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https://merionwest.com/2019/05/26/conflating-classical-liberals-and-the-alt-right/

This professor McManus writes often for Merion West, manages to garble Rand, right-liberals and much else. Funny, how many writers about individualism always revert to "society" - utility, equality - as the touchstone.

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Here's an odd thought. A comet hits US. (I mean humanity "collectively" not the U.S.) What if you are the last person on earth. Could you still be an objectivist without a society?

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Alone on a desert island, you'd need it (rational selfishness) most. [Approx - AR]

Less variety and stimulation, but even without human contact one could live an active and interesting life, Peter. Your 'rights' - "natural", "human" or individual - would be no more than a rock, a crab or a palm tree has.;)

 

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21 minutes ago, anthony said:

Alone on a desert island, you'd need it (rational selfishness) most. [Approx - AR]

Less variety and stimulation, but even without human contact one could live an active and interesting life, Peter. Your 'rights' - "natural", "human" or individual - would be no more than a rock, a crab or a palm tree has.;)

 

"Castaway." One of my favorites movies of all time.

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6 hours ago, Peter said:

Here's an odd thought. A comet hits US. (I mean humanity "collectively" not the U.S.) What if you are the last person on earth. Could you still be an objectivist without a society?

Don't worry. The comet will get you too.

--Brant

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On 5/26/2019 at 10:13 PM, anthony said:

https://merionwest.com/2019/05/26/conflating-classical-liberals-and-the-alt-right/

This professor McManus writes often for Merion West, manages to garble Rand, right-liberals and much else. Funny, how many writers about individualism always revert to "society" - utility, equality - as the touchstone.

He makes quite an issue about Rand's "superiority", taken way out of its context, which opposes his "moral equality". (And where are there two equal - moral, thinking, capable and so on - individuals? I haven't met any. And how does one measure "moral equality"?) But this is part of the insidious push to leftist-socialism which, like McManus, downplays the individual, while pretending to uplift him and his, um, "freedom". If men are forced and pressured to be "equal" they are by definition, unfree. Many of these types of intellectuals deny man's nature, in fact are skeptical and materialist on metaphysics (replaced with 'social metaphysics'). So while man is indeed objectively equal -- metaphysically -- and -- while all men have or should have equal treatment by the law -  in between those poles, individual women and men are anything but. A rational person's necessary acknowledgment of others' ends in themselves individualism, does not require or demand "equality" to do them justice, but the unique singularity of each. The big and never answered question: Why? (should an individual be of unchosen utility and service to other individuals, en masse, surrendering his values, mind and independence to their ends) is slyly being evaded, lately and more than ever, by the deceitful presumption: we must all be equal mustn't we? That assumption shuts down doubtful debators who don't have formulated ideas to fight back with and quietly accept its moral rightness and their loss of freedom.

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13 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Don't worry. The comet will get you too.

--Brant

I am optimistic. My entire house is built into the side of a hill and impervious to an H Bomb 50 miles away or a comet up to a quarter mile across. Food. Water. Books. . . over the air radio. Some of that is a joke. It’s a slow holiday. I am glad I am not going anywhere. Traffic is backed up 2 miles on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It may reach 90 today. I typed in the word “last.” And here are a few interesting and or funny ideas. Petter Catz

"Time Enough at Last" is the eighth episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The episode was adapted from a short story written by Lynn Venable (pen name of Marilyn Venable). The short story appeared in the January 1953 edition of the science fiction magazine If: Worlds of Science Fiction about seven years before the television episode first aired. "Time Enough at Last" became one of the most famous episodes of the original Twilight Zone and has been frequently parodied since. It is "the story of a man who seeks salvation in the rubble of a ruined world" and tells of Henry Bemis (/ˈbiːmɪs/), played by Burgess Meredith, who loves books, yet is surrounded by those who would prevent him from reading them. The episode follows Bemis through the post-apocalyptic world, touching on such social issues as anti-intellectualism, the dangers of reliance upon technology, and the difference between aloneness (solitude) and loneliness.

Dandy Warhols – Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth.mp3

Dennis Miller: So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death." I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David. But if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living. That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course -- that's where the real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel. Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something.

Is it time to rewrite the laws of physics? By Tom Chivers Science: The question of what time is, and whether it is real or illusory, is an ancient one. Even before Plato, Greek philosophers were debating whether, as Heraclitus said, you cannot step in the same river twice, that all is flux and change, or whether Parmenides was right and that change is an illusion, that the universe simply exists as an unchanging lump. The first person to address the issue in depth, according to Dr Julian Barbour, author of The End of Time, was St Augustine. He was baffled by it, and said as much. “What then is time?” Augustine wrote. “If no one asks of me, I know; if I wish to explain to him who asks, I know not.” Still, he did make an attempt to explain it, coming to the surprisingly modern conclusion that there could not have been time before the world, because there would have been no change, and without change, time is meaningless. Sir Isaac Newton, a thousand years later, disagreed. He held the common-sense view – instinctively shared by the rest of us – that time is absolute, marching on regardless of the doings of the stuff of the universe. It was Einstein who showed that it was no such thing. According to his theories of relativity, time and space are part of an interwoven fabric: the presence of matter changes both, stretching the fabric like a weight on a sheet.

