mweiss

What Can Be Done?

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The era of the Revolutionary War is over; the freedom fighters are no longer a match for the enemy in terms of military forces. Today’s US government, fed by practically limitless funding, has the power to crush any rebellion or attempt at insurrection and revolution.

A civil war would achieve no positive result, only massive carnage among the revolting civilians.

So what’s left? The only solution I can foresee is a moral revolution of ideas. But how can we achieve this moral revolution if the general population is unwilling to take seriously the ideas of individual rights and rational self interest?

Here is the practical problem that I, and certainly many others who actively work to spread Objectivist ideas, face: we are written off as extremists, selfish haters of society, and told that it is our ideas (mainly Capitalism) that has destroyed the nation.

When I respond to their arguments with logic and reason, they take portions of my statements out of context, twist them and then argue against the twisted statements. Attempting to have a proper argument with a Liberal is fruitless and utterly impossible, in my experience. Most of the Liberals I know are wealthy (by my standards), own controlling interests in media, corporations and political arenas, and are singularly Collectivist in their ideals.

These people have a dichotomy in their thinking: while they agree that over-taxation is a terrible thing, they still support the concept of it, since they see man as a destructively selfish being who would let children starve with no education if left to do what they please with their property and earnings. They cite how ‘evil’ business is, referring to the few distortions of the market that exist (the Madoffs, Enrons, Global Crossings of the world) and hence the dire need for tighter government controls.

When I profess to them that ‘since we’re all humans, subject to corruption, so how can we trust anyone one group of humans over another to be overseers’, the Liberal is momentarily flustered, but then goes on to say that ‘it’s not a perfect system, but it’s the only system we’ve got so we have to make it work’, or some such babble.

In the end, I have accomplished nothing in my arguments with these Liberals.

Even non-Liberals seem to question how a government could be funded without taxation, for example. I am starting to understand that we can’t go “cold turkey” off the theft & entitlement programs which are entrenched in modern society. It will take a gradual process of education. But how?

The obstacles are enormous. Objectivist books banned in Canada, universities publishing articles charging that Objectivism is bad for students, government and the left-wing media working 24/7 to convince the public that their only failing was not being Totalitarian enough…

America is approaching an era where the average citizen is going to be in a world of hurt. If anyone is familiar with life in Argentina, post 2001 collapse of their economy, then you have a pretty clear picture of what’s in store for America. Just Google “Ferfal” and Argentina and you’ll find a blog about surviving in that world. The author, who refers to himself as “Ferfal”, gives practical survival advice to anyone who expects to face the total breakdown of their society. Argentina has a kind of anarchy going on, where roving gangs and kidnappers rule the streets, people hide behind barracades to protect their families and everyone is armed for their own protection. It’s a “Mad Max” world. And the Obama administration seems to be, by ignorance or design, racing in that direction through the insane policies that it continues from the Bush administration.

So what can we do? The Ayn Rand Institute is donating books to universities, but how much can this help? Each of us does a certain amount of “grass roots” campaigning by talking to our friends, family, co-workers, etc., however unreceptive many of these persons are. A number of us experience social ostricization as a result of revealing our individualist ideals in an otherwise Altruist/Collectivist society. I know I have become notorious on many internet forums (non-Objectivist) and marked as an extremist, a looney, or just plain hate-mongering selfish, negative person.

Frankly, I am growing tired of the endless, fruitless online arguments with ignorant, close-minded Collectivists who’ve given up on thinking, or never learned to think in the first place.

I see the world at the event-horizon of a black hole of stupidity, ignorance and Altruistic suicide, and we’re on the cusp of that exponentially-accelerating trip into oblivion. It would take an extraordinary event to bring us back from that demise. Perhaps we’ll get lucky, as the fictional earth people in the remake of “The Day The Earth Stood Still”, where Klaatu states that he believes what the professor said was true about people being able to change, when they are on the precipice of total annihilation. Perhaps a concentrated dose of Barack Obama’s brand of Socialist/Marxist idealogy will shock the complacent into a state of wakeness. Perhaps not.

