Tom Caldwell

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Tom Caldwell

  • Rank
  • Birthday 04/05/1944

Contact Methods

  • Website URL http://
  • ICQ 0
  • Yahoo

Profile Information

  • Location Miami, FL
  • Interests The science of the study of the spread of Ideas in a culture, their social acceptance, political recognition and legal enforcement, and the resulting social, political, legal and economic institutions appropriate to the human mode of existence, from a "how to" standpoint.
  1. A.R.I. and Cultural Change

    I studied my first textbook on how to spread ideas and make changes in a culture more than 45 years ago. Several years thereafter, 1964, my girlfriend suggested I read a book called Atlas Shrugged, because of my character, interests and ideas. I subscribed to The Objectivist Newsletter in 1964 and have been active ever since. I have studied peacetime and wartime histories of those who have tried and those who have done it, the theory and practice, the fiction and science fiction relevant to conflict, related areas such as marketing research, advertising and sales. I have written and published about it. And, I have tried a number of things, identified what works and what does not and why, and I have done it. Coming back from Hong Kong one year, I stopped at the Thomas Jefferson School. Mike Berliner and Harry Binswanger invited me to lunch for a discussion. The subject, the creation of an organization to promote Objectivism, now known as The Ayn Rand Institute. That lead to me becoming one of the founding contributors of ARI. Mike Berliner asked me if I could offer any suggestions as to how ARI could promote Objectivism. My immediate response was, "an Ayn Rand Essay Contest." Harry Binswanger said that was what he was going to suggest. My reasons: I knew then what the lecturers at ARI apparently still don't know. That it was not John Locke that first inspired the Founding Fathers. It was the fiction work, Oceana, by Harrington. Oceana was a story about ideal government, for England. The factual research came after, as the inspired Founding Fathers sought the ideal. I knew that the well known supporters of socialism in the US were not converted by Marx, Hegel, Compte or Kant, but by the fiction book, Looking Backward, by Bellamy. (Samuel Gompers, W.E.B. Dubois, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, etc.) It beautified the life of all living for the good of others. I knew that everyone interested in the Objective Philosophy had been attracted by Ayn Rand's fiction. So, the best way, maybe the only quick way, to spread Objectivism, was through the fiction. That is a simple induction. Fiction Counts above all. Even Mao tse-tung knew that. The Diary of Lei Feng, the PLA soldier that sacrificed himself and his values for the good of others, alleged written by Mao, allegedly ghost written by someone else for Mao, was presented as the ideal Socialist Man. The Oklahoma City Bombing came right out of the Taylor Diaries. When the idea that intellectuals from ARI would save the world was first mentioned, I wrote Mike Berliner and said that would never happen. Throughout the history of ideological movements, the goals have been achieved after, and sometimes long after, the demise of the originating organization. And, the goals were not achieved by academics or intellectuals but by the man-on-the-street, by businessmen, architects, engineers, doctors, etc. (By Lin Zinsers). Go read Atlas Shrugged again. Where did Ayn Rand put all academics and intellectuals? Only Hugh Akston was the exception, and he joined after the fact. ### One of the first questions I asked Dr Peikoff for his podcast was if the "not in your lifetime" policy of ARI, and its demoralizing effects on Objectivists, Objective Philosophy students and the general public was immoral. On that one, and some others, I received back an email to continue listening as Dr Peikoff might answer those questions. On some other questions I received back nothing. "Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a pretzel." The most interesting thing that has happened is the free videos on "Cultural Movements: Creating Change." My first impression was that some people seemed to be scared, as in '20 years or it is too late.' That is incorrect. There is between three and seven years and it will be too late. The basic requirement for a dictatorship will be enforced. That is the elimination of free speech. Osama bin Laden is nothing more than a distraction. The real Jihad is here in the United States. It goes by the name of "Politically correct speech, moral relativism, hate speech and multi-culturalism, and, the 'Fairness Doctrine'." That is what the Jihadis have been working on for decades. First silence the American people. The United Nations has already created a program policy to have governments make it a criminal offense to speak ill of Islam. President Obama has already establish that policy in government, there is no longer a war against terrorists. The US congress is already considering laws to criminalize speech critical of protected groups ( such as Islamists). The US congress considered the imposition of mandatory community service for Americans this year, and decided they could not get away with it yet. As they say, it would not be compulsory. But, if you are retired and you don't do your community service, kiss your Social Security check goodbye, etc.. The Supreme Court ruled long ago that nobody has any right to Social Security payments. I sent some of the above information, and recommendations, to Yaron Brook in December, 2007, and have heard nothing more about it. But then, when there was a request for suggestions about the 50 year celebration of Atlas Shrugged, I immediately went to the nearest Barnes & Noble book store (promote fiction) and asked the manager if he would be interested in a promotion, and if the HQ would be interested. The manager said he thought it would. So I called Yaron Brook long distance and explained everything to him. So, it is too late for any academic/intellectual change. The educational funnel is dead. If there is to be any change, it will be by the so called "average man." They are the important people, and they do think, they do use reason, and the way to reach them is fiction. As for the so-called non-intellectuals such as Lin Zinser, and Ellen Kenner, they are the ones who will make the non-fiction changes. It is up to us, not to the people at ARI. The Ayn Rand Institute is a tool, a legalized fictional entity, a fictional structure that unifies a number of people dedicated to a specific purpose. The Ayn Rand Institute is a place marker for the people. By itself, ARI does nothing. The people at ARI are not stupid or irrational. They do make mistakes. I have privately "flamed" some, as in converted to ashes, and received an acknowledgment, an apology and a correction, and an assertion that mistake would not happen again. You have to fight for your values, even to disagreeing with the people at ARI. Some people seem to think that a controversy threatens Objectivism. It does not. Throughout history such things as the Brandons and David Kelly are normal to any ideological movement. In a controversy, the 'average man' looks at two things: what appears to be agreed on, and what is disagreed on. In a controversy between Dr Peikoff and David Kelly what they would see is agreement on Objectivism, and a disagreement on toleration and on whether or not Objectivism is opened or closed. Their conclusion would be that Objectivism is the status quo. The disagreement they would see as trivial details not important to them. Disagreements in public are good. Where did the idea of intellectuals making the changes over 200 years come from? From Ayn Rand when she explained the historical process of the spread of a philosophy, but did not state the obvious: that she had bypassed the process. So the process was shortened by 50 years, and then another 50. It still will not be intellectuals, it will by the so called "average man who must make the changes." Fight or Die. It is advisable for you to choose to hold that you have only three years. Tom
  2. A.R.I. and Cultural Change

