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Thoughts on Ayn Rand's Objectivism? Watch

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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    no, look, like I already said, I don't *literally* look at people as if they are confined to their respective groups. I am simply acknowledging that collectives of all varieties *do* happen to exist, and are socially constructed. some accommodate liberty more than others. also, such groups compete with each other in the same way individuals do. but that's not particularly literal but more loose, because it's a generalisation. I'm not saying people deserve something inherently via their group membership. I am saying that members of certain groups are usually "better", not "more entitled". it's based on facts, not ideology, unless you count the ability to recognise subjectivities of group quality as "ideology"?
    Then perhaps "ethno-nationalism" isn't a term you want to go about applying to yourself. What you've just described is reasonable, and I think it's daft not to acknowledge that statistical trends occur. Ethno-nationalism implies a political belief in rights of citizenship distributed ethnically.
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    Literally the queen of my heart.
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    (Original post by jape)
    Then perhaps "ethno-nationalism" isn't a term you want to go about applying to yourself. What you've just described is reasonable, and I think it's daft not to acknowledge that statistical trends occur. Ethno-nationalism implies a political belief in rights of citizenship distributed ethnically.
    all right, but I'm using the term in a loose way simply because ethnicities usually coincide with political societies. i.e. anglosaxons are very usually "western" and arabs are "middle eastern" in this respect. it's not perfectly accurate to say it because there are exceptions, but I'm not expecting people to actually think I mean 100% of all westerners conform to one ethnicity. if I use the term "liberal nationalism" which is nationalism via to citizenship and not ethnicity, that word "liberal" seems to throw some people off because of the connotations of "liberal" in the contemporary context
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    (Original post by jape)
    Wrong, wrong and wrong. An economic system predicated on the free exchange of goods and services is the only economic system that adequately reflects the key value of individual freedom. Free markets are neither violent, nor forceful, nor oppressive.
    Where the means of production are privately owned there can only be a limited sense of free exchange of goods and services.

    If we look at any interaction outside the utopian view of the free market many hold, a member of the working class, who doesn't own anything, may be compelled to make particular decision based on his most fundamental need, to survive.

    Under a capitalist system it is easy for those who control capital to abuse those who do not. If, for example, the contract on the table is work for £x ph, where x is lower than the orker thinks his labur is worth, he cannot walk away because if he does, he puts in jeopardy the survival of himself and his family. His signing said contract is therefore not a free decision by any sensible definition.

    Unless you create a system where the worker is not compelled to take a job he doesn't want by making sure that he is, regardless of his working status, safe, secure, fed an housed, then you do not have a system based on free exchange, you have a system based on coercive force.
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    Where the means of production are privately owned there can only be a limited sense of free exchange of goods and services.

    If we look at any interaction outside the utopian view of the free market many hold, a member of the working class, who doesn't own anything, may be compelled to make particular decision based on his most fundamental need, to survive.

    Under a capitalist system it is easy for those who control capital to abuse those who do not. If, for example, the contract on the table is work for £x ph, where x is lower than the orker thinks his labur is worth, he cannot walk away because if he does, he puts in jeopardy the survival of himself and his family. His signing said contract is therefore not a free decision by any sensible definition.

    Unless you create a system where the worker is not compelled to take a job he doesn't want by making sure that he is, regardless of his working status, safe, secure, fed an housed, then you do not have a system based on free exchange, you have a system based on coercive force.
    Ludicrous. A competitive marketplace will have a variety of workplaces and service providers, and if you take the time to invest in yourself and learn skills you'll be in a better position. Also, here's an idea - accept the job and shop around for fresh employment at a rate you think you deserve.
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    (Original post by jape)
    Ludicrous. A competitive marketplace will have a variety of workplaces and service providers, and if you take the time to invest in yourself and learn skills you'll be in a better position. Also, here's an idea - accept the job and shop around for fresh employment at a rate you think you deserve.
    Which is exactly what I'm doing right now. Other things to consider is that what you think you're worth isn't necessarily what you're actually worth, I should think most overestimate their value.

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    (Original post by LennyBicknel)
    I've been watching and reading about Objectivism recently (mostly because it's the political thought behind the Bioshock series), and I'm not sure what to think of it.

    What are your thoughts? I'd be interested to hear.
    It's a lovely idea but most people can't be objective. They are just not smart enough. Many things in the world would change if people were objective like my previous post about it's OK for radical feminists to blatantly offend men but one in a million shot measures not to offend transgenders like banning gender references. People are so brainwashed by various things in this case cultural Marxism, they cannot be objective.


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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Which is exactly what I'm doing right now. Other things to consider is that what you think you're worth isn't necessarily what you're actually worth, I should think most overestimate their value.

