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Ayn Rand

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11/18/2010 3:14:46 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Well, I was just trawling through thinkingaloud.com, and I found this:http://www.thinkingaloudforum.com...
Some of the arguments found inside were pretty decent, and I saw that many had critiqued the notion of no-regulations, laissez-faire, capitalism.
I wanted to see if this place had any good counter arguments.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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11/18/2010 7:52:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
if you aren't a spammer, you'll make the arguments yourself instead of advertising a competing forum. I read the first page, hearing arguments like "She's a **** and needs to die" or "boring" don't speak well for the rest.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
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11/18/2010 8:44:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I've made all of two posts, how can I possibly be a spammer? I actually want someone to read the arguments given in the thread, because there would be no real reason for me to go and copy-paste them.
It is not too much of a trouble to read through a couple of pages, really.
If you are going to say that I am a spammer for no real reason other than the fact that I didn't post an argument, while I have valid reasons for not doing so, when I haven't badgered anyone into reading this thread whatsoever, and have not made any attempt to offend anyone, then I must say that you have a poor definition of a spammer.
Not once have I actively advertised the forum. All I have done is ask if any objectivists/libertarians here could deal with the arguments in the thread.

Either respond to the actual thread subject instead of dodging it, or don't post at all. No one is making you post. Just go away instead of jumping to conclusions.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/18/2010 9:58:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
If it isn't too much work to wade through utter crap, then it isn't too much work to copy and paste the noncrap that's supposedly in there. Unless you have an ad hoc scale of what is too much work.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/18/2010 10:00:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
another option would be linking to a page that had noncrap to be found on it :P.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
badger
Posts: 11,793
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11/19/2010 8:40:59 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 11/19/2010 7:28:39 AM, Caramel wrote:
...when I haven't badgered anyone into reading this thread whatsoever...

<--- Feels badgered

feels good don't it...
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11/19/2010 1:04:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
"...full deregulation of corporations so they can sell what they want at what price they want and buy out the competition while paying no taxes and eventually kill their own golden goose, thereby destroying the economy. "
Basically saying that full deregulation of corporations is bad.

"'After all, if we accept capitalism as the most healthy way of running our economy, don't the same principles survive into our own lives and morality? The weak may die, but they weren't very useful to the rest of us anyway.'

Perhaps, yes. But sometimes the apparently weak provide us other benefits not provided by the strong. Stephen Hawking springs to mind immediately as an example."

"That's why Rand's appreciation there is wrong: some projects are so large as to demand a social scale, and they provide social benefits. Granting power such as she proposes leads to stuff like the energy scandal here in California, where companies were caught gouging customers and the state in the energy market. Given that energy is a pretty basic requirement in modern life, it ought to be subject to legal regulation. Granting a monopoly in areas such as this have proven in the past to be dangerous."

"We've had a taste of what unregulated capitalism can do -- it's called the current economic mess we're in.

Furthermore, have we all forgotten the boom years of the 90s, after taxes and regulations were re-imposed following Reaganomics? You know, when we had about as close to zero unemployment as is realistically possible and the government was actually in surplus?

Randist philosophy has been, in short, proven wrong by real-world events of the last several years. There are a number of places where it is proper to have a national authority administering rules and regulations, and corporate oversight is one of them. That she's still taken seriously by anyone is nothing less than mind-boggling."

"Wikipedia as of 20 October 2010 wrote:
'Objectivism holds that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive and deductive logic,...'

So far, so good. I agree that there is a physical objective reality that does not require observation to exist, although it requires the necessary caveat with regard to quantum mechanics, observability, knowability and uncertainty.

Wikipedia as of 20 October 2010 wrote:
'...that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest,...'

Well, that's quite an assertion. I will certainly agree that the right of personal happiness is a proper and reasonable pursuit, and that rational self-interest is a part of that, but I disagree with raising it to the level of morality. At best, it's a dressed-up version of Aleister Crowley's "Do what thou wilt" without the additional Wiccan admonition, "An ye harm none".

This is the fatal flaw in Objectivism: it preaches the rights of the individual without the equivalent responsibility to take the equal rights of others into account.

Wikipedia as of 20 October 2010 wrote:
'...that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure laissez faire capitalism,...'

One monumentally unjustified claim here, especially since we know that corporations' regard for individuals is very low. Love Canal, anyone? Bhopal? Exxon Valdez? Gulf of Mexico?

And is the principle of responsibility served by the responsible companies' attempts to avoid paying to clean up their messes and avoid the civil penalties levied against them? Or by lenders socializing their losses in the recent market crash after privatizing their gains?

Actually, scanning the article (and a few related ones, and some pro- and anti- sites), I see no mention of 'personal responsibility' being a part of Randist philosophy. Which means we're back to Crowley again. And, in her own words from 1964's The Virtue of Selfishness, "full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism" -- far more the cause of our current economic woes than the cure for them.

Wikipedia as of 20 October 2010 wrote:
'...and that the role of art in human life is to transform man's widest metaphysical ideas, by selective reproduction of reality, into a physical form—a work of art—that he can comprehend and to which he can respond emotionally.'

