This is to continue the discussion of Objectivism from the front page. Some basic info:

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) (wikipedia) was a Russian immigrant, author, screenwriter and creator of the philosophy called "Objectivism", which advocates selfishness as a virtue and denounces altruism. 

Among her writings are The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, both of which have been turned into feature films.

Despite her atheism, Rand is popular among Tea Party conservatives because of her anti-tax stance.  

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan was a personal friend of Rand.

Tags: ayn rand, capitalism, objectivism, selfishness

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My consideration of your argument leads me to make an observation of it that you may benefit from and in a selfish act, benefit me and my arguments. That observation is that you are telling the person you are responding to what he/she is thinking, what he/she is not listening to. You cannot know that, and it is much more advantageous to discuss the ideas rather than a person's actions in light of those ideas. 

As for your argument's value, I would like to comment on your contention to "Let reality be the final judge." People with bad ideas could have a skewed view of reality. Science is the only way humans have to view reality as it really is. So, is Science to be brought in to make judgement on our perceptions of reality?

In other words: Whose reality do we use to judge?

Same deal as things like Communism.  Libertarianism and Communism work great, in small societies of a hundred and change.  But then any sort of government can work with that size society.

     Thanks for reminding me what the name of an " ad hominim " attack was and if you read closer you will notice I was attacking the quality of the reasoning not the person himself . Forgive me for not being clearer . As to sources just check out any history book on the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire or the Nazi regime or the latest fiasco in Russia . True Capitalism has never existed anywhere to my knowledge . But this country ( U.S.A . ) approached it the closest until it too was sabotaged by the followers of altruistic philosophies . Witness the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and other legislation designed to be open ended and unobjective . Immanuel Kant , Nietzsche and all their philosophical descendants attacked the philosophical core of this country  in the persons of many well off college students who had brought these philosophies back from Germany in the late 1800's . They then spent the next 50 years implementing their goals trying to destroy it . By attempting to remake it in their view of an "ideal" society . John Dewey was key in the continued destruction of higher and lower education . Witness the abysmal test scores of our current crop of students . While the battle is not over and can never be truly won or lost . Our countries progression as a mixed economy ( A mixture of government controls and capitalism) Can only end in one of two ways . Either we wake up and purge our government of communists , socialists , fascists , and theocrats  or we all end up in a multi-sided civil war instead of the current pressure group warfare we have been living in for over a hundred years . Anyone who needs sources for this information can look at the political scene today and in the past . Regardless of your political leanings and by the way mine are not Democratic or Republican or Libertarian . The concrete results of magical thinking are all over the world now. Trying to impose any abstract theory without a basis in sound reasoning and fact is automatically doomed to failure in the long run . Due to the very nature and basis of the world and the very nature of humans . We as human beings have really only our minds to separate us from all the other animals on this planet and any philosophy that starts out with it's premise that the mind is ineffectual and or that there is something higher than the mind is guilty of the same kind of delusional thinking as the theists everyone on this site seems to either pity or despise . I myself do neither . If I am mistaken on this point my apologies for that . I am not attempting to impose my thoughts on anyone else I simply wanted to make my points as clearly and concisely as I know how. Well that's all I have to say for now.

 

I think modern state-regulated capitalism is pretty close to the natural state of human commerce.  Imagine cavemen trading rocks.  They would try to buy low, sell high, and minimize costs.  If one guy has the flint market cornered, another might start selling quartz or obsidian.  Each actor will do what's best for him until the guy with the biggest club has a problem with it.  People will do what that guy says as long as he can enforce his opinion. 

This is perfect Capitalism (Jason): commerce, eternal, objective, and infinitely scalable (Fil), but with modifications by and for the powerful.  Sounds familiar to me.

Being human, my cavemen would also use slave and child labor (JP), fix prices, and do other Bad Things in private without visibility to direct market forces (contrary to JP's friends' outlook). Eventually, when people feel fat enough, they will enact altruistic measures like the Sullivan Act (Jason) so they can sleep at night.

You may find my opinion suspiciously convenient, but I contend that our current system has arisen from eternal market forces with roots in the most basic human behaviors.

So lighten up, we're in Utopia!  This is as good as it gets!

It goes against the grain of evolution.

 

Evolution is vicious, nasty shit.  It makes for an uncomfortable society.  Certainly, our evolutionary roots need to be taken into account when constructing a society, but we should try to do better than our roots.

 

Saying that something goes against the grain of Evolution sounds disturbingly like the guys on Fox News, glorifying American society of the 1950's.  There was a lot of bad shit going on back then, which the media glossed over.  We're better off now, socially speaking.  We just need to take back the country from the corporations, which will take ... regulation by the government, not Objectivism.

Not that I want to just dump capitalism right away.

Certainly.  I'm not for pure Socialism, either.  In general, the best solution to a social or economic problem lies somewhere between two points.

Rand acolytes forget that even the early supporters of free-market capitalism realized that we would need governmental safeguards to prevent corporations from forming monopolies and crushing all competition.

Is everyone on here a socialist?
Lol not everyone. I dislike labels just for the simple fact that I dont think everyone can fit into a cookie cutter mold, but if I must choose one I would say I am a center left libertarian. I am not in agreement with the anarchist tendancies of the extreme libertarians but do support reducing government to the bare minimum.

I saw it coming!!!

Yes! How many internets did I win?

On a side note I have been following this disscussion for a while and I dont think it is fair to broadly label everyone as a socialist. There are many different points of view and just because someone likes certain aspects of socialism does not make them a bleeding socialist. If you take it the the extremes some people do I am a socialist because I support centralized (government run) police, fire, and EMS services in the community.
About 95% of atheists lean at least a little in that direction, from what I've seen.  There are exceptions, obviously.

So you and Tonya are at this stage:

> Eventually, when people feel fat enough, they will enact altruistic measures like the Sullivan Act

but between the two of you, you have two different ideas of how to tweak things.  My point is, capitalism with benefits is the only thing that will ever work long term, because it's so deeply rooted in human nature.  Other systems will either implode or creep back to what comes naturally.

Of course most people will be wrong some of the time.  But the discipline of the market gives us each a chance to seek a near-optimum path.  Collectively (no thanks to Ms. Rand) we work civilization forward.

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