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Wednesday, October 31 - 8:50pmSanction this postReply
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If I were sipping tea with Sanjay, I'd like to be able to have the following conversation:

------------------------------------------------------
Ed:
How's your tea, Sanjay?

Sanjay:
Good, but why should you care? You are an Objectivist and therefore don't care about anything or anyone who doesn't immediately advance your narrowly-construable self-interest.

Ed:
Sanjay, instead of personally attacking each other, why don't we attempt to have a rational discussion?

Sanjay:
I don't normally engage in that kind of a thing, but alright, I'll give it a whirl.

Ed:
You wrote an article in the Huffing-and-puffington Post regarding how Ayn Rand would let everyone die in Hurricane Sandy.

Sanjay:
Yes, I wrote it because it is completely and totally true and it is ...

Ed:
Can I ask you a question?

Sanjay:
Well, you just interrupted my tirade, so go ahead.

Ed:
In your article, you postulated a hypothetical, what-if scenario regarding what would have happened if Ayn Rand (or Glenn Beck) were in charge. But, instead of postulating hypotheticals, why don't we look -- for just a moment -- at facts and evidence.

Sanjay:
Well, I don't like facts and evidence because they so very often contradict my own personal feelings on matters, but I will humor you. What kind of facts and evidence do you have?

Ed:
Well, like I was saying, instead of conjecture, let's look to see what kinds of results have actually happened in places that live by different philosophies. For example, did you know that Haiti and the Dominican Republic are next-door neighors forming one single island?

Sanjay:
Oh yes, I was completely and totally aware of that.

Ed:
And did you know that Haiti is much more collectivist than the Dominican Republic?

Sanjay:
Well, that Aristide guy was a liberation theologist (a race-based communist), so I guess you do have a point there.

Ed:
How many people do you think died on this more-collectivist side of the island of Hispaniola?

Sanjay:
Hah! I don't have to think! I know. According to ABCNews, 52 people died in Haiti.

Ed:
Well, how many people do you think died in the Dominican Republic?

Sanjay:
Well, they're on the same island, so I would say -- because collectivism doesn't create any dangers for mankind -- I would say about the same number of people died in the Dominican Republic as died in Haiti, plus or minus 20% or so (to rule out statistical variation).

Ed:
So you'd say that, since 52 people died in Haiti, and since Haiti is on the same island as the Dominican Republic, and since collectivism doesn't create any dangers for mankind, then about 40-60 people would be found dead in the Dominican Republic.

Sanjay:
Yeah, but what are you getting at? What are you trying to prove?

Ed:
That one of your 3 statements is wrong.

Sanjay:
What are my statements again?

Ed:
1) 52 people died in Haiti
2) Haiti is on the same island as the Dominican Republic
3) collectivism doesn't create danger for mankind

Sanjay:
But how do you know that one of these 3 things is wrong? Did less people die in the Dominican Republic? Was it 35 dead? Because I might be able to explain why it was only 35 dead in the Dominican Republic vs. 52 dead in ...

Ed:
It was 2.

Sanjay:
[Says nothing. Getting red-faced.]

Ed:
26 times as many people died in Haiti as did in the Dominican Republic.

Sanjay:
[Evil stare]

Ed:
In the country that was more collectivist, 26 times as many ...

Sanjay:
[Gets up and leaves, without even saying "Good day"]
------------------------------------------------------

:-)

Ed

Reference:
http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/hurricane-sandy-leaves-destruction-wake/story?id=17588956

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 11/01, 4:15am)




Post 1

Thursday, November 1 - 11:20amSanction this postReply
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The line that struck me was the following:

"any service provided for free is irrational and immoral since it violates the tenet of self-interest"

I think this is possibly the biggest misunderstanding of many people with rational selfishness. If he means "free" in a purely monetary sense, then that is not selfishness, as any rational person has values aside from money. Any rational person I could think of would value justice, life, companionship, safety, peace...the list is long.



Post 2

Thursday, November 1 - 7:08pmSanction this postReply
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Good point, Dan.

