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Everything posted by Laars

  1. I was wondering if there is any way to get my own Dollar sign cigarettes and carton. It seems pretty cool to me to have my own, and to smoke them when I want to celebrate (in a symbolic way) certain moments of great achievement in my life. So, does anyone know a way to get Dollar signed cigarettes? Is there some kind of webshop where you are able to print your own patterns on cigarettes and cartons? Maybe this idea has already occurred to somebody here, and is a solution already been found. Thank you in advance. Post Scriptum: I thought this topic was placed best in this area of THE Forum, please correct me if not so.
  2. Going Galt

    Day after day, the rights of the American citizen get violated by more regulations, taxes and unconstitutional acts. It seems to me that the elected president of 2012 (may it be - very likely - Romney or Obama) isn't going to change anything about America's policy of the last century (since 1913 when the Federal Reserve was founded). As sad as it may be, it looks like defenders for individual rights don't have much influence in today's American politics. What if Objectivists, instead of getting more influence in politics, focussed on starting a strike? In other words, what if we could persuade as much people as possible to 'Go Galt'? To fasten up (which can be done through politics and by minimizing the amount of taxes the government gets) the seemingly inevitable destruction of the United States so that a new country, based on individual rights, can emerge from it? '' As I think about taking up blogging again, I’ve looked over some of the original documents with which I launched this site. All in all, I think it holds up pretty well, but there’s one change I’d like to make here: Where I say coordination is the key, I originally intended that to mean top-down consciously coordinated action. But upon reflection, I think effective coordination will actually manifest as a combination of some decentralized group activity and the largely uncoordinated modification of personal behavior. Still helps to try to set an example though!) In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, the novel’s hero John Galt leads a secret strike of the most productive citizens in an America where productivity and freedom is no longer valued. The strike is an act of rebellion and self-preservation, fueled by Galt’s crucial insight that their enemies’ only weapons are the ones the strikers produce for them. By recruiting more and more strikers, Galt precipitates the ultimate collapse of American society. We in the US are living in precarious times. Productive men and women should be taking a good hard look at the sort of government and society they are being forced to support with their taxes. They should also honestly assess the likelihood of freedom’s fortune improving. Unfortunately, the options open to those who would be free are limited. There is no political movement large enough to reverse the current political trends through peaceful electoral means, as the majority of Americans believe that they can vote themselves into prosperity by expropriating the property of others. Furthermore, there are no constitutional principles remaining to serve as a bulwark against the economic tyranny of the majority. Productive men and women find themselves in this situation largely due to their own cowardice, too long hoping that someone else will make the case for liberty, while they continue to produce for their victimizers. This strategy, this wish, has not improved their lot. Instead, their victimizers now feel confident that they can take at will from the producers and expect no resistance. The time has come to change that assumption. America is not irredeemable. But America will not be inspired to change by would-be rebels without the courage to match their rhetoric. Producers must show that they are not willing to accept further encroachments on their freedoms, even at high personal cost. To teach the victimizers an object lesson will require planning and coordination. I believe that a “job action” — a calculated work slowdown — undertaken by enough people will convince people that freedom’s benefits are no longer to be taken for granted. But coordination is the key. Producers seek freedom, not martyrdom, and they are right to demand that their actions will not be in vain. Certainty that the current path is untenable does not assure that an alternate path cannot be worse. Such is the mission of this project: To identify the most practical strategy for withholding liberty’s fruits from the world, to the end of showing the public that the destruction of liberty will no longer be tolerated. But developing such a strategy, designed to minimize personal risk, attract the greatest number of adherents, minimize defection/treason, discourage backlash, and ultimately inspire, is a task the difficulty of which can hardly be overstated. Yet I don’t think there is a more pressing mission in the world at this moment. I invite you all to rise to this challenge, and to plan for the time when the freedom loving producers of the US will “go ‘John Galt’”. '' http://www.goingjohn...oing-john-galt/ I was wondering what your opinions are on Going Galt.
  3. Going Galt

