Why So Negative (Rights)?


Recommended Posts

By the way, would you feel less offended by Rand Paul's characterization if he had used the word serf instead of slave? Overtaxed and over regulated and being denied ownership and control of your own business is a form of serfdom. Did you know that both Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul are medical doctors?

You have no clue what this thread is about. I'm not offended. It was shit. It made him look like a moron.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 151
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Despite the optimism on these forums, now, and during the build up to the 2012 election, for a liberty friendly president, the overwhelming attitude on the Internet and from pretty much everyone I talk to in real life (Toronto, Canada) is that fiscally conservative politicians have no common sense, and are either crazy, evil, or both. This clip of Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders was circulating some time ago, but it, and the reactions it got, demonstrate exactly what I want to talk about:

To most people, Bernie sounds like the much more reasonable person in this exchange. Good people can watch that and think, "Wow, that Rand Paul guy is a nut."

A truly free-market health care system sounds scary to a lot of people, they think of the horror stories of people who found out they had cancer and had to sell their house. The horror story that Rand tries to use... that of a doctor operating with a gun to his head... nobody can relate to that. Not even the people who agree with Rand. Not even Rand himself can honestly say he thinks that would ever happen. And Bernie capitalized on that silliness.

Why not give people something they can #1 understand, and #2 get on board with? Is free healthcare really free? Of course not. Everyone knows they'll be paying more taxes with socialized medicine. But they think it will work out better than the system already in place. They think it will be cheaper, and the wealthy will bear more of the load. That sounds good to most people. That sounds like it works out in their best interest.

What's the other option, though? Instead of free health care, what about cheap health care? It's impossible to say exactly how a free-market system would create more value for the average person, but it certainly is possible to point out how an over regulated system fails the average person and where the extra costs are coming from.

Socialist politics are usually argued for by describing the desired outcome, and bringing up real life examples of problems with the alternatives. The principles argued for by conservatives and libertarians are usually done in a way resembling Rand Paul's rambling in the video: the speaker doesn't seem to have any objective by speaking--Does he want to persuade anyone who doesn't already hold his views?

To the extent that people on the left extrapolate the moral and psychological depravity of those on the right, people on the right take the difference in point-of-view that they have with those on the left to signify obtuseness, and in turn they end up arguing their points like they're talking to a five year old, using absurd analogies and fables instead of pointing to things in the person's life experience that perhaps lacked context.

The title is about how when people explain negative rights, it doesn't give people the positive feeling that positive rights do. As most people here probably believe, negative rights would have a positive effect on society, so why doesn't it sound that way whenever someone explains the concept?

Rand Paul over-cooked his response and wrongly focused it on "slavery" when he should have been directly talking about freedom and the benefits of freedom and what is and isn't a right out of that positive context. His janitor as a slave was a reductio ad absurdum for ideological thinking. In fairness, he does then get a little better.

It's not a good idea to go into positive and negative rights' land save for political-philosophical technical work. That's because negative rights are truly positive rights (to action) and "positive rights" are really no rights at all.

I love the naturally sourpussed young lady behind Rand's right shoulder.

--Brant

and his speaking voice is not terribly good

Link to post
Share on other sites

The question to ask of anyone is, by what right and who's decree may someone make a claim on another's ideas, skills, time, energy - his money?

Three sentences into your post and you're already justifying your principles. You can't spoon feed people philosophy. They need more information... not rhetoric.

Wow, you really don't get it. People take money from other people, and that's "philosophy"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, would you feel less offended by Rand Paul's characterization if he had used the word serf instead of slave? Overtaxed and over regulated and being denied ownership and control of your own business is a form of serfdom. Did you know that both Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul are medical doctors?

You have no clue what this thread is about. I'm not offended. It was shit. It made him look like a moron.

I see what I'm up against. My sincere hope is you give up your illusion of trying to understand philosophy and economics, and work as hard as you possibly can for the other side. They really need you.

If you were merely ignorant there might be hope.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rand Paul was a little too much into his ideological reasoning and approach. As a doctor he must have had too much much medicine on his plate which pushed aside enough self-education on how to promote ideas themselves not well digested. Important ideas need a lot of cud-chewing. I'm not impressed with him outside his specialty both with his ideas expressed and as a politician. He's not doing either all that well. Congress is infested with lawyers, most of whom have that same problem without the brains and ideas. I think the best way to have handled Sanders would have been to start out as a rejoinder to simply say, "That's not a right. Why do you call something a right that isn't a right? The ACA is merely buying votes. It's socialization of 1/7 of the economy with horrible results except for bureaucrats and mega-insurance companies. Socialism has nothing to do with rights except to violate them. It's institutionalized force called a 'benefit' as are all the benefits from government. Qua 'benefit' it's a horrible joke. The bureaucrats can't run a lemonade stand and they pretend they can do medicine."

