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Saturday, June 23 - 6:59pmSanction this postReply
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When I started learning the philosophy of Objectivism I always puzzled over Rand's willingness to choose the left before the right - at least that's my impression. The left wing socialist policies were obvious - why would she choose them? I grew up in a conservative fundamentalist home so right wing collectivism was not so obvious to me.

 

Recently I've read a few books such as Right Wing Collectivism, Ominous Parallels, DIM Hypothesis, Planned Chaos, The Progressive Era and a number of other books by Mises. I've recently switched from Facebook to MeWe which I've found is largely dominated by people that lean right (or maybe I've not looked hard enough for those on the left.) I am part of a group which promotes the freeing of Tommy Robinson so I can monitor right wing activity. I can say with much greater understanding why the right wing is by far the more dangerous threat. As a chapter in Right Wing Collectivism points out: Left wing economics is no match for right wing resentment.  When people who normally receive the benefits they are paying for everyone who is getting them becomes an enemy. An article on Drudge calls attention tho this same idea when it talks about people who wouldn't necessarily side with the President are finding themselves doing so because of the insanity being displayed from the left and it's insistence on giving things away to people that haven't earned them. 

 

Before leaving Facebook I made a number of posts and the response by some left me stunned. Some of my right leaning friends, who I consider to be intelligent people, took me to task for my warnings of the rise of a "western values" fascist state.  My goal was to warn them of the "western values" fascist state.  It speaks of freedom, religion, family etc but they aren't the kind of people they should support because their end goal isn't what they think. Pat Buchanan had posted two articles on WND validating my concern as he spoke of "the west" and it's "values" as a "people." Traditional conservatives are turning the corner and no longer see western values as universal principles among all men but principles of a select few. They have only a few more hurdles to clear. Buchanan jumps one of those when he wrote about the west no longer having the stomach for "hard choices" and if a "strong leader" like those of the past would even be supported today. Every one he mentioned had something to do with genocide, wars, killing, and wiping out those who would seek to undermine "the west."  YIKES!

 

My wife and I were talking about the border problem and she expressed great fear of what is happening. I admit I am very concerned as well. The building where she works was recently purchased to house immigrants - they are having to move to another location. The word of what was happening leaked out and there are people threatening to show up and protest. I can't believe what is happening. Growing up I recall the back and forth between the left and right could get nasty but there always seemed to be the sense that we could  cross the aisle, shake hands, and be Americans. With the rise of the militant left everything changed. The response was predictable - a rise in a militant right. These two groups are now leading us down a path that must end in violence. While the end goal of communists and fascists are the same their loathing for one another is no secret. From my readings the only hope we have of averting disaster is for the left to abandon many of their cherished social policies so that it takes the teeth from the right. I don't see this happening.



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Saturday, June 23 - 10:43pmSanction this postReply
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Progressivism uses issues they think will be popular, but they use them as Trojan horses.  Any concern for climate, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. is a distant second to the transformation of the culture and the acquisition of power.  This ideology is parasitical.  It finds a popular moral parade and jumps in front of it to look like the parade's leader.  The important thing is that it is grossly dishonest - and effective.

 

The religious right is gaining in power now for several reasons.  One is a backlash. They feel threatened and they are pushing back. 

 

The other is a kind of immunity to political correctness.  This immunity leaves them standing when others are 'depowered' by political correctness.  Imagine that there is a meme niche in our minds where one of three things can happen.  One is that we adopt very basic, orthodox religious beliefs that fill those niches.  A second possibility is that we are kind of empty in that part of our mental ecology.  Very, very few people are that empty of ideas.  The third is that we independent, critical thinkers capable of consciously filling that niche.  Sadly, there are very, very few of these.  And finally, there is the possibility that the niche is filled via political correctness.  Each new graduating college class has been coming into the working world more politically correct than those before.

 

Only one of these will happen.  That means that there is a great competition between the religious right and progressives.  It is a war to see who will become the religion of the future.

 

But the rise of nationalism, populism, and simple-minded jingoism on the right isn't the logical antithesis of progressivism.  Objectivism is.  But the right has not been properly secured with sound moral/epistemological/political principles.  A long-standing, increasing resentment to being lied to, to being made sacrificial animals, and to being shamed by political correctness is the fuel for the rise in militancy.  This is a social/cultural evolution that probably includes many of the people who were before called 'Tea Party' people.  They may have some of the right premises, even if they can't articulate them, but this 'movement' isn't grounded with solid principles.  That is dangerous.  The right can go wrong.

 

But progressivism is far more dangerous.  Listen to the rhetoric.  Peter Fonda says that Trumps 11-year-old boy should be kidnapped and put in a cage with pedophiles.  Literally thousands of attacks on the current administration by saying they are terrorists or Nazis.  And this includes major media outlets!  This level of dehumanizing is a short step from initiating violence.  It too is an evolution.  First, they treat people with different ideas as bad people.  They dehumanize them.  Violence on a wide scale comes next.  If you REALLY thought your nation was being attacked by Nazis wouldn't you get your hands on a gun and go after them?

 

Progressivism is getting progressively worse - and at an increasing rate.  The corrupt are dug in and doing anything they can to avoid having their environment change to where they can't milk it.  Add the increasingly violent totalitarian left, to a rising wave of militant right backlash, to a deeply corrupt special interest hooked to dishonest politicians and the result is an exploding, chaotic culture where individual rights disappear.

 

Dishonest and ignorance make progressivism workable.  The religious right is less than honest in the explanation of their motives.  One of their candidates might get elected on small government or reduced taxes, but in office begin a holy crusade against abortion.  And the corrupt... There are far more than I had ever imagined.  They too are, of course, engaged in deception.



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Sunday, June 24 - 6:39amSanction this postReply
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Steve I agree with you.  The militancy on the left among the progressives is indeed a very real danger.  Their attacks through the media, the party and "grass roots" groups has been whipped into a frenzy.  But what concerns me is the right is just getting started.  I don't believe the president is a Nazi however I believe he uses styles and rhetoric that echoes the philosophers and elite that led Germany down the path of Fascism.  Just this morning I caught Michael Youseff explaining how the west is dying and being overrun with Muslims.  He talked about the radical left, their militancy and the secular subverting of of the west.  (This is a lot of my own paraphrasing but it's how I heard him explain things.)  He went on to say the vacuum caused by secularization has provided a hole that is being filled with either far left ideology or Islam.  Everything he said is largely right the problem is the only solution the right can see.  Christianity (and western tradition) must rise up. I've been listening to altright speakers, been reading their thoughts (here and in Europe) and everything Youseff said would fit into the altright without much modification.  That's the danger of the altright.  They speak about family, the nation, western values and the like.  This movement is just getting started.  Though the left is indeed spouting all kinds of lies and stoking physical violence the right will end whatever the left starts but the result will be the same.  We are living in very dangerous times.  As I said above, the only real way to diffuse this is for the left to abandon its welfare state policies and deregulate but because they are statists through and through this will never happen.  I just don't see how this ends without a violent outcome.

 

As I finished writing the above my wife informed me that the left tweeted - lets say - misinformation regarding the building and organization for whom she works.  There will indeed be protesters when she arrives at work tomorrow.  Many of them don't know what's going and are connecting conspiratorial dots where they don't exist.  What this does is turn people like my wife, who are NOT pro-Trump, into people that appear to be defending him and his policies.  This in turn pushes people like my wife away from a classically left position.  The progressive left is, in effect, creating the very right wing people they say they oppose.  Again, I agree with you Steve, the left is extremely dangerous but it will be the right that will finish this death spiral.  They only lack a few things fascism has been known for and as I said above Buchanan lit the path toward that end in his articles.  It's only a matter of time before some pick up on this and begin echoing similar ideas.  Eventually one will rise that embodies alt right ideology - that person will be given full license to "do whatever it takes."



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Monday, June 25 - 6:23amSanction this postReply
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Just one question for Tim:

 

Can you succinctly describe your position on immigration policy in one sentence?



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Wednesday, June 27 - 9:57amSanction this postReply
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After a few minutes I came back and re-read what I wrote.  I think my closing statement put things a little better so I'm moving it top.

 

The way to diffuse it is to end the welfare state and allow people to move freely.

 

----------------------------------------------

 

Good question Luke.  I've been trying to develop that position and to be honest I don't have one per se.  I forget where I recall reading this but it has stuck with me because it makes sense as I currently understand things:

 

You can have open borders but not a welfare state.  You can have a welfare state (to a certain extent) but not open borders. 

 

My thinking flows along those lines.  Try to vet people coming in but we don't need to stop them per se and if you eliminate all kinds of business and wage restrictions, such as minimum wage and age laws, then people flowing in are more likely to find work and NOT milk the system. This is a VERY simplistic view I know but as I said I'm trying to work through this but as my current understanding (and monitoring of alt right people) what I find for many is extreme resentment of those milking the welfare state.  People are fine if THEY are the ones receiving the benefits but its no longer perceived to be the case.  People feel like they are paying for everyone else.  I believe it was Mises who pointed out that one of the major weaknesses of the EU social state was this very thing - a large migratory influx would cause a rise in right wing fascist tendencies.  I'm operating under that assumption.   

 

 

(Edited by Tim Scobey on 6/27, 9:58am)

 

(Edited by Tim Scobey on 6/27, 10:29am)

 

(Edited by Tim Scobey on 6/27, 12:24pm)



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Wednesday, June 27 - 4:24pmSanction this postReply
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You can have open borders but not a welfare state.  You can have a welfare state (to a certain extent) but not open borders. 

 

I understand the point you're making but I don't agree with the statements.  We shouldn't have a welfare state, no matter what.  And we shouldn't have open borders, no matter what.  (I won't give the reasons why there shouldn't be open borders here since I've written on it extensively in other threads.)



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Wednesday, June 27 - 6:02pmSanction this postReply
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I agree - there shouldn't be a welfare state.  Perhaps we need to explore what we mean by "open borders" because I don't think throwing open the doors is the right course of action either.  As I said - my thoughts on this issue are not developed and I'm welcome to thoughts on the matter.

 

Thanks Steve. 



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Wednesday, June 27 - 10:06pmSanction this postReply
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Tim, there are many libertarians/Objectivists who believe that if a person in the United States want to hire a person who lives outside the country or to rent his house to that person, that the government does not have the right to stop that person from crossing the border to accept the job or rent the house.  The argument is made that since there has been no initiation of force, threat to initiate force, fraud, or theft, that the government would have no basis for intervening.

 

Some people say that it would be okay to stop people at the border, but only to determine that they aren't serious criminals, terrorists or carrying a serious, infectious disease.  I think that is inconsistent since there is no probable cause of an individual rights violation.  If the person hasn't done something inside our nation's jurisdiction, then by what moral right would the government stop the person from crossing the border?

----------------

 

Here is my argument:

 

I say that the government has the moral right to stop people from crossing the border into our country because the government is managing our common property.  Just as the government is charged with managing military bases and courthouses there is a property that is owned, in common, by all citizens.  It is our legal and political system.  This is property of great value.  It makes possible the opportunities we have that people of other nations don't have.  The government is the manager (we already know that it makes laws with the legislative branch, interprets laws with the judicial branch and enforces laws with the executive branch).  Just as copyrights and patents can be part of the property owned in common by the shareholders of a corporation.  Citizens own this set of laws (in a very limited way - that is they have very little in the way of actions they can exercise, just as shareholders have very few actions they can take - sell their shares, vote their shares, and not much more).

 

We, the people, elect representatives.  They act as our property managers of all that government owns.  Just as the people in charge of a courthouse say who can come in, set hours, and so forth, our government has control over who can become a part of our nation - or even just visit it.

 

It's property rights.  If someone came into your home, uninvited, they would be trespassing.  It wouldn't matter that they didn't eat your food or harm you or your property.  



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Thursday, June 28 - 5:48amSanction this postReply
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Thanks Steve.  Great comments.  That gives me something to think about as I attempt to work this out.  

 

To bring this full circle - perhaps my readings on extreme right-wing groups has overblown my thinking - I'm finding demons under every rock.  



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Thursday, June 28 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
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Tim, there are demons aplenty in modern America.  Progressivism is the largest and most immediate threat to our liberty.  Nothing else comes close to the level of threat it poses.



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Wednesday, July 11 - 5:24pmSanction this postReply
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I agree that Ayn Rand had very many good things to say about the left, and much criticism for the right. That covers over a lot of important detail, however.  Ayn Rand was certainly not an advocate of any kind of socialism.  What she admired about the left - and as I recall, she singled out Adlai Stevenson - was their intellectual approach to problems. On the other hand, the right was (and is) mired in folksy me-too-isms and intransigent traditionalism for home, hearth, family, church,  and the vaguest ideas of "Americanism." Rand was neither a family person, nor religious. So, those meant nothing to her: they held no emotional content.  But she did respond positively to the "emotion" of intellectual debate based on ideas.

 

TS: "When I started learning the philosophy of Objectivism I always puzzled over Rand's willingness to choose the left before the right - at least that's my impression. The left wing socialist policies were obvious - why would she choose them? I grew up in a conservative fundamentalist home so right wing collectivism was not so obvious to me."

 

 



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Post 11

Wednesday, July 11 - 9:05pmSanction this postReply
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Did she really speak well of Adlai Stevenson? His reputation as an intellectual was for the most part a fabrication. Which of his books have you read? OK, then which of his books haven't you read?

 

He knew how to flatter real or self-styled intellectuals, and they returned the flattery. I like to think Rand's judgement was better than that, but if you can show me a citatation I'll stand corrected.

 

George Will has had a lot to say about this over the years. He says Stevenson was the inventor of the class prejudice that has been his party's greatest liability ever since. His legacy today would be Hilary Clinton's deplorables speech and the Caren Turner dashcam video.



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