    I'm not saying that, I was wondering if it would be good to fasten up the destruction (getting more and more socialist and statist) of America, so that the masses will realize that their rights are being violated, which will cause some kind of revolution. Another way would be that the government runs out of money because of the debt which makes it impossible to loan more money. Again, I'm not stating that we should leave society and hide in a gulch, but it's about the idea of speeding up the process so that a real change will happen. Because it seems that our influence in politics isn't going to make a difference, only slowing down the inevitable process into socialism, collectivism and statism.
  4. Have any of you decided not to spend time anymore with your family? If so, how did they react?
  5. Visiting The Netherlands

    What a shame I just noticed this post, I've never met another Objectivist in real life so it would've been very nice to meet. Too bad though, how was your trip?
  6. 2012 Presidential Poll for January 2012

    Ron Paul would get my vote.
  7. I just noticed the great numbers of spelling mistakes, I'll check my post an extra time the next time before I post it.
  8. I'm thinking about this for some time, but especially last month it begins to become more and more important and some kind of problem. As is quite a common case with Objectivists I guess, is that our philosophy Lately (because of the increased time we spend together because of the holidays) it becomes increasingly clear to me, during dinners and conversations, that me and my family (close relatives + aunts, uncles, grandparents, nephews, nieces) grow apart. I get quite irritated when they make certain irrational comments or do irrational actions. For example, during Christmas dinner, it happened to be that most of the time we talked about politics and other topics where politics are involved (e.g. charity). I had to do my best from stating my own views, because I can tell from experience that my family (Christians and socialists) will launch a full-scale attack on me when I tell my Objectivist view on things. I rather avoid those insulting and truly harassing actions, so I keep my opinion mostly to myself. I couldn't get along very well with them in past, but now it reaches a point where I'm annoyed by those conversations and consider them as a waste of time. This is also happening with my close relatives (brother, sister, parents), I find it difficult (probably because I understand Objectivism better and better every day and I integrate it more into my life) to enjoy their company, and I notice that we have less and less things in common, which results in having very few topics to talk about. Which I regret, because I like my brother very much, but I notice when grow gradually more apart. So I tried to avoid politics, but even then I have trouble to find certain conversations in which we can engage fine, because Objectivism applies to a lot of things in life. My mother apparently also noticed, and she told me she was very worried, because she noted that I deliberately make less and less time available to spend with her and my siblings (all above the age of twenty). I regret this to be honest, but I truly don't enjoy the times we spend with each other and consider them a waste of my time. Of course I could agree with everything they say to make the ride easier, but I see that as betraying my own rational judgement and philosophy, e.i. betraying myself. I don't think I've a obligation to my family, because there can't exist such a thing as a unchosen liability, but still: they're my family, and I know that they will be very angry with me (especially my close relatives) if I tell them I don't enjoy their company. The problem is not so much that we differ in philosophy andpolitical preferences, but rather that I find their beliefs through plays in their lives and their choices. I'm not sure what my values are, it is quite clear that my family's company isn't a value to me. But to 'leave' my family and separate myself from them, I don't know, I'm still related to them. Or would you call this a irrational value because it seems I've some feelings of original duty to my family? I wouldn't be spending time with them if they weren't my family. I know I'm just 17, and this problem is going to be more important for when I'll live on my own, and I have to make choices like this. But I'm kinda stuck with this, I hope you can give me your views on this.
  9. Happy Birthday to realitycheck44

    I wish you a very happy birthday from the Netherlands! Enjoy yourself and do the things you love the most!
  10. @jordanz, I think we have to agree that we disagree on that one, his foreign policy is one of the things I most like about him. America's foreign policy (which has been policing the world and 'preparing it for democracy') has been very destructive for the cause of freedom among nations, on the contrary, it caused many problems and wars alike. And is the fundamental cause of the American hatred around the world. About abortion, he wants to leave matter to the states, so pro-lifers can go live in a pro-life state and supporters of abortion rights can live in a state where abortion is legal. I don't see the problem here? This is how the Constitution said it should be done. I agree that abortion should be a woman's right in every state, but this disagreement doesn't convince me to drop my would-be vote for him, considering the major, major flaws the other candidates have. He is certainly not an anarchist, as you say, he is a supporter of individual freedom protected by the state. I mean, compare his capitalist economics and pro-personal freedom (e.g. drugs) to the other GOP candidates, sure, Ron Paul isn't perfect, but it is a man with great integrity spreading a message of truth and freedom, a major difference between him and the other GOP candidates and certainly to almost every president since Hoover. @rgt24, Do you mean that Ron Paul has zero chance of becoming president? I wouldn't be that pessimistic, he's gaining nation-wide attention and a fast growing fanbase, also, he gets great results in straw polls. I wouldn't minimize his chances that much. And tell me, what other GOP candidate will have a different policy than the non-personal freedom and non-economic freedom policies that Obama and Bush have been using?
  11. Hard Fascism vs Soft Facism