One thing I do know: a direct approach to sharing Objectivist values often backfires. It’s too “radical” for most people to accept. We should get clever with how we share these concepts, perhaps putting them in a parable form, as the stories in the Bible are told (it was said that the scholars, fearing persecution by the ruling elite, could not relate their ideology in diret terms, so they told it in the form of parables.) If we tell a story, show a concrete example of Objectivism in a real world application without directly stating the ideology at first, we may be able to at least gain their attention long enough to pique their interest. An obstacle is the fatalist mentality of a lot of people. I see this in my own friends.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.

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One thing I do know: a direct approach to sharing Objectivist values often backfires. It’s too “radical” for most people to accept. We should get clever with how we share these concepts, perhaps putting them in a parable form, as the stories in the Bible are told (it was said that the scholars, fearing persecution by the ruling elite, could not relate their ideology in diret terms, so they told it in the form of parables.) If we tell a story, show a concrete example of Objectivism in a real world application without directly stating the ideology at first, we may be able to at least gain their attention long enough to pique their interest. An obstacle is the fatalist mentality of a lot of people. I see this in my own friends.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.

This was already done, and was in fact the way Objectivism was presented to the world: Ayn Rand's novels.

Except for one thing. They do something even better. They do directly state their ideology. The reader sees not only the application of the ideas in practical, moral, and spiritual terms--all integrated--but receives an explicit presentation of the underlying philosophic ideas that make such events possible.

Atlas Shrugged is spreading in popularity in unprecedented levels. There are ample signs of major changes in the culture for the better in the next 10-30 years. But, the future, of course, is still unknown.

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While I do agree that the growth in popularity of Atlas Shrugged is reaching unprecidented levels, at the same time, I see the Hedonist culture in mass media has becoming the dominant media, the government is now shamelessly out of control and is practically thumbing their noses at us as if to say "try and stop us!", plus a number of people read the first few paragraphs and don't like the novel or disagree with the black & white nature of the characters, claiming they're an unrealistic fantasy. Plus, a lot of people don't have the time to read a novel of that size, especially if they're not erudite by habit of nature. Yes, the novels ARE a great vehicle, but since it's the lazy masses that vote, we have to find a way to reach THEM.

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Yes, the novels ARE a great vehicle, but since it's the lazy masses that vote, we have to find a way to reach THEM.

That's shortcutting the process of fundamentally changing the culture, and can't be done. The masses will be influenced according to the dominant cultural philosophy.

However, some people in society are far more influential than others, and many of these people will be influenced by Objectivism, or by ideas which have been influenced by Objectivism.

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Yes, the novels ARE a great vehicle, but since it's the lazy masses that vote, we have to find a way to reach THEM.

That's shortcutting the process of fundamentally changing the culture, and can't be done. The masses will be influenced according to the dominant cultural philosophy.

However, some people in society are far more influential than others, and many of these people will be influenced by Objectivism, or by ideas which have been influenced by Objectivism.

Yes, it can't be done by any means I'm aware of, but don't the masses help perpetuate the dominant culture?

We need to infiltrate the media--the news, the record companies, the PR firms--and introduce new ideas to replace their failed ideas. Perhaps we need more Objectivists choosing careers in journalism. That would be an effective attact vector, would it not?

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A civil war would achieve no positive result

<snip>

I am starting to understand that we can't go "cold turkey" off the theft & entitlement programs which are entrenched in modern society. It will take a gradual process of education. But how?

The obstacles are enormous.

<snip>

So what can we do?

<snip>

Frankly, I am growing tired of the endless, fruitless online arguments with ignorant, close-minded Collectivists who've given up on thinking, or never learned to think in the first place.

I see the world at the event-horizon of a black hole of stupidity, ignorance and Altruistic suicide, and we're on the cusp of that exponentially-accelerating trip into oblivion.

<snip>

We've got a lot of work to do.

Presupposition failure: 'society' is not your responsibility.

Further, what is your evidence that "a civil war will achieve no positive result." Or that "we can't go 'cold turkey' off the theft and entitlement [redundant] programs?"

"What can be done?"

Shrug.

"Get busy living, or get busy dying."

- Andy Dufresne, from "The Shawshank Redemption"

Sometimes it is best for nature to thin the herd.

JDF

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Presupposition failure: 'society' is not your responsibility.

Further, what is your evidence that "a civil war will achieve no positive result." Or that "we can't go 'cold turkey' off the theft and entitlement [redundant] programs?"

"What can be done?"

Shrug.

"Get busy living, or get busy dying."