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    The man on your avatar thinks Americans deserve a special place in the world merely on account of being Americans. He thinks they should be protected from foreign competition not only in the labour market and in the service industry (hence his anti-immigration stance) but in manufactured goods as well (hence his hostility to free trade).

    Ridiculous.
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    (Original post by jape)
    Ludicrous. A competitive marketplace will have a variety of workplaces and service providers, and if you take the time to invest in yourself and learn skills you'll be in a better position. Also, here's an idea - accept the job and shop around for fresh employment at a rate you think you deserve.
    Except many people at the very bottom of society do not and will not ever have the resources available to them to do so. What then?

    You also demand that that there will be a 'competitive' market place, yet provide no reason as to why there should be one. As a matter of historical fact capitalism has always descended into a market where monopolies dominate, which of course is why govrnments spend huge amounts of money constantly correcting the market so as to appear to be fair.

    Tell me, if the free market capitalist system is so right and proper why must it be constantly altered and fiddled with by an outside actor? It sort of seems like it doesn't work at all unless propped up by heirachical power structures, does it?
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    Except many people at the very bottom of society do not and will not ever have the resources available to them to do so. What then?

    You also demand that that there will be a 'competitive' market place, yet provide no reason as to why there should be one. As a matter of historical fact capitalism has always descended into a market where monopolies dominate, which of course is why govrnments spend huge amounts of money constantly correcting the market so as to appear to be fair.

    Tell me, if the free market capitalist system is so right and proper why must it be constantly altered and fiddled with by an outside actor? It sort of seems like it doesn't work at all unless propped up by heirachical power structures, does it?
    The fact that there's government involvement in the economy is what helps to create these unsustainable monopolies. Case in point, the major investment banks should have collapsed and died in 2007 to be replaced by new ones. The governments of the world step in, rescue them from their incompetence, and nothing's changed a decade on. Iceland's government stepped back from bailing out their troublemaking banks, and subsequently rebounded very quickly.
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    This guys a really engaging Objectivist advocate, he may have converted me!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HtJwAYJ9B08
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    (Original post by jape)
    The fact that there's government involvement in the economy is what helps to create these unsustainable monopolies. Case in point, the major investment banks should have collapsed and died in 2007 to be replaced by new ones. The governments of the world step in, rescue them from their incompetence, and nothing's changed a decade on. Iceland's government stepped back from bailing out their troublemaking banks, and subsequently rebounded very quickly.
    You've made no effort to answer the questions I posed, but whatever.

    Please explain, for example how the blocking of the TimeWarner/Comcast merger ees helping to create a monopoly, rather than prevent one?.Similarly with the blocked acquisition of O2 by the owners of three.

    If the government intervention is the cause of so many problems, why do Rand and other laissez-faire capitalists constantly talk about government intervention so positively, why did Rand oppose private ownership of the courts and police?

    In laissez-faire capitalism there is no recourse provided against the formation of monopolies other than government intervention, there is no down side or way of preventing collusion between those who own the means of production in order to exploit those who do not. For all the claims about this being the one system that enshrines individual freedom, it just doesn't stand up to even the most mild enquiry.
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    Please explain, for example how the blocking of the TimeWarner/Comcast merger fees helping to create a monopoly, rather than prevent one?.
    The American situation is different to here and I don't understand it fully. However, as far as I am aware, small towns in the US basically franchise one cable/broadband provider to provide all the data needs for the town's public utilities. Once local government has given you 50% of the market at a cost of next to nothing, there's no incentive for anyone to compete with you. So yeah, I blame the government for creating an environment where those two companies could swell to their current size.

    Similarly with the blocked acquisition of O2 by the owners of three.
    A non-issue. This has happened before when T-Mobile and Orange merged, and the only horrific thing about EE is their customer service.

    If the government intervention is the cause of so many problems, why do Rand and other laissez-faire capitalists constantly talk about government intervention so positively, why did Rand oppose private ownership of the courts and police?
    Because most people aren't ancaps, most people (myself included) accept that the government has a valid role to play in society. Our complaint is that it overreaches. Prisons, policing, armed services, justice, mental health services etc are all things I want the government playing an active role in.