    I agree partially with L-C, Facism is always statism, but statism doesn't always have to be fascism. There are a couple of profound differences between a statist society and a fascist one. In a fascist society (say, Hitler's Third Reich or Mussolini's Italy) the leader (the Fuhrer, il Duce) is always being portrayed as a hero, the saver of a race, a people, a country, with lots of 'good' qualities (brave, sacrificial, charismatic, loyal, etc.). Being presented as the only solution for the problems a country is facing. Also, in a fascist society exists extreme nationalism and violence is promoted as a moral way achieve your goals. Along with fascism comes racism, discrimination against a certain race or people, used as an scapegoat for the problems the country is facing. Last but not least, in a fascist society, everyone has to sacrifice themselves for the good of the nation, or the race (nazi Germany), when in a statist society you have to sacrifice yourself to the 'common good' (communist Russia). The outcome and the severeness of this sacrifice is quite alike, but it is still a main ideological difference. Remember the opening speech of BioShock of Andrew Ryan: ''No says the man in Washington, it belongs to the poor. No says the man in the Vatican, it belongs to god. No says the man in Moscow, it belongs to everyone.''? But, as I said, I agree partially: fascism and statism are in many ways alike, the state wants to control every part (economic, cultural, personal) of your life, and therefore has a great amount (possibly intervening as much as possible - take Anthem as an example of a total statist society) of influence in the people's life. As stated before, fascism is always statism (the state controls every part of life), but not every statist society is a fascist one (worshipping of one leader, promoting violence, racism against one race and sacrificing for the nation or race).
  12. It's indeed unbelievably that people like Romney can run for the GOP. In my opinion, the only person closest to Objectivist values and fighting for true freedom and with integrity is Ron Paul. If I could, if would definitely vote for him! All of the other GOP runners are all puppets of the same status quo, making America less and less free. What is/are your opinion(s) on Ron Paul? Would you vote for him?
  13. I was thinking about this, and I found it difficult to find the distinction (if there is any) between some situations where emotions may influence your choices. Ayn Rand says that we shouldn't be guided by emotions, but by reason. I can understand this completely when it involves me being hungry and having two choices: 1. Act on emotion/feelings/whim and steal an apple. 2. Use reason to clarify individual rights and that it'll be in my long term self-interest to buy one. As I said, I find it easy to make the distinction between those two examples, and in such cases people should one be guided by reason. But what if it involves choices which, at least as it seems to me, are hard to make guided by reason? I'll give you some examples. In general, if you meet two people, you like one of them most, probably because of their personality, your preference doesn't seem very rational, as you don't know anything about them. Or when you're looking for a house and you seemingly make an irrational decision (e.g. you choose a house which is more expensive with less m2 over a cheaper house with more m2) just because you like the first house more because you have some kind of connection with it. And what if you're hungry and you can choose between an apple and a pear, same price, same amount of calories, and you choose the pear, just because you're feeling like it. You aren't acting on reason but on emotions in such cases. It seems to me like those preferences are based on your personality and taste, but is this rational? Now, I know that choosing between an apple and a pear is not the most important choice in your life, and this is where I started to get confused, but if you should always act by reason (which is moral), what should you pick? Would you say that in such cases, reason doesn't apply because choosing an apple over a pear isn't more moral, even if you could qualify your food as immoral/moral? Or is it rational because you want it, and it doesn't harm others? But this seems like a contradiction to me because in that case the foundation of your rationality are your emotions. I'd like to hear some opinions about this, and how you, Objectivists, apply reason in your everyday decisions.
  14. Degree of letting emotions influence you