- Andy Dufresne, from "The Shawshank Redemption"

Sometimes it is best for nature to thin the herd.

JDF

No, society is not my responsibility. However, we have a SELFISH interest in protecting our quality of life from the ignorant monsters whose actions affect us in profound and often forceful ways. That is what drives some of us to state our ideas to others and try to educate them to see the importance of the individual.

Shrug? Where would we go? As Dr. Peikoff once said, "you can't find another country". There is no "Galt's Gulch" to which we can conveniently go. To shrug would mean to reduce our economic wealth creation. But then you can't sustain yourself, even if you own your own farm. Have you heard of a tax foreclosure?

Nature will thin the herd, but for those of us who don't wish to be part of that herd, I carry the torch of Enlightenment to any man who will listen. It is that task which brings great frustration.

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I just received an e-mail from ARI, stating how much of a success the book campaign (giving Ayn Rand novels to school teachers) was.

I looked into how to contribute, but it appears to be a general fund, not specific to the geographic area of the contributor. I was thinking it would be a good way to make a difference in our local communities, by ordering cases of The Fountainhead and donating them to our local school systems.

Has anyone had any experience with the process?

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I just received an e-mail from ARI, stating how much of a success the book campaign (giving Ayn Rand novels to school teachers) was.

I looked into how to contribute, but it appears to be a general fund, not specific to the geographic area of the contributor. I was thinking it would be a good way to make a difference in our local communities, by ordering cases of The Fountainhead and donating them to our local school systems.

Has anyone had any experience with the process?

ARI DOES permit you to assume responsibility for a specific geographic area! Please check out their web site further, or e-mail them.

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The era of the Revolutionary War is over; the freedom fighters are no longer a match for the enemy in terms of military forces. Today’s US government, fed by practically limitless funding, has the power to crush any rebellion or attempt at insurrection and revolution. ....

Remember the captive peoples of eastern Europe, standing in the streets and squares to protest their communist masters?

Why can't we do the same?

I believe that Comrade Obama would willingly massacre his opponents--his long-time association with murdering Weather Underground terrorists, sundry other Marxists, and his admiration for dictators proves he has no respect for human life. Based on that evidence, he's certainly capable of perpetrating another Tiananmen Square. But the U.S. armed forces would not follow him. As Thomas Sowell pointed out, a "national police force" of Obama loyalists would--but not those organizations that have a history and tradition of defending our country.

Latest poll shows 34% strongly disapprove of our Marxist Messiah.

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Remember the captive peoples of eastern Europe, standing in the streets and squares to protest their communist masters?

Why can't we do the same?

I believe that Comrade Obama would willingly massacre his opponents--his long-time association with murdering Weather Underground terrorists, sundry other Marxists, and his admiration for dictators proves he has no respect for human life. Based on that evidence, he's certainly capable of perpetrating another Tiananmen Square. But the U.S. armed forces would not follow him. As Thomas Sowell pointed out, a "national police force" of Obama loyalists would--but not those organizations that have a history and tradition of defending our country.

Latest poll shows 34% strongly disapprove of our Marxist Messiah.

I believe the Americans won't fight for the following reasons:

Fear, uncertainty and doubt--they hear the right-wing conservative talk shows, they may even read some of the stronger indictments against the US government on the web blogs, but they have a measure of doubt. What citizen would risk their life in a civil war if they were only 99% certain the president and the congress were anti-American and out to destroy their way of life?

Another reason is the numbing effect of the news media and entertainment media. As long as people can watch TV, drink beer and have sex, the vast majority will be unwilling to risk jail time or death that would result from joining a rebellion.

There ARE pockets of rebellion--they're just so small that the media marginalizes them, and they are treated like criminals, not revolutionaries. "Right wing wackos" is a label that the masses will accept and then go back to their half-sleep state of subsistence.

Yet another factor is the 'frog in hot water' concept--we are in a pressure cooker and the heat is slowly being turned up (although lately it's being turned up in steep steps and that's waking a few up) so the majority acclimate themselves to the reduced standard of living and don't really notice, or take a moment to reflect back and see the contrast of how they're living now, vs. a few years ago.

Youth are making up a large segment of the population--they have no idea what it is to pay 15 cents for a loaf of good bread, or $600 for a new automobile, or $5,000 for a house. They have no concept of property rights, when you could do pretty much as you pleased with your land and no permits were required. The youth today were born into Socialism, so they believe it's the norm.

