[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page


Post 0

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 5:05amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
You’d be surprise how many Rockwell-inspired posts are on the ‘net. Most tend to be southern social conservatives longing for the “good old days.”

Most of these fellow travelers have little knowledge of Rothbard let along von Mises. They just love Rockwell’s praise of the Confederacy. He gives them an intellectual voice they could never hope to have in the wildest dreams.

Good analysis, Steve, we need to be aware of the Rockwell/Raimondo nihilistic assault under the facade of libertarianism.



Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 1

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 7:35amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
The Rockwellains are a confusing old bunch.

Despite not infrequent attacks on Objectivism as a philosophy, as I've pointed out before LewRockwell.com also occasionally features articles by Objectivists, notably Tibor Machan, George Reisman and Chris Sciabarra; so for all their faults it seems that the paleos are at least open to some intellectual engagement with O'ists. Plus Rockwell himself works with a few Objectivists in the Mises Institute. So it seems to me that it's a case of separating the wheat from the chaff. The paleos are generally pretty spot on about economics, but disastrously wrong about a whole bunch of other stuff.

Rather like Rothbard himself really - I've read a couple of real gems by him where he tried to reconcile Mises' praxeology with Aristotelian philosophy, but almost everything I've read by him on foreign policy was confused at best and downright offensive at worst. (He hoped the Argentine dictatorship would "sink the Brits" during the Falkland Islands conflict and somehow convinced himself that the terrorist IRA did not target civilians!! As a Brit, I find both positions pretty sickening.)

Personally I hope that the Objectivist influences in the Mises Institute will continue and increase, working with the Rockwellians on points of agreement and hopefully bringing them round to our way of thinking on everything else.

MH




Post 2

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 11:52amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Great article. I'm sure that I, Lew Rockwell and his other writers, and Noam Chomsky are all more "dangerous enemies of liberty" than either the US government or any foreign aggressor. Nice devotion to reason, there.

Come now.



Post 3

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 12:13pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I think you guys are mistaken and unfair. Not all objectivists are minarchists (which is to say, statists); some are anarchists. As for the state been "necessary" and good--there was no state in Galt's Gulch. Rand was a reluctant anarchist herself, she just didn't want to admit it. As for the state being good--please name a single state that has ever failed to be or become tyrannical. Surely not even modern tow the line Randians would argue our current state, with its confiscatory taxation and regulation, is a "good" state.

As for the influence of Objectivism growing amoung Rockwellians--I would not count on it.



Post 4

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 12:28pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Rand was a reluctant anarchist herself, she just didn't want to admit it.
This statement is untrue. She stated her position quite clearly in her non-fiction.

Ethan




Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 12:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"Not all objectivists are minarchists (which is to say, statists); some are anarchists. As for the state been [sic] "necessary" and good--there was no state in Galt's Gulch."

If Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand (and *NO* I do not mean anything she ever wrote but the fundamentals of her philosophy as laid down by Rand herself), then no anarchist can claim to be an Objectivist.  He can adopt any label he wants but Objectivist isn't one of them - not in truth, anyway.  Ayn Rand quite emphatically rejected anarchism in her writings.  (Related note: there have been well-reasoned articles presented by both Perigo and Sciabarra on this site relating to what makes an Objectivist such.)

As far as the reference to Galt's Gulch, this is a distortion of written statements by Ayn Rand herself.    She confirmed that Galt's Gulch was a private club, owned by Midas Mulligan, and that it therefore followed Mulligan's rules.  It was not intended to be a presentation of a workable "society".

Jason




Post 6

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 3:25pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I stand by my earlier comments regarding Rothbard's foreign policy views, but I guess there is a tendency (including by me) to "fixate" too much on those relatively few remarks. Truth be told I have to say I've generally enjoyed most of what I've read by him, and the dubious foreign policy stuff is only a very small part of his total output. As it stands he was a highly prolific (if somewhat flawed) advocate for liberty, and his mistakes over foreign affairs shouldn't detract from that. (But nor of course should those flaws be glossed over.) As with Rand, Mises, Aristotle et al I guess it's a case of learning what we can from what he got right while recognising those very real areas where he was wrong.

