tom ploszaj

Anarchy In Your Head

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Most Jews do not appreciate or understand how the attitudes and philosophies of their ancestors in Europe helped make possible Nazism and the Holocaust and other totalitarians.

--Brant

Say what??????? Are we blaming the victim? How did Jews make Naziism possible in any particular way. How many German Jews voted for Hitler has Chancellor? You bet your posterior anatomy I don't understand!

I'm merely referring to collectivistic, altruistic irrational philosophies which set them up so they could be knocked down. Others had these too, not just Jews, but Jews are overall smarter and more of the intelligentsia than other groups. They are naturally heavily represented in the professions not just because of their brains but because their families demand and expect mental effort, education and excellence. Frankly, I don't think liberals put much value on protecting themselves. They tend to think people are better than they really are. Conservatives tend to be more realistic. Liberals in Israel, of course, haven't too much choice regarding external enemies.

You are implicitly disarmed when in many important ways you share your enemies' philosophy and the enemies are ruthless and evil though you are not. This tends to hide and obscure the truth until it's too late. Shared premises are shared sanctioned premises. Victimhood is the natural disempowering consequence of letting evil get away with its nonsense. Witness how the people of France and England were victims of their own appeasements of Hitler. Those appeasements were sanctions.

--Brant

Yup. You are blaming the victim, sure as shit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

So. You didn't read Atlas Shrugged.

--Brant

10 times

German Jews were not politically homogeneous. Some were left wingers or even communists, many were burgoise and were far from collectivists. Most were propertarians.

In any case, not being cautious is not a moral precondition for being victimized. It was the Nazis who victimized the Jews (and others) in Germany. The moral onus is theirs, 100 percent.

In other countries, socialists and other collectivists were not singled out for slaughter, so there is no automatic connection between being collectivists and being slaughtered. People who did no violence, yet were killed for being in the "wrong" ethnic group are victims, not perpetrators.

Simple example. If someone is stupid enough to walk at night in a bad neighborhood with expensive jewlery and is mugged, he is NOT to blame. The mugger is. He may be silly, he may be stupid but he is NOT in the wrong.

To keep it simple. He who agresses is in the wrong, regardless of how stupid the victim is. Since the victim has a RIGHT not to be attacked, the victim is morally blameless.

Let me recommend some reading for you:

-Hitler's Willing Executioners- by Jonah Goldhagen.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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To keep it simple. He who agresses is in the wrong, regardless of how stupid the victim is. Since the victim has a RIGHT not to be attacked, the victim is morally blameless.

Bob,

This confuses morality with legality. A man who refuses to think and lets himself and his family and loved ones perish in the face of danger and/or threat, even though he is legally blameless, is, in my view, morally guilty.

Objectivist morality starts with human life and develops rational volition and self-responsibility as the standard of value. I have issues with some of the scope, but not with these fundamental points.

Non-aggression is merely one small part of the equation. Choosing to think is the much bigger part, especially for a victim.

Michael

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Most Jews do not appreciate or understand how the attitudes and philosophies of their ancestors in Europe helped make possible Nazism and the Holocaust and other totalitarians.

--Brant

Say what??????? Are we blaming the victim? How did Jews make Naziism possible in any particular way. How many German Jews voted for Hitler has Chancellor? You bet your posterior anatomy I don't understand!

I'm merely referring to collectivistic, altruistic irrational philosophies which set them up so they could be knocked down. Others had these too, not just Jews, but Jews are overall smarter and more of the intelligentsia than other groups. They are naturally heavily represented in the professions not just because of their brains but because their families demand and expect mental effort, education and excellence. Frankly, I don't think liberals put much value on protecting themselves. They tend to think people are better than they really are. Conservatives tend to be more realistic. Liberals in Israel, of course, haven't too much choice regarding external enemies.

You are implicitly disarmed when in many important ways you share your enemies' philosophy and the enemies are ruthless and evil though you are not. This tends to hide and obscure the truth until it's too late. Shared premises are shared sanctioned premises. Victimhood is the natural disempowering consequence of letting evil get away with its nonsense. Witness how the people of France and England were victims of their own appeasements of Hitler. Those appeasements were sanctions.

--Brant

Yup. You are blaming the victim, sure as shit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

So. You didn't read Atlas Shrugged.

--Brant

10 times

German Jews were not politically homogeneous. Some were left wingers or even communists, many were burgoise and were far from collectivists. Most were propertarians.

In any case, not being cautious is not a moral precondition for being victimized. It was the Nazis who victimized the Jews (and others) in Germany. The moral onus is theirs, 100 percent.

In other countries, socialists and other collectivists were not singled out for slaughter, so there is no automatic connection between being collectivists and being slaughtered. People who did no violence, yet were killed for being in the "wrong" ethnic group are victims, not perpetrators.