    In looking at the discussion, it is easy to see why there is a disagreement. That always happens when the context is dropped, or, as in this case, excluded. My post was in response to the previous post. There the writer said it was a worthless waste of time to try to spread Objectivism to change the culture. He would not waste one minute of his precious life when he would "never see the benefits in his lifetime." Others also seemed to have the same attitude toward trying to make changes. I give you three guesses as to where the "never see the benefits in his life time" came from. 1. Aliens from outer space. 2. Revelations from Jesus. 3. From people at ARI. If you guess wrong, make yourself a dunce cap and spend the day standing in the corner. Example: Yaron Brook, in the video on Cultural Change. In the original version, he said if there was not a change in trend in the next 20 years, it would be too late. He also said that you would "not benefit in your life time." I don't have an Internet connection. I am too far from an exchange for DSL, and even for decent dial-up. I have no TV, as I am working on something and don't want the distraction. And, I am not willing to pay the $60 to $75 for a cable connection and TV I will never be using, just to get an Internet connection. So, I have been going to the library once a week, and only seeing what was available on 4ARFans that day. In the past few weeks I learned that my boss had changed policy and allowed personal computers to be hooked to the company Internet, and used during work, in unoccupied moments. So, I can look at 4ARFans more often. It was only by coincidence that I clicked on the Link that led to this thread. I am off Monday and Tuesday, so I will have time to go into more. Last night we had the seasonal regular nightly storm with lightening, which usually results in a power failure for minutes up to 10 hours, so I unplugged my computer. More later, starting with before ARI. Tom
  3. A.R.I. and Cultural Change