I'm sorry that there seems to be mutual enmity between Objectivists and Rothbardians, but despite Mr Kinsella's remarks I do hope that what co-operation there has been on LRC and via the Mises Institute will continue. I can only wonder what might have been had Rothbard worked from a more consistently Objectivist position.

MH




Post 7

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 3:41pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
M. Gregory

As you may know, most of us believe that threats to liberty begin with efvil philosophy such as yours, which states that war (no matter what, you wrote it if you doubt it) is inherently bad, that the State is inherently bad, and that you dogmatically pro-market, no matter what.  Despite your objections, your evil philosophy (which embraces Christianity as a legitimate vehicle for liberty, but rejects war, despite all of the successful examples of war and the dismal failures of Christianity) is a threat to freedom.  You certainly don't mean wars of self-defense, but being "anti-war" with no given context means exactly that: anti-ALL-war, no matter what.  So, like or not, yes, you are a greater threat to liberty, because you are the worm in the apple.  I can think of no foreign power that could destroy this country more thoroughly than your philosophy could.

Anarchy is evil because it allows for violent gangs to roam the countryside, enforcing their own law and order.  Without state-run police, how does the average citizen receive justice?  In the private courts, which are subject to corruption and justice for the highest bidder? 

One final question: why are you even a member of an Objectivist site, when you clearly are opposed to us?

(Edited by Steven Druckenmiller on 1/31, 3:43pm)




Post 8

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 4:51pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Actually, Mr. Druckenmiller, you have some of my views wrong, which is understandable.

First of all, I am not a Christian. I do think Christianity has a lot going for it in the history of liberty. It was largely Christian philosophy that gave root to individualist principles in the Enlightenment, and certainly to the abolition of slavery.

I think Objectivism has some good insights too. But either philosophy – any philosophy – can be corrupted and used for grave evils, once it is married to statism. Nothing encourages statism more than war.

War has far more failures in world history than successes. War has killed hundreds of millions of people. War has expanded states, turning them into totalitarian regimes.

I am against war. This is not to say that I wouldn't fight if I were attacked. It is not to say that revolutionaries fighting their government or people fighting to defend their homes and country from invaders are as bad as the offenders. Even in a "just war," the good guys are fighting against war, fighting to stop war, fighting to get themselves out of war. And even a defensible, defensive war is a disaster, which expands the state (usually), leads to death and loss of liberty and property. Even if a war must be fought (or, rather, even if aggressive warriors must be violently resisted), war itself is a bane on civilization, and so, of course, I oppose it.

To say, "I can think of no foreign power that could destroy this country more thoroughly than your philosophy could," is to totally ignore reason and reality. Russia has enough nuclear weapons to kill a rather large segment of America's population, if it felt inclined.

You also say, "Anarchy is evil because it allows for violent gangs to roam the countryside, enforcing their own law and order." Actually, anarchy is the belief that it is never legitimate for violent gangs to enforce their own law and order. Statists think that such gangs are justifiable; they only call those gangs "governments" to feel good about them. Look at history. Hundreds of millions have been massacred by violent gangs called governments – this is far more slaughter than can be attributed to private criminals. In our own country, too, government is far more violent and robs far more than private gangs – or am I missing something? Do private criminals indeed steal more than the 50% of GDP than the U.S. government and the state governments steal?

The worst-case scenario under anarchy would be, and you are right about this, if gangs became sufficiently organized to terrorize the people and steal their wealth systematically. In other words, the worst case scenario would be the reemergence of governments. As an anarchist, I believe people must stop granting legitimacy to any aggression, and especially to institutionalized, monopolized aggression, which is given a pass simply by the virtue of it being "government."

