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Post 0

Wednesday, February 26 - 11:18pmSanction this postReply
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Sadly these erosions to freedom rarely if ever progress in a linear fashion.  It looks like this attack was a "testing" of the waters.  As if they said to themselves "is it time yet?"  "No not yet, lets try again at a more opportune time. 



Post 1

Friday, February 28 - 8:19pmSanction this postReply
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Dr. Machan, you write: "When liberty is compromised it soon becomes secondary and no principled defense of it can be provided -- even serious defenders of freedom (e.g., people at the Reason Foundation) will yield to utilitarian justifications for supposedly temporary suspensions of it!" What kinds of examples of such yielding by Reason Foundation writers did you have in mind? Can you give one or two?

 

(Edited by Gabriel Blumenthal on 2/28, 8:21pm)



Post 2

Friday, February 28 - 8:55pmSanction this postReply
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When people began padoodling around with radios, they quickly discovered that all emissions--either their own or the reception of others'--ocupied a discreet frequency of transmission on the wave band that radios could use for send & deliver.

 

The number of these bands is finite, based upon the habit of electrons to bounce around and create interference. Quantum Mechanics led to the transistor, which increased the finitude of bands enormously.  but  having wider spectral birth still meant hogging a bigger share of a finite resource, which is not how capitalism is supposed to work.

 

Rather, the value of capitalism as as system is its ability to create more resources, so a given finitude isn't a problem. In this case, however, not. Free enterprise cannot alter the laws of physics.

 

This is the rationale as to why all countries nationalize the 'air waves'. It's simply not like the publishing of newspapers, which is easily seem as infinite, due tot the internet, etc....So sorry, Tibor,I don't see the slippery slope.

 

Eva



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Post 3

Saturday, March 1 - 10:13amSanction this postReply
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This is the rationale as to why all countries nationalize the 'air waves'. 

The Progressive who calls herself a libertarian speaks again.  The value of capitalism isn't in creating resources.  It's value is in the free association.

 

Why most countries, if not all, nationalize the air waves is about control, not any sense of 'fairness' no matter how many times the politicians say otherwise.  The fact that there are a limited number of broadcast channels for a given technology is meaningless.  Because they are limited, is no justification for government intervention.  The market place is more than capable of buying, selling and renting air time on a given frequency.  The only real freedom will be when government force is not a part of the equation.

 

Matthews doesn't see the problem with having agents of the FCC, the agency that regulates stations, and determines if they get to renew their license to broadcast, in the station monitoring the process of newsgathering, and monitoring how decisions are made regarding what is broadcast.  

 

It really surprises me that we have this progressive, who calls herself a libertarian, who preaches to us right in the middle of our forum as if there any discernable reason or purpose for having a progressive lecture Objectivists on political or ethical principles.  Long ago I got used to the fact that there were Christians who felt a compulsion to enter what they considered dens of inequity to lecture the denizens.  I guess this is the first progressive I've seen who is surretitiously infiltrating an Objectivist group for some strange purpose.



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Post 4

Saturday, March 1 - 5:01pmSanction this postReply
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Eva:

 

You are making an argument from 50 years ago.  Technology has sinced kicked its ass.

 

I guess in theory there are still broadcast stations sharing limited bandwidth via the 'airwaves.'   I seriously doubt there is anyone in your generation who lived in a home where media was restricted to the bandwidth supported by our selectively transmissive damp atmosphere.    You all grew up with CNN/cable.    A single glass fibre can carry 35 billion times the amount of useable spectrum as the atmosphere.   A network consisting of bundles of glass fibres, plural, has far more potential available bandwidth than mankind can possibly imagine over-running.   And we have networks, not 'a' network.

 

 

There is no justificiation for governent control of content in these myriad of choices.   None.    Change the channel.  Change the network.    Being the traffic cop -- running the lottery -- for use of the commons is not close to justification for the government getting involved with judging content on private carriers on non-interfering networks -- even in the same trenches -- even in the same cable bundles -- even in the same fibre bundles -- even in the same fibre.       Government bureacrats are just not that smart, period, regarding what is 'fair' and what is not 'fair.'   Inevitably, criticism of government is regarded as 'unfair.'

 

Now there is a shock.