    I'm trying to integrate these ideas and so far succeeding partially, but I still happen to run into a couple of confusions. How do you make the distinction between using your ratio or you feelings? Or do you consider those not so different as they seem because your feelings are derived from your rational thoughts, values and premises? Does this mean that, when you're are completely rational, you can completely trust on your feelings and emotions when you have to make choices? Or would you even consider to call your emotions (when you're totally rational) more valuable because they'll help you to make the right choices when you have insufficient information? Thank you for your very clear explanations, greatly appreciated!
  15. "I will not die..."

    @Betsy, that is indeed a great poem! I ran across an article about the Objectivist stance on death, it's very interesting and could be quite helpful.;printer=True
  16. Steve Jobs is gone. Age 56

    Thank you for posting that picture in a bigger size! I, and a lot of my friends, use it as profile picture on Facebook.
  17. Steve Jobs is gone. Age 56

    Simply beautiful. I love it.
  18. "I will not die..."

    I think you're right when you're pointing out Epicurus as the source for this quote. Epicurus stated his view as: ''Where death is not, I am; where death is, I am not. This is essentially Rand's view. Furthermore, in 1974, interviewer James Day asked Rand "How do you, as an Objectivist, feel about death?" Rand's reply was "It doesn't concern me in the least, because I won't be here to know it. The worst thing about death, and what I regard as the most horrible human tragedy, is to lose someone you love. That is terribly hard. But your own death? If you're finished, you're finished. My purpose is not to worry about death but to live life now, here on earth."
  19. Steve Jobs is gone. Age 56

    Tim Cook is of course his successor, not his predecessor.
  20. Steve Jobs is gone. Age 56

    As a matter of fact, Jobs was planning the adoption by others for years (since he was diagnosed with cancer again in 2008). Gradually transferring his tasks to others, to indeed try to make the adoption as smooth as possible. A very rational decision in my opinion, not evading the truth that he had cancer and was going to die, eventually. For me, the iPhone release-Keynote is the best (along with the Stanford graduation speech - posted by JohnRgt), Jobs had the very special ability to sell everything to everyone. With enormous enthusiasm he always got everyone along, either if it was an new MacBook or an (I'm not kidding, the crowd went crazy) sock you could put over your iPhone as protection. In my opinion one of the very best in presenting a new product. He has become such an icon, people were very excited before the Keynote had even started, Jobs had that great charisma. Something that Tim Cook (his predecessor) never will have. I think that everyone has to agree when it's said that Jobs changed our world permanently and definitely for the better; a incredible achievement. The world has suffered a great loss.
  21. Steve Jobs is gone. Age 56

    The world has lost a hero today. Of course his death was inevitable because of his cancer. And though there were obviously signs that he was getting weaker (resigning as CEO for example) individual and collective denial have caused a even bigger shock when he pasted away. And for the first time in my life I'll quote Obama: 'Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.' In the book 'I am John Galt', Steve Jobs is being compared with Howard Roark: just inventing because it was so damn cool. Acting only by your opinion, not following or living for others. He was a true pioneer, and I will think of him as a Randian hero. This is a great speech he did in 2005 at the graduation of Stanford University. This, for me, embodies his whole personality, and is exactly the reason that I greatly admire him.
  22. "I will not die..."