Government is indeed just another term for aggression, crime and plunder, legalized and legitimized falsely in the minds of men and women who have succumbed to the temptations of statist collectivism. It is, as you say, a philosophical problem that most threatens liberty. That problem is the idea that violence and aggression are okay, so long as they are conducted by people wearing official uniforms.








Post 9

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 8:40pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
M. Gregory

Are you listening to yourself and your constant contradictions?

I am against war. 
Except, you go on to say that you think there is such a thing as a "just war" (should we take your quotes to say that you mean no war is ever just?) and that it is a war against war.  This is rhetorical nonsense, and to state that you are inherently opposed to war, no matter what the consequence, outcome or morality of said war, shows your dogmatism and faith in the destructive ideology of pacifism. I note that you state that war only "usually" expands the state, which means that you recognize that waging war does not reflexively increase the powers of the state.

Yes, Russia, in the immediacy, could destroy our buildings, incinerate some of our people and cause devastation.  Setting aside for the moment that there is no reason to think Russia will do so, the thorough destruction of America will come from within, from not only collectivist philosophies, but from anarchist ones too.  Your philosophy is the equivalent of an H-bomb to the ideas and principles of this nation, of miniarchist government and a rational place for the state.

I like the charlatan games you play, but government qua  government is not a terrorist, thieving organization, it can be and should be strictly limited by a Constitution.  Just because governments operate in this way (and there is no way that our government is as bad as the rule of a ruthless gang) doesn't make gangs and government in principle morally equivalent.

"It is not to say that revolutionaries fighting their government or people fighting to defend their homes and country from invaders are as bad as the offenders."
 
First of all, are you suggesting that the slaughter of American soldiers is justified, because you most certainly see them as the offenders, the invaders, and an individual soldier's failure to stand up to "this evil invasion" makes him a moral target for insurgents?

Secondly, you stating that those who have a moral case for waging war "defend(ing) their homes and country" are not "as bad" as the offenders means you think that even the most moral warriors have evil in them, that the mere fact that they wage war makes them evil, even if it is justified.

You, in essence, make no sense and play vocabulary and philosophical games. You try to reconcile a just war and pacifism, try to justify the insurgency in Iraq while stating that those justified to defend their homes are still evil for doing so. It is this epistemological chaos that defines Rockwellians. Thank you for providing such a shining example.




Post 10

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 8:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Anthony,

If you're going to try to make a case for anarchy on an Objectivist site, displaying the kind of contradictory intellectual sloppiness that one would expect from a Democratic Party strategist is not the way to go.

If you think any force-weilding entity is an equally evil gang of thugs (which, in one form, Objectivists are naive enough to call "governments"), then by your own admission, there would be several wild gangs of thugs in an anarchist society, as opposed to one tamed, restricted and often protective gang of thugs in a minarchist one. So it's better to have fifty governments that aren't called such, than to have one government that is called such.

Does all this merely come down to a fear of the G-word, or is your position in dire need of some coherence?

Alec




Post 11

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 9:43pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Actually, anarchy is the belief that it is never legitimate for violent gangs to enforce their own law and order.


Yes, that's a point that often gets missed in talk about anarchy—once those violent gangs emerge and start enforcing their will, then that system ceases to be anarchy.

So, yes, an anarchy could well be the ideal libertarian society—but if and only if it were stable enough to have a sustained existence qua anarchy. So what you have to show, if you want to advocate anarchy, is that an anarchic society can prevent the formation of these violent gangs and the subsequent transformation of that society into something other than an anarchy.

Personally, I doubt it, because an anarchy would require perfect availability of information. Each member of the society needs to have immediate and accurate knowledge of who is trustworthy, who is known to commit fraud, and who is a crazy mass murderer. As technology increases, of course, information availability increases as well, but it would basically need to increase to infinity for anarchy to be possible. As I see it.



Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 12

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 9:09pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
The smears of various writers on LRC are unfair and simply incorrect. I would expect more of serious Objectivists.