There are other factors, but these are the most clear to me, personally.

I know there are a few in the military who are not on the same page as Osama--I mean Obama--but what if they are the minority? Anyway, with Obama developing his version of "brown shirts" army, he knows he may be in a standoff with the US military one day.

I often wonder why the North Koreans aren't rebelling--they have it worse than just about any nation on earth. If the North Koreans have such a tight dictatorship as to prevent rebellion, then the US, with its surveillance state will also have the ability to evesdrop on and stop any seminal movement toward revolution.

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Remember the captive peoples of eastern Europe, standing in the streets and squares to protest their communist masters?

Why can't we do the same?

I believe that Comrade Obama would willingly massacre his opponents--his long-time association with murdering Weather Underground terrorists, sundry other Marxists, and his admiration for dictators proves he has no respect for human life. Based on that evidence, he's certainly capable of perpetrating another Tiananmen Square. But the U.S. armed forces would not follow him. As Thomas Sowell pointed out, a "national police force" of Obama loyalists would--but not those organizations that have a history and tradition of defending our country.

Latest poll shows 34% strongly disapprove of our Marxist Messiah.

I believe the Americans won't fight for the following reasons:

Fear, uncertainty and doubt--they hear the right-wing conservative talk shows, they may even read some of the stronger indictments against the US government on the web blogs, but they have a measure of doubt. What citizen would risk their life in a civil war if they were only 99% certain the president and the congress were anti-American and out to destroy their way of life?

Another reason is the numbing effect of the news media and entertainment media. As long as people can watch TV, drink beer and have sex, the vast majority will be unwilling to risk jail time or death that would result from joining a rebellion.

There ARE pockets of rebellion--they're just so small that the media marginalizes them, and they are treated like criminals, not revolutionaries. "Right wing wackos" is a label that the masses will accept and then go back to their half-sleep state of subsistence. ... ...

I don't think you understood my point. It may not be necessary to take up arms and fight with bullets. Any more than it was necessary for the eastern Europeans. Tens of millions of Americans standing in the streets, protesting the Marxist/fascist power grab, protesting the endless pillaging and looting by those lawless bastards in Washington, declaring our allegiance to the U.S. Constitution they have so summarily trampled upon, may be enough to show everyone they aren't a legitimate government--just an unlawful regime. In that event, I can't see the U.S. armed forces marching in on us to collect taxes and enforce regulations.

Remember, 1/3 of the public "strongly approved" of the Tea Parties (and another 1/6 "approved")! That adds up to tens of millions of us! And we are dynamic individuals. The tens of millions willing to acquiesce to an omnipotent government are for the most part lackadaisical sheep, helpless without a leader telling them what to do.

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I don't think you understood my point. It may not be necessary to take up arms and fight with bullets. Any more than it was necessary for the eastern Europeans. Tens of millions of Americans standing in the streets, protesting the Marxist/fascist power grab, protesting the endless pillaging and looting by those lawless bastards in Washington, declaring our allegiance to the U.S. Constitution they have so summarily trampled upon, may be enough to show everyone they aren't a legitimate government--just an unlawful regime. In that event, I can't see the U.S. armed forces marching in on us to collect taxes and enforce regulations.

Remember, 1/3 of the public "strongly approved" of the Tea Parties (and another 1/6 "approved")! That adds up to tens of millions of us! And we are dynamic individuals. The tens of millions willing to acquiesce to an omnipotent government are for the most part lackadaisical sheep, helpless without a leader telling them what to do.

Some thoughts in response to your comments: Eastern Europe was beyond bankrupt--there were even factions within the government that were in conflict with eachother. The government was not unified and cohesive in the months before the Soviet empire fell. The people marching in the streets may have helped push things over the tipping point, but that alone may not have been effective without cracks appearing from within the ruling establishment. Plus you had Reagan telling Gorbychev to "tear down this wall", a publicly pointed finger of shame, which certainly had its modest impact.

WRT tea parties, to 'strongly approve' is still far short of being willing to go to war. Our founding fathers went beyond strongly approving of forming an independant nation--they were willing to put their lives at stake, and so were a large number of 'embattled farmers' who were tired of (do I recall this correctly?) a 1% tax by the British!

