on their laurels there - always room for a better and bigger welfare state...


    You don't seem to understand the article. The article is saying despite their welfare state, Australia's government still spends less than America does as a percentage of GDP, which is absolutely correct. Not only that, it is much more efficient and targeted (If you *must* have a welfare state,  at least be smart about it).

    This further proves my point, not yours. Which is one of the reasons why Australia outranks America on freedom indexes. Check the figures.

  11. @Michael Stuart Kelly I think more like an engineer, not so much a philosopher. Abstract concepts give way to practical ideas that have application in the here and now. I try though. This forum is kind of my way of working through my own thoughts/issues with Objectivism and getting feedback.

    It also gives me dead focus. I don't like pointless rambling on in threads that I start. It's  disrespectful. I don't like when bumbling fools (peter) start racial sub-threads and hijack them.

    So I have a tendency to get "testy" with people who do annoying or disrespectful  things. My goal is not to "boss" people but to stay on topic. Otherwise I'll just abandon the thread and it will most likely go nowhere. Or just leave the forum for a while and the place gets a lot less interesting. Say what you want about my threads, they are always interesting and drive a lot of views to your forum.

    Hope that clarifies my thought process a little. No need for policing or psychoanalysis, just ask politely, I'll tell you.


  12. Quote

    What is the difference between "Objectivism is an American Philosophy" and "Objectivism is pre-eminently an American viewpoint"?

    ^ @Michael Stuart Kelly You've called me out on the above but still no real explanation as to the difference between those two statements? They both make reference to a) Objectivism in b) in similar terms. Are you arguing that Objectivists or Peikoff do not think that Objectivism is American? I'm just really confused as to what your trying to say overall.

    All that psychoanalysis stuff is unnecessary. What I care about here is discussing whether or not Objectivist ideas are fundamentally American or not. It's the only thing I will address.



  13. On 8/2/2017 at 4:22 AM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    That makes hash out of the OP's critique. And that also means that the OP attributed words and an idea to Peikoff that are not his, then bashed Peikoff for it, then postured as if he runs this place.


    Ok but you are playing with words. What is the difference between "Objectivism is an American Philisophy" and "Objectivism is pre-eminently an American viewpoint"? Semantics. Yes, it may not be an exact quote, the meaning is the same. Peikoff (and probably Rand) believed that Objectivism is quintessentially "American". I am here to tell you it is not. Let's argue that not semantics.


    Objectivism couldn 't have gotten a firm foothold anywhere else, than the USA, I think. But I've been fascinated by the identity and internal spread in a nation (and "the 'West"), of this thing called "a culture". Of course the distance from the individual to millions of individuals is too vast to take in without abstracting it. All one can induce is a predominant characteristic from many sources and observations. And events can be changing and out-dating the aggregate all the time one is identifying it. E.g. Australia was mentioned. From what I know and hear from some over there, that traditional perception of the tough, self-responsible individualist Australian is on its way out. The complaint is of the growth of another Euro-style nanny State, as the average Aussie seeks less hard work, more regulations and welfare.  

    What I know is that Australia consistently ranks higher than America on freedom indexes every year while America slips further down year by year. If Australia is a "tax grabbing, regulating, nanny state" what does that mean for America? Don't be the pot to call the kettle black.


    This is a libertarian metric with the central libertarian economic-political focus. Objectivism focuses on morality/ethics--that's its center.

    I'd say millions of Americans have absorbed (this) Objectivism from reading Atlas Shrugged. It has helped them in their private lives. In the novel the philosophy is implicit since the term was apparently launched post publication with "Nathaniel Branden Lectures" (NBL) in 1958, soon re-named NBI.

    You are actually complaining about libertarianism, not Objectivism.

    Brant Gaede, the stats on huge majorities of America are real. Actuallly worse yet, it has gone in the wrong direction. Americans who believe in God, angels, ghosts and other hokum are real. Sorry. No rational culture believes in such things. If they really took these books to heart, there would be tangible changes in the overall culture and politics of this country. Actually by the looks of things, it has gone in the wrong direction.

    Meanwhile, America slips in the freedom ranking while Hong Kong moves in the opposite direction. By the hard metrics, this not a good sign for Objectivism.

  14. 53 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:


    What is the country closest to Objectivism?



    If I had to choose one country I would say Hong Kong (not China). Consistently ranked in the top 5 on every freedom index every year, low rates of religiosity, tremendous work ethic. By every conceivable metric they are far closer to Objectivism than Americans are. Whereas Americans seem to be getting lazier, dumber, more entitled and less free every year they seem to be going in the opposite direction.

    After that maybe Australia or Switzerland.

  15. @Brant Jews are not a race thus you cannot really measure their IQ accurately as a group. If Jews are a race does that make Hispanics a "race"? No proper definition is ever given of exactly what constitutes a "Jew" whenever anyone makes any claims about "Jewish IQ".

    There are Jewish groups from all over the world, including black Ethiopian Jews.