    Hi, Here is a clue: If Tom does not see it he does not reply. -- coming soon, now that he has seen it.
  4. A.R.I. and Cultural Change

  5. Dr. Peikoff's podcast

    For those of you who download Dr Peikoff's podcasts you might have noticed that the Episode 63 actually has the same address as Episode 62. Try to get 63 and you get 62. The solution is to use the following address in your brower: and you willl be able to download the podcast 63. Maybe eventually some responsible person will correct the address on the website. Tom
  6. The moral status of the typical average man

    As Dr Robert Stadler said, ' He could teach people to live so much better, but they would not listen.' Causality is the law of identity applied to action. The same cause produces the same consequence. Claiming that people don't think is a moral sanction of the initiation of force, for their own good. Just because you are unable to appeal to their reason does not mean that they do not think.
  7. The moral status of the typical average man

    One need not argue with those on 4AynRandFans who assert things such as, 'the American Revolution was possible because the people would think then, but change is not possible now because the people do not think.' The same applies to the speakers at Ayn Rand Confernces who assert that, 'during the period of the Enlightenment/Renaissance people used reason, but now people don't use reason.' It also not necessary to argue with those who speak of the 'average man' as 'immoral because he does not think.' Ayn Rand pointed out the nature of such ideas, assertions, principles, ideology and philosophy, and the long term consequences, in Atlas Shrugged, in the person of Dr. Robert Stadler. What counts for the average man is how well he does his job. Does he do his best?
  8. A.R.I. and Cultural Change

    For 20 years it has been the stated policy of The Ayn Rand Institute that "change is not possible within your/our life times." Does anyone know the theoretical grounds for that claim? As Ayn Wrote: "... when people know the theoretical grounds of any given stand, they are able to check it, to judge and to decide whether they agree or not. To name one's principles is to open one's declarations to serious critical appraisal. But the evasion of theory, the enunciation of arbitrary, inexplicable pronouncements, is an act of destruction that no Marxist theories could match: it destroys epistemology. It undercuts the principles of rationality, invalidates the processes of a civilized discussion, discards logic and replaces it with the "Sez you- Sez I" method of communication." The Objectivist, June 1970, The Chicken's Homecoming by Ayn Rand In the Ayn Rand Bookstore catalog, the promo for C. Bradley Thompson's book, *The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams*, "Dr. Thompson comments: The real revolution, Adams declared, had taken place in the minds and hearts of the colonists in the fifteen years prior to 1776. According to Adams, the American Revolution was first and foremost an intellectual revolution." That was achieved in a period of horse-drawn snail-mail. Ayn Rand also mentioned that England was going statist at the time of the American Revolution, and that some people there were able to turn England around, presumably in their lifetimes. Thatcher made changes in her lifetime, and eventually lost only for lack of a philosophy. Why does ARI regard the Objective Philosophy as so impotent?
  9. Civil unrest?

    The proponents of victimitus are writing letters to editors and mentioning in columns that if they are not taken care of they might resort to violence. It is being mentioned that the Department of Defense is preparing the military to act in the US if there are civil disturbances from the economic problems, "martial law might be established." General Tommy Franks is quoted as saying that if a weapon of mass destruction is used in the US that 'the Constitution might have to be discarded for miliitary rule.' In this case, who would be the dictator? Would freedom of speech be a "threat to national security?"
  10. Actually, it is a waste of time to try to 'convince' someone about Objectivism. If you do that, you haven't really succeeded. You will need to continue to 'convince' them after every deviation. The key to spreading Objectivism is to sort people and to find those who will continue on their own. Then you can continue your search for those others who will continue on their own. Be a "fire-spotter." Look for the spark of reason. To paraphrase what Ayn Rand said, 'You have no right to trade with those whom you want to trade, but you have a right to look for those who want to trade with you.' Tom
  11. Is Capitalism Dead?