Now look at us today: officially, it is claimed we pay 15-35% tax depending on our bracket. But a Romanian business associate I knew back in the 80s, showed me a Lotus 123 spreadsheet where he'd calculated in the real cost of government, taking into account not only taxes passed down to the consumer in the form of higher prices, but also licenses, regulatory fees, and inflation. His worksheet demonstrated that the actual tax burden on the average American was 92%! No wonder we need credit to live--since the government has seized nearly all of our buying power and without credit, we'd be living like third worlders. (It's interesting that the tax evader who earns $8,000 annually can enjoy a similar lifestyle to the taxpayer who earns $100,000 annually.)

250 years ago, Americans would go to war over a 1% tax. Today, they are practically strangled with taxes AND with the government dictating every small facet of our lives, and yet they do not go to war to throw off a government that no longer serves the interests of the individual. Now I think a lot of that is due to indoctrination in the public education system. So many people I talk with today feel that government should be doing MORE--not less than it is today. "There ought to be a law!!" times a few thousand instances has meant a slow death by a thousand razor cuts for America, and yet 'we' hardly raise a finger. "Strongly approve" of the tea parties, but didn't march or even show up and one... it's not the 20 million people we need marching on Washington to show that we're serious and we've had enough.

That said, I know a former military person who told me back in November that he believed Obama would not last the term, but would be impeached and tried for treason. I wish...

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I won't say a lot here, other than whatever the haze most Americans are in, it doesn't require a majority to change the course of a nation. Recall that the American Revolution wasn't supported by a majority of early Americans. It comes down to the ability to win over the good people with the right ideas. That's what Objectivists are doing to the best of their abilities with the Tea Parties.

Americans have a lot going for them - much more than the Eastern Europeans (I've lived over there so I know) - so I wouldn't say America is dead just yet.

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I won't say a lot here, other than whatever the haze most Americans are in, it doesn't require a majority to change the course of a nation. Recall that the American Revolution wasn't supported by a majority of early Americans. It comes down to the ability to win over the good people with the right ideas. That's what Objectivists are doing to the best of their abilities with the Tea Parties.

Americans have a lot going for them - much more than the Eastern Europeans (I've lived over there so I know) - so I wouldn't say America is dead just yet.

I sure wouldn't either, Jason... smile.gif

...it only takes a resolute minority to turn the tide... and the socialists are helping us by the economic self destruction of the corrupt system they feed off of.

I was suprized at the extremely wide political racial and religious cross section of participants at the TEA Parties who joined together as a coalition... so it's neither the time nor the place for exclusionist ideological purity to overcome a larger common purpose.

Greg

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so it's neither the time nor the place for exclusionist ideological purity to overcome a larger common purpose.

Greg

What ever could you mean by this, I wonder?

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Are there any elements left in American culture that can help turn the tide? I think there are some (we tend to be more individualistic than Europeans, for instance), however, these traits seem to be decreasing in influence.

If utter, total social collapse comes, what factors can lift the country out of a possible "Mad Max" scenario?

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Are there any elements left in American culture that can help turn the tide? I think there are some (we tend to be more individualistic than Europeans, for instance), however, these traits seem to be decreasing in influence.

If utter, total social collapse comes, what factors can lift the country out of a possible "Mad Max" scenario?

Philososphy would be the only answer, but I would advise not letting it get to that point. Usually, when a country gets to the scenario you mention a tyrant steps in to "bring back peace" and this leads to worse problems.

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Philososphy would be the only answer, but I would advise not letting it get to that point. Usually, when a country gets to the scenario you mention a tyrant steps in to "bring back peace" and this leads to worse problems.

Yes, on the general level, philosophy is ultimately the answer, but I was enquiring about specific factors, smaller details (similar to the individualism I noted in Americans).

I know we have one major hurdle, and that's public education. We have an entire generation growing up that has never known freedom. Another negative factor is existing people think it's cruel to NOT have social programs. There is also a large number of people who believe that corporations are inherently evil and would, for example, bring back child labor, if allowed to operate unregulated.

On the positive side, there must be a number of factors that point away from a socialist/dictatorship future for America. While they all stem from philosophical ideals, can we identify and list some of these factors? I think that if we take inventory of America's assets, in terms of the positive philosophical attributes, perhaps once identified, these can be nurtured and used as stepping stones to even greater philosophical bridges to rational thinking and eventual rebirth of American ideals of freedom and non-interventionist government.

