George H. Smith

Thoughts on Rand, Government, and Anarchism

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Carol, I'm as mystified and skeptical as you - interesting to see how the NPA, our bunch of incompetent buffoons, can crack Pistorius' story. They bragged that they had a case - the day after the shooting: is it they can match the forensics to OP's gun? Found his prints on the door? Doh! Or perhaps they have a witness - say, a goldfish?

Apart from that he is quite unsavory, with some record of tantrums and anger, verging on violence to women, and flashing his firearm publicly. A restaurant owner who knew some rough types who knew him, told me that they'd have "got him" way back if they hadn't felt sorry for his disability. Anecdotal, sure.

He won't be the last egotistic star believing his public image, but aside from that, I have the sense that he is at minimum self-obsessive or a narcissist, and maybe more.

The "maybe more" could save him. If he was paranoid and/or drug-addled, he may genuinely not have known what he was doing.

Also, premeditated murder seems a great overreach. If "each man kills the thing he loves" he does not plot and plan about it. Inconvenient wives with large life insurance policies are another story.

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Also, premeditated murder seems a great overreach. If "each man kills the thing he loves" he does not plot and plan about it. Inconvenient wives with large life insurance policies are another story.

My specialty.

--Brant

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Now I know who has been sending me those "Sign here for a free trip to Romantic Tucson" packages!

Notice they include a one-way ticket?

--Brant

(I don't look like my avatar, so come on!)

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The government should have only one major responsibility which would be alloted to it, and this is not the protection of collective-human-social-rights. It must stay within its bounds. Each law abiding individual could receive the benefits of individual rights, and live a life uninterrupted by the transgressors.

Some people value other things higher than the recognition of their rights. The government is a collective creation--why wouldn't it's purpose be to serve the collective? Because Ayn Rand felt that it shouldn't?

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The government should have only one major responsibility which would be alloted to it, and this is not the protection of collective-human-social-rights. It must stay within its bounds. Each law abiding individual could receive the benefits of individual rights, and live a life uninterrupted by the transgressors.

Some people value other things higher than the recognition of their rights. The government is a collective creation--why wouldn't it's purpose be to serve the collective? Because Ayn Rand felt that it shouldn't?

Are you arguing for collectivism? Altruism?

--Brant

collective to collective is a fallacy here unless you demonstrate collective to individual, individual to collective and individual to individual are necessarily non-starters

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Now I know who has been sending me those "Sign here for a free trip to Romantic Tucson" packages!

Notice they include a one-way ticket?

--Brant

(I don't look like my avatar, so come on!)

Ah but I do look like my avatar, except older and meaner-- do I hear a distant gulp?

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Now I know who has been sending me those "Sign here for a free trip to Romantic Tucson" packages!

Notice they include a one-way ticket?

--Brant

(I don't look like my avatar, so come on!)

Ah but I do look like my avatar, except older and meaner-- do I hear a distant gulp?

That avatar reminds me of my ancestor Mary Dyer. Why don't you come to Boston instead?

--Brant

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"Society" of course has its objectively impartial, and quite benign definition, but it is too often used as a weasel word to denote - to remind us - that you or I are next to nothing in significance next to the entire populace. It is a numbers racket, beloved of bureaucrats: Begin with the biggest 'group', society, break that down to other 'groups' - and, hell, who cares about the individual. Groups are better swayed and led.

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Carol, I'm as mystified and skeptical as you - interesting to see how the NPA, our bunch of incompetent buffoons, can crack Pistorius' story. They bragged that they had a case - the day after the shooting: is it they can match the forensics to OP's gun? Found his prints on the door? Doh! Or perhaps they have a witness - say, a goldfish?

Apart from that he is quite unsavory, with some record of tantrums and anger, verging on violence to women, and flashing his firearm publicly. A restaurant owner who knew some rough types who knew him, told me that they'd have "got him" way back if they hadn't felt sorry for his disability. Anecdotal, sure.

He won't be the last egotistic star believing his public image, but aside from that, I have the sense that he is at minimum self-obsessive or a narcissist, and maybe more.

The "maybe more" could save him. If he was paranoid and/or drug-addled, he may genuinely not have known what he was doing.