It's interesting, however, that Calvin comes across worse than Paul with his own declamation which seems driven by his own special ideological philosophy. Again and again it's Calvin's way or What-are-you-doing-on-my-thread-if-you-don't-basically-agree-with-my-approach? Paul's a moron, you're a moron too.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, would you feel less offended by Rand Paul's characterization if he had used the word serf instead of slave? Overtaxed and over regulated and being denied ownership and control of your own business is a form of serfdom. Did you know that both Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul are medical doctors?

You have no clue what this thread is about. I'm not offended. It was shit. It made him look like a moron.

I see what I'm up against. My sincere hope is you give up your illusion of trying to understand philosophy and economics, and work as hard as you possibly can for the other side. They really need you.

If you were merely ignorant there might be hope.

It's what I was considering too. With all his equivocations and objections it seems Calvin is the one needs convincing about Capitalism, not those 'other people'. I thought at first he might be playing devil's advocate, now not.

Link to post
Share on other sites
To the extent that people on the left extrapolate the moral and psychological depravity of those on the right, people on the right take the difference in point-of-view that they have with those on the left to signify obtuseness, and in turn they end up arguing their points like they're talking to a five year old, using absurd analogies and fables instead of pointing to things in the person's life experience that perhaps lacked context.

The title is about how when people explain negative rights, it doesn't give people the positive feeling that positive rights do. As most people here probably believe, negative rights would have a positive effect on society, so why doesn't it sound that way whenever someone explains the concept?

Sorry I missed your point about my "moral and psychological depravity." Simply, it means you are a troll here. To that I don't object per se. Pinning the tail on your ass doesn't mean you have no value with your postings, but that tail needs to go on to understand where you're coming from and what you are. Of course, I'd be more benevolent to you except that "moron" crap got me going. What goes around comes around.

All this "negative rights" business is pushing real rights completely off the table by the pretense good rights are "positive." Negative bad, positive good. Paul bad, Sanders good. Etc. Real human rights are positive, period. The negative is always within government. The new nomenclature is Orwellian. Nazi Germany was full of "positive rights." Take that special Aryan right to be rid of the sub-human Jews for race and cultural purity or the right to "living space" (and oil) so invade the Soviet Union. How can you be a totalitarian if you don't have the right to do what you want to other people? How can you be a socialist without imposing an ACA and such BY FORCE. Thus, "positive rights" are negative rights. They are destructive.

--Brant

trying to get through the concrete of Calvin's ideological reasoning

(Debate: are trolls good for OL? Yes, if they are smart and come one at a time, like Calvin. No, they can take over and ruin OL. That's why they can get restricted if they dump their postings on too many threads. I'm looking forward to Calvin's next thread. It's great sparing. I hope he's wearing a helmet.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The question to ask of anyone is, by what right and who's decree may someone make a claim on another's ideas, skills, time, energy - his money?

Three sentences into your post and you're already justifying your principles. You can't spoon feed people philosophy. They need more information... not rhetoric.

Wow, you really don't get it. People take money from other people, and that's "philosophy"?

I didn't say it was philosophy...

Link to post
Share on other sites
To the extent that people on the left extrapolate the moral and psychological depravity of those on the right, people on the right take the difference in point-of-view that they have with those on the left to signify obtuseness, and in turn they end up arguing their points like they're talking to a five year old, using absurd analogies and fables instead of pointing to things in the person's life experience that perhaps lacked context.

The title is about how when people explain negative rights, it doesn't give people the positive feeling that positive rights do. As most people here probably believe, negative rights would have a positive effect on society, so why doesn't it sound that way whenever someone explains the concept?

Sorry I missed your point about my "moral and psychological depravity."

That's how they see it. So yes, you did miss my point. They think people on the right are literally psychopathic.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting, however, that Calvin comes across worse than Paul with his own declamation which seems driven by his own special ideological philosophy. Again and again it's Calvin's way or What-are-you-doing-on-my-thread-if-you-don't-basically-agree-with-my-approach? Paul's a moron, you're a moron too.

--Brant

Oh boy... Rand Paul is my favorite candidate in terms of policies...

And Sander's would have destroyed you if you came out with, "That's not a right..." He would have just said, "Well, this man doesn't believe it's a right. I guess we disagree. As far as the 'horrible results'..." and then he'd go off to talk about countries with better healthcare than the US that have socialized medicine.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, I'm just telling you what's going on outside of this community--which is clearly a bit disconnected.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, I'm just telling you what's going on outside of this community--which is clearly a bit disconnected.

Good because your persuasive skills are not persuasive.