    Read "Liberal Fascism" for excellent documentation of both the Democrats and Republicans
  12. Political Change from within vs Education of Electorate

    Hi CometMaker, My guess was correct. It is 2/28, but how many people outside Taiwan would know. Hu Jin-Tao has nothing to do with the hostility that existed between the KMT and those who fled China, called in Taiwan, "Mainlanders." That is only a change of subject and context. The communist Chinese and the "mainlanders" are two different groups. The big change in Taiwan from the 1950s on came because of the Vietnam war, when all those people in Taiwan went to work for American companies, learned the ropes, and then went into business for themselves, outdoing the American companies. There used to be kiosks in the major libraries, recreational areas and national parks and tourist bureaus. The multimedia CD has photos of all the areas and flora and fauna. If they are still there, play the CD in English and you can hear my voice, accent and all. That was about the time that the US Trade delegation was in Taiwan demanding Taiwan pass copyright laws and make the mini-movie places stop renting movies and rooms to watch movies. I happened to have copies of US copyright forms and copyright laws, and researched what the US was demanding and how the demands were treated by the US court system (rejected). I wrote the article, published in the China News, pointing out that the U.S. courts had rejected such demands in the US, and what the courts had supported and recommended that Taiwan copy US laws, not what the trade negotiators were demanding. The US courts had ruled that no royalties were due under US conditions similar to those in Taiwan, if the users/renters control the Video player. I still have the original tear sheet of the article. Taiwan established copyright laws similar to those in the US.
  13. Political Change from within vs Education of Electorate

    My first impulse when I read Cometmaker's response to my post was to reply, "Nei Hou Ma, Mainlander." Further reading, the sentence structure, etc., and what was stated confirmed the origin. What CometMaker said about how nice Chiang Kai Shek (CKS) was and how he respected rights and did not seize property and persuaded people to accept his currency is pure Kuomentong (KMT) and CKS propaganda. CKS sent Madam CKS to the US to persuade Americans of how nice a Christian gentleman he was and how he respected the rights of the Taiwanese, etc. He needed the support of the American people because Roosevelt had stabbed him in the back. What CometMaker said is nothing more than a rehash of that propaganda. In fact, when CKS and his army and the civilian Mainlanders fled to Taiwan, Taiwanese property was seized, nationalized, stolen, etc., the Taiwanese government officials were thrown out and replaced by KMT cadres, regulations controlling businesses were established, requiring permissions, which were readily granted to Mainlanders, and only with difficulty to Taiwanese. The discrimination and mutual hostility came to a head on that notorious day of infamy which will live forever in Taiwan's history, 10/10. Starting with a clash over cigarettes, hundreds were shot down, and the aftermath, where people heard that fatal midnight knock on their doors and were taken away, never again to be seen or heard from again. Even into the early 1990s many Taiwanese did business only with Taiwanese and hired Taiwanese, while the Mainlanders did business onlyn with Mainlanders and hired Mainlanders. As the President of Taiwan, Lee Tung-hui, in his official capacity formally apologized for the massacre and its aftermath, it would be a waste of time to deny it happened. President Lee did so in an effort to promote the reconciliation of Taiwanese and Mainlanders. With the election of Vincent Siew of the KMT, replacing the DPP president, that reconciliation effort apparently worked. As for persuading people to accept the currency, that was at the point of a gun. CKS had a problem. US President Roosevelt had promised him gold to back the currency, in an effort to fight the Communists. The traitors, academics and intellectuals, in the newly formed CIA were in favor of Mao Tse-tung and Communism, and Roosevelt was easily persuaded to renege on the promise and leave CKS looking like a liar. CKS used force. The American patriots in the OSS supported CKS because, warlord though he was, he was our warlord, and was fighting the Japanese, while Mao and the Communists, their propaganda notwithstanding, were dealing with the Japanese, in an effort to destroy the KMT and win the war for Communist dictatorship. One Communist deal with the Japanese was that they would not attack or kill the Japanese in their retreat from KMT forces if the Japanese would turn over all their KMT prisoners to the Communists. The Japanese were delighted to do so, because they knew that the Communists were also fighting the KMT. The KMT did take prisoners of the Communists. The Communist would hang the KMT. Not by the neck. They would tie their hands behind them and put hooks through their jaws and hang them by their jaws and leave them to die. Such hard times require hard men if any are to survive. I used to visit Taiwan in the early 1980s to see my best friend, Alex, A.K.A. General Wei Bo-ming. As World War II martial law was only lifted in 1987, I was visiting there during the martial law period. In 1989, when I moved to Taiwan, the people were still afraid to speak freely for fear of interrogation by the Military Police, and the possible accusation they were anti-Kuomentong or pro-Communist, and the danger from such an accusation. In Taiwan and in Hong Kong I lived at a local level, not expat level. That gives a different view of conditions. What Cometmaker did not say was the essential that the 'plan' for the distant future was a "Central Plan" in excrutiating minute detail, by a bunch of bureaucrats, and embodied in the equivalent of a constitution. Perhaps Cometmaker would care to tell what happened when the Planners discovered that there were many times more cars in Taiwan than planned for, and explain what percentage of building space was set aside for restaurants for how many workers needing lunch, and about why the street vendors were selling how many box lunches (which are quite good). And, I could go on for many pages. Her argument implying that it is necessary to get mass destruction before it is possible to spread ideas of freedom is an ad hominem, as is the implication that there are no principles of cultural change outside of the necessity of first having violence, destruction and death, and collectivism. And, yes, I will continue to mention it. After all, I have gone from some interested, to a few interested, to very few interested, to no interest, to hostility to the idea of spreading ideas to change a culture. And when the subject comes up again I couldn't bare to not say, "Who are you kidding ...? And, if anyone really knows someone who is contemplating entering law or running for public office in an effort to change condition/ trends in the U.S., I would greatly appreciate an introduction.
  14. Political Change from within vs Education of Electorate

