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  1. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    Hogwash. The LPPa Platform is an axiomatic system: all planks are logically derived from the Statement of Principles. It is perfectly well organized. Also, there is nothing in the Platform about criminalizing animal cruelty. The 20-week abortion limit is scientific. I have to say that I'm very disappointed with the lack of intelligence on this Forum.
  2. Elements of Fascism?

    Please read Dr. Peikoff's book The Ominous Parallels for a detailed treatment of nazism and fascism. I reviewed it on here:;the title of my review is "Expose of the Philosophy Behind Nazism."
  3. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    That's a misunderstanding. We decided to leave it to each county Libertarian Committee to draft proposed animal ordinances which would be appropriate for their local community. Pennsylvania is a very large state--one wag said that "it's Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between." My interest in philosophy is to apply it to the real world. The LPPa Board concluded that recommendations for legislation at the state level on this topic were inappropriate; each county should draft its own ordinances because each county has the relevant knowledge.
  4. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    The fetus recapitulates three billion years of biological evolution. Only at the 20th week does it achieve human status: human brain waves are generated. Plus: the fetus at that stage is viable outside the womb--it doesn't need to be attached to another human being. Thus the LPPa Platform position is scientific.
  5. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    This is where "philosophical nuance" comes into play. Farm-raised animals are the property of the farmers and therefore slaughtering them is not a crime--because property may be disposed of, and the property in question was raised for that purpose. However the conditions of their raising could be questioned. Killing wild animals on one's property (or on the property of another with permission) for food is also not a crime. Sport hunting (without actually taking the kill home to eat) is a difficult question for me, however. I can justify it on the grounds that thinning of the herd may be required for "eco-balance." I do not hunt (as it is against my moral intuition), but I would not prevent others from hunting. Another possible approach to this problem is to ask: does the proposed action reduce, or increase, the overall entropy of the world? Slaughtering animals for food does reduce entropy, because humans reduce the entropy of the world much more so than animals do. Gratuitous abuse of a pet increases entropy without any prospect of a corresponding reduction of entropy elsewhere. Having said all of this, I don't think I've nailed it. We left out a plank regarding animals in the LPPa Platform and decided to leave the question up to county Libertarian committees and local municipalities...
  6. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    1. True, but I don't think further explanation is needed in this Forum! 2. Animals are organic machines, in essence. What separates us from them is our freedom to choose to think or not to think--our freedom of will. Animals are constructed, by nature, to initiate force; 80% of the animals in the ocean die by being swallowed by other animals. Ethical humans, on the other hand, do not initiate force. Cruelty to animals is a crime because there is a victim--the animal. 3. Miss Rand said (ARL, IV, 2, 3) "One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months." I'm aware of, and disagree with, the ARI position that rights begin at birth. The LPPa Platform position is scientific; it defines the beginning of human life as the onset of human brain waves and the end of human life as the cessation of human brain waves. 4. I suppose we could add a philosophical Preamble to the platform to provide the grounding for the Statement of Principles. Some LP Platforms do, in fact, include a Preamble. 5. I don't think anything is untrue in the LPPa Platform. However, I've had some individuals misunderstand the Non-aggression principle to mean "non-intervention!" This is most unfortunate. It is perfectly proper for the Good to intervene to stop the Evil. On metaphysics, Miss Rand was an atheist but not a materialist. She took "consciousness" to be an axiomatic concept, and therefore not entirely biologically derived. For me, ethical human beings have a metaphysical unit. The whole collection of metaphysical units constitutes the Metaphysical Realm. This Realm is natural, not supernatual, and is rational not mystical. It can be understood scientifically, in my opinion. Therefore I'm not a 100% pure Randian or 100% pure Objectivist, but I do think of myself as a student of Objectivism, and I do accept all of Miss Rand's work in ethics, politics, esthetics, and economics. One Non-Objectist member of the LPPa has told me that the LPPa Platform is too Objectivist... Again, thanks for all your comments.
  7. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    Yes, I read Peter Schwartz's essay many years ago--it is a correct analyis of the anarchist wing of the LP. The LPPa has, however, always been minachist, and we've taken great pains to avoid the problems that he brings up. Now to answer your questions 1. A right sanctions a man's freedom of action in a social context. 2. Animals do not have rights because they do not have freedom of the will or the freedom to think or not to think. Nonetheless, "cruelty to animals" is a crime. 3. A fetus does not have rights until human brain waves begin to be generated at the 20th week. 4. The only legitmate function of government is the protection of individual rights. I believe all of this is implicit, if not explicit, in the LPPa Platform.
  8. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    Some comments on the above replies to my post: 1. A party platform is an applied political document, not a moral treatise. 2. Man's rights are required so that a man can function properly as a man--i.e., as a rational, ethical animal. I could have put something like this in the Statement of Principles, for clarity, but many (perhaps most) people would accept it as understood by the context. I still would like Betsy to give me some specific verbiage. 3. Ron Paul is a Republican. He is anti-choice, and he blames America for the problems of the world. I dislike him intensely, but--strangely enough--he has had much support from members of the Libertarian Party. 4. Discussion of the U.S. military is out of place in a state platform. The various national LP Platforms over the years cover this well; see especially the original 1972 LP Platform (written long before Rothbard and Childs took over the Party). 5. I tally the pluses and minuses of each candidate and then make my decision. Obviously I vote either Libertarian or Republican. If the choice must be McCain, Obama, or Barr, I'll have to go with Barr, warts and all. 6. So far no one has challenged any specific plank. Thanks to all who responded.
  9. Is the LPPa Platform Truly Objectivist?

    OK, Betsy, then how would you modify the LPPa Statement of Principles to include a "proper moral defense of individual rights"?
  10. I wrote the original plaftorm for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, adopted in March of 1982, and am the principal author of the current platform, adopted in February of 2005. I've been a member of the Ayn Rand Institute for many, many years. I believe that our platform is thoroughly Objectivist--it is minarchist, not anarchist. I've read through Ayn Rand's entire corpus several times and am very conversant with it. So: I'd like to solicit comments from other students of Objectivism as to the veracity of my claim. platformlppa2005.doc