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jts

What questions would you ask?

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You have organized an event. A bunch of candidates are running for prez. You get to ask them a bunch of questions. What questions would you ask them to test their qualifications to be able to do the job of prez?

They are typical politicians. That means they are probably the lowest form of life walking on 2 feet. Most of them are crookeder than a dog's hind leg and lower than a snake's belly and dirtier than a sailor's mouth and most of them deserve a kick in the ass so hard that they gotta clear their throat to fart.

They should know something about Objectivism: objective reality, reason, selfishness, capitalism. They should know how a free market works and they should know how in a free market, prices adjust to where supply and demand are equal. If they don't know these things, you probably shouldn't even consider voting for them.

Millions of people in television land and internet land are eagerly awaiting your questions and their answers in order to decide who to vote for. And 'none of the above' is on the ballot.

You have them coralled. This event that you have organized is so prestigious and so popular that the candidates must participate in it to have any chance of winning the election. They have no choice but to answer your questions if they want to win the election. They have no control over what questions you are allowed to ask them.

Most of these people are evil:

Dangerous Dan, Gruesome Gus, Horrible Harry, Murderous Marvin, Nefarius Ned, Sinister Sally, Terrible Ted.

But all of them are slicker than shit, like His Messiahship, Obama. All of them are good at speech making. All of them have charisma.

How would you show them up so no Objectivist would consider voting for them?

( ... a while later ... the headlines in the news ...)

'NONE OF THE ABOVE' WINS BY A LANDSLIDE

POLITICAL CAREERS RUINED

POLITICS CHANGED FOREVER

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Since some Objectivists have a blind side about certain government programs, I have no foolproof way to "show up" a politician to a Randite. But here are the questions I would want to ask:

  1. Do you support abolishing the Fed?
  2. Do you support abolishing the income tax?
  3. Do you support impeachment of politicians and judges who do not uphold the Constitution?
  4. Do you support local sovereignty, i.e. the right to secede?

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Since some Objectivists have a blind side about certain government programs, I have no foolproof way to "show up" a politician to a Randite. But here are the questions I would want to ask:

  1. Do you support abolishing the Fed?
  2. Do you support abolishing the income tax?
  3. Do you support impeachment of politicians and judges who do not uphold the Constitution?
  4. Do you support local sovereignty, i.e. the right to secede?

The right to secede was buried in 1865, 150 years ago. It is dead....

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Rights are yours insofar as you can and do exercise them. That government comes into the situation is, for me, the arrival of necessary evil. How that evil is restricted and controlled is up to its constituents, especially as it affects each individually. Individual rights are rights to individual action. Rights are never gone and never done. They are either honored or abused. That's because the nature of human nature is the main human constant. Ultimately rights are as biologically inevitable as human social existence, but require human material and intellectual wealth. They were a long time coming and they'll keep coming through the centuries to come. The Romans lost their civilization because they never had rights so they defaulted to Christianity which laid the psychological-political basis for individualism. Then the brains got to work.

--Brant

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Rights are yours insofar as you can and do exercise them. That government comes into the situation is, for me, the arrival of necessary evil. How that evil is restricted and controlled is up to its constituents, especially as it affects each individually. Individual rights are rights to individual action. Rights are never gone and never done. They are either honored or abused. That's because the nature of human nature is the main human constant. Ultimately rights are as biologically inevitable as human social existence, but require human material and intellectual wealth. They were a long time coming and they'll keep coming through the centuries to come. The Romans lost their civilization because they never had rights so they defaulted to Christianity which laid the psychological-political basis for individualism. Then the brains got to work.

--Brant

"Rights are yours insofar as you can and do exercise them."

This clears things up nicely. There is no right to keep and bear arms unless you can persuade or force the rest of society to let you exercise that right.

Similarly there are no rights to tax-paid daycare, college education, and high speed internet unless you can persuade or force the rest of society to let you have those rights.

The Swiss have the right to keep fully automatic firearms in the home and the right to tax-subsidized healthcare. They "can and do exercise them."

Fortunately, we can take comfort in knowing that rights are "biologically inevitable," and if our favorite right--say, "free" video games--has not yet arrived, we have only ourselves to blame for not being patient enough.

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So when you wrote, "Rights are yours insofar as you can and do exercise them," you meant something other than rights being contingent on the individual's ability to perform them?

Rights are a human invention respecting human nature (and society) which provides their moral and existential validation generally. The only thing actually inside a person about this is his need for rights qua man. The right to bear arms is only an extension of the right to self defense. If you have the right to defend yourself from the initiation of physical force you have, logically, the right to defend yourself with something.

--Brant

"Ma! Get my gun!"

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You have organized an event. A bunch of candidates are running for prez. You get to ask them a bunch of questions. What questions would you ask them to test their qualifications to be able to do the job of prez?

"How do you know what you're going to do is morally right?"

That's the only question that matters... but I understand beforehand that there are not enough decent Americans living in America to elect a decent candidate. So I vote for whoever is closest to my own values with the best chance of winning, because I know that there is no such thing as an "ideologically pure candidate" in this universe.

Knowing that there are not enough decent Americans in America, I take a totally different approach. and that is not to need the government. Government can only control people who need it to give them things... whether it's a job, benefits, insurance, or even privileged tax status.

There is an old law in vampire movies. They cannot enter your home unless you invite them in. The government is just like a vampire. You have to first invite it into your life by your own need of what it appears to offer to give you.

Or as Ayn Rand would say: "The sanction of the victim."

That's how you are controlled by government....

...and you're only f**king yourself. :wink:

Greg

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Rights are yours insofar as you can and do exercise them.

I'd take that even a little farther, Brant...

Rights are yours insofar as you live a life deserving of them.

Greg

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Rights are a human invention respecting human nature (and society) which provides their moral and existential validation generally. The only thing actually inside a person about this is his need for rights qua man. The right to bear arms is only an extension of the right to self defense. If you have the right to defend yourself from the initiation of physical force you have, logically, the right to defend yourself with something.

--Brant

"Ma! Get my gun!"

If "the right to bear arms is only an extension of the right to self defense," then no less is true of the right of secession, or, as Jefferson put it, "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [certain unalienable Rights], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government."

Suppose that in a federation, states H, I and J cannot get the "consent of the governed" among states A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, to secure "their moral and existential validation." Then the dissident states may rightfully go their own way, i.e. "institute new Government."

"If a province wants to secede from a dictatorship, or even from a mixed economy, in order to establish a free country—it has the right to do so." --Ayn Rand, “Global Balkanization,” The Voice of Reason, p. 128.

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"If a province wants to secede from a dictatorship, or even from a mixed economy, in order to establish a free country—it has the right to do so." --Ayn Rand, “Global Balkanization,” The Voice of Reason, p. 128.

She's dead on. :smile:

I take her advice to heart and act on it on an individual level. I establish and enjoy freedom in my own life. It's stupid to wait around for others to do it, because they're NEVER going to do it. They can only talk... because can't do. And to put my freedom in the hands of others would only keep me from enjoying freedom right now.

Real freedom doesn't depend on what other people do.

If you can't effing free yourself... no one else will ever do it for you. :wink:

Greg

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