    In laissez-faire capitalism there is no recourse provided against the formation of monopolies other than government intervention, there is no down side or way of preventing collusion between those who own the means of production in order to exploit those who do not. For all the claims about this being the one system that enshrines individual freedom, it just doesn't stand up to even the most mild enquiry.
    Monopolies aren't permanent. The whole point of a low-regulation free market is it makes starting up rival businesses easy. So sure, I wouldn't have batted an eyelid if all the major mobile phone providers merged in 05, because Tesco Mobile came out not long after. And more recently, giffgaff. If a company gets a monopoly in a market the market doesn't just stop doing things forever. Competition will still exist, and if the competition is good then the monopoly dies.
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    It's really a moral philosophy (only pursuing your own direct self interest) that she uses as a basis for a political philosophy (free market capitalism). I like to find more optimistic justifications for free market capitalism


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    (Original post by Gladstone1885)
    It's really a moral philosophy (only pursuing your own direct self interest) that she uses as a basis for a political philosophy (free market capitalism). I like to find more optimistic justifications for free market capitalism


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    I do think it's optimistic. By pursuing your own self-interest as an entrepreneur you benefit other people even if you don't mean to. Generating wealth for yourself requires you generate surplus value for other people. Bill Gates made something like £60bn off of Microsoft, but in doing so he revolutionized the entire computing industry forever. I can't even fathom the amount of wealth that Gates contributed to the creation of. He's an extreme example of course, probably the single most important person to have been born in the last century, but the principles are basically the same at a smaller level too.
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    (Original post by jape)
    I do think it's optimistic. By pursuing your own self-interest as an entrepreneur you benefit other people even if you don't mean to. Generating wealth for yourself requires you generate surplus value for other people. Bill Gates made something like £60bn off of Microsoft, but in doing so he revolutionized the entire computing industry forever. I can't even fathom the amount of wealth that Gates contributed to the creation of. He's an extreme example of course, probably the single most important person to have been born in the last century, but the principles are basically the same at a smaller level too.
    He also donates a massive amount to charities though and runs the bill and Melinda gates foundation. Rand abhorred charity, interestingly, and that's my problem with her philosoph: giving can be in your own self interest, either as a source of satisfaction or to make yourself look like not a greedy person.

    Ps Coolidge, great president.
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    (Original post by Gladstone1885)
    He also donates a massive amount to charities though and runs the bill and Melinda gates foundation. Rand abhorred charity, interestingly, and that's my problem with her philosoph: giving can be in your own self interest, either as a source of satisfaction or to make yourself look like not a greedy person.
    Yeah, I don't think much of Rand herself as a human being and I don't buy into her worldview particularly. I think she was basically right to reject postmodernism and embrace free market capitalism, but that's about it.

    Ps Coolidge, great president.
    Keep cool, my dude. :cool:
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    I would bang if I was an 1920s-1930s American bloke.

    Most of what she says is spot on and she highlights the cancer that is collectivism, a truly beautiful mind.

    Only negatives are, as Jammy Duel said, it's not viable in practice due to being too utopian, but I love triggering the left with Ayn Rand quotes.
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    I used to admire her teachings, but it is clear that they cannot work in the real world, and that Objectivism is in fact a pseudo-philosophy which is backed up by assertion and equivocation rather than clear, cogent and logical argument. This blog is particularly good at debunking all of Rand's beliefs:

    http://aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.co.uk/

    One big problem I have with Rand's Objectivism is its hyper-rationalism. It negates the fact that human beings are fundamentally irrational, and that the idea of a "rational self-interest" is in fact utterly subjective. Rand created an idol and named it "Reason", without any idea of what it really meant. She rejected the necessary role of emotions and the irrational in human behaviour. And most of what was original about her philosophy wasn't very good. I believe that her philosophy is simply an extreme form of classical liberalism and Enlightenment teaching, and brushes aside all of the developments in modern philosophy launched by individuals like Nietzsche and Schopenhauer who have pushed back against some of the dogmas of the Enlightenment, such as a conviction concerning universal progress.

    In one sense she reminds of me of the French revolutionaries of the eighteenth-century, particularly the Jacobins and other types who replaced the cult of Christianity with the cult of reason, and mouthed platitudes about liberty whilst erecting a totalitarian belief system in its place. Objectivism is fundamentally totalitarian in many of its outlooks, assumptions and assertions. Take, for example, Rand's crude and vulgar assertions concerning art.

    That, and she was a pretty ghastly human being. I know that you're supposed to take a belief system on its own merits, but Rand is a special case. She saw herself, and indeed, many of her followers saw her, as the ultimate Objectivist, completely, utterly and unerringly devoted to every single one of the core beliefs of Objectivism, without deviation or exception, and the model to follow for all aspiring Objectivists, and indeed, human beings. If we view her life as an implementation of Objectivism in practice, then it ended in nothing but disaster and misery for herself and everyone around her. Her affair with Nathaniel Branden is a case in point. She was, quite simply, toxic in a way that no other thinker has been in history.
 
 
 
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