Essentially, your argument is that those of us on OL that do not see the political reality through your gestalt, are then disconnected from the real world of politics that you know about?

A...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The question to ask of anyone is, by what right and who's decree may someone make a claim on another's ideas, skills, time, energy - his money?

Three sentences into your post and you're already justifying your principles. You can't spoon feed people philosophy. They need more information... not rhetoric.

Wow, you really don't get it. People take money from other people, and that's "philosophy"?

I didn't say it was philosophy...

You clearly did, and "rhetoric".

You have said "the people need more information". Believe me, that's the last thing they want. If they haven't got it by now, only a few ever will. What they really "need" is justification. Information is what you see and hear directly with your own perceptions. Information is everywhere and free, but most people don't want to know what it means in this instance, which is that they are living by others' efforts and government redistribution. Every person I think has sufficient pride to wish to evade that fact, which in turn necessitates self-justification through their calls of entitlement, for 'justice' and 'equality'.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, I'm just telling you what's going on outside of this community--which is clearly a bit disconnected.

Good because your persuasive skills are not persuasive.

Essentially, your argument is that those of us on OL that do not see the political reality through your gestalt, are then disconnected from the real world of politics that you know about?

A...

I'm suggesting that perhaps it is better to allow others to develop their own philosophy without shoving abstractions down their throats that they do not understand--and effectively do more harm than good because now they associate the message with the messenger. That means accepting people who have a different philosophy from you, and finding a different angle to reach an agreement with them. Rand Paul tried to spoon feed them philosophy and they spat it back.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Rand Paul tried to spoon feed them philosophy and they spat it back."

Rand Paul is a frustrated Senator who does not communicate well on this stage.

That hardly rises to the level of "feeding them philosophy."

Did Ayn ""feed them philosophy" in her novels?

A...


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting, however, that Calvin comes across worse than Paul with his own declamation which seems driven by his own special ideological philosophy. Again and again it's Calvin's way or What-are-you-doing-on-my-thread-if-you-don't-basically-agree-with-my-approach? Paul's a moron, you're a moron too.

--Brant

Oh boy... Rand Paul is my favorite candidate in terms of policies...

And Sander's would have destroyed you if you came out with, "That's not a right..." He would have just said, "Well, this man doesn't believe it's a right. I guess we disagree. As far as the 'horrible results'..." and then he'd go off to talk about countries with better healthcare than the US that have socialized medicine.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone here, I'm just telling you what's going on outside of this community--which is clearly a bit disconnected.

You gotta be kidding. Sanders destroy me? Yeah, he might--if he got me through you one small snip-quoted piece at a time.

My Father in--I don't know, maybe 8th grade--had an obnoxious 1920s' classmate who kept interrupting the teacher: "I don't mean to show you up, teacher, I only want you to know the truth."

--Brant

go ahead--hit me again; I'm sure you can do better than Bernie

Link to post
Share on other sites
To the extent that people on the left extrapolate the moral and psychological depravity of those on the right, people on the right take the difference in point-of-view that they have with those on the left to signify obtuseness, and in turn they end up arguing their points like they're talking to a five year old, using absurd analogies and fables instead of pointing to things in the person's life experience that perhaps lacked context.

The title is about how when people explain negative rights, it doesn't give people the positive feeling that positive rights do. As most people here probably believe, negative rights would have a positive effect on society, so why doesn't it sound that way whenever someone explains the concept?

Sorry I missed your point about my "moral and psychological depravity."

That's how they see it. So yes, you did miss my point. They think people on the right are literally psychopathic.

And you don't? Did it ever occur to you they go all ad hominem because they are intellectually bankrupt--the left gave up on ideas in the 1960s, especially with the Vietnam War--and that's all they got. Why pander to that crap? Just because you've got a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome, why should we?

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Calvin is taking fire meant for the bigger badder guys not on the field at OL. As I interpreted his opening remarks, he is trying to get suggestions, get OLers to advance arguments that appeal to the unshriven. He locates himself in Toronto. In Toronto are smug and self-satisfied 'consumers' of socialized medicine who would be baffled by the Rand Paul remarks in the video. That doesn't mean Calvin was baffled. It doesn't mean he won't recognize a good argument. If that argument is designed for people who are taken in by Sanders's rhetoric -- relatively unsophisticated thinkers, then that argument will do a job.

As I understand, Calvin is fully onside with Objectivist projects, philosophy, laissez-faire medicine, and with the bone-deep benefits of individualism. He is, himself, a 'believer' in this sense, a believer in Rand, a believer that laissez-faire medicine is best. He is also giving a report of his observations: sometimes Randian/Paulian valorization of laissez-faire medicine does a poor job of convincing 'the enemy' and the ignorant.