Ed




Post 3

Friday, November 2 - 3:40amSanction this postReply
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For the author, "responsible" means "Respond Sybil," i.e. answering to multiple conflicting personalities, rather than "Response Able," i.e. "able to respond effectively to life's challenges."



Post 4

Friday, November 2 - 2:48pmSanction this postReply
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There is no reason that self-interest cannot co-exist with a common interest, why the private sector cannot co-exist with effective government, why in times of crisis our citizens cannot become the beneficiaries of services they have not paid for directly, and why we cannot be both a profit-seeking people and a charitable one.
I will admit that, while the rest of this article left me foaming at the mouth, I do agree with the above statement.  Having said that......

Regarding the private sector co-existing with effective government:  Having lost my home and most of the contents of it in Hurricane Katrina, I know a little bit about just how effective the government is in emergency.  Especially compared to the private sector.  Without getting into the gory details, I'll just say that my Katrina recovery was primarily facilitated by me, my family, my friends and neighbors, the family and friends of my friends and neighbors, perfect strangers motivated by their own charitable natures, my privately-owned employer and their privately-owned vendors and customers, etc etc etc. 

Regarding citizens becoming the beneficiaries of services they have not paid for directly:  I collected from my insurance (which I paid for).  Otherwise, my son and I were the beneficiaries of a multitude of services, products, and goodwill that we didn't pay a dime for.  Very, very few of those services and products were government funded.  On the other hand, I personally know many many people who took advantage of the funds, food stamps, water, medical care, immunizations, childcare, and an endless list of stuff that became available and stayed available for months after Katrina - people who had not lost one shingle from their homes, were not out of jobs, and had no more need for that stuff than I do right at this very moment.

Regarding why we cannot be both a profit-seeking people and a charitable one:  Since when are we not?  I seek profit and give to charity daily.  I surround myself with people who can seek profit and live charitably at the same time as easily as they can chew gum and walk at the same time.  I have no doubt this forum is filled with people like that.




Post 5

Friday, November 2 - 7:06pmSanction this postReply
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the author of that article doesn't seem to understand that supporting a right to do something does not mean advocating a particular choice of action.



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Post 6

Sunday, November 4 - 5:25pmSanction this postReply
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So, I submitted this comment to HuffPost and it did not make it through the censors:

"Ayn Rand called for return to the real American values of life, freedom and pursuit of happiness - the ideas this country was founded upon- and not the socialist forced redistribution of the people's property. She was and is more American than the majority of Americans today.

The author is either completely misinformed or knowingly deceitful, either of which apparently is a virtue on HuffPost, to call Glenn Beck a torch-bearer for Ayn Rand. The only thing in common is that both call for a limited government but in Rand's case her view is only a conclusion in her comprehensive philosophic system that includes a consistent study of reality, knowledge, ethics, politics and art.

In Rand's view the government's only role is protection of people from other people and not from nature - be it hurricanes or obesity caused by large sodas. If we had such a system there would be no need for the government to take care of the people as the private companies would take its place (and do a better job). Just like when a tree falls on your car or you get injured it is your insurance company that takes care of the situation.

Because private business cannot compete with the government monopoly on emergency response all we have left is government and we must depend on it but this does not make it right. The proper way is to phase out the government involvement over several generations."

I guess the reason is that I picked on HuffPost by suggesting that they willingly misinform and deceive. Now we know that they also suppress criticism when people point that out.




Post 7

Sunday, November 4 - 6:00pmSanction this postReply
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Sam,

I can see why your comment wasn't "aired".

As for the monopoly government has on emergency situation, consider political rule #5, "Never admit that private business can manage something better than government, unless, of course, such admission serves to expand the government in the future."







Post 8

Sunday, November 4 - 7:14pmSanction this postReply
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To be fair to Huffpo, I, and several others, commented on Onkar Ghate's recent piece, "A Liberal Ayn Rand", and they were pro-Rand comments that went through...



Post 9

Sunday, November 4 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
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It did take a while, so if it's a recent post, give it a little time.



Post 10

Monday, November 5 - 11:52amSanction this postReply
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The post was submitted last Friday night.



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