Also, premeditated murder seems a great overreach. If "each man kills the thing he loves" he does not plot and plan about it. Inconvenient wives with large life insurance policies are another story.

Less benevolent about him than you, I'm not too sure. Have you considered he may be a psychopath?

There's been mention of insanely jealous outbursts, and no one is more able to self- justify a premeditated act than one.

(As I unfortunately experienced once.:))

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Carol, I'm as mystified and skeptical as you - interesting to see how the NPA, our bunch of incompetent buffoons, can crack Pistorius' story. They bragged that they had a case - the day after the shooting: is it they can match the forensics to OP's gun? Found his prints on the door? Doh! Or perhaps they have a witness - say, a goldfish?

Apart from that he is quite unsavory, with some record of tantrums and anger, verging on violence to women, and flashing his firearm publicly. A restaurant owner who knew some rough types who knew him, told me that they'd have "got him" way back if they hadn't felt sorry for his disability. Anecdotal, sure.

He won't be the last egotistic star believing his public image, but aside from that, I have the sense that he is at minimum self-obsessive or a narcissist, and maybe more.

The "maybe more" could save him. If he was paranoid and/or drug-addled, he may genuinely not have known what he was doing.

Also, premeditated murder seems a great overreach. If "each man kills the thing he loves" he does not plot and plan about it. Inconvenient wives with large life insurance policies are another story.

Less benevolent about him than you, I'm not too sure. Have you considered he may be a psychopath?

There's been mention of insanely jealous outbursts, and no one is more able to self- justify a premeditated act than one.

(As I unfortunately experienced once. :smile:)

Remembering some readings on the incidence of psychopathy among super-high achievers in business, that could be a possibility.

You experienced such malevolence????? A great guy like you?

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"Society" of course has its objectively impartial, and quite benign definition, but it is too often used as a weasel word to denote - to remind us - that you or I are next to nothing in significance next to the entire populace. It is a numbers racket, beloved of bureaucrats: Begin with the biggest 'group', society, break that down to other 'groups' - and, hell, who cares about the individual. Groups are better swayed and led.

Let the individual worry about the individual and society worry about society.

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"Society" of course has its objectively impartial, and quite benign definition, but it is too often used as a weasel word to denote - to remind us - that you or I are next to nothing in significance next to the entire populace. It is a numbers racket, beloved of bureaucrats: Begin with the biggest 'group', society, break that down to other 'groups' - and, hell, who cares about the individual. Groups are better swayed and led.

Let the individual worry about the individual and society worry about society.

I would, if I could only find who this guy called 'Society' is so I can wring his neck.

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"Society" of course has its objectively impartial, and quite benign definition, but it is too often used as a weasel word to denote - to remind us - that you or I are next to nothing in significance next to the entire populace. It is a numbers racket, beloved of bureaucrats: Begin with the biggest 'group', society, break that down to other 'groups' - and, hell, who cares about the individual. Groups are better swayed and led.

Let the individual worry about the individual and society worry about society.

I would, if I could only find who this guy called 'Society' is so I can wring his neck.

To society the individual is insignificant, and to the individual the opposite is true. Society ought to look after society, while the individual ought to look after himself.

He may or may not be represented by society, but that is not his problem nor society's.

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"Society" of course has its objectively impartial, and quite benign definition, but it is too often used as a weasel word to denote - to remind us - that you or I are next to nothing in significance next to the entire populace. It is a numbers racket, beloved of bureaucrats: Begin with the biggest 'group', society, break that down to other 'groups' - and, hell, who cares about the individual. Groups are better swayed and led.

Let the individual worry about the individual and society worry about society.

I would, if I could only find who this guy called 'Society' is so I can wring his neck.

To society the individual is insignificant, and to the individual the opposite is true. Society ought to look after society, while the individual ought to look after himself.

He may or may not be represented by society, but that is not his problem nor society's.

If we expect the protection of the laws we cannot consider society insignificant.

Do we expect our mail to be delivered? Do we expect traffic lights to work? Do we count on the fire department coming if our house catches fire. If we are robbed or attacked do we have some place to go to lodge a complaint. Whether done by private parties or the government it is society at work.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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"Society" of course has its objectively impartial, and quite benign definition, but it is too often used as a weasel word to denote - to remind us - that you or I are next to nothing in significance next to the entire populace. It is a numbers racket, beloved of bureaucrats: Begin with the biggest 'group', society, break that down to other 'groups' - and, hell, who cares about the individual. Groups are better swayed and led.

