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I regret very much the proliferation of legal threads (mostly my doing) that have little relevance to Objectivism. Philosophy of law was a blank page in Rand's work, said to be an elaboration of ethics. Maybe what we should be discussing is whether she articulated a coherent theory of ethics? I like the virtue of selfishness, so that's not an issue for me, and I regard "evil requires the sanction of victim" as a profound achievement. But it's fairly clear that Rand and many of her most faithful acolytes (myself included) had miserable lives. It gives me the heebie-jeebies to think of Peikoff as an example of Objectivist living.
Today marks the dolorous 25th anniversary of the bloody crackdown and heartless massacre of Tiananmen Square by the loathsome, evil, Chinese dictators. It was a truly black day for world freedom. The idealistic, noble, and very brave, student-led protest was basically advocating overall reform, less corruption, democracy, and liberty. But it was called a pro-"democracy" demonstration from the start, and now it's almost exclusively remembered as being part of a pro-"democracy" movement. Well, democracy has advanced only slightly in the past quarter-century. Only to a scattered, inconsistent, and minor extent do the Chinese people actually get to elect their leaders, and decide who will rule them based on a majority vote. But freedom has advanced substantially. So too justice, and even impartial, objective rule of law. It's rather sad and odd that neither the Chinese nor the world publicly note it much. This problem -- and grave philosophical error -- began a long time ago. Indeed, in 1989 the Peking protesters occupying the central Square built a statue explicitly called "The Goddess of Democracy" to symbolize their protest. They did not build a "Goddess of Individual Liberty." The difference is telling -- and overwhelming. The sloppy language and poor thinking of the demonstrators and everyone else -- then and now -- is a true disaster for all. This business of government reformers incoherently stammering: "I want democracy -- you know: majority rule plus individual liberty," is very confusing to everybody. It renders the all-important battle royal for freedom and individual rights exceedingly difficult. Indeed, it mainly serves to advance the trivial notion and minor goal of a nation getting to choose its political leaders. As for the chance the newly-empowered people of China in 1989 might have used their new "democracy" to advance welfare-statist bureaucracy and tyranny far more than the economic capitalism and personal libertarianism recently advanced by the communist Chinese dictators -- well, no-one cares to consider that. Best to close our eyes to reality, and pretend that embarrassing issue doesn't exist. In the end, post-Tiananmen China has advanced fairly far down the only road that matters: not towards slimy, worthless democracy, but towards all-important freedom. When it comes to government, politics, and the law, the only things which matter are liberty, justice, and individual rights. Put more simply, the only thing which counts is individual liberty. And the Chinese people -- altho' still grossly and unconscionably deprived -- have a lot more of this today than they did 25 years ago.
Since 2010 I have been somewhat active in the local Tea Party group in Charlotte. Recently a speaker claimed the group was "too old," and encouraged the group to reach out to the younger generation. In that spirit, I presented a piece with that intent and a local news and opinion website asked to publish it. Although the ideas are certainly familiar to readers of Objectivist Living, I give the link here in case it might be of value in your own outreach efforts. http://pundithouse.com/2013/09/liberty-letters-to-my-grandchild-number-1/
Evidently the United States federal government is now monitoring every American bank and financial transaction whatsoever, while tapping every phone call, and reading every email. Our state Overlords know our phone, electricity, t'v', and internet bills inside out, while also being aware of every book, record, or video we borrow or buy. And, courtesy of mobile phone location transmitters, the Surveillance State now knows practically every physical step we take, and records it all in a giant, privacy-shattering databank forever. You have to wonder: Does Big Brother now also know all our favorite radio and t'v' shows, plus movies and concerts, plus clubs and bars, plus porn videos and sex clubs? Government spying on innocent American citizens currently seems to be almost without limit. It's also essentially without reason or oversight. Our personal sphere has been just about totally invaded and violated. And all of this unprecedented and fathomless evil is done to keep us "safe," and "help" us. What's ineffably sad about all this is none of these governmental Constitution-destroyers, criminals, tyrants, and traitors is going to jail. And most Americans -- mentally beaten down and spiritually crushed -- actually favor this. Evidently the popularly accepted philosophy in the US is "Bend over and take it, slaveboys!" If Jefferson or Madison were alive today they'd probably hate America. They'd do everything in their power to destroy her. They certainly wouldn't seek to somehow radically reform our wayward social system. Their goal would be to terminate it utterly -- and start over from scratch. On the one hand, Muslims are our enemy. And they're everywhere -- abroad and at home. No-one can deny this. Al Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. all seek to destroy the United States, and they have allies and supporters everywhere. This includes the vast majority of America's roughly six million Muslims. These guys basically love jihad (holy war) and sharia (legal slavery). And they ruthlessly seek to bring these Islamic political goals to a naive and poorly self-defending America. These guys also love shahada (religious martyrdom) and taqiyya (lying about Islam). Such concepts and behaviors advance their jihadi and shariaist ideals. America's Muslims give huge intellectual and moral support to the activists of their philosophy, while also donating billions of dollars a year to groups seeking to nuke America and commit genocide against us. All these foreign and domestic Islamics are true enemies of the American people, and they desperately need to be stopped. The federal government should try to prevent them from doing their Muslim thing. But on the other hand, the freedom-hating, freedom-eviscerating Executive, NSA, DHS, CIA, and FBI are also America's enemies. They seek the termination of the American Constitution, and the institution of a fascist dictatorship, as soon as humanly possible. So the question arises: How do we balance these two monsters -- the muzzies and the feds -- and keep them at each others' throats, but not at ours? There are several good answers to this, but the most important one is this: We need to recognize each side's respective natures and powers. The fact is the Muslims of today are overwhelmingly weak. They're a poor, ignorant, disorganized, and temporary menace, which mostly comes from outside. They have neither the money, nor the weaponry, nor the intellectual underpinnings, nor the moral stature to mount a credible assault. They're easily defeated thru countless simple techniques, such as philosophical refutation, moral condemnation, foreign propaganda, domestic profiling, mass deportation, retaking our Mideast oil, overthrowing the Mideast dictatorships, declaring war on the jihadi groups, etc. So the enemy Muslims aren't really a problem. But today's United States government agents are very different. They're massively strong. The American federal government is a rich, highly-informed, well-organized, and permanent menace, of seeming philosophical and moral legitimacy, which comes from within. Both groups are virulently anti-American and wildly immoral. Both hate our freedom -- what's left of it -- and work hard to savage it. But only one group is an immense danger to our privacy, liberty, way of life, personal greatness, and ultimate happiness. Only one group constitutes an existential threat.