I would consider myself basically an Objectivist, but I don't know what the definition in vogue is. If it means agreeing with everything Rand wrote, no; if it means agreeing w/ the basics of her "standing on one foot" summary--reason, capitalism, rational egoism etc.--I am in basic agreement. I simply believe Rand was a bright woman who did great criticism, and very good synthesis, but since this was such a singular accomplishment back in her day, she let her stardom go to her head. She felt compelled to elevate even her personal prefernces into moral abolutes, like her views on music, art, cigarrette smoking, etc. Any grownup can disregard that silly stuff and appreciate what she was good at.

"If you think any force-weilding entity is an equally evil gang of thugs (which, in one form, Objectivists are naive enough to call "governments"), then by your own admission, there would be several wild gangs of thugs in an anarchist society, as opposed to one tamed, restricted and often protective gang of thugs in a minarchist one. So it's better to have fifty governments that aren't called such, than to have one government that is called such."

Here's the problem Objectivists never answer. Logicaly, you have to favor one-world government, as there is currently anarchy between nations. But you never do. So somehow, you believe order is possible between international actors, despite the presence of a global superstate. But it's not possible for poeple. As if states are better than people. Bah. Silly.

Rand herself had Galt say that no man may start the use of force. This is quite simple, and quite good. A state necessarily initiates force, and thus commits aggression, as I have elaborated in this article: What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist. If you endorse any state, you either think some aggression is okay, or you think states don't necessarily employ aggression. One or the other. Which is it?



Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 13

Monday, January 31, 2005 - 10:24pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I used to think that objectivists were likely to be more respectful of reason than non-objectivist libertarians, and everyone else. I have always felt solidarity and joy with Rand's upholding reason as an epistemological absolute; with her illuminating, impassioned proof that the defense of individual liberty reduces to the defense of reason; that moral values and individual rights are not optional, or imaginary, or mysterious, but are proven, natural facts of human existence, just as gravity, natural selection, or planetary movements are explainable, provable features of the broader natural order. Peikoff's "The Ominous Parallels" is one of my favorite books.

However, I have recently changed my mind. Objectivists are probably no more or less respectful of evidence, logic, and facts than other libertarians of whatever persuasion.
I've reached this conclusion based on the cheerleading that passes for thoughtful commentary about the non-defensive invasion of Iraq by every Objectivist organization of which I am aware. The advocacy of some Objectivist commentators of using nuclear weapons to incinerate a big percentage of the unfortunates who inhabit the Middle East srikes me as loony, boiling malice. Reading angry, mudslinging posts in response to factual evidence posted about past American war-making (non-defensive wars, each and every one, except the Revolution and a very few other encounters) astonished me. In reponse to factual information--for example that it has been proven that FDR was complicit in the "surprise attack" on Pearl Harbor, that Germany posed no offensive threat to Americans, and that FDR eagerly sought to push reluctant Americans into a European war that did not threaten them--I saw posted responses that apparently sought to discredit my arguments by making reference to "malevolence" (for "rewriting history"), "state-hating" (apparently, for pointing out that America's Second Crusade was not about US defense, though I'm no anarchist), "context-dropping", "concrete-bound", "bottom-trawling", "Saddamite", etc. etc.

Of course, those posts may not reflect accurately the mind set of most Objectivists.  But many of the posts I have read, including that of Bob Bidinotto about the impossibility of choosing between "state-haters" and "nihilists", plus other posts questioning why commentators would "hang around" an Objectivist web site (Go home!) have opened my eyes. Objectivism has evolved as a sort of in-bred, cult-like ideological movement, (some of ) whose participants seem to fear intellectual challenge, prefer denunciation to refutation, and generally come across as shrill and well...unreasonable. Bidinotto's brief commentary about the posts made by Anthony Gregory (with whom I have areas of agreement and disagreement) and presumably myself, read like a religious leader inveighing the Faithful to avert their eyes from sin: "Satan, get thee behind me!"