    First of all, my knowledge about Objectivist epistemology isn't very great, but I'll give you my two cents. I decided to write down this particular part of the conversation, so it's both easier for you to understand my explaination as for others to join in. This is the link to the interview on YouTube: . The part concerning this subject starts at about 2:30.Tom Snyder: 'I attend to think about this thing (i.e. life) as ongoing, that there is an eternity and that we're are a part of that eternity, that we aren't just corpses in graves when we die. Ayn Rand: 'But we aren't, we aren't corpses in graves. We're not there, do you understand that when this life is finished, you're not there to say: ''O, how terrible that I'm a corps.''? No, it is finished. And what I always thought and what affected me all my life: ''I'll not die, it is the world that will end.''. And that's absolutely true... ...I want to enjoy life to the fullest and when it ends I don't have to worry about that. I'm not there. It is too bad that the world will end and I think it is a very wonderful world that ends with me. But I had my time, I can't complain.' What it made more clear for me, is when I put two words 'for me' after the quote: ''I'll not die, it's the world that will end, for me.''. Of course, the world will still be there if you die, but you won't be able to notice, as you are dead. I think the main thing she wants to get across is that she won't be sad if she is dead, simple because she isn't able to feel sad, as you don't exist anymore. This motivates her even more to make the most out of her life and this also is the reason that she isn't afraid to die, simply because you won't know that you're dead, because you won't be able to think anymore. This is the way I conceive it, the assumptions you make seems to me like perhaps too much explained. But again, my knowledge of Objectivist epistemology is quite small, so maybe there is a 'deeper' level to this subject. Therefore, I would like to hear the opinions of others about this. This is by the way one of my favourite quotes, while it seems to be quite unknown. It motivates me heavily to make the most out of my life. Also it learns that you shouldn't be afraid of death, simply because you won't be there to notice it. Also I would recommend to watch this interview (YouTube link at the top of my post), while all interviews with Ayn Rand are great to watch, this is a very personal one, and it gave me a better idea of what kind of person Miss. Rand was.
  23. Hello everybody, For a school assignment (a pretty important one) I've to read a philosophers work. I came up with the idea to read Aristotle his epistomology (especially his laws of logic) because I'm now quite familiar with the Objectivist ethics, but the Objectivist epistomology is still a unwalked path for me, but one I certainly want to discover. My teacher thought it probably would be a big of a challenge for me, but since I like a challenge and Objectivism interests me the most, I decided to look more into it. So, do any of you know a book where Aristotle's epistomology is well explained? I searched on, but I wasn't able to find a useable one. I'd hope that you could help me. P.S. I'm not planning onto spending more then 15 Euro's on this book (shipping included) P.P.S This is my third year having philosophy as a class and I read five of Rand her books (also books from other philosophers), so, do you think I'm able to fully understand and explain Aristotle's epistomology? If not, do you have another good suggestion for what subject I should use?
  24. Yaron Brook at the Tea Party Summit

    A great speech, inspiring and motivating. I really liked the focus of his speech being on individual rights. Also his statement that America is just a dicatorship of the majority was great and so very true. I immediately posted it on Facebook, just like it did with the Atlas Shrugged trailer. I'd only wished that he mentioned Ayn Rand or Objectivism just once in his speech. I'm glad to see Mr. Brook speeching instead of Sarah Palin, which I dislike and which I render intellectual incompetent, Brook seems to me like a person who is capable enough to take up the leadership of the Tea Party. But I keep waiting on that great person who can run for president in 2012.. By the way, does anyone know any famous Objectivist businessman? It would seem logical to me that they're attracted to Objectivist way of thinking.
  25. Hi everybody, I think I don't understand some of Rand's ethics, so I've got some questions. 1. How should disabled people be treated, they can't work, so they can't manage themselves. Should they be put in special houses or something like that? If so, where should the money come from. If not so, I think it would be unethical to just let them die on the street, just because they can't manage themselves when it isn't their fault. 2. The same question for people who aren't very smart, so they get a job that doesn't earn them a lot of money and they got to feed their children? or get a disease, which make them not suitable for work. How should they be treated, should their be some kind of insurance for that kind of things? And should the poor people get money from the government (which is earned by taxes). If not so, shouldn't it be better if we care for eachother, and even if everyone tries their best and they aren't able to make enough money themselves that money is given to them? 3. Does Rand think there is something wrong with caring for eachother? Like go to the mall for your mother, or that your parents care for you? Or does she just mean that altruism in itself is the root of all evil? But, giving someone a present is also altruism, isn't it? I'm sure she got some ideas for this kind of situations, I just was wondering about what Objectivism says about this. I hope you can help me.