... one of the elders said to him, 'You think you belong to yourself, but you don't! You are owned by your parents, you are owned by your kinsfolk, you are owned by your village, you are owned by God. You can't just do as you please!'
Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (p. 71). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.
“To be self-sufficient is not to require anything else for one’s definition; it is to be identical with oneself and so to be definite. Thus worth consists in ‘in-itselfness’ and self-hood.” --Raphael Demos in THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLATO (1939)
The less I know about other people's affairs, the happier I am. I'm not interested in caring about people. I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes.
Parks and Recreation
I wish no explanation made to our enemies. What they want is a squabble and a fuss; and that they can have if we explain; and they can not have if we don't.
Letter to Cornelius F. McNeil
The road to hell is paved by those who think they know better.
National Review, 9 18 16 http://www.nationalreview.com/corner
When you’re young, meeting thousands of people a year from 'all over the world' can be exciting, but if you already know the type of person you connect with best, it would be smarter to surround yourself with only those people.
Six Things Wrong with New York City
Donald Trump and Paris Hilton share an occupation: publicity whore. Paris Hilton is better at it.
Whoever espies human beauty can be afflicted by no ill: he feels himself in accord with himself and with the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Elective Affinities (1809)
When the FDA endeavors to protect us from ourselves, it ends up preventing us from protecting ourselves.
People say the nicest things about the recently deceased ... or retired. The latter can appreciate it much more.
Wellbeing starts at the lowest level of luxury. Everything below this point is mere survival.
Manfred F. Schieder (1937 - )
The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.
Alfred E. Neuman
Governments play a critical role in the wealth-creating process by enforcing property rights and contracts—legal mechanisms that facilitate voluntary transactions. ... 'The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.' Ayn Rand.
Managerial Economics: A Problem-Solving Approach (MBA Series) Second Edition
“You concede too much power to the state. It may not demand what it cannot coerce. But what love gives, and spirit, cannot be coerced. Either the state leaves that untouched, or we take its law and nail it to the pillory! By heaven! He who would make the state into a school of mores does no know his sin. The state has always been made into hell because man wanted to make it into his heaven.”
By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
A dead man is not a man convinced.
Manfred F. Schieder (1937 - )
Manfred F. Schieder
Neither capitalism nor egoism nor minarchism nor romanticism is the essence of Objectivism. Anarchists may think that the essence of Rand is her politics, but compared to the essential nature of her epistemological method, which anarchists necessarily do not comprehend, her politics and her stands on other more concrete issues amount almost to mere accidents in the Aristotelian sense. Objectivism is the rejection of package deals and of stolen and floating and frozen concepts. Without the analysis of the contextual origin of individual concepts there is no such thing as Objectivism. The concept of rights would never arise if there were not some (potentially objective) third party to which at least one of the parties of a dispute could appeal.
The Concept of Rights and the Social Context
If politics were like sports, we could ask Israel to trade us Benjamin Netanyahu for Barack Obama. Of course, we would have to throw in trillions of dollars to get Israel to agree to the deal, but it would be money well spent.
"The leaders, they're being governed by the industrial complex of Germany," McCain said Thursday. "They might as well have them in the government. It's shameful."
Senator John McCain, R-Arizona
Mr. Obama is a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building. . . . Abroad, the best evidence suggests that he would seek to maintain U.S. leadership and engagement, continue the fight against terrorists, and wage vigorous diplomacy on behalf of U.S. values and interests. Mr. Obama has the potential to become a great president.
Washington Post Oct 17 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/16/AR2008101603436.html
"The biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that's what I intend to reverse when I'm president of the United States."
Barack H. Obama
At what point do folks start seeing the GOP as taking votes away from the libertarian solution???? Notice that both the Dems and GOP despise the libertarians for pretty much the same reason; they see libs as a threat to the tag team do-nothing gig they've got going for decades.
From now on, I'll protect your interests and I'll make your decisions.
Napolean (egalitarian, social engineering, power-broker pig)
DVD: Animal Farm (~37:00 minute-mark); 2004 Digiview Productions, L.L.C.
[The Ivy league schools] are America's stealth seminaries of Social Scientology, preaching and teaching that "S"ociety=God and the State is its proper church, and the annointed few are the chosen Acolytes on a mission to save Mankind from its crass, capitalistic self...'In the nation's service'.
We shall have to share out the fruits of technology among the whole of mankind. The notion that the direct and immediate producers of the fruits of technology have a proprietary right to these fruits will have to be forgotten. After all, who is the producer? Man is a social animal, and the immediate producer has been helped to produce by the whole structure of society, beginning with his own education.