Telling Calvin that he is a troll and attaching bad names and fitting him for a socialist shirt ... this is misplaced in my eyes. It doesn't do a job. It obviates the very issue he brings forward, and it casts his observations aside. I will re-state my earlier conclusion:

How to help shift public opinion to a more rational universalism in laissez-faire medicine? You have to take note of the zombified masses and their shibboleths and their 'patriotic' attachment to Medicare. That mass of opinion, that entropy, that heavy-bottom, that bias in opinion -- it all needs special care and cunning persuasion.

So, that is where I see the puzzle. For those who watch Rand Paul's slavery remarks and find them unpersuasive, for those who are ignorant of Randian precepts and principles, how to communicate The Good Life?

I simply do not read Calvin as part of an enemy formation. He is reporting from the front-line with the enemy, and suggesting some tactics fail.

Those of us who are steeped in Randianism do not hear the mental 'clang' when the analogy turns to slavery of doctors. It doesn't at all seem unreasonable, but a fact.

It is those who aren't steeped in Randianism who find the analogy unpersuasive. Better shoot the messenger who brought this tactical miss to light? Better drive Calvin away by insult and misidentification? I think some of us old-timers should ask questions first, shoot later.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we talking about converting Lillian Rearden or Kiki Holcombe or what?

Nope and since Ragnar is my favorite character in Atlas, these two would be shot while trying not to escape...

I am perfectly willing to give them a head start...see Apochalypto

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I'm glad Calvin started this thread, William. I think he's too tough to cave in and run away. I hope he starts another. There's probably a Canadian/American psychological and cultural divide at work. You do your thing. I'm going to keep doing mine and I'm sure Calvin will stay his own course. But read that clever "moral and psychological depravity" sentence again. That was bitch-slapping Objectivists and libertarians and those were his words dumped on us here. He adduced no evidence for what the socialists actually thought (or even if they think) or quoted them.

--Brant

Link to post
Share on other sites

Several things will happen if the plumbing profession were socialized.

Joe the plumber's work would become shoddy, since he has no say about his work load, or the time and consideration to treat his clients' individual plumbing problems with extra care, or in studying new plumbing techniques, or building a sympathetic plumber-to -customer relationship. And he's paid regularly, with annual raises, whatever quality of job he does.

Plumbing costs, parts, tools and overheads will increase because supplier prices always increase for govt. contracts. Anyway, government and bureaucracy wastes money. Without fail.

Customers will tend to irresponsibility and allow leaking pipes to worsen until they flood, because problems get fixed in any condition for free.

Customers will bitch when they are refused important procedures on their toilets by the Plumbing Commission.

The very best plumbers in the country will leave for Singapore or Sydney, or anywhere their skill and dedication is welcomed and they are well remunerated. Plumbing universities will gradually draw students of less talent and motivation, and drop their pass standards accordingly until any ignoramus can graduate with a Phd (Plu). The brain drain begins.

Then some bright spark in Govt. says "why stop here - why not socialize education ... and medicine - and - everything?!"

Link to post
Share on other sites

In 2013 there were 329,322 union plumbers in the U.S., working mainly on government projects. The regulation at 29 C.F.R. § 5.5(a)(1)(ii)(A)(3) and the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 were interpreted by the U.S. Dept. of Labor to award union plumbers $50/hr in salary and benefits on Federal projects. California, Illinois and New York pay more for state and local plumbing projects. Not one government plumbing job anywhere has ever been completed on time or under budget.

The federal government's General Services Administration said Tuesday that the 65,000 square feet of office space it's looking for in Pensacola is to replace the mold-infested courthouse downtown, at least temporarily... According to the GSA, it will cost $20 million to $30 million to repair the courthouse. The courthouse was originally estimated to cost $9 million when it was built. [Pensacola News-Journal, April 2015]

Five lawsuits have been filed in connection with last September’s carbon monoxide leak at North Mac Intermediate School in Girard, Ill., that sent dozens of students and teachers to the hospital. Their complaints allege that when a 2003 building addition to the school was designed and constructed, the venting system for the hot water heaters in the mechanical room was defective. [Plumbing Engineering News, September 2015]

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Rand Paul tried to spoon feed them philosophy and they spat it back."

Rand Paul is a frustrated Senator who does not communicate well on this stage.

That hardly rises to the level of "feeding them philosophy."

Did Ayn ""feed them philosophy" in her novels?

A...

I said he tried to spoon feed them philosophy. He tried to cram a broad moral lesson into a couple minutes of talking, and a lesson that is almost diametrically opposite what most people believe.

Ayn Rand fed people philosophy, yes, and she had some success. The big difference being she was talking to people who made the decision to buy and read some longer than average books--people who were obviously curious of what she believed. She was not a politician putting herself in front of an audience that did not ask to hear her theories.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now