    Second blacks are not really a monolithic group either. They come from various tribes and a geneticist will tell you they are the most diverse subset of humanity. If IQ has a genetic basis you will get wildly different scores and results. Can you compare Nigerians who seem to make up X percentage of Harvard with a Congolese and then lump them all into the same group?

    So in short, yes, it's nonsense. Done speaking on this as this is not the topic of this thread.


  16. ^ Hey look guy, dispense with the race/IQ nonsense. This is not the thread for that and no one asked you to bring it here. You think you can slickly insert your racist narrative where it is neither needed nor wanted. I don't care about your opinion of blacks, slavery or anything not related to this thread.


  17. 1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

    The pre-civil war Constitution did nothing to prohibit Slavery.   It took 650,000 dead  and 1.5 million maimed  to finally put an end to Slavery.

    Slavery is an evil institution that should have never occurred in this country. But it did tragically. Slavery aside, the constitution is the foundation on which the unity and prosperity of America is built. The "people" get in the way half of the time. The other half doesn't care.



    50 minutes ago, RobinReborn said:


    What country is closer to Objectivism than the USA?


    I'm not sure if it's appropriate to ascribe philosophies to countries, individuals have philosophies, countries don't.  Most individuals don't have coherent philosophies.  The existence of the USA as the world's super power and the speed at which its economy has grown is strong support for the validity of Objectivism.

    Going by that logic I guess communist China (a growing superpower) also qualifies as "close to Objectivism"?

    Most of the growth in the American economy occurred during its freest period (1800's) which further underlies my point. America is today sailing off of the past. America today is technologically stagnant, with low GDP growth rates, high taxes, and endless state interventions and programs.

    Countries have cultures and individuals follow cultural rules and ideas. We don't live in a cultural vacuum devoid of the influence of others. Observing simple trends in society you can get a general sense of what ideas people do or don't accept. It's quite clear that Objectivism is not well liked or accepted within the American ideascape.

    The people of America are nowhere near close to Objectivism. The constitution and early founding documents which we rely upon to run our society is. That is the difference and the only reason America is still a relatively wealthy, functioning country. 


  19. Quote

    Objectivism is an American philosophy - Peikoff












    On it's face, this statement couldn't actually be any more false. To think a philosophy created by a Jewish woman who was an immigrant with a thick Russian accent as fundamentally American seems absurd. As you look deeper, you find it to be even more untrue.

    In America, no matter how many copies of Atlas Shrugged are sold every year, Objectivism is relegated to the status of a fringe philosophy. And despite even this fringe status, it is attacked viciously by both the left and the right in the media on an almost seemingly daily basis. It is not respected, or even properly understood by the average American. If Objectivism is a fundamentally American system of ideas, why so much animosity towards it?

    Every indication in America life tells us we are going in the opposite direction to the Objectivist ideal. In economics, the public wants more state interventions in the economy, tariffs on China, monopoly busting and higher taxes on the rich, in politics, it wants the "lowest common denominator" type of person win, i.e. persuasive, popular hucksters or borderline criminals to sell them platitudes and vulgar jingoistic rhetoric, not well reasoned policy. In ethics, it wants some combination or variation thereof of pragmatism or altruism. In metaphysics/epistemology, most Americans believe in God, angels, demons , skepticism/cluelessness, something for nothing, (see economics), racial stereotypes and other silly and irrational concepts not befitting a generally civilized society. Americans believe these things far more than even Europeans do.

    If is was not clear to you by that America philosophically is actually one of the furthest countries from Objectivism, (and this has been true for some time) it should be now. America is a country literally held by the "string" of it's original founding documents and legal system, that prevent it plunging face-first into barbarism, poverty and irrationality. In other words, America is a country held on by it's past, not it's future. Objectivism, is not an American philosophy per se and most Americans do not like Objectivism very much. In truth to call Objectivism "American" is far too gracious a statement, Americans don't really have a coherent philosophy. Though it is a "western" philosophy in the tradition of Aristotle. If anything, it's a Russian-Jewish philosophy that was imported to America, like so many other ideas. 


  20. 4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    Here's where the ideological people get it wrong. Trump doesn't talk about capitalism. He does it.

    Think of it this way. Clinton gets money from political pull. I don't know where Johnson got his money like Trump did. In other words, if people don't buy what Trump sells (or what Johnson sold before he went into politics), he doesn't get money. 

    He didn't create the regulations in the highly regulated field of real estate development. Blaming him for that is blaming the victim, not the victimizer.

    So at least on Trump's end of the trade, he is practicing capitalism.

    Now, if you want to get into anarcho-capitalism, no taxes and the like and say anything that does not agree with that is not capitalism, that's a bit like Muslims who say Sufi Islam (or maybe ISIS) does not practice Islam or Christians who say Mormons do not practice Christianity and so on.

    At some point the ideas have to connect to reality to get implemented.



    ^ He's an "idealogical purist" i.e.a head in the clouds, "pure capitalism in one election" guy.

    Trump represents a small, incremental movement in the right direction, if ever so slightly. That's a win in my book. He at least says he plans to lower taxes and regulations significantly. Clinton represents a movement in the opposite direction. Voting for her is not a "rational" decision in any event.