We stand at a critical juncture: the pendulum may swing back and we may see a reprieve from Socialism, however, the repreives are less and less deep, idealogically, with each swing of the political pendulum, hence I'm wondering what other factors may come into play. For instance, an unlikely savior of the American way of life could come from a military coup, if the president goes so far out of bounds that those in high military positions realize that the president is a danger to the country. The military's pledge to uphold the Constitution may be one positive factor.

In this context, can anyone think of and list additional factors that could play a defining role in reversing the Socialist/Marxist/dictatorship trends in America?

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Mark, I would offer that a person exemplify the Objectivist virtues in every endeavor one accepts. This cannot be done while hiding out and restricting one's actions and gains. I offer that most people are willing to go through discomfort, but only if there is a reward worthy of that discomfort at the end of the battle. So, how do you and some others expect to motivate people to fight for principles when it seems that you are exemplifying a life of poverty as a reward?

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Mark, I would offer that a person exemplify the Objectivist virtues in every endeavor one accepts. This cannot be done while hiding out and restricting one's actions and gains. I offer that most people are willing to go through discomfort, but only if there is a reward worthy of that discomfort at the end of the battle. So, how do you and some others expect to motivate people to fight for principles when it seems that you are exemplifying a life of poverty as a reward?

My life of poverty stems from a whole string of events, none the least of which is my own lack of mental acuity for business, but that's beside the point; what people choose to do to promote rational ideas is up to each individual.

I, by necessity, center my campaigns (mostly letters to the editor of my local paper) around the issues where government directly encroaches upon my rights (in my case, the crushing property taxes). I also speak up in forums, whenever someone puts down Capitalism, or makes an incorrect declaration that absolutes don't exist. I find myself in daily conflict with the Collectivists from all walks of life. Not a one have I been able to educate. Our debates usually end up cut short by a moderator or the locking of that thread.

I make enemies wherever I assert my Objectivist ideas. Just last night, in a video production business sub-forum, someone called me a lunatic for deriding the whole tax system and putting it in plain, simple English, by asking the question if that person would condone armed robbery if it were commited for the public good. Granted, something shocking happened for the first time in my years on the internet: another poster agreed totally with my post. However, the majority of respondents acted shocked and dismayed at my thinking, referring to me as if I were a monster the likes of a Hitler.

I also have friends who are left wing Liberals. I have weekly arguments with them via e-mail. Curiously, as ascerbic and vitriolic as our debates sometimes become, we remain good friends. Go figure. But they assert that Capitalism, unrestrained, will result in a huge gap between haves and have-nots. Some of them believe in this 'global warming' bunk. I was in a restaurant with two friends after a video shoot in their studio, and when I presented my argument exposing the GW hoax, one of them got so uppity and angry that I thought he was going to physically assault me, and he was yelling so loud that the whole restaurant's patronage was turning to see what the confrontation was about.

I have argued with most of these people for years, yet they maintain their refusal to think; their belief that absolutes do not exist--even the belief that words don't have definate meaning (citing a recent case where I discredited the oxymoron of "gay marriage" by citing the definition, only to have a Liberal tell me "in YOUR opinion").

I find the process of educating the people I know to be utterly and totally fruitless and hopeless. I've also gotten nasty, threatening letters from school teachers, after reading my editorials on the immorality of property taxes. Once you get labeled as "not one of them", no one will listen to your reasoning--they write you off as a lunatic, an idealist-impractical living in a 'practical' world.

Some of you have had better results, but perhaps that may be because you have a different grade of people to deal with, or your intellect and ability to convey ideas in simple terms is superior to mine. My experience has been far different and less encouraging.

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Mark, I applaud you on your efforts. But at the end of the day most people are not going to agree with you unless you demonstrate that your virtues help you to achieve that which you state you are attempting to achieve even if that is just your own happiness. For a good example of living and achieving of one's values (beside Ayn Rand and other known Objectivist) I offer up John Allison.