Simple example. If someone is stupid enough to walk at night in a bad neighborhood with expensive jewlery and is mugged, he is NOT to blame. The mugger is. He may be silly, he may be stupid but he is NOT in the wrong.

To keep it simple. He who agresses is in the wrong, regardless of how stupid the victim is. Since the victim has a RIGHT not to be attacked, the victim is morally blameless.

Let me recommend some reading for you:

-Hitler's Willing Executioners- by Jonah Goldhagen.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I don't think we are really contradicting each other, Bob. We're coming from different perspectives. I don't let the Nazis get even one percent off the moral hook they hanged themselves on. I don't tell any Jew who lost loved ones in the Holocaust that they had any moral culpability. I am trying to understand how it all happened so there won't be any Nazis to do it next time. Israel is at terrible risk right now. What are the Jews there to do? Nothing? The choices they make and the actions they take like all choices and actions based on those choices are going to be moral choices. All choices have a moral component or components. This is simply and absolutely inescapable. The (moral) choices that victims made and the (moral) choices murderers made are weighed on different scales. And I have no idea how to evaluate the individual choices a murder victim made before murdered.

As for Atlas Shrugged, central to the novel is Rand's idea of the impotence of evil and the sanction of the victim. After reading it ten times you should know this. Her thesis is hardly beyond criticism even though basically correct. You don't fight evil by doing nothing, by going on strike. But she had a point to make.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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This sounds like determinism. If it is already determined that there "will always be murderers and rapists," does this also mean that some people are pre-determined to be them?

Not necessarily. Sexual attraction is also programmed in our genes, but that does in itself not imply that certain specific people are pre-determined to have a sexual relationship. But while exact individual predictions are impossible, statistical predictions about ensembles of individuals can be very reliable.

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As for Atlas Shrugged, central to the novel is Rand's idea of the impotence of evil and the sanction of the victim. After reading it ten times you should know this. Her thesis is hardly beyond criticism even though basically correct. You don't fight evil by doing nothing, by going on strike. But she had a point to make.

--Brant

Yes, you do fight evil by going on strike. You starve it, you leave it to its own devices, which are zilch, you isolate it so it loses camoflauge, you refuse to trade with it or negotiate with it, etc. You demoralize it and purify it, in effect. You don't have to leave home to go on strike against evil. It does take sticking one's neck out, socially, at the very least.

= Mindy

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As for Atlas Shrugged, central to the novel is Rand's idea of the impotence of evil and the sanction of the victim. After reading it ten times you should know this. Her thesis is hardly beyond criticism even though basically correct. You don't fight evil by doing nothing, by going on strike. But she had a point to make.

--Brant

Yes, you do fight evil by going on strike. You starve it, you leave it to its own devices, which are zilch, you isolate it so it loses camoflauge, you refuse to trade with it or negotiate with it, etc. You demoralize it and purify it, in effect. You don't have to leave home to go on strike against evil. It does take sticking one's neck out, socially, at the very least.

= Mindy

Sorry. I meant withdrawal from society in the way it was done in Atlas and leaving it to its own devices. However, I am not sanctioning your statement above. I have some doubts and questions, but lack the time right now to go into them. I'll try to get back to this later this evening.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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As for Atlas Shrugged, central to the novel is Rand's idea of the impotence of evil and the sanction of the victim. After reading it ten times you should know this. Her thesis is hardly beyond criticism even though basically correct. You don't fight evil by doing nothing, by going on strike. But she had a point to make.

--Brant

Yes, you do fight evil by going on strike. You starve it, you leave it to its own devices, which are zilch, you isolate it so it loses camoflauge, you refuse to trade with it or negotiate with it, etc. You demoralize it and purify it, in effect. You don't have to leave home to go on strike against evil. It does take sticking one's neck out, socially, at the very least.

= Mindy

This hasn't worked with Cuba, unless having Cuba as a permanent basket case is a proper outcome. AR thought Cuba would simply collapse with this approach. It only made Castro impervious to displacement. How do you demoralize evil? How do avoid buying goods made in China? What's wrong with negotiation if it gains you an advantage? Its devices are zilch? Do you know you can destroy evil by embracing it the way an Anaconda embraces its prey? Or by not acknowledging the evil, only the good even in one person or one system even if that means positing a good that does not exist and insisting that it be manifested? The way to deal with real evil is with power, brains and knowledge, not with unreal and impractical Randian philosophical suppositions which vitiate psychological realities.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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This confuses morality with legality. A man who refuses to think and lets himself and his family and loved ones perish in the face of danger and/or threat, even though he is legally blameless, is, in my view, morally guilty.

You'll find a lot of people who are morally guilty.

