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For Ayn Rand Philosophers...

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posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 07:57 AM
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Just so that I have this straight...

Government forced redistribution of wealth - in the form of a minimum social safety net, paid for by compulsory taxation - is a moral violation of a person's inalienable right to individualism and individual freedom to achieve, and it strips the responsibility for one's individual self away, actually harming the individual.

I hope I have this figured out correctly.

Now, as a think-tank philosophy, I've heard worse. But, as a practical, implementable socio-economic blueprint, I'm not so sure that it can possibly work. And this is why I'm seeking clarification on Rand's Objectivism philosophy. I want to better understand what we may be ushering in, should Romney/Ryan get the keys to the White House.

I have some questions about Objectivism in practical application within a truly unfettered free-market, no-force from government, society that is the size of the United States. Especially a society that is as generally self-entitled as the US society has become over the last 60 years or so. The economics of Objectivism are particularly troubling, if you consider the actual society we have here. Consider the following.

You have a business, and you've worked hard to build it over the years. Not a huge business, but you've got assets, a loyal customer base, and enough established industry presence to have an actual supply chain that stretches across the globe. In other words, you get parts for your final product line from China and other offshore sources. You're a prototypical 21st century job-creator, and suddenly, the Rand wing of the Tea Party GOP has just been swept into office, with a mandate to eliminate the heavy hand of the federal government, as well as the state...hell, all forms of oppressive and expensive government. You're free now. Free to pursue your fortune without a strong government oversight of any kind to pester you or restrict you. Or to tax you into bankruptcy. It's a brand new, wonderful capitalism utopia.

Then, after a year or so, I show up to your office. I have 300 heavily armed militia fighters, and have gone into my own business - the protection business.

"You've got a lot to lose here," I say. "Looks like you spent most of your life building this up. It'd be a shame if things started going south on you."

You reach for the phone to call the police - sort of a reflex reaction, since what police force there is has been reduced to a skeletal operation that mainly keeps the roads open and prevents the impression that there's no real defense against crime anymore.

"Go ahead," I say. "Ask for Lt. Mitchell. Tell him it's me."

In other words, I've already taken care of the police response. You're in no position to do anything but listen.

"So, " I continue, "I'll be sending a representative around each month to inspect your books, and he'll be taking 1/2 of all your month's net with him when he leaves. If that amount isn't available, or if the books have been cooked...oh, and he's a very good accountant....then he'll be leaving with you and your family. Since you're our very first account in this region, we'll be very careful to ensure that your business is a public example for other businesses. Nothing personal, you know. It's just the nature of this particular business model that we operate under. As a free-market man, I'm sure that you understand."

So, the question is...while this specific scenario is a bit "cartoonish" what's to prevent lesser forms of brute force intimidation sources from emerging as a result of the power vacuum that would be created if Ayn Rand's "think tank" policies were to be implemented within even a moderately complex society - let alone one as multifaceted as the US is today?

Or is it a case where true Rand-inspired conservatism is as impossible to implement as Marx-inspired communism?

*And please don't be an idiot and insist on focusing solely on the extreme scenario I used to illustrate the helplessness of local governance within a Rand-inspired Objectivism society. I'm sure that some sort of "collective" security arrangement would be formed and funded by the business owners, but then, if that original oppressive government were to be allowed to persist, then I suppose it'd be the same net arrangement - except a bit cheaper, considering what a professional security firm charges. And then you have the enforcement of shipping - import/export - rules and regs that local militia groups have no power to enforce, so say goodbye to the off-shore supply chain.

The complications do seem to stack up after a while of sketching it all out.



edit on 8/14/2012 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


Well, I am no Randian, and most of her cheerleaders around here are actually not Objectivists. But Objectivists actually do support government, just a certain kind.
en.wikipedia.org...(Ayn_Rand)

If you believe in God you aren't her kind. She wasn't an anarcho-captialist either like the bulk of ATS posters nor was she a libertarian.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 08:48 AM
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Theres many huge holes in Ayn Rands philosophy. Firstly, the encouragement of obtaining selfish desires, and secondly, keeping the first in account, letting the market completly rule.

Now, since Ayn Rands philosophy has been implimented (it already has, Reagen, Thatcher, Clinton, Blair, Greenspan), many peoples goals have been to get their selfish desires by all means neccessary, and that tends to simply be money and wealth. Now, the problem with people is that money is an ever growing goal, an addiction, but once you have soo much money, you think, "what could i do with this money??" The answer? Power.