Of course, Objectivists have no monopoly on intellectual insecurity or mudslinging. My impression of many writers who contribute to Lew Rockwell's web magazine is similar. The cultures of the two groups are very different: LRC is less inbred, and does not display the same code-word language that strikes me as cult-like. But the propensity for goofy superstition on LRC is high indeed. There are those who argue that apparent logical defects in "evolution" somehow "prove" that "intelligent design" (which, of course, requires no proof, only Faith) is a reasonable and preferrable alternative. Most of LRC's commentators believe that religious superstition and the renunciation of reason (as concerns ultimate questions) somehow square with individualism. Point out to almost any of the Austrian economists writing for LRC (or the Mises Institute) the Achilles Heel of the scientism and "value-free" perspective characteristic of Mises and Hayek, a perspective that sees man as a sort of blind utility maximizer rather than moral agent, and you'll encounter insecurity, stubbornness, and...silence.

Rothbard was a great economist and was, in fact, a "state-hater"--and not only in the abstract. I agree with a lot of what he wrote about foreign policy, but I also think his hatred of the American state--well-deserved, and yet distorted--skewed his commentary on lots of stuff, including for example his depiction of the Korean War as having been caused by the South of Korea aggressing on the North. He hated Rand and Randians for reasons that I suspect were more personal than ideological.

Finally, the arguments that I have read by Objectivists about the incompatibility of individual liberty and "anarchy" are unpersuasive and do not address the issue with which Rothbard and the other advocates of "private justice" are legitimately concerned. This issue boils down to the seeming antagonism between government and voluntarism. Denouncing thinkers who explore this crucial issue as "state haters" and "subjectivists" doesn't prove anything. Even Ayn Rand reasoned that taxation should be replaced with voluntary user fees. Very likely private defense organizations would coalesce into a federal system of voluntary government, as Robert Nozick explained, provided that its citizens lived under a cultural/philosophical regime of reason. Subtract a culture of reason from the mix, and the outcome will be tyranny, whether the starting point is private justice agencies or a night-watchman state. For the abandonment of reason as an ultimate frame of reference guarantees a proliferation of unproven, rival, ethical claims and endless warfare.




Sanction: 2, No Sanction: 0
Post 14

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 12:54amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steven Druckenmiller:

Except, you go on to say that you think there is such a thing as a "just war" (should we take your quotes to say that you mean no war is ever just?) and that it is a war against war.  This is rhetorical nonsense, and to state that you are inherently opposed to war, no matter what the consequence, outcome or morality of said war, shows your dogmatism and faith in the destructive ideology of pacifism. I note that you state that war only "usually" expands the state, which means that you recognize that waging war does not reflexively increase the powers of the state.


I am opposed to war, yes. What that means exactly depends on how you define war. If war in an organized battle of violence between states, I am against it, since I am against states, since I am against initiating force, as Rand claimed to be. As Stephan points out, you can't support a limited state (much less a warfare state, I would add) without advocating the initation of force.

And it doesn't always expand the state, though I honestly can't think of any case in which it didn't (at least while the war was on).

I like the charlatan games you play, but government qua  government is not a terrorist, thieving organization, it can be and should be strictly limited by a Constitution.  Just because governments operate in this way (and there is no way that our government is as bad as the rule of a ruthless gang) doesn't make gangs and government in principle morally equivalent.


"Our" government does not seem as bad as a ruthless gang because people grant it legitimacy. It needs not use active, overt violence all the time. But what gang commits as much theft as the U.S. government? What organization on earth takes by force more than $2.4 trillion a year? And what is the difference between taxation and theft? Nothing, which is why I thought Objectivists were morally opposed to taxation.

"It is not to say that revolutionaries fighting their government or people fighting to defend their homes and country from invaders are as bad as the offenders."
 
First of all, are you suggesting that the slaughter of American soldiers is justified, because you most certainly see them as the offenders, the invaders, and an individual soldier's failure to stand up to "this evil invasion" makes him a moral target for insurgents?

Secondly, you stating that those who have a moral case for waging war "defend(ing) their homes and country" are not "as bad" as the offenders means you think that even the most moral warriors have evil in them, that the mere fact that they wage war makes them evil, even if it is justified.