 

There is a wireless -broadcast- bottleneck/chokepoint; it is important for transmissions to/from spaceborn platforms.   It does not apply to content streaming on your network.. Neither does it apply to your local wireless network (which shares the same spectrum with other wireless networks throughout the world, with no problem at all-- their scope is entirely local, not a problem at all, and not much of a problem locally thanks to spread spectrum technology and things like Walsh Codes...)

 

Your argument applies to those 4 folks with rabbit ears on the TV srill receiving limited broadcast data.    Knock yourself out and regulate what is on those 'airwaves.'   "Radio" is long are already simulcasting as IP and wirelessly going the last 20 feet via local wireless access only, which is becoming endemic.   Radio reception is no longer limited to 'broadcast' or those considerations from FDRs 30s.  

 

Freedom is erupting, governments are clinging to the gig until their fingers bleed, but the limited spectrum argument doesn't bear the slightest technical scrutiny.

 

regards.

Fred.



Post 5

Saturday, March 1 - 9:15pmSanction this postReply
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Fred,

 

I intentionally avoided the optic and satellite issue because it was too in- your- face.

Only huge companies can afford the transmission.

 

So with no ease of entry into the market place, Capitalism does not exist in the sense that at least one Austrian--Hayek--justified its existence.

 

Eva



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Post 6

Sunday, March 2 - 8:51amSanction this postReply
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Matthews,

 

You just parrot the progressive's ideas of what capitalism is, even though they are wrong, then imply capitalism doesn't work, and therefore, by implication government must step in.  Who said that 'ease of entry' is required?  What twisted logic says that because something is difficult, the government must do it?  Oh, yeah, the socialists and progressives say that.  Did you stop to think that if government could just pull almost all of the money out of the private economy, then almost no venture would have any ease of entry and the government could take over and regulate or own all of them.  Isn't that nifty how that works out that way?  

 

Capitalism is the economic description of political liberty.  And liberty is the primary goal.  That is the truth that progressives want to hide.  They also want to make people think that there is no objective, universal morality that would let us define moral boundaries for a government.  These things are inconvienent for those who would move to Washington and be our rulers.



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Post 7

Sunday, March 2 - 9:02amSanction this postReply
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Eva:

 

I've no doubt that capitalism barely exists; the only rational question is, would each of us prefer to live in a tribe moving towards it(the America of over a100 years ago, maybe), or  a tribe moving away from it(as in those ox-cart farmers from the 1980s in the USSR, rught before the very public global failure of centrally planned, command and control 'the' economy running by the state.

 

It's not clear why anyone in America regards following the USSR onto the trash heap of centrally planned command and control 'the' economy running is such a hot idea, unless those someones were once deliberatly crippled by an intellectual onslaught left over from a once global conflict for domination of two contrary ideas:  free association/individual liberty vs. forced association/the state uber alles(and all of its trivially distinguishable variants.)

 

Look, ita not at all clear that America isn't about to fail too; and why not?  America, too, was infected with that nonsense from the turn of the last century; its just that the maggots took longer to carve this much bigger carcass.   Freedom once flourished more here than anywhere else, left a larger carcass to carve.   Carcass carving: great plan.   Even China realized it skipped a step along the way to the bottom of the tribal hill.   You need to let folks build the beast before you carve the carcass.   (ANd then, like an endless movie strip, put them in camps/re-educate them/pull the plug.   Those instructed young with their AK47s loved that shit in Kampuchea; human beings relish those roles, and so, it is foolish to encourage them.  Building a better world, those S4Bs were.)

 

Now that the bones are showing, what is next in this short sighed plan?   The panic in the lifeboat stage?   Can't see any signs of that happening, can we?  

 

regards,

Fred

 

 

PS: S4Bs = shit for brains.



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Post 8

Sunday, March 2 - 9:16amSanction this postReply
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Ease of entry:   Kurt Vonnegut's Lead Weights, in the form of government 'regulation' of those who can dance.   There is no 'ease of entry' until any idiot can organize a network.   I mean, there is never any ease of entry in any field, except the field of endemic dependency/Holy Consumer.   This is emperor wanabes granting themselves a permanent license to be emperors.

 

Those who can dance might start to think in other terms, or might long already have.   It's one thing to focus one's energies and talants and capabilitis in the service of tribal emperors and their constructivist theories-- your life for their visions.    It's another thing to use those same resources to avoid the clumsy tribal forks.