Let the individual worry about the individual and society worry about society.

I would, if I could only find who this guy called 'Society' is so I can wring his neck.

To society the individual is insignificant, and to the individual the opposite is true. Society ought to look after society, while the individual ought to look after himself.

He may or may not be represented by society, but that is not his problem nor society's.

If we expect the protection of the laws we cannot consider society insignificant.

Do we expect our mail to be delivered? Do we expect traffic lights to work? Do we count on the fire department coming if our house catches fire. If we are robbed or attacked do we have some place to go to lodge a complaint. Whether done by private parties or the government it is society at work.

Ba'al Chatzaf

If that's society, then I'm a fully paid-up member. At your or my age, we've probably paid four times over for those services via every form of taxation, levy, tariff or duty invented by government.

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If that's society, then I'm a fully paid-up member. At your or my age, we've probably paid four times over for those services via every form of taxation, levy, tariff or duty invented by government.

I have not doubt we have been stiffed by the government. But the government is yet another manifestation of society. The social network ordained the government. It was not brought into being by atomic isolated individuals.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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"Society" of course has its objectively impartial, and quite benign definition, but it is too often used as a weasel word to denote - to remind us - that you or I are next to nothing in significance next to the entire populace. It is a numbers racket, beloved of bureaucrats: Begin with the biggest 'group', society, break that down to other 'groups' - and, hell, who cares about the individual. Groups are better swayed and led.

Let the individual worry about the individual and society worry about society.

I would, if I could only find who this guy called 'Society' is so I can wring his neck.

To society the individual is insignificant, and to the individual the opposite is true. Society ought to look after society, while the individual ought to look after himself.

He may or may not be represented by society, but that is not his problem nor society's.

You seem to be unaware of the point WhyNot is making: there is no direct referent for "society." There is for "individual." There is nothing "to society" this or that nor does it "look after" itself. (Even if not so it doesn't follow that "society ought to look after society.")

--Brant

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There's no direct referent for anything, so the point is moot. Why is the concept of society any less real than the concept of a human being? Everything is made of "stuff" that makes it impossible to understand from the ground up.

If you threw some hair clippings in front of me, I wouldn't think, "That's a human being." An individual does not represent society in the same way those hair clippings do not represent a human being, but it doesn't make it less real.

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You are confusing entities with their parts. An entity is something that has a direct referent, you, for instance. Society is not any entity in that sense; it's an idea populated by people doing things--all kinds of things. When you say society does this or that it is merely a shorthand way of saying someone or someones is/are doing this or that. The danger is to think in terms thereby comfortable also with collectivists and find yourself in the water with them as you are speaking their language.

--Brant

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An entity is still just an idea. When you say a person did something, really what you are saying is specific parts of that person did certain things to make up this "something" that was done.

A coach of a sports team certainly thinks of his team as a real thing. What is best for the team? That is a valid question, as is "What is best for society?"

Society is an abstract generalization of a group of individuals coexisting. Though all of these individuals are part of society, not all of them are equally represented. Collective actions exist in the real world, and they should be aimed to benefit the collective as much as possible.

If we are represented by society, then society is our friend. If we are not, then it is not. We should represent ourselves as best we can, meaning rational selfishness, but as we do that we contribute to the concept of society, and that concept should be referenced when making collective decisions--which are unavoidable.

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A team is a concept only, not an entity. This isn't to knock concepts but to keep them in their place. A team is real, a society is real, reality is real. In your head real. That's where concepts live. They are valid if they have real constituent entities like an army has soldiers and equipment.

--Brant

win one for the Gipper

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"Collective actions exist in the real world, and they should be aimed to benefit the collective as much as possible."

And why would that be an existential or moral imperative assuming your premise?

--Brant

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A team is a concept only, not an entity. This isn't to knock concepts but to keep them in their place. A team is real, a society is real, reality is real. In your head real. That's where concepts live. They are valid if they have real constituent entities like an army has soldiers and equipment.

--Brant

win one for the Gipper

I remember sharing a locker room with other members of my baseball concept.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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