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We stand at a critical juncture: the pendulum may swing back and we may see a reprieve from Socialism, however, the repreives are less and less deep, idealogically, with each swing of the political pendulum, hence I'm wondering what other factors may come into play. For instance, an unlikely savior of the American way of life could come from a military coup, if the president goes so far out of bounds that those in high military positions realize that the president is a danger to the country. The military's pledge to uphold the Constitution may be one positive factor.

In this context, can anyone think of and list additional factors that could play a defining role in reversing the Socialist/Marxist/dictatorship trends in America?

Yes.

Inherent self destruction.

I've never been more optimistic for America than right now... smile.gif

...watching the leftist socialist government's third party payer financial Ponzi scam wildly careening right over the cliff...

...while American Capitalists are taking full advantage of the unprecedented opportunities provided by this economic Apocalypse.

Greg

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We stand at a critical juncture: the pendulum may swing back and we may see a reprieve from Socialism, however, the repreives are less and less deep, idealogically, with each swing of the political pendulum, hence I'm wondering what other factors may come into play. For instance, an unlikely savior of the American way of life could come from a military coup, if the president goes so far out of bounds that those in high military positions realize that the president is a danger to the country. The military's pledge to uphold the Constitution may be one positive factor.

In this context, can anyone think of and list additional factors that could play a defining role in reversing the Socialist/Marxist/dictatorship trends in America?

Yes.

Inherent self destruction.

I've never been more optimistic for America than right now... smile.gif

...watching the leftist socialist government's third party payer financial Ponzi scam wildly careening right over the cliff...

...while American Capitalists are taking full advantage of the unprecedented opportunities provided by this economic Apocalypse.

Greg

And while Greg and his ilk sit around watching America careen "right over the cliff" he some how thinks that this will cause people to grasp reason and use it in every field. Obviously there has been no study of human nature over thousands of years as his example has never worked.

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Mark, I applaud you on your efforts. But at the end of the day most people are not going to agree with you unless you demonstrate that your virtues help you to achieve that which you state you are attempting to achieve even if that is just your own happiness. For a good example of living and achieving of one's values (beside Ayn Rand and other known Objectivist) I offer up John Allison.

That HAS been an ongoing problem, given that I live in a broken-down house, barely earn 1958 wages (but finally in a self-employed career that I love), and am behind on the property taxes. ;) Naturally, I'm not a very good 'example' for successful Objectivists. But, dam the torpedos, I am finally living by MY values. The only problem is that there are about 20-30 people who wish to initiate the use of force against me, who want to take my property away, so that's been decreasing my enjoyment of retired life and my 'second career' in video production.

One of the things I am realizing is that success is difficult to achieve if you are always tired. In another thread, I also talked about psychological damage from childhood ostricization. I grew up in a very poor family and didn't have the benefit of proper guidance (I later realized that father was psychotic and mother was suffering dimentia). I, too, am experiencing diminishing mental abilities with age. I used to take a lot of vitamins and was particularly intent on heart health, with megadoses of vitamin E. I think it worked to keep me young, because the doc is amazed at my vascular health. But he can't figure out why I'm so darned tired all the time.

Mentally, I'm pretty slow. I can't conduct an argument in realtime. It takes me an hour to think about it, to recall my thoughts and put together my argument. That's why I mostly debate in e-mails, because on the telephone, someone throws a curveball at my argument and I get flustered, not knowing how to answer it. Of course, the answer always seeps into my brain moments after I hang up the phone. ;)

As desparate as my personal situation is, I cannot sit idly by and not correct people when they make incorrect statements with a declarative tone, as if they were stating an axiomatic primary truth. As such, I find myself in a LOT of arguments with people. I've been called "Darwinist", "a loon", "hateful" --even anti-government, anti-society.

The Opinions page of my local paper has been my most focused outlet. Lately, I've been more focused on a single issue and urging voters to minimize the damage by voting for no budget increases. I used to try to discuss ethics, but succeeded only in making a lot of enemies. People really think you're evil if you do not believe in sacrificing yourself for the sake of others. It's shocking every time I hear another version of that point of view, but I know why it's so. It's just the emotional impact of it never seems to go away, each time I hear that attack.

As for America careening over the cliff, I think archeologists may have some of the answers. Societies rise and fall to ruins. America is no different, except we have a microscopic part of the population who knows of Ayn Rand's philosophical ideas and tries to implement them. I see Dr. Brook making some real progress with getting the message out to the people who influence policy, so that's a point of light for me.

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