This is just gobbledygook as far as I can tell. I can't glean one rational thought out of it -- and I keep tripping over the phrase "selective reproduction of reality". I'm not even sure why Objectivism requires a theory of art."
Ragnar_Rahl
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11/19/2010 2:09:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
...full deregulation of corporations so they can sell what they want at what price they want
Sales require a buyer to accept the price. There can be no unilateral sale.

and buy out the competition
This simply demonstrates a demand for competition. New competitors arise if that is all your strategy consists of. Eventually you run out of cash to buy out with, and cannot compete well enough to recoup the investment.

eventually kill their own golden goose,
Missing argument.

After all, if we accept capitalism as the most healthy way of running our economy, don't the same principles survive into our own lives and morality? The weak may die, but they weren't very useful to the rest of us anyway.'

Perhaps, yes. But sometimes the apparently weak provide us other benefits not provided by the strong. Stephen Hawking springs to mind immediately as an example
CEOs don't tend to be the physically strongest fellows. This is merely equivocating on "Weak." Stephen Hawking has a strength that makes people want to invest in him.

That's why Rand's appreciation there is wrong: some projects are so large as to demand a social scale
Missing argument in how size establishes it and what a "social scale" is.

and they provide social benefits.
There is and can be no such thing, for society is not an entity, and is incapable of receiving benefits.

. Granting power such as she proposes leads to stuff like the energy scandal here in California, where companies were caught gouging customers and the state in the energy market
Fails to define "gouging" or an alternative, heck, missing a lot of details. Energy is expensive to provide, especially when how it can be provided is heavily regulated.

Given that energy is a pretty basic requirement in modern life, it ought to be subject to legal regulation
Does not follow.

Granting a monopoly in areas such as this have proven in the past to be dangerous."
Governments grant monopolies. This is not a refutation of a system which forbids the granting of monopolies on electricity, it is a refutation of a system which recommends such monopolies (i.e. socialism).

"We've had a taste of what unregulated capitalism can do -- it's called the current economic mess we're in.
No, that's a taste of what a housing and finance industry subsidized in the name of providing houses to people who can't afford them can do. No unregulated capitalism has occurred, especially not in the industries in which the current mess began.

Furthermore, have we all forgotten the boom years of the 90s, after taxes and regulations were re-imposed following Reaganomics? You know, when we had about as close to zero unemployment as is realistically possible and the government was actually in surplus?
Correlation is not causation. Especially not when you have the luck of the PC market just picking up steam. One of the less-regulated sorts of industries. Oh, and when you remove all the subsidies ( a form of regulation) that were being tossed out to other industries other Reagan. In case you're wondering, Reagan never actually practiced much in the way of "Reaganomics," which is distinct from Objectivist economics anyway. The actual differences in policy between him and Clinton were a wash. It was Clinton who brought about welfare reform, massively reducing a subsidy ( a regulation).

Well, that's quite an assertion. I will certainly agree that the right of personal happiness is a proper and reasonable pursuit, and that rational self-interest is a part of that, but I disagree with raising it to the level of morality.
Morality is concerned with what proper pursuits are. He cannot have his cake and eat it too.

This is the fatal flaw in Objectivism: it preaches the rights of the individual without the equivalent responsibility to take the equal rights of others into account.
Unequivocal crap. The initiation of force and fraud is forbidden in Objectivism.

One monumentally unjustified claim here, especially since we know that corporations' regard for individuals is very low.
Corporations consist of nothing but individuals.

Love Canal, anyone? Bhopal? Exxon Valdez? Gulf of Mexico?
Random name dropping establishes very little.

And is the principle of responsibility served by the responsible companies' attempts to avoid paying to clean up their messes and avoid the civil penalties levied against them?
The limitation of liability toward nonconsenting third parties is a government subsidy forbidden by Objectivism. Talk to the present government about that.

Or by lenders socializing their losses in the recent market crash after privatizing their gains?
The refutation of Objectivism being responsible for this can be found in the word "Socializing." The Objectivist response is not to guarantee their loans, to let them survive or collapse in the market according to no actions but their own.

Actually, scanning the article (and a few related ones, and some pro- and anti- sites), I see no mention of 'personal responsibility' being a part of Randist philosophy.
It depends what you mean by "responsibility."
"The acceptance of full responsibility for one's own choices and actions (and their consequences) is such a demanding moral discipline that many men seek to escape it by surrendering to what they believe is the easy, automatic, unthinking safety of a morality of "duty." They learn better, often when it is too late."
--"Causality Versus Duty," Philosophy-- Who Needs It.

far more the cause of our current economic woes than the cure for them.
A thing cannot be a cause of something else unless it occurs. "George Washington shot Kennedy."
"Um, Washington was dead at the time."
"So? He did it."
".... I think you might wanna stick with blaming Oswald. He was, at least, THERE if nothing else."

This is just gobbledygook as far as I can tell. I can't glean one rational thought out of it -- and I keep tripping over the phrase "selective reproduction of reality". I'm not even sure why Objectivism requires a theory of art."
Rand was an artist, artists are snooty, that's just the way it goes. I'd say it's really more of a special science than basic philosophy, but if you aren't sure why it's needed, then surely you have no reason to believe it's important enough to reject the rest over.

There seems to be a common theme among a lot of these statements that can be responded to with this for the tl;dr crowd. "Tell the bastard to look at me, then look in the mirror, then ask himself whether I would ever think that my moral stature is at the mercy of his actions."
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.