 

As in, today's economies, plural.

 

WIthout actually getting out the whips and fangs, how would the tribal emperor wannabees actually think this could ever succeed in doing anything other than building the sad economies we have today?

 

regards,

Fred

 

 

 

 



Post 9

Sunday, March 2 - 12:45pmSanction this postReply
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re#6

 

Wolfwer,

 

I was parroting Hayek, the Austrian-skool person loved and admired by Rand. Hardly a 'progressive'.

 

For him, capitalism is good because private property enables the widest range of people to accept and legtitimize a government.

 

Then Rand came out with Atlas & 'Ol Fredric von H hit the roof. Having a few, elite know it all's just isn't how the system works, even for said Austrian Skool.

 

Eva



Post 10

Sunday, March 2 - 1:03pmSanction this postReply
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re 7&8:

 

Fred,

 

Not even Warsaw block countries followed the USSR into state command systems. Your slippery slope isn't interesting.

 

People have been talking 'mixed' now for the lact 80++ years. Sometimes markets are beneficial, sometimes not. I'm for finding out more markets based upon practical results, and for seeing what, exactly, the market can do bette than the state. 

 

This is not some ill-concieved mumbo-jumbo dressed up to sound 'philosophical'--or putting lipstick on a pig.

 

Finally, lack of ease of entry into a market is an expressiion used by everyone, regardless of politics. Said lack indicates an oligopoly, or a monopoly. Hayek, for example, said that state ownership is wrong precisely because it tends to behave like a monopoly.

 

OTH, Rand's Galt is pro-monopoly as a fact of nature. Now although this doesn't make it wrong on face value (although it is in other ways!), what followers of Rand cannot do is cite Austrian Skool as intellectual support.

 

To put it mildly, Rand's admiration for Hayek was not shared. For her part, she seemed a bit confused as to why. poor girl!

Rather, Atlas was a big hit, made lots of money, so she simply ingored the hard questions.

 

Eva



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Post 11

Sunday, March 2 - 6:03pmSanction this postReply
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Matthews,

...Hayek, the Austrian-skool person loved and admired by Rand...

 

To put it mildly, Rand's admiration for Hayek was not shared. For her part, she seemed a bit confused as to why. poor girl! Rather, Atlas was a big hit, made lots of money, so she simply ingored the hard questions.

Rand was NOT fond of Hayek and saw him as an enemy.

 

Here is a quote from a letter she wrote to Rose Wilder Lane:

 

"Now to your second question: 'Do those almost with us do more harm than 100% enemies?' I don't think this can be answered with a flat 'yes' or 'no,' because the 'almost' is such a wide term and can cover so many attitudes. I think that each particular case has to be judged on his own performance, but there is one general rule to observe: those who are with us but merely never go far enough, yet never serve the opposite cause in any way, are the ones who do us some good and who are worth educating. Those who agree with us in some respects, yet preach contradictory ideas at the same time, are definitely more harmful than 100% enemies... As an example of the kind of 'almost' I would tolerate, I'd name Ludwig Von Mises... As an example of our most pernicious enemy, I'd name Hayek. That one is poison."

 

In the book edited by Robert Mayhew, Ayn Rand's Marginalia, he has 15 pages of notes she made in the margin of The Road to Serfdom where each and every note rips Hayek fiercely and unrelentingly. She couldn't stand Hayeck.

 ------------

 

Your statement that Rand ignored hard questions because Atlas Shrugged was making lots of money is an ugly, cheap smear that you don't even bother to offer any evidence of.  And your condescending attitude is truly disgusting given how little you know of Rand.

 -------------

 

Is there anyone here that believes, as I do, that Matthews really belongs in the Dissent area and is NOT a friend of Rand, and is not even close to being aligned with any of Rand's basic principles, and has not shown herself to be here for the purpose of learning about Objectivism?  Please speak up if you do, because I think she is no friend of Objectivism, anyone here, Ayn Rand, Individualism, Capitalism, individual rights, or moral principles in general.  Read again Ayn Rand's description of an 'almost with us" versus enemy.   If Rand thought of Hayeck as a pernicious enemy and poison, then anyone who has been spouting the beliefs and attitudes we've seen from Matthews should set our hair on fire!  Does anyone have a single thing she's said (apart from appearing to want to lower taxes) that aligns with Objectivism?