    Who are you kidding about seeking change in the culture? More than 20 years ago I offered instruction is that area, and found 15 people who were willing to pay. About 12 years ago I was able to find 6 or 7 who had some interest in free information. About five years ago I found only three. Most recently, none. It is not necessary to run for office to make changes. I never bothered with politicians in Taiwan, and it only took a few months for all the top government officials to start advocating what I was promoting. They were passing laws and making a big enough show about it that within six months other countries in Asia started promoting themselves as planning on the same things. Politicians are like dogs, troublesome and unruly until you can learn to make them "heel," and they will like nothing better than to make you abandon your life to pay attention to them. And, DC politics apparently is very corrupting. Look at Alan Greenspan. From competent economist to political/economic hack. The book LIBERAL FASCISM by Jonah Goldberg is an excellent detailed description of what has been going on in Washington DC for generations. For years I have read bits and pieces in other books, but he has put them all together. Read it before thinking about going there or making a career in politics. To repeat a previous offer: If anyone would like to read the essay that forced Tung Chee-hwa to deregulate broker fees in Hong Kong, and the newspaper article of the government action, just email me,, and I will send the essay as text and the newspaper article as a PDF file. I will send along 2 or 3 others just for entertainment, one on why the "ministers" disappeared. They were appointed to be scapegoats for Tung Chee-hwa. Does anyone remember why Objectivists no longer refer to the "Big Ship Theory?" Nihil Nisi Excelsis
  15. Classical Tale of Wartime Heroism

    A grenade has a safety pin that is pulled, while the fuse igniter/hammer is held back by a handle. When the grenade is thrown, the handle is released, the hammer falls and ignites the fuse. The fuse will burn long enough for the grenade to go the distance a man can throw that weight, and a little bit longer and then will explode. If it is going to be thrown over a wall or through a doorway, the thrower will pull the pin, release the handle and throw the grenade, so there will be less time to throw it back. It is likely that the Seal responded spontaneously aware he had no time for much else. In such cases you have to react spontaneous by training, there is no time for thinking. You have to already implicitly made the decision, before the event ever comes up.