How does one get power just from wealth? They can't rely on simply being voted into politics, thats fat too long to wait, it's far easier to control the market. If the control the market, they can control the politicians, they can control who will become rich and who will sink, they can control the prices, they can control everything, because thanks to Ayn Rands philosophy, the market is the thing that has complete power and control, not government.

Since then (Particulary Reagan and Thatcher) this has been implimented, and has increased at an alarming rate ever since. You know, back in the day, there was a difference between Conservative and Labour (Republican and Democrats), typicaly Labour/Democrats being in favour of the Unions, and Conservative/Republicans in favour of Business, however, since Thatcher (not too knowladgeable if Reagan did the same) destroyed all that was left of the unions, Labour did not have the Unions left to fund their political party, and who came in to fit the hole? Business, and what does big business care about more than anything? Profit, and where does alot of that profit come from? Investment from the market, and who controls the Market? Well, ,you can peice together from here what has happened.

Since then politicians have been stuck, both parties are now representing the same people. They can't go any other way because then they will loose their funding, their public image (media) and everything else. And now even more recently, these super-rich market controller/Randian's have started going into politics infront of everyone, no longer behind closed doors.

This is why we have had no signigicant politician since Reagan and Thatcher, they killed politics, and along with that, the voting power and voice of the public.
edit on 14-8-2012 by Trolloks because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 09:00 AM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


I had never heard of the woman until a couple of years ago when I saw her in an interview, from the 70s judging by the clothes.

I have never seen a more self-centred, venomous woman in my life. (And I survived the Thatcher years.)

As it turns out, after years of assailing government programs, she took Social Security and Medicare.


It's amazing how the "Sod you Jack I'm alright" attitude runs out when it is they themselves that need help.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


Thanks for giving me food for thought.

By your example though, it just seems to go full circle. Sure, there would be a great time to live without the heavy hand of Government for a while but I am sure that there would be a scenario such as you describe in places eventually. (Heck, it's going on now.) Some people just crave power over others.

But also, eventually, it would also be a return to the Cattle Wars or the Battle of Blair Mountian or The Battle of Athens, etc, etc.

To be truthful, I never bought into Ayn Rand philosophy with the exception of entertainment. She was a decent author who wrote colorful entertaining books. Nothing more.

A equally intriguing thought could be to look at Robert Heinlien and his philosophy, which is a actual belief system that is actively practiced.

I think we should pretty much keep the Gov't what we have, just downsize it. It has become a behometh that can no longer be fed on the limited tax base that is current.

That's simple math that some don't seem to get. They keep coming up with complex solutions when there is a simple one glaring at them in the face. The trouble is, they don't like the simple solution because everybody will have to tighten their belts, from the Gov't to the individual.
edit on 14-8-2012 by TDawgRex because: Coffe! Need more Joe!



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 09:27 AM
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A good doc on Ayn Rand is All Watched Over By Machines Of Love And Grace

All watched over by machines of love and grace

(its not a youtube or google video so i can't embed it)


A series of films about how humans have been colonized by the machines they have built. Although we don’t realize it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers. It claims that computers have failed to liberate us and instead have distorted and simplified our view of the world around us. 1. Love and Power. This is the story of the dream that rose up in the 1990s that computers could create a new kind of stable world. They would bring about a new kind global capitalism free of all risk and without the boom and bust of the past. They would also abolish political power and create a new kind of democracy through the Internet where millions of individuals would be connected as nodes in cybernetic systems – without hierarchy. 2. The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts. This is the story of how our modern scientific idea of nature, the self-regulating ecosystem, is actually a machine fantasy. It has little to do with the real complexity of nature. It is based on cybernetic ideas that were projected on to nature in the 1950s by ambitious scientists. A static machine theory of order that sees humans, and everything else on the planet, as components – cogs – in a system. 3. The Monkey in the Machine and the Machine in the Monkey. This episode looks at why we humans find this machine vision so beguiling. The film argues it is because all political dreams of changing the world for the better seem to have failed – so we have retreated into machine-fantasies that say we have no control over our actions because they excuse our failure.


The first episode covers Ayn Rand very well. There are 3 episodes, each an hour long, originaly brodcasted on BBC 4, its an Adam Curtis documentary, if you are not farmilier with him, i strongly recoment his documentarys to you, very informative.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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Originally posted by TDawgRex
reply to post by NorEaster
 


I think we should pretty much keep the Gov't what we have, just downsize it. It has become a behometh that can no longer be fed on the limited tax base that is current.