 

(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 3/02, 6:09pm)



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Post 12

Sunday, March 2 - 6:11pmSanction this postReply
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Matthews,

Rand's Galt is pro-monopoly

More nonsense... You need to find a nice anti-Objectivism site where you will be warmly received.



Post 13

Sunday, March 2 - 6:24pmSanction this postReply
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Steve:

 

Rand ' s estate should be paying the Evas of the world a kickback.   

 

Speaking only for me,  all the thin cleanup is more revealing than disturbing. 

 

It's good to learn that central planning was not a significant economic feature of the failed Soviet Union, for example, and that the last hundred years of increasingly mixed economies goodness leading us to these glowing moments of American modernity are something to celebrate.   I know I'm convinced.   

The depths of these arguments are reassuring.

 

Regards,

Fred

 

 



Post 14

Sunday, March 2 - 6:42pmSanction this postReply
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Fred, 

 

I agree with your whimsical sarcasm, but would rather that her skimpy defenses and feeble attacks take place in Dissent.  All things in their proper places, says the good sailor.



Post 15

Sunday, March 2 - 7:06pmSanction this postReply
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re13:

 

I wrote:

 

"Not even Warsaw block countries followed the USSR into state command systems. Your slippery slope isn't interesting."

 

you replied:

 

>>>It's good to learn that central planning was not a significant economic feature of the failed Soviet Union, >>>

 

So have you taken your medicine today? 'State command and central planning are synonyms.

 

EM

 



Post 16

Sunday, March 2 - 7:32pmSanction this postReply
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re Wolfer

 

Perhaps my sarcasm of personal affections was misplaced--never get into a pissing contest with a skunk.

 

Austrian Skool Economics--Mises tossed in with Hayek--is the only thing going this says, 'Any government intervention is bad'. Otherwise, Classical skool people--be they liberal or conservative-- debate on how much is necessary, not 'if'.

 

My position is half conservative (less is better) and only half Austrian, because they cannot do math.

 

As far as a correct Rand-ology goes, she seemed to have taken on a rather bizarre bi-valence, as if tobacco and alcohol was a severe problem. On the one hand, yes, she hated Hayek's 'Roads' although  it gave her amo to say, 'government always messes things up.

 

She likewise hated his and Mises' citation of cycles and false prosperity. Then there was the hate associated with their justifivcation of capitalism as supporting the state via the institution of private property creating many stakeholders. This, of course, lacked requisite ideological purity.

 

In short, she hated the smaller differences between her and the Austrians, while cannabalizing their main thrust: again, no government intervention into the economy. She was a big hater who never thanked others for their influence. Sounds like a spoiled premka, to me.

 

Atlas is about what we call 'monopolies'. Galt was a 'monopolist' , who actually happens to be the main character, as in 'Who is John Galt"? Rand's justification for monopolies is that this economic form corresponds to the skill distribution that naturally occurs among people, in a Gaussian sort of way.

 

Austrians opposed this in principle as 'bad', so there's a rupture in beliefs, of sorts, between the two. But then again, the austrians never borrowed anything from Rand, except possibly tearing pages out of Atlas for cleaning windows.

 

Again,the relationship was all take and no give. Virtue of selfishness, anyone?

 

EM

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Post 17

Sunday, March 2 - 7:54pmSanction this postReply
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Ladies and Gentlemen, 

 

I present post #16, from Eva Matthews, as adequate evidence that she should be lecturing us from the Dissent area.  But, maybe others are enjoying this.  I find I'm not getting much out of it anymore.  She said she came to learn about Objectivism but she seems to know less with each passing day.



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Post 18

Monday, March 3 - 8:36amSanction this postReply
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I am one of the original/founding editors of Reason and have followed the foundation's developments since 1969.  At a recent event I took part in a panel discussion and Virginia Postrel declared that she, for one, believes in the "empirical" approach.  That approach is one that commits one to holding that in any particular case freedom is more likely to be suited to our social/political lives BUT as to whether it is a dependable idea for future decisions, well that needs to be tested on each particular occasion.  No principled commitment to liberty is warranted (since the next time it might not pan out).



Post 19

Monday, March 3 - 8:40amSanction this postReply
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Hayek has never, to my knowledge, admired Rand and Rand didn't admire Hayek.



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