Non-aggression is merely one small part of the equation. Choosing to think is the much bigger part, especially for a victim.

It's amazing how many choose not to think.

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This hasn't worked with Cuba, unless having Cuba as a permanent basket case is a proper outcome. AR thought Cuba would simply collapse with this approach.

They probably still have enough smart people to keep it alive.

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This hasn't worked with Cuba, unless having Cuba as a permanent basket case is a proper outcome. AR thought Cuba would simply collapse with this approach.

They probably still have enough smart people to keep it alive.

That is correct. There are tough nuts in Cuba who are determined to outlive Castro and his abominable political theories. They may yet have the last laugh. Rand underestimated just how much sh*t people can or will put up with. If mankind has a fault fault, it is that mankind is way too adaptable.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I think the error is in accepting uncritically Rand's notion of the "impotence of evil". Her argument is that "evil" is not rational and therefore impotent, but in that she's equivocating two meanings of "rational", namely that of (1) acting according to Objectivist principles (Rand's specific meaning) and (2) acting effectively to achieve a certain chosen purpose (the generally accepted meaning). The point is that bad people can act very rationally, not in sense (1), but in sense (2), and that means that they can be effective and far from impotent. As anyone can see who looks at the world with an open mind. This cannot be explained away with the slogan "sanction of the victim", many victims haven't had anything to sanction. In Atlas Shrugged the villains all disintegrate at the end when they are confronted with their own irrationality, but in real life many villains are made of tougher stuff. Don't confuse wishful fiction with facts.

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If mankind has a fault fault, it is that mankind is way too adaptable.

Why too adaptable? Many people still prefer survival in relatively bad circumstances over death. Seen from a biological viewpoint a not unreasonable strategy, and therefore it shouldn't surprise us that this seems to be one of the characteristics of human beings.

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As for Atlas Shrugged, central to the novel is Rand's idea of the impotence of evil and the sanction of the victim. After reading it ten times you should know this. Her thesis is hardly beyond criticism even though basically correct. You don't fight evil by doing nothing, by going on strike. But she had a point to make.

--Brant

Yes, you do fight evil by going on strike. You starve it, you leave it to its own devices, which are zilch, you isolate it so it loses camoflauge, you refuse to trade with it or negotiate with it, etc. You demoralize it and purify it, in effect. You don't have to leave home to go on strike against evil. It does take sticking one's neck out, socially, at the very least.

= Mindy

This hasn't worked with Cuba, unless having Cuba as a permanent basket case is a proper outcome. AR thought Cuba would simply collapse with this approach. It only made Castro impervious to displacement. How do you demoralize evil? How do avoid buying goods made in China? What's wrong with negotiation if it gains you an advantage? Its devices are zilch? Do you know you can destroy evil by embracing it the way an Anaconda embraces its prey? Or by not acknowledging the evil, only the good even in one person or one system even if that means positing a good that does not exist and insisting that it be manifested? The way to deal with real evil is with power, brains and knowledge, not with unreal and impractical Randian philosophical suppositions which vitiate psychological realities.

--Brant

When you say ignoring "hasn't worked with Cuba" you are saying, I believe, that it hasn't brought Cuba down. That doesn't mean that it hasn't hurt Cuba, diminished it. The internal good, resources, people, etc. of Cuba are what keep it floating.

I challenge you on that "impractical Randian phil. suppositions..." statement. Shall we argue specifically, whether philosophy is practical? Though that's been done. Or, whether Rand's philosophy is merely suppositions?

= Mindy

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Cuba has most emphatically not been ignored or isolated. First, its own people still engage in productive activity. Were they all to go on full strike there would be an end to the regime. Much death, but certainly the regime would fall - unless, of course, they imported some happy Chavistas with guns to sieze and work the land.

And there has been no external isolation. The Soviet Union supported the regime outright. Venezuela does so now. Will we use force to isolate Cuba from Venezuela? Even now the regime taxes incoming PHONE CALLS at a high enough rate to significantly help the dictatorship. Europeans and the rest of the world have never ceased to travel there. I know someone who went there recently, and bought a HOUSE for his friend's family (from whom, do you think?) for cash.

Of course the isolation of evil works. If it is complete. And this requires the use of force to prevent ongoing theft. Cuba is simply hard to reach from America. Its cleptocracy is not isolated in any effective sense. To fantasize that this can be done without force, when the state there holds its people hostage, is a nice dream, for those of us on the outside. Politics is a bit more complicated than art. Dictators are not above allowing their subjects enough freeedom to pull the plough, so long as they don't try to remove the loosened shackles. There are plenty of people who will look at the Cubans in chains, and react not by freeing them, but by saying not my problem - or worse - by sending care packages to be delivered by the jailkeepers themselves.