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

He makes quite an issue about Rand's "superiority", taken way out of its context, which opposes his "moral equality". (And where are there two equal - moral, thinking, capable and so on - individuals? I haven't met any. And how does one measure "moral equality"?) But this is part of the insidious push to leftist-socialism which, like McManus, downplays the individual, while pretending to uplift him and his, um, "freedom". If men are made to be "equal" they are by definition, unfree. Many of these types of intellectuals deny man's nature, in fact are skeptical and materialist on metaphysics (replaced with 'social metaphysics'). So while man is indeed equal -- metaphysically -- and -- men are or should be treated so by the law -  in between those poles, individual women and men are anything but. A rational person's necessary acknowledgment of others' ends in themselves individualism, does not require or demand "equality" to do them justice, but the unique singularity of each. The big and never answered question: Why? (should an individual be of unchosen utility and service to other individuals en masse, surrendering his values, mind and independence to their ends) is cleverly evaded by the deceitful presumption: we must all be equal mustn't we? That assumption shuts down doubtful debators who don't have formulated ideas to fight with and quietly accept its moral rightness.

I watched a behind the scenes look at Game of Thrones” last night and it was very interesting. Imagine being a big fan living in Dublin where GoT is filmed, having a full beard and the face of a ruffian and being in mostly crowd scenes for 8 straight years and you aren’t even an actor? I typed in moral equality Anthony and found these gems. No reply necessary. Peter

Date: Tue, 2 Nov 93 14:26:44 EST From: Bryan Douglas Caplan @phoenix.Princeton Subject: Waller on Anarchism and Justice To: libernet-d@Dartmouth. I think that libertarian anarchists ought to take thoughtful criticisms Like Dave Waller's seriously.  How will anarchism handle the problem of wealthy criminals?  It seems like anarchism makes the utopian demand that Everyone voluntarily play by the rules.  The comment is made more persuasive by examples from modern Columbia, medieval serfdom, and other situations where the wealthy have received and continue to receive unequal justice. I think that there are two levels of reply to criticisms of this sort. 1. First, the wealthy have extra influence under GOVERNMENT, too. Indeed, this is precisely what the Columbian and medieval situations were: wealthy individuals use their wealth to control or capture the government, then use it to bend the rules for their benefit. In order to criticize anarchism, it is not merely necessary to point out that such a system permits the wealthy to evade the law.  Why?  Government, even minarchy, must face the same problem. . . .

From: "William Dwyer"  To: "'OWL'" Subject: OWL: RE: Government, anarcho-capitalism and the right to retaliate Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 12:32:45 -0800. Joe Duarte (12/23/03) said that he much enjoyed my post explaining Rand's argument for government, and for that I thank him.  He went on to say, however, that the Objectivist argument, as presented by me, is not strong enough to withstand rigorous evaluation, without more content. He speculated that we may be invoking straw men when we speak of the "whimsical" use of force that a government prevents.  When anarcho-capitalists speak of a right to retaliate, he noted, they often invoke the concept of objective law and objective justice – not whim.

Joe, you are certainly correct; they do indeed invoke objective law and objective justice.  But if my readings on these lists are any indication, libertarians frequently disagree (sometimes rather violently) over what constitutes objective law and justice – some believing in patents and copyrights, others not; some supporting libel and slander laws, others not; some opposing abortion, others not; some denouncing capital punishment, others not; and some defending animal rights, others not. So, the question is: objective law and justice ~as judged by whom~? No one "retaliates" thinking that he's not objectively justified in doing so.  If he didn't think that the force he is using were justified retaliation, then he would view it as the ~initiation~ of force, not as retaliatory force! How then do you reconcile conflicting ~claims~ to what constitutes objective law and justice - to what constitutes justified retaliation? After all, one person's retaliation is often another person's aggression; one person's justice, another person's crime.

. . . . In order to be practiced - in order to be implemented – moral principles have to be accessible to human judgment; they have to be capable of being recognized.  Yes, there is an "objective" principle of justice here, but it is of no practical value in an anarchist society, if people cannot agree on what it is.  The idea that whoever has objective justice on his side has the right to enforce it means that whoever ~thinks~ that he has objective justice on his side ~must view himself~ as having the right to enforce it, which can easily lead to a state of violent conflict and eventually to civil war. Furthermore, if there is no single, objectively identifiable body of law, people have no idea what is expected of them - what they can and cannot do without offending someone who has the power to enforce his own private version of justice against anyone who happens to violate it.  Imagine living in such a society, never knowing whom you're going to offend next, and whose "retaliation" you're likely to incur for some unknown crime that you've just unknowingly committed.  The fear and insecurity would be devastating.

 . . . . When Rand says that one must separate the use of force and whim, she means that one must establish a set of procedures that are followed dispassionately under a carefully organized body of law.  Retaliation cannot be an individual matter that is pursued by each person according to his own private judgment.  If you allow the latter, you will get a substantial element of whimsical, emotion driven retaliation, in contrast to the kind of objective, dispassionate assessment that only an organized institution of justice can provide.

. . . . I don't think there is anything in the Objectivist case for government that prohibits competing police agencies, so long as they enforce a uniform body of law in accordance with guidelines laid down by the government.  Even under our present system, we have competing private security firms, but these firms and their employees must respect the government's enforcement procedures.  They cannot take the law into their own hands.

. . . . Joe wrote, "There may also be a knowledge problem. Objectivists presume that a government can be constructed that will enforce objective law and justice - that the government will know what objective law is and what objective justice is."

I don't think it presumes any such thing.  Objectivism recognizes that people are fallible.  It advocates government not because it believes that the government will always arrive at an objectively just decision, but because it believes that a proper government (with the appropriate checks and balances) provides the best, safest and most dispassionate opportunity for doing so.-- Bill

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