It depends on the circumstances. If a soldier is about to shoot up an innocent man, would you deny that the innocent man has a right to self-defense? Organized insurgencies, like the one in Iraq currently, usually have quite a few unsavory characters doing unsavory things.

Even when the more defensive organization in a war might be less bad, it can still be bad. (Though, I'm inclined to think that there are insurgents in Iraq who are worse than most American soldiers, in that they intentionally kill civilians.)

The American Revolution was a just cause. It was all the more just because there wasn't much of an organized American government controlling the entire rebellion. However, even here, the colonists committed grave evils, such as stealing the property of loyalists, torturing and killing some of them, and taxing people. So they did bad things, but they were certainly less bad than the British in that conflict. While many Americans did immoral things, the entire British cause in that conflict was inherently wrong.

But the Americans didn't choose to wage war. They were, for the most part, only protecting their homes, liberty and property.


Alec Mouhibian:
If you think any force-weilding entity is an equally evil gang of thugs (which, in one form, Objectivists are naive enough to call "governments"), then by your own admission, there would be several wild gangs of thugs in an anarchist society, as opposed to one tamed, restricted and often protective gang of thugs in a minarchist one. So it's better to have fifty governments that aren't called such, than to have one government that is called such.

Does all this merely come down to a fear of the G-word, or is your position in dire need of some coherence?


There's a difference between "force-wielding," which can be justified, and an institution of aggression. Aggression, the initiation of force, is immoral. States practice this by virtue of their nature. They are monopolies of force. If what they do is indeed legitimate, then by forbidding competition –– forbidding agencies from practicing the same legitimate, justifed force -- they are committing aggression and initiating force upon competitors. If states indeed monopolize force such that competitors can't practice what the states practice, then either what the states practice is inherently immoral, or what states practice can be rightful, in which case it is inherently immoral to use force against other entities that wish to do the same. The state is the contradiction, here, not the anarchist philosophy.

Under market anarchy, there wouldn't be any agencies that monopolize aggressive violence, or practice such violence systematically -- that's what makes it anarchy. I'm not saying this is likely to happen. I'm not saying it will happen. All I'm saying, when I say I'm an anarchist, is that there's no moral justification for initiating force, for states, or for criminal gangs at all. As a libertarian anarchist with some familiarity with history and free market economics, I also think that not only is aggression immoral and unjustifiable in ethical terms, but that it is an impractical means of shaping and running society. It achieves and results in little good, much evil and great calamity. So, in practical terms, even though I don't delude myself into thinking I'll ever likely see anarchy in my life, my anarchism is simply where I'm coming from in analyzing any political issue. If a given proposal expands state violence, it is immoral and almost certainly impractical. Though I always believe coercion is immoral, I guide my practical and utilitarian outlook on life by looking at economics and history.

Now, it's possible for an immoral act to lead to the seemingly lesser of two immoral outcomes. If someone is raping a woman on the street, and I steal someone's gun to defend the woman, I might very well, and probably should, be pardoned for the offense. But I still committed a crime. Individuals might sometimes need to make these calculations in these very strange situations, but states can't be trusted to bring good out of evil. Sometimes it might seem to happen incidentally, but states shouldn't be given power to make these decisions. For example, when the North Vietnamese Communists invaded Cambodia and overturned the even bloodier, more murderous Cambodian Communists, a bean-counting analysis might indicate that more people were, on balance, better off than before. However, I doubt very much that libertarians would consider the North Vietnamese Communist regime moral or "libertarian" simply because of this historical anomoly. Governments are capable of doing good things here and there. So is the Mafia. That's does not negate the moral and economic case against the state per se, or organized crime.

In the case of this current war on terrorism, I see much immorality and little practicality, especially if the goal is protecting freedom and lives, whether American or foreign.





Post 15

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 12:58amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
[Goverment] can be and should be strictly limited by a Constitution.


Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see the goverment bound by the Constitution, the tighter the better. For one thing, the entire War on Terrorism would have to come to an end.

But you know what? I can't think of any time in American history that the U.S. government obeyed the Constitution. Can you?



Post 16

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 1:30amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
@Mark, well said. This decency of the Objectivists, to ignore facts that don't fit their ideology is a dangerous habit and wide-spread.

@Alec:

That's one of the key figures. If there are multiple gangs, all equally strong, then there either would be no law at all, or they would create law to have peace. Either we'd have an Orwellian state, or it would be the perfect society (perhaps like Galt's Gulch). Given human nature, I doubt the latter.

@Duckmiller:

I agree that his definition of all wars being wrong is a bit sloppy. I tend to believe that he meant: "All wars fought by government are injust and extend government power over their people."

Recent example: Iraq/Afghan war -> Patriot Acts and Homeland Security.

Why should there be no reason for Russia to kill the US? Putin is not exactly friendly towards Democracy and Liberty.

I have to agree with you that a government has one advantage. It is somehow regarded by people as an abstract thing. And by this disolution of government from amoral egoism (yes, this one really exists) in the mind of the foot soldiers of the government (Police, Army and so on) it has proven to be stable, e.g. not kill any of its citizens. (Perhaps this is the strongest example pro anarchism, because it proves that a structure of no-power at all can work.) The government itself doesn't have any power, if we face it truly. The legislation and the jurisdiction are fine, but without the military or the police, they'd be useless.
It's the abstract body that somehow can limit the military to be rather servient than oppressive.
I still have some problems why exactly it is that way, but I think I am coming closer to the factors involved here.

First of all, are you suggesting that the slaughter of American soldiers is justified, because you most certainly see them as the offenders, the invaders, and an individual soldier's failure to stand up to "this evil invasion" makes him a moral target
Well, would you have stand up if a state tried to impose something on you and you were taught since the beginning of your life that they are evil?
And all the media shows you that they are only send to get your oil, to build a state of their likening and to occupy you?
I doubt that you would be so kindly if they try to prove everything wrong you have been living for. Isn't this partly why you reject anarchism? Are you better?

Besides, the insurgents are a totally different kind of thing, he didn't meant in his comment. He excluded terrorists specifically, because they represent a different kind of threat. He talks about the Revolutionaries, and 90% of the insurgents are from OTHER countries, thus your argument lacks.
Secondly, you stating that those who have a moral case for waging war "defend(ing) their homes and country" are not "as bad" as the offenders means you think that even the most moral warriors have evil in them, that the mere fact that they wage war makes them evil, even if it is justified
So, you call Abu Ghreib the work of "moral warriors". Somehow I doubt that I'd truly like your moral...

P.S.: I don't want to make the insurgents somehow moral, they are evil beyond everything and the US has any right to attack them. But in regard to the Iraqi insurgents this is a home-made problem. They came with the US and they will be gone with the US.




Post 17

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 7:36amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I'm weary of hearing the "non-defensive" argument against the Iraq war. This has been repudiated numerous times here. People seem to be confused about this issue so let me see if I can lay it out simply.

1) Saddam Hussein is not an honest person.
2) Saddam Hussein constantly inhibited the U.N. inspectors from doing there jobs.
3) Saddam Hussein said "we have no WMD."
4) Saddam Hussein rewarded Palestinian Suicide Bombers families with $$.
5) Saddam Hussein was a totalitarian murdering torturing nut case.
6) Saddam Hussein's forces regularly attacked U.S. forces in the no-fly zones.
7) Saddam Hussein could have given WMD technology to terrorists and/or financially supported terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and businesses both in the U.S. and abroad.
8) We gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatem.
9) We invaded Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power and established a means for the Iraqi people to govern themselves.
10) We thus attracted the attention of Al Qaida and other terrorist groups in Iraq who wanted either the destruction of the U.S., its citizens, and/or its freedom loving way of life and to return Iraq to the days of dictatorship.
11) We are fighting said terrorists in Iraq, Afganistan, elswhere.