The only way to isolate that evil is to deprive it of its hostages. We can be willing to aid that effort by force, or we can expect them Cubans to die for their own freedom. But we can't pretend that that evil is isolated just because both the prisoners and their keepers reside on the same island.

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Unless Cuba is a strategic threat to the United States, trade and travel restrictions should be removed. China is a strategic threat, but Lordy! does America trade! Sanction whom you want. I'll do the same.

The botched use of force by Kennedy in 1962 led to the Cuban missile crisis of 1963 and we almost had a nuclear exchange with the USSR and Cuba. It seems that at the time Castro probably had personal control of nuclear weapons himself.

It's likely Castro was responsible for the assassination of Kennedy. Kennedy was trying to kill him after all. Kennedy had Diem killed in South Vietnam just prior. Now we're going to get Obama, another foreign policy incompetent.

People should understand there is a difference between withholding sanction and agressively going after evil incompetently and the possible horrible results of half-assed war policies. The United States has never fought a necessary war. Not one, including the Revolutionary War. The US has always been an imperial power with roots going back deep into colonial days. One war has led to the next and the next and the next. Indians, Mexicans, Fillipinoes. The US killed 200,000 of the last after it freed them from Spain. Then the Germans. What in the hell was the US doing fighting in WWI? Hello Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, WWII, the Cold War, etc. More's coming.

True national defense is another matter. The first priority is not to create and inflate enemies.

--Brant

rant

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Not necessarily. Sexual attraction is also programmed in our genes, but that does in itself not imply that certain specific people are pre-determined to have a sexual relationship. But while exact individual predictions are impossible, statistical predictions about ensembles of individuals can be very reliable.

I don't buy this. I highly suggest you read some stuff written by a man named Ross Jeffries. Look him up on Wikipedia.

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People should understand there is a difference between withholding sanction and agressively going after evil incompetently and the possible horrible results of half-assed war policies. The United States has never fought a necessary war. Not one, including the Revolutionary War. The US has always been an imperial power with roots going back deep into colonial days. One war has led to the next and the next and the next. Indians, Mexicans, Fillipinoes. The US killed 200,000 of the last after it freed them from Spain. Then the Germans. What in the hell was the US doing fighting in WWI? Hello Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, WWII, the Cold War, etc. More's coming.

True national defense is another matter. The first priority is not to create and inflate enemies.

It's amazing how many people have trouble figuring this one out. Obviously there is a deep emotional payoff in refusing to see it.

I do disagree with your comment about the Revolution.

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It's likely Castro was responsible for the assassination of Kennedy. Kennedy was trying to kill him after all.

Brant,

I have always suspected this, also. This is the only thing that fully explains (to my mind) why the USA has kept sanctions in place with Castro and not China (as you pointed out). I believe the Presidents all are informed of this when they take office, or at least informed of something undisclosed to the public about Kennedy's assassination and Castro. I have no evidence for this, though. It is purely my speculation.

The only thing I can't fully figure out is why Castro was not taken out over the years, but Guantanamo was kept in place on his little island instead. If you think about it, this has been a very strange and expensive way of making a statement (if that has been the reason). I certainly believe that there is a whole lot more to this whole issue than meets the eye.

Michael

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Sanctions have been kept in place because of the Cuban community in Florida and New Jersey and because of the proximity of Cuba tp the US. There may be an understanding that the US would not invade Cuba in return for the USSR withdrawing its missiles in 1963.

The number one hell hole in the Americas is Haiti.

--Brant

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I have always suspected this, also. This is the only thing that fully explains (to my mind) why the USA has kept sanctions in place with Castro and not China (as you pointed out). I believe the Presidents all are informed of this when they take office, or at least informed of something undisclosed to the public about Kennedy's assassination and Castro. I have no evidence for this, though. It is purely my speculation.

We could go on all day about various Kennedy assassination theories. This one seems as likely as any other.

One thing we have learned in this failed American experiment is that it is very easy to get a bad law in place. It is also extremely difficult to get rid of a bad law once it is there. This is the main reason why I think all laws should have expiration dates and that this should be mandated in the Constitution. If someone has an explanation or a solution for this, I'm willing to hear it.

The only thing I can't fully figure out is why Castro was not taken out over the years, but Guantanamo was kept in place on his little island instead.

If we closed the base, the imperialists would cry that we are waving the white flag. I imagine that Castro is still there because he doesn't have anything that we want. I've heard from sources that the war in 1898 was initially fought because of the price of sugar. Sugar just isn't as important as it used to be.

Of course, Haiti doesn't have anything either. The US has been meddling in their affairs for about over 90 years.

The other thing that Castro still has many worshippers here in the USA. I'm talking about useful idiots like Steven Spielberg and Charlie Rangel.

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