Arnold J. Toynbee
Surviving the Future (1971), Oxford University Press, 1972, p. 95., as quoted in wikipedia @ http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee
A further thought on us and existence: Among the many bad and disgusting lies that religions of all kinds and colors have imposed upon mankind, is the believe that there’s life beyond death, a notion that is a total bogus and fully harmful to all human beings that accept is as truth, for it renders this one and only life we will ever have as superfluous. We know that there is no life after death, but, as Tim Minchin correctly raps, advanced civilization and medicine doubled and even tripled our life’s length; for the life of savages and those who live in lower types of what can barely be called “civilization” scarcely extends to 30 years, with the appalling amount of death during childhood to be added. By accepting the truth of this one and only life, most people would oblige themselves to do their most and very best to fulfill it with a PEACEFUL and PRODUCTIVE existence and, thus, be able to reach happiness. We learn only that THIS existence exists (one of the basic premises of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism) after coming out of our mother’s belly, a fact that Gustave Courbet so aptly showed in his painting “The Origin of the World,” and it will, of course, cease for each of us at the moment of our death. Hence, we should all take to heart my quote that “The world exists for us human beings. It is not we, the human beings, who exist for the world, as the enemies of mankind would have it, for a world without humans lacks every sense of existence.” Should you not accept this for what it means, just think of the following: Can you PROVE the world’s existence BEFORE you were born? Could you PROVE it AFTER you die? So, instead of going out to butcher others, as most religions command, do your best to fulfill a PEACEFUL and PRODUCTIVE life!
Manfred F. Schieder (1937 - )
By definition, the universe is the totality of ALL that exists. It doesn’t define “part of what exists,” for this would be a contradiction against itself and require a new word to define ALL that exists, a useless undertaking, since there is already a word to define ALL that exists, namely “Universe”. It is, thus, an absolute which renders, in itself, those scientists that hold that there are many universes as ignorant of the definition of “Universe”. By definition, “God” is the totality of capacities, characteristics and existence in itself. It is omnicreative, omnipotent, all-knowing, etc. etc. It is not a partiality of what it is, but a totality of it. It is, thus, an absolute. Here we have two absolutes, which, thus, contradict each other. As philosopher Ayn Rand clearly stated, whenever there’s a contradiction, at least one of its premises is wrong. Above absolutes are the two premises of the contradiction, i.e. they are absolute oppositions. Hence, if “God” exists, then the universe doesn’t exist. On the other hand, if the universe exists, its existence renders the existence of “God” impossible. Therefore, since the universe demonstrably exists, “God” does not exist. This, in itself, solves the riddle.
Manfred F. Schieder (1937 - )
"Ayn Rand, I and the Universe"
America's economic might is rooted in an entrepreneurial culture and a passion for innovation and risk-taking, traits nourished by the nation's commitment to the rule of law, property rights, and a predictable set of tax and regulatory policies. Policymakers have lost sight of these fundamental principles in recent years. The next era of American prosperity will be hastened when they return to them.
Wall Street Journal (online); Dec. 13, 2012
... the government must never try to prop up unsound business situations; it must never bail out or lend money to business firms in trouble. Doing this will simply prolong the agony and convert a sharp and quick depression phase into a lingering and chronic disease. The government must never try to prop up wage rates or prices of producer's goods; doing so will prolong and delay indefinitely the completion of the depression-adjustment process; it will cause indefinite and prolonged depression and mass unemployment in the vital capital goods industries. The government must not try to inflate again, in order to get out of the depression. For even if this reinflation succeeds, it will only sow greater trouble later on. The government must do nothing to encourage consumption, and it must not increase its own expenditures, for this will further increase the social consumption/investment ratio. In fact, cutting the government budget will improve the ratio. What the economy needs is not more consumption spending but more saving, in order to validate some of the excessive investments of the boom.
Murray N. Rothbard
Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, 1969
But reality is the readings on my instruments--period.
Dr. Peter Zimmerman, Physicist
One Cat's Opinion
... one cannot give up one's property rights as such, because the very act of giving up a piece of property in exchange for something else is itself an exercise of one's right to the property. Property rights imply the right to use and disposal, and by exchanging one's property for something else, one is disposing of it according to one's wishes. One couldn't exchange it for something else if one didn't have the right to it to begin with. So the right to surrender one's property is only possible if one possesses property rights in the first place -- if one possesses the right to control that which one owns. It is the right to control that which one owns that one cannot give up or surrender.
I live thanks to the humanity of a man who was a German Catholic bon vivant who gambled with his life and his money and his wife's life and proved the point that humanity still exists.