Where do you get the idea that this is not defensive? Should we let them strike first? They did. The invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia where U.S. citizens and businesses have interests. WAKE UP!




Post 18

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 7:36amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark Humphrey: Really excellent post.

But you write, "Most of LRC's commentators believe that religious superstition and the renunciation of reason (as concerns ultimate questions) somehow square with individualism. Point out to almost any of the Austrian economists writing for LRC (or the Mises Institute) the Achilles Heel of the scientism and "value-free" perspective characteristic of Mises and Hayek, a perspective that sees man as a sort of blind utility maximizer rather than moral agent, and you'll encounter insecurity, stubbornness, and...silence."

I don't agree with you here, as one of the LRC commentators. I am as I said basically an Objectivist on the basica fundamentals, and do not buy into religious superstition, Confederacy worship, evolution-doubt, etc. Some do; but I don't think it's even a majority. It's definitely not a dominant theme, though it may jump out at some and appear to be disproportionate. As for your latter comment about scientism and value free... what are you talking about? Most Misesians, like Rothbard and Hoppe, attack scientism vigorously. As for "blind utility maximizers," what exactly are you saying? As a purely logical matter, when someone acts they are indeed acting rationally, in a *narrow* sense--not necessarily in the Randian sense, of course. And many Misesians--again, like Rothbard and Hoppe--indeed eschew utilitarianism of any sort and adopt a view of libertarian rights very compatible with Rand's views. What are you talking about?



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 19

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 8:31amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"1) Saddam Hussein is not an honest person."

Of course not. He's a politician.

"2) Saddam Hussein constantly inhibited the U.N. inspectors from doing there jobs."

No, that was a lie.

"3) Saddam Hussein said "we have no WMD.""

And....?

"4) Saddam Hussein rewarded Palestinian Suicide Bombers families with $$."

True.

"5) Saddam Hussein was a totalitarian murdering torturing nut case."

He was authoritarian, I wouldn't say totalitarian. But at any rate, he did his most murder while a U.S. ally.

"6) Saddam Hussein's forces regularly attacked U.S. forces in the no-fly zones."

Americans don't have a right to enforce no-fly zones wherever they want, you know.

"7) Saddam Hussein could have given WMD technology to terrorists and/or financially supported terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and businesses both in the U.S. and abroad."

Yeah, and so could any dictator.

"8) We gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatem."

Bush gave Saddam a few ultimatems, and changed the terms of them whenever Saddam seemed like he might comply.

"9) We invaded Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power and established a means for the Iraqi people to govern themselves."

"We" didn't do this. The U.S. government did the first thing. The second one can't be called yet. (Though last time the U.S. government did regime change in Iraq, it was disaster: remember, when the U.S. helped Saddam rise to power?

"10) We thus attracted the attention of Al Qaida and other terrorist groups in Iraq who wanted either the destruction of the U.S., its citizens, and/or its freedom loving way of life and to return Iraq to the days of dictatorship."

Al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until this stupid war.

"11) We are fighting said terrorists in Iraq, Afganistan, elswhere.

Where do you get the idea that this is not defensive? Should we let them strike first? They did. The invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia where U.S. citizens and businesses have interests. WAKE UP!"

Saddam invaded Kuwait, it's true. And Bush I invaded Panama. That doesn't mean that France has a right to invade the United States.

A defensive war isn't merely a war against a country with a bad leader. There are dozens of countries with horrible ruling despots. That doesn't give "us" a right to kill tens of thousands of those people.

Saddam is safe in a cell right now. This wasn't a defensive war because the people that force was initiated against didn't initiate force upon American. Period. Every innocent victim of U.S. war is a murder victim. People don't lose their right to not be killed by the U.S. only by virtue of having a murderous ruler. (Especially if that ruler was armed, assisted, funded, and given intelligence by the U.S., and committed his greatest crimes with U.S. help.)



Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.