To be honest, in the US, the government sources out to private companies most everything it does. You'd think that would cut spending, but the contracts that these government vendors craft (with the help of insider-bureaucrats who used to work in their own industry - nod, nod, wink, wink) make it possible for the private sector to butcher the budgets of each contract with impunity. Hell, I remember my brother's PLM consulting firm when they were the "solution architect" for a huge overhaul of the NY Port Authority's data flow management system. The contract was embarrassing, but it slipped right through with no problem. "This is how it's done," he told me. I was amazed that so much could be padded into a contract, and how much more was padded in than any contract would ever allow between two private sector companies.

The government waste is wasted on private sector corporate vendors and suppliers. It's too bad that the government doesn't hire people to do anything besides contract paperwork and military/justice department type work anymore. We'd probably save a ton of money.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by NorEaster

To be honest, in the US, the government sources out to private companies most everything it does. You'd think that would cut spending, but the contracts that these government vendors craft (with the help of insider-bureaucrats who used to work in their own industry - nod, nod, wink, wink) make it possible for the private sector to butcher the budgets of each contract with impunity..


That's why I've never understood the "Private sector saves money" argument.

Surly the Government can pay the best wages to get the best people for the job and because it does not have to make a profit, only break even, be MORE cost effective?



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Trolloks
 


Thanks. I've been watching her interviews (since the VP pick) to see where this Ryan character gets his philosophical basis (he does promote her specifically), and I think I have a pretty good grasp of her thoughts as expressed by her own self. She reminds me (physically) of my grandmother (on my mom's side) and that's a bit off-putting, but she also seems very strident about her notions concerning specific requirements that - historically speaking - have cratered large societies once the ramifications of having these requirements in place have reached an inevitable tipping point, where the poor are so far behind the pace that they have simply decided that they won't bother with any rules anymore. The French Revolution and the fall of the Russian Czars are the most recent examples of what happens.

And, it's inevitable, when you think about how unfettered wealth disparity plays out in large societies. Kind of like when you keep pushing air into a balloon, and yes, it expands and that's what you want it to do, but if there are no limits whatsoever to the air being shoved into the balloon, it ultimately explodes. I mean, conceptually, like the free and unhindered flow of investment capital in an economic system, air is what the balloon needs, and more air is better than less air. But there does come a point when the amount of air (like the freedom to do whatever is immediately desired with enormous amounts of unregulated wealth within an interdependent economic system) becomes a threat to the survival of the balloon. And, in the case of no "governing authority" concerning the amount of air, who makes the decision - "okay...enough air"? No one, if there's no authority whatsoever concerning the ongoing flow of air. The balloon's a goner and always was a goner, even before any air was pumped into it. Its fate was sealed by the absence of limits on air flow. Maybe not the best analogy, but I think the point is made.

In a true free-market economic system, freedom includes the freedom to completely obliterate all competition and crush each successive attempt to create a market remedy for what it is that you've engineered in monopoly and cross-sector dominance. When you base this dominance on products or services that are central to the survival of people within the society - healthcare, security, food, energy, housing - then you've become the de facto oppressive government within that specific market. And then you get wiped out by the market itself - generally by overwhelming force, if history is any example - and then rinse, repeat. Frankly, I don't see that "rise and fall" sort of thing as being a positive destiny for any society. I prefer to believe that my grandkids' kids will have a future that I can somewhat relate to.



posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by BritofTexas

Originally posted by NorEaster

To be honest, in the US, the government sources out to private companies most everything it does. You'd think that would cut spending, but the contracts that these government vendors craft (with the help of insider-bureaucrats who used to work in their own industry - nod, nod, wink, wink) make it possible for the private sector to butcher the budgets of each contract with impunity..


That's why I've never understood the "Private sector saves money" argument.

Surly the Government can pay the best wages to get the best people for the job and because it does not have to make a profit, only break even, be MORE cost effective?


Yes, that does seem to make very clear sense. The bitch is that the PR effort for that very clear reasoning hasn't got any budget anymore. Then again, try finding a professional marketing firm that will even take that campaign on. They just won't. If they ever did, that'd be the last PR campaign they'd ever wage. No company would ever hire them after that. Even if they failed miserably. Not all oppression is implemented with guns and tanks and troops. Most of it - definitely in this US society - is done economically.



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