Film: Schindler's List (Bonus Materials; Shoah Foundation interviews of Jews on the list).
Think about it. If the person is socially obtuse and just didn't recognize that they were abusing my hospitality, I've helped educate them. If they have a narcissistic sense of entitlement, I've not let their poor grasp of boundaries become my issue. If they are a bit mean spirited and hoped to take advantage of me, I've stopped them.
The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power not the increase of it. When we resist the concentration of power, we are resisting the powers of death because the concentration of power is what always precedes the destruction of human liberty.
A speech in New York, 1912
... if we continually bear in mind the royal law of 'doing to others as we would be done by,' we should never think of bereaving our fellow creatures of that valuable blessing, liberty, nor endure to grow rich by their bondage. To live in ease and plenty, by the toil of those, whom violence and cruelty have put in our power, is neither consistent with Christianity nor common justice ...
Anthony Benezet (colonial American settler)
Monthly meeting of The Society of Friends, 1754. [see p 232-5 in Great Issues in American History, by Ver Steeg & Hofstadter, Vintage Books]
I have always in my own thought summed up individual liberty, and business liberty, and every other kind of liberty, in the phrase that is common in the sporting world, "A free field and no favor."
U.S. President, Speech, 1912
Trades, to me, can't be forced. Trades happen because two sides each get something they want. Even if you think you have a need and want to do it, there has to be a fit. Somebody else has to have a need.
Ken Holland, Detroit Red Wings' GM
... analysts say the opposition Socialists should draw strength from the demonstrations. The leftists, successors to Bulgaria's communist party, have proposed tax cuts and wage hikes ...
Reuters [see link for author(s)]
Inheritance tax? Why should my deferred spending accrue to your children? Make your case.
... this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.
The Communist Manifesto, Section 2: Proletarians and Communists
[American Citizenship] captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations
President Barack Obama
It is exactly the rush to turn every issue of public policy into a OneSizeFitsAll national solution that is dividing the nation against itself. Politics has become a steel cage death match struggle to national domination. It is neither necessary or desirable in a free nation. It is the very definition of Totalitarianism, that which this free nation used to unite itself against. It is what is driving the nation insane.
The conditionality of life and the circumstance that human life is open to choice has the structure of necessity right for morality. The absoluteness of life or death is the absoluteness of moral necessity. That one freely chooses life, originates life, in thought and action respecting its requirements and opportunities—this is one’s moral glory.
In a sense, Britain inadvertently, through it actions in Hong Kong, did more to reduce world poverty than all the aid programs that we've undertaken in the last century.
http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_romer.html [~minute mark 10:40]
The present workers of the United States Steel Corporation will receive their pensions in twenty, thirty or forty years. Today a pension of one hundred dollars a month means a rather substantial allowance. What will it mean in 1980 or 1990? Today, as the Welfare Commissioner of the City of New York has shown, 52 cents can buy all the food a person needs to meet the daily caloric and protein requirements. How much will 52 cents buy in 1980? Such is the issue. What the workers are aiming at in striving after social security and pensions is, of course, security. But their "social gain" withers away with the drop in the dollar's purchasing power. In enthusiastically supporting the Fair Deal's fiscal policy, the union members are themselves frustrating all their social security and pension schemes.
Ludwig von Mises
The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, February 23, 1950
If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.
The main problem for this country is: Will the United States follow the course of the economic policies adopted by almost all foreign nations, even by many of those which had been foremost in the evolution of capitalism? ... To answer such a question one must look upon the ideas about economic matters held by public opinion. The question is: Do the American voters know that the unprecedented improvement in their standard of living that the last hundred years brought was the result of a steady rise in the per-head quota of capital invested? Do they realize that every measure leading to capital decumulation jeopardizes their prosperity? ... Today only the businessmen worry about the provision of new capital for the expansion and improvement of their plants. The rest of the people are indifferent with regard to this issue, not knowing that their well-being and that of their children is at stake. What is needed is to make the importance of these problems understood by everybody. No party platform is to be considered as satisfactory that does not contain the following point: As the prosperity of the nation and the height of wage rates depend on a continual increase in the capital invested in its plants, mines and farms, it is one of the foremost tasks of good government to remove all obstacles that hinder the accumulation and investment of new capital.
Ludwig von Mises
Address delivered before the University Club of Milwaukee (Wisconsin) on October 13, 1952.
... the country deserves us to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good.
President Barack Obama
They are now two peas in one small pod and as such are false choices to vote for. There should instead be a Constitutionalist party, one who drives the bus back towards the principles of the founding fathers, and there should be a Statist party, one that drives the